Showing posts from October, 2008

Disappointing result in Kentish Town

Disappointing result in Kentish Town

Unfortunately the Green result was a bit of a disappointment despite all the hard work supporters put in. The Lib Dems held the ward and Labour managed to push back into second place.

More from Jim here.

Very tough with first past the post to win elections as Greens, 20% is still credible but we need to look at how we could do better especially in the light of the economic recession...

Election 'Sí, se puede'

Obama, I am a sceptic who backs the great Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney but 'yes we can' means something in El Salvador:

El Salvador: ‘Central America is changing’

Federico Fuentes Green Left Weekly
25 October 2008

“Its not only South America that is changing, but also Central America”, Margarita Lopez, a deputy in the El Salvadorian National Assembly and political commission member of the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), told Green Left Weekly.

“With Nicaragua and Honduras’s incorporation into [the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), the solidarity-trading bloc promoted by Cuba and Venezuela], we are seeing a totally different context to what existed before in Central America”, Lopez said.

This changing scenario helps explain the large lead in the polls for the FMLN and their presidential candidate, Mauricio Funes, with the January municipal and legislative elections and March presidential elections approaching.

Funes has an almost 15%…

Satan meets the robbers

You know the story. In a certain cave in the fictional territory of Ilmorg, there is a competition organized by Satan to choose the seven cleverest thieves and robbers, that is those who steal from the people, not in terms of a few dollars for food, but literally in terms of billions of dollars for the sheer pleasure of accumulation. What each of the thieves has to do is perform stories of his career of theft and robbery before the fictional audience. (Thiong'o 1998, p.124)

Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, Penpoints, Gunpoints and Dreams, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998)

Just finished reading Ngugi Wa Thiong'o's wonderful book.

I am really not sure if I will have time to review it properly, Ngugi's is one of the stars of African literature, he celebrates Africa's cultural traditions, he has been strong defender of movements like the Kenyan Mau Mau who fought for liberation.

He looks at how art is used to maintain political order, making the novelist and the poet fighters agai…

Castro 'back the WWF not the IMF'

Great to see a nice report of the Green Party conference Cuba solidarity fringe in the latest Cuba Solidarity magazine and of course Roberto Perez was a great success. I am speaking at the Latin America 2008 Conference on 6th December at Congress House and looking forward to the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution next year.

Any how this is good from Fidel, I know I get flack from some of you from posting him but I generally agree with him and feel that he produces very nice blog posts, his vision is the opposite of the traditional productivist approach of grind down mountains, destroy rivers and general fuck up nature one found in much 20th century socialism.

any way see what you think....


Today, I read that the US Federal Reserve had opened a new line of credit for the Central Banks of Mexico, Brazil, South Korea and Singapore.

The same report claimed that similar credits have been issued to the Central Banks of Australia, Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Jap…

PM ambushed on civil liberties by Peter Tatchell

Nice post from Peter....Gordon Brown would put many of us in cages given the opportunity...

Gordon Brown heckled at Taking Liberties exhibition

London – 30 October 2008

Prime Minister Gordon Brown was heckled as he finished his speech
opening a new exhibition at the British Library last night (29 October

The new exhibition is entitled: Taking Liberties - The Struggle for
Britain's Freedoms and Rights.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell took a few liberties of his
own, confronting Gordon Brown with the question:

"Prime Minister, having seen this exhibition, can you tell us what you
have learned about the preservation of liberty, given that the Labour
government has done more to undermine civil liberties than any
government since World War Two?"

"Gordon Brown ducked his head down and shuffled his feet, declining to
reply," said Mr Tatchell.

"He was caught out, embarrassed and speechless. I am surprised that he
did not even attempt to defend the government's re…

Marxist economics: The utter basics

Marx's work was unfinished and nobody can point to a page of Das Kapital for exact information on the present crisis. I do think Marx's analysis that capitalism is exploitative, yet paradoxically leads to economic expansion, that capitalism is innately crisis all a vital antidote to the conventional economic analysis. This is from Babylon and Beyond, my Pluto book that looks at different anti-capitalist forms of economics. I am very open to have my ideas shredded by both trolls and the more informative but getting a bit of discussion on Marxist economics going seems essential to me.

Incidentally my book looks at ecosocialism in more detail, Marx's views on ecology, Caroline Lucas/Mike Woodin on globalisation, Hardt and Negri and even Major Douglas...the stuff below is very sketcy but hopefully provides a start, even if it is disgusted of Hackney commenting on the vulgarity of my account of the exploitation of labour power according to the man with the big bea…

Please support EDM to stop Gary McKinnon's extradition

See below an email from Gary's mum asking people to contact there MP's about informing and asking for your own MP's support of Early Day motion (EDM)that was today set to be put down in Parliament by shadow justice minister David Burrowes MP.

(thanks to Colin Revell for this)


Janis here, Gary's mum.

I'm writing to ask you to please, please do everything you can to urge your MP to sign the (EDM)
Early Day Motion that has been tabled by my son Gary McKinnon's MP David Burrowes, re-the proposed extradition of my son Gary to the United States.

If all MP's could please sign this EDM as soon as possible and to everyone else, please, please urge your MP to sign this Early Day Motion for Gary and we can hopefully get the current one sided extradition treaty back into the House of Commons for Debate and amendment to ensure that U.K citizens will not be extradited to the United States until assurances have been given that Gary and others like him will be allowed t…

David Tennant quits Doctor Who

Well hot news from the BBC, probably to keep us off of thinking about the Andrew Sachs crisis, must admit I am a Tom Baker fan, the last few seasons have been good but at its best Dr Who was essential.

With it's ecological parables it was certainly a bit of popular culture that produced some green political thinking.

UNIT is called in after a miner from the Welsh village of Llanfairfach is found dead, his skin glowing bright green. Jo joins forces with a local environmental group, led by Professor Clifford Jones, while the Doctor investigates the nearby plant of a company called Global Chemicals.

They discover that the mine workings are full of giant maggots and green slime - both lethal to touch - that have been produced by chemical waste pumped from the Global plant.

Stevens, the director of Global, has been taken over by the BOSS - Bimorphic Organisational Systems Supervisor - a computer with a will of its own.

The BOSS plans to seize power by linking itself to every other majo…

Greenpeace occupy Kingsnorth

chilly night but apparently Greenpeace are occupying Kingsnorth...real action on climate change, despite the rhetoric of the climate bill I suspect it will be a long time coming.

Actually investing in renewables, changing planning permission so we can all generate a bit of clean power, halting airport expansion, challenging car culture and giving us proper public transport...its not going to happen without us making a lot more noise.

Black Panthers in Brixton on Monday!

Dear Friend,

It is my honour to invite you to the historical meeting taking place on Monday 3rd November at the Karibu Centre.

Join us for a memorable evening in the heart of Brixton, to listen first hand to the stories of former Black Panthers from the US and the
UK, and to view an exhibition of Black Panther's original artwork and photographs.

Monday 3 November 2008, 7.00 pm
Karibu Education Centre (formerly the Abeng Centre)
7 Gresham Road
London SW9
Underground: Brixton Station

With special guests:

EMORY DOUGLAS - Former Minister of Culture of the Black Panthers
Party; Black Panther/Black Liberation artist and designer of the Black
Panther newspaper

BILLY X JENNINGS - Head of the US Black Panther Alumni

NEIL KENLOCK – Official photographer of the Brixton Black Panther
Movement, and founder of Choice FM

ELAINE HOLNESS – Director of the Karibu Education Centre, originally
founded as the Abeng Centre by the Rev. Tony Ottey in the 1970s to
offer supplementar…



Date: Sunday 9th November 2008
Time: 2.15pm to 4.45pm
Venue: London Mennonite Centre (Just off Archway Road), 14 Shepherds Hill, London, N6 5AQ. Nearest Tube: Highgate (Northern line): 5 mins walk: (Take the Archway Road exit). Map:

At this month's forum, we will reflect on the following verse from the Qur' an:

'Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea on account of what the hands of men have wrought, that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done, so that they may return.' (Qur' an: 30:41).

We will consider, for instance, what forms such 'corruption' might take 'in the land and the sea' as referred to in the verse. Our discussions will include both potential 'environmental' interpretations, as well as those that may not be con…

Real green politics in German

The German Greens famously moved from being the most radical ecological political party in the world to one of the most conservative.

Capitalism is is ecologically unsustainable, yet questioning ever increasing economic growth is hardly popular for ambitious political leaders, Green Party are in danger of being sucked into the system rather than seeking to subvert.

In Latin America there is some modest progress towards ecological sanity with even some governments acknowledging the importance of ecological realities and of course the indigenous are not taking the threats to our collective existence lightly.

In Europe things are far less advanced for the green movement, so I was encouraged to come across a website and email address for ecosocialists in Germany, if you live in Germany or Austria or know people who do, please get in touch.

Bruno Kern who has helped established the ecosocialist initiave can be contacted via:
Initiative Ökosozialismus

C/o Bruno Kern, Mombacher Straße …

An alternative to economic and environmental catastrophe

• Introduce a permanent global ban on short-selling of stock and shares
• Ban on trade in derivatives
• Ban all speculation on staple food commodities
• Cancel the debt of all developing countries – debt is mounting as the crisis causes the value of Southern currencies to fall
• Phase out the World Bank, IMF, and WTO
• Phase out the US dollar as the international reserve currency
• Establish a people’s inquiry into the mechanisms necessary for a just international monetary system
• Ensure aid transfers do not fall as a result of the crisis
• Abolish tied aid
• Abolish neoliberal aid conditionalities
• Phase out the paradigm of export-led development, and refocus sustainable development on production for the local and regional market
• Introduce incentives for products produced for sale closest to the local market
• Cancel all negotiations for bilateral free trade and economic partnership agreements
• Promote regional economic co-operation arrangements, such as UNASUR, the Bolivarian Alternative fo…


MOVE organisation beliefs below...'Everything that lives is holy' as the prophet who saw angels in the trees in Peckham used to say!

MOVE: Belief and Practice
The MOVE Organization is a family of strong, serious, deeply committed revolutionaries founded by a wise, perceptive, strategically minded Black man named JOHN AFRICA. The principle of our belief is explained in a collection of writings we call "The Guidelines," authored by JOHN AFRICA. To honor our beloved Founder, and acknowledge the wisdom and strength He has given us, we say "LONG LIVE JOHN AFRICA!"

JOHN AFRICA taught us that Life is the priority. Nothing is more important or as important as Life, the force that keeps us alive. All life comes from one source, from God, MOM NATURE, MOMA. Each individual life is dependent on every other life, and all life has a purpose, so all living beings, things that move, are equally important, whether they are human beings, dogs, birds, fish, tr…


[col. writ. 10/22/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Stimulus package. Bailouts. Banking rescues.

It has been generations since we've witnessed scenes such as these.

Government officials spin like jacks, as they proclaim a policy one day, only to renounce it the next. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rushes up and spirals downward in a matter of minutes, visual, measurable reminders of the volatility in the markets.

Money is dumped into failing financial houses, failing banks, and private companies, in an attempt to 'prime the pump', we are told.

Companies that have been icons for over a century, fade away like dew in the morning sun.

And this ain't just national; it's global.

A year ago, British banking giant, Northern Rock, fell into a crisis. For months the government sought to persuade private investors to take a bite; but there were no takers. In February, the institution was nationalized, and the government pumped in £87 billion to keep …

Growth is madness!

'We thus have any interesting problem, economic growth is unsustainable for a variety of reasons, however it is inherent in a modern capitalist economy. Providing alternatives to capitalism is no easy task but it is necessary. I suspect that ultimately it is easier to change the economic system than basic ecological realities, however most commentators reverse my approach', concludes Derek Wall.

The New Scientist have recently run a special issue attacking economic growth, its based on the Sustainable Development Commission's project on 'Rethinking Prosperity', here is the section from my report to the SDC, which argues that economic growth is vital to the present economic system...this in my view means we need a different economic system. Rebooting the economy with some Keynesian cash injection, does not overcome the fact that a system that requires ever increasing economic growth is disfunctional. You can read my think piece here

John Bellamy Foster compares glob…

Ken Livingstone launches eight point policy to help London meet the recession

Ken Livingstone launches eight point policy to help London meet the recession

Ken Livingstone today launched eight key policy points to help London meet the effects of the recession. The full text of Ken Livingstone’s statement is as follows.

Eight point policy to help London meet the recession

By Ken Livingstone

27 October 2008

London has entered its first recession for fifteen years. Londoners know the value of their house is falling, their spending is squeezed, and an increasing number are worried about their job security. In this situation the Mayor of London should put forward clear policies which, in areas where he has power, can best help London meet the effects of this recession. I have set out here eight key measures that should be immediately introduced by a Mayor of London. All flow from a clear choice of priorities – that the Mayor must protect the economic development of London, promote social justice and therefore help those who are being most hit by this crisis, and protect …

Electrify the rails

Not only did 'Thatcha' promote war, increase the gap between rich and poor and maim the UK economy with deregulation and a system based on dubious finance capital rather than manufacturing, she did her best to assault our we need to say goodbye to all things Thatcher (and Blair), electrifying the railways is part of this process according to ASLEF leader Keith Norman Darrel mailed this to me, originally on the Compass site, I am a compass sceptic but good to see them promoting this.

Getting on track: it's electrification or bust says Keith Norman

In 1979 British Rail proposed electrifying 250 miles of track every year. A
programme that was cancelled by Margaret Thatcher. Almost thirty years
later, faced with volatile oil prices, environmental concerns and a general
deterioration in passenger satisfaction, there is a growing consensus, that
electrification of the railways is not only desirable but necessary.

Only last year a government white paper, Delivering a Sus…

Caroline condemns lack of bank control

Caroline has criticised Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling's £50bn bank bailout.

She said the government was offering public funds to banking giants without demanding any public control in return.

The preference shares the Treasury will receive in the deal confer no voting rights, said Green leader Caroline Lucas MEP.

Caroline, who is also the Green parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion constituency, argues that taxpayers should not be expected to provide a cash bailout without receiving in return the voting power to alter those banking practices that are the cause of the crisis.

Caroline is a co-author of the Green New Deal[1], a programme to solve the 'triple crunch' of financial crisis, peak oil and climate change.

Amongst other recommendations, it outlines a vision for green infrastructure projects such as mass home insulation or renewable energy, funded through local or central government bonds (or 'green gilts') which would create a secure invest…

The Convention of The Left: 29th November recall event

Convention of The Left - November 29th Recall Conference - Capitalism Isnt Working

The Convention of The Left brought together the left across labour, socialist, communist, green organisations and those in none. In 5 days of countering the official security-bound (non)event next door, we did well to meet our threefold aims: protest at Labour's warmongering and privatisation, presenting an alternative of people not profit, and proposing ways of working together in unity for The Left as a whole. Our agreed Statement of Intent envisages local left forums that can support practical campaigns and co-ordinate local action, as well as continuing the spirit of genuine debate started by the Convention.

There were criticisms: "a sinking ship" (before we had even set sail!), "a talking shop" (whats wrong with talking?), and, perhaps most critically, that we failed to set up "the one" (or "an other"?) new left party. Of course, many of us might want this …