Showing posts from August, 2014

Green Party conference session on Rojava, Kurds and resistance to ISIS.

Appeal from the Kurds in Rojava for peace and justice. Derek Wall, International CommitteeDr Alan Semo, Kurdish politician from Syria, the UK representative PYD (Democratic Union Party)will speak to conference about the crisis in Iraq and Syria, and how we can provide solidarity with citizens terrorized by the so-called Islamic State in the region.

Green Party conference 2pm, sunday, 7th September.

You can find more details of our conference at Aston University, Birmingham here

Good introduction to Rojava and its democratic experiment

Urgent appeal to international community

Iraqi Yazidi refugees walk through the Newroz camp in Hasaka province, north eastern Syria, on August 14, 2014, after fleeing advances by Islamic State jihadists in Iraq (AFP Photo/Ahmad al-Rubaye )
Urgent appeal to international community

We are calling for all international organizations, human rights bodies, civil society organizations, United Nations bodies, the League of the Arab States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, all humanitarian relief organizations, the international charity organizations, we are calling on all of them to stand with us, support us and live up to their humanitarian obligations and provide relief for the Yezidi people.  The Yezidis are facing genocide, ethnic cleansing and forced displacement by the ISIS and we have been able so far to rescue nearly 100.000 people in very difficult conditions. A large number of them have lost their lives as a result of the hardships, many of them summarily executed, including women and children. Thousands h…

London Kurdish Film Festival 'Yazidis: Past, Present and Future'.

London Kurdish Film Festival Event:


Saturday 30th August, 1-6pm SOAS University, SOAS Main Building, Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, WC1H OXG, London.

For the last three weeks, the world has been watching the great tragedy, exodus and displacement of the Yazidi people unfold. Members of this ancient faith are now faced with annihilation as a result of brutal attacks of the Islamic State that is wreaking havoc on their ancient homeland. Hundreds of thousands of people, young, old, women and disabled have been displaced, kidnapped, killed. Many more, have died from hunger and thirst in these vicious attacks staged by IS. The scale of the tragedy that is still unfolding is still unknown and it seems like these tragedies in the Middle East will be on going for the unforeseeable future.

We, as the London Kurdish Film Festival, are organising a multifaceted daylong event to draw more attention to this humanitarian crisis:


Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown

Philip Mirowski
Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown
Verso, London and New York, 2013. 384pp., £12.99 pb
ISBN 9781781683026Reviewed by Derek Wall
Review Mirowski has produced a profound and important book which deserves to be read, however his prose may be distracting for some readers. He also avoids discussion of my two favourite writers on political economy, Marx and Ostrom. I nearly gave up reading it on several occasions, mainly because of the frankly odd writing style. His book discusses why the financial crisis of 2008-9 has strengthened mainstream economics, rather than made it possible to challenge it.
Mirowski first outlines how a range of commentators proclaimed that the neo-classical economics that was so dominant in the early years of this century had been damaged, perhaps fatally, by the financial crisis. He explains carefully why it has instead survived, and is perhaps even stronger. In many parts of the world, the UK be…

Israel/Palestine and the Middle East – Finding solutions

Green Party conference fringe event Saturday 6th September, 14.30 Aston University, Birmingham.

Israel/Palestine and the Middle East – Finding solutions  International committee This fringe will look at the conflict in Gaza as part of a larger conflict in the Middle East.  Tony Clarke, a former Labour MP, and now one of the Green Party's International Speakers, will speak, along with Palestine activists. It will allow an opportunity for discussion action and policy for the Green Party to promote peace and justice in Gaza, Palestine and the wider region.

Proper Job

I have been investigating beer, my wife and I have joined CAMRA and I bought a box of CAMRA's 2014 prize winners from Beer Hawk.

First out of the box was St Austell's Proper Job.  I have tended to ignore this Cornish brewery but really enjoyed this IPA.  Crisp and tasty, at 5.5 pleasingly strong. Too many beers seems inspired by episodes of British colonial history, Maxim the Sunderland beer of choice, is named after a gun. Proper Job seems to be inspired by an episode from the Indian Mutiny.

Best beer though that I have tasted in a while.

Beer Hawk details here

Wonder if it is in any pubs?

You can buy it direct from the brewery here

Well that's lots of free advertising from me, I am also planning to do some home brewing, so its not all in the cash nexus.

Raise money for Hugo Blanco and indigenous struggle

In terms of people I have met, Elinor Ostrom and Hugo Blanco are my big influences. I have spent some time with Hugo and really has acted as a mentor to me. He is fantastic.

 There is a fundraising appeal for his magazine Lucha Indigena, which means Indigenous Struggle.

It is written and published by indigenous people for indigenous people, it covers all the big social and ecological struggles in Latin America but has workers struggles, Gaza solidarity etc.

Hugo led a peasant uprising in the 1960s in Peru, he was praised by Che, he was a leader of the Fourth International and is an ecosocialist.  To seriously combat climate change and other ecological threats we need to acknowledge the indigenous as a vanguard.

Please support this appeal, I am.   It is called a Minga the concept means a communal work.
A Minga for Lucha Indigena and Hugo BlancoWe have initiate…

Please re-elect me as Green Party International Coordinator

Please re-elect me as Green Party International Coordinator.

I have increased our influence within the European Green Party and globally. Appalled by the on going massacre in Gaza I will campaign for  a boycott of Israel until a just peace is achieved.  Shocked by the rise of ISIS, I want Green Party support for the Kurds of Rojava, who have been successfully combating fundamentalism. Rojava is a brave democratic experiment based on green principles including grassroots democracy and the empowerment of women.  There are many tasks as International Coordinator but solidarity with Rojava and is one of the most vital.

International appeal for medical aid to Rojava please click and donate!

Political appeal here

Links on Rojava…

Achieving Environmental Justice

I have had the pleasure of reading Karen Bell's book AchievingEnvironmental Justice and reviewing it for Environmental Politics, an academic journal.

However it always concerns me that writing for academic journals is problematic if they are behind pay walls....reviewers don't get paid but distribution is restricted. It is a model of publishing which has failed in my I thought I would flag up Karen's important book here to spread the word about this fascinating book.

Environmental Justice is an important concept, environmental problems are rooted in injustice and solved by greater inclusion.

The book is very well written for an academic work, so often they are a little obscure, and the case studies of UK, USA, Bolivia, Cuba, South Korea, etc are fascinating.

I think the Green Party could do more both here and internationally to bring in environmental justice as a concept for policy making and action.

Any how here are the author details and contents, like my bo…

Jewish Themes in Spinoza's Philosophy

Well you may have picked up that while there are two economists, to be precise, political economists, for me i.e Marx and Ostrom, there is one philosopher.

Yes I am finding Spinoza interesting in many ways.  He can be seen as a green philosopher, he advocated a democratic republic and sought to look at how religion could be used for social control and how religion based on superstition might be resisted.

His notion of the multitude and common good may have influenced Marx. 

I read Heidi Ravven's book on free will which drew heavily on Spinoza, liking her book very much I noticed she had co-edited Jewish Themes in Spinoza's Philosophy.  I have read it recently and would recommend it.

Heidi's essay looks at the laws of Moses as a foundation for a democratic, egalitarian state as in inspiration for Spinoza.

Warren Montag's essay hinting at a previously unknown affection on Spinoza's part for the kabbalah despite Spinoza's dismissive comment in the TTP, is another …

Palestine in the World's Heart

This is the editorial from the latest issue of 'Lucha Indigena', a Peruvian based newspaper, published by my good friend Hugo Blanco.....solidarity with Gaza is strong in Latin America.

The Lucha Indigena 'Indigenous Struggle' website can be found here

Given the ongoing nature of the murderous assault, the casualty figures cited here -- deaths, the wounded, physical destruction and people rendered homeless -- lag far behind the daily mounting reality.
As the furious attack on Gaza began, pain and anger spread through the hearts of those people throughout the world who keep a sense of human solidarity against the neoliberal system's culture of selfishness.The latest news can only add to our distress.Already more than 1100 have died, and the wounded amount to more than 6500.According to the United Nations (UN), more than 80% of the victims are civilians.The Israeli armed forces are dropping leaflets, asking "tens of thou…

The 'tragedy of the NHS'

THE NHS is being dismantled before our eyes. Since the 1990s it has been forced to mimic the market with competition between NHS providers.   This has created a less efficient and more chaotic system of health provision.  The last Labour government introduced private finance inititives, where private companies built hospitals but saddled the NHS with appalling debt in return.  The Con-Dem government has massively accelerated the process of NHS destruction.  Services are increasingly being auctioned off to private healthcare companies. Think tanks are floating the idea of charging for more and more NHS services.   So when it is owned by private companies and we find ourselves charged for services, can we even call it a National Health Service?   The process of destruction is aided by the media, political parties and academics. Most commentators suggest that if the Conservatives are re-elected in 2015 the NHS will totally disappear. However, even if they lose, the NHS looks far from sec…

Global Greens 'Write to us about your climate actions and we’ll make sure Greens everywhere see your work'

Dear Global Greens, Today’s a big day. Today is the day that the Global Greens are launching our first campaign - and we want to hear from you! Global warming affects everyone. From government and the grassroots, Green parties everywhere are leading the campaign for urgent solutions to climate change. So many of us have had big successes and learned big lessons - so it’s time to bring together all of our hard work, and make it even bigger. That’s why the two of us - Keli from Taiwan and Josh from Australia - are here to help you and your Green Party show your action on climate change to a global audience. Are you taking action on climate change? Protesting to stop dangerous coal, gas or nuclear projects? Planning a community solar project? Pushing for political change? We want to hear about it. Write to us about your climate actions and we’ll make sure Greens everywhere see your work: Send us photos, videos, stories - the lot! And please write to us in y…

Cameron's love affair with Islamic fundamentalism (arms sales and oil more important than human rights)

Nearly 30 million people now live in a fundamentalist Islamic state in the Middle East. All churches and other non-Muslim places of worship are banned.   The death penalty extends to adultery, homosexuality, sorcery, attempts to convert to religions other than Islam and a range of other offenses.   Consumption of alcohol is punished by flogging. Atheists are defined simply as terrorists and dare not proclaim their truth. There is an absolute ruler and democracy is frowned upon. Women must be veiled and it is illegal for them to drive.   Dissent is severely punished. The regime spends billions every year promoting its brand of Islam.   You might think all of this would worry David Cameron and Nick Clegg, but far from attracting protest or even calls for “intervention,” this state, Saudi Arabia, is one of Britain’s closest allies, targeted for trade deals and supplied with the very best British weapons. The relationship between Saudi Arabia and Britain, which has been mainta…