Institutional Sexism got you down? According to the Tories, just get an apprenticeship!

WASPI  campaign

The plight of women and structural sexism is one that as a society we are only beginning to fully overhaul, but less well-known is the particular plight of women born in the 1950s, who face the travesty of being denied their rightful pensions by a sharp rise in the state pension age from 60 years old to 66 years old with little to no notice. This is dishonourable not just because it treats the hard work and endeavours of women over a lifetime, with cruel disdain not just once with the original Major Government 1995 State Pension Law Act which put forward this ill-planned legislation aimed at equalisation of the State Pension Age for women and men, but twice with the Cameron Government’s own 2011 State Pension Law Act. This Act actually accelerated the timetable so women’s state pension age would hit 65 by 2018 and both men and women would have a retirement age of 66 by 2020, meaning some women would have to wait an extra 18 months to receive their state pension.

This is already a bad situation which penalises older women unfairly, and is symptomatic of the Conservative government’s approach to women who disproportionately suffer the consequences of austerity Britain in employment and living conditions but also older women who seem to be so disrespected that the pensions minister, Guy Opperman actually suggested rather than reform these laws that cut one of society’s most vulnerable constituency’s, affected women should just take up apprenticeships as a route to re-employment. In all seriousness, these older women many of whom are educated, have had tough working lives ad careers and are on the brink of retirement, are supposed to be sated by the “extended apprenticeship opportunities” offered by the Conservative government.

This is wrong.

Fortunately, WASPI (Women against State Pension Inequality) have been a resolute campaign group in highlighting the inadequacies of the government in providing justice for older women and have managed to engage thousands of members and acquire the support of 180 Members of Parliament. Their position for the transitional arrangement of a ‘bridging’ pension to provide an income from age 60 until State Pension Age for all women affected is fair and just, and would bring long awaited equity to the pensions of these women. A petition filed by WASPI Voice, a sub-grouping of WASPI, calling for immediate access to their state pension at a reduced rate and earlier, was able to receive over 20,000 signatures in support and necessitated  a response from government outlining the somewhat baffling position that “Working longer can improve and maintain physical and mental health – evidence shows that making adjustments and changing working patterns can help older workers to manage health issues and stay in work,”

A society where one can work their whole lives and never receive requital is unfair and as much as the Conservative government believes sexism and inequality is either non-existent or justifiable, the WASPI campaign and that of their prominent supporters in parliament such as Mhairi Black, Graham Jones, Keith Simpson and Paul Flynn will bring justice to those being denied it.

 

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Another

Scribbled Lines

Who declares war inspired by faith, says human life is worthless before God or rotting ideals of waste,

I will not question injustice anymore, rogue souls, terror and horror have eyes of just ice.

This land has never been colder than when the melting pot of diversity became a crematorium of blackened poverty.

A baby falls from the 9th floor, a beast on instinct, reaches, grabs, saves, who is he?

Who was tossed to oblivion?  Man, child or  your God who watched?

The truth must come out about Grenfell Tower, the truth must be heard, is there now no one who speaks power to truth?

We know what happened, murder, contemporary, recent, prescient but also the murder of us all,

’cause if you murder my heart and love, then your celestial dictator will cast aside to hellfire,

like the flames of that tower rose higher, higher, higher.

Thinking Unusually

My Mama is a Prophet,

She Gave to the Future,

She put prophecy before profits see, she had a baby, a nine month gamble on me,

I am so grateful that I repay her love and affection not being a lawyer as her or a businessman like my father but by writing poetry. My dreams border nothingness so I fuck up commas like Future.

Stare at me, start from my eyes and pree my dimple, my smile and my mind  oh no amount of mainstream media or colonial education or demo-crazy that elects capitalists can kill me. I am not Kenny.

I’m Unorthodox and in me, you can feel the essence of an African, a man who’s ancestors were born free, a free man, hair untamed like Huey. Newton or Boondocks,

You cannot televise me.

You cannot control though you can call me a loony.

Though I was a white male, I would be a George Clooney.

Passionate and Political, This society would rise and applaud, with charisma like mine you could never be bored.

If I was a white male, no woman could reject me, if I was a white male, Britain would elect me.

Maybe, in this May-hem, I have become confused. It could be the case that my optimism would be abused, if I was a radical and indomitable, with black skin and a white mask,

the police would still shoot to kill me.

Britain still has a race problem, Acid Attacks are the latest proof of that

This country has never been a safe space for people who look different, act different, speak different or embody characteristics different from the white, male, wealthy establishment. Terrorism is political violence and particularly when targeted at innocent people just trying to make the most of our short lives is utterly despicable. Terror attacks in recent years have made this native Londoner fear for his safety in his own home; the uncontrollable sense of unease when a package is around and the owner is indeterminate is something all city dwellers and especially Londoners can relate to, given the recent horrors of London Bridge, Westminster and Manchester.

But attacks on the marginalised and vulnerable communities of immigrants and people of colour more widely, as well as, the visibly religious minorities of Islam and others are different. They are different not in pain, agony and the sick sense of dread they impose within us. No, they are different because they for one particular moment, the idea that we are all in this together, Black, White and Brown, Rich and Poor, Native and Immigrant is disbanded and an ugliness rises from the depths of the society we have embraced that makes us feel alien, neither stranger nor native in the supposedly ‘United’ Kingdom. Though there has been a rise in racist violence, hate crime and general racial tensions, there has always been such injustice present beneath the illusion that a post-racial peace had dawned in our ‘multi-cultural’ nation. The truth is, even London, emblematic of cosmpolitanism and diversity, with over 300 languages spoken in its schools is an imperfect society. Living in East London, though I had always been cursorily aware of islamophobia and racist currents, particularly in my borough of Barking and Dagenham given a history with the BNP, a strong Ukip and Leave vote and generally a lot of socially conservative, old white men I was more shocked and bewildered to see that acid attacks were, or rather, are so numerous. I had always thought it was a fringe act of cruelty.

But no, Newham and Barking and Dagenham are the collective acid attack capital of the UK. Acid attacks are not ‘normal’, for lack of a better term, violence aimed at causing physical pain and fleeting discomfort, their aim is to disfigure and to instill mental trauma and terror over a lifetime. The resurgence of knife crime in the capital, and the fact that of the 11 deaths via a knife so far in London, all were black has meaningful implications for the political and social climate which has produced such ignorance and violence within which even schoolchildren like Quamari Barnes are not safe to wait at the bus stop after a school-day. There are deep and painful implications for black community, who are disproportionately the victims of underrepresentation, the economic violence of austerity Britain, unemployment or low pay, discriminatory trends in education at all levels and perennial victims of a prejudiced police force as highlighted in ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’. How these factors may have played a part, I don’t know but it is important to critically evaluate structural factors before strictly the individual.

But acid attacks. They are one of the worst methods of violence simply because acid is so readily available as a weapon and its usage is never accidental; without excusing knife violence it can often be seen as either an item of self-defence in the roughest, poorest parts of our country or a tool of death whirled out in a blind rage to cause pain. Acid attacks are not like that. Acid attacks are premeditated and carefully planned avenues to inflicting horrifying lifelong pain, Resham Khan, was one victim of an attack aimed at ruining her beauty and confidence as a brown woman and dehumanising her. Her bravery is tweeting about it just 3 days after the attack on her 21st birthday shows that no racist attacks can succeed where hundreds of years of white supremacy have failed. 

I have no solutions or answers but I thought it was heartbreaking to read that this small irrelevant borough where I call my home could be second highest nationally for something so horrific. My heart goes out to the other brown and black people who must now bear a new burden on our minds fearing that the next white male we see may be so contorted with hatred, they would cause us lifelong agony, and I fear for the young people of my generation who will never complete their dreams or fulfil their passions due to the brutality of a knife or the people scarred and traumatised by the cruelty of acid.

 

 

Labour is in Power, but not in Government

The Left, both within the Labour party and in the social movements, new media and activism more generally, have conquered the battlefield of ideas. The respected annual British Social Attitudes survey published earlier this week had a few surprising revelations for those of us who consume the popular media outlets. Firstly, Austerity as an idea embraced even reluctantly by the people, is dead. Redistribution of wealth and Government Spending on health, education and are the new Black. 83% of people want more spending on our woefully cash-starved NHS, likewise with 71% on our schools that were bad when I was in secondary education and have just declined moreso, and 57% on police, who like them or not, when terrorists are rampaging round your city, are a very welcome face.

The manifestation of seven years of a Conservative regime is that more people agree than disagree  that government should redistribute income from the better off to those who are less well-off. This marks a progression from pre-2008 when the opposite was true. Thatcher advisor and David Cameron Ideologue, Oliver Letwin, stated “a large number of people will have to pay a little more tax…’ This is not a minor matter, one of the architects of the British economic calamity of Austerity has come out and in principle embraced the Left position of marginally taxation to fund quality and crucial public services. That’s not a joke.

Feels like decades of turmoil have passed, but let’s just remember that it was May when articles like this in the ‘lefty’ Guardian were commonplace, ‘Will Corbyn remain Labour leader come what may? First, he must match Milliband’s vote share’. These times, Corbyn actually matched Blair’s Landslide victory of ’97 on a 40% vote share. The narrative being shoved by a aggressive small ‘c’ and large ‘c’ media was Labour was on a one-way street to oblivion, if not a historic loss. That Corbyn and by extension, any radical, progressive, transformative vision for this country was unpatriotic, incompetent and unelectable. That was nonsense. And so is the propaganda that some war criminal, hyper-capitalist, racist form of politics would actually appeal to anyone. That was categorical nonsense. The 8th proved that. We didn’t win, of course, but we acquired power without government, the capacity to liberate women denied access to abortions in Northern Ireland to have them free on the English NHS, to force an inquiry into the atrocity of Grenfell and the resignation of Kensington and Chelsea Council Leader Nicholas Paget-Brown and to challenge and shape Theresa May’s agenda for society, the economy and Brexit knowing full well that if another snap election was called to rectify her threadbare coalition with the DUP, then no amount of millionaire Tory donors or Lynton Crosbyism will save her from a Labour victory.

There’s a wave of progressive sentiment in this nation that the Labour Party and activists, radicals and liberals of all stripes must utilise to reform our broken status quo. I doubt 100% that any move to the centre and conciliatory leadership within Labour will maintain, much less, expand the votes gotten in June. Victory in these times has no easy precedent. I firmly believe, a Labour Party and progressive movement with a pinpoint focus on an economy for the ‘many, not the few’ is a start but an over-arching vision of constitutional and social reform will light a spark of optimism in this country. Does anyone really think our political class and institutions are fit for purpose. I know least of all Corbyn does, but in the interests of election victory he remains quiet. That’s a mistake, the next Labour manifesto needs to put an elected house of lords, proportional representation, Trident, votes at 16, the monarchy and an English parliament on the agenda, otherwise the left will have immeasurably failed in leaving a legacy of advancement. Love them or loathe them, the most iconic Prime Minister’s Britain has had made their mark in history; the NHS, Thatcherism, Decriminalising Homosexuality and Abortion, Victory in the Second World War, Devolution.

If Corbyn is to stand at the next election and win Power and Government, his own legacy must be Revolution.

Dear MP, The Future of British Politics is here

Hello, to the Member of Parliament Class of 2017, you were duly elected to serve Her Royal Majesty and provide an uncompromising voice in defence of the people. With recent political events, there may be another election very soon so don’t yet put down your campaigning gear, strength and stability seem to be in rather short supply recently.

This is an address from a visionary, young man to the latest class of my political leaders and representatives. If I am honest, many of you disgust me while some of you are heroes to be lauded and praised. I simply wish to articulate a resentment that we, the youth, of this country have felt ; an antagonism to the ease with which Nick Clegg turned his back on the mandate we, students, granted his party to abolish tuition fees in 2010; that betrayal hurt but more painful was the clear expedience of his apology. 7 years is long time in politics, but for the duration of these years, repetitive soundbites and electioneering slogans like ‘long term plan’ and ‘strong and stable’ and ‘take back control’ alongside the outright lies of 350 million for the NHS had discredited politics for many young people, myself included. Despite these, I remain hopeful that some of our politicians will fight for justice and equity. Watching the inclusiveness, optimism and vibrancy of Corbyn’s quest for political upheaval was genuinely very powerful. For a campaign to transcend a polling deficit of 17 points vis-a-vis the Conservatives, according to Survation on May 8th to a lead of 3 points as of a June 17th, Survation poll, shows that once a compassionate, radical vision is put towards the electorate, we embrace it wholeheartedly.

The future of British politics does not leave much room for politicians who don’t speak like, look like, act like or bother to understand the ordinary people of this country. We, the people, but particularly the youth, have no faith in elected officials who take our votes for granted, who only engage with our voices when election time swings round, and unquestionably support an economic system that marginalises us and prioritises the interests of the privileged and older social groups. I’m talking about neoliberal economics and austerity for the poor and tax cuts for the rich.

But no longer, politics is changing, and it’s changing rapidly.

Those who said young people would never turn out in significant enough numbers to swing an election should hold their tongues, because we have shown that when our future is at stake, we care.  Those who thought the politics of austerity, of a remote political establishment, of xenophobia and isolationism would hold some sort of appeal to the aspirational, diverse and open people of Britain stand astounded by our progress.

I want my Member of Parliament to be unique, diverse and grounded in our constituency. An MP is not a class of their own but a representative of their communities. Be principled, brave and unapologetically radical in fighting against racism, inequality and the broken status quo.

Honesty is Dishonesty

All souls are brought into life by their mother,
All people are ourselves either a sister or a brother,
Average souls, untouched by passion exist without bother,
Curiosity and adversity create aspirations which hover,
Dreams and ideals so unique they withstand any weather,
The individuals who seek change, surrendering never,
Celestial wisdom wedded human hearts with an earthly tether,
Beauty and hope fall to Earth, a rare feather.

Trump Has Won Already, Pay More Attention

Trump won the 2016 election last year, when the party of Abraham Lincoln refused to repudiate his unprecedented white nationalist campaign. Trump leads an authoritarian revolution, centred around the dehumanisation of women to brainless sex objects, and the legitimisation of outright racist sentiment against Brown and Black people and embodies every negative stereotype of American ignorance. Winning the Republican nomination was simply taken for entertainment by the American populace whilst the media raked up profits sensationalising his every move.

Trump polls ahead with White Men .And 50–60% of whites believe this raging extremist is a reasonable choice for the world’s most powerful man. His lowest polls still project for him at least a third of the overall electorate despite scandal, ignorance and controversy. These core supporters are the angry individuals who sanction and perpetrate the state murder of minorities via law enforcement and perpetuate covert discrimination in education, health and work.

This man has a 50/50 shot at being the next President of the United States. The nation lauded for progressiveness in electing a Liberal Black Man as President twice, is also capable of regressing and electing a white supremacist. The fear and anger of the American electorate was evidenced the rise of Occupy Wall St, the Tea Party and Bernie Sanders, but none has come as close to power as the Presidential Candidacy of Donald J Trump.

When you are highly educated,urban, middle-class and avowedly liberal, the concept of wrongness becomes alien and remote. Indeed, your rational, informed outlook leads you to believe that logic, justice and tolerance either own or will conquer the hearts and minds of the masses. Within this mindset, it is impossible that a vulgar, white supremacist, serial misogynist like Trump to even dream of power. It’s masterful self-deception, akin to Les Miserables’ vaunted revolutionaries or white people who believe the police aren’t institutionally racist. I applaud the effort, but as always you were wrong. I even fell for the media narrative in Britain that Brexit was an impossibility, and yet on the 23rd of June, we emphatically voted ‘Out’ of the E.U suprastate. Conventional logic has been abandoned by voters, fed up with hyper-capitalism, the growth of inequality and the remoteness of representative democracy from the people.

The people are dissatisfied with the Status Quo. When Trump rails against special interests, unfair trade, the stagnancy of Washington, he diagnoses the failures of our society. However, his wrecking ball vision of destroying the political orthodoxy and racial and class harmony, is not the answer, but a tempting vision nonetheless. Win or Lose on November 9th, that vision is firmly and perniciously entrenched in the American Psyche.

The World is Burning; Stop Praying and Douse the Flames

Nothing is as insufferable as social media evangelism and self-righteous liberalism. It is dumbfounding, the immediacy with which a new hashtag emerges to commemorate tragedy, e.g. #PrayforMunich, #PrayforNice, #PrayforOrlando, #PrayforParis or #PrayforBrussels etc. Nevermind the minimal media attention to the sufferings of non-white people globally, the constant warfare and raging tragedies in West Africa as Boko Haram runs rampant, or the continued and less-newsworthy bombing of civilians by Russian and American jets in Syria and Iraq. Instead, the futility of these trends is the biggest tragedy, with the evangelists never even considering preventative prayer as more useful to the dead, missing and broken survivors of atrocities. I hope someone begins a #PrayforLondon, and legions of Pentecostal Christians reverberate with the holy power of the word. At least then, I might not fear a truck rampage in Leicester Square, or a mass shooting in Westfield.

The logical ineptitude of mumbled prayers and half-hearted repeated affirmation of liberal values of tolerance, diversity, liberty, individualism in light of every terrorist attack, the flawed reasoning that lip service to Western principles will guilt Isis into surrender. It is silly and frankly, the reason governments globally, and particularly in the West, have been unable to tackle extremism is down to liberal, if not conservative reluctance to radically reconfigure the state, society and international relations.

With every extremist attack, whether of Islamic Origin, the Far Right, be it the State terrorism of Erdogan against democratic activists and journalists, or Western-backed forcible regime change, I am immediately reminded of the Turner Diaries. A white supremacist fictional account detailing attempts by a neo-nazi group to ignite race war. Their success appears after continual attacks on symbols and ideals of multiculturalism, tolerance, civic nationalism and unity. These tactics used in fiction, are precisely the same tactics used by Islamic extremists and other terror groupings, dedicated to make us question our common humanity by erecting walls and xenophobia against other communities. When politicians talk of crackdowns and collective punishment against all muslims, they instead, foster the radicalisation of the young, vulnerable minds against a state they see are remote and hostile. However, it is not enough to be staunchly liberal and accept the premise of terrorist attacks and yet do nothing. We must react immediately.

Dousing the flames of the burning Earth, is a tricky thing especially given there are a multitude of issues at hand. Broken Capitalism, the austere state, social inequality and outrageous levels of political correctness have induced a state of myopia for governments, however well meaning. Namely, the Tokenism of name dropping successful immigrants, Muslims and Blacks to engage said communities is a oft used tactic. However, in truth, it may be pointless. Looking up to rich businessmen and women, or high-flying politicians or celebrities belies the reality of broken capitalism where opportunity is scarce, poverty is rampant and employment is insecure and low-waged. Social Mobility and role models are a positive idea, but remain an idea when governments and corporations refuse to pursue the investment in decent jobs, youth services and small businesses that would create a happy contented populace. And when the images on television don’t match your own reality, it is easy to feel distant and marginalised.

No amount of prayers will help France or Brussels, when de facto segregation of impoverished North African communities with illiteracy, criminality and stagnancy create rightfully angry and easily radicalised young people. Middle class white people gasp in horror as riots, protests, populist politics besiege their countries. but to an urban, Black Londoner like myself, I see these s the inevitable results of a world where prosperity is not shared and the poor are alienated from democracy. As Bernie would say “Are we prepared to take on the enormous economic and political power of the billionaire class?” Because it’s only if we invest in both working class, and immigrant/minority communities that we can alleviate racial tensions, increase living standards and empower communities to become stakeholders in local democracy and economies, rather than people with nothing to lose.

Politics itself needs innumerable changes and the orthodoxy of representative democracy must be decisively transformed. We need devolution down to cities and local communities where citizens have influence over the policies that determine their lives. We need accountability and the restructure of policing to be more diverse, engaged within communities, trained to de-escalate and the decriminalisation of minor drugs or actions only concerning oneself, to remove the constant hostility and violence between angry young people and an aggressive police force. We need politics to be transparent with greater online disclosure of information concerning policies and allow popular input. We need to break corporate political ties, and foster a foreign policy that leaves countries to do their own business without relentless bombings, unnecessary aggression and neo-colonial dominance over the Global South.

When we can convince all communities politics is a fruitful means of empowering oneself and ones community; angry people can see a political revolution through the ballot box through people like Bernie, Trump, Corbyn or Farage as a better method of change than violence.

And lastly, we must abandon liberal intolerance of debate. Political correctness has had a stranglehold on many issues, from LBGT-etc issues to minority rights, feminism and morality and justice. There are many ways that political correctness has enriched society, making it a safer, more pleasant place freer of racism, misogyny and hateful intolerance but at the expense of freedom of speech. Can’t immigration be accepted as a legitimate concern? Especially, illegal immigration in times of terror, surely we can compromise a little niceness and start detaining or deporting foreign criminals or would-be Isis members who have tried to go to Syria. We should immediately start a dialogue around immigration that doesn’t involve racism and yet doesn’t involve naivete. Similarly, I have always thought it childish, the unwillingness of groups to accept their renegades as their own. When Isis attacks, there’s immediately a protestation that ‘they’re not true Muslim’? But why were they pious and faithful right up until their attack? Why was Micah Johnson not a ‘true black power supporter’ when he became violent? Why can’t we accept that sometimes issues are our own problem and not some isolated incident to be blamed elsewhere.

We must admit the problems to solve the problems. Until then, no amount of teary condolences or status quo politics will douse the flames of the burning Earth.

Fresh Cycle, Old Politics

London Mayoral Frontrunner, Sadiq Khan asserted his wish to make ‘London a byword for Cycling’ at a Times Hustings.

A week from now, Londoners will determine who should lead the most cosmopolitan city on Earth, where unique challenges regarding inequality, the environment and transport are primary concerns for voters. Today, the Times and London Cycling Campaign came together for a Hustings chaired by the intrepid Emma Tucker of the Times, who posed the necessary questions regarding transport and cycling stances of the budding Mayors. With only a narrow window to showcase their policies to a still undecided public, the alternative candidates were bold and visionary with their ideas, though their electoral success seems unlikely.

The issues raised included prospective policies for reducing heavy traffic in London, tackling the growth of private hire vehicles, enabling safer cycling journeys and using mayoral powers of appointment and budgeting for a sustainable London. Often, the candidates, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, Green’s Sian Berry, UKIP’s Peter Whyttle, Liberal Democrats’ Caroline Pidgeon, Conservative’s Zac Goldsmith and Women Equality Parties’ Sophie Walker, were in agreement over the giant problem of London’s dreadful air quality, expensive public transport and the hundreds of people, fatally or grievously injured cycling in the city. However, ideological disagreement was profound over the nature of tackling ‘dirty old banger’s otherwise known as older vehicles, as Whyttle argued, a ‘social cleansing’ of the poorest would occur if Sian and Sadiq’s scheme to ban the use ‘dirty diesel’ in the capital was successful.

The technocratic position of Zac and Sadiq was pressed repeatedly by apt questioning by both Tucker and an engaged audience, as neither would commit to funding above the current 1% on cycling. ‘Sadiq’s austerity program for Tfl’ was highlighted by Sian, who argued passionately for new £1.5 billion expenditure over 10 years for to fund new cycling superhighway and a London wide low emission zone. His rehearsed positions and policy knowledge came slightly unstuck when both Zac and Caroline pressed on the apparent ‘£1.9 billion hole’ in Sadiq’s fiscal plans came under fire as he repeated his claim that ‘half of the budget’ could be saved via efficiency savings on the underground.

Unexpectedly, of all the candidates, Caroline Pidgeon came across as the woman of the hour, articulately arguing her own case for London and attracting much applause on her ‘pledges’ to create an ‘electric charging network’ within London, electrifying single-decker buses, and drastically increasing investment in cycling infrastructure. It was a strong showing for the alternatives but fundamentally this race was Zac versus Sadiq who despite being on the defensive, took Sam Coates question, about his own thoughts on Ken Livingstone and Anti-Semitism within the Labour party,  proclaimed he will be a ‘mayor for all londoners’.

All Londoners will have their say next week, as is the cycle of British politics.

 

The New Politics is Digital

A Digital Utopia

My generation has never questioned the presence of the internet; the digitalization of the youth has been so profound and so far-reaching, that it is mere madness to suggest otherwise. Indeed, the internet may be described as the focal point for our existence, defining our interactions with one another, enshrined in our visions of the future and arguably, central to the development of man as a ‘political animal’. With the incredible accessibility that the internet provides, to humour, to knowledge, to development and sense of global consciousness that it fosters, it is a cause for concern that this resource which is used so fervently by an astounding 37.4% of the global population is so under-used as a method of political engagement. This exponential growth in technological and digital advancement has provided innumerable opportunities for social progress, but it would be naïve, if not dangerous to ignore the threats posed to democracy, human rights and international peace and security.

First, we must define progress. Is progress tangible or intangible, is it foolish to reconcile the idea that humanity is progressing as time goes by, when the threat of war has haunted every era of history; can we even goes as far as to say the internet has benefited society, when it was only really established in 1991 , surely its too soon to tell?

That may be true, and whilst the internet has proved to be unpredictable, it has been at the forefront of the formation of a global consciousness. Who can say, that without the emergence of the internet and Youtube and Google and Twitter and Facebook and Reddit and Wordpress and every possible website, forum, app – you can think of, that humanity would be so interconnected? Chances are, you’ve heard of ‘Gangnam Style’ the viral music video from South Korea that had the nations of the world galloping. ‘K-pop’ or Korean Pop has dominated digitally, the band ‘Girls Generation’ has topped 60 million views worldwide and the Korean World Festival attracted thousands of contestants from over 16 countries. The digital colossuses of Google, Youtube and the assorted social media networks, have become engrained in the history of the 21st century; through facilitating cultural exchange through global shared access to knowledge, music, data, tools.

A digital renaissance has dawned and  has meant that people are now more educated, literate and most importantly, politically aware than they have ever been. Of course, this has led to arguments over cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation but fundamentally the very nature of ignorance has been transformed from passive to an active ignorance. One must reject the internet and reject the modernity of multi-culturalism, tolerance and social equality to be ignorant in the modern world. Through social media, one has instantaneous access to information and can form social groups online. Those inclined towards introversion can find their own niche community on the web. The traditional boundaries of space and time once impeded social progress, but now we look online and are made immediately aware of international injustice and capable of shared struggle. The ready availability of whatsapp and social media has provided a new avenue for political participitation for the masses, bottom-up and lacking the heirachy of the past. Fringe interests and political viewpoints find their home in the digital world, and it is from there that the next global perspectives are formed.  Social media welcomes nerds, fetishists, hobbyists and all kinds of people.

Just Thinking Out Loud.