It has just been reported in 'The Independent' that as many as 1 in 10 people within the UK do not have any significant close friends, and also that many people are involved in many poor quality relationships; both of these are detrimental to psychological and long-term physical well-being. What this article does not mention is that people with disabilities and/or mental health problems are particularly likely to be lonely and/or in poor relationships-as someone with autism, I have experienced loneliness myself on several occasions, and it has not been good at all, and I have sometimes felt not as close to someone as I should have been or wanted to be. Also, only 1 in 20 Londoners do not have significant close friends-people in rural or semi-urban areas (small/medium towns,basically) are more likely to be significantly lonely than those living in cities, and this is also true across much of the world.
I believe that this sorry state of affairs is at least somewhat attributable to free-market capitalist culture, which encourages selfishness, greed, and sloth and which has caused emotional damage to so many people. I believe a greener and fairer society will help us all connect and reconnect better with each other, and help reunite communities that were split many years earlier-indeed, I see the Green Party and the Young Greens as a community in addition to being a political party, in some important ways.
I would also like to give a tribute to actor Robin Williams, who sadly committed suicide earlier today at the age of 63, having suffered from depression and having been battling alcohol and drug addictions at the time. He notably starred in such films as Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Bunting, Night At the Museum, and lastly, 'The Angriest Man In Brooklyn' which was shown earlier this year. I wish I had seen more of the many great films he had starred in before he died.....
On a positive note, though, I am pleased to report that the planned sell-off of the Land Registry will now not go ahead, and also that the Green Party is still polling 5%-8% in reliable general election polls (our best since 1989), with young voters being particularly favourable towards the Greens. Unlike in the years immediately succeeding 1989,though, I firmly believe our current supporters will stay with us in the long term, and thus help us present a real challenge to the three main parties not only next year but also beyond that-and hopefully in every one of the 573 constituencies (except perhaps the Speaker's seat) in England and Wales as well.