April 3, 2024 - 6:00pm

→ US government health body spends $3 million to study microaggressions

If you were wondering how much it might cost to look into how microaggressions affect black women with HIV, we now have an answer: $3 million, apparently. At least, that’s the amount the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have spent on funding a project looking into “Monitoring Microaggressions and Adversities to Generate Interventions for Change (MMAGIC) for Black Women Living with HIV”. The choice of focus has been criticised as ideological rather than scientific, especially from the NIH — a body funded by US taxpayers.

Highlights from the research that has already been conducted include a 2022 paper entitled “Monitoring Intersectional Stigma: A Key Strategy to Ending the HIV epidemic in the United States”, using a “Black Feminist Critique”.

To put that into perspective, the average US family pays $17,902 in taxes, meaning the report is roughly the equivalent of 168 families’ tax burden. Money well spent…

→ Labour set for red wall rebuild in crushing poll for Tories

For the brave few who are still planning to vote Tory in the next election, look away now. According to the latest YouGov MRP, Labour looks set for a historic majority in the upcoming election, winning a stonking 403 seats (compared to a woeful 155 for the Conservatives).

The election outcome would mean the hallowed Labour red wall would be snatched back from the Tories, who took near-complete control of the traditional northern Labour seats in 2019.

What, then, for Britain’s other parties? YouGov forecasts a very strong election for the Lib Dems, who would more than quadruple their current seats to 49. But Reform — despite its surge in the polls — would actually lose its only seat in the election, going home empty-handed. What will Lee Anderson do now?

→ Fraudster teacher conquers California

A British accent can get you a long way in America and, as Yolande Beckles proves, it can even provide a cover for being a notorious fraudster.  Pirate Wires has published an article on Beckles, a British education consultant who in recent years has become increasingly influential in California policymaking circles, as well as president of a nonprofit, the National Association of African American Parents and Youth (NAAAPY). What wonks in America hadn’t apparently checked was that she had been involved in multiple scams and financial scandals in her home nation, which were reported on in the press well over a decade ago.

Beckles was the star of a 2006 BBC documentary, Don’t Mess with Miss Beckles, in which she attempted to improve the performance of disaffected teenagers in London. One of the students involved later claimed to have been “manipulated” by the programme and refused to speak to Beckles again. A year later, in 2007, journalists found that her various defunct businesses were levied with 19 court judgments and £70,000 in fines.

Yet, since fleeing to Los Angeles almost 20 years ago, Beckles has become a darling of the West Coast establishment, and is set to co-host a session at Stanford University next month, where she is considered a maths education specialist. Former employees who had to cover her debts will no doubt disagree that she has a head for figures