From The Blog
12 April 2023

The ‘special military operation’ is a bloody fiasco – that much is obvious. Terms such as ‘the Bakhmut meat grinder’ are now commonplace. And yet it’s a fiasco that many people in Russia support. Anglo-American commentators turn to totalitarian clichés to explain this curious fact: they write that Russians are brainwashed, depoliticised and terrified of police repression. But such accounts cannot explain why people support the war even as they openly criticise its leadership, methods and goals. Online and in daily life, in formal state petitions and in viral streams, people in Russia complain about their political and military leaders’ criminally incompetent actions and policies. They denounce the military’s infrastructure, tactics and strategies. The most patriotic speak the most critically.

From The Blog
15 June 2020

I talked with a small group of long-term anti-racist activists and we all agreed it was more important than ever to go out on the 13th. Why should we let the far right dictate to us when we could march? Isn’t the whole point of anti-racism to confront racists? How could we let fascists swagger around unchallenged in the streets of London?

From The Blog
2 June 2020

In eight years of going on protests in London, I’ve never seen the Met Police caught so off-guard by a march of predominantly black and brown youth. Clearly they misjudged how much we care.

From The Blog
2 June 2017

I’m angry. I’m so angry it woke me up this morning. And I’m angry about being angry because I can’t channel the anger into anything productive because I can’t do anything productive. I am powerless to stop being ill and I am powerless to stop being angry. Being disabled is infuriating. Something that happened to me and was beyond my control has left me like a machine that’s been switched off – disabled – unable to do anything that a 21-year-old of my intelligence and interests might want or need to do. I have been sick for almost half my life, and housebound for the last four years. But that's not the reason I'm angry. At some point in the near future an agent from Atos will be reviewing ‘how [my] health condition or disability affects [my] daily life’ so that a 'decision-maker' at the Department for Work and Pensions can say whether or not I’m still entitled to Personal Independence Payments.

From The Blog
3 October 2016

It seems a category error to expose a pseudonymous novelist as if you were acting in the public interest; to adopt the tools and language of investigative journalism, go through someone’s financial records and harass their family in order to ruin an authorial position that has been almost as interesting as the author’s novels themselves. There’s no value in revealing Elena Ferrante’s ‘true identity’ (as Claudio Gatti claimed to have done yesterday). What’s interesting about her anonymity depends on its being sustained; it’s a creation, as well as a political proposition, that has engendered a conversation about literary making rather than dismantlement and confession. In an age of autofiction, when so many protagonists take their authors’ names, the idea that the author, too, is a literary creation extends the fictiveness out of the books and into the world. Why ruin the fun?

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