Attempting to Explain the 24th June 2016
24th June 2016

To many, the result of the UK’s EU Referendum might be a shock. Here, I try to explain what I think happened. This is, of course, all going to be historical interpretation by me. Everything I present as fact I believe to be so and with sound evidential basis, even if I haven’t had the time to provide links to all of the substance or explain all of my points. […]

The EU Referendum and Black Swan Events
22nd June 2016

Note: This post is a bit raw. Usually, I would write something in draft, then come back and redraft and edit it. Usually that means some changes, making sentences smoother and the whole thing flow better. On this occasion, I wrote this whole post in one go and have published it without redrafting or editing. I am also aware that at times, I make statements about how the world is […]

Othering and Empathy
11th June 2016

    Instead of seeing people as humans like us, we see many as something ‘other’. They aren’t like us: they’re muslims, refugees, jews, negros, gays, homeless, whatever. This undermines the feelings we should have towards them, means that we treat them as sub-human. Don’t help them – they aren’t like us. Leave them to die. My belief is that all humans are fundamentally good. People care about other people. […]

Parkour Video: Why I Do Parkour
24th March 2016

Here’s a parkour video featuring me. An Oxfordshire media student, William Royal, posted on the Oxford Parkour facebook page asking for volunteers for a video project as part of his media course. I volunteered, and this is what he made. I didn’t have a particular message to share – usually if I make content it’s because I have something I want to get out there – and none of this […]

'Politics'
Freedom and the Free Market
8th February 2016

This post discusses ‘Freedom’, which is actually quite complex (because there are multiple conflicting aspects to it), and then discusses how Free the (so-called) Free Market is.

It’s a fairly long post, but it’s in sections. Battle that short attention span if you think it’s worth it.

 

Freedom is Complicated

Imagine a society in which there is complete freedom. Ah. You can’t. Though you might not have realised it yet. This is because the concept of ‘freedom’ which we have is not one which can increase, as such; rather, it’s a tension between different types of freedom. It’s a bit strange really – but it is rarely properly understood in journalism.

'Politics'
Hilary Benn’s Speech: An Analysis
14th December 2015

Abstract: Hilary Benn MP’s speech got such high praise by the media, I thought I would check it out. It fell well below deserving of the praise it got, and here I explain why. Benn’s argument was full of emotional appeals, in what I believe was an attempt to obscure and misdirect from the substantive defects in the case for bombing. He bases it on our self-defence, but does not explain (and nor is it this case) how this bombing will make us any safer. He argues for an opposition in principle to Daesh, but this argument is illogical, again full of emotional appeals, and still does not explain why this bombing action is a method of opposition which is good. I also question the way that the media fling praise at this speech, pointing out my suspicion of the “mainstream” and how this angle on the speech fits with narratives they support.

This is the sort of analysis that I wish journalists might attempt, yet is so lacking from any reports about Benn’s speech, from discussion of Cameron’s case for bombing, and the way that journalism now is much more about reprinting press releases than having a proper ‘public watchdog’ approach to challenging what those with power are saying and doing.

Towards a better understanding of “Islamic State”
4th December 2015

By way of introduction, I’ll use a quote from later in this post:
“To deal with a problem, you must understand the problem. If you misunderstand a problem, your response will be inadequate and not deal with it. So this is written to attempt to better understand the problem – which the media and politicians are (on the whole) not portraying properly.

Here I discuss the name of “so-called Islamic State”, the real nature of the threat that we face “from them” (which is about “home grown jihadis”, not a war we are in), challenge the language and narrative currently dominant about “war”, and ask questions about the role of Islam in all of this.

'Politics'
Some thoughts on bombing ISIS
2nd December 2015

Some background.

It is rare to see any sort of meaningful discussion about the history, where ISIS came from, and so on. He who controls the past controls the present…

-> Our interventions in the middle east (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria a couple of years ago) have done the opposite of what their claimed objectives were. We went to war in Iraq on some sort of vague notion that there were ‘weapons of mass destruction’, though in retrospect it turns out that Bush and Blair knew that this was not the case, and Blair lied to the people and to parliament about it (having promised to Bush that he was going to war, while telling the

'Politics'
Lessons From Berlin//Be VIGILANT
21st November 2015

I was going to write about how I’m worried that our country is becoming more ‘extremist’ and how the aftermath of the Paris attacks is worse than the attacks themselves… but first, some foundation to how I think.

Narrative Introduction

The thoughts for this post happened over a year ago… but as I was doing my final year of university, writing blogs took a backseat.