I’m kinda scared

In the 15 years that I’ve been in the UK, it’s often been a relatively hostile, callous and lawless place, but this has become more pronounced in the past few years. Probably since Theresa May became Home Secretary and when Iain Duncan Smith started running the Department of Work and Pensions.

Boris Johnson, who has been shown to have been lying about just about everything and who sees nothing wrong with openly peddling violence and intolerance, still has the lead in the polls.

What kind of country is this going to be after the 12th?

 

 

Who to vote for?

You can easily judge the character of a party by how it treats those who can do nothing for it.

That said, do I believe that tactical voting can make a difference? Yes, I do.

Tactical voting is not – as some Tories claim – committing voter fraud by for example voting in two towns. Tactical voting means that you vote for the non-Conservative candidate who stands the best chance of getting elected in your constituency. Because even a marginally better candidate can still help make a real difference.

We need more of this!

Guts, integrity.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/06/uk/top-british-diplomat-quits-brexit-intl/index.html

In case you are not British and wonder what the purple “factcheck UK” thing is about… well the Conservatives renamed their Twitter feed during a recent TV debate and you’d only know that it was the Conservative Party feed if you saw the small print and knew that “CCHQ” does not stand for, say, the part of the British intelligence services that uses a similar handle, namely GCHQ.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/20/media/uk-election-debate-disinformation-intl-ge19-gbr/index.html

Poverty damages children

In my inbox this morning, as part of BPS Research Digest, an overview of the effects of poverty.

The British Psychological Society:

https://digest.bps.org.uk/2019/12/03/the-psychological-impacts-of-poverty-digested/

Turns out that poverty can be really bad for children, ruin their chances in life. I talk about this in my course, in the lecture on whether it is better to be tall than to be short. The factor that makes the real difference appears to be childhood nutrition.

But not only can poverty affect your brain, it also often makes other people treat you as if you aren’t a fully-fledged human being. Many belittle you or even ridicule you – and that does not help, in my experience. It does not help when the message “you’re stupid, you’re stupid, you’re stupid” gets hammered home over and over and over again.

There is this blind assumption, for example, that if you visit a foodbank, you can’t possibly have anything to contribute to society. After all, you’re “stupid”.

The fact that you’re poor is not the result of how “stupid” you are.

It’s the result of luck, or rather, its absence, as I’ve posted before. Pure chance. Poverty can be the result of having tripped over that wobbly pavement tile. (Or a hacker. Or a disgruntled employee.)