Teachers have long known that their profession isn’t appreciated and Covid has made that even clearer

I’ve always known that teaching in the UK is an underappreciated profession. Successive governments have underfunded schools and colleges and right wing media has continued to lambaste and brand teachers as lazy. Furthermore, the hackneyed belief that teachers are always on holiday, and off home at 3:30 each day, continues to be ignorantly peddled even by some parents.

The pandemic presented an opportunity to change that. As key workers, teachers continued to work during the first national lockdown. Schools remained open for children of key workers and vulnerable children and teachers continued to provide remote learning for all other students. …


Despite her Indian heritage, the Vice President elect hasn’t been celebrated within the Indian community as much as one might expect

The 2020 presidential election result isn’t the progressive shift for America that many may assume or hope it will be. It was not a watershed moment for American attitudes, tolerance, altruism and global outlook. Rather, it provided an opportunity for a very necessary reset from four years of Trump and his toxic, unstatesmenlike conduct and his incendiary, white supremacist rhetoric.

However, Vice President elect Kamala Harris does represent a historic moment for America. A woman VP, and a woman of colour at that, is unprecedented. Putting aside politics for one moment, the optics of her being elected represents a moment akin to the election of Barack Obama as the first black president. It’s a huge moment for people of colour to see someone in their image become the highest ranking woman in US history. …


And it isn’t the exclusively good news story you might think it is

For many observers of the US election, we’ve experienced a rollercoaster of emotions for these past few days. In fact, the anxiety, fear and dismay that we experienced going into the wee hours of the morning after the election, when results were far too close for comfort, has been with us for much of the past four years — it’s just come to a head for most of 2020.

That feeling may have alleviated with a Joe Biden victory. …


The Home Secretary’s divisive and xenophobic politics would suggest her as a likely nemesis of most minorities. Yet many British Indians don’t seem to have a problem with her

Like my wife, Priti Patel was born in the UK to Gujarati parents emigrating from East Africa. Both my wife’s and Patel’s paternal grandparents were also born in Gujarat, India. It’s a history that many British Indians, particularly those whose families emigrated from East Africa, will share; the immigrant narrative in search of opportunities and social mobility for your family.

As a minority, there is often a sense of pride in seeing someone of your background represented in public life. …


How many of us are living a lie as a reluctant projection of what we supposedly want for ourselves?

“Jerry, just remember. It’s not a lie, if you believe it.” (George Costanza)

When I moved in with my now wife and subsequently got married, many of our friends and family were of the view that we’d done things the “right way”. Then, we had a child together; again checking the box when it came to traditional societal expectations.

Although at least on my part, our yearning and sequencing of those milestones wasn’t actively sought at all.

I don’t actually believe in the sanctity of marriage vs a committed relationship, regardless of it being in wedlock. I don’t even think relationships are something we should be compelled to aspire towards (and we certainly shouldn’t be shamed for feeling this way). And the assumption that everyone wants, or can have, children really grates my cheese; especially when insensitively asking individuals or couples when they’re going to have children. …


The response to Wiley has shown that we’ve allowed our response to prejudice to become prejudiced itself

Wiley’s social media accounts have always been a combative landscape. Whether as a wind up merchant, baiting other artists for a clash or, as he sees it, fulfilling his role as a staunch defender of grime against those he claims are guilty of cultural appropriation, followers of Wiley are used to him being in the midst of a bit of online argy bargy.

Yet the Godfather of Grime’s recent tirade on Twitter and Instagram was different.

Image for post
Image for post
Wiley by Ryan Polei and licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

What appeared to be at the root of Wiley’s tweets and posts was an issue with his now former Jewish manager, John Woolf but they focused on the wider Jewish community. His attacks became increasingly and relentlessly anti-Semitic in a Kanye-esque rant that mirrored the American rapper and producer’s own struggles with his mental health; the latter being something long suspected to also be experienced by Wiley. …


Black Pound Day promotes spending with black businesses. And everyone, including non-blacks, should get behind it

Black Pound Day is a powerful initiative created by artist and DJ, Swiss. It encourages a monthly day of spending in the black community and the championing of black owned businesses. Yet the drivers for Black Pound Day, and why it’s necessary, need to be realised to understand why it’s so important.

When we consider the tools of oppression against a community, capitalism is often one of the most effective vehicles in achieving that. Denying financial freedom and self sufficiency to a community, while consolidating the economic strength within a ruling class, has been an effective means of leveraging control throughout history. …


Message discipline, allyship and inclusion are key to the Black Lives Matter movement. Without them, we can’t maintain its momentum and success

“What happened [with the murder of George Floyd] in America was terrible but I just think that’s America and this is England so I don’t think people should be going out to protest here”.

That was something a white British person recently said to me. It was said in the context of the Black Lives Matter protests and their concern that groups of people congregating might result in cases of coronavirus being spread. Although she didn’t consider the mostly white crowds that flocked to the seaside in May. …


Our weekly clapping is drowning out the reality of this government’s handling of the pandemic and its neglect of the NHS

As a socialist, I fully support universal healthcare. That’s not to suggest those principles need to accompany each other but I say it to provide context. Although my political leaning has likely increased my lamenting of the underfunding and under-resourcing, and the often little discussed mismanagement, that the NHS has aggressively been subject to under successive Tory and Tory-led governments.

I stand in solidarity with the NHS and those who staff it. I angrily deplore the aforementioned having caused such an emotional, mental and sadly physical cost to those staff during the peak of the pandemic and beyond. The government’s call to protect the NHS is ironic given successive Tory governments have consistently given the NHS a kicking. …


With a history of depression and anxiety, struggling with my mental health as a parent is a constant fear

When I got married, I didn’t attach the same sentimentalism that many do to their wedding day. Nevertheless, I obviously wanted it to be a great day.

I wasn’t worried about the day not running smoothly or a drunken, unwelcome uncle causing a scene. It was my depression that I was worried might decide to gatecrash the day in my head.

You see, when you’ve experienced depression, you know its onset can come at any time. With time, you learn to observe triggers and you develop coping mechanisms for when you notice it lurking in the background. …

ALaw

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