Photos in this blog taken by Salvatore Rapicano

Something happened about three weeks ago which has triggered a level of depression within me that I have not experienced in some time. Without going into details so as to bore my readers it is sufficient to say that sometimes you reach for the stars and are given short shrift.

The sun’s out, the serotonins are meant to be high and, much as I love the hot weather, my mood is low and my inner spark is only dimly lit at the moment. What is irritating is the way people keep telling me to be positive. Being positive has become the new religion and seems to have replaced Yoga for now. If you aren’t positive then you are blamed for your state of unhappiness.

Something has happened in society whereby individual blame has been elevated to new heights under the banner of ‘Positivism’.

We live in an interconnected world where our experiences are highly shaped and determined to some extent by external forces. Positivism isn’t a disembodied concept that can be magicked out of thin air. One can only fight against all sorts of bloody challenges before retreating emotionally for a while to lick one’s wounds before resurfacing again.

I am trying to regain the smile that I had in the photo above taken by Salvatore who did a great job in supplying the photos for my revamped blog.



The Tory Party who ideologically hates the thought of giving workers any sort of rights have suddenly found a way to make employees’ rights work in their favour. They took advantage of an MP who is on maternity leave by turning her absence into a personal political gain for their party.

Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat MP, who is on maternity leave was not able to be present at a crucial vote in the House of Commons this week. However, Jo Swinson was told that she could rely on a long standing practice in Parliament whereby an MP who is unable to attend to vote would be paired with another MP who would be held back from voting so that the two absences cancel each other out. The agreement is referred to as the ‘Pairing System’.

The Tory party’s Chief whip, Julian Smith, broke the agreement by asking a Tory MP to vote in the Government’s favour, thereby NOT cancelling out Jo Swinson’s vote and bolstering the Government’s support instead. Julian Smith, it is reported, had asked a number of Tory MPs to break various pairing arrangements that night but is claiming that it was an error on his part. There are calls for Julian Smith to resign but the PM is standing by him.

Yes, of course she would despite wearing a t-shirt sometime ago professing herself to be a feminist. Abstract feminism is a Poundland version of feminist practice whereby one can pick and mix aspects of the wider concepts to suit one’s ego-centric agenda. It is a strategy employed especially by right wing women who adorn the label ‘feminist’ only because, they think, it somehow builds a bridge with the inhabitants at large of the movement. Wearing a T-shirt, adopting a label, grabbing power and misusing it and doing the walk without the talk are hollow signifiers of feminism devoid of substance. There isn’t any essence to it is there? Give up the T-shirt please.


Numan Afifi with Jane Chelliah

In May 2018, the Malaysian electorate overwhelmingly voted the ruling party out and ushered in a new era of politics with the election of a coalition Government. The electorate rejected the cronyism and corruption of Barisan Nasional which, to put things in context, was the party that had governed Malaysia since 1957 when it ceased to be a British colony. I blogged about the elation that I felt.

The coalition Government has promised a new era in Malaysian politics and the scale of pace is rather astounding. The previous PM has been arrested for corruption. His cronies and aides face the same fate. A free press is slowly emerging after being gagged for decades.

Come and hear about the changes taking place and what it means for Malaysians.

I will be interviewing Numan Afifi who was closely involved with the coalition Government till very recently.  Numan Afifi is a prominent international LGBT rights activist and social justice advocate who resigned from his post because the backlash against his sexuality made it impossible for him to carry out his duties.

Numan will give us an intimate personal insight and will take questions from the audience.

The event will be held at : 

The Community Hall (next to Number 108), Doreen Ramsey Court, The Cut, Waterloo, London SE1 8LN

Date: 22 July 2018

Time: 3pm to 5pm. 

Refreshments will be served. 



Eeek, I am doing some work to my blog and, in the process, old posts are being reposted.

Bear with me please while I sort it out.

Thank you.


Launch event of ‘Mothers for a Progressive Alliance’

‘Mothers for a Progressive Alliance’ is being launched by Compass and Jane Chelliah, the blogger ‘ambitiousmamas’, to push for those issues that affect mothers to be adopted as a cross-party effort. ‘Mothers for a Progressive Alliance’ will put forward issue areas and make a case using Matricentrism principles as to why mothers need a political discourse that represents their interests.

This event will be chaired by Frances Foley from Compass.

Dr Mark Boden, male feminist and Marxist scholar.

Kirsten Bayes, network speaker with the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT)

Christine El Issa, activist against racism

Claire Hobson, former head of UK Trade & Investment France and currently working in the city as head of Policy and Public Affairs

Jane Chelliah on how Matricentric policies can benefit from a progressive alliance

Lunch will be provided. Children very welcome. Disability access with a wheelchair ramp.

Please email Jane Chelliah at as confirmation that you are attending otherwise just turn up on the day.


Caption: Launch of Mothers for a Progressive Alliance. Speakers from left to right: Claire Hobson who spoke about women and work, Dr Mark Boden who spoke about how changes in the workplace have affected mothers, Kirsten Bayes (behind) spoke about the effects of the arms trade on women, Christine El Issa spoke about Islamaphobia, Jane Chelliah and Frances Foley, Compass.