Preliminary notes on the Tottenham Defence Campaign

September 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Tottenham Defence Campaign has issued the following advance press notice:
The Tottenham-based families of Mark Duggan, Roger Sylvester, Cynthia Jarrett and Joy Gardner – whose loved ones all died following detention by police officers – will speak at a press conference for the launch of the Tottenham Defence Campaign on Wednesday 5th October. This is two months since the shooting of Mark Duggan and the 26th anniversary of the death of Cynthia Jarrett.
The four families, speaking alongside local community activist Stafford Scott, will discuss the struggle for truth and justice they have faced.The campaign has been formed by local people to defend access to justice for young people amid community concerns that Tottenham will face disproportionate and unequal treatment in the wake of August’s disturbances.Campaigners will outline aims that include:

• A greater understanding of the history of Tottenham, particularly relating to policing and how it has impacted on the local community, which is essential for those who seek to understand and remedy the causes of social disorder

• A rejection of measures that reinforce stereotypes, marginalise or criminalise the people of Tottenham, which will not serve the course of justice and will be detrimental to the community in the longer term.

Tottenham Defence Campaign press conference
11am, Wednesday 5th October

North London Community House
22 Moorefield Road
N17 6PY

Stafford Scott, said in advance of the press conference:

“As family and friends come together to remember Cynthia Jarrett some 26 years after she was taken from us, we find it incomprehensible that this borough, Haringey, has seen three more members of our community killed whilst in the ‘custody’ of Metropolitan Police Officers.  No community should have this as their reality. As a result this is a community that has come to the conclusion that there is no justice – there’s just us.

The police must be held to account over the death of four members of our community, for their failings to contact the family of Mark Duggan about his death and their woeful response to family members on the peaceful demonstration in August. Within the community, people believe the police bear ultimate culpability for the rioting that took place in Tottenham through their failure to respond to the family or to act as events unfolded.  Yet it’s the community of Tottenham who will be further stigmatised and punished.  We will be calling on the IPCC to carry out its duty and ensure their investigation reveals the full truth about the killing of Mark Duggan.We will be calling on the Government to remember the lessons learnt from the eighties, as the response that we are witnessing is almost guaranteed to further marginalise the already marginalised; this will not lessen any likelihood of future rioting it will, inevitably, increase it”

For more information visit the TDC website


How to access academic readings for free online

September 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

The best viva in the world?

September 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

A friend just told me his PhD viva took place sitting on the grass in Russell Square Garden. He passed, and then went to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – with his examiners.


September 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

…I didn’t know Adele was from Tottenham. Nice one.

Current playlist

September 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

Lura – Fitiço Di Funana

Iron and Wine – Upward Over The Mountain

Bombadil – Three Saddest Words

Going to see Iron and Wine at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 10 October.

Feminist economics, vox pop and a note on the riots

September 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

In the aftermath of what have become known as the 2011 riots I have spent some time volunteering with local groups seeking to find a community-led way of responding. This has involved time spent going door-to-door on many of the estates in Tottenham. Among the conversations with residents that took place along the way, one analysis that kept on coming back was the connection of overworked parents with troubled children. One 60-year old white man of Irish origin put it succinctly:

The kids want TVs and computers and Blackberries, and so the parents work all hours to get the money to buy the gadgets, and never see their kids until they’re in court.

Now I am preparing a lecture course on international development, and it has suddenly hit me how closely this analysis fits with what scholars like Diane Elson were saying in the early 1990s (see Elson 1991, Moser 1992). Elson argued that mainstream economics focuses on the so-called productive economy in which labour is exchanged for wages, and ignores the reproductive or care economy within the home, in which family members – more often than not, women – provide everything that is necessary for the reproduction of the workforce (e.g. dinner and breakfast for the men who will go out to work and the children who must go to school to learn, to become the workers of tomorrow).

Ignoring this side of the economy means that the full consequences of policies are not taken into account – in particular, when the State withdraws from particular areas of service provision, it is often women who have to step in, and often end up being responsible for both the productive and the care economy, decreasing their leisure time and/or decreasing the quality of their reproductive work. This is likely to have negative consequences both for women’s health and the care of children, potentially affecting social reproduction and human development (here I am paraphrasing from a working paper by Myriam Blin because I don’t have any more time to write right now).

Frank Turner’s great campfire punk song put it somewhat more provocatively than this, of course.


Blin, Myriam (2006) “Export-oriented policies, women’s work burden and human development in Mauritius” SOAS Department of Economics Working Paper No. 147, available online at

Elson, Diane (1991) “Unpaid Labour, Macroeconomic Adjustment and Macroeconomic Strategies” Working Paper number 3, Manchester: University of Manchester

Moser, Caroline O.N. (1992) “Adjustment from Below: Low-income women, time and the triple role in Guayaquil, Equador” in Haleh Afshar and C. Dennis Women and Adjustment Policies in the Third World York: Macmillan Press


September 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Late last night at a party a charming long-haired space cadet pointed out Jupiter under the moon. I wasn’t convinced, even though he told me he knows a thing or two about the sky. Then he played some guitar, and told me his band is called Spring Heeled Jacks and we should look them up and come to one of their gigs. “You might like it. Or you might not. But you should come.” I can’t find the band online. But it was Jupiter.

Where Am I?

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