I’m very aware that I haven’t been blogging for a while. Partly this is because I wanted to avoid transmitting the negativity I have been feeling thanks to the current state of the UK and indeed the world. It is not as though I haven’t been reflecting on it all, I just felt that doing so openly on my blog would only increase the ennui many are already experiencing. Never has Camus’ Absurdité been a more real phenomenon to me. However I think a short summary of some of the issues of concern to me may be needed in the interests of transparency. I will also try to mention some of the causes for optimism.
La peine de mort.
As a big fan of the work of Albert Camus I was interested to read this editorial in the Guardian yesterday. Camus campaigned hard against the death penalty publishing an article in 1957 which was influential in the abolition of the death penalty in France. The Guardian’s piece highlights a worrying trend which shows that there is a return to implementing capital punishment even in countries where we thought the arguement against it had been won. More executions were carried out under Donald Trump that under any other President in the past century. What has changed? The editorial ends with this statement:
“states have no right to take the lives of citizens.”https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jul/26/the-guardian-view-on-the-death-penalty-a-long-way-to-go
Established under a Labour government (although the Tories tried to claim otherwise) and free at the point of use, the UK’s National Health Service is being eroded through commercialisation “by the back door” with ministers recently recommending that a charge should be levied on all overnight hospital stays. It seems it is not enough to refuse to pay our doctors, nurses and health care workers a reasonable wage, #notmygovt would also happily sell off our service to their mates. Better be sure you have a good income if you want treatment.
Rights are being wronged.
In the UK what remains of #notmygovt since the defenestration of #notmyPM (oh I wish!) is an endless Tory assault on the rights of its citizens. Clearly the contenders for the role of Prime Minsiter believe that this is a vote winner. Clearly we have given the impression that we don’t care to have an authority in government which upholds our human rights. Read the Articles linked here. #notmygovt are seeking to add exceptions to this agreement so that they can ignore those that cramp their style (think ideological vandalism, obfuscation, lies and extreme capitalism). You will miss your rights when they’ve gone. When you cannot withdraw your labour or protest peacefully to make your feelings known. No-one’s listening.
Time to celebrate those who are actively making the world a better place. For many years I have seen these alive and well in the OPEN EDUCATION movement. Here are some recent examples: