Typhoid Mary meets the Broad Street pump (or so it seems).
Can anyone explain which dataset was used to verify that…
Efficacy isn’t reduced over 3 months between 1st and 2nd doses?
The delay isn’t creating an environment of evolutionary adaptation that runs a very high risk of creating a strain that’s impervious to the vaccine?
I ask because neither vaccine was tested beyond 42 days (6 weeks) and both Pfizer and Astra/Seneca have cautioned against delay, not least because there’s no dataset to analyze covering the 90 days currently mandated by this incompetent and scientifically illiterate government.
UNESCO, the ‘United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’ has observed November 29th as the International day of solidarity with the Palestinian people since 1978. There’s a good reason for that. This is the date when, in 1947 the partition plan (Resolution 181) was passed. The plan was to partition Palestine and in so doing create both a Jewish and a Palestinian state.
By 1979 it had become clear that Palestinian people have not been able to secure basic rights as a nation state ever since. Ongoing occupation and annexing of land by Israeli settlers has robbed many Palestinians of their homes and forced them to flee to makeshift and yet cruelly permanent camps.
Some remain there for decades. Some have lived their entire lives in the camps, robbed off their land by Israeli ‘settlers’, beaten and abused by the Israeli occupation forces and treated as though human rights just didn’t apply.
So today, on UNESCO’S International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People I, like many others will be watching to see what our British politicians have to say to mark the occasion. Both our main political parties claim to oppose oppression and the mistreatment of entire populations. How will they acknowledge this day of solidarity in the face of what has been described an ongoing land grab of monumental proportions in direct contravention of resolution 181? The land claimed by Israeli settlers, often with the aid of Israeli military forces goes far beyond the borders drawn up in the original partition. You can download the original document here.
Will our illustrious leaders comment upon the absolute disregard for the rights of those denied both sovereignty and statehood?
And if they, our elected representatives on the world stage do not, I think we must all ask ourselves one very important question…
David Lane is an American white supremacist. It was Lane who wrote the 14 words, a mantra of white supremacists across the world. The 14 words are…
“We must secure the existence of our people
and a future for white children”
“Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman
must not perish from the earth.”
Lane himself was a member of the American domestic terrorist organisation known as ‘The order’. Prior to this he had been state organizer for both the Ku Klux Klan and the ‘Aryan nations’ groups. His contribution to white supremacy eventually earned him a 20 year sentence for racketeering, 20 more years for conspiracy and a whopping 150 years for driving the getaway car following the murder of Jewish radio personality, Alan Berg.
Unsurprisingly, he didn’t manage to complete his 190 year sentence and died in prison in 2007 at the age of 68. Some might argue that the world is a better place for his passing although the damage he has done to the human psyche continues. Unfortunately, his reach extends well beyond the grave.
The problem with the 14 words in either version is that they’re based upon a flawed premise. The existence of white people only needs to be secured if it’s under threat – which it demonstrably is not. Neither is the beauty of white women at risk – unless you consider the mere presence on the earth of other races a threat.
We covered the basic misogyny of these tropes about white women in an earlier bingo card. What business is it of David Lane’s or anyone else’s who a Caucasian woman chooses to spend the night with? Who is he to suggest that mixed race children are less beautiful or worthy than Caucasians? The fact is that David Lane was a vicious, vacuous bigot with an unfortunate and ironic gift for communicating the emptiness that resided in him. His 14 words harken after a battle for domination that is already lost against an imagined ideological enemy that doesn’t really exist in a war that ended over 75 years ago.
This weekend I went to Lincoln, a city I first visited during my homeless days back in the 1980s. It gave me a chance to meet some old friends and make a video combining my two main passions… Left wing politics and social/mental health care. What’s not to like?
Denounce your teachers!Early last year a new group started making waves in UK. An American far right import, Turning Point UK (not to be confused with the social care charity of similar name) set its sights on influencing British domestic politics. The alt-right offshoot spared no expense in promoting its cynical message to British youth, even creating the 21st century’s answer to Diana and Unity of the Mitford sisters, Alice and Beatrice whose grandfather headed up one of the nation’s largest banks. I critiqued a couple of their vacuous videos here and here.
The group has been endorsed by senior right wing politicians including Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel as well as Nigel “Mr. Brexit” Farage himself which really ought to tell you all you need to know about their right wing aims. Farage even misrepresented socialism on video for the group. But in case you’re in any doubt let’s take a look at Turning Point UK’s latest escapade.
In an attempt to further indoctrinate British young people, the far right group has asked children to ‘denounce’ their teachers should they say anything that might be construed as non-supportive of neoNazi ideals. For example.
Yeah, the Trump picture is a bit naughty. Funny though and Trump’s policies really can be argued to be analogous with an aggressive cancer spreading internationally.
Next up is a perfectly reasonable analogy about the behaviour of cells described as “remainer propaganda” in this paranoid campaign.
A lecture on Marxist perspective (presumably in a social history or similar class) is described as evidence of indoctrination – it seems that only one side of the political spectrum is to be taught, even though a balanced approach is the only way for young people to make truly informed decisions.
Here, an appeal to critical thinking contrasted with the non-critical Daily Mail is objected to for no apparent reason. Nobody could seriously argue that it’s not a valid contrast. The Daily Mail is far from renowned for facilitating critical thought – but it is a right wing rag and so the fash from TPUK will brook no criticism of it.
Now where have we seen this sort of thing before? How about the actions of the AfD in Germany – the modern white-supremacist successors to the Nazi party?
“The far-right Alternative for Germany’s decision to set up web portals to denounce teachers who express political opinions in the classroom unleashed a storm of protest this week. Critics hear an echo of Nazi tactics or repression in Communist East Germany.”
In perfect style German teachers have reported themselves en masse to the party, explaining that it’s a matter of public duty to be recognised as someone who stands up to fascism as an example of good citizenship to the young people they seek to educate.
In this country the National Front tried a similar thing, encouraging school children to denounce lefty teachers, several of whom were attacked and seriously injured by NF members as a result. Like all the rest of our examples the NF campaign sought to encourage the teaching of traditionalist, nationalist history with a very definite bias instead of the accurate history, increasingly favoured by modern educational establishments.
The new far-right government of Brazil did the same in 2018 as did Mussolini prior to WW2. But perhaps the most widely known example of this ‘teacher denouncing’ occurred in Nazi Germany, beginning soon after Hitler seized power in 1933 and resulting in an almost complete takeover of German education by the Nazi party. The parallel with Nazi Germany interfering in academic freedoms to promote a bias for Nazi ideology is clear. After all, Turning Point UK doesn’t appear to have any problem with right wing teachers talking politics in the classroom or lecture theatre.
It really is time for British people to sit up and take notice. This is happening now, right under our noses and, just as the German people were too complacent to take the threat seriously, so are many Britons. Nazi Germany was already established with all its disastrous consequences by the time most people realised what had happened. Then, as now, the far right, the racists and the aggressive ultra-nationalists targeted impressionable children because it works. It worked then and if we’re not very careful it’ll work now.
Don’t let that happen here. There’s still time to protect our laws, our customs, our legal system AND maintain our democracy
Oh yes – and just in case you were wondering…It’s not Godwin’s law if they really are Nazis!
‘Gone to the dogs‘ is a small cafe with some very big ideas. Just like any other cafe you can go there for a cuppa or a bite to eat, you can even bring your dog inside. But that’s not all you can do. You can take part in the cafe’s ‘Pay it forward’ scheme as well.
When you pay for your food you have the option to overpay and if you do something truly wonderful happens. The cashier taking your money writes the excess amount on a post it note that’s kept behind the counter. It’s a bit like a token for food or a cup of tea that homeless or otherwise disadvantaged citizens can redeem for food.
Not only that, the cafe offers people a chance to launder their clothes, to meet and socialise, to get involved in community projects and also provides advice and advocacy where possible. They’ve even been instrumental in finding homes for people.
I met Paul, the inspiration behind the cafe last Sunday. The cafe was bursting with people, some homeless, some clearly not and all enjoying good food, a cup of tea and a community atmosphere of the kind I haven’t seen for years.
What do you do when the world you thought you knew is falling apart before your very eyes? Heather is a teacher who has seen her life change dramatically over the last 9 years. Once all she had to worry about was in-class discipline and the arduous task of trying to instill not just knowledge but understanding and the skill of critical thinking into her pupils’ heads. All that’s changed now.
These days she sees her colleagues buying shoes for children who would otherwise be barefoot (yes, really), charging electricity keys, buying food for hungry families, paying for pupils’ lunches. She even works with some of the older students who’ve started a uniform recycling bank to help the families with younger children equip them for school.
Like many others, Heather allowed herself to dream in the run up to the general election on December 12th. Like so many of us she dared to believe that things could be different, that things might get better with a change of government and that the poverty and hunger that surrounded her might change with it. “It didn’t happen” Says Heather “So I decided I’d see if anyone wanted to make that change happen with me”.
Lynette works as a Transformation project manager in social care. “I’ve seen the knock-on effects of underfunding services, health, education and voluntary services. I just can’t bear to see people struggling to get by and thrive. I believe everyone should have equal opportunity to have a good, secure life.”
I interviewed Heather and Lynette this weekend. Together, along with Fiona and Claire, they represent ‘The Rose‘, around 100 concerned community activists, all worried about the impact of the next 5 years on communities, upon individuals and upon rights and all ready, willing and able to do something about it.
The basic idea is straightforward enough. Lynette explained… “We’ll run a national Rose group that has oversight and local Rose hubs that are able to spot gaps in provision and many willing volunteers to help support filling those gaps.”
The principle is simple, but what about the logistics? The ladies had an answer for that question too as Fiona told me… “We have several people with specialisms in mental health, web techies, researchers, writers, people with experience of organising…”
“… We want to improve the lives of people on a local and (hopefully) national scale.” Claire interrupted. “Anyone can benefit from The Rose’s services be it children, disabled or sick people, homeless people, those suffering with mental health issues, the list is pretty endless. We want to do this whilst spreading the message of positivity and hope.”
Fiona has an enduring mental illness and is reliant on ever dwindling benefits and over-stretched support services herself. She tells me of her fears for the future of UK society. “I am on PIP, ESA and pay the bedroom tax. Tory benefit reforms have been devastating. I also have seen cuts to my support service. I’m lucky to have excellent family support, so many don’t. I’ve seen many in the disabled and mental health community pushed to breaking point, and tragically even to their deaths. There are many great charities and organisations, helping with great ideas but there is so much need you can never have enough help.”
Fiona’s anxious for the health, well-being and quality of life of our minorities and other vulnerable groups. She tells me how devastated she is at the loss of support for so many and how she abhors the right-wing narrative infecting the country today. “I just felt there must be some way of helping.” She said.
Although, as Claire was quick to remind me, The rose project is still very much in the ‘ideas stage’ at the moment, the plan is to create a network of regional hubs attached to a central co-ordination point. Each local Rose hub will identify the greatest need in its own area and then that need will be met either locally or via central co-ordination involving all the other hubs. There’ll be specific Rose hubs for specific skills and areas of work such as mental health, homelessness and housing, benefits advice, advocacy etc. Many of the necessary skills already exist within the group membership which continues to grow as people spread the word.
So far they have the beginnings of specialist groups for mental health, education, disabilities, advocacy, benefits advice, homelessness and housing and NHS volunteering. They also have strong links to existing foodbanks and even a free psychotherapy network for people unable to access NHS psychotherapy in their areas and who cannot afford private sessions either.
Just as great oaks grow from little acorns, beautiful Rose gardens can begin with a few good seeds and the determination to make this happen couldn’t be more obvious. With around 100 willing volunteers already signed up from all across the UK it seems as though nothing can stop these very determined ladies and their colleagues as they strive to help not just their own communities but every community in the land.
I look forward to revisiting the Rose project and to watching it grow into something truly worthy of its name in the future.
Find out how you can get involved in your area, share your expertise or lend local support by contacting the Rose here…
It’s just a matter of days since the tories learned of their landslide general election victory and already their manifesto promises are looking shaky. According to the Independent…
“The government plans to reintroduce the withdrawal agreement bill, which implements Mr Johnson’s deal, this week. No 10 said it would be based on the deal that the prime minister secured with the EU, and would not necessarily include the guarantees made since then.
“The original draft of the legislation included provisions to ensure that workers’ rights were not weakened after Brexit. Under questioning from MPs in October, Mr Johnson also promised to include a similar measure on environmental protections.
“However, No 10 refused to say that the guarantees would be in the revised draft being brought back this week.”
Workington MP Mark Jenkinson, conservative and hard right wing Brexiteer promised in the run up to the general election that there were no plans to reduce working peoples’ rights…
He also promised that the conservatives, if elected would seek to further protect the environment.
So we need to ask ourselves… was Jenky lying or is Workington’s new MP just a fool who couldn’t see what was so obvious to so many of us all along? Surely, the tory candidate should have known what his party planned to do, shouldn’t he?
It’s almost as though he doesn’t care about working people at all, especially since he even admitted that he didn’t even understand the question.