From blog to brain bucket: having a go at radical self-education

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Self-education on the cheap means articles, Youtube, and podcasts – lots and lots of podcasts.

Since this website is basically now just a bucket for me to empty my head into, I’m going to be using it to write about what I’ve been learning.

Over the years, I’ve realised I retain information best when I actually do something with it – and by summarising it here, I’m hoping it’s more likely to stick in my head. Continue reading “From blog to brain bucket: having a go at radical self-education”

I am a racist

rod liddle

One of the worst bits about getting older if you’re me is the unfurling horror of how secretly racist/sexist/homophobic I am.

I’ve spent the whole of my adult life strenuously trying not be any of those things – and, all in all, I don’t think I’ve done too badly.

But the more time passes, the more I grasp that growing up in a society that treats being a white, heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied male as the default setting inevitably fills you with unconscious prejudices. Continue reading “I am a racist”

I’ve realised blogging is a waste of time (about six years too late)

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I’ve been writing about politics on the internet for six years. This week I’ve been thinking about why I do it, and whether it’s done any good.

When I started, the loose idea was to write about issues I thought were important in accessible language.

Classically, the radical left has been good at theorising about capitalism and society, and atrocious at explaining its insights to people without PhDs. It’s managed to side-line the two biggest issues of them all – global poverty and the environment.

That was bad, the logic ran. An ignorant population equals dismal prospects for socialism. Inaction on climate crisis equals planetary devastation. A dead planet equals no anything. And by writing, I would try and help change all that. Continue reading “I’ve realised blogging is a waste of time (about six years too late)”

They don’t understand — liberals, the media, and the Corbyn surge

Corbyn hasn’t won, but Labour got its biggest vote share since 2001 (41%), and the biggest swing from one party to another since 1945.

Thanks to an abysmal nineteenth-century voting system, those gains haven’t translated into a majority Labour government, let alone a landslide (in 2005, Blair got a majority of 66 on the back of just 35% of the vote, because of the way those votes were distributed around the country) — but a Tory Prime Minister who said, ‘if I lose just six seats, I will lose this election’ lost twelve.

Now the commentariat is trying to compute what’s happened. Pundits have spent eighteen months insisting Corbyn would be an electoral catastrophe. In fact, he’s become the most successful Labour leader since Blair — despite going against almost everything Blair stood for. Continue reading “They don’t understand — liberals, the media, and the Corbyn surge”