jump to navigation

200 People to Save Ali Quant January 13, 2011

Posted by Phil Groom in Appeals, Death, Life.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
comments closed
I have changed my socks

I have changed my socks

YESTERDAY I was feeling frivolous and I changed my socks. Yes, it happened. Unfortunately the yeast was too strong and my bread collapsed, but that’s another story.

Today, however, I am in a more serious frame of mind and I would like you to join me in a campaign to save my friend Ali Quant.

Ali has been a victim of serious domestic abuse and is battling and blogging her way through various mental health issues, all of which you can find out about on her blog, Purple Noise. She’s also a great Scrabble player, which is one of the (admittedly more selfish) reasons why I cannot allow her to go through with her recently announced plan to commit suicide if our inglorious government (yes, David Cameron, that’s you and your crew I’m talking about) pushes her over the edge with its programme of benefit cuts that is demoralising many of the most vulnerable people in our society such as Ali. In fact, it wouldn’t be suicide: it would be murder, death by a thousand cuts from a knife wielded by the UK Government — the very people whose job it is to take care of the poor, the weak, the vulnerable on our behalf as taxpayers.

So I have a plan. It’s simple: I need 200 people who will stand with me in committing themselves to a regular monthly gift of £5 to Ali. That works out at £12,000 per year (more than I earn, as it happens) and I think Ali is worth far more than that. She may be unable to work in the conventional sense of the word, but through her blog (alongside many others: see the Madosphere links in my sidebar)  she is providing an essential service to our society: helping to erase the stigma of mental illness by telling it how it is; and exposing the shabbiness of our government’s policies and the impact those policies are having upon people’s lives.

At the same time as publishing this I’m setting up a facebook group with the same name: 200 People to Save Ali Quant. Even if you’re not in a position to make the regular financial commitment I’m asking for, please consider joining it anyway to show your solidarity with Ali — and please spread the word: between us all, between my friends and yours, we must be able to find 200 people, maybe more, who can make this level of commitment. You may be able to offer more, in which case we may not need 200 people; or less, in which case we may need more. I’m not asking for any money right now; what I’m asking for is commitment to the cause: to make the effort to pull Ali back from the brink onto which the government is pushing her and let her know what we think she’s worth, that we think her life is worth living, that we think she is making an important contribution to our society.

The world needs people like Ali Quant: people who aren’t ashamed to describe what they’ve been through, what they’re going through and who aren’t afraid to shine a light on the government’s failings. If and when those failings reach the point Ali describes and she feels she has to jump, that’s when I’ll come asking for your money: if it helps, think of this as a safety net; but please don’t commit if you’re not prepared for that safety net to be deployed — this is not a game, this is a person’s life.

I realise that in a sense doing this is precisely what Cameron wants us to do with his bleating on about the ‘Big Society’ — “Let’s get people off state benefits into community care”, or something like that. To that I say up yours to Cameron et al: the vast majority of this country didn’t vote for you and we don’t want you or need you: go back to your world of privilege and reward for failed bankers — one day it’s all going to collapse around your head. The ‘Big Society’ was here long before you were and we, the people, will continue to take care of one another with or without your help using our money (and speaking of our money, if there’s anyone reading who’s in a position to advise or help on registering the group as a charity, we should then be able to claim tax back via Gift Aid on taxpayer’s donations; and that, I think, would be a result!).

Will you stand with me? Will you spread the word? Will you help to save Ali from our cut-throat government?

Finally and very importantly: please note that I haven’t consulted Ali about this. When I hit ‘Publish’ it’s going to be as much a surprise for her as it is for everyone else. This is me, Phil Groom, asking, not Ali … because if I know Ali at all, she’d never make this request: she’d die first. But I’m not willing to sit idly by and let that happen.

And if we get more than I’m asking for, there are others out there whose blogging deserves better recognition too, starting with another of my friends, Pandora Serial Insomniac

Where Next?

To GameHouse Staff: An Apology July 2, 2010

Posted by Phil Groom in Random Musings, Watching and Waiting.
Tags: , , , , , ,
4 comments
Facebook Scrabble: Advertising Overlay

Facebook Scrabble: Advertising Overlay

If you’re a facebook Scrabble player, you’ll have become familiar with this sight over the last week or so: an advertising overlay that covers the board and counts down before it lets you play.

I’ve been one of the hundreds of people complaining about it, saying that it’s too intrusive and ruins the game.

This evening, however, I found out what it’s all about: GameHouse, the company that provides Scrabble on facebook, have got their backs to the wall, with something like half the workforce being laid off. Somehow, if the company is to survive — if the remaining staff are to keep their jobs and continue providing us with games on facebook (and Scrabble is just one of the many games they provide) — they’ve got to make those games pay.

Earlier today I left GameHouse an ultimatum on their facebook page:

Sorry guys but you haven’t listened: none of us want that ad overlay. It still takes 30 seconds to play through, which is far too long. Make it 10 seconds absolute max if you really must do it this way — but even that is unnecessary. Every other app developer I know of is perfectly content with banner and sidebar ads. Know this: I absolutely will not click through on your overlay ads. I absolutely will not purchase products from any companies whose ads you feature in this way. So you and your advertisers both ultimately lose because you alienate your own community and you alienate your advertisers.

ULTIMATUM: It’s your call: do away with the overlay or once my current games are over, I’m outtahere. It was fun while it lasted and I’m grateful for that: thank you. But you’ve now killed it and I’ll be blocking GameHouse from my facebook.

I’ve now taken that message down and I’d like to apologise, unreservedly, to any GameHouse staff who may have been hurt by my insensitivity. I’m sitting too close to the edge of possible redundancy myself to be able to take something like this lightly.

And to everyone else I say: play on! And if you want to keep on playing, do the biz and click through an ad or two.

GameHouse, I salute you!

Read all about the GameHouse layoffs here:

%d bloggers like this: