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Showing posts from October, 2017


The image is a screenshot of suggestions from Google on how to complete "School makes me..."  I was listening to Radio 2 on way to supermarket today. The presenter and a doctor were talking about stress. They discussed how people are increasingly having problems with stress, how stress-related illness is hugely on the rise, etc. The focus of the bit of the programme I heard was entirely on what you , as an individual, can do to manage your stress levels better. Fuck that.

Big Picture Labour vs Pragmatic Labour

I think Labour folk fall broadly into two camps: 1. BIG PICTURE LABOUR. These folk look at the social and economic trajectory of 100 years plus, and believe that: (i) Immediately after WW2, a huge shift took place that gave rights, social security, NHS, etc. to ordinary working people who, pre-War, had been horribly exploited. (ii) However, this shift was against the prevailing social and economic direction of travel, which tends always to run back towards Victorian levels of social injustice and inequality. (iii) The last half century or so has seen our social and economic train increasingly returning back to the Victorian situation, with it moving faster under Tories, slower under 'New' Labour (who merely applied the brakes a bit).

Journalists - what are they for, exactly?

Things journalists should learn on day one: 1. 'I won't answer a hypothetical question' entails that I won't then say what I will do if I am elected. Absurd. 2. A handful of anecdotes makes good copy but is not good evidence (e.g. stories about 'benefit scroungers', immigrants, etc.) 3. Smearing/labeling folk (e.g. 'Champagne socialist!', 'Politics of Envy!', 'Hypocrite', 'Fascist!') usually does nothing to discredit the views expressed. 4. Being impartial is not the same as being neutral. E.g. getting a scientist vs. a climate change denier on your programme is neutral, but not impartial. I suspect most journalists are aware of e.g. 2 & 3 but many carry on regardless at The Sun and The Daily Mail . Which raises the question: what are journalists for , exactly? What are they paid to do , exactly? I don't like the label 'journalist'. What some 'journalists' do (e.g. hacks at The Sun an