Archive for January 2011
Just wanted to point out a good site that’s been posting some very interesting stuff lately especially in regard to Laurie Penny’s recent work in The New Statesman. Here’s a link to the site, here’s a link to the first part of the article in question, and here’s the second part. Go take a look – much more intelligent and interesting than anything I have to say about the matter, and written by one of the occupiers herself.
I have a bit to say about the actual New Statesman article in question – and in particular the accompanying photospread – but I’ll wait until it’s online so that everyone can read along.
(Side point. How the hell does the author of zetkin.net get her site to look like that? Rather gorgeous, really. Will have to ask the next time we’re in The Boston together…. I’m also taken with the annotated reading list – maybe I’ll start doing that.)
The group who gave you pictures of Godzilla in the Thames from the protests against the student fees increase are back with a new website and mobile phone application to help keep peaceful protesters safe.
Every week, more and more people of all ages and from all walks of life are taking to the streets to show their unease at the depth, speed and savagery of coalition cuts to social services, education, library closures, restructuring of the NHS and the proposed sell-off of Britain’s forests. These are the largest series of demonstrations in the UK since the ‘Stop the War’ protests in 2003.
In order to keep peaceful protesters informed with live information that will assist them in keeping clear of trouble spots, avoid injury and from being unnecessarily detained a group of talented young computer experts has developed a free product called Sukey.
Sukey is both a website and an application for mobile phones. Even those with older handsets can take part through free SMS messages.
Sukey lets people taking part have all the information they need to make informed decisions while letting their friends and family keep an eye on what is happening from home so they can be assured that their loved ones are safe.
Sukey invites people taking part to share their experience via social media and combines this with information from traditional news sources to hand it straight back to the crowd and let them see what is going on around them as it happens.
Sukey is easy to use and will help keep people safe and informed of the official demonstration route together with any en-route amenities they may need like wifi points, public toilets, tube stations, first aid points, coffee shops and payphones.
Those not at the demonstration can follow along with live movies, photos and accounts straight from the protest getting all the news as it breaks.
All information shared by those at the event is anonymised and the privacy of all users is respected at all times.
Everyone has the right to peaceful protest. Sukey makes sure that the experience can be a safe and effective way for people to make their voices heard.
I don’t get it. Here’s Laurie Penny today in the NS:
“No sex. No drugs. And no leaders”, the New Statesman‘s cover story this week, tells the intimate story of the winter student uprisings of 2010, putting human faces to the mob that has so terrified the right-wing press. It is the longest and most high-profile feature I’ve worked on to date, but that’s not the only reason it’s been so difficult to write.
Over the past few months I have become, and remain, deeply embedded in the student movement in the UK and Europe. Many of the young people who feature in the piece – on whose activities I’ve been keeping meticulous notes, and who are of a similar age and political attitude to myself – have since become as close to personal friends as observational subjects ever can be. It’s not a question of going native so much as finding all the other natives have suddenly come out of the forest to take on the invaders. This has stretched my objectivity to its limits. I have had to work and rework the article to make sure I was constructing an accurate portrait.
The trajectory of journalistic dispassion is fraught with misunderstanding and lies. Even if utterly dispassionate, objective journalism were an obtainable or desirable standard, I would gladly set that standard aside until such time as I found myself no longer working in a world that contains the dangerous reactionary partiality of the Daily Mail, the Sun and the rest of the Murdoch Empire. It is, nonetheless, important for liberal writers to retain distance where corporate flunkies refuse to, less our romanticism – and left-wing politics are, at heart, always romantic – be mistaken for propaganda.
Hmmm… Someone explain to me how this sort of navel-gazing judiciousness jives with her tweets and facebook updates about “snogging boys” down at the UCL Occupation back in December? Very hard to understand.
If a male journalist was tweeting about getting off with girls at the Occ, he’d be fired no? Dunno, maybe I just take it all too seriously.
(Look, I’d stop. But you should see the volume of email and the like that I get encouraging me to continue….)
From Paul Krugman today:
Oh, and the UK: was it “forced to impose painful austerity”? Here’s the interest rate on 10-year UK bonds:
There was no sign of a crisis of confidence in the UK budget before the May election; the Conservative government chose to embark on austerity, it wasn’t forced into it.
Massive snowfalls (say, like 2 or so inches over the course of the month) destroyed the UK economy during December. Not coalition driven cuts and the incredible damage and futural pessimism that they engender.
The chancellor George Osborne, though, refused to change tack despite the evidence that Britain’s economy shrank again.
“There is no question of changing a fiscal plan that has established international credibility on the back of one very cold month,” he said.
“That would plunge Britain into a financial crisis. We will not be blown off course by bad weather,” Osborne added.
Really. I mean, you can see how incredibly snowy it is in the Guardian-stock picture above.