When I read this article, I had to go back and read it again – ‘Invisible Manipulators of Your Mind’ when read properly shows that both government and big business are out to control us – does this not reflect back to ‘1984’ by George Orwell
“…“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
― George Orwell,
Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky have thoroughly detailed how to go about controlling people through ‘hudges’ and not surprisingly the big names in the digital world have listened, understood and applied it ( Jeff Bezos (the founder of Amazon), Larry Page (Google), Sergey Brin (Google), Nathan Myhrvold (Microsoft), Sean Parker (Facebook), Elon Musk (SpaceX, Tesla), Evan Williams (Twitter), and Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia).)
But it doesn’t stop there, there is every indication that President Trump’s election team have also applied the theory to his electioneering mechanism – and it seems to have worked!
We in the UK have also seen some of the applications with the ‘Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data breach which occurred in early 2018 when millions of Facebook users’ personal data was harvested without consent by Cambridge Analytica to be predominantly used for political advertising’ (Wikipedia).
Is it not time that the human race realised what is happening and took a stand and stopped the erosion of human rights, our rights, and make an effort to clean up politics and business?
Today I was in the ‘Self Help Africa’ bookshop in Botanic Avenue, when I came across two postcards which reflected the development of women in politics.
The first postcard Shows ‘Miss Kelly’ a champion Votes for Women seller’, on what was her pitch in Charing Cross.
This refers to the period when women were fighting for the right to have a vote during elections; suffragettes were members of a militant women’s organisation who in the early 20th century, under the banner “Votes for Women”.
The term referred in particular to members of the British Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), a women-only movement founded in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst, which engaged in direct action and civil disobedience.
My second find was a postcard showing a group of ladies who were part of the Irish Women Workers’ Union (1911-1984). The Irish Women Workers’ Union was founded at a public meeting held on September 5th 1911 in the old Antient Concert Hall on Great Brunswick (later the Academy cinema on what is now called Pearse Street ).
The IWWU at it’s peak represented 70,000 women including, bookbinders, contract cleaners, laundry, print and electronic workers. They were instrumental in obtaining the right for two weeks annual paid leave for all Irish workers in 1945, something which no organised male worker had previously demanded.
What peaked my interest was the situation of two completely different countries, having spawned women’s movements because women had little or no rights, and were considered to be inferior:
‘Masculine prejudice is the major target: man’s opinion of the fair sex is due to nothing more than mere custom, and the male chauvinist viewpoint (to use a modern term) has neither a logical nor a scientific leg to stand on ‘
Today we still have problems accepting women in positions of power and also in politics; in the last few years we have seen the rise of ‘Times UP’, in 2017 a group of women published a letter which said in part:-
“The struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces must end; time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly”…
Just as we have seen and continue to see the fight for LGBTQ rights throughout the world; something which the British Government has in past created the problem through it’s empire days, and even today it continues to on one hand says it is supportive, but on the other pays lip service to it when economics comes into pay (e.g. Middle Est, African Continent etc).
We have a long way to go in this world until we have equality for all, not matter what the gender, or where they live!
Goodbye Dearest Heart – this short book is ‘almost’ a reflection of Joseph McKelvey’s life. Bright interludes, with lots of dark, misty areas of speculation. This is not a reflection on the author, but more to do with the period and the fact that so many people could not read or write, records were often lost (or more frequently destroyed in fires and military actions).
The period from 17 November 1922 to 22 January 1923 saw (between 77-81) people executed, however a considerable number of others were sentenced to death by military tribunals to act as a deterrent to those
Joseph was an intelligent man who was fortunate to have two parents who both worked and whose work required an element of education; his father was a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary and would achieve the rank of sergeant, his mother (Rose O’Neill) was a Post Office employee. Joseph studied to be an accountant, gaining part of his qualifications for this profession.
Joseph’s involvement in the Irish War of Independence (1919-1928) is detailed in this book (Goodbye Dearest Heart), and in websites listed at the end of this review, and whilst the journey to being a follower to being a leader is detailed, for me the area I wished we had more detail on is that of his repudiation of the Treaty and his support for the anti-treaty in March 1922.
Almost 6 months to the day of his capture, to be precise 8 December 1922, Joseph with Rory O’Connor, Liam Mellows and Richard Barrett were executed by an Irish firing squad in Mountjoy Prison. Before his execution he wrote a short, but poignant letter to his mother (hence ‘Goodbye Dearest Heart). It is a clear legible hand, but refers little about his past, and reflects his love and worries about the family. What is also doubly sad is that both the father, Patrick McKelvey, and son Joe McKelvey were laid to rest in Belfast MilltownCemetery, one a British soldier and one as a member of the IRA – 30 graves apart.
Patrick McKelvey, whilst having been in the IPF, was during the war posted to the Northumberland Fusiliers having enlisted in the special reserves of the British Army. And during 1917 he enlisted in the Special Reserve of the British Army. His headstone thus being that of a British soldier. Joe was buried in Milltown Cemetery with a funeral oration given by anti-treaty republican Sean Lemass, who was to become the Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) at a later date.
As I have said earlier, Goodbye Dearest Heart, is a short booklet. It was for me a way into an era on which I know little, and will undoubtedly lead me to research and read more on this period of Irish history.
Having just written a review of The Silver Sword, which is a children’s book about running from oppressors, and having to live rough and then finally finding a home and reconnecting with parents, I was again drawn to think about homelessness; in particular how today, to be precise at 8 AM this morning as I walking to work I saw three different homeless humps in doorways in the middle of my
I know that this is not unique, indeed the incidence of rough sleepers (and within that group homelessness) has increased exponentially since the current government’s austerity policies which have impacted on everyone both directly and indirectly
This was again brought home when I read two separate articles on the BBC News site:
Both articles reflect on the society they are written about In Japan people of pensionable age are taking to crime so that they have somewhere warm and free to live. Having achieved pension age, they are finding that their pension is
Whilst in ‘Finland’s capital Helsinki rough sleeping has been almost eradicated.’ due to radically thinking outside the box to provide homes, to make people feel worthwhile and whilst they are in a home helping them to come to terms with who they
The Finnish policy is being adapted by various areas of the UK, but it cannot in itself succeed unless proper funding is put in place from the national purse. And this funding needs to be sustained, just as our Health Service needs proper funding (and not the various lip service pieces which government have said about extra funding when it is not).
I don’t know the answers, I just know that as a society and as individuals we need to do more, not just walk past these human being, for they are human beings, and deserve support and recognition as.
Just short of two years I attended a number of events in Belfast Pride, the 2017 edition. There had been a raft of things to do, and that was by the end of the fourth day since its launch. Like I think most people in the community, I had picked and chosen what I wanted to see; I went along to The ‘Law’ event not realising I needed a ticket (my fault), then I took myself to watch Marquee which was on at the Queen’s Film Theatre (even though I knew it was also being shown on BBC4 on Monday night), and the day before I went along to see the ‘Visage’ exhibition of photographs of six of Belfast’s most formidable ‘Drag’ Queens (Visions of Loveliness), which was being held at the
Artcetera Studio in Rosemary Street, Belfast. This comprised of a series of portrait photographs with each of studies being depicted in both their male and drag identities, which resulted in 6 A1 sized hung photographs and then each photograph has been broken down into stip fitted onto a
Within the Visions of Loveliness exhibition, each photograph was coloured in the 6 primary colours of the ‘rainbow flag’:-
I really enjoyed this exhibition, but what would have possibly made it more interesting is possibly some audio interviews with each of the 6, or even if possible some video interview tapes – possibly generated pre-Pride from questions gathered within the community.
To this also a calendar maybe showing their forthcoming shows for the next 3-6 months would also have been a welcome addition.
This is an area which needs to be documented and explored more, to enable more understanding and acceptance and to move away from the judgemental.
The ‘butterflies’ above refers to the fact that on his travels around the British and Belgian colonial empires, and his sojourn in parts of Latin America investigating the brutalities of various rubber companies, Casement collected local lepidoptera (butterflies) for the Natural History Museum. This is a London-based institution, he may have felt it another part of his imperial duty to do such. The London University School of Slavonic and East European and the School of African and Oriental Studies were both a focussing of relatively disorganised studies in wartime, for wartime. The persons who ran The Empire were, as Pádraig Pearse put it, strong and wise and wary. There was nothing about their ill-gotten booty they weren’t interested in – and hanging onto, thus the centralising of knowledge about the east European and Slav world, as well as The Empire.
The ‘bones’ refers to a number of things, including Casement’s own bones. An introductory voiceover (repeated twice during the performance), quotes notes made by a bureaucrat in the course of Casement’s remains being disinterred to be repatriated to Ireland fifty years after his execution. The anonymous, disinterested, civil servant notes that, despite being told by (Pentonville) Prison personnel that the use of quicklime had been abandoned some year’s prior to Casement’s execution, there was a layer of the substance in the grave. It had been poured over the body, which was in a winding sheet, and had destroyed the flesh, and, half a century on, most of Casement’s bones.
Dance is not a medium designed to convey specific messages – there are times in this show when it is difficult to work out where in Casement’s career we are. There are no obvious references to his long sojourn as a minor imperial Consular bureaucrat. There are to his encounter with King (’of the Belgians’) Leopold – pictured as an un-regal, almost gangsterish figure. (He spent most of his life in a Paris hotel, living with his ‘mistress’, his devout Spanish wife lied with their children in the draughty Laeken Palace in Brussels.
This ‘show’ is well worth seeing, despite some obvious problems – most dancers have fine ‘toned’ bodies – most monarchs and bureaucrats don’t. There are moments when the cast appear in ensemble, at one or two points not overdressed, when most of the audience’s attention inevitably wanders away from the grisly climax of this story.
Which is, of course, Casement’s brutal execution.
This Project is one of the better – and unusual – products of the centenary commemorations of 1916.
This show was part of Belfast International Arts Festival 2016. In 1916, British peer Roger Casement was hanged in Pentonville Prison and was shown in The MAC, Belfast on 13 October 2016
This article was originally published in iPOLITICS in May 2017. I have kept it hovering around until I had time to read it properly, and then found that elements of it are equally applicable to LGBT journalism and activism. He was and is a composite journalist, indeed communicator, but he felt that the system of ‘carding’ as it is called in Canada, and what is called ‘Stop and Search’ in the UK, was intrusive and morally wrong. He felt that having been stopped 50+ times, and the only apparent reason seemed to be because he was ‘black’, something had to be done!
In the UK ‘Stop and Search’ has been used by police forces throughout the UK as a means of ‘curtailing and controlling’ undesirables. However, the statistics would indicate that profiling is going on, and that particular targetted groups are being harassed e.g. blacks, Muslims, LGBT individuals and groups (Black and minority ethnic groups increasingly more likely to be stopped and searched by police).
To go further, taken in conjunction with the continued encroachment of our civil liberties by government bodies who use the over-riding phrase ‘ we are protecting society by delving into your emails, phone calls, indeed anything we deem necessary, the phrase ‘ Big Brother’ is real and all encompassing; 1984 and the politics and control written about by George Orwell is effectively here.
One of the proudest moments in the history of journalism came in 1898 when the French writer Émile Zola wrote his famous letter to the president of France, headlined ‘J’Accuse’.
Britain refers to just two parts of the United Kingdom, and only one of the two parts quoted in this article. However that should not detract from the figures and the relevance it has to the future of the United Kingdom. Brexit is here, the ink of the letter is dry, and now they just have to sort out the nitty gritty and we will know what impact it will have on the country. But again it will take a fair number of years before we manage to rise up from the ashes like a phoenix, and we won’t don it with ‘education shortfalls’!
For my part I am worried about the youth of today, and those following; they have to pick up the pieces and also try to extract the country from what will be in all probability a quagmire of bureaucracy and debt, and to do this they will need education. By this I do not mean this elitist ‘grammar’ school idea of our current Prime Minister (hopefully not for too much longer), but one that has the resources across the board in terms of financial, teachers, building etc – one that can deliver a revitalised, energised group of people who will know what to do and how they can manage a country that is demoralised and fighting against each other.
This report shows that currently that is not likely to happen. I was lucky during my life to be able to achieve the educational levels I set out for, not without hard work and money (which I provided), but also with the support of parents and friends, and on occasion even employers. I can only hope that we have employers left after Brexit!
BRITAIN is facing a chronic skills shortage as the country’s teens languish among the worst in the western World at reading and maths. A devastating new report last night claimed England and Northe…
So George Osborne is to become the Editor (for two days a month at a unknown salary, which I am sure is not a pittance)which if this was his only role would not raise an eyebrow from anyone; however he is a sitting MP with responsibilities to his constituents (especially in these dire times with Brexit on the horizon – we are just waiting for the ‘HARD’ date), so is there a conflict of interest?
According to Sky News he has currently six (yes 6) jobs running simultaneously:
Now we all think good on him for making a success of his life and looking after his family; but, and it is a big BUT, the Business Dictionary defines a conflict of interest as being:
It would clear to me, and to a good many others from the outcry that has arisen, that being an editor of a ‘Conservative’ ideological paper which clearly shows its stance as being in total support of Conservative doctrine, means that in all honesty he cannot be an editor who can give an unbiased editorial-ship to this paper. Never mind that as someone who has edited a paper and a magazine, I can tell you it is time consuming and tiring. I did it whilst doing my full-time job as an internal auditor and subsequent as a full-time student. I found it difficult doing two roles, and yet he is doing six – he clearly is superman!
It surely must now be up to his constituents to review his seat and decide whether he can and is fulfilling his MP duties fully, and they decide that he is isn’t give him guidance as to their needs, and if necessary request he stand down or give up these other roles which may be causing a distraction.