Thoughts, Too Many

Manic (but enjoyable) 'summer life' finally gave way to 'rest of the year' life this weekend, which meant that yesterday I sat down and tried to write.

Usually when I'm faced with a blank sheet/screen, one of two things happens: 1) my mind goes blank and I can't think of anything to write about OR 2) my mind gets filled with so many thoughts, it's impossible to select just one or two and push the others aside. At the moment, I seem to be suffering from Malaise #2.

Here's something currently vying for supremacy in my addled psyche. It's a series of statistics published in order to mark Racial Justice Sunday, which was 10th September:

-- There were an estimated 400,000 racially-motivated attacks/incidents in the UK in 2005. Half of these were carried out by school children or young people.

-- There has been a marked increase in racial attacks on Muslims (and presumed Muslims) since July 2005.

-- Fictitious responses to job advertisements with the names 'Jenny Hughes' and 'John Andrews' secured 25% of interviews. 'Fatima Khan' and 'Nasser Hanif' secured 9%. 'Abu Olasemi' and 'Yinka Olatunde' secured 13%.

-- People who move into the UK provide 10% more in tax revenue than they take out in public services. They come because the economy is relatively successful and there is a demand for workers in jobs which existing residents do not fill.

I watched The Road To Guantanamo on Saturday. Putting aside the issue of whether its subjects' testimony is true, I thought it made very troubling viewing because it served as yet another reflection of the very deep and unspoken rifts which exist between sectors of UK society.

But will I write about all this? Who knows. Perhaps this evening I'll just chicken out and go to the cinema.

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