Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Feeding the therapy addicts

I was intrigued by the annual report of the Gambling Supervision Commission (see
Most of it is pretty dull and inoffensive – at least for a pointless QUANGO like this, though considering that a large percentage of what we used to call the Finance Sector is now devoted to online gambling it is frankly hilarious that it is as badly run as the FSC was before the OECD demanded better.
However, page 27 IS quite revealing.
Here we learn that:
“All online licence holders are required, by a condition of their licence, to make a contribution to the Islands problem gambling fund. Contributions are collected annually and the funds are distributed between the Isle of Man Social Services and the GREaT Foundation, a UK based charity.
Isle of Man Social Services use these contributions to fund third sector addiction support agencies which provide local service and support to those individuals for whom gambling is becoming or has become a problem. The GREaT Foundation is a UK based organisation that provides help, support, research and education in the area of problem gambling. The Commission’s support of this cause has been recognised with the Silver GREaTer donor award, which stands as testament to the contributions and support provided by the Islands industry to this highly valued service.”
In other words, as those dependent on  alcohol-dependency charities for employment could not pay themselves, and were the object of open derision even amongst those who recognise they need professional help (but could not find it because the Manx government closed down the facilities rather than pay the staff), it was necessary for their chums in government to find a new scam to subsidise them.
The answer, yet again, came from the UK government, who had set up Gamcare, a bogus ‘gambling dependency’ operation which creamed off income from the gambling industry as a condition of licensing and passed it to ‘therapists’ and ‘counsellors’ who (in theory) help anyone who thinks they might be getting in too deep to stop gambling. 
In practice, it keeps the new puritans off government backs, which is pretty funny considering that the puritans are the ones who spread the scare stories in order to set their churchgoing mates up as ‘third sector therapeutic charities’ in the first place. Which is exactly what the puritans did in the Isle of Man, with alcohol, drugs... and other issues of which they lack any practical, professional or academic knowledge.
If you like, you can see the latest local Gamcare scam at http://www.energyfm.net/cms/news_story_235878.html , and to find out more about how the UK is wasting both British money and the money it now creams off us, take a look at http://www.responsiblegamblingtrust.org.uk/index.html .
So do we have a gambling problem? Probably no more than anywhere less; in fact we have more chance of winning the lottery than finding evidence of addiction that would stand up.
But do we have a problem with underemployed parasites needing to justify their public subsidy? Yes.
The money currently creamed off by government from gambling companies to feed the therapy-giving addiction of a few disturbed people could equally well go to, say, schools or health. 
At most, only a one-off payment should be used to break their habit. After that, they really should seek private therapy and pay for it themselves. 
We can’t go subsidising these wasters from the public purse. If gambling really is annoying the over-sensitive sector of the populace - which I am not convinced is a large one – then let the gambling industry make some token annual donations to schools and hospitals and let us be done with the lecturing.


Bearz said...

I read this with some curiosity, it could have been reduced to 'Bah Humbug!'. Or 'a plague on both their houses' the both refering to the gambling industry (calling it anything less would be a lie and perhaps it is the only indutry left... ) and the cause of therapy. Perhaps they damn each other by the industry 'paying for the addicts it sucks in', but why not call the move decsribed here 'privatising therapy'? By making the gambling industry pay for the ready made victims it makes even more into vicitms? Anyone can be a victim, if enough pressure is applied, but the best victims occupy victimhood on very temprary basis, and get out with the least amount of help they need.

Happy Christmas.

Stuart H. said...

I think my (strictly tongue-in-cheek) point here is that taxpayers seem to be feeding the addiction of a growing class of people to offering everybody else advice, but these addicts to giving therapy seem even less capable of holding down a proper job than the poor sods they claim to be helping - just with more friends in government!
I'd more seriously accept there will always be some people who need help with gambling , or alcohol, or drugs...etc. etc.... but seriously, is there any real attempt to provide professional help here?
Sorry, I just have to laugh, but maybe my humour's just too obscure, and maybe that's because I spend more time than is healthy monitoring such insanity.
But Merry Xmas to you too.