Author Archives: Michael Chanan

Relocating

This blog is moving to www.putneydebater.com, and all new posts from 1st March onwards will be posted there.  If you’re a subscriber, please recalibrate your access, and thanks for your support.

We Will Not Pay

Latest video at the New Statesman: At Saturday’s Progressive London conference, I caught up with comedian Josie Long and Mehdi Hasan, the NS’s political editor, and listened to Unite’s Len McKluskey and False Economy‘s Clifford Singer, plus ukuncut activists take on Barclays Bank and South London celebrates a Carnival Against the Cuts.

Watch it here

Additional filming by Kaveh Abassian and Philippa Daniel. Philippa’s own video of the Carnival Against the Cuts is here.

 

 

Teachers and Learners in Bristol – new video blog

The repercussions of the cuts in Higher Education are being felt in Bristol, where lecturers at the University of the West of England (UWE) have been forced to take strike action over threats to staffing. Here I report on the strike and find out what students who supported it think about the situation. See the video here.

 

Defending libraries – new video blog at the New Statesman

Mary Warnock, Blake Morrison and south London residents take action against library closures.

Across the country, 5 February saw read-ins at dozens of libraries threatened with closure. I managed to film four of them in south London, along the way encountering Mary Warnock, Lucy Mangan, Blake Morrison, a lot of angry and articulate local residents, the duo Sly & Reggie, and the University of Strategic Optimism.

Watch it here.

Why Education is not a Commodity

The arguments advanced by government ministers like David Willetts for the draconian reform of university funding are confused and specious. They would certainly fail any exam in logic. Rather than reason, they depend on various forms of mediatised rhetoric, like Orwell’s newspeak, or doublespeak, or what the writer Steve Poole has called unspeak—although sometimes they amount to simple misrepresentation, derived from hasty and inadequate statistics, or falsehood resulting from denial. Continue reading

On Campus – latest video blog at the NS

In On Campus, Terry Eagleton speaks at a meeting at the London School of Economics about the contradiction between education for society and education for the economy. South of the river, the Vice Chancellor of Roehampton University, Paul O’Prey, considers the implications of government measures with colleagues.

With Terry Eagleton, Paul O’Prey, Joe Kelleher, Nina Power, Laurie Penny and Ruby Hirsch.

 

Video blogging for the New Statesman: Camera in hand and idea in the head

For the last few weeks I’ve been out and about filming moments in the developing protest movement against the unconscionable coalition government and its programme of swingeing cuts in every department of social provision.  The result has been a number of short videos posted here on Putney Debater. I’ve now been invited by the New Statesman to become its first video blogger, so from now on, that’s where my videos will be posted first (although I’ll continue to post written blogs here). Here’s the first one, which condenses the videos posted here previously with some additional material.
The idea I have is to build up a picture of the movement as it evolves, so I’m working on the basis that I’ll end up with a documentary record of three or four months of struggle. The method is simple: to return to Glauber Rocha’s formula for Cinema Novo in Brazil—to go and make films with a camera in the hand and an idea in the head. (Too simple for the section on methodology in a grant application, and there’s no time for that anyway, so I’m not making one.)

Continue reading

Dance Against Deficit Lies – The Video

14 January 2011, Bank of England

‘The Writing on the Wall is on the Web’

Report on Netroots UK, 8 January 2011

 

Nutters on the web

It’s a curious business. You’ve got these two nutters. One of them, let’s call him Rajiv, has culled some emails from a discussion list from which he’s been excluded for assorted ravings, and sends out plaintive missives couched in terms of eastern philosophy which no-one can understand. The second nutter, we’ll him Jack, receives one of his messages, and knowing something about eastern philosophy, takes it seriously and replies. One or two others complain to the discussion list which they mistake it as coming from, to which Nutter No.2 responds in terms that people on the list find pretty offensive (and it’s not the first time his interventions on this list have caused unhappiness either).

Seems to me this incident should be understood symptomatically. Continue reading