DAY 259: The editor

November 13th, 2018 § 0 comments



Or, if only I’d had an editorial subcommittee to blame for the last post’s goofs. The suggestions which have come at me from various directions that I should discard it and replace it, pretending that T’d actually written something else, I discard and despise. I shall have to stick with the confusion between postage stamps and banknotes which even the moderately keen-eyed reader will have noticed; and continue with the written work, in all its imperfections. The ever-faithful Corinne Squire (hi there) forgave the error,  read it as if it was OK to write about stamps and gave me some good advice, particularly recalling that there had been a series of stamps in memory of David Bowie; and pointing me to her own much more scholarly blog at https://displacesblog.wordpress.com. Which I’ll leave you to explore.

Major Blow to the hostile environment: Docs not Cops.

A backroom deal allowing the Home Office to request patient data from the NHS to target people for deportation has been scrapped following a legal challenge. The agreement gave the Home Office access to confidential patient information to aid immigration enforcement. It was written in secret before being published in January 2017. This year, Migrants’ Rights Network (MRN), represented by human rights organisation Liberty and Matrix Chambers, took legal action against the arrangement because it VIOLATED PATIENT CONFIDENTIALITY, DISCRIMINATED AGAINST NON-BRITISH PATIENTS 5676

Hostile environment van

AND LEFT SERIOUSLY UNWELL PEOPLE FEARFUL OF SEEKING MEDICAL CARE.Under the pressure of the legal challenge, the Government announced in May 2018 that the data-sharing deal would be suspended – but remain in place. (See https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/nhs-data-sharing-home-office_uk_5be97198e4b0e843889a1b5d?ncid=other_twitter_cooo9wqtham&utm_campaign=share_twitter.)

NHS DIGITAL HAS NOW CONFIRMED TO THE COURT IT WILL COMPLETELY WITHDRAW THE DATA-SHARING DEAL made between itself, the Department of Health and the Home Office.

Review: The Book of Exodus (Moses)

When this author’s Genesis appeared a few years back, I was impressed by its bold post-modern approach to narrative. The decision to give two directly conflicting versions of the Creation was an encouraging start; from which much else flowed. We were, at all points, presented with a fractured narrative with constant digressions; the character of ‘God’, a capricious being who was capable of destroying everything he had created in a flood recalled many more recent antiheroes; and similarly for God’s reactions as they’re shown in the fine stories of Noah’s sons, cursed for observing his drunkenness, or of the destruction of the Cities of the Plain. The sacrifice of Isaac in particular, as Kierkegaard has pointed out, is exemplary. in its presentation of God as a dubious and contradictory character.

In contrast, it must be said that Exodus comes as something of a disappointment, with a single ‘hero’ and relatively simple linear storyline. The adventures of Moses as a traditional clan ruler follow a fairly routine pattern, the main surprises being God’s role (which has often been pointed out) in hardening Pharaoh’s heart, and the later disturbances around the Children of Israel, the Golden Calf, 321-primary-0-440x400and the tablets of the law. Apart from these, one misses the boldness, the invention, and the constant disruption in Genesis. It’s tempting to think that the author is trying to appeal to a more popular readership, (‘Let my people Go‘) being the main storyline) and he may indeed be successful. However, in terms of literary craft, this reviewer finds Genesis a more exciting and  groundbreaking work. I’m intrigued by a few extracts I’ve seen from the forthcoming sequel Leviticus which suggest that Moses is toying with the idea of abandoning narrative altogether in favour of, one might say, the form of a legal textbook with prohibitions and punishments. We shall see.

 

 

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