Umunna’s EU amendment. Nothing to do with his front-bench rejection, of course


The SKWAWKBOX

umunna qs.pngChuka Umunna’s grandstanding on his unwinnable EU amendment on Thursday was only ever going to serve the purposes of one person: Chuka Umunna.

But it was nothing new.

Just after the General Election, Umunna was telling LBC Radio that he was ready to serve on Labour’s front bench after he had already been informed that his services were not required – and making comments that many saw as attempting to undermine Labour’s success in increasing their vote share in both leave and remain areas by banging the drum for what appeared to be a dilution of Labour’s Brexit stance.

Proposing an amendment to the Queen’s Speech that demanded levels of detail on EU proposals that the Tories are clearly not competent to map out when their whole Queen’s Speech was devoid of substance was only ever going to force the Tories (and DUP) to stick together – and not one broke…

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In law, if May can’t pass #QueensSpeech, #Corbyn AUTOMATICALLY becomes PM


The SKWAWKBOX

no 10The Tories announced today that Theresa May’s ‘Queen’s Speech’ programme for government has been postponed from its expected date of 19 June – clearly because they have so far been unable to reach agreement with the Democratic Unionists (DUP), who are queasy about the prospect of going into an unpopular government against the clear wish of many British people.

Even the possibility of a Tory-DUP deal has raised tensions and fears in Northern Ireland, with experts asserting that the collaboration between the two parties puts the ‘Good Friday Agreement’ at serious risk, threatening the fragile peace process.

In spite of this, the Tories persist in pursuing such a deal for their own narrow gain,

They have attempted to justify this tactic by claiming it’s ‘for the good of the country’ and that Britain would be destabilised, with no clear path of transition to a Labour government when the parliamentary…

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Dropping the mic in his own time: as-salamu alaykum Yasiin Bey


Media Diversified

by Jamal Mehmood

black-on-both-sidesEarlier this year, the artist formerly known as Mos Def gave his farewell performances in London. Hiphop’s own whirling dervish, who dared to whirl and pray on a simply decorated stage, dropping rose petals on a floor already filled with balloons. This was the Yasiin show. There was no formal set list (as was the case at the homecoming farewell at the Apollo in December); the artist chose from a celebrated back catalogue, as well as remixes of his own work. It was refreshing to see in a world in which live shows have become more and more experimental and elaborate, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all, but the control Bey had was true to who he is; never quite bending to current textures in a predictable way. Though there were new renditions, the set up was hiphop basics, a DJ and an MC. This…

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The Black Panther Movement is part of Black British History too


Media Diversified

by Amber Fletcher

The Black Panthers are well-known for their fight against racist oppression in America, but the importance of their work was not limited to the US. Their commitment to equality for black lives inspired black people around the world to stand up for their rights, including here in the UK.

With that in mind you’d expect that an influential documentary on the Black Panthers would have had some media attention. Strangely enough, though, it’s gone completely un-promoted, so let me make the case.

You might think the Black Panthers are outdated, or just an American answer to an American problem. But consider black victims of police brutality, the barriers faced by black academics and the lack of provision for high rates of mental illness in black communities in the UK today. We are organising now, as we always have, but we need to engage with our history.

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First 1000 words of “The End of the Garden”


Since I was last posting I went through a series of Depressive Episodes before I found a regimen of therapy, meditation and supplements that helped. I’ve managed to go a couple of months without SERIOUS suicidal thoughts – actually considering the means etc. I have the odd few death wish thoughts but the’re relatively mild.

In other news I attended a discovery day for new authors held at Foyles, Charing Cross Road where Literary Agents Curtis Brown did a meet, greet and read for authors. The line was through the door and there were timed slots all through the day. I gave them the first three pages of my novel and they loved it. I need to try and get it finished this year and then submit it. They’ve given me a name to submit to so I’m now very motivated to think, act and plan as a writer rather than as a wannabe.

So pleased to present the beginning  of “The End of the Garden” by Yusuf (Smiley) Yearwood. (1st novel on backburner, 2nd novel cooking nicely) Continue reading

10 Things I like about me



Today, write your own list on one of these topics:

  • Things I Like
  • Things I’ve Learned
  • Things I Wish

There are no rules, though it might help to decide in advance how many items you’d like to include, or set a timer, so you have boundaries within which to work. For example, a list of 10 or 25 or 50 (or more!) items, or intervals of 15, 30, or 60 minutes are appropriate.

Could not go too long without referencing a movie (which is something i do quite often). So with all love and respect to the movie “10 things I hate about you”

10 Things About Me

I like my natural poker face
And really deep brown eyes
I like being tall, well built and muscly 
But wish I could find clothes I like in my size

I like the way I can look at the world
And see the shadows of hidden truths 
“If you hear hoof-beats think of a Zebra”
But those aren’t the only animals with hooves

I like my taste in all kinds of movies
I like the way I like squeals
I like the view from the moral high ground
Ironically because I consider all people equal

I like the way I want to be more
An Author, Scholar, Lover of Truth, Know it All
But mostly I like the way that people can’t tell
Most days I don’t like myself at all.