Nov 162013

Billy Blake’s Birthday Bash

8 until 11pm
Admission FREE

The Ivy House
40 Stuart Road
Nunhead, London SE15 3BE

The Ivy House has bus stops for 484 and 343 nearby.
Nearest Stations are Nunhead and Brockley which is well-served by trains from Highbury and Islington, Dalston Junction and London Bridge.

MP Blake_Web_regular

May 272013

On Wednesday 22nd May the Judge Upper Tribunal handed down a historic judgement which officially confirms what survivors and disabled people have been saying for years now, that the hated ATOS tests are unfair. Individual survivors brought the case supported by the Public Law Project, the Mental Health Resistance Network, MIND, Rethink and the National Austic Society.

Survivors, mental health service users, the mental health voluntary sector and the wider Disabled People’s movement are celebrating a famous victory in the Courts. This is at a time following the Banking and Corporation Tax Crisis, when everything seems stacked against them and the odds seemed insurmountable.

MHRN Press Release

Mental Health Resistance Network Facebook Page

Huffington Post Article

Guardian Piece by Amelia Gentleman

BBC Piece



Oct 052012


‘A Celebration of Creative Lunacy’

For World Mental Health Week


399 Tottenham High Road. N17 6QN


8PM – Midnight

Admission : £5 / £2 concessions.

A Fundraiser for the Campaign Against Welfare Benefit Cuts.





MAD PRIDE -The mental health rights campaigning organisation, that uses music and the arts to get our message across, are seeking to continue the successful and positive working relationship we have developed with TOTTENHAM CHANCES – the genuinely grass roots community and arts centre that does fantastic work with homeless people and people with mental health issues, by staging another event there on FRIDAY 12th OCTOBER which will continue our long established tradition of staging a ‘Celebration of Creative Lunacy’ to mark World Mental Health Week, with this years event marking the 9th Anniversary of these.

Up to now these events which have been something of a ‘movable feast’ taking place in different venues over the years, mainly around South London – This event will be the first of these to take place in Tottenham where we have building our reputation and an audience following from a series of successful events there over the course of this past year.

Back in February we staged the fifth of our annual events to mark the Holocaust Memorial, in recognition that people labelled as ‘mad’ were amongst the first to be exterminated in the concentration camps, at Tottenham Chances. Following from the success of this we have since gone on to stage a couple of well received Sunday all day events there,  -the ‘Gathering of Nuts’ in May, and the recent highly successful ‘Paranoid Olympics’, staged as a sort of alternative closing ceremony for the Paralympics on the 9th September, and protesting the hypocrisy of Atos Healthcare the company responsible for causing so much distress and misery for disabled people by their operation of the much criticised Government ‘Work Capability Assessments’ being made a sponsor for the Paralympics.

Tottenham Chances are keen for us to stage more regular events at the venue, we had been looking for a venue to stage our annual ‘Celebration of Creative Lunacy’ to mark World Mental Health Week in October and so, at fairly short notice this date was confirmed.

Like all of the events we have staged over the past couple of years, any monies made, over and above basic running and publicity costs, are used to finance MAD PRIDE’s campaigning and awareness raising work and to help us to provide support to vulnerable people with mental health issues who have been having difficulties with their benefits due to the Government welfare ‘reforms’. We have even been able to make small donations to other disabled campaign groups like Disabled People Against the Cuts, with who we are affiliated.

We are grateful to Chances for the donation of the use of their venue and facilities, without which these events could not happen. We are also very grateful to all the artists, technicians and other volunteers who donated their services for free or for basic expenses. MAD PRIDE has no funding or sponsorship and is entirely dependent on goodwill and the small admission fee we ask of the audience plus any donations.

We have maintained a policy of keeping our admission prices low (still set at 1980’s prices)- to ensure they remain accessible to people struggling on benefits or low income. MAD PRIDE have established a reputation for staging original and high quality acts, our reputation amongst artists means we often have artists with an established ‘name’ or reputation offering to perform at our events.

You just can not find better ‘value for money’ for your £5/ £2 entry fee – all this and the knowledge that monies made are going to an important and otherwise underrepresented cause.

Chances has a reasonably priced bar, it is located nearby to bus stops with many buses running there from all parts of London, including night buses. It is close by to Tottenham Hale and Seven Sisters tube and BR stations. There is free parking available and the venue is fully disabled accessible.

The artists you will be treated to for you small admission fee include- the band fronted by co founder of the legendary punk band Alternative TV – Tyrone Thomas to provide a platform for his incisive and distinctive songwriting – THE OLYMPIC CLAMP DOWN – also featuring Tyrone’s long standing musical and songwriting cohort the highly respected guitarist Colin Maloney and the well respected percussionist Arnold Lane.  Specially invited back after their stunning performance at the recent ‘Paranoid Olympics’ event -(where their name pretty much made them a ‘must have’ for that gig) –

Also invited back to appear at the ‘Paranoid Olympics’ after ‘wowing’ the audience at the ‘Nuts in May’ event, but due to circumstances sadly unable to perform on that day -so we have invited her back again in the hope that this time we may actually have the privilege of seeing her perform for us again- is the deliciously delirious Cam Tan aka CT in her manifestation as VOODOO CiTi – for this gig she is threatening to bring some ‘heavy’ friends to accompany her and ‘bring the noise’.

CT is well known and much loved and respected from her own gigs, gigs with her band ‘Anakzeus’  and for her role as the driving force behind the RAW Poetry events and workshops that run regularly in various London venues.

We are pleased to welcome back the dexterous and erudite antipodean singer songwriter Chris Ramsing aka THE SON OF PSYCHO YOGI – who has made several appearances at previous MAD PRIDE events, most recently at the Holocaust memorial event at Tottenham Chances- Chris is another highly respected performer on the small gig scene in London with his incisive and thoughtful lyrics and polished delivery.

Also welcome back to the Tottenham Chances stage albeit under a new name, are the edgy jazz tinged combo now known as I AM MEAT, who have formerly performed several times at previous ‘Survivors Poetry’ events there under their previous name, the enigmatic ‘The Protagonists of David Gadsdon’, where we saw them first and were duly impressed. Having built a solid reputation from gigs around London over the past year or so, and now in the process of recording an album, this marks there first appearance at a MAD PRIDE event and we are pleased to have their involvement and support.  

We have also invited some special guests who will remain unannounced until the night. As usual our MC for the proceedings will be the irrepressible JASON WHY.

We hope to see you there on the night, which as usual promises some top acts or at one of the events we will be planning up for the future at this venue. We are currently planning a special event to mark the birthday of Britain’s favourite ‘mad’ poets and artists with our annual ‘Billy Blake’s Birthday Bash’ in late November (another established MAD PRIDE ‘tradition’) and we have already invited some very special guests for this.

Keep watching this space for more on this.

For more info call

077 577 15035

Check out

Tottenham Chances   0208 365 0653.

Tottenham Chances on facebook


Jan 202012

A big thank you to Harpy Marx to let us repost her account of the lobby on here

I attended the vigil and lobby outside Parliament regarding the Welfare Reform Bill and the ongoing attacks on welfare benefits.

Welfare Reform protest

Welfare Reform protesters

Welfare Reform protesters

Welfare Reform protesters

Welfare Reform protesters

Welfare Reform protesters

Welfare Reform protesters - Linda Burnip

Reform Benefit Protestors

Reform Benefit Protestors

First posted at Harpy Marx’s blog

Watch the Guardian video on the previous Welfare Reform protest 12th Jan

As the House of Lords debates amendments to the welfare reform bill, protesters from a range of welfare activist groups such as Single Mothers’ Self Defence, Mad Pride and Right to Work gathered outside to lobby members. They were joined by Labour MP John McDonnell, who called for ‘much more severe and serious opposition’ from the Labour party, in the hope that parts of the bill could be defeated if it comes back to the Commons

Nov 272011

The following is a letter of complaint to BBC led by Mad Pride and supported by the other signatories

We are writing to complain about a lack of balance in the BBC’s coverage and programming in relation to the government’s proposals for welfare reforms and benefits, and their implications.

Disabled people, unwaged carers, trade unions, low-paid workers and unemployed people have raised serious concerns about ‘mandatory work’ programmes that force people on benefits to work without pay. These pose a direct threat to the basic minimum wage, restrictions on working hours  and rules on unfair dismissal, and therefore to the pay and conditions of people in paid work. These implications have not even been mentioned, let alone been properly aired.

Instead we have a torrent of programmes aimed at stigmatising and demonising benefit claimants by highlighting benefit fraud, especially for incapacity benefit (“Britain on the Fiddle”, Panorama 3 November) and the ‘feckless’ who supposedly don’t want to work.  An impact of this wholly disproportionate misrepresentation of claimants as frauds and scroungers by some sections of the media has been cited as a direct cause of a reported increase in assaults and other abuse on disabled people, and to appearances parallel The Department of Work and Pensions own  propensity for distortion, itself criticised for the way it has released misleading figures and statistics that have been used to feed this biased propaganda.

Reality here is for the best part skewed by the BBC. Rates of fraud for disability benefits are the lowest – 0.3% to 1.9% — and are insignificant compared to the low amounts people are expected to live on, and the billions in underclaimed benefits.  People who can work should be entitled to a reasonable living wage and decent and safe working conditions.

Many disabled people are not able to work. Many fear they will be wrongly ruled ‘fit for work’ by the revised ‘work capability assessment’ that has been much criticised. And for the many made unemployed through no fault of their own by the effects of the economic downturn – or passed over to unemployment benefit via assessment! –  they now face being forced into ‘mandatory’ work with no pay.

Our very real and legitimate concerns are not being aired. We have not been given an opportunity to make ourselves heard and understood.

Is it right that the BBC is part of this propaganda? Should a publicly-funded body engage in what is tantamount to the promotion of hate crime?

The BBC’s charter says it must show proper balance in its reporting and programming and should not be politically biased. It seems to us that there has been no proper balance and that the programmes aired show a political bias to promote and defend the government’s welfare reform, while hiding the views of those who will be directly affected by them.

We insist on our right to have our concerns properly heard and we demand the right to a full and effective ‘right to reply’ to help to counter the weight of the prejudicial propaganda put out by the BBC.

Disabled benefit claimants, unwaged carers and unemployed people are also licence payers, and we have as much right as people who are in paid employment to have a say in the content and conduct of the BBC.

We look forward to a response to start a process by which BBC Directors and programme makers can redress this current bias as soon as possible. This is a matter of urgent concern for thousands of people who have been barely managing to survive and are now faced with destitution or worse.

Claire Glasman- WinVisible
Ellen Cifford – Disabled People Against the Cuts
Joanna Long – Boycott Workfare
Dave Skull -Mad Pride
Johnny Void -Benefit Claimants Fight Back
Andy Greene – Islington Disabled People Against the Cuts
Paul Smith – Atos Vic tims Group
Richard Rieser- Co-ordinator UK Disability History Month
Warren Clarke – Boycott Workfare

The response received from the BBC goes as follows –

We have received a wide range of feedback about this programme and feel it is worth highlighting that considerable correspondence to us has been generated by online lobby activity. Bearing in mind the pressure on resources, the response below strives to address the majority of concerns raised but we apologise in advance if not all of the specific points you have mentioned have been answered in the manner you prefer. Please be assured we have raised your concerns with the programme and have done our best to issue a substantive response.

Panorama’s ‘Britain on the Fiddle’ looked at a number of issues surrounding public sector fraud, including benefit fraud, the nature and extent of the unlawful subletting of council properties, the issue of identity fraud and the misuse of blue badges. The programme also followed the work of some local authority fraud investigators and by doing so revealed how time consuming and costly inquiries into suspected fraud can be.

The programme made it clear that fraud effectively takes money from all of us, especially those in genuine need. On benefit fraud, including incapacity benefit specifically, the programme stressed that most people on benefits really need them and don’t cheat the system.

Far from concentrating on the economically deprived, the programme featured, for example, the case of a man claiming benefits to pay for a council flat whilst owning and running a pub business many miles away – travelling between both destinations in a luxury car.

Furthermore, the film featured fraud investigators tackling the misuse of blue badges. Many people have since written to Panorama to express their gratitude to the programme for highlighting the problem which causes them distress and much inconvenience.

We don’t agree that the cases featured in our film were extreme or were not broadly indicative of instances of benefit fraud. That is not the experience of the local authority fraud investigators who were kind enough to allow us to film their work. Dr Mark Button, from the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies said in the programme:

“I think a lot of organisations are not realistic about the levels of fraud that they face because in any organisation there are large levels of fraud that are undetected. So if they rely on detected levels of fraud they are not getting the picture of the levels of fraud within their organisation.”

Emphasising this, it is important to note that just recently the Audit Commission released its most up to date figures for detected fraud against local government which explains that these figures are only the tip of a very large iceberg.

We believe the programme explored a subject which is clearly in the public interest and did so in a fair and impartial manner.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.
Kind Regards
BBC Complaints

Apr 192011

MAD PRIDE and the Mental Health Resistance presents


ADMISSION £5 / £2 concessions

The Amersham Arms – New Cross

The AMERSHAM ARMS is located opposite NEW X BR station, where the East London Line stops and is within walking distance from NEW X GATE BR station, all buses to New X will get you there. It is a short bus ride from Deptford Bridge DLR station.


DAVID AMERY – long established performance poet / performance artist – appeared at numerous venues around London and beyond – also known for running events in his own right.

DAVID KESSEL – another performance poet with a long established reputation – an original ‘survivor’ poet – much loved and much respected.

DAVID STUDDERT – Australian singer songwriter ‘one of the best going around’ – according to the web site of the famous ‘12 Bar Club’ – where he also ran his ‘Backfire Cool’ nights – also known for running other events around various venues in London and playing at innumerable gigs about town.

FRAN LOCK – performance poet – building a reputation – her first publication is due out in may – published by ‘Little Episodes’ an organisation that seeks to promote the therapeutic value of the arts and seeks to de stigmatise depression and addiction issues, that she is involved with.

L.A.SALAMI – a singer songwriter of quality and distinction – here accompanied with his full band

DANGEROUS T – off the wall comic performer, well known around the London small gig scene.

PARADISE 9 – Psychedelic, space rock / punk band fronted by Greg McKellar – who is involved with musical and alternative cultural luminaries Nik Turner and Mick Farren and featuring original ‘Alternative TV’ founder member Tyrone Thomas

RICHARD ALLEN – quick fire comic poet with a strong established reputation with appearances at well known comedy venues and the theatre stage at Glastonbury –

THE STRANGE AGENCY – another psychedelic prog metal punk outfit, all the way from the wilds of west Wales – fronted by former local personality – well known for fronting innumerable SE London based bands – the appropriately known Mr Craig High – who appeared onstage at the first BONKERSFEST in 2006.

JAZZMAN JOHN & FRIENDS – Lewisham based ‘beat’ poet – well known for his many appearances at numerous venues – there is hardly a night goes by when the Jazzman is out gigging – also known for running his own excellent events, including his current ‘Friday Lip’ late night sessions at the nearby ‘Let’s All Hang Together’ shop and community space set up by the Art Saves Lives organisation – Here John is accompanied by some cool jazz muso’s for an improvised set to bring the night to it’s cool conclusion.

For more info on the event call 077 577 15035


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MAD PRIDE – 07542459321

For more info on the acts check –




For info on the venue check

Apr 182011
"Atos don't give a toss" placard

"Atos don't give a toss"

On the last Day of Action Against Benefit Cuts protests, actions and demonstrations were organised in Dundee, Edinburgh, Westminster, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Newcastle, Brighton, Glasgow, Poole, Burnley, Islington, Kensington, Cardiff, Poole and Truro.  This time we’ve got all week!

Disability activists, claimant groups and anti-cuts campaigners have called a week of action against poverty pimps Atos Origin beginning on Monday 9th May with a picnic and party in Triton Square*, home of their head office, at 2pm.

Atos Origin have just begun a £300 million contract by the Con-dem Government to carry out ‘work capability assessments’ on all of those claiming Incapacity Benefit.

It is claimed assessments are to test what people can do rather than what they can’t. The real purpose is to strip benefits from as many people as possible.

This testing system has already led to people with terminal illnesses and severe medical conditions being declared fit for work and having benefits cut. GP’s are ignored in favour of decisions made by Atos Origin’s computer.

Plans announced for the scrapping of Disability Living Allowance have also revealed that this intrusive testing is likely to be extended to everyone on some form of disability or health related benefit.

To date around 40% of appeals against Atos Origin’s decisions have been successful.

On the 24th January claimants from around the country demonstrated outside Atos Origins premises, with many choosing to close for the day rather than face their ‘clients’. We call on all groups around the UK to take action against these parasites who have been dubbed ‘the racial purity and euthanasia arm of the DWP’

A list of Atos Origin’s corporate offices and testing centres can be found via:

If you are holding an event, protest or action in your home town please add details on the wall below to have your event added to this page and the website. Alternatively contact us at:

*Triton Square is on the North side of Euston Road, just over the road from Warren Street tube and less than five minutes from Euston/Euston Square or Great Portland Street tube stations.

facebook event at:

Supporting groups (please contact us to be added to the list)

Supported by:

o Armchair Army
o Anti-Benefit Cuts Glasgow
o Black Triangle Anti-Defamation Campaign
o Brighton Benefits Campaign
o Cardiff’s Unemployed Daytime Disco
o Carer Watch
o Carer Watch fb page
o Crippen – Disabled Cartoonist
o Diary of a Benefit Scrounger
o Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)
o Dundee Unemployed Workers
o East Lancs Right to Work
o Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty (ECAP)
o Free London Listings
o Goldsmiths in Occupation
o Haringey Solidarity Group
o Ipswich Unemployed Action
o Islington Deaf and Disabled People Against Cuts (IDPAC)
o Islington Hands Off Our Public Services (IHOOPS)
o Islington Poverty Action
o Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group
o Lancaster and Morecambe Against the Cuts
o London Coalition Against Poverty (LCAP)
o London Foodbank
o Mad Pride
o Medway Against The Cuts
o Mental Health Resistance Network
o Norfolk Community Action Group
o Nottingham Claimants’ Union
o Nuneaton Against Benefit Cuts
o Oxford Save Our Services
o Squattastic
o Tyneside Claimants Union
o Welfare Action Hackney
o Welfare Rights 4 u (UK)
o Work Programme & Flexible New Deal Scandal
o World Homeless Day