Good lord, a whole month - that's the longest I've gone for three years without updating this blog. It got to the stage where the guilt was festering away like a delicious and quite important sandwich that you know you lost somewhere around the house a few weeks ago and now can't find. So I thought I'd do a placeholder post to explain just what the fuck I've been doing with myself.
As some of you will have noticed, I now blog and write a column for the New Statesman, and this would be the point to update your blog-reading aggregators or other such internet robots. I no longer work for the Morning Star; instead I'm a freelance journalist, which means I'm terribly poor but can stay up reading as late as I like. I'm nonetheless incredibly busy, but this blog will update periodically with cross-posts from New Statesman and any posts that are too long, too strange or too sweary for the national press .
This arrangement will continue until such time as I say something really truly awful and am inevitably and summarily fired, at which point it's all go on Penny Red again, so don't delete this blog just yet!
In other news, in case anyone's wondering: I found a place to live, not a hugely nice place, but a place nonetheless, with walls and a ceiling and bizzarre arty lesbian housemates and enough space to recover from the emotional maelstrom of the summer. This currently puts me in a far better position than most of London, given that the Tories have just imposed a Final Solution on the urban poor.
It feels a little hypocritical to be so incensed with rage about what's happening to this country, the ruthless neoliberal revenge agenda being enacted on the lives and bodies of the vulnerable and the socially invisible, when I've had such a lucky escape this summer. I could have become more unwell and lost my job and my income. I could have remained homeless. I could have had to fall back on a welfare system that's about to be snatched away almost entirely. None of that happened, and it happened to a large number of people I know. I will never get over just how lucky I am; sometimes I feel my privilege sitting on my chest like a Fuseli painting, but that's a fucking poor excuse for lying down and exempting oneself from the struggle.
So I'm going to keep writing and keep on trying to anatomise the reasons behind this assault on human decency. I'm going to link into more activist groups and more local and global campaigns and try to understand how strategies of resistance might be imagined, dreamed of and realised. Because it's the only way we're ever going to stop the right. I'm going to carry on writing; I hope some of you will carry on reading.
Love, solidarity and squalor bombs. xx