Current Affairs

Harry Potter and the Death of the Hallowed

In celebration of 20 years since the first Harry Potter book was published, I thought it’d be a good chance to look back to one of my own offerings  in which I offered a radical reading of Potter’s relationship to his magical art. During a short speaking tour on Mutiny in the US with Peter Rollins,

Share
Read on »

Means, and Ends

For Manchester, a new poem. –//– Click here to receive updates, and hear first about new projects

Share
Read on »

The Cloud of All-Knowing | Democracy and Demagogues in the Age of Data

  “True power is not the strength to force someone into slavery, but to make them happily lock their own manacles, as if chains were adding to their liberty.”  Yesterday The Observer published a long and detailed piece that attempted to join (some of) the dots between the ‘big data’ socio-political technology firm Cambridge Analytica, and

Share
Read on »

From Russia, With Chaos

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been re-reading Peter Pomerantsev’s book Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, each page pushing me towards the same, slightly counterintuitive conclusion: if you want to understand Trump’s America, you need to look to Putin’s Russia. I first read the book when a colleague – a history teacher I’d

Share
Read on »

A Gandhi for the West?

I watched Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi this week. I remember being taken to it by my parents back in 1982. There was an intermission half way through as the reels were changed. I was 10 years old and as the film opened with his assassination, then jumped back in time, I remember being blown away by the

Share
Read on »

Body-Cams for Teachers

Absolutely nothing terrifyingly Orwellian about this then. I think the key issue here is about creep in terms of use. “The cameras are not on all the time. Where there is a perceived threat to a member of staff or pupil for example, they are used. It’s not like a surveillance camera.” That, I think,

Share
Read on »

Inaugurate Something… and Make Trump Irrelevant Again

  My suggestion for marking Trump’s inauguration would be to inaugurate some amazing thing, some small seed of action that’ll build bridges and tear down prejudice. At the moment, the three most troubling words I know are ‘God,’ ‘bless,’ and ‘America,’ and every time I hear them in sequence part of my brain freezes. Can anyone tell

Share
Read on »

Next Up, Capitalism Is Killing Us

Lead stories on the radio this morning:  How a third of fathers want a less stressful job so they can actually spend time with their kids.  Eight people in the world have more wealth than the poorest 50% The UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence rejects a life-extending cancer drug for use on NHS because

Share
Read on »