Friday Links: A cabinet of dunces and the morally ambiguous

Happy Friday! Well folks, it’s happened, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is Prime Minister and has appointed a cabinet. God help the country. And a good time to remind you of this.

Here are this week’s links…

John Marsden on the ‘toxic’ parenting pandemic: ‘I’ve never seen this level of anxiety’ It’s interesting, we develop resilience through failure and coping when things go horribly wrong. We learn that we can cope, we can try again and we can move forward. If we never have the opportunity to learn that in small ways, we’ll have no ability to cope with the big stuff. When I was a kid and I told my mum I was worried about something, for all her ‘Cruella DeVille’ tendencies, Ma didn’t ever tell me she would make it all better, because sometimes it wouldn’t. She would listen, she would offer strategies, she would help if necessary by talking to teachers etc but most of all she let me know that it was ok to feel like I felt but that she was confident in my ability to cope with it. Obviously there were times when her job was to go to the school and sort it out but I recall it happening a couple of times generally when there was bullying, I didn’t consider myself a bullied child, I didn’t care enough about what others thought, so if there were whispers and being called posh (we weren’t) then that didn’t worry me, I had books and the library. However, there were two physical incidents, when I was 11 I got hit around the head for refusing to move out of someone’s way so they could do something horrible to them, it was brave I just didn’t think it was on (and actually I didn’t tell Ma about that, someone else did) and when I was 14 or so, a boy punched me when he called me names and I retorted and other people laughed at him(I am my mother’s daughter after all!) what I actually remember about that was thinking that he’d learned that from his dad. Anyway there was blood on my uniform and I couldn’t wear my uniform jumper the next day so I didn’t and there was a strongly worded note to my form tutor and a call. He got suspended. After the call. This is a massive digression, basically the job of a parent is to make themselves redundant, which Ma did because I can cope with most things.

What Happens When Queer Eye’s Experts Get Personal. Unexpectedly, I really like Queer Eye, I don’t like reality TV generally but when I was ill over Christmas, I really enjoyed it. I just like them because yeah they are completely over the top, but they are often right and they are really nice about it. I’m less enthralled by the cooking section because my experience of being in a pit is that what you need isn’t one dish, it’s a couple of foundational recipes and/or techniques that you can use for lots of things (and wow I didn’t realise I’d thought about it that hard!). I read something else recently about the joy of it being in seeing men do the emotional work that women often do and how refreshing it was to see men who touch one another which is also one of those things that I didn’t think about until I did. I really enjoy their kindness, to others and themselves, even though they have reasons not to be kind…

They Tried to Start a Church Without God. For a While, It Worked. Having belonged to Church and secular communities, what strikes me here as the thing that Sunday Assembly needs is purpose. It could be helping others, it could be evangelical atheism but you need a reason to belong. For me God was never the issue and the reason I have been more removed from Grace is that I don’t feel a part of its purpose all that much anymore (fresh expressions) because I found Mass meaningful and that wasn’t why I moved to Grace. The other piece of that was wanting to explore faith and I’ve found that difficult with other members of Grace because of the pressure of services and the real difference from where my faith journey started and my attitude. The secular community I feel like a member of is at the allotments and there the purpose is about our plots and loving and preserving the space for the gardeners of the future. At some point if you don’t/can’t see the point of the purpose, you leave!

Labour still doesn’t take the threat of Boris Johnson seriously. Labour doesn’t seem to take anything outside of the Labour Party seriously. Expelling Alistair Campbell but having to be harried into not reinstated Chris Williamson. I supported Jeremy Corbyn and I feel sure that he’s a decent guy but he’s useless as a leader and I do feel that he needs to get it together or leave it to someone who can do it because even given the disadvantage of a right wing media, he’s doing poorly…

Mystery of Chedworth’s 1,800-year-old Roman glass shard solved

The English Job by Jack Straw review – portrait of Iran’s fixation with Britain. I don’t know nearly enough about Iran but I do know that they have a vision of the UK as strong and meddling and as a world superpower that isn’t shared by anyone else except Boris and Brexiteers.

Boris Johnson, the prime minister? I’m sorry to say that I’m partly to blame. Well I’m not, I’ve been saying the man was a ignorant clown since he ran for mayor. I was ashamed then and I’m ashamed now and I didn’t do it.

Boris Johnson Has Prepared His Entire Life for This. Is He Ready?. Yes he’s ready to be Prime Minister. The real question is will he put in the work required to do the job well and perhaps be unpopular in the process. Empirical knowledge teaches us that he is not.

About nicdempsey

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