The Reason Review—September 2017
You’ll have noticed that The Reason Review has been slowly changing shape these last few months. We’ve gone from detailed analysis of big news stories in what was quite a meaty read, to something altogether more sleek and succinct—as ever trying to clarify complex stories and keep you up to date with news that may have slipped under the radar.
This month we thought we’d add a little something extra into the mix, offering suggestions on things to see, read and do that might inspire you to take action. We do it in the magazine, and it makes sense to do it here, too. We’ll keep changing things up until we get the balance just right, but until we do, we’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can keep improving. If you’d like to share your opinions on the evolution of The Reason Review, drop us a line on email@example.com. Happy reading!
Kurds Voted. So Is the Middle East Breaking Up?
“The Kurdish vote reflects an existential quandary across the entire Middle East today: Are some of the region’s most important countries really viable anymore?”
For almost a century the Kurds have been a people without a homeland to call their own, scattered across Iraq, Syria and Turkey after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War. Persecuted and marginalised by their hosts ever since, September saw them enjoy a small but significant victory in a referendum of independence for the Kurds of Iraq. The New Yorker’s Robin Wright takes a closer look at the potential repercussions of this vote and what it means for other Arab nations.
Catalans Defy Madrid With Vote of Independence
“Catalonia’s president said the region’s citizens had ‘earned the right to have an independent state’ after more than 2m people defied Spanish government attempts to halt Sunday’s referendum.”
In the 40 year history of Spain’s democratic system, Catalonia has often petitioned for its independence. But a referendum carried out by the region’s president, Carles Puigdemont, has provoked ire from central government in Madrid, and caused Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy to use police force to halt the vote.
Do You Know Where Your Dinner’s Been?
The Guardian and ITV make some unsavoury discoveries inside the largest chicken processing plant in the UK.
“Other footage showed chicken being picked off the floor and being thrown back on to the production line, and older poultry being mixed with fresher birds.”
One We Missed
“The body collectors wade through the water and start searching under the rubble. After five minutes one of them pulls out a foot; mangled, white and rotting. They drop it into the body bag.”
In August we were so caught up with Hurricane Harvey and its exacerbation by urban sprawl that we missed this story of catastrophic mudslides in Sierra Leone. Here, Al Jazeera detail the aftermath of the events, and the story of volunteer body collectors working overtime to stem the spread of disease.
“A toxic ideology of extreme competition and individualism has come to dominate our world. It misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. Only a positive vision can replace it, a new story that re-engages people in politics and lights a path to a better future.”
George Monbiot is currently on a speaking tour promoting his new book, Out of the Wreckage. He’s a man whose ideas we find exciting and provocative, even on the occasions we disagree with him. He’s also a passionate public speaker and well worth checking out.
“Paul Kingsnorth was once an activist, an ardent environmentalist. But as the environmental movement began to focus on ‘sustainability’ rather than the defence of wild places for their own sake and as global conditions worsened, he grew disenchanted with the movement that he once embraced.”
We’ve just finished reading Paul Kingsnorth’s Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist for the second time and can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s unlikely to make you feel rosy about the state of the world and the role humanity plays in it, but it will make you think long and hard about how we might move forward… if you’re in the mood for that sort of thing.
“Become a Beach Clean Leader — Batten down the hatches against winter’s Plastic Pollution Storms!”
From October 23–29, Surfers Against Sewage are organising beach cleans up and down the country and encouraging members of the public to help clear plastic pollution from the UK’s coastlines. They’re currently looking for leaders to organise their own volunteer groups, or if you can’t commit that much time you can sign up to help out on the day (you can give as much time as you’re able). Some of the Weapons of Reason team will be down in West Wittering on October 22 if you want to come and say hello. It’d be great to see you there.