Robbery/sexual assault alert! Lockdown-related.

As my asswipe hacker(s)/stalker(s) were at it again, I left the place. I mean, what on earth could I still do? Kill myself on the spot, or what?

I had intended to spend the night on a bench because I am sick of this vicious destructive shit in my own home. But I decided that the asswipe is not worth getting that cold over.

Then I spotted a guy who was behaving very oddly. He was on the lookout for something. But what? He suddenly started walking, then spotted me and veered toward me to as if to check something or test something. My response? My age? My bag?

So I kept my eyes on him and fucking hell, he was following a woman, so I stayed on his tail.

At some point, I saw him cross the road and I thought that that was the end of it and I slowed down, but no, he was merely taking a detour, so I sped up again.

As I came closer, I saw that there was a police car there with four officers standing around it, scratching their balls, as usual. So that was why the guy had crossed the road.

I kept on his tail, but by then I was too far behind and I lost both him and the woman after they went around a corner. I looked around for a while and listened for screams and the like, but saw and heard nothing that was off.

I initially thought that the danger was sexual assault but it could as well have been robbery. Or both.

Very few people around right now. Makes it easier to corner someone with nobody noticing.

I did spot a burglary on my way back, but hey, burglary? That is 100% okay in Portsmouth. You’re a villain if you dare report a break-in.

Women, be alert! Because you have to fend for yourself. Nobody will come to your aid. Nobody will stand up for you. That’s just how it is.

How can we support supermarket staff? Etc

Yesterday, I read on Twitter that a guy made someone at a Coop checkout burst into tears just because he thanked the person.

On Friday, the initial flash of emotion on the person’s face surprised me when I said “Stay well” to someone at a reception desk somewhere else. That too made me think few people had been expressing concerns for the people behind that counter.

I am often not great at it either.

Earlier this week, at Aldi, I thought I saw some tension in the person at the checkout, not surprisingly. I wish I could do something about that. When I got home, I noticed that one of the products I had bought had some substance on them and it took me a while to realize that the person at the checkout likely had been using a lot of hand sanitizer.

Although that helps, I don’t think it is enough and there is also the important task of doing things for the sole purpose of reassuring staff (making them feel protected) to help keep their stress levels down.

It kept bothering me.

I looked into what was happening in the Netherlands and read that screens had been placed around some checkout counters at DIY stores, though I haven’t been able to find any photos of it yet. Possibly, this was done to maintain the recommended distance (which protects people against this spray of tiny droplets of saliva when we speak).

(Update: When I looked into it some more just now, I saw that the Albert Heijn supermarket chain will be placing acrylic screens.)(Not sure if this is for the entire chain.)

(Update: I also found a video of a Dutch DIY store placing screens and staff saying they are really happy about that: https://www.nhnieuws.nl/nieuws/264087/spuugsschotten-moeten-caissieres-wormerveer-tegen-het-coronavirus-beschermen)

I think that placing any kind of larger screen around the people operating the checkouts might go a long way toward keeping their stress levels down. (In some supermarkets, the distance between them and the customers is smaller than at others.)

Such a screen could be acrylic (or wood or maybe even cardboard, with a small opening that might be covered with plastic, but even not covering it up but having a screen should already help protect checkout staff somewhat from the teenie tiny small droplets that fly from our mouths when we speak).

Having them wear gloves that they discard during breaks, into bins that have bags in them (liners) and then using new ones might be good but they’d go through a lot of gloves that way. But it would work as a physical reminder for them to stop them from touching their faces, which happens so automatically. (I too constantly catch myself doing things I know I shouldn’t be doing.)

Signs at counters – such as at Royal Mail – need to be at face height for standing people because we look at people first and only notice signs placed on the counter later. (But the signs on the counter may need to stay in place, too, for anyone who uses a wheelchair or mobility scooter.)

If you are working checkouts, also consider doing anything that stops your hair from falling into your face if you’d then automatically would want to push the hair out of your face – and touch your face at the same time.

And if you go to the supermarket, don’t use cash to pay if you can help it so that the cashiers don’t need to touch money.

To help protect supermarket staff. To help make them feel safer.

After customers leave the supermarket, they too should take care and for instance wash hands when they get home, but they’re already doing that, I am sure.

Regular cleaning of the self-checkout tills – to protect staff – is needed as well, but I am sure that that is already being done.

Particularly key people (management, local government) have to start doing things that will feel like total paranoia to them to protect themselves because so many people rely on them in so many ways.

Government officials and key managers may want to look into n-acetyl cysteine and assess whether it might help keep them maintain more functionality should they become infected, even though there are no data on this yet. See for example:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0882401017300505

While I am typing this, it feels like I am exaggerating, being totally over the top, but I only need to remind myself of Northern Italy to realise… no, I am not and the only thing that seems to have been able to stop (which may be merely “slow it down enough”?) the virus is to shut down all contact, the way it happened in China. (What that means for the long term is hard to tell. Delayed peaks, the virus coming back later and all that.)

Yes, I am bored as I have nothing else to do (which goes with my life in England at just about any time) and I like looking for solutions. And, also, I am furious about the weather gods having dropped the temperatures. At least it’s sunny. That’s something.

 

 

Boris Johnson. Coronavirus. How to talk with your people.

Boris Johnson’s waffling yesterday made a lot of people – me included – angry and I am willing to bet that he did not reassure anyone. You may find some comfort in the video below instead.

Click on settings, then subtitles and then on automatic translation.

This is how his Dutch counterpart (Mark Rutte is his name) addressed the problem. (Not perfect either, but much better.) The first bit appears to be about the confusion this whole thing has sown, also in the Netherlands, where they initially may have thought that Covid-19 wasn’t necessarily going to be a problem other than that it might cause discrimination.

That was grabbed by the horns right away (by the media, including TV, and by the Health Minister) as that response was quite ugly in the Netherlands, but so far has remained entirely verbal, as far as I know. In the UK, the extent appears to have been limited, but its nature was different. (Two physical attacks occurred in London, with both victims apparently requiring surgery.)

Rutte also mentions the herd immunity concept.

He addresses money worries too and lavishes praise and gratitude.

Keep in mind that the Netherlands does not have anything anywhere near the poverty levels that the UK has.

Mark Rutte is right-wing, not a lefty.

By the way, have you noticed that the official NHS information is that none of us need to report it if we fall ill, that we do not need to get tested and that we should only contact the medical profession if our health becomes seriously compromised?

So are they using an algorithm to keep track of the infection numbers, then?

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

From https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

In defence of Dominic Cummings…

I never expected to write the above words as I don’t particularly hold Tory sympathies, but The Guardian did such a stupid disappointing mud-slinging job with this article that I feel I have no choice but to speak up.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/feb/19/sabisky-row-dominic-cummings-criticised-over-designer-babies-post

 

First of all, Cummings was thinking out loud. More people should do that as it’s very useful and it’s impossible to have good ideas if you don’t allow yourself to have bad ideas as well. He’d been to an event, in 2014, and he rambled on about what he had heard and what he thought. There is nothing wrong with that per se.

People object to (talking about) “designer babies” but nobody defines it.

I define a designer baby as any baby that is chosen over any other baby or embryo or zygote that would have been viable and would have been able to live into adulthood.

We’ve been making designer babies for decades!

In some countries, people with Down syndrome no longer occur because they’ve been eradicated from the population while they become city councillors and get degrees in other countries.

We used to lock people up and deprive them of normal life experiences because they were different (and we still do, in fact, also in the UK). That kind of treatment would hold anyone back.

“Treat people as if they were what they should be, and you help them become what they are capable of becoming,” Goethe is supposed to have said or, more likely, written a long time ago. Hold someone back and you condemn the person to a life of limitations.

We’ve also seen this happen for women. One of the two founders of the British-born philosophy of utilitarianism considered women “disabled” by society.

Not that long ago, women were not allowed to go to university and not allowed to do many other things, such as have a bank account, own property or run a business.

In March 2017, expert Wendy Savage (a gynaecologist and professor at Cambridge University) allegedly stated in an interview with the Daily Mail that a pregnant woman should always be told the sex of the fetus and should be allowed to abort the fetus if she does not like the baby’s sex.

That too is about designer babies, about picking the pink handbag, not the blue one.

The British celeb who flew to Cyprus because she could pick her baby’s sex (gender) there and was not allowed to do that in the UK, she wanted a designer baby on the basis of her mistaken belief that sex is an either/or switch.

There are several countries in the world in which male children are currently preferably allowed to come into the world at the expense of female children and it’s already changing these countries’ populations too. (That is how we know it is happening.)

Back to Cummings.

At one point in that blog post, he wrote very clearly that he did not have the required knowledge to be able to assess some of what he was writing about:

“There is a great deal of Hsu’s paper – and the subject of IQ and heritability generally – that I do not have the mathematical skills to understand.”

He wrote the word “egg” when he clearly meant “zygote” or “embryo”, and he did not mention that IQ is a relative measure.

But he did mention “junk DNA” which was once mistakenly believed to be just that. Useless junk.

And he also wrote:

“If the poor cannot do the same, then the rich could quickly embed advantages and society could become not only more unequal but also based on biological classes. One response is that if this sort of thing does become possible, then a national health system should fund everybody to do this. (I.e. It would not mandate such a process but it would give everybody a choice of whether to make use of it.)”

He did write:

“The latter will rightly make people deeply worried, given our history, and clearly require extremely serious public debate. One of the reasons I wrote my essay was to try to stimulate such debate on the biggest – and potentially most dangerous – scientific issues. By largely ignoring such issues, Westminster, Whitehall, and the political media are wasting the time we have to discuss them so technological breakthroughs will be unnecessarily  shocking when they come.”

I am sure that there is a lot about Cummings’ thinking that I don’t agree with, but neither am I pleased with this childish article in The Guardian.

All over the world, bioethicists are talking about these kinds of topics and you can’t do that effectively if you don’t consider all the angles.

The old eugenics is still continuing. The new eugenics has been with us for a while but is really accelerating now with CRISPR.

I participated in an EDX course by Harvard Law School professor Glenn Cohen who also heads the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics, in which we all (about 200 of us) thought hard about these difficult matters.

I have a course on Udemy in which I also challenge people to come up with positive effects of doing something as well as negative effects, in terms of the new eugenics.

If you want an example of this kind of thinking exercise, then consider that eradicating all women from society would eradicate menstrual pain and the majority of breast cancers whereas others might say that women are defective humans anyway, hence that society doesn’t need women and if you couple the latter with continued technological progress, which would make even the biological requirement for having women drop away, you can see a world without women in the future.

If you find this upsetting, then maybe you should remind yourself that we have had no problem applying the same kind of logic with regard to for example people with Down syndrome.

We need to talk about this because we are all biased by definition and unless we are all willing to ponder and discuss these very difficult topics and from all possible angles and reach a consensus, a handful of highly biased people will make up our minds for us.

That could be people like Julian Savulescu at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, whose ideas may even be more extreme than those of Cummings (which sadly sometimes obscures the fact that Savulescu also occasionally has brilliant ideas that are much more in line with Michael Sandel’s take on these issues).

It’s why I wrote a book about this stuff. Not because I have all the answers but because I don’t.

Instead of criticizing Cummings over this post, people should follow the example of Cummings and start thinking about this stuff and weighing in.

 

Dammit

Read this:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/16/they-yelled-coronavirus-first-british-attack-victim-east-asian-man

He must be in so much pain!

He plays alto saxophone, by the way. Won’t be able to do that for a while. He also plays the piano, but as he was lead alto in a jazz band, he probably focuses on that.

I’ve already posted updates to the petitions, have e-mailed Matt Hancock again. I also just contacted Sadiq Khan, but he’s probably already taken some action.

Update: no, he plays mainly piano these days.

Covid-19 response in the UK

I’ve muttered a bit about that in previous posts.

This morning, I read that some hospitals have set up assessment pods, presumably with very clear signage. If they all do that – have a consistent response – it would limit the amount of guessing and waiting to see that members of the public have to do. (“Will they have pods or will I have to go to the ambulance bay?”) But that may not always be doable.

GP practices should have clear posters on their doors to STOP people from walking in if they suspect they have the Covid-19 virus.

What you don’t want, indeed, is to expose people who may have lower immunity, and you find those in higher proportions at A&Es, pharmacies and doctors’ practices. As the virus seems to hit people over 60 the hardest, old folks homes – homes that house older adults – need to take some steps too, but likely already have.

Now all they still might need to do is cover members of the public who do not have access to the internet – because their phone broke or they have no signal – and those who don’t understand English or don’t access English media.

That said, I assume that most people will know what to do now, as most websites now have a link “what to do if you think you have the coronavirus”. This boils down to “stay home and call 111” (though in some areas, you may need to call a different number for whatever reason). (Some of those sites make you wade through a lot of waffling before you get to the important bit, about what to do if you suspect you have the virus. LOL!)  I am sure that it’s been said on TV and radio too.

By the way, should you get this virus and experience shortness of breath when it strikes, then it may help to know that coffee (caffeine) is a bronchodilator. It may help you breathe easier, in other words, and that can help you feel better. Works for about 2, 3 hours, I think, off the top of my head. What better excuse can you think of to have a large mug of delicious coffee while, say, you wait on the phone for advice?

(Tea has a compound that does that too – theophylline – but I suspect that a cup of tea may not contain enough of it, while coffee has many more health benefits.)

 

 

The first local suspected case…

About 500 meters from where I am (and that is all I am saying). 🙂

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/people/coronavirus-health-secretary-has-been-informed-suspected-outbreak-says-portsmouth-north-mp-penny-mordaunt-1741763

It would be REALLY USEFUL if they would say a little more than this. Does it concern a pharmacy worker? A customer? This raises more questions than it answers. Was someone taken into quarantine or not at all? What?

Oh, here is more (I searched the web):
https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/health/coronavirus-suspected-portsmouth-case-came-woman-who-had-been-gatwick-airport-1741740

“The practice manager has urged anyone else who has symptoms to call 111, as per NHS guidelines.”

So, either the news is not getting through or the number is not working the way it should. Been very tempted to test the latter, in the past couple of days, but I reckon they’re busy enough without me calling in to see whether it’s working. 😉

We’ll need a massive local flyering action, then. We can go door to door and put a leaflet with instructions in the letterbox. Heck why not? If we all team up on that, it can be done quickly, and locals know where all the front doors around them are, which helps a lot. (We have some really weird addresses here.)

How scare-mongering works (Covid-19)

16:10 “With two frontline health workers already infected” is a total BS spin because those two contracted the virus on a skiing holiday in France.

Twilight Zone music in the background…

The remark “Washing hands, not exactly cutting edge” is disgusting too, because washing hands and cleaning surfaces touched by hands IS effective. Washing hands very thoroughly is what surgeons do before they head into the operating theatre.

What I find much more concerning is that “self-isolation” is hard in a country that is home to the loneliest people of Europe (possibly of the entire western world) and where so many millions are living in deep poverty and cannot afford to have firms like Ocado deliver supplies.

 

Passport rendered invalid, allowed to leave the country, not allowed to return?

Passport silently rendered invalid, allowed to leave the country without a word, not allowed to return:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/british-man-blocked-uk-home-office-passport-brussels-a9332311.html (with video)

But I, an EU citizen, am supposed to trust that the UK will let me in again if I go abroad, even though UK Customs already made clear it had a problem with me on my previous two returns?

How Covid-19 is affecting the local economy

There is a highly popular Chinese eatery here that is always so crowded that I’ve actually never been there.

Yesterday, I walked by twice to see the place almost empty.

It normally seems to get frequented a lot by local foreign students as well as locals.

I don’t know if they do deliveries or are part of Deliveroo etc and can’t tell whether might be an increase in deliveries.

I also walked by a Chinese buffet restaurant. It was closed. That could have been a coincidence.

Who is taking some action with regard to how some businesses will be affected? Does their insurance cover this kind of thing? I doubt it (force majeure, acts of nature), but I hope I am wrong.

Covid-19 and Brexit

Looks like the UK is on its own on that too now, exactly the way it wanted it.

I haven’t seen the UK’s Covid-19 cases mentioned on the foreign media sites that I normally visit.

The EU Health ministers are meeting in Brussels to confer.

Matt Hancock won’t be there because Britain wanted out and Brits wanted Britain back. Okay then.

My e-mail to The New European

Hello,

This evening, as I dashed out of Sainsbury’s, I glanced at the newspaper- and-magazine stand and saw a Daily Mail/Express-like front page. My eyes went up to the heading, but it said “The New European”. “Could be interesting”, I thought, as I had heard of the organization.

As I paid for it, I was asked where I was from and was told that people were not very happy with the image on the cover. “You don’t do that to the leader of a country. You wouldn’t do that to the president of France either.” The person in question was very friendly, and I said that I agreed with her, because I do. I also said that I would let you know.

When I came home, I discovered that this is a magazine by Brits for Brits, but Brits think that it is by foreigners and for foreigners (as I, a Dutchwoman did too) and your cover is apparently being blamed on us foreigners in the UK. I can’t say that I am pleased with that.

Apart from that, the cover lowers you to Boris Johson’s standard of “letterboxes”, “tank-topped bum boys”, “piccaninnies with watermelon smiles” and the like. Is that the best you can do?

Best regards,

Angelina Souren
Dutchwoman in the UK

Continue reading

I applaud Steve Walsh, the “gas salesmen” from Hove near Brighton

A few days ago, I set up a petition to nip any further discrimination of Asian people in the bud here in the UK, after I saw what was happening in my home country the Netherlands.

Of course, nobody’s interested.

Thankfully, Steve Walsh, the unlucky dude – it could have happened to anyone – who went to Singapore and then to France, having no idea he carried the Covid-19 virus – and then came back to England spoke out, which helped. I am very grateful that he did this, this very healthy-looking blond Englishman.

I just read in the Guardian that he is currently

feeling “very harassed” and “scared that [he’ll] become a scapegoat”

 

which he apparently said in the Times, but the Guardian did not link to the article and I haven’t been able to find it yet.

If he does become scapegoated, blame super wimp Matt Hancock who’s always been super-good at super-blaming super-innocent people and spreading lies in a very subtle way.

The wimp – Hancock – should speak up and tell his disciples that his kind of blame game is not on before it gets to that point. But he can’t, can he, because he’d have to quit playing it too, then.

The other problem? The English see themselves as super-calm and in control, but they can actually be total drama queens who love making mountains out of molehills. That’s because of the gossip aspect of the culture, methinks.

 

PS
For the record, this gentleman from Hove works in the area of the supply of gases for scientific use, such as argon, in labs like the ones I used to work in a long time ago etc. He does not go door to door to sell gas for cooking stoves.

This is MY life. What’s yours like?

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*tears hair out*

My tweet – obviously intended as typically British humour, i.e. sarcasm – has meanwhile been liked by a second Brexit party supporter, followed by another apparently anti-foreigner (and racist) tweeter. (Are they taking the mickey?)

But I see enough in Bob’s tweets to realize that there is actually something there to work with. (I can’t rule out that he is only pretending to be pro-Brexit.)

So many Brits have been brainwashed into thinking that if they withdraw from football, it means they’ve won the game instead of being out of it.

One Brexit Party MEP very recently made clear that she still has no idea what Brexit actually is, the MEP regretting that the UK will no longer be represented in the EU.

And then there is pro-Brexit Grimsby, which is seeking an exemption to allow the town to stay in the EU, essentially.

They all seem to have the idea that Brexit means something like “telling the EU what’s what and showing them who’s boss” by deciding to retreat to the benches but at the same time, expecting to continue to be part of the game.

No, you’re out. You wanted out, so now you’re out. You’ve benched yourself permanently.

And a fourth… At least this one feels EU citizens deserve support, in spite of the fact that he or she seems to be a big Boris fan.

I am living in a repeat of 1930s Germany

(5 September 2019)

The UK government abuses millions and millions of the British, including many children, because it considers them lesser humans and several of its Conservative Party’s politicians have said that those people should not be allowed to reproduce.

(At least one of them participated in a “secret” old-style eugenics conference and it wasn’t for investigative reasons.)

The UK government targets people who are chronically ill and/or disabled, causing many of them to die.

It inflicted austerity on them and made many “mistakes” and broke the law repeatedly, errors that people needed to take the UK government to court over and then have to wait years and years to see remedied so that many more people pass away in the meantime.

But it has hundreds of billions available for the internal power grab it calls Brexit. (Brexit is about power within the UK. Internationally, Brexit will park Britain on a side track, like an old locomotive that is no longer able to keep up.)

The UK government refuses to let child refugees rejoin their families, turning back on earlier promises. Many of those unaccompanied children will end up in slavery, child porn and snuff films, but the UK government will claim that it could never have seen that coming and that it is, therefore, mean to accuse it of heartlessness.

The UK government refuses to give migrants proof of status so that it can claim “we have no record of you” whenever it suits the government and deport people at will and stop them at the border if they want to return home from a trip abroad.

British citizens risk up to five years in prison if they rent to or hire a foreigner who has no formal residential status in the UK. Opening a bank account also requires proof of residential status, I think. I do think the government is willing to offer an online database where people can check a migrant’s status. Oops. “No record of you.” I am not even suggesting that this always has to be deliberate. The British are not necessarily the world’s best record-keepers.

Just typing this is likely to guarantee that I will not be let back into the country. Already on my two previous returns, UK customs had some kind of problem with me after all. But someone has to say it. The UK government wants people who live in the UK to be meek, obedient and uneducated and be able to feed them tons of bullshit (which they will sadly gobble up like candy) to increase the chance that the government will be able to do whatever it wants and get away with it.

Even Brexit Party MPs and MEPs are currently astonished to find out what exactly they have been pushing for. Some of the Leave voters are now seeking exemptions. The UK government fed them bullshit and they eagerly ate it, no questions asked.

Last year, a local guy asked me how I felt about Brexit – I said I had no opinion on it as I can’t vote on it anyway –  and he said to me that in his opinion Boris Johnson had done more for the country than anyone else. He called me “blinkered” when I didn’t agree with his view that my own country is no longer a sovereign state. My egalitarian and prosperous country is in favour of cooperation, prefers to work together with other countries, instead of working against each other. My country chooses to have a voice. The UK voted to have no voice and to withdraw to the sidelines. You’d think that the people in a nation this fond of football would have been able to realise that when a player does not want to participate, he’s out of the game.

The UK government wants to turn back British worker rights. It wants to do away with those pesky human rights that the world came up in response to the atrocities that happened in the WWII period.

We currently collectively seem to be forgetting that the UK government also already has been arresting foreigners at will and can detain them indefinitely, while they lose their jobs and homes, and sometimes also their driving license and passport. These people are sometimes or maybe often simply released again after a while, but now they find themselves without a home and without a job.

But abroad, most people still do not want to believe any of this either. Most have this image of the British as very proper and friendly people, kinda sweet and adorable people, really. Surely the British government, too, consists of very reasonable people, people who will always do the right thing?

Think again.

Nuclear weapons are not the world’s most powerful weapons. The most powerful weapon is to plunge people into excessive poverty. It completely knocks them out but it also weeds out the physically weakest and allows you to keep the surviving ones as moneymakers. Little worker bees who will always do as told because they are not in a position to say no, for various reasons.

The difference with 1930s Germany is that the UK will not be invading other countries next.

So who on earth will benefit? People like Arron Banks whose mining group wants to open more coal mines in the UK, open-pit mines as well as sub-surfaces mines. Some of his wealthy friends will benefit too, along with bankers who don’t want the EU to curb their bonuses. And a few Russian folks, for some reason.

 

And this is what Boris Johnson had to say about poverty today, apparently

The brain and your parents’ income

Some of you may remember that I talked about the need for poverty therapy a while ago. I come from a prosperous egalitarian country and moving to a country with as much inequality and extensive deep poverty as the UK was a shock for me.

And I have learned to see that my background makes a big difference.

Here is more on that.

Oops. Does this also explain why people in southern England seem relatively, well, underdeveloped? Is it the stiff upper lip and the reticence in engaging in conversations, also with strangers, that is tripping them up instead of making them look more sophisticated or whatever it is they think it does for them? Hmm.

Okay, if this study pans out then this would give the UK’s poorest a reason to sue the UK government for the effect of austerity on their children. Isn’t that something?

Abusive behaviours in the UK

I just read that top jazz saxophonist Soweto Kinch was stopped from taking his seat in first class on a train in spite of his ticket. He’s filed a formal complaint. He’s remarkably cool about it.

(He was talking about it on Twitter, I saw, but he’s off to Barbados now, to play. He’s British, by the way, so he does not have to worry about not being allowed back into the country like the rest of us so he has that going for him, thankfully.)

It hammered home a harsh truth for me.

I should have filed a formal complaint every time I ran into abusive shit in the UK, also when it was done anonymously. Thing is, initially, I was so utterly stunned, stood with my mouth wide open, jaw on my shoes every time because I had never ever experienced the kind of abuse I later got used to, in the UK.

And then I got used to it. I am migrant. I learned to expect it. It became normal.

I’d have been really busy writing letters, though, if I had filed a complaint every time. It is not always deliberate abuse. Sometimes, it is plain sloppiness. The result of people not giving a shit.

Still, looking back, I can’t believe that I learned to take so much shit.

This is such an abusive society. But I am not allowed to say it out loud, am I?

And only a few months ago, this happened to him. Watch the video. Turns out that another customer saw it and posted about it on TripAdvisor without having a clue even that it was Soweto Kinch. (One can ask why she didn’t speak up at the time.)

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Does Julia Roberts know that her face is being used to promote blatant racism?