Category Archives: Equality

White Allies Network, and Black British History

On 2 September, I joined the White Allies Network. They are, as they say on their website: A network of people that are committed to learn and do what it takes to be counted true allies against racism. It consists of … Continue reading

Posted in Allyship, Antiracism, Equality, History, Human Rights, Love, Morality, Psychology, Racism, White Allies | Leave a comment

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021

This week is the week of the Women’s Prize Virtual Shortlist Festival. For the (almost invisible) amount of £12 you’ll have access to three evenings of readings by the shortlisted writers: there are some wonderful works to hear extracts from on … Continue reading

Posted in Antiracism, Books, Creativity, Equality, Human Rights, Literary Prizes, Psychology, Racism, White Fragility, Women, Writing | Comments Off on Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021

Opening up set to blossom at home. But what about India (her vaccine generosity and her coronavirus surge)?

A beautiful blossom for our oh-so-close-to-lockdown-easing here in the UK. The Wayfaring Tree (Virburnum lantana): a sign you’re homeward bound. But spare a thought for India, home to the world’s largest coronavirus vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India (SII) … Continue reading

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Stephen Lawrence Day, 22 April 2021

We will no longer ignore, the racism we all deplore. We will never forget Stephen Lawrence. Directed by Simon Frederick. Written by Simon Frederick, Marcus Jones & Max Cyrus. Narrated by Max Cyrus And, from the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation website: Stephen … Continue reading

Posted in Antiracism, Art, Books, Democracy, Equality, History, Human Rights, Morality | 1 Comment

A Valentine to the Earth: Terra Carta

On 11 January the Prince of Wales announced Terra Carta, Earth Charter, a Magna Carta for the twenty-first century: the basis of a recovery plan for nature, people and the planet. A valentine to the earth, I thought. He said: Humanity … Continue reading

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Bookshop.org: an online bookshop that supports indie bookshops. And, ‘It’s easier to be a Dad, this morning … .’

Bookshop.org, as the Guardian articles below suggest, is exactly what the publishing world has been waiting for. Bookshop.org supports independent bookshops (it doesn’t undercut them, as the unmentionable does) and it makes it possible for independent bookshops to benefit from online sales … Continue reading

Posted in Antiracism, Books, Bookshops, Democracy, Equality, Fiction, Good News, Good Things, History, Human Rights, Living Standards, Morality, News, News Outlets, Politics | 2 Comments

The Doll Test and the heartbreakingly detrimental effects of segregation

In the 1940s, in America, Doctors Kenneth and Mamie Clark designed and conducted a series of tests known colloquially as The Doll Tests. Children between the ages of three and seven were asked to identify the race of the dolls … Continue reading

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What does it mean to be white? It means I’m racist

In a recent interview, Robin DiAngelo, a white person, said that to understand my racism, as a white person, I need to ask myself: What does it mean to be white? She said that if I ask myself if I’m racist … Continue reading

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Good news to begin 2020; Splosh! (to reduce plastic) and beautiful new year lights

So often good news doesn’t make the news, so here are a few good pieces of news to start 2020 with, from Future Crunch (where you’ll find 99 other good pieces of news, divided into categories). One of the founders of Future … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Climate Change, Creativity, Democracy, Equality, Good News, Health, Human Rights, Living Standards, One Green Thing, Plastic, Recycling | Comments Off on Good news to begin 2020; Splosh! (to reduce plastic) and beautiful new year lights

John Berger, Ways of Seeing … and PEN International

John Berger, who died aged 90 on January 2nd, was a critic, novelist, playwright, screenwriter and poet and well-known to many. Occasionally, in his early writings according to this Guardian obituary, Berger’s ‘Marxist dialectic did force him into uncomfortable contortions’, but whenever I heard him … Continue reading

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Third novel, and the Reith Lectures, 2016

This month I finished my third novel. Finished to be interpreted loosely: there will be redrafts when I’m working with an agent and then with an editor. It’s working title is For the Love of Life. Rejoice. At least for now. … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Equality, Fiction, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Third Novel, Titanic, Writers, Writing | 2 Comments

The UK Referendum, Brexit, and Meike Ziervogel on the importance of listening to other people’s stories

On 1 July Meike Ziervogel, founder and publisher at Peirene Press, published this: Translation is Europe’s only common language. Umberto Eco It’s a thoughtful and thought-provoking piece about the UK referendum, Brexit, and the importance of listening to other people’s … Continue reading

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Electoral Reform in the UK. And Inspiration.

On 5 May 2011 a referendum on electoral reform was held in the UK: 68% of us voted No; 32% (including me) voted Yes; the turnout was 42%. We weren’t collectively brave enough, or we were too frightened of change to vote … Continue reading

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A time when women weren’t persons … and other equally unequal inequalities

In 1927 a group of Canadian women’s rights activists, including Emily Murphy, who was born 147 years ago today launched the Persons Case, which contended that women were qualified persons eligible to sit in the Senate. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that … Continue reading

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