Revolution in the Classroom: Part 5, Community and Conclusions

Gareth Stevens discusses the interplay between modern education, neo-liberalism, meritocracy and democracy. In part five he discusses the demise of close-nit communities and how this has impacted on the efficacy of democratic processes and individual wellbeing, before summing up in a short conclusion to parts one to five.   Community Let us be very clear about one thing, your school is not a community school … Continue reading Revolution in the Classroom: Part 5, Community and Conclusions

Revolution in the Classroom: Part 3, a Hong Kong Story

Gareth Stevens continues with his longer discussion of the interplay between modern education, neo-liberalism, meritocracy and democracy. In part three he tells of how the international school he worked in for 11 years failed to engage its students with the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement (or the ‘Umbrella Revolution’ as it was called at the time) and he argues that in not doing so they abdicated a … Continue reading Revolution in the Classroom: Part 3, a Hong Kong Story

Refugee Reality Check

Kent Barker, writing in the Hastings Independent in February 2018, tells the story of a stateless refugee fortunate enough to find friends in Britons. This is the story of a boy called Javad. And it’s the story of a couple called Terry and Stuart who live in a small house in Hastings with two pampered cats. Javad now lives there too, sleeping in the conservatory … Continue reading Refugee Reality Check

Rules For Radicals

Gareth Stevens looks at the book by Saul D Alinsky. It’s a classic source of pragmatic advice for those who are organizing for positive change. (free copy here) I found out about Saul D Alinsky’s incredibly important book from an unlikely source. The CEO and publisher of Harbour Times, a business, policy and diplomacy newspaper in Hong Kong, hosted a session that aimed to introduce Alinsky’s … Continue reading Rules For Radicals

Council Houses by Any Other Name

By Kent Barker, writing in the Hastings Independent The only real surprise is that it’s taken so long. Margaret Thatcher’s mad doctrinaire decision to strip councils of the housing stock they had built up with rate-payers’ money over generations did untold damage. The Right-to-buy was bad enough. While enabling ordinary people to get onto the middle-class property gravy-train, it had the perverse effect of destroying … Continue reading Council Houses by Any Other Name

Boycott the Pier in the Hope it Fails Again

By Kent Barker. Article first appeared in HIP in June 2018. I never expected my investment to make a return. It was enough to be part of a community effort to save a historic artefact. There was the added bonus that as the regeneration took place I felt a sense of personal pride. And I could boast to friends that I owned Hastings Pier – or … Continue reading Boycott the Pier in the Hope it Fails Again