Monday morning and nothing better to do

Yes, Kevin Spacey will be a visiting professor at Catz next term, adding to a fine list of specimens such as Patrick Stewart and Cate Blanchett. Perhaps I should stick around a little longer…

The Guardian has asked Mark Haddon, author of the delightful book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, to write about current UK refugee policies. Reading it is like receiving a punch to the gut.

I ask Sergey what he wants from life. ‘For myself I want to be kind. If you are cold I can give you this jacket. But this jacket, it is rubbish. If you say you need money I have no money to give you. What has happened to me? I try to be kind, to be kind, to be kind. I want my two sons learning that. To be kind. To be polite. To be gentlemen. I am their father, I am the head of the family, but I cannot help. I am like a dead man here.’

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    Thank you for sharing this, Christian. The situation described is much like the one we have in Denmark. To me the following question and fact stand out:

    ”What happened during those intervening years? Of course, there has always been racism and intolerance, but only in recent times have these sentiments been allowed to drive and shape official government policy.”

    ”Most people don’t know an asylum seeker. Most people can’t point to a way in which the presence of asylum seekers has affected their lives in any way, for better or worse. Consequently the prejudice asylum seekers face is based on almost total ignorance.”

    The discussion about what damaging effects are seen to public discourse in deliberative democracy, when facts are ignored by those who have platforms and voices, while large groups in our societies face a situation of invisibility and voicelessness, is faced in a network of researchers working on rhetorical citizenship. Their next conference is held in Copenhagen in October this year, you may want to follow some of their work related to this unhappy development:


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