I DID an internet search and found a fashion business using the slogan “Mad about Fashion”. Meanings of words change. We sometimes need new adjectives.

I have spent much time producing entertainment within institutions that care for those with mental health issues. Words used to describe such people are often derogatory and then attributed to the world outside such places.

Mad can mean “good” as equally as it can be “bad”. I think that a brand new set of words is required to describe the acts of people who are not ill in their minds or confined within institutions. The people I speak of are free to wander as they please and to take up positions of high office. One I have in mind is a candidate for Prime Minister of the UK, which, sadly, still includes Scotland.

There was a time when a cause of mental illness was thought to be the moon. “Lunar”, is from the Latin word for the moon. Astrologers claimed that when our Moon, Saturn and Mars were aligned people were more likely to suffer diseases of the mind. Those who compiled King James VI’s Bible included the word “lunatick” in Matthew’s gospel.

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It is still common to hear derogatory words attributed to those with mental illness transferred to anything that was disliked. With greater understanding, change has come about, the acceptable language around mental illness has been altered through various laws. For example, in 2012, USA, The 21st Century Language Act removed the word used in Matthew from all federal laws.

“Astronomy” and the James Webb telescope have provided beautiful photos of Jupiter. Fascinating, but I have no interest in “astrology”, however, maybe heavenly bodies have been in alignment to bring a collective disorder over the past few days. Here are a few incidents I have noted:

1. Independence Day, Ukraine, Russians fired missiles at a railway station and killed and injured many.

2. French people got angry when prisoners had a go-kart race in Fresnes prison. You might disapprove but the punishment is to have liberty removed, could it be those who arranged the race know more about keeping order in prison and reforming inmates than outside observers?

3. A Scottish person told me yesterday that prison is a “holiday camp”, I asked how they knew that, but there was no response.

4. Another told me “capital” punishment is the answer.

5. Then I was told all about the racial prejudice the person held and how they had voted for Brexit because of the flood of foreigners invading Scotland. 6. Another said that the SNP had “had its day” and is in decline, membership falling. When I gently suggested that the SNP had won the last Holyrood election and quietly asked where the information had come from the person got very upset.

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7. I wrote a message to a friend and asked how their day had been at snappy rebuff came back “frustrating, continual distractions”, I was sorry I asked! 8. I watched Liz Truss in a video, in a calm and considered way say that to launch nuclear weapons is “an important job of the Prime Minister and I am ready to do that”.

Worse than that, in my opinion, the audience applauded. These eight examples are from a much longer list from the last few days. What adjective can be used to describe such?

I do not want Ms Truss as a Prime Minister. I want a Scottish First Minister, elected by us with our elected government in full control of Scotland. In my opinion, anything short of full independence is absolute ... (I need that new word here).

From the above, you must realise there is much work to be done among many of our fellow Scots, for some of them display absolute ... whatever that new word turns out to be.

Cher Bonfis

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