Unis offering cash bonuses for students because, as BBC put it, “this year it’s a buyer’s market”. If you’re looking for why the country is going backwards, start at the monetisation of education. No Aristotelian improving the self to improve the world. Just a path to a salary.
In Greece, my parents’ generation used to tell us: “να σπουδάσεις να γίνεις άνθρωπος”. It means “you study to become human”. And, no, this is not elitism, because it doesn’t mean degrees or letters after a name. It means a curiosity about and interrogation of the world around us.
Until education is seen as a worthwhile thing with inherent personal and societal value, we will continue to drown in this tsunami of proud ignorance, lack of critical thinking and anti-intellectualism; continue to struggle against the notion that opinion is equilibrant to fact.
The gov’t plan on tackling homelessness and rough sleeping has zero chance of working because it seeks to deal with the effects while every other one of its policies exacerbates the causes. No strategy has a chance of working until this is treated as a national issue. 1/THREAD
My own experience of homelessness and rough sleeping is not atypical. I’ve campaigned in this area for a decade and spoken to hundreds of people sleeping rough. The fundamental issue is that homelessness is treated as a “local” issue. The result is that local authorities 2/THREAD
see homeless people not as people in need, but as a drain on their siloed resources and a drag on their local statistics. Their first and primary instinct is to not allow you onto their books in the first place. They do this by asking people to prove “local connection”. 3/THREAD
Why do people find it so hard to get that wearing the burqa can be both a symbol of oppression - in a country where women are forced to wear it - and of rebellion - in a country where they’re prohibited from wearing it. In both cases the male state is telling women what to wear.
It’s not a difficult point. Is the mental block on this down to cultural dysphoria with people visibly identifying as Muslim. Use another garment if it helps. Imagine a state that compels women to wear minis and one that forbids it. Both are expressions of patriarchal oppression.
In short: stop telling women what to wear and stop being thick.
Ancient sages believed that molten lava was the hottest substance on earth. But then scientists heated a bit of aluminium to 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit. Scientific understanding evolves. Today we know the hottest substance on Earth is, in fact, the filling of a Greggs pasty.
Here is a man who tried to look directly into a Greggs cheese and onion slice.
This is not Pompeii, but outside the Greggs in Rotherhithe, where a hapless mother attempted to shield her teenage son from a steak bake.
Just spent hours meticulously avoiding eye contact with the man across the train table - in his 60s, dressed like an accountant, proceeded to guzzle several beers, while listening to AND SINGING Death Metal, in full Death-Metal/Exorcist voice, playing air guitar and fist pumping.
And not in a cute it’s-sweet-he’s-so-into-his-music way. More in a huh-so-this-is-how-my-life-ends-never-saw-that-coming way.
Sometimes my existence feels like the longest running clip ever on You’ve Been Framed.
This is the extraordinary @MarcusFysh on #Newsnight. This is how a Conservative MP treats business nowadays, even trade associations, trying to explain the potential risks of hard Brexit - with arrogance, smugness, and impenetrable stupidity, calling them silly and unpatriotic.
NB The food industry representative @MarcusFysh is responding to never mentioned tariffs and never mentioned a “blockade”. He merely said that when it comes to fresh produce like lettuce, tomatoes, avocados or dairy, even small border delays would disrupt supply critically.
I vacillate between wanting people like @MarcusFysh to disappear from public life and wanting him to be on the news every day. I mean there MUST be a small but significant proportion of Brexiters (and constituents who voted for him) who look at this and think “What have I done?”
Nobody will "withhold medicines". As with aviation, radioactive isotopes, and a thousand other areas, we simply lack the domestic regulatory framework. International trade is rules-based and after 40 years of conducting it cooperatively our structures for it have atrophied.
It doesn't mean it can't or won't happen. It means that, for it to happen WITHOUT a disruption in supply, a huge amount of preparation and structural reform needed to have happened ALREADY and the government have simply not done it.
In aviation, for instance, look beyond the "EVIL EU TO GROUND UK FLIGHTS" bollocks. The UK has no claim to being part of the European Aviation Safety Agency in a no-deal scenario. It's the insurance companies that will ground flights outside a safety framework. AND QUITE RIGHTLY.
This is simply astonishing. Facebook ads provided to the parliamentary investigation with absolutely NO connection to Brexit, and no markings identifying them as political in any way, used to harvest data for Vote Leave and shape the precise lie then offered to each user. THREAD
If you clicked on this link to stop the hunting of whales, for instance, Vote Leave harvested your data, identified you as a particular type and then, presumably, bombarded you with straight up “Vote Leave Or The Bear Gets It” bullshit. WOW
If you were concerned about floods, again with nothing identifying this as a political message, guess what you were targeted with. You know that £350m a week? Well, it would all go to flood defences.
What I would love to know is why the BBC does not get guests like Patrick Minford - ever feckin present before the referendum - to come back now and defend their statements that we would do a trade deal in months because the EU would beg us for one. That could make a difference.
They have all been simply allowed to scuttle under their rocks, having lied to the country about how simple, easy and brilliant for the country Brexit would be. Drag them into the light and get them to admit they fucked up. THAT would change hearts and minds.
THAT would be public service broadcasting. Not twelve hours of chatting to people in parks and on beaches saying "yeah, it's really hot, innit".
Part of me thinks “wow, they look amazing” but another, bigger part of me thinks “artisanal, schmartisanal, the only way I could justify paying a fiver - yes, FIVE BRITISH POUNDS STERLING - for a single doughnut called Captain America, is if it included actual Captain America”.
It seems a price so horribly overpitched I had to check it wasn’t for a box of four or something.
“But they’re all hand filled and finished in the store...” BY WHOM? PIERCE BROSNAN? How do you think the ladies at my local bakery fill and finish their 70p doughnuts? Using their feet?
Fabulously awful Hallmark romcom. She’s a career woman who left her home town and high school sweetheart to do career things. Back home for Spring Festival, she’s having second thoughts. Her current bf is SO unthreatening I thought he was her gay best friend for the first hour.
Her high school sweetheart seems to chop a lot of wood in a leather jacket, gaze at a lot of stars in a leather jacket and fix a lot of engines. Oh, yes, in a leather jacket.
Yup. She just gave up her job. “What’s the plan?”, he asks. “I don’t have a plan”, she replies - WHICH IS LIKE REALLY FUNNY COS SHE’S A PLANNER - “I just want to be with you.” His response? “I don’t know what’s prettier; this lake or you.” Pick the lake, Wayne. It’s less dumb.
Furious with @TSB. Just discovered every time I used my card in Finland, they charged me £1 card fee and 3% on top. Even for the Helsinki travel app on my phone, which toted things up daily, TSB charged me for every €2 ticket *individually* over half that again. Shame on you.
If anyone is up for legally challenging how charging over £1 is a fair admin fee - the only fee they can now legally charge fo EU transactions - in the context of a completely automated transaction like a travel app, please drop me a line. Let’s take @TSB to court.
After the shambles your customers have had to endure for months, @TSB, this is the last straw. You are thieves and incompetent thieves at that.
A total absence of any factual support or rational argument in Boris Johnson’s speech; just “waaah this isn’t what you promised!” Pointed out May policy shifts, but made no case on why rigidity would be better for UK. Said we all just need to BELIEVE MORE. Televangelist politics.
He was most warmly supported and congratulated by Nadine Dorries and that is probably tells you everything you need to know on the quality of his statement. An idiot’s delight.
They have now given up arguing why their vision for the future is better for the UK. In effect, the only remaining argument for hard Brexit is: it is fulfilling a mandate as interpreted by a small band of extreme right wingers and keeps a promise to the people nobody ever made.
OMG at Helsinki National Theatre, favourite spot for coffee, fluked table outside, 2 mins later army came, closed street in front and 1000 tourists and photographers appeared. I think he-who-shall-not-be-named is about to pass 10 yards away.
*fashions weapon from sugar sachets*
Motorcade just passed. Police, army, a couple of limos containing toxic orange warthog manbaby and bearback riding topless closet case, and 20 vans presumably carrying hair products, tanning spray, a saddled moose, some Novichok (just in case) and the disassembled Melania-bot.
The same Brexiters who were saying “would it be terrible if we became like Norway?” before the vote, now look at anything but completely-cut-all-ties-and-jump-off-the-cliff Proposals and opine “well, that’s not REEEEALLY Brexit, is it.” The mandate was to leave the EU. That’s it.
That’s the essence of it. Many were conned out of their vote with soft, easy, instant, painless, cake-and-eat-it #Brexit and now they’re being conned again into ownership of the hardest, most painful, chaotic disaster capitalism outcome, by being told “its what YOU voted for”.
And by the end of it, we’ll all be poorer, the UK irreparably damaged, but Rees-Mogg’s hedgefund will be quids in, Boris will be PM, Gove Chancellor and Fox getting commission on every deal. Because these people would burn us all to the ground, if they can rule over the ashes.
Currently in a taxi from Wimbledon down to the theatre. Google maps predicts we will be there at 15:29. Show goes up at 15:30. #pray4sturdy
Highlight of my @SW_Railway experience came when they chucked everyone off an air-conditioned train because they can’t have people waiting in a hot train, so we could all wait on a much hotter platform.
Also, the announcement “Current information is that we have no information.”
Labour and Tory “rebels” have settled into a comfy pattern: if Labour votes against gov’t, rebels behave. When they vote against gov’t, Labour is told to abstain. So, all can claim in the future “I tried to stop hard #Brexit” without actually doing it. No principles and no spine.
And so, on we sleepwalk to a no-deal disaster, dictated by the disaster capitalists on the hard right, who stand to make a killing, because nobody had the guts to take the political risk of voting with the their conscience and explaining to their constituents why they did it.
Effectively both major parties have resigned to the disaster that is coming and are simply jostling to position themselves so that they can bear none of the political responsibility for it. Because, ultimately, MPs are nowhere near the precipice, like migrants or the poorest.
Utterly tedious of @bbcnickrobinson to keep challenging Labour with “has the EU said publicly that they support your Brexit strategy?” knowing full well, if the EU did that, headlines would shriek BRUSSELS INTERFERENCE.
Equally tedious of Labour to never have this simple answer.
Press office consistently failing to brief people on issues that come up every. single. feckin. time.
The government in meltdown and Labour seven points behind in the latest poll. What will it take to convince Seumas that they have their Brexit bloomers on backwards?
I’ll never understand the logic of adopting Eurosceptic policy because of “Leave-voting constituencies”, when the majority of Labour voters, EVEN in Leave-voting constituencies, voted Remain. In a binary choice, you obey the wishes of your base; not people who never vote for you.
PM on Cambridge Analytica scandal and allegations of rule breaking by the Leave campaign: “If anyone is suggesting these claims call into question the referendum, I say to them that the referendum was held, the vote was taken and we will be delivering on it.” #PMQs#Brexit
This is an astonishing response. Valuing political expediency over The Rule of Law and proudly stating it to Parliament.
We are headed for an unprecedented and permanent constitutional upheaval based on a tiny margin. Brexiter arguments for how brilliant Brexit will turn out have fallen away; only remaining one is “democracy”. Evidence that undermines democratic legitimacy of the vote becomes key.
Whether or not you believe the official preliminary conclusion of the Skripal investigation, what is undeniably interesting and hugely revealing is the people who have jumped in to defend Putin: Trumpsters, alt-right, Assange disciples, anti-West far left. Fascinating bedfellows.
For what it’s worth, I think the preliminary conclusion is genuine and based on the best available evidence. This doesn’t make it unbiased or certain, but in my view a politician as risk-averse as May would not pick a fight with Russia on anything other than compelling evidence.
The reaction goes a long way to confirming what I suspect was (and has consistently been) Putin’s message and how it is useful to all the disparate factions he has actively given succour to. It is: liberal democracy is weak and impotent; authoritarianism is strong and masculine.