petej + dc:creator=fosterdawn   42

One of the most damaging fallouts of Brexit has been the media creation of the Leave/Remain dichotomy as an identity of two extremes, when opinion on the EU is a spectrum. It’s easier to shift views on a spectrum: but when you cast it as a war of identi
One of the most damaging fallouts of Brexit has been the media creation of the Leave/Remain dichotomy as an identity of two extremes, when opinion on the EU is a spectrum. It’s easier to shift views on a spectrum: but when you cast it as a war of identities, people hunker down.



I have lots of problems w/ EU, but voted Remain, and think the biggest problems within the EU are right wing govts, & Britain itself. I’m dead against Lexit cos Brexit is a far right project & leaving the EU will do nothing but harm the UK. But I get called a Lexiter constantly.
UK  EU  Brexit  division  polarisation  Leave  Remain  identity  Lexit  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=FosterDawn 
27 days ago by petej
The Attack on Public Housing
The attacks on Osamor, who is black, are undeniably racial but also carry the unpleasant subtext that people who live in social housing should not be MPs. Parliament is still broadly unrepresentative of British society: there are still far more men than women, the number of black and Asian MPs is still shockingly low, and the class make-up of practically every legislative body throughout the United Kingdom skews heavily middle class, with the number of MPs educated at Oxford and Cambridge an embarrassment. Hounding an MP for daring to remain in the council home she has dwelt in for thirty years highlights how few MPs come from more ordinary backgrounds.

Crow and Osamor were right to defend their living situations and to call for more people to be given secure tenures that help people escape the exorbitant rents that private landlords extract from tenants. Individual actions will do little to solve the housing crisis; but defending social housing as a political good, and arguing that housing should be a human right that offers the best start in life, rather than yet another source of private profit, is essential. People attack this position because it upsets the status quo — because it forces the public discourse to acknowledge that our housing system is rigged, and tenants need both more rights and a second national house-building program.
UK  housing  socialHousing  OsamorKate  CrowBob  Thatcherism  rightToBuy  homeOwnership  tenancies  community  construction  policy  dctagged  dc:creator=FosterDawn 
december 2018 by petej
Is mindfulness making us ill? | Life and style | The Guardian
So are employers and experts right to extol the virtues of mindfulness? According to Will Davies, senior lecturer at Goldsmiths and author of The Happiness Industry, our mental health has become a money-making opportunity. “The measurement of our mental and emotional states at work is advancing rapidly at the moment,” he says, “and businesses are increasingly aware of the financial costs that stress, depression and anxiety saddle them with.”

Rather than removing the source of stress, whether that’s unfeasible workloads, poor management or low morale, some employers encourage their staff to meditate: a quick fix that’s much cheaper, at least in the short term. After all, it’s harder to complain that you’re under too much stress at work if your employer points out that they’ve offered you relaxation classes: the blame then falls on the individual. “Mindfulness has been grabbed in recent years as a way to help people cope with their own powerlessness in the workplace,” Davies says. “We’re now reaching the stage where mandatory meditation is being discussed as a route to heightened productivity, in tandem with various apps, wearable devices and forms of low-level employee surveillance.”
mindfulness  mentalHealth  relaxation  meditation  work  employment  productivity  dctagged  dc:creator=FosterDawn 
october 2016 by petej
Vilifying the asylum seeker next door is just plain racist | Housing Network | The Guardian
In the final fortnight of campaigning, there seemed to be a rush to mollify voters who wanted out for reasons that were straightforwardly xenophobic. People who claimed migrants and asylum seekers were given plush houses while white Britons languished on waiting lists, and that migration was the lone cause of the housing crisis were described as having “legitimate concerns”, rather than being flat out wrong.

Migration did not cause the housing crisis. The crisis is not borne out of a simple imbalance between supply and demand, but a complex series of factors, from shifts in tenure, geographical inequalities, land-banking, the death of social housing and so on. Migration enables us to actually build houses, at a time when Britain has a construction skills gap, while academic research shows migration has little impact on local house prices, and often slightly lowers them.

I’ve heard fantastical stories about the luxurious living conditions of asylum seekers from people who’ve never met any

Preciousness about who does, and who does not, deserve a roof over their head extends beyond race, to single mothers and unemployed families, but is always particularly virulent when the people involved are not white.
refugees  asylum  demonisation  racism  xenophobia  housing  UK  politics  dctagged  dc:creator=FosterDawn 
july 2016 by petej
The Politics of Hate « LRB blog
For years, politicians have sought to assuage racist views by arguing that it isn’t racist to be concerned about immigration, couching anti-immigration sentiment in vague economic concerns about ‘stolen’ jobs, but it often is straightforwardly racist. Pandering to racism and fascism emboldens these beliefs: tolerating the far right in a misguided attempt to shore up votes does nothing of the sort, but normalises hatred instead. Nigel Farage said on the BBC last month that ‘if people feel that voting doesn’t change anything, then violence is the next step.’

There will always be a topical reason for politicians to claim that racism should be understood: the extension of the Eurozone and free movement, the recession, the housing crisis, the refugee crisis. At what point will they stand up and try to combat the racism endemic in British society, rather than softly align themselves with it? If politicians and the media tell people their ‘way of life is under threat’ often enough, people will believe them. Politicians and the media aren’t responsible for Cox’s death, but they are responsible for creating a toxic climate in which hatred has won out and is deemed an acceptable response to anger.
CoxJo  murder  immigration  racism  xenophobia  hatred  violence  politics  UK  dctagged  dc:creator=FosterDawn 
june 2016 by petej

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