Campaigners for Social & Political Change in the UK

Campaigners for Social & Political Change in the UK

  • Anne Clough Sylvia Pankhurst
  • Josephine Butler Dora Marsden
  • Catherine Booth Millicent Garrett Fawcett
  • Emily Hobhouse Charlotte Haldane
  • Anna Connel Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Elizabeth Fry Annie Besant

A consumer boycott organisation Edit

In response to an appeal by Albert Luthuli, the Boycott Movement was founded in London on 26 June 1959 at a meeting of South African exiles and their supporters. Nelson Mandela was an important person among the many that were anti apartheid. [2] Members included Vella Pillay, Ros Ainslie, Abdul Minty and Nanda Naidoo. [3] Julius Nyerere would summarise its purpose:

We are not asking you, the British people, for anything special. We are just asking you to withdraw your support from apartheid by not buying South African goods. [4]

The boycott attracted widespread support from students, trade unions and the Labour, Liberal and Communist parties. On 28 February 1960, the movement launched a March Month, Boycott Action at a rally in Trafalgar Square. Speakers at the rally included Labour Party Leader Hugh Gaitskell, Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe, Conservative peer John Grigg, 2nd Baron Altrincham, and Tennyson Makiwane of the African National Congress. [5] .

Expansion and renaming Edit

The Sharpeville massacre occurred on 21 March 1960, when 69 unarmed protesters were shot dead by the South African police, triggered an intensification of action. The organisation was renamed the "Anti-Apartheid Movement" and instead of just a consumer boycott the group would now "co-ordinate all the anti-apartheid work and keep South Africa's apartheid policy in the forefront of British politics", [1] and campaign for the total isolation of apartheid South Africa, including economic sanctions.

At the time, the United Kingdom was South Africa's largest foreign investor and South Africa was the UK's third biggest export market. The ANC was still committed to peaceful resistance: armed struggle through Umkhonto we Sizwe would only begin a year later.

Early successes Edit

Commonwealth membership Edit

The AAM scored its first major victory when South Africa was forced to leave the Commonwealth in 1961. It held a 72-hour vigil outside the Commonwealth Secretariat venue, Marlborough House, and found willing allies in Canada, India and the newly independent Afro-Asian Commonwealth member states. In 1962, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling on all member states to impose a trade boycott against South Africa. In 1963, the UN Security Council called for a partial arms ban against South Africa, but this was not mandatory under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. [ citation needed ]

Olympic participation Edit

Abdul Minty, who took over from Rosalynde Ainslie as the AAM's Hon. Secretary in 1962, also represented the South African Sports Association, a non-racial body set up in South Africa by Dennis Brutus. In the same year, he presented a letter to the International Olympic Committee meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany about racism in South African sports. The result was a ruling that suspended South Africa from the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. [1] South Africa was finally expelled from the Olympics in 1970.

Economic sanctions campaign Edit

In November 1962, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 1761, a non-binding resolution establishing the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid and called for imposing economic and other sanctions on South Africa. All Western nations refused to join the committee as members. This boycott of a committee, the first such boycott, happened because it was created by the same General Assembly resolution that called for economic and other sanctions on South Africa, which at the time the West strongly opposed.

Following this passage of this resolution, the Anti-Apartheid Movement spearheaded the arrangements for international conference on sanctions to be held in London in April 1964. According to Lisson, "The aim of the Conference was to work out the practicability of economic sanctions and their implications on the economies of South Africa, the UK, the US and the Protectorates. Knowing that the strongest opposition to the application of sanctions came from the West (and within the West, the UK), the Committee made every effort to attract as wide and varied a number of speakers and participants as possible so that the Conference findings would be regarded as objective." [1]

The conference was named the International Conference for Economic Sanctions Against South Africa. Lisson writes:

The Conference established the necessity, the legality and the practicability of internationally organised sanctions against South Africa, whose policies were seen to have become a direct threat to peace and security in Africa and the world. Its findings also pointed out that in order to be effective, a programme of sanctions would need the active participation of Britain and the US, who were also the main obstacle to the implementation of such a policy. [1]

The AAM was enthusiastic with the results of the conference for two key reasons. [1] First, because of "the new seriousness with which the use of economic sanctions is viewed." Second, because the AAM was able to meet for the first time with the UN Special Committee on Apartheid, a meeting that established a long-lasting working relationship between the two parties.

However, the conference was not successful in persuading the UK to take up economic sanctions against South Africa. Rather, the British government "remained firm in its view that the imposition of sanctions would be unconstitutional "because we do not accept that this situation in South Africa constitutes a threat to international peace and security and we do not in any case believe that sanctions would have the effect of persuading the South African Government to change its policies"." [1]

Making sanctions an election issue Edit

The Anti-Apartheid Movement tried to make sanctions an election issue for the 1964 general election. Candidates were asked to state their position on economic sanctions and other punitive measures against the South African government. Most candidates who responded answered in the affirmative. After the Labour Party's victory at the 1964 general election after thirteen years in opposition commitment to the anti-apartheid cause dissipated. In short order, UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson told the press that his Labour Party was "not in favour of trade sanctions partly because, even if fully effective, they would harm the people we are most concerned about the Africans and those White South Africans who are having to maintain some standard of decency there." [1] Even so, Lisson writes that the "AAM still hoped that the new Labour Government would be more sensitive to the demands of public opinion than the previous Government." But by the end of 1964, it was clear that the election of the Labour Party had made little difference in the governments overall unwillingness to impose sanctions.

Rejection by the West Edit

Lisson summarises the UN situation in 1964:

At the UN, Britain consistently refused to accept that the situation in South Africa fell under Chapter VII of the [United Nations] Charter. Instead, in collaboration with the US, it worked for a carefully worded appeal on the Rivonia Trial and other political trials to try to appease Afro-Asian countries and public opinion at home and abroad by early 1965 the issue of sanctions had lost momentum. [1]

Academic boycott campaign Edit

The Anti-Apartheid Movement was instrumental in initiating an academic boycott of South Africa in 1965. The declaration was signed by 496 university professors and lecturers from 34 British universities to protest against apartheid and associated violations of academic freedom. They made a special reference to the issue of banning orders against two South African academics named Jack Simons and Eddie Roux, who were two well-known progressive academics. [6]

A part of the declaration:

  1. Protest against the bans imposed on Professors Simons and Roux
  2. Protest against the practice of racial discrimination and its extension to higher education
  3. Pledge that we shall not apply for or accept academic posts in South African universities which practise racial discrimination. [6]

Cooperation with the United Nations Edit

Faced with the failure to persuade the West to impose economic sanctions, in 1966 the AAM formulated a strategy whereby they would shift toward spearheading "an international campaign against apartheid under the auspices of the United Nations." [7] AAM's proposed strategy was approved by the UN Special Committee on Apartheid and then by the General Assembly. This new partnership formed the basis for all future action against apartheid. The man originally responsible for the new strategy gives this summary:

The strategy was to press for a range of measures to isolate the regime, support the liberation movement and inform world public opinion to continue pressing for effective sanctions as the only means for a peaceful solution, and at the same time to obtain action on other measures which could be decided by a majority vote in the General Assembly to isolate the major trading partners of South Africa by persuading other Western countries to co-operate in action to the greatest feasible extent and to find ways to promote public opinion and public action against apartheid, especially in the countries which were the main collaborators with the South African regime. This also meant that we built the broadest support for each measure, thereby welcoming co-operation rather than alienating governments and organisations which were not yet prepared to support sanctions or armed struggle. [7]

The Anti-Apartheid Movement continued to operate in the UK until 1994. [8] After the first democratic elections in South Africa, AAM changed its name to ACTSA: Action for Southern Africa.


The History Behind Brexit

In 1957, France, West Germany, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community (EEC), the predecessor of today’s European Union. It was the latest of several attempts to foster economic cooperation between European nations in the wake of World War II. Nations that traded together, it was believed, would be less likely to go to war with each other.

When the United Kingdom first applied for membership in the EEC in 1963, France’s President Charles de Gaulle vetoed its application. "He had a lot of experience of the British and he always thought that they&aposd be on the Americans&apos side… so I don&apost think he believed that they&aposd play the game of Europe," Edith Cresson, former Prime Minister of France, told the BBC in December 2017. "Formally they&aposd be in, but actually they&aposd always be with the Americans."

The UK finally made it into the club in 1973, but just two years later was on the verge of backing out again.

In 1975, the nation held a referendum on the question: 𠇍o you think the UK should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?” The 67 percent “Yes” vote included most of the UK’s 68 administrative counties, regions and Northern Ireland, while only Shetland and Western Isles voted “No.” The center-left Labour Party split over the issue, with the pro-Europe wing splitting from the rest of the party to form the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Tensions between the EEC and the UK exploded in 1984, when the Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher talked tough in order to reduce British payments to the EEC budget. Though at the time the UK was the third-poorest nation in the Community, it was paying a lot more into the budget than other nations due to its relative lack of farms. Farm subsidies then made up some 70 percent of total EEC expenditures. The UK “rebate” negotiated by Thatcher remains in place today, and has reduced Britain’s contribution to the budget from more than 20 percent of the total in the �s to about 12 percent.

The Maastricht Treaty, which took effect in 1993, created the Brussels-based European Union (EU), of which the EEC, renamed simply the European Community (EC) was the main component. The EU was designed to integrate Europe’s nations politically and economically, including a united foreign policy, common citizenship rights and (for most member nations, not including the UK) a single currency, the euro.

Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, who won a landslide victory in 1997, was strongly pro-European Union, and worked to rebuild ties with the rest of Europe while in office. He had his work cut out for him: In the midst of the “mad cow” (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) scare of the late �s, Brussels imposed a ban on British beef. The general EU ban was lifted in 1999, after tough restrictions were imposed on beef exports, but France kept its own ban in place for years after that.

Europe and the UK didn’t just battle over beef. In 2000, after a 27-year-long battle and a victorious verdict from the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, British chocolate could finally be sold in the rest of Europe. Purists in France, Belgium, Spain and Italy, among other nations, had argued that only cocoa butter, and not vegetable oil, should be used when making chocolate. They also thought British-made chocolate–including popular brands like Mars Bars, Kit-Kats and Cadbury’s–had far too much milk, and wanted it to be labeled as “household milk chocolate,” 𠇌hocolate substitute” or even “vegelate.”

In 2007, after plans for an official EU constitution collapsed, the member nations finished negotiating the controversial Lisbon Treaty, which gave Brussels broader powers. Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown famously missed a televised ceremony in which the leaders of the 26 other member nations signed the treaty. He later signed the document, but was criticized for failing to defend a treaty he had helped to negotiate.

In the interests of protecting Britain’s financial sector, David Cameron became the first UK prime minister to veto a EU treaty in 2011. In early 2013, he gave a much-anticipated speech in which he outlined the challenges facing Europe and promised to renegotiate membership in the EU if his Conservative Party won a majority in the next general election. At the same time, support was growing among British voters for the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and its hard line stance against the EU.

Against the backdrop of economic unrest in the eurozone (as the territory of the 19 EU countries that use the euro is known) and an ongoing migrant crisis, UKIP and other supporters of a possible British exit from the EU—or Brexit—increased.ꂯter winning reelection in May 2015, Cameron went to work renegotiating the UK-EU relationship, including changes in migrant welfare payments, financial safeguards and easier ways for Britain to block EU regulations. In February 2016, he announced the results of those negotiations, and set June 23 as the date of the promised referendum.

Turnout for the referendum was 71.8 percent, with more than 30 million people voting. The referendum passed by a slim 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent margin, but there were stark differences across the UK. Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU, as did Scotland (where only 38 percent of voters chose “leave”), leading to renewed calls for another referendum on Scottish independence. England and Wales, however, voted in favor of Brexit.

In October 2016, Prime Minister Theresa May, who had assumed office following David Cameron’s resignation, announced her intention to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union,ਏormally giving notice of Britain’s intent to leave the EU. On March 29, 2017, the order, signed by May a day earlier, was delivered to the Council of the European Union, officially starting the two-year countdown to Britain’s EU departure, set for March 30, 2019. However, on March 30, 2019, Parliament rejected May&aposs EU withdrawal agreement. The European Council set a new deadline of October 31, 2019, or the first day of the month after that in which a withdrawal agreement is passed—whichever comes sooner. 


Out in public

Coming out took on a more political meaning after the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion, in which patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York City fought back against a police raid. The rebellion included riots and a resistance that lasted for days. It was subsequently commemorated in an annual march known today as “gay pride.”

At the first Gay Liberation March in New York City in June 1970, one of the organizers stated that “we’ll never have the freedom and civil rights we deserve as human beings unless we stop hiding in closets and in the shelter of anonymity.”

By this time, coming out was juxtaposed with being in the closet, conveying the shame associated with hiding. By the end of the 1960s, queer people who pretended to be heterosexual were said to be “in the closet” or labeled a “closet case” or, in the case of gay men, “closet queens.”

By the 1970s, mainstream journalists were already using the term beyond sexual orientation – to speak of, for instance, “closet conservatives” and “closet gourmets.”


What is a theory of change?

A theory of change is essentially your pathway of how you think you will create change. To build a theory of change you need to start with your ultimate aim – that is the change that you wish to make. Everything that you do must contribute towards achieving that ultimate aim. It is also important to work out what is achievable given the resources you have available to you and the environment you are working in .

A ‘theory of change model’ is a powerful tool for focusing your campaign strategy and planning. It brings a focused view of how to make change happen and explores the assumptions behind each of the stages on the way, identifying the conditions needed for change to happen and what campaign activities might produce that change. This process forces campaigners to list in sequence their planned activities and to draw logical connections between these and their expected outcomes and impact.

Importantly, any particular campaign theory will not necessarily be fixed but will change as you take on board new evidence or as the theory is tested by the impact of your campaign actions.


Game-changing

In February, Donald Trump named Brad Parscale as his 2020 re-election campaign manager. The decision lends credence to what Parscale has been saying for the past year: that his Facebook advertising operation won Trump the election.

Brad Parscale, the digital media director of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, has been hired to lead his 2020 presidential re-election campaign. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Parscale had been a little-known digital marketing executive working out of Texas when he was tapped to build Trump’s campaign website in 2015. Until then, digital advertising was barely a rounding error in campaign budgets. In 2008, the year Barack Obama became the first social media candidate, candidates spent just $22.25m on online political ads, according to an analysis by Borrell Associates. That number grew significantly in 2012, but the real explosion came in 2016, when campaigns pumped $1.4bn into digital ads.

US presidential campaigns are often remembered – and understood – by their advertisements. Lyndon B Johnson’s “Daisy” ad powerfully (and controversially) set the stakes of an election in a nuclear world. George HW Bush’s “Willie Horton” attack ad still epitomizes the racist dog-whistle politics of the tough-on-crime era. The message, as much as the messenger, is a key part of the debate over who is best equipped to lead the country.

But no such public debate took place around Trump’s apparently game-changing digital political advertisements before election day.

This is partly due to a loophole in the prevailing campaign finance law, which was written in 2002 and did not include internet ads in the class of regulated “electioneering communications”. But perhaps even more important is the very nature of online advertising, which is self-serve (just sign up with a credit card and go) and highly iterative.

Parscale claims he typically ran 50,000 to 60,000 variations of Facebook ads each day during the Trump campaign, all targeting different segments of the electorate. Understanding the meaning of a single one of those ads would require knowing what the ad actually said, who the campaign targeted to see that ad, and how that audience responded. Multiply that by 100 and you have a headache by 50,000 and you’ll start to doubt your grasp on reality. Then remember that this is 50,000 a day over the course of a campaign that lasted more than a year.

“The reason I said it might work too well,” Krohn said in a recent interview with the Guardian, “is that mass marketing went away and micro-targeting – nano-targeting – came to fruition.”

Any candidate using Facebook can put a campaign message promising one thing in front of one group of voters while simultaneously running an ad with a completely opposite message in front of a different group of voters. The ads themselves are not posted anywhere for the general public to see (this is what’s known as “dark advertising”), and chances are, no one will ever be the wiser.

That undermines the very idea of a “marketplace of ideas”, says Ann Ravel, a former member of the Federal Election Commission who has long advocated stricter regulations on digital campaigning. “The way to have a robust democracy is for people to hear all these ideas and make decisions and discuss,” Ravel said. “With microtargeting, that is not happening.”

Parscale and his staff told reporters with Bloomberg that they used Facebook ads to target Hillary Clinton supporters with messages designed to make them sit the election out, including her own forays into dog-whistle politics from the 1990s, which the Trump campaign hoped would discourage black voters from turning out to the polls.

That degree of political manipulation might be unsavory, but it’s also relatively old-fashioned. One digital campaign staffer (not affiliated with the Trump campaign) compared it to Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy, only “technologically savvy”.

But new reporting by the Observer has revealed that the data analytics team that worked for Trump, Cambridge Analytica, went far beyond Nixonian dirty tricks. The firm obtained Facebook data harvested under the auspices of an academic study, the Observer has revealed, and then used that data to target millions of US voters based on their psychological weaknesses.

“We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles,” whistleblower Christopher Wylie told the Observer about the data theft, “and built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons.”


Party politics in the U.K. since 1945

In the period immediately after World War II, the Labour government created the National Health Service and nationalized a number of major industries. A divide over the scope of government services and taxation defined what was now a two-party system. In all eight elections from 1945 to 1970, Labour and the Conservatives collectively received between 88 percent and 98 percent of the total vote and won nearly all the seats in England, Scotland and Wales. However this two-party dominance gradually began to break down. In February 1974, the Liberals won 19 percent of the vote nationally, up to that point their best performance since World War II.

While this translated into relatively few seats for the Liberals &mdash just 14 in the first-past-the-post electoral system &mdash it marked the beginning of the decline in the Conservative plus Labour vote share and the emergence of the Liberal Party. At the same time, the Scottish National Party (SNP) had its first period of success it won nearly as many seats as the Liberals on less than 2 percent of the U.K. vote, taking advantage of its geographically concentrated support.

High rates of inflation contributed to frequent strikes by coal workers and other public-sector unions fighting for wage increases, creating a sense of crisis through much of the 1970s. The February 1974 election was so close that neither the Conservatives nor Labour held a majority of seats, and another election was called in October. Labour secured an extremely narrow majority in the second election. The next five years saw recessions and high inflation. The Labour government lost seats in by-elections triggered by member of Parliament retirements and deaths and by 1979 no longer had a majority. In March, the government lost a vote of confidence by a single MP, and a new election was called, bringing in a Conservative government led by Margaret Thatcher.

The early years of the Thatcher government experienced a deep recession as the government tried to get inflation under control at the expense of employment. While this quickly made Thatcher unpopular, the Labour Party was distracted by internal conflicts over its policy positions. Several Labour MPs left the party in protest at what they perceived as excessively left-wing policy positions and formed a new &ldquoSocial Democratic Party.&rdquo (This new party joined an electoral alliance with the Liberal Party, and in 1988,the two merged into the &ldquoLiberal Democrats.&rdquo) The Conservatives easily won the 1983 election against a badly fragmented opposition and as economic conditions improved. They embarked on privatizing many of the industries that the postwar Labour government had nationalized, including coal, steel, airlines, cars, buses and telecoms.

After the Conservatives won the 1987 election with a reduced majority, Thatcher&rsquos popularity began to decline. By most accounts, her downfall was the replacement of local property taxes that depended on property values with a &ldquoCommunity Charge&rdquo (commonly known as the &ldquopoll tax&rdquo), a flat individual charge on all adult residents, regardless of income, to pay for local services. The poll tax was introduced in Scotland in 1989 and in England and Wales in 1990. This led to a lasting sense in Scotland that it had been the subject of a Conservative experiment. When implementation reached the rest of the U.K., large-scale protests and riots occurred in London, and Conservative MPs ousted Thatcher as party leader, replacing her with John Major.

Buoyed by new leadership, the Conservatives unexpectedly won the 1992 general election. 1

The Conservative government rapidly returned to unpopularity, and when the next election occurred in 1997, the Labour Party under Tony Blair&rsquos leadership won in a massive landslide. It is important to note here what a &ldquomassive landslide&rdquo means in recent U.K. politics. Labour won 43 percent of the vote, versus 31 percent for the Conservatives and 17 percent for the Liberal Democrats. Because Labour won many seats by modest margins, these vote totals translated into 418, 165, and 46 of the 650 Commons seats, respectively.

Blair won an equally large victory in 2001 on reduced voter turnout. But as the decade proceeded, Blair&rsquos decision to join U.S. President George W. Bush in the 2003 invasion of Iraq proved to be increasingly unpopular, especially among Labour voters. Blair won a smaller victory in 2005 and stepped aside as prime minister in 2007 in favor of Gordon Brown, the longtime chancellor of the Exchequer.


The Progressive Campaign for Suffrage

This animosity eventually faded, and in 1890 the two groups merged to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the organization’s first president.

By then, the suffragists’ approach had changed. Instead of arguing that women deserved the same rights and responsibilities as men because women and men were 𠇌reated equal,” the new generation of activists argued that women deserved the vote because they were different from men.

They could make their domesticity into a political virtue, using the franchise to create a purer, more moral “maternal commonwealth.”

This argument served many political agendas: Temperance advocates, for instance, wanted women to have the vote because they thought it would mobilize an enormous voting bloc on behalf of their cause, and many middle-class white people were swayed once again by the argument that the enfranchisement of white women would 𠇎nsure immediate and durable white supremacy, honestly attained.”

Did you know? In 1923, the National Woman&aposs Party proposed an amendment to the Constitution that prohibited all discrimination on the basis of sex. The so-called Equal Rights Amendment has never been ratified.


II.

In December, a new hire at Basecamp volunteered to help the company work on diversity issues. Posting on a long-dormant thread in the Basecamp software, which resembles a message board, the employee sought other volunteers to begin working on DE&I issues.

There was reason to believe that the co-founders would be receptive. In 2017, after Basecamp had been around for 18 years, Fried wrote an essay in Inc. about the company’s weak record on diversity issues. “I believe a company is at its best when it reflects those it serves,” Fried wrote. “If you fill a room with 20 random employees and 20 random customers, an outside observer should have trouble telling them apart.”

Last year, in the wake of the racial justice protest that swept the country, Hansson had encouraged employees to read Between the World and Me, a memoir by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander’s exploration of the racist nature of mass incarceration. Both founders are also active — and occasionally hyperactive — on Twitter, where they regularly advocate for mainstream liberal and progressive views on social issues.

While Basecamp does not publish diversity statistics, it is still, like most tech companies, majority white and male, employees said. But the idea of worker-led efforts on diversity issues got a frosty reception from the founders last year, employees told me. They were allowed to work on the project, but did not feel as if the founders were particularly invested in the outcome.

Nonetheless, the DE&I council attracted significant support. More than a third of the company — 20 out of roughly 58 employees — volunteered to help. They began examining Basecamp’s hiring processes, which vendors the company works with, how Basecamp employees socialize, and what speakers they might invite to one of the all-remote company’s twice-yearly in-person gatherings.

In the aftermath of these discussions, employees began to discuss the list of customer names. On April 13, two employees posted an apology on the internal Basecamp for having contributed to the list in the past. The employee responsible for initially creating it had left the company. But while previous versions of the list had been deleted, copies had resurfaced.

The employees noted that there had never been an internal reckoning over the list, and said it was important to discuss why making fun of customers’ names had been wrong. The apology included an image of “the pyramid of hate,” an illustration created by the Anti-Defamation League to show how the most extreme acts of extremist violence are enabled by a foundation of biased attitudes and acts of bias.

A day later, Hansson responded with a post of his own. He had conducted a forensic analysis of who created the document and how it had spread around the company. He called it a systemic failure on the company’s part. In a conversation with me today, he acknowledged that he and Fried had known about the list for years.

“There was some awareness at the time within the company that that list had existed and it wasn’t acted upon. That is squarely on Jason’s and my record.” The list, he said, “in itself is just a gross violation of the trust … It’s just wrong in all sorts of fundamental ways.”

Employees responded mostly positively to the first part of this note. But Hansson went further, taking exception to the use of the pyramid of hate in a workplace discussion. He told me today that attempting to link the list of customer names to potential genocide represented a case of “catastrophizing” — one that made it impossible for any good-faith discussions to follow. Presumably, any employees who are found contributing to genocidal attitudes should be fired on the spot — and yet nobody involved seemed to think that contributing to or viewing the list was a fireable offense. If that’s the case, Hansson said, then the pyramid of hate had no place in the discussion. To him, it escalated employees’ emotions past the point of being productive.

Hansson wanted to acknowledge the situation as a failure and move on. But when employees who had been involved in the list wanted to continue talking about it, he grew exasperated. “You are the person you are complaining about,” he thought.

Employees took a different view. In a response to Hansson’s post, one employee noted that the way we treat names — especially foreign names — is deeply connected to social and racial hierarchies. Just a few weeks earlier, eight people had been killed in a shooting spree in Atlanta. Six of the victims were women of Asian descent, and their names had sometimes been mangled in press reports. (The Asian American Journalists Association responded by issuing a pronunciation guide.) The point was that dehumanizing behavior begins with very small actions, and it did not seem like too much to ask Basecamp’s founders to acknowledge that.

Hansson’s response to this employee took aback many of the workers I spoke with. He dug through old chat logs to find a time when the employee in question participated in a discussion about a customer with a funny-sounding name. Hansson posted the message — visible to the entire company — and dismissed the substance of the employee’s complaint.

Two other employees were sufficiently concerned by the public dressing-down of a colleague that they filed complaints with Basecamp’s human resources officer. (HR declined to take action against the company co-founder.)

Less than two weeks later, Fried announced the new company policies.


Campaigners for Social & Political Change in the UK - History

It was the result both of social changes and political expediency and a movement away from the isolation of the mentally ill in old Victorian asylums towards their integration into the community.

The aim was to "normalise" the mentally ill and to remove the stigma of a condition that is said to afflict one in four of the British population at some time in their lives.

The main push towards community care as we know it today came in the 1950s and 1960s, an era which saw a sea change in attitude towards the treatment of the mentally ill and a rise in the patients' rights movement, tied to civil rights campaigns.

The 1959 Mental Health Act abolished the distinction between psychiatric and other hospitals and encouraged the development of community care.

Through the 1960s, the tide continued to move against the big hospital institutions.

Psychiatrists questioned traditional treatments for mental illness.

R.D. Laing, for example, suggested that social rather than medical reasons were responsible for schizophrenia.

He also opposed the standard treatments for the illness, including electro-convulsive therapy and hospitalisation.

The introduction of a new wave of psychotropic drugs in the 1960s also meant patients could be more easily treated outside of an institution.

Another significant development was the growth of patients' and civil rights movements and the increase in charities which championed them.

In the first part of the century, for example, asylums were used to house a wide variety of people, including single women who had fallen pregnant.

Many remained there throughout their lives.

In addition, right-wing civil libertarians like former health minister Enoch Powell, dubbed by some the Father of Community Care, argued that mental hospitals were effectively prisons, preventing a return to normal life.

There was also a belief that community care would be cheaper than hospital care, although in recent years mental health campaigners have consistently argued that, if properly funded, it is more expensive.

During the 1970s, large-scale psychiatric hospitals were steadily discredited.

The new district general hospitals which provided some psychiatric services contributed to the reduction in the number of beds in mental hospitals from 150,000 in the mid-1950s to 80,000 by 1975.

The 1980s saw the introduction of legislation which would give the mentally ill more rights.

The Mental Health Act 1983, currently under review, set out the rights of people admitted to mental hospitals, allowing them to appeal against committal.

A recent case in the House of Lords sought to extend those rights to vulnerable people who have been informally admitted to hospital, bypassing the Act.

It failed due to fears that a change would increase the number of people being committed to hospital, reflecting the shift in attitude away from hospitalisation.

However, by the 1980s concerns were being expressed about care in the community following a series of killings by people with mental health problems.

The 1984 murder of social worker Isabel Schwarz by a former client prompted a government inquiry into community care, led by Sir Roy Griffiths.

His 1988 report, 'Community Care: Agenda for Action' was the forerunner to the Community Care Act of 1990, major legislation which sets out the basis for community care as we know it today.


Recent Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders made this one of hottest slogans in recent memory. This political slogan is, “I Like Ike” as contender for best slogan ever. Why? Similar brevity and “Feel the Burn” rolls right off the tongue as well.

The political slogan is, “Happy Days are Here Again,” said by Franklin Roosevelt in 1932 was the first slogan to come from a pre-existing song. This political slogan became the Democratic Party’s unofficial theme song for years to come.


Watch the video: Change UK launches campaign for EU elections