Saturday, 31 May 2014

I have a dream

 I feel this is a more fitting tribute to Maya Angelou than I could muster in a discussion of her poetry.

Friday, 30 May 2014

A male feminist

Gotta like those male feminists...

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Everyday racism

On a trip to get some lunch I encountered this:

A man shouting at a woman in the street.

I did not see the beginning of the altercation, but this is how it ended.


Black mixed race (yes this is relevant) tall bloke shouting at a woman wearing a head scarf with at least one child.

Man: "You bloody immigrants coming here robbing my country."

Bloke looks fit and healthy and in addition is wearing some expensive looking ear phones over his ears.

The woman who is shouting back at him seems to only have the child on her person.

I doubt highly in this moment that the woman has directly taken anything from this man at all.


So let me get this straight.

You, the man who more than likely have faced prejudice and racism in your life to get to this point is concerned that this woman and child is going to rob from your country.

On what basis?

Because she's wearing a head scarf.

Does that somehow make her a criminal?

I'm fairly sure that scarf has something to do with religious adherence, not crime.

Well this is embarrassing

Stop making 'your' country look like a disgrace.

I'm pleased that no one else joined in with you.

He may have said our country, I was not recording apart from in my mind.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Southwark housing quibble

For those of you that have yet to vote today in the Southwark area, here's something to consider.

The Liberal Democrats and Labour in the Southwark area have a disagreement over council housing.

The Liberal Democrat councillor said: "In Southwark, with almost 20,000 people on the housing waiting list, Southwark is in desperate need of new affordable homes. 

Unfortunately, the current Labour-run council has sold-off or demolished 935 homes since 2010, making the situation even worse. 

It has also failed to build new homes to replace the ones we’ve lost, with just 33 new council homes built since 2010...

They have also pledged to end the housing sell-off, and kick-start a new programme of house building. They will fight for a better deal from developers to make sure they are providing affordable homes as part of new developments."

When challenged on this Labour responded with the statement: "The Labour council has the largest council house building programme in the country...

This is despite the council losing almost £100m funding under Government cuts supported by Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes. 

Mr Hughes also cut funding to build affordable homes (from about £128k per home to £25k per home) and backed the Government re-defining 'affordable' as 80% of market rent.

The Liberal Democrats ran Southwark council in coalition with the Tories (2002-2010) and did not build council homes even with higher (Labour) Government funding."

Labour also quote that Labour has repaired 7,000 empty council homes to let for local families, while the Liberal Democrats have sold off or demolished 9,000 council homes.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Wong Fu kick arse!

Wong Fu make brilliant YouTube clips.

I think this is my favourite so far.

Blow those stereotypes.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Happy Neighbours

Watching the UKIP debate is beyond unsettling to me.

If you're feeling similar, here's a story for you.

I was lucky enough to have a back garden when I was a kid.

There was another kid in the back garden next to me, her family was Sri Lankan.

We got on.

Only neither of us could see over the fence.

We discovered that if she climbed up on the stone work on her side of the fence and if I climbed up the metal frame of our swing we could see each others faces.

So we would talk in this precarious manner and occasionally get to the point where we felt we should enter one or others house.

My memories included playing Pontoon and her mainly winning, often while listening to American country music.

As far as I'm aware Dolly Parton has no real link to either Sri Lankan or British culture, we both liked it.

We also both talked about Monica Seles while playing tennis when Wimbledon was on, she's not British either.

We didn't see that much of each other later in life, because she went to a private school and I went to a state one.

This seemed to involve people doing things like advancing her classes, not something that was done in my school.

We lost touch a bit and I went on to study elements of international politics, including the conflict in Sri Lanka knowing her and a Sri Lankan guy that I had met at school made me more interested, ignorant as fuck most likely, but interested.

I found myself very ill after leaving uni and I clearly remember on one of these occasions her coming over to visit me, with Christmas cake, only not the kind that my Gran and mum made, way more squishy and amazing (sorry Mum, my Mum does make lovely cakes).

Seeing a familiar face at such a difficult time meant a lot to me.

She's really successful now and so I get to see her even less, but she enriched my life, she did not detract from it Mr Farage.

Unwittingly she made me more engaged in a debate about conflict resolution, she may never have put pounds into my pocket but my exchanges with her were happy ones, they made my life better.

Being confronted with another culture does not destroy it, just means that we have something to share.

She was my neighbour, France and Europe are ours.

Could we bother to climb up on the swing rather than throwing rocks at the bloody fence.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Sexy nerd

This girl has loads of really amusing videos on YouTube, I defy you not to smile.