Archive for May, 2011

May 25, 2011

Interview with Maeve Mckeown from the UCL Occupation: ‘We may have lost the battle (on tutition fees) but the war is far from over.’

Maeve McKeown is a PhD Political Theory student at UCL.  She took part in the UCL Occupation and all of the major student protests. Her blog applies political theory to the student movement and she is also a contributing editor at the New Left Project. Maeve took time out to talk to Selina Nwulu about who will be most affected by the rise in tuition fees and her involvement in the UCL Occupation.

What is the reality that students now face in light of the increase of tuition fees?

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May 25, 2011

“We are now addressed as consumers first and foremost, rather than producers, even if we are penniless. The illusion of choice must be maintained at all costs: even the Jobcentre calls its claimants “customers.”

-Ivor Southwood

May 24, 2011

May 24, 2011

Poem: Britain on Trial

Dear Great Britain
great land of democracy
God has saved your gracious queen
but let us take a fleeting glance
at all who remain unseen:

Those who lie on the edge of the flag
victorious red, white and blue
Britain, land of hope and glory
you belong to the very few

‘Fairness’ is today’s buzz word
so I will treat kind for kind
your time on trial will be brief, discrete
a few home truths- to ease my mind:

Britain, you widen the gap
between rich and poor
while tax-free aristocrats
cheat the system for more, and more

Yet it’s the welfare state
‘in need of desperate attention’
funny how you’re too busy
to give the tax evaders a mention

Older women disappear
from our TV screens
replaced by buxom girls with pearly whites
cleavage busting from the seams

Britain, you reduce the rest of us
to the fringes, to our whinges
shrinking our brains to fit
Daily Mail showbiz binges

Britain, you ignore the majority
you inflate our education
you’d rather focus on Will and Kate
To unify the nation

Yes Kate, the fair ‘commoner’
is now public property
her smile now frozen
with PR instructed deity

Her marriage with the media
will last till death do her part
she’s being wheeled out, exhibited
‘She’s got Diana’s heart’

Dear Britain, your MPs make cuts
on expense bought pedestals
they communicate in “rars” and “roars”
but treat us all like fools

Yellow politicians do nothing
but make up the numbers
blue winds blow hard
sending socialism to its slumber

Dear Britain, times get tougher
Yet you bring scapegoats to the slaughter
‘It’s me, it’s you,
the foreigner and his daughter’

The refugee searches for asylum,
a safe place without screams
the single mother on benefit
scrapes by, by any means

So old Blighty, forgive me
but adjourning this trial would be absurd
this ‘age of austerity’ has gone to your head
your moral standing has become blurred

Dear Blighty, your system is full of loopholes
we’re drowning in your debt
Britain, land of hope and glory
we’ve not seen true justice from you yet.

Selina Nwulu

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May 18, 2011

The politics of protest: The emergence of an ‘alternative’ breed of protester

26 March saw several thousands of people from all backgrounds protest on the streets of London. Organised by The Trades Union Congress (TUC), many came from near and far to voice their disdain over the government’s manhandling of UK public services.  With protesters ranging from students to pensioners, 26 March exhibited the kind of unity last seen in the anti-Iraq war march of 2003. People from all kinds of professional and political persuasions stood shoulder to shoulder to voice their anger and to, ‘March for the Alternative’.

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