Presuming the anti-vax movement doesn’t peter out, the only organisations with the social weight to counter it are the trade unions. This isn’t to disparage the important work being done by groups like the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, which can build a longer-term movement. Rather, it is to say that a union rally with thousands of nurses, cleaners, teachers, retail workers, hospitality workers—and, yes, construction workers—could deny the anti-vax movement its populist mantle overnight.
Private investment funds now have optimal conditions for entry into the new social housing market, with minimal capital expenditure, guaranteed market rent, a not-for-profit managing the tenancies and full control of the assets after 10 years. Governments have created a social housing market that delivers dividends to private capital, dressed up as a solution to the deepening housing crisis.
And so, the aesthetic of rebellion overtakes unpleasant conversations about accountability and material change. In lieu of the vast and sweeping efforts needed to satisfy an anarchist utopia, we are offered lads and larks and playful disobedience. There are punk bands that want to eat the rich, and there are punk bands that want to eat ‘shrooms. What is often misunderstood is that the former is a false equivalent of the latter.
Maggie is a character that is at times both easy to sympathise with and difficult to understand. She is the archetype of unreliable narrator, with her drug and alcohol use, blackouts, and trauma from the foster care system bearing a strong influence on the narrative affect. For those of us with trauma experiences, it is eerily reminiscent of our own memories: not being sure of what was real, or what has become surreal, embellished, and distorted.
Nobody should be able to dictate how and when trans and gender diverse people affirm their gender, least of all employers. Gender affirmation leave is a positive step towards reducing the barriers those transitioning face and comes at only minor expense to employers. Whether this struggle achieves its emancipatory potential will depend on unions and employers listening to trans and gender-diverse staff voices and equitably meeting their demands.