Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam’s withdrawal of the Extradition Bill is a victory. And the protestors’ four other outstanding demands are entirely achievable within the framework of “One Country Two Systems” (OCTS) political agreement between Britain and China that governs Hong Kong.
Sue Caldwell (“Gender, Sport and Capitalism”, July/August SR) has helpfully drawn attention to discriminatory behaviour by the bureaucrats of international athletics, as well as questioning the fairness of some legal behaviours (such as the use of oxygen tents by athletes).
Martin Empson (“Are there too many people on the planet?” July/August SR) skewers the argument effectively that poor people are to blame for climate change. But avoids the more difficult question, “How many people can the planet sustain?” Our current 7 billion are consuming the planet’s resources faster than they can be replenished: “humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate” (Global Footprint Network, July 2019). That is natural resources that can regenerate.
I agree with Sabby Sagall’s sentiment that the “greater the confidence among workers, the greater the potential for unity against racism” (July/August SR). But his account of the highs and lows of London dockers is wrong in important respects.
As Fred Lindop has clearly shown (in a 2001 article), the main concern of those dockers who demonstrated their racist sentiments in April 1968 was over housing, not employment opportunities (the left has missed a trick in not organising more around housing).
Bethan Turner’s excellent article (“We don’t do well in times of reaction”, July/August SR) focused on the frightening increase in attacks on LGBTQ+ people and explained how LGBTQ+ rights are being cynically used, for instance by Trump, as a cover for state oppression of Muslims. Bethan ended her article with a call for “unity of the oppressed”.
In his review of Writing the Lives of the English Poor, 1750s-1830s (June SR) Martin Empson mentions the difficulties people face today in getting the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
I applied for PIP a while ago. They asked me to go along for an interview. When I got there they said, “If you can get yourself over here you don’t need it.”
So that was the end of that.
Ian Taylor seems to have reviewed a book that he wished someone had written about Germany (Reviews, May SR). Unfortunately I think he dismisses too lightly the book Oliver Nachtwey actually wrote.
To expect a book about the German economy in the present day to contain a critique of the German Revolution and the Nazi period is rather a stretch.
I very much welcomed Jan Nielsen’s review of The Yorkshire Ripper Files: A Very British Crime Story (May SR).
It is a powerful film and pulls no punches as to how prejudice and ineptitude of the police, politicians and the media of the day were fundamental to Peter Sutcliffe’s success in evading arrest for so long.
Jane Hardy’s opening article on equal pay (March SR) makes fascinating reading. The following points supplement her account.
The 1918 War Cabinet inquiry that Jane mentions includes Beatrice Webb’s devastating minority report, that still repays reading. She argued that “the popular formula of ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’…is so ambiguous and so easily evaded as not to constitute any principle”.