The Monarchy: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

“And look, to go by recent polls, Australia, like the UK, seems unlikely to let go of the monarchy anytime soon. But other Commonwealth countries are already preparing to do so. Last year, Barbados removed the queen as head of state. Jamaica is looking to have a referendum to do the same within the next three years, with one poll showing a majority supports it. And Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Belize, seem to be moving in the same direction. And while the royal family have said that these countries are free to leave, if they so choose, they also refuse to reckon with why they might want to do that in the first place.
Instead, they’ve continued working hard to be perceived as a mere symbol while never taking responsibility for what that symbol excused. All while ignoring calls for true apologies and reparations to those who suffered tremendously because of what was done in their name. And look, you don’t have to hate the royal family personally … You don’t even have to think that the institution shouldn’t exist. But if it’s going to continue to, it is fair to expect significantly more from them. Because right now, far too often, they hide behind the convenient shield of politeness and manners which frequently demands the silence of anyone who might criticise them or what they stand for.
Will this segment even air on Sky TV in Britain? I honestly don’t know! Maybe, maybe not. But if they do cut it out for being disrespectful, they won’t want to seriously think about why. Why they and everyone else are working so hard not to offend a family whose name was branded into people’s skin and who sit atop a pile of stolen wealth, wearing crowns adorned with other countries treasures.”
John Oliver

How is he the victim?

“How is he the victim in this scenario? This is a pregnant woman who had to arrange new levels of protection because of the amount of racist abuse she was receiving, which escalated when she announced that she was pregnant. She’s always had racist abuse, but when she announced her pregnancy it multiplied because there is so much toxic racism in our society. … That’s not Danny Baker’s fault but what is Danny Baker’s fault is that he did something which was so offensive that when I first saw it I actually thought it was a prank. I just thought nobody, nobody who the BBC gives a platform [sic] could be stupid enough to say this and not intend it to be racist. Because it is one of [sic] and we could talk about unintended racism or micro-aggression, this is none of those. This is the most blatant, clear cut example of racism. It is a [sic] Generations of people have recognised this as an overtly racist trope. Within people’s lifetimes, black people still being compared to monkeys and dehumanised regularly. … So, I’m not interested in him. I’m not interested in him or what happens to him. By the way, he’s already done a show which was more successful than his previous shows since he’s been sacked. So, if you are worried about his career then I suspect there is no reason to. I am not interested in him, I’m worried about the millions of black people who regularly live with this kind of abuse and then have to be in spaces like this where everybody denies it’s a problem. That is something that I could not feel more strongly about and I’m living it right now in this conversation. It’s not good enough.”
Afua Hirsch

Danny Baker, a mulit-award winning broadcaster, has recently been fired from the BBC after seemingly comparing Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor to a monkey.

Sale of the century: the privatisation scam

“But the gap where the economic rationale for privatising council houses should be becomes a window through which it becomes possible to see beyond the individual privatisations to the meta-privatisation, and its one indisputable success: that it put more money into the hands of a small number of the very wealthiest people, at the expense of the elderly, the sick, the jobless and the working poor.” In an article that should be regarded as compulsory reading for citizens everywhere, James Meek looks back at 35 years of privatising UK industries.
www.theguardian.com

The Piketty Panic

“But how do you make that defense if the rich derive much of their income not from the work they do but from the assets they own? And what if great wealth comes increasingly not from enterprise but from inheritance?” After reviewing Capital in the Twenty-First Century by french professor Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman reflects on why this particular book is reshaping the debate on wealth and inequality.
www.nytimes.com