2018 in review: a holding pattern

If it felt like major sea-changes were afoot last year, 2018 seems to have been the restoration of order, the restoration of everything being somewhere between a bit rubbish and hellishly awful.

How do we even begin to measure what changed in 2018? Every time it felt like something was shaken up it all just settled back down.

Everyone’s talking about Brexit, but let’s be honest here: nothing happened. There’s been no changes there, and the discourse has probably masked some of the other stuff that went down.

Perhaps we measure 2018 in politicians’ careers: Theresa May, how many times did we think she just had to go? How many times did she actually go? Or we could look at her clone, Amber Rudd, resigning this year to take a bullet for her boss over Windrush, only to be restored to favour six months later. They’re all still there. No heads claimed.

Can we measure in the arguments we had? Dear god, it’s just been the same shit over and over, hasn’t it? Nazis just farting out the same talking points about freeze peach, rapid onset gender dysphoria, lobsters, all that junk. I cycle between bothering and just fucking going to bed. They don’t seem to have recruited more, despite their concerted effort to sabotage a consultation on gender recognition, thankfully, but I wish they’d just go away.

This has been the major theme of 2018. We’ve been in a holding pattern, like drones over Gatwick Airport are not. It’s as though this is a filler episode in the annals of history, we’ve just gone through cycles, but everything just settles back down. Is it because the order is impossible to tear down? I’m an optimist, so I don’t like to think so. I think this may have just been – and it happens sometimes – a dud year. A year where we’re all tired from the constant parade of death that was 2016, then the constant parade of rapists that was 2017. Our enemies, too, are probably exhausted from doing all that evil.

Maybe we measure in memes: the progress from eating tide pods to put your hands up to surgery on a grape. Don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it but there have been some decent memes this year, a little bit of weirdness in a world which, unfortunately, as unpredictable each event seems, turns back to the same old shit. Alexa, that’s so sad, play Despacito.

Can we break out of the holding pattern? I think we can. It can’t stay like this forever. It’s not sustainable. Something’s got to give.

So my friends, this is what I ask you: be kind to yourselves. This is going to be a long fight, but as the She-Ra theme song (one of the small lights of 2018) said, we’re going to win in the end.

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Thread: gloomy predictions about the charity sector following bigot interference

A backed up Twitter thread, because I regularly delete my tweets (here’s why, and why you should, too).

Look, this is a massive concern for *everyone* here, that trolls can organise against grant-making bodies to cut of funding for charities. It sets a chilling precedent for the entirety of the charitable sector.

http://attitude.co.uk/article/big-lottery-fund-reviewing-decision-to-give-transgender-charity-500000-following-concerns/19914/ …

In the interest of “fairness”, grant-making bodies are now more likely to bow to orchestrated campaigns. For example, MRAs pissing and whining about breast cancer funding can now point to funders and say “see? You review funding decisions here.”

This is legitimately an enormous concern for the entire charity sector, who rely on grants from bodies like the BLF, that if some bigots online take umbrage to their charitable aims (which, let’s be honest, most charities piss someone off) they could be defunded.

It’s not like bodies like the BLF hand out money like sweeties, either. The amount of work and evidencing of their programme work to get a grant charities must go through is enormous, and the amount of due diligence the grant-maker does in turn is significant.

So these grants are already a result of hard work on both sides, where only the best-evidenced projects from charities that have been well and truly vetted to death are funded. So it’s a DANGEROUS precedent that grant-makers can turn round and go “nah” in response to trolls.

It’s Mermaids today. Who will it be tomorrow? I suspect that same hateful mob already have other LGBT charities in their sights. But other mobs, too, will have other targets. Women’s charities, anti-racism charities, disability and health charities are all hugely at risk.

In a world where poverty and need is too often seen as some sort of moral failing, this campaign against funding a children’s charity is deeply frightening for any charitable organisation who piss off an internet forum of bigots.

But of course the trolls behind this appalling campaign don’t care, or worse still, gleefully want to watch the world burn for all charitable work.

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Usually this is where I ask for money. Today, I’m not. I’m asking you to make a donation to Mermaids UK, the first victims of this new bigoted approach to choking funding.