Justice was served I’d say, but alas some would say I’m bias…
Last year in Bristol with the statue of Carlton
Speaking on a live webchat, the Avon and Somerset Police chief constable said he “doesn’t condone any criminal activity” but intervening would have “risked a violent confrontation”.
Last week in London in Clapham Common
The Met Police chief has said she is not considering her position, after the force was criticised over its handling of a vigil for Sarah Everard. Officers handcuffed women and removed them from crowds on Clapham Common in London on Saturday.
The big difference is cultural and emotional intelligence. I seriously don’t understand how the police thought, it would be a good idea to arrest women during a vigil against the death of a woman who was killed at the hands of a police officer!? Someone in the Met police team should have said turned to the chief and said “don’t you see the tragic irony in this all? We need to rethink our tactics here”
I know these are isolated cases but I was thinking this while watching
During the Bristol Black lives matter protests on Sunday, Colston’s statute ended up in the docks. I did say there will be larger questions hung around the necks of other slave trade statutes around the UK and maybe elsewhere including America.
A lot of the discussion have been bubbling under but it feels like things are actually changing? Ok so far Robert Milligan: Slave trader statue removed from outside London museum is the only one. But questions are being asked…
Cecil Rhodes: Protesters demand Oxford statue removal
Those statutes were never permanently fixed to the base. Almost like someone knew their day would come one day. So much of what we see seems unmovable but they are built on poor foundations.
Its an analogy which can apply to many different things including the system of racism or the massive tech corps currently in play.
I’m slightly torn… only slightly
I am very proud to come from Bristol and for #Blacklivesmatter to be massively supported (5,000 people!) in a city with 15% people of colour. The protest looked from what I could see of the coverage. I have been aware of the Colston statue while growing up but the worst that ever happened was he ended up with a traffic cone on his head.
Bristol have been debating if it should be taken down for a while and theres been attempts to show the historic horror of the slave trade in the UK.
I’m with the protestors. But I also think about the democratic process and encouraging people to take things into their own hands. This is also what the establishment always wanted, a way to condemn the black lives matter movement on top of the public health risk. Priti Patel is just the start of the torrent of negative press coming. I also imagine other protests in other cities might consider similar?
Positive things to come from this…
- Bristol’s Mayor has issued a statement saying Banners and placards at the base of the toppled statue will be preserved
- Even better is there is a petition to put the Martin luther king of the UK (Paul Stephenson OBE) on the top.
“I believe that one candidate for his replacement would be Paul Stephenson. He led the 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott, started because Bristol Post announced in 1961 that black workers were refused work despite a worker shortage due to a resolution from the Transport and General Workers’ Union. The Boycott influenced the creation of the Race Relations Act.
My partner was bitten by a dog in a hotel (the dark horse pub) when we rented a room in Bristol.
It sounds nuts or like there more to the story but its pretty much that.
We stayed in the hotel part of the pub, which is upstairs overnight. While climbing the stairs trying to get into the hotel part with a member of staff. A white dog aggressively barked at us from a fenced area. The fencing wasn’t strong enough and on exiting the hotel room chased us out of the pub on the first night. We came back later that night with no problem except dog poo everywhere! Really hard to see in the midnight light.
In the morning the dog went straight for my partners ankle, when she woke up early and decided to get some fresh air. It was not tentative and both fangs went in. I seen the bite mark and shes got multiple photos.
I personally didn’t feel safe before and when I found out wanted out straight away. My partner knowing I was terrified of dogs, choose not to tell me till we were clear of the whole place.
The response from the hotel/pub owner was a joke and its been horrible trying to get hold of them, They took the full money and only offering 25% off our next stay! Thats it for being bitten!
I say never and they are bloody lucky I wasn’t bitten because I would have called the police and the dog would be put down. The dog poo irresponsible, being chased by a dog is irresponsible but being bitten is totally unacceptable and dangerous!
The thing you have to remember is this was a hotel, we paid money for and we were guests. I don’t care if the pub is dog friendly, you can’t have dangerous dogs running around lose biting guests. I say guests because although my partner was first to be bitten, the same dog a few weeks before had attempted to bite someone else. Here’s a review from Susan from bookings.com
Very noisy, steep stairs to sleeping areas, ear plugs supplied by Pub because of noise. Noisy main road. Small dog tried to bite my Husband on the leg when we went to leave. Dog poo on wooden veranda.
Its a matter of time. Avoid the dark horse pub hotel!
My parents asked me what I want to do for my birthday late last year. They were thinking I could do a big party in Bristol. But I suggested why not have three of them instead?
Each party/bash representing a section of my life so far.
- Bristol (0-19)
- London (19-28)
- Manchester (28-40)
Of course my parents thought it was too much, but I was certain it was a good idea and I could do it.
Happy to say I was right. I had planned to put in sometime at the theme parks of England (Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Blackpool) but due to half-term decided I’d better not because I would end up in queues (Love the European theme parks for this). Plus I decided I could fit everything around work (or work around everything). I won’t lie, I would have been absolutely exhausted if I did!
So it happened and I was blown away by the friends and family who attended but also helped make the whole thing happen. Couldn’t have done it all without them! Thanks to everyone who came, gave their time, cards (I got so many cards I had to shift them around the flat) and even gifts. Also thanks for all the people who wanted to be there but couldn’t make it for different reasons.
Thank you to everyone again! 40 started with a bang, look out for 50 – ha!
Soon I will turn 40. Most people fear or can’t imagine ever getting to 40 but I’m much less worried about that. I kind of feel young and although there are noticeable changes like grey hair in my facial hair, creaky knees and a noticeable lack of excess energy.
Regardless I’m still playing Volleyball regularly and trying a few other things including trying Basketball again (that was hard work!). My eye sight is incredible and off the charts for my age, I have been told.
Well my vision is off the charts for my age according to optical express… 😁
— Ian Forrester | @firstname.lastname@example.org (@cubicgarden) September 15, 2017
Its funny how the things you do when you are young persist into older age. For example I can still be found with my diabolo on warm days or during the Manchester firejam. Still riding my skateboard when going short distances and considered getting rollerblades again. Convinced this is the future of transport and feel lucky to learned this when young.
My routine is still organised chaos but… I like it that way and to be fair an ordinary life doesn’t interest me but its tricky as unconventional life isn’t always easy. Especially with a partner, but we manage by sharing calendars.
The only strange thing for me is being at the BBC for coming up to 15 years! I joined just after my birthday. I still feel quite young even with all the younger people I work with.
The 40th is usually a big one and as usual I decided to do something different for it. I decided to do 3 party’s, each one representing the three different cities/eras of my life so far.
- Bristol (0-19)
- London (19-28)
- Manchester (29-40)
I had planned to fit theme park trips to Thorpe Park, Alton Towers and Blackpool pleasure beach too. But frankly it was too much and with the Easter holidays it meant the parks would likely be packed with kids also trying to get on the rides.
Without a doubt, 40 is going to be fun!
For a while I’ve been thinking maybe I should have a Wikipedia page, not because I’m some kind of celeb but rather to capture all the different things which have been mentioned or interviewed. However I know this is a very bad idea. So I’m trying to keep a log of them in standard notes and maybe add them to my aboutme page. Currently it feels like I’m writing the history of me (or even the story of me).
Anyhow, its interesting to write and read over. I’m trying to be objective and use the wikipedia rules for verified sources. Theres some key points including my brush with death, the inclusive board top 100, but also some more fun parts like the recent blog from the BBC GEL team, lets meet Ian Forrester.
In this instalment we speak to Ian Forrester, Senior Producer (and ‘Firestarter’) at BBC R&D. Ian recently made the Inclusive Board’s top 100 list of most influential Black, Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders in UK tech. He talks about his journey to the BBC, memories of epic food fights and his interest in empowering the citizen.
I know everyone has a story/book in them, but I certainly think mine will make a interesting reading.
Found this via colleagues at work; the idea and possibility of a adfree public space.
— BrandalismUK (@BrandalismUK) April 11, 2017
Looking at it from a internet view, I find the tension between private & public so apt for what is happening right now. You only have to look at the fight over ad-blocking, net-neutrality and copyright reform.
The internet for most people is the private internet. Its the property of the 5 stacks and the wanna-be startups fighting for position in the patriarchy (hey lets call it what it is). Its a place of attention grabbing, advertising, monetization.
Tony Ageh, Bill Thompson and many others talked about the need for a digital public space. A speech by Tony Hall was clear for me that, another kind of space; not an alternative but an equal to the normal most people experience is needed.
Silicon Valley has remade our children’s world – but they need British culture too
Instead of restricting young people’s activity online, we need to focus on equipping them with the right tools.
I’ve starting to think broadly about the internet in two halves (it shouldn’t be that way, but it works)
Public internet & Private Internet
They have different business models, different motivations, different network topology and different functions. The thing is, the public internet is mainly dark and largely unknown by most because we don’t spend much time there. You could say eclipsed by the private side.
Have a look at the physical graph at the glassroom, to see how eclipsed. (see The Alphabet Empire & Apple Towers).
It doesn’t help that most of the gatekeepers also rely on private internet business models. Cue, Jonathan Zittrain the future of the internet and the friction between the two, but generally the private internet wants to expand into the established public spaces; just like the real world. Who would have thought Jane Jacobs would be extremely fitting for the internet age?
More calls to reconsider our meat intake for the sake of the planet. Adrian hon a while ago mentioned a similar thing, suggesting eating meat will become like smoking is now? People will do it but looked upon as maybe selfish and causing harm.
I’m confident that in a hundred years, eating meat will be regarded in the negative way we now view racism or sexism – an ugly, demeaning, and unnecessary act. Like smoking, it will simply fall out of fashion because we’ll find better and healthier alternatives, although we’ll still occasionally eat humanely reared-and-killed animals. Note that I still eat meat even though I should know better.
To be fair, although I am very much in favour of eating meat mainly because the alternatives will cause me harm or even kill me (I kid not). I have been professionally advised multiple times not consider being vegetarian for this exact reason. Yes I could survive but it would mean lots of supplements to make up the things I get from meat.
Although I do see this becoming a really big problem and honestly for the sake of sustainability and longevity of the planet I have started limiting my meat intake a little. However in this blog, there is a lot of arguments which seem to indicate a high cost (the real cost) of meat might make people reconsider? Controversial maybe but in the same way sugar tax came into effect in the UK recently, I’ll be interested in the data which comes back. Or other places where they have done this type of thing?
So why cities? The post has some interesting thoughts….
This is where cities come into play. Obesity and climate change are two of the biggest challenges they’ll face in the 21st century. Ninety percent of urban areas are coastal, and their citizens will be the ones to feel the effects of rising sea levels and freak weather most deeply. So, too, will their health services and economies experience undue strain as the majority of their residents tip the scales and become overweight or obese. For cities, the consequences of inertia will be fatal.
But action must be born out of more than just necessity. Cities are also well placed to manage these changes. (The successes mayors have had in promoting activities like cycling, for instance — which also delivers enormous health and environmental benefits — is a testament to this.) The c40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, featuring 40 of the planet’s most influential cities, has claimed that city leaders have the flexibility which nation states lack: “City mayors are directly accountable to their constituents for their decisions, and are more nimble than state and national elected officials to take decisive action — often with immediate and impactful results.”
And this means they can interface with their citizens directly, getting to the root of problems and attitudes — the fact is, one study found that 90 percent of people’s justifications for eating meat boil down to it being “nice, necessary, normal, or natural.” Meanwhile, the majority of “meat-reducers” in the United Kingdom attribute the choice to improving their personal health — not animal welfare. Cities can move the debate beyond the ideological quagmire that governments, media, and activist groups are currently bogged down in.
Lots to think about… and it certainly makes good points about how our cities could be the biggest driver for this all. Of course it’s always great see my home of Bristol mentioned quite a bit in the examples although I’m sure there are many other shiny examples all over. That and the writer might have a bias to Bristol too.
The city of Bristol has announced a multi-million pound experiment to create the smart city of the future.
As soon as I heard this, I was worried. As there is something about Bristol which I hadn’t really got till I left. Bristol is a city where things are done differently. Where art and business are in conflict with each other and that conflict drives the continuing disruption and creativity.
I needed not worry…
Bristol is Open, the project will effectively turn Bristol into a giant laboratory and look at how big data can be used to solve problems such as airpollution, traffic congestion and assisted living for the elderly. The network could also be used to collect and understand data from the city’s trial of self-driving cars. Bristol is one of four UK cities currently testing driverless car technology as part of a government scheme.
Sensors and other internet of things devices will be hooked up to the network to collect huge amounts of data from the city. In one example it would be possible to use tracking technology to collect location data from vehicles used by the health, education and city transport sectors to try and solve the city’s traffic congestion problems.
Got to love Bristol…
In a previous post I talked about driving to Bristol via Snowdonia. Well I’m happy to say I made it! Yeh me! 400+ miles completed.
I know most of you are saying, so what? But I have never driven so far on my Silverwing scooter before. I use to drive between London and Bristol on the A4 when I moved to London and it use to be a very long trip (4hours). Main reason it took so long is because I was on a 125cc scooter and it was going flat out most of the journey. I couldn’t use the motorway with my L plates and 125cc bike. Such a journey I would need to nap for a hour or so straight away afterwards!
I recorded the journey using my tracks as usual but unfortunately turned it off when stopping at Aberystwyth. I also forgot to turn it on a couple times, hence some small gaps in the journey.
Here is my ride from Manchester to Liverpool to Llandidno to Llarwst to Blaenau Ffestiniog to Barmouth to Dolgellau to Machynlleth to Aberystwyth. Blaenau was impressive, I wished my camera still had enough battery because you swing around a mountain down a beautiful valley into this clearing. The clearing is a mine site with a village in the middle. Barmouth was a mistake because when looking at google maps, I thought the line across the river was a public bridge but it was actually a train bridge. I actually thought I missed it but ended up going back on myself towards Dolgellau. I did stop at Llandidno and try and go around the Great Orme (the wrong way it seems). I also tried to pay at the mersey tunnel but realised it was free for bikes.
After a sleep and breakfast I headed out again. From Aberystwyth to Rhayader to Talgarth to Abergavenny to Newport to Bristol. The travel across the 2nd seven bridge cross was free, and I somewhat forgot this. Also got stuck in a bit of traffic around Newport and Bullth Wells due to the Royal Wales festival.
The camera clamp actually held all the way through the journey, I was very impressive and thought it was bound to fall off somepoint.
I think I might have connected the two parts together using Google Maps Engine. I tried to do it with a non-native XML editor but KML is a odd format which I don’t really get the schema.
So having that ride under my belt and the weather looking to hold while I drive back. I may avoid Birmingham and the Motorway to drive up through Wales again.
Who knows… Maybe I’ll drive down again and Ireland is calling me too. I always knew the Honda Silverwing was a touring scooter being the little sibling of the Honda Goldwing.
View Drive Snowdonia in a larger map
This week I’m on holiday. Unlike most people, I won’t be travelling to some new destination full of sunshine and hot sand. Instead I’m going to drive through Wales down to Bristol.
Its a long ride (300miles!) and I will be stopping over somewhere in the middle (lets hope I don’t end up in a B&B with dogs!). And I’ll be honest I’m a little scared, but I got plenty of time and don’t need to be in Bristol till Wednesday afternoon to meet good friend Claire. I’ll then head over to my parents afterwards.
This is part due to my new years resolution about driving in a different country. I know Wales doesn’t really count but its a big test run for Scotland, Ireland or France. I also saw Graham Hughes again at TedxLiverpool (which I’ll write about later maybe) his world record visiting every country on planet earth without flying is incredible and inspirational. My old colleague Matthew Cashmore drove to Russia on his motorbike but to be honest I’m not certain my scooter would survive such a ride, hence I’m signing up with the AA just in-case.
I’m hoping to film as much of the ride as the battery will allow using my helmet mounted HD camera (you can see a snippit here). But I will be recording the journey with my tracks on my Nexus 5. May just bring the work phone just in-case of emergencies.
Weather looks to be good throughout, wish me luck!
Stephen Fry narrates this new series which tests to see if the people of Great Britain really are ‘great’ and can be heroes when faced with a particularly challenging situation. Eye Spy features ingenious hidden camera stunts that throw up assorted moral dilemmas and psychological conundrums to wrestle with, challenging the notion inherent in many news stories that our ‘once great nation is going to the dogs’. You may say you’d do the right thing in a highly-pressured situation, but only when you’re actually in the moment can you ever really know.
One of the situations was a racist waiter who couldn’t deal with mixed race couples. Actually as the site says, outrageously racist waiter.
The things he said were so direct to the mixed race couple and so loud everyone could clearly hear everything being said.
And he’s the main point of concern for myself… They ran the test in London and in Manchester. Not just Manchester but Salt & Pepper in Castlefield, a place I would go to with a date (and to be fair most of my dates are European woman)
In London, a place which is more racially diverse (as the programme points out too) the waiter got told to shut up before the couple got up and left. Actually although they ran the experiment a few times the result was the same.
However in Manchester the couple had to endure the out and out ball faced racism of the waiter. In the end they got up and left, after they were told they were upsetting the rest of the restaurant!
No one stood up and said a word, no one said anything, not a single person. They just sat there in silence eating and not saying a word. Not a single person would stand up and say your bang out of order to the waiter. Heck even getting up and walking out would have sent a clear signal that people were not happy, which is what happened when they ran the same experiment in reverse with a white couple in an Indian restaurant.
So it drives me insane to know that if I and a lady was facing such racism, no one would get involved. Not only that people would sit there in silence! Not a single word… (Shocking!) And it wasn’t like the people were old, the people seemed like students into your mid 30s type and should have known better… There is no excuse for saying nothing!
When I first looked at Manchester I did worry about being in a northern city. I seen programmes about other cities near by where separation between the races are closer to something I’ve only experienced in parts of America. Don’t get me wrong growing up in Bristol wasn’t easy. My parents amazingly moved into a area which was very white and survived through all the NF sprayed on the house, brick attacks, etc. I was also one of only 2 Black guys in my primary/junior school. I could tell stories of running away from the National Front (Kingswood was well known for being their stomping grounds) and the different brushes I’ve had with racism including in London a couple times.
What bugs me is like David Starky’s ranting is these people do/should know better. My parents and our old lovely neighbours supported them greatly and stood up for them. Without their support things would have been a lot worst… So you can see why I’m pissed at those people and I guess the fact Manchester for not doing better.
What kind of society are we if we don’t all stand up for each other?! And yes I know the Bystander effect.
I imagine some of you are saying, stop getting so worked up… its a TV programme and one social experiment (although they did run it 3x to the same effect). Maybe I should remember the benefits of moving to Manchester but its hard to be happy and defend the great city of Manchester in the face of such a obviously bad thing, even if staged for TV…
The story is so odd and to be fair it was a very long time ago during those Crazy “Nappy night” days in Odyssey, Bristol (for those who have known me that long).
“I was in a nightclub in Bristol, where I was born. I was quite young and when you’re young it’s quite hard to talk to women. Most of my friends were just talking to girls. They pushed me into talking to a particular girl so I did. So I went up to her and said ‘So, did you see Brookside last night?’ She said this to me in reply, which was completely bizarre. I just had this look on my face like ‘What?’ Then she just walked away. I was like ‘Great. Never again.’
The story is true and I swear thats what she said, its not even like I didn’t hear her, I heard her loud and clear. Maybe she got the word mixed up but she certainly said it.
Of course I’m not a misogynist, my mother would nail me to the wall if she ever thought I was. I have worked alongside and for many woman in the past and even now. Not only that ask all the woman I dated if they sensed something slightly misogynistic about me. I honestly don’t think a single one would say, “actually there is something to it…”
If I remember correctly I think she was expecting something corny from me and when it didn’t come, she just found it odd and blusted out with the question before she walked away in shame, realising she had slated a guy for talking to her in a more human way than most.
The comments and Twitter are there if you agree with what this woman said to me…
Expecting a certain person to tweet, “sort out your problem with woman, Ian!”