More than twenty years ago – in November 1998 according to data from the photo – this is a picture of an extraordinary group of young people I worked with in Newham. While I am mostly retired now I still do work with children from time to time.

This week the wife of the young man standing farthest left brought their two children to the ‘Making Worlds and Games’ course I am running at Redbridge Library. I expect to see Rizwan later in the week.

The Immortalists

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Immortalists follows the life path of four siblings from 1969 to the near present. Gifted or cursed with the foreknowledge of the dates of their deaths, their natures and choices and perhaps this knowledge move them forward towards their destiny. The book reflects engagingly on living and death and is in places quite profound.

It touches on the experience of being Jewish American and the experience of being a gay man and offers insights into those worlds that I do not know. Its journey through the past half century brought back echoes from my own journey. But beyond such particularities Chloe Benjamin gives us characters whose real feeling, failings, victories and defeats and lives resonate with our own humanness.

I would, of course, definitely recommend this as an engaging and reflective good read.





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Delusional, but amusing in its absurdity. Promising a ‘golden age’ is like promising to ‘Make Britain Great Again’ only without the connotation that under a Johnson reign Britain would only become as great as it ever was instead of becoming greater that it has ever been.

Instinctively, I suspect, feel, that underneath the arrogance, greed, gaucheness and stupidity of Donald Trump and Theresa May are buried vulnerabilities and remnants of conscience that make them hesitate at the brink of true evil whereas underneath Boris Johnson’s arrogance, greed, surface affability and wit it is arrogance all the way down to a bedrock of pristine amorality. He will not have a trace of sympathy for anyone and I instinctively have not the slightest sympathy for him.

Jon Lansman posts on Twitter that “People who support the campaign to deny or diminish the problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party need to read what this fellow supporter has to say about “Zionism” https://t.co/dpq83QNGc2”

First, it is wrong to describe challenging the narrative that there is widespread antisemitism within the Labour Party and that Chris Williamson has said anything antisemitic as a ‘campaign to deny or diminish the problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party’

Second it is grossly insulting and ludricous to describe the cretin who posted a Jew blaming, Holocaust denying, racist, anti-communist, anti-socialist far right piece of garbage as in any way a ‘fellow supporter’ of any Labour Party member.

The anonymous tweeter that Lansman cites accuses Jews of “lobby[ing] for mass immigration, miscegenation and cultural marxism in every country on earth.” How could anyone in their right mind make the equation that Lansman does?

Still, this is an example of what genuine antisemitism, racism and clear hate speech looks like. And this will grow while Lansman and his fellow travellers turn all their efforts to destroying Corbyn and his supporters.