Cricket and Afghanistan: remarkable but expected?

For those of you who follow cricket, you might be aware that the T20 World Cup is currently taking place. To the surprise, or lack thereof, of many, Afghanistan is also playing despite the country currently experiencing the aftermath of a Taliban takeover. The question of whether or not their presence is a surprise comes from an intertwined history of the rise of cricket and political turmoil in the country. And whether you are shocked or not, either feeling is likely to inspire an uneasiness about the short and long term state of this country, and the consistency of cricket in the midst of this.

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An Interview with Living Rent’s Meg Bishop

Living Rent was founded in 2014, as part of ACORN International, and is a mass-membership tenants union serving communities all over Scotland within the private and social rented sector. I was really excited to interview Meg Bishop, the organisation’s national secretary who addresses grassroots activism, organising and housing as integral parts of the feminist struggle.

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Not Sure I was ‘Born This Way’

I want to talk about something that’s been on my mind for a while now. For many years now, it has been a staple rhetoric of the queer liberation that nobody ‘chooses’ to be gay: a backlash against those who call it a ‘lifestyle’, who try to push conversion therapy and deviant labels on us.

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Western Countries are Hoarding Vaccinations

Here in the UK, life appears to be returning to at least some semblance of normalcy. Pandemic restrictions in England are gone; in Scotland, whilst masks remain, there are no limits on gatherings. Nightclubs are opening up again. Students are going back to universities.

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We’re Here Because You Were There – How the British Empire Metamorphosed Power

Amartya Sen recently outlined the structural impacts Britain had on India throughout its longstanding rule, hoping to unpack the illusions of the empire’s legacy through a historical dive into India’s past. As Sen opens with, power is widely agreed to have been established by British forces in 1757 at the Battle of Plassey by defeating Nawab Siraj-ud-Doula’s army and beginning a 200-year rule that ended with Nehru’s famous words in 1947 – ‘At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to light and freedom’. This monumental moment in global history is thought to be the start of a process of decolonisation stretching into the 1980s.

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Metamorphosis: LGBTQ+ Rights in the UK

This year, throughout Pride month, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own journey as a queer teenager, then a non-binary adult, and how I’ve changed throughout my life. As with the metamorphosis we see in nature, my identity and self hasn’t changed – in the way that a butterfly is never not itself, even as a caterpillar.

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We Need to Stop Calling Young Girls Bossy

From a young age, I was always told that I was a bossy person, and I just accepted it and took it as the criticism it was intended to be. Thinking back to when I was labelled bossy, it was when I took charge of a task and put myself in a leadership position in order to do something. This adjective has never been used to describe one of my male friends, but many of my determined female friends.

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Brown Women Aren’t Quiet

In primary school, a boy once asked me, “Aren’t all brown people quiet?” I had no idea what to say, standing there in my oversized bottle green cardigan and kilt. I was eight years old. I mean, I knew I was quiet, but not because I wanted to be; in a predominantly white area, it was the best way to fit in, to survive the glares and stares I received day on end. At home, I was different. I would speak up about anything I could, and as soon as my friends got to know me, I would tell them stuff too. As I got older, I found my voice: first by writing, then by speaking. By the time I started my undergraduate degree, I had plenty to say.

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I Hate Elon Musk So Much

When I was younger, living in the north of Scotland, we would have some pretty miserable winters. It would be dark at 3pm, wet and cold and windy. The one silver lining was that on clear nights, even when your fingers felt like they would fall off as you broke the ice in a water trough, you could see so many stars overhead. I could stand with my neck craned back and stare at them for hours.

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Am I Angry? Why the new policing bill should make everyone angry

Anger is an emotion that has defined most of the past year for me. It presents itself in many forms: pure rage, frustration, powerlessness, a strong sense of injustice; but also anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, hopelessness, fear, and sometimes complete shutdown. It gets so overwhelming at the moment; it feels like I’m just not equipped to be thinking about all the things that are going on. And as soon as I reach my absolute limit, something else happens to pile on more anger and more of all the things that come with it.

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I’m Fed Up with Coming Out Stories

Hey, Ma? Don’t read this one. The reason the above warning exists is because whilst I am queer, I’m not actually out to my parents, or many people in the small town I grew up in and have recently moved back to. There are a lot of reasons for this, though I am lucky enough that it is not because I feel unsafe, or that my parents would reject me.

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America: the Defender of White Supremacy

On Wednesday night the world watched in horror as scenes from Capitol Hill, the political heart of the United States of America, were broadcast live onto television. Upon encouragement from President Trump, a mob of armed fascists marched on the building; breaking in and occupying the House floor and the offices of senators.

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Remembering modern medicine as a colonial production: do we still need to be reminded that health is political?

During my undergrad in biomedical sciences, I was let down by the lack of societal context on our courses. More than lack – at times it seemed like a deliberate absence that was incomprehensible given what I was learning outside of lectures. Things became particularly interesting and disappointing when we came to the module on global health and infectious disease, where lecturers and students alike were given free rein to voice their unqualified opinions about the health of developing countries – needless to say, both groups were mostly white and from the global North…

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‘Women have been set back decades’: pandemics and personal independence

It’s been two months now since Scotland moved into Phase 3 of lockdown restrictions, and pubs, shops and workplaces are beginning to reopen. I recently started a new job, and received a long policy email about how to fight COVID-19 in the workplace as part of my starter pack. Unfortunately, not every woman has been given this privilege: experts have found that women in the workplace have been set back ‘decades’ by the effects of lockdown…

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If They’re Selling You Something, It’s Not Feminism

It’s starting to become a familiar refrain when I watch television in the evening: first the music, sounding enough like that one Beyoncé song to suggest power, followed by various shots of women with truly flawless skin staring unashamedly down the camera, or doing something cool like skateboarding. A voiceover with buzzwords…

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Five Reasons Why Priti Patel is a Fascist and Ignorant Bully.

Home Secretary Priti Patel’s name pops up in the news circuit regularly; whether she’s gaslighting a minority group, bullying the opposition, screaming the ‘benefits’ of Brexit or devising racist and classist immigration plans. As a chest-thumping fascist using her modest upbringing and brown skin to masquerade as one-of-the-people- Patel is the Tories’ wet dream…

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Home and Prison: Women, Sentencing and the Private Sphere

The notion that the best place for a woman is the home is, for the most part, seen as an outdated one in the 21st century. In 2020, the home is the best place for everyone! However, this extended period of being at home has set me thinking about what home represents for women, and the fact that women can often have a complicated relationship with the notion of home…

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The Best Kind of Self-Care

I know what the best form of self-care is. Unionising. The pandemic is widening the cracks in our society every day, and the divide between rich and poor has never been starker. But lo, light out of the darkness: Amazon workers in Chicago have won paid time off by forming the organisation Amazonians United and presenting a petition to upper management…

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