With reference to the Open University Gender Critical Research Network

Dear Vice Chancellor,

It has been a month since the launch of the OUGCRN, and whilst it’s understandable there are still a lot of responses to consider, it is also important that action is seen to be being taken – particularly in this case, where so many people who are part of a vulnerable minority are feeling ignored and abandoned.

The simplest way to address this is to be specific about the actions that would resolve the situation to the widest satisfaction, and the reasons why these should be taken.

I think everyone is now aware that a precedent has…


Dear Vice Chancellor,

Thank you for your letter, which is publicly available today, and I would also like to thank you for the effort and time you have put into formulating such a thorough and thoughtful response in such a timely manner. I know how many of us appreciate your frank and open consideration of the many complex and emotive points of view in dealing with this.

I would like to respond by expanding on the following areas, however:

I do not think anyone objects to anyone else’s right to study difficult or even potentially offensive subjects. Education and learning…


I didn’t have a fun time last year. I ended up staying nearly a month in hospital and came out with my mobility and my balance seriously curtailed, along with much of the rest of my life. It took a lot of adjusting to, both for me and for Laurie, who suddenly became a full-time carer. We did get some great support though, and got through it all as best we could. I can mostly get upstairs now without help, and my bath lift is a game changer — when it will stay charged. …


On memory

I am writing in the sand at the tideline

Each line gone before the next is even begun

The words slip through my fingers like water

Evaporating from my mind like so much steam

So I begin again, the same words on the shoreline

Before the waves creep up and wash them away

Frowning at how hard it is to write in the wet sand

When before I used to etch my words into rock


One thing that has radically changed under lockdown is the status of white vans. Before, they were viewed with wariness, suspicion and even fear. White Van Man was a bad man, here to steal our children and abduct our daughters and girlfriends. His van might have been full of sweets and puppies, but it wasn’t for any good reason, oh no. And you could be sure he wasn’t a good driver, too. You definitely didn’t want to see him in your rear view mirror on the motorway or approaching you on a roundabout.

Now, in our brave new world, White…


Gosh, yes. This is all much easier for introverts, isn’t it? All you have to do is stay in and not talk to people, after all. It’s just like heaven. And don’t forget all of us who were already on Universal Credit, Tax Credits and ESA. We didn’t even notice any changes, except that now we get more money! Thank you Covid-19, for improving our lives, that were so easy anyway. We actually have a lot of sympathy for all the people suddenly without work, and even all the people furloughed. I remember how hard it was when I lost…


My wife had always really enjoyed Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. That seemed fine. It was just a sweet little phone game with weird looking animals that wandered about a bit. I didn’t really get it, but it was more of a way to chat to other people, and build things, and wander about another world. Like Second Life but with less sex — or I assume there was a less sex anyway…

But then, someone got her ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’, since we were in lockdown and all her friends were on it now. Something to do, and a way…


Well, Fiona, we’re all delighted that at last you’re getting on with your novel, and you’re really enjoying homeschooling the kids, and you’ve started up a YouTube channel for your amazing household tips, and you’re healthier than you’ve ever been, what with the fasting and the daily yoga and the low impact aerobics and the daily run, but fuck me, let’s see if you could do this for more than six months. Let’s see you do this for more than a year, on universal credit…

This isn’t a productivity competition. There is no need to do anything more than get…


Love after Covid

I want to be pushed, I want to be shoved,

I want to be stroked, I want to feel love.

I want to be nudged, I want to hold hands.

I want to hugged until I can’t stand.

I want to feel skin that isn’t my own.

I want to get into your personal zone.

I want to run my hands through your hair,

I want to breathe in your precious air.

I want there to be no space in the bed,

I want to wake up to your pillowed head.

The taste of your lips, the heat of your…


Twelve keys points to help you survive the end times

Well, here we all are. It’s the end of days. There’s no toilet roll in Tesco and no chickpeas left in Waitrose. Italy has closed down completely and the US is headed for anarchy because a Wafflehouse employee has tested positive. Looks like we’re all doomed. What should we do to try and survive? Buy even more toilet roll, you say? I know, it seems such a natural response. But here are some other suggestions you might like to consider:

  • Don’t be selfish. There are plenty of people who can’t afford to hoard. Buy what you need and no more…

S J Tamsett

Dilettante, lush, libertine. Hanger on & hanger around. Will write for food, booze, cash or faint praise. Cynical optimist. @reviewed2death on insta & Twitter

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