Tag Archives: politics

Disability: Fear and Loathing in the UK General Election Result #GE2015

Image: Guardian
Prime Minister David Cameron
Image: Guardian

A week ago today I voted in the UK General Election. I voted because I didn’t vote in 2010 and the next day I immediately regretted it. For some reason I believed the outcome would be different if I had my say. Last Friday I learned I was wrong. I couldn’t believe it. After scanning multiple articles published by numerous media organisations, it finally started to sink in that the Conservatives had won. Once the shock wore off, fear set in. A Conservative (Americans, read: Republican) government sans the Liberal Democrats was going to be a bloodbath for those receiving benefits, whether healthy or disabled. £12bn of welfare cuts are going to be made, but no one knows who’s going to be hit.

Continue reading Disability: Fear and Loathing in the UK General Election Result #GE2015

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Bad Feminist Roxane GayRating: 

Bad Feminist is an anthology of witty and confessional essays mixing personal experience; opinions on race, politics, media, gender and sexuality; and reviews of books, TV and film – sometimes all in the same essay. Roxane Gay lays out what it is to be a feminist. That there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ one. Being human precludes us from perfection. We’re complex creatures. We can enjoy something even if we don’t agree with the ideas behind them. That’s the very definition of cognitive dissonance.

Continue reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

Best Books of 2014: Non-Fiction

Here are my top 12 non-fiction reads of 2014, covering health, politics and feminism.


Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Judy Melinek
Strong stomachs are a prerequisite. This should be categorized as horror, but it’s surprisingly readable and accessible. Beware the rundown of most painful ways to die and an extremely detailed and emotionally-charged account of 9/11 and the systematic sorting of the bodies and the impact it had on those workers. High points include some of the more absurd, stupid and just plain weird ways to die. TV gets it wrong. Medical examiners never go out into the field, though they do investigate. Melinek talked to relatives, doctors, police – anyone she had to to determine manner and cause of death when it wasn’t obvious from the body. An autopsy can take as little as 45 minutes, but further investigation can take months before conclusions can be made. Recommended for Mary Roach fans.

Continue reading Best Books of 2014: Non-Fiction

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx & Frederich Engels

The Communist Manifesto

It’s been a while since I studied Marxism at school, a refresh of my memory was required, and having never read The Communist Manifesto, I thought I might as well try it.

My views have changed. When I studied Marxism as a teenager I was enamoured with its idealistic belief that capitalism would inevitably end in revolution and somehow result in a more utopian and equal society. No one could ever accuse me of being an optimist, even back then, but I think perhaps Marx’s revolutionary philosophy played on my pessimistic “the world’s going to hell in a hand basket” outlook and shining a spark of optimistic hope that once society finally crumbles, things will get better.

Continue reading The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx & Frederich Engels

Loncon3 #8: Occupy SF – Inequality on Screen

Panellists: Martin McGrath, Carrie Vaughn, Roz J. Kaveney (GR), Takayuki Tatsumi, Laurie Penny

One of the defining political issues of our time, societal inequality is showing up on-screen in films like In Time, Elysium and The Dark Knight Rises, and TV shows such as Continuum and Arrow. How successfully do these works engage with the issues they raise? Is the imagery they use at odds with the narratives they follow? And what would radical anti-inequality SF look like?

Why does SF hate poor people? It seems to echo the media’s hate for the poor.

Continue reading Loncon3 #8: Occupy SF – Inequality on Screen

Victories for British Feminism?: Women Bishops and Parliamentary Promotions

Be Aware: Things aren't always what they seem

The Church of England finally voted for women bishops. A victory for employment equality and sex discrimination, if nothing else. It remains to be seen how many women will be promoted or will be able to exact any influence as the previous synod vote controversially opposed change, opting for the status quo. Many believe the no-voters were put under pressure to change their controversial, patriarchal and antiquated views in 21st century Britain, but then you can say the same for the institution they represent.

Continue reading Victories for British Feminism?: Women Bishops and Parliamentary Promotions

I Have a Dream / Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.

I Have a Dream / Letter from Birmingham Jail

I am the product of MLK’s “dream” as the daughter of a black mother and white father. Who knows, I might not be here if people like him hadn’t fought for racial equality and against segregation.

Brilliant free BBC audio of “I Have A Dream” read by Maya Angelou, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Ndileka Mandela (granddaughter of Nelson Mandela), Stevie Wonder, Doreen Lawrence (mother of murdered British teenager Stephen Lawrence), Malala Yousafzai (sixteen-year-old student from Swat in Pakistan, shot by the Taliban for going to school), and a few others.

Continue reading I Have a Dream / Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.