Seeking an End to the Anti-Semitism Crisis

Yep, recently heard “the Jewish lobby control the media …” so a reminder of the IHRA code on anti-Semitism – including its second contemporary example –

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

– Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

The contention that the Jews seek to control the media is just one of those cited in “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion  which is a fabricated antisemitic text purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination. The hoax, which was shown to be plagiarized from several earlier sources, … was first published in Russia in 1903,”

One of the problems of picking up on examples of anti-Semitism and then trying to refute it, is that writing anything original requires some knowledge and expertise. So I will try to cite others.
For now, I will merely add that denying such “control” is not just an example of political correctness, that people get upset to hear anti-Semitism, especially when they hadn’t expected to have to refute it – startled even.

Meanwhile a new statement on tackling anti-Semitism within the Labour Party, which all 5 leadership candidates has already agreed to.
Disappointing that Richard Burgon and Dawn Butler, candidates for Deputy Leader, can’t support it. Or that Dianne Abbot should back them up (check).

Tests of Leadership

My tests of leadership are –
1. to make people “see the stars”; i.e. vision that compels;
2. relishing the opportunity to use the mass media to convert people to our cause;
3. demonstrating the ability to convert people through the media;
4. working out what the country needs, and putting meeting the need into a form that people can relate to; (unlike our list of 104 pledges);
5. Socialist, Internationalist and Green, cos it’s what we are; and no need to diss previous Labour governments, cos they all did loads;
6. Condemning of the use of barbarity in political dialogue and
7, an expectation of full compliance with action needed to rectify the loss of trust from Jewish people.

From the 1995 Oliver Stone film, Nixon: 
(Nixon wakes up in the middle of the night.)
Manolo (Nixon's Cuban butler, joins him and ) moves to a cabinet on the far side of the pantry.
Takes out a bottle of Chivas, puts ice into a tumbler.  
	NIXON   	Do you miss Cuba, Manolo?
	MANOLO  	Yes, Mr. President.
	NIXON   	We let you down, didn't we.  Your people.
	MANOLO  	That was Mr. Kennedy.
	NIXON   	You don't think he was a hero?
Manolo pours Nixon a drink.
	MANOLO 		(shrugs) 	He was a politician.
	NIXON 		(swallows the drink)
                	Did you cry when he died?
	MANOLO  	Yes.
	NIXON   	Why?
	MANOLO  	I don't know.  		(then)
	                He made me see the stars ...
	NIXON		(looks outside, to himself)
	                How did he do that?

The Leadership event didn’t really ask the questions that I think are pertinent.
The 40 seconds per answer format may be all you can do for a fair opportunity for everyone.
But it never felt like someone could find the space to impress. Save the final 2 minute statements, upon which Keir Starmer did the best and helping people “see the stars” (pt. 1).

Jess Phillips was combative on tackling anti-Semitism (pt. 7), but for Rebecca Long-Bailey to celebrate Ralph Miliband, but not Ed Miliband (former leader) or David Miliband (former Foreign Secretary) spoke volumes.

As for a Boris Johnson style oft repeated mantra, only Long-Bailey tried it and she went for “democratising the economy”. Nottingham was the home of the Institute for Workers Control, but it’s not a demand I heard anyone try to sell during the last election, not called for from the doorstep. The nature of work has changed, is less factory orientated, and the intellectual property more internationalised. Perhaps it can work in a legal office, but very challenging for the huge numbers of people employed caring for others in their homes. Difficult to see how the demand for this has been created (pt 4).

Greener offices

Design sustainability into a new building from the outset.
Use natural ventilation – the era of fan driven air conditioning should be over.
Use ground source heat pumping, using the piles as the way to reach into the ground.
Don’t build above 8 stories cos serving the upper floors and carrying the weight against wind chill is too much.
Deep buildings can only work with air and light shafts.

High level conclusions presented to Nottingham architects and City Council planners.
Julian Marsh and Brian Royal making the contentions.
Supporting speech from Alan Simpson and an introduction from me.
If the contentions area supported, we’ll look to see them in a supplementary planning policy.
But we will have to work on persuading the developers too.

Simplistic Maxims for Assessing New Buildings

I am at times in awe of what architecture can do. As for the shock, you will be dismayed as to my basic knowledge of architecture and the simplistic maxims I use for assessing a building.

1. The Julie Andrews Maxim. When Julie writes, she begins with A, B, C. When she sings, she begins with do, re, mi. When she builds, she begins with bottom, middle, top. But modern buildings so often don’t bother with a top.
2. The way in maxim. Obviously, you’ve got to have a way in. All buildings pass that test. But the sense of occasion when you arrive, well I’m not so sure.
3. The Curve Index. It’s ridiculous to contend that modern buildings shun curves. Every building has curves. They have still not devised a method for taking to waste from the toilet bowl to the exhaust pipes without using a curved pipe. So every building still scores at least 0.05% on the curve index. It’s just that where I live, curves are often used used to corner buildings and it looks nice.
4. The Flat Earth maxim. The earth is not flat, and the basic proof is the sun goes down at night. For sometime, we’ve had to cope with living when the sun goes down. So what does a building look like at night?

5. The Play School maxim. Even BBCtv children’s Play School had a choice of 3 windows. Walls can do more than create a boundary, hold up floors, a roof and some windows. Detail and Decoration. So much to play with, regarding materials. So why don’t they? And what happened to the golden ratio?
6. The Tax Offices maxim. Green architecture and Green building technology often brings interest. Take our 1990’s tax offices. I was pleased for myself and for passengers when we got rid of the bottles necks to the western approaches to Nottingham Midland station, but its upside was that when you were stuck outside the station, you can take in the beauty of the tax offices. Solar chimneys for staircases; glass panels for reflection.
7. There is no number 7.
8. The Fabric First maxim might also need re-numbering. Forthcoming briefings may well be exploring consideration of a building’s depth as to whether it can be green. And it would be quite nice to have an energy statement for a building at least alongside the submission of the plans or a proposal. So fabric third?

But as in thermodynamics, these things can all overlook the obvious. In thermodynamics, the incredibly challenging concept of entropy was defined in the second law, before physicist realised they’d forgotten the basics. That heat flows from a hotter body to a cooler body. The zeroth law.

For our zeroth maxim, we might be forgiven for only adopting it last Monday, but it is this. We have to be carbon neutral. Planning laws and frameworks might not back us up. But it’s the challenge we have set ourselves in Nottingham, and hopefully, you can help us work it out.

You might be shocked that in a discipline that takes you 7 years to be qualified, I have tried to reduce the subject to 8 lines to fit on the back of a pledge card, and 8 glib lines at that. But I’m very New Labour. And sometimes, perhaps, simple tests can help.

1917 (movie)

Go See.
Cos it compels and feels authentic and gives form to many types of jeopardy that messengers in the Great War British Army faced; unsignposted jeopardy around every corner.

Turns out the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry 6th (with my Dad’s Dad) might have been there or thereabouts for the attack portrayed; or could it ever have been there like that? Cos why did the messengers have to cross no mans land and German controlled areas to reach another part of the British Army?

Some of the twists are bit strange and bits of the dialogue ditto. But these criticisms are on the margins.
Wiki. Guardian.