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Showing posts from July, 2021

The politics of gestures

 Watching the BBC documentary Uprising , as well as being horrified by the story of the 1981 fire and its aftermath, I was reassured that we  have come some way away from the racism that caused the events focused on in the programme, though there has been a regression back towards it in the last ten years or so. We clearly need to take this resurgence seriously and make sure it is kept in the public eye, for laws and public utterances will only take us so far. If racism remains in hearts and minds, undetected perhaps even by the individual himself (or herself, but it seems sadly more characteristic of a certain type of male), it will continue to be a corrosive poison on relations within the many multi-racial communities in this country, and a stain on our national life. Football, as it so often does, has crystallised this in the last few weeks. Our wonderful national team, who have rightly won so many plaudits and continue to command our admiration and loyalty, in spite of their fail

The Great British Pandemic Experiment

  Like it or not, on 19th July many if not all of our social restrictions that have been used to manage the pandemic in the UK will be swept away. 'Freedom Day', some are calling it (unwisely, in my view). The government believe it is necessary, because of non-COVID problems such as a rise in mental health issues and the toll of the long months without 'normal' social contact. Others murmur dark and ominous predictions suggesting that it will be a disaster, with Delta-variant COVID infections still increasing and the younger third of our population not fully vaccinated. Not for the first time, our country is divided about our response to world events. But you could argue that the whole of our pandemic response from August 2020 onwards has been a giant experiment, unintentional it is true, but powerful as a guide to the rest of the world. First we selected seven vaccines which we would pre-order large supplies of, and began organising what would end up being an extraor