May 18, 2020

Interesting Things on the Internet: May 18th 2020

  • It doesn’t have to be like this. I don’t think Johnson and his team are malevolent; rather, I think they simply cannot see the way things could be. They see themselves as “Us” and the people as “Them”. Politicians are there to command in the Subject story, to serve in the Consumer story; but they are always separate from the people.

    The Citizen story rejects this separation. We are all of us citizens, and some of us for various amounts of time take on the tasks of politics. It is a spectrum, not a binary distinction.
    Lots of good ideas and useful ways of talking about the sort of ideas I've already got.
  • How Boris Johnson refused to fight the virus. A depressing reminder of why we need the new approach in the previous link.
  • Nightingale Chronicles #2 – failure. A more specific account of the Government's failure with their pop-up pandemic hospitals, from one of the worker's in the London one.
  • A twitter thread from Jay Rosen showing how "exposing" the lies of politicians isn't the right task we need our media to do. We need to get better at holding our unscrupulous politicians (i.e. the politicians who lie and cheat, not all politicians are unscrupulous) to account.
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May 04, 2020

Interesting Things on the Internet: May 4th 2020

As with everyone, the pandemic has upended and confounded all ideas about how it would pan out. At the start of the lockdown I was expecting lots of time holed up at home, and so figured I'd have time for reading, reflecting and even maybe some writing here.

As lockdown loomed, I sat in on an online video seminar where Adam Greenfield talked about his experience of mutual aid efforts during Occupy Sandy in New York. In the Q&A someone asked if the movement had thought about any agitating or organising towards having more impact after the crisis. Adam replied that there wasn't any time for such luxuries as there was too much work to be done in responding to the immediate crisis at hand. I remember thinking at the time "ah, that's a shame, but that's not what's going to happen here".

How wrong I was.

A couple of days after that, I found myself fully immersed in DoES Liverpool's response to the shortages of PPE for NHS staff and other care workers. That's still in full flow as I type, closing in on 10,000 visors produced and shipped to hospitals, GPs, care homes, and the like across the North West. I'm just now finding some bits of headspace for sharing some of the things I've been finding of interest...

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