Author: Sam Ambreen

Still get id'd. A million ideas. Not enough energy.

5 DEMANDS


People have lost jobs, homes, incomes.

People are taking risks to provide for their families.

The government continues to give conflicting advice on who should and shouldn’t work.

If people die the government is to blame.

Mental, like me

It was unnerving to realise that I feel at home in these times of Corona because it’s pretty much how I’ve spent the majority of my life, under someone’s control, surviving from one day to the next. I have obsessive compulsive disorder or I did until I got a grip on it but it’s serving me well right now. Sure, my hands are a little bit cracked from all the washing but I learnt to counteract the negative effects with some mindfulness and self care. I remember to moisturise and I use mild handwash. I never forget to wash my hands if I’ve been outside or touch my dog and I rarely touch my face unless I’m settled for the night and there’s no chance I could touch something riddled with germs. This could very easily spin out of control but I’ve got to hand it to my first therapist, she really fixed me. Or rather, I did with her help, and my controls are working.

Isolation isn’t out of the norm for me. Surely the last wave of solitude was brought on by nazis and the state, if you can tell the difference, but it’s not the exception rather my default position. Like a mouse I scurried out at points in my life determined to get away from who I was but I always retreated to the safety of my biblical/Platonic cave. Perhaps this is why I don’t seem to have aged very much, I’m not doing and seeing all the things you’d need to for a lived in birthday suit.

As a small child I wasn’t permitted a life, I never had sleepovers or holidays with my pals (or even my family), the first time I left the country I was legally an adult and had run away from home. All the way through my schooling, I left the house at 8am and returned by 4pm at the latest, effectively under lockdown. After school clubs were out, but I pushed against this and became the captain for the quiz team and various sports and only barely managed to get permission after I made the teachers impress upon my father that it would look good on my long term record. Everything was a battle, I couldn’t even get my hair cut though I would later chop off an inch a week and wear it up so granddad wouldn’t notice, but he eventually did and I, predictably, got a beating. I had reasoned in the end I was going to get abuse whatever I did so would make it worth my while. This is how it mostly went until I ran away aged 15 and spent more time in isolation, off school at a critical time, my entire future hanging in the balance, travelling to and from Birmingham daily from London to do my GCSEs. I passed and even got 4 As though might have done a lot better if I’d had any stability. I survived then like I’m surviving now.

Weirdly it feels like the world is on my level for the first time in my life. People understand what it feels like to be so disconnected from everything and grieving for a future we can’t say for certain exists anymore. People are feeling the pain of separation, from their friends and way of life. The sheer mind-numbing drudgery of staring at the same 4 walls day in day out with no escape. Let there never be any judgment of people who are forced to claim disability benefits with the reasoning they CHOOSE to sit at home and do nothing all day. Would you choose this? Oddly I’m having a better time now than I was before Corona, there are people at home and everyone is free to talk, no excuses like work or extracurricular activities to fall back on. It’s brought me closer to my family; I can spend 5 hours just calling each relative in turn and hearing about how bored they are. It’s great.

I, like many of the nations cats and dogs, am grateful for the extra attention and the way it has stripped away the labels we apply to ourselves. Some people (the government) haven’t quite caught on to this yet but as Jeremy Corbyn pointed out the other day, they’ve already proved we have the money and will to make things better for all of us.

It was always doable and now we must insist it is moving forward. No one should be expected to carry on as normal with their financial obligations when their income has been cut off in the best interests of society. Society must step in. People literally cannot afford to sit at home and risk their homes and businesses and if the government doesn’t rescue every last one there should be hell. It is madness that rents and mortgages haven’t been suspended as other countries have done. I can’t blame people for taking the risk if it means they’ll be left homeless or hungry as a result if they do nothing. If more people die it will not be the fault of workers but the government who failed to provide adequate measures.

Social distancing for the socially inept

Being on week two of self isolation, without symptoms, I’m what you might call socially conscious. Sure, I have underlying health conditions so may be at higher risk but more than that I am truly afraid of passing something on that could prove fatal. I couldn’t live with myself if I knew a loved one or even a stranger with a compromised immune system met their fate because of an avoidable exchange with me. I suppose social isolation is second nature for some of us, we’ve had enough practice under the Tory’s hostile environment but then I also genuinely care about people; so there are lots of motivating factors ensuring I stay at home for the foreseeable.

The British public, however, aren’t like me and my friends. For years they have been told by the government and other proud Britons in print media and state broadcasting they don’t need to care about anyone else. They don’t have to care about Europeans, or Muslims, or refugees, or women of colour, or victims of child sexual assault perpetrated on by white predators. The great British public thronged beaches and public parks over the weekend, when people should have been in isolation, or at least keeping their distance, instead crammed together for maximum exposure.

For centuries they had believed their own hype but for the latter part of the last century they were considered somewhat of a joke on the world stage; no one likes British tourists or our sense of entitlement. Just a couple of days ago France requisitioned trucks carrying face masks bound for Britain. Decided, just like that, to hold on to them. It had also threatened to shut the border if Boris did not comply with their demands to take more stringent measures and Boris folded. Yay sovereignty.

If our premier is struggling to take this seriously and consider all the dangers, then what hope in hell do the general public have? The government, along with morning TV hosts like Lorraine Kelly and Piers Morgan have launched scathing attacks on the public for their selfishness, resorting to shock tactics like imagining the corpse of a loved one between yourself and the next person as a way of measuring social distance or shaming people for their panic buying, when self interest has been de rigeur since Thatcher and has even infected the socialist left with its centrist contingent ensuring we always get a right wing government whoever we vote for. You can’t encourage individualism then bash the British public when they don’t understand what it is to be socially conscious, they need to be taught by example.

We are headed towards unprecedented levels of suffering. In just a few days the death toll is going to sharply rise. The years of drip fed propaganda reassuring Britons they are a breed apart and impervious to the usual ills will be their downfall. Just like Brexit ensured we are vulnerable to the worst outcomes in this crisis, because we think we’re better than everyone else when the reality is we are isolated and unendearing, coronavirus will have found a happy home in a population ignorant to the needs of the whole.

When the father of your prime minister goes on record to say he, as a senior citizen at risk of contracting the virus, will still go to the pub if he ‘has’ to, against government advice, then similarly entitled solipsists will follow suit. Perhaps this will be our reckoning.

Socialism – by hook or crook

Dare I say it? In and among all the horrifying news reports, a trend is emerging that has me quietly delirious in my joy.. I’m not averse to the general mood, my body is marching on regardless of my attempts to soothe it in these trying times and voiding my bowels in a rather dramatic fashion on a daily basis where once it was a monthly ritual. It’s a flight or flight response I’m well accustomed to, never with this much frequency but I digress, let me bring your focus from my arsehole to the dicks up in parliament.

I admit I wasn’t so convinced Coronavirus was real, with all the fake news of the past few years, what’s another made up, racist at that, calamity when the government is in a spot of bother and needs to turn our attention away? However it would appear they really are caught up shit creek without a paddle and haven’t a clue how to manoeuvre themselves out of it, which would be absolutely terrifying were it not for the way society is moving on without them. The National Education Union wrote to the government to point out the inconsistencies in their policies regarding Covid-19 and advised the government schools be shut down but the government failed to respond so the NEU went ahead and released their advice to the general public. The next day the government released a statement echoing the NEU’s proposals, down to provision for the children of front-line staff. THAT’S anarcho-communism in action, folks! Fuck the government! Anarchy isn’t (just) smashing up buildings and flipping the establishment the bird, it’s people led power. Anarchy is a world without rulers not rules and communism makes it equitable for all. We all have the power to demand what is just and right, and we can make it happen, as the NEU demonstrated beautifully.

But that’s not all that has me buzzing with excitement, all across Europe financial institutions are having to roll back their demands, as though the decision were out of their hands entirely. The UK is a little behind with its opportunistic attempts to land people in even more debt through no fault of their own but I have a sneaky suspicion the people have hit their limit when it comes to capitalising on the suffering of others. This virus affects ALL of us. It isn’t something that only targets the poor, or women, or children, or the disabled, or the black, brown, or queer, this virus doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care if you’re a social justice warrior or an alt right incel, you can’t pit groups up against one another, we really are, for the first time ever all in it together.

This is mother nature/God/the cosmos inflicting socialism on the world. She’s ceasing the means of production and directing it towards hand sanitiser and ventilators for the masses! Ordinary people are stepping up, fetching their neighbours medicine and food, even the supermarkets are prioritising vulnerable groups. The government will be worn down on all of its inadequate planning because this is personal, for every last one of us. It has already made people desperate and irrational, this isn’t something the state can afford to take lightly. First they came for the toilet rolls, next thing they’ll be coming for the government.

Corbyn will step up, he already has.

My Corona

Struggling with the art of social distancing? Climbing the walls as you self quarantine? Spare a thought for those of us who’ve been in an almost constant state of isolation since the British government and policing authorities decided to ignore the laws of the land and let racists run riot. Most days I have only my dog for company, unless I pop down to the local shop for smokes, then I exchange a few sentences with the shopkeeper about the weather or the latest spate of racist attacks.

I won’t lie, I’m tickled by these shenanigans. The Chinese thought they’d fuck with Muslims and now the world is fucking with them for infecting us all with a virus that made the leap from animal to man, as though it were the first. People are shocked when you explain this isn’t the first time this has happened and in fact, this is what the British were best at, spreading disease as a form of biological warfare, upending entire civilisations in the quest for world domination. I guess the west judges others in the only way it can, via its own cultural lens and foreign policy exploits.

I have underlying health conditions, mostly a sort of hangover from the many years I spent hyper-vigilant and afraid. Eventually these stress inducing bastards take their toll on the body and it starts to malfunction. Added to this the fact I have been a smoker for over half of my life and I could be a candidate for respiratory distress. I’m not afraid however, death doesn’t scare me, if anything I’m curious about crossing over.. it has to be better than this ~gestures vaguely~ and as a millenial, I’m not the only one to have made their peace with it. My brother has been living almost exclusively on Chinese food for the past fortnight, taking advantage of people’s lazy racism for the speedy delivery times but also because he’s a good egg and wants to support the underdog. I fear for some of my elders but on the flipside they won’t have to live through the systematic dehumanisation of Muslims, or worse.

Part of me is convinced I already contracted Covid-19 a few weeks back when I was suddenly hit by the worst cold and flu symptoms. The cold got into my bones and I was shaking violently, in pain, so I wrapped myself up like a chimichanga and rode it out. Then followed explosive diarrhea. Every time I coughed I felt my skeleton judder, a dull throbbing pain from my head to my toes but after a few days I perked up. Boomers have not been so resilient though.

I know people are going to say I shouldn’t laugh at the misfortune of others, cos it could be me next blah blah but coronavirus seems an easier way to go than all the ways I have catastrophised over the past decade. Boomers thought they were so clever voting us out of the EU and electing the Tories but if I were a mystical sort I might feel like the universe or Allah was settling a few scores. Nadine Dorries is self isolating after testing positive, a bit of news that had me frankly guffawing into my lap, especially when her comings and goings in the week leading up to her diagnosis were shared. In fact more politicians are being infected than you would have by statistical chance. A higher power may well be at play here..

Y’all said Corbyn would wreck the economy, but which is worse, Corbyn or Coronavirus? The FTSE 100 fell by more than 10% in its worst single day since the 1987 crash. This is my life now, laughing at the proudly privileged in their darkest hours. However, I’m sure the economy will recover in record time what with all the panic buying. We’re all prepped and ready for the apocalypse and if it doesn’t happen then at least we’re all stocked up till the summer. Hand sanitiser is a bigger commodity than gold right now and as an avid dog walker and pooper scooper I am revelling in my sudden wealth.

Coming from a Muslim background we’re hot on hygiene too. Hand washing is second nature, as is butt washing and ensuring you’re pleasant to be around in crowd situations, so you’re not the focus during prayers. This could go some way to explain why African and some Asian nations have been slow to contract the virus compared to Europe. Perhaps France could take this moment to reflect on its face coverings ban, and question whether there is some logic to it after all.

This entire debacle has exposed the state for what it is, a blag we all buy into that dissipates rapidly under scrutiny. As the state forces through new laws to arrest people suspected of illness, Boris Johnson has implored tech bosses to join the fight against coronavirus, in a move that is surely a slap in the face to the many 1000s of victims of white supremacist forums, who’ve been denied justice with one excuse or another on how it is impossible, because of issues of impartiality or free speech or laws on taste and decency. It could have been as easy as they have just demonstrated, a digital Dunkirk, or Dresden in this case. I stand by my initial hypothesis, that tech bosses and white supremacist governments joined forces to curb the free speech of non whites and spread fascist propaganda and they’ve always had the power to make it stop but didn’t because they want dissenters dead, by any means necessary, whether a school shooting, or incitement to suicide, they were always all in it together.

Just like this here Coronavirus, a reminder from the cosmos, that we might put on airs and graces and feel entitled to more than our fair share on this planet earth but in the end we’re all just scared confused organisms, vulnerable to all the same ailments, sure to return to the earth.

Praise be.

This isn’t BoJo’s First Rodeo

The British media’s jubilation at the news Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds are expecting a baby is nothing less than nauseating for we masses and underclasses, as if we need another privileged brat distracting us from the life changing events put into play by their caregivers whilst they thrive, but this is by no means the most troubling aspect.

Whilst it is (to my knowledge) Symonds’ first effort, Boris has more children than anyone should ever have. A reputation as a cad and lady killer is a watered down affectation by the same media that ensured he was elected. I prefer to think of him as a domestic abuser and deadbeat dad. Wikipedia can’t say for certain if he has 5 or 6 kids which leads me to question whether there are more. Perhaps they’re waiting to see whether he will legitimise the 6th one before giving a definitive answer. And what of the ‘illegitimate’ ones?

My first thoughts, however, are for the newly pregnant Symonds and her unborn foetus. Given that it was not so long ago the police were called to reports of a domestic disturbance at the flat she shares with the prime minister, the announcement of her pregnancy is a cause for concern rather than celebration, or even derision. Whatever I might think of the Conservatives or the white supremacists leading them, or even the women who choose to put up with and uphold their shit, gendered violence against women is a collective struggle for all women.

Pregnancy is the most vulnerable time in a woman’s life, it doesn’t make us less capable but it can make us more dependent. Abusive men recognise this and escalate the power and control they already have over their partner. 8 or 9 domestic abuse cases out of 100 begin for the first time in pregnancy, when controlling partners take advantage of their victim’s increasing needs. They can threaten to take the new life away, because they were responsible for creating it in the first place. It is at this time that perhaps we get the most valuable insight into the mind of a domestic abuser, specifically male perpetrators, who hate women for their ability to create life, because it makes them feel inconsequential. Pregnancy brings with it a rush of hormones to encourage you to bond with your baby but also your partner. On the standard risk assessment for victims, the CAADA dash, being pregnant significantly increases the chances abuse will end in domestic homicide.

You need them even when they are harmful and this is why it is such a powerful tool for narcissists and misogynists. Do you know anyone who is more narcissistic or misogynistic than BoJo the horror show who cut funds for domestic abuse victims the first opportunity he got as London mayor? I don’t fancy BoJo Jr’s chances at having any sort of relationship with his old vater either, not if the past is anything to go by.

Serial womaniser + form for domestics + absentee father = trouble ahead.

How can they (the tories) condemn single mothers, children out of wedlock, deadbeat dads and domestic abusers in every other walk of life except for their leadership? In the aftermath of the ‘domestic’, supporters and friends of the couple went on record to chastise ‘nosy neighbours’ and ‘gossips’ and advised people mind their own business or else accept they will be driven out of their homes and forced to go on the run. This is what abusers do, pick fault with people who abhor violence and inflict violence on them too. Since the Tories came into power, the figure for domestic homicide has more than doubled, where there were once 2 murders a week there are now 5. This is the Tory party’s legacy. When you ignore abuse, when you enable abusers and cut off any means of escape, cutting more than 50% of domestic abuse services, as the Tories have done, women and children die.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the numbers increase the further right you go on the political spectrum. I would say this to the women standing by their fascist men, if you lay down with dogs you WILL get fleas.

Who will hold the British justice system and policing authorities to account?

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted yesterday of 3rd degree rape and a first degree criminal sexual assault in relation to one of his victims. On this side of the pond, a report into Westminster sex abuse cover ups published its findings that authorities failed to respond to claims of historical sex abuse because of a ‘deference towards people of public prominence’, confirming what we have long known to be a fact, that the law exists to punish the poor, and the establishment are beyond reproach. In both of these cases, there followed an addendum, that whilst this terrible human being/situation is too awful beyond words and culpable for some of their actions, they are not guilty of the most heinous charges, with Weinstein avoiding a conviction for the most serious count of predatory sexual assault and the Westminster report asserting that there was no evidence of an organised paedophile network in Westminster.

On both of these points, I call bullshit, but this is how the criminal justice system minimises even the most sadistic of white perpetrators of sex abuse, providing a comparison of how much worse it could have been. It subliminally downplays the severity of the abuse, for eg Stuart Hall the BBC radio DJ convicted of sex attacks against 13 victims was originally sentenced to just 15 months in prison because the judge claimed he had to take Savile’s legacy into account, that 13 victims was nowhere near as serious as 1300. The paltry sentence was appealed for being unduly lenient, and was doubled as a result, however he was released after serving only half of it, as is the norm for all perpetrators eligible for parole who are remanded for 5 years or less.

On the surface of it UK authorities appear to be doing their jobs, there isn’t a day that goes by without reports of more sex abusers being brought to justice and yet the uncomfortable reality of it is, that whilst the numbers reporting their assaults to the police have shot up, the prosecution and convictions rates have taken a nose dive. The CPS is the first gatekeeper to justice, they don’t want your unreliable account (owing to a mental health crisis as a result of, y’know, being violated) messing with their targets. They don’t care about the truth or your trauma, only optics and whether you will be a believable victim. If you’re a woman, you’re already at a disadvantage because women lie, according to the patriarchy. It leads to such wild claims as Reynhard Sinhaga being the most prolific sex attacker in the UK for abusing 200 or so men when people like Savile get rape jokes in their honour despite 1300 child victims (and anyone who objects is labelled a do gooder who can’t take a joke) and John Worboys is only serving time for the victims they did believe.

The criminal justice system has doubled down in its failure to protect the British public instead favouring the perpetrators, and closing ranks to protect its privilege. The following images illustrate this point perfectly.

There is one rule for the rich, another for the poor, and another still for ethnic minorities. On the day 17 convicts were deported to Jamaica on the grounds they had committed the most serious offences, including rape and sexual assault of a minor, Gary and Heather Talbot (from Newcastle) were sentenced for the rape of a toddler and further abuse when she was a teenager. Remarkably there is nowhere on earth we could deport these deplorable pieces of shit to, their white privilege enables them to commit the most vilest of crimes, the rape of defenceless babies, and retain their citizenship.

I have written many times about the injustice of a racist sexist Britain that repeatedly victimises its most vulnerable citizens whilst giving its most dangerous an alibi. The BBC, the houses of parliament, the endless struggles for power that we only ever seem to catch a glimpse of, with silly arguments over license fees and threats to destabilise one another seem borne out of a mutual agreement to protect the predators in their midst. This is about the dirt they have over one another. These folks all went to the same colleges and country clubs, they know exactly which of their old boys is engaging in whatever perversion, even if they don’t personally partake. Their privilege matters a great deal more to them than the innocence of a few chavs and that’s why they turned ‘a blind eye’ or ‘their backs’.

I wrote about Lord Steel in the context of an unjust criminal justice system a while back and yet, he has only just handed his resignation in. I guess he wanted to see whether or not they’d make the charges stick, and they did. Steel is the fall guy, taking the brunt of it so his privileged pals won’t have to. I imagine there’ll be a few ‘donations’ in appreciation, which should make up for the fact he no longer has access to the magic money tree the Lords have been taking advantage of.

When the abusers were men of colour, the authorities claimed cultural differences were a valid excuse for their inaction, because they did not want to be labelled racists, yet in my work as a domestic and sexual violence prevention officer, this was a shitty excuse meted out by racist or sexist shirkers who didn’t care about victims. It is the laziest excuse that is bought by the laziest of racists, who are often sex abusers themselves.

The authorities and establishment are banking on the lazy racism and indifference of the British public to the suffering of others to protect them from the true charges against them. It’s worked so far. But we have to remember, ignoring the problem only makes it worse and perhaps just once we could do something about it before it comes for us.