Monday musings

I’m gratefully writing this week’s post under a fluffy throw from the comfort of my warm, cosy flat – the weather here unexpectedly dipped from a mild 8°C on Saturday to a -10°C ‘real feel’ on Sunday, plus extra snow flurries today. I know it’s still winter, but that was uncalled for.

Last week, I posted about making quick decisions and why there’s no real need to fear that. So in the spirit of taking my own advice, I invested in more books (for professional development purposes – hi, HMRC) and finally ended my Instagram hiatus to see what’s happening over there.

Without further ado: this week’s collection of interesting links from my web wanderings is a bit of mixed bag. Aside from Cole Schafer’s unofficial reference list of annoying business buzzwords, the other bits are a little heavy… so to counter-balance, I’ve chucked in my personal hero, Jackie Weaver (aka Britney Spears) at the end. Enjoy!

To read:

  • Reading Marcus Bullock’s story in The Hustle newsletter a few Sundays back inspired some very real tears – both at his original circumstances and what he did to turn it around to get to where he is today with Flikshop. Such an inspiring story, and also a reminder about the brokenness of the system in the US (everywhere?) relating to incarceration and rehabilitation.
  • An interesting view on the homogeneity of logo design and how everything looks the same these days by Radek Sienkiewicz.
  • It’s a bit too late in my case now, seeing as I’m already on Clubhouse, but a word of warning regarding privacy concerns with the app: Clubhouse really likes your phone book. I have to admit: I initially thought it was weird that the app knew how many of my contacts’ contacts were on the app, but I didn’t pay it much attention. Hmm.
  • Cole Schafer’s tongue-in-cheek look at business jargon, along with non-bullshit translations of what you can say instead. Pls, let’s not circle back.
  • Along with a list of other disturbing cases from my law degree that will probably live forever in my head rent free, learning about the plight of the Chagos Islanders during our constitutional law module was heartbreaking (see the video section below for further deets). I was recently reminded of the case so looked it up and found that there’s (kinda) been some progress via the UN’s maritime law tribunal and the International Court of Justice. For God’s sake, let the people go home.

To watch:

Let’s start with some context first, shall we? Feel free to skip this bit if you know the backstory already…

In the early 1960s, the UK and the US made a secret deal to hand control of an island called Diego Garcia, the largest island of the Chagos Islands, over to the US for use as a military base. A key factor of this deal was that the islands needed to be an “unpopulated territory” so that they wouldn’t be breaking any UN rules about decolonisation (as the islands were owned by Mauritius, at the time a British colony).

So what did the UK government do? They made a deal to extract the islands from being part of Mauritian territory and bought it from the country as a term of their independence (which was a problematic deal anyway, but that’s a whole ‘nother constitutional topic!) The islands were then established as the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) in 1965.

Now, I hear you – constitutional stuff aside, what’s wrong with buying land as part of a normal transaction? Nothing, usually. Except that these islands were home to at least 2,000 people. Families with several generations – the descendants of the former slaves turned freemen who were taken there by the French during that heinous period of slavery. Clearly, this wasn’t an unpopulated territory.

So what did the UK government do (again)? They basically said, “f*** your home” and forcibly (illegally) removed the entire population from the islands in the late 60s/early 70s, splitting the group between Mauritius, the Seychelles and the UK, without adequate compensation or integration support. 

The Chagossians have never been allowed to return home to resettle, despite various promises from the UK government after several legal victories. And to add insult to injury, the two governments hatched a plot to designate the BIOT as a “marine protected area” with the specific shady aim to exclude the Chagossians in a final calculated act of wickedness.

In 2016, the UK & the US extended their military lease on Diego Garcia to expire in 2036.

Now onto the video (16 mins):

For more information, see the below:


Now to leave you with something a little lighter…

I am living for the level of pettiness in the most chaotic parish council meeting of 2020.

As a big fan of the Parks & Recreation series, this tickled me:

“You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver.”

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