Mike Leigh’s Peterloo is a barnstorming masterclass in social history that successfully conveys, with the director’s trademark gritty realism, the experiences of early 19th Century northern urbanites as they battled for their democratic rights in the face of Tory oppression.
Ruth Jarman, one of the people involved in the XR’s controversial train protest last October, says she has doubts about the effectiveness of the action but wouldn’t rule out doing something similar again.
Accusations that its messaging and tactics exclude working class and non-white people will have affected XR, which undoubtedly considers itself progressive.
As a passionate economic equality activist, I found myself unable to raise a glass in celebration of TV presenter Samira Ahmed’s successful equal pay claim against the BBC, a victory that will see her paid £3,000 per episode of Newswatch and that may win her nearly £700,000 in back pay.
“If we’re talking about land and wealth..they’re (the Royal Family) only the pinnacle of a massive, horrible iceberg.”
Some have held up the Tory Party’s anti-protest police and crime bill as evidence that threats to free speech come not from cancel culture and social conformism but from the jack-boot of an authoritarian state. The truth, of course, is that it’s equally threatened by both.
There is no doubt that racism and black disadvantage exist in the UK, but as the red mist has descended important nuances have been swept aside and the debate has become oversimplified, inflammatory and dishonest.
One of the biggest myths to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic is that Corona virus is a great leveller, a sickness that strikes all communities with equal venom irrespective of social standing or race.
Owen Jones, one of the Guardian’s most vocal political correctness advocates, has called for a crack down on free speech.