Open Thinkering


Tag: protest


Not 'King Relevant

Today, a man who is a year old than my dad is going to put on a hat and sit on a chair. Somehow, in doing so, he’ll cost taxpayers over £100 million. This, at a time when apparently there are more food banks than McDonald’s outlets in the UK. Food banks which are being accessed by key workers such as nurses who are striking for better pay.

I think what sticks in the throat a little is that there is no legal requirement for a coronation. As a recent series of podcasts from The Guardian showed, there’s a real public/private murkiness to royal family’s assets. They can, and probably should, have paid for it themselves.

Meanwhile, because the UK’s answer to everything is more surveillance and authoritarianism, the government has fast-tracked anti-protest legislation. This is in addition to existing powers. Lest we forget, a barrister was threatened with arrest for holding up a blank piece of paper during the ‘official mourning period’. The police officer involved claimed that he might have offended someone if he had written “Not My King” on it.

This, ladies and gentlemen, and people who identify differently, is the UK in which I, and some of you, reside. Monarchy is an anachronism. Most other European countries got rid of theirs around a century ago. It’s time to ‘retire’ ours, too.

Poster by Katherine Anteney. Photo by Sequin World.

The real story behind the #londonriots?

Can’t see the video? Click here

I’ve been taken aback by the irrational and heavy-handed response of people I (used to) respect in relation to the recent outbreak of rioting across English cities. Over at Doug’s FAQ I wrote a couple of posts to follow-up what I’d mentioned on Twitter and Google+. The first, What do you mean by structural inequality? is my attempt to quickly outline the fact things should not be taken at face value. In the second, So you don’t condemn the rioters? I try to show how people are a product of their environment and call for a more just society.

In a lengthy thread on Google+ I exchanged points of view with various people. Thankfully, Paul Lewis weighed-in with the above video which, I thought, contained such eloquence that I’ve uploaded it to the Internet Archive in case anything happens to the YouTube version (it was available under a Creative Commons license)

Further reading:

There’s no way (currently) to integrate comments from Google+ with the comments below. Here’s the thread featuring some excellent insights stemming from my initial link to this post.