The enemy of your enemySeptember 23, 2023
It’s been nice to see a broad generational trend towards tolerance for LGBT+ people, considering the entrenched bigotry that seemed to pervade western societies until quite recently.
A new study suggests a darker side to this trend though, particularly among conservative voters. It turns out that if you ask them straight out, they’re not very tolerant of LGBT+ rights, gay marriage etc. But if you first prime them with pictures of Muslims, whose religion is widely known to be homophobic, they profess themselves much more tolerant of LGBT+, possibly as a way to justify anti-immigration views.
‘This may indicate that the liberal credentials of the UK, and other western nations, is likely far more superficial than first thought.’ Indeed!
Streets of LondonSeptember 18, 2023
If you’d walked around big London rail stations like Victoria before the pandemic, you’d have seen streets like dormitories, lined with people in sleeping bags.
Then, when the state wanted people off the streets during lockdowns, accommodation was miraculously found.
Now, around one in 50 living in London are thought to be homeless. The cross-party group London Councils estimates that nearly 170,000 people in the capital are living in hostels, bedsits, or temporary accommodation, a probable increase of 17,000 in a single year. The group thinks this includes over 83,000 children. Many more people are sofa-surfing or ‘roofless’, ie, sleeping rough.
So much for caring, sharing capitalism.
Life on K2-18?September 12, 2023
How exciting that a sign of life may potentially have been discovered on a distant planet, especially after last year’s thrill over phosphine on Venus turned out to be a damp squib. And what a feat for science to be able to spot (or maybe spot) an organic molecule on a planet that’s 120 light years (1.1 million billion miles) away.
Who but a terminal cynic could be indifferent to discovering life in the cosmos, even though there is zero chance of us ever visiting it? Mind you, the cynic might point out a certain irony in that capitalism spends a fortune looking for life on other planets, while simultaneously doing its best to obliterate life on this one.
Concrete objectionsSeptember 5, 2023
There’s general disbelief in England right now as over 100 schools have been closed right at the start of the autumn term, because the concrete in them is in danger of collapse. The same is reportedly true of much of the country’s building stock including hospitals.
The Romans knew how to make concrete for buildings that are still standing after 2,000 years, so how come modern concrete buildings are falling down? The answer is because the Romans didn’t use cheap concrete designed only to last 30 years. The stuff is so bad, say structural engineers, it shouldn’t even be called ‘concrete’.
This is typical of the Bodgit & Scarper short-termism of capitalism, where private savings today take priority over public disasters tomorrow.
Syrian protestsSeptember 1, 2023
Shout out to the protesters in Syria, braving a brutal regime for the second week running and demanding Assad’s head on a spike.
They’ve attacked ruling Ba’ath party offices, calling for wholesale political change, and no wonder. The currency has depreciated threefold since last year, and 90% of the population is below the poverty line. ‘People want a fair government, and al-Assad’s regime is incapable of giving his people that…’
Governments oversee the wholesale capitalist exploitation of people and planet, and that can never be called ‘fair’ in any circumstances. But there’s no denying the protesters’ courage. The global revolution for socialism has to start somewhere. Why not in Syria?