Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ask the Mayor


The ground-breaking Yoosk.com website is offering you the chance to quiz all the London Mayor candidates about their plans for the city.

Ask any question you wish during the debate; or comment or vote on questions already asked.

So far Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson, Brian Paddick, Sîan Berry and Lindsey German have agreed to take part.

Green Candidate Sîan Berry said of her involvement: "YOOSK is perfect for people who want to cut through the spin and get right to what candidates really think. It's the natural home for the thinking voter, and I'm really excited to be involved."

Head over to the debate to see more.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Peoples of the Abyss


The Peoples of the Abyss

A new summary, part of the current book project.

A long-haired man drinks, turning the glass over and over, examining its depths, thinking of his dead father. The TV rattles on from below, an occasional cackle, throaty and dry, rising from his elderly mother’s throat.

The smiling figure bounces his son on his knee. His wife is calling him. It will be time to pray soon. He does so five times each day: once before dawn, through the hours of work, silently murmuring the names of God in this land of the kufr, whispering his devotion to the Prophet.

In a freezing Tube station, a hand shakes. The nicotine is still visible. He grips his fellow tramp, ignoring the commuters, pushing the needle slowly towards his neck, speedballing the memories away.

She climbs unsteadily from the window, gripping the sill, then the drainpipe, hijab fluttering, the thick feel of the gun pressed to her smooth skin, then slipping.

The Flour Man wipes a tear of memory, crowds parting in fear as he heads towards the mosque, walking past buildings which still bear his dark legacy.

She laughs freely, her Sephardic beauty and carefree manners causing heads to turn. Innocent. Her eyes light up, like a child’s and she starts forward. “Will you do heroin with me?” she rushes.

*
pic Simon Wheatley of Magnum Photos

Monday, March 03, 2008

Welome The Stranger


Those with a stake or interest in the London elections on 1st May, might be interested to know that today marks the launch of the 'Welcome the Stranger You Once Were' campaign. This is being organised by the anti-racist organisation Searchlight, in co-ordination with a number of trade unions, politicians, community and faith groups and is kicked off today in Brick Lane.

The 'Welcome the Stranger...' campaign is part of a wider thrust linked to the forthcoming elections and warns against the rise of the far-right British National Party (BNP), particularly in areas of east London. 'Welcome the Stranger..' highlights the positive stories and contributions of all sorts of immigrants to London's heritage: nine immigrant Londoners, from Scots to Nigerians, speak out through the Hope Not Hate campaign, which last year toured the country supported by the Daily Mirror and backed by leading MPs, sports stars, celebs, churches, mosques and the main unions.

Hope Not Hate website