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Showing posts from November, 2006

"self indulgent" green campaigners

hopefully see some of you at 12pm tomorrow outside the Indonesian Embassy where I will speak in favour of the free west papua movement.

this is from Sian on Charles Clarke's attack, a bit rich from a former minister in a government whose regulators are pushing rail fares up


CLARKE'S GOVERNMENT IS MAKING IT 'DAILY MORE DIFFICULT' FOR PEOPLE TO MAKE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY CHOICES IN THEIR EVERYDAY LIVES

Green Party Principal Speaker Siân Berry today responded to Charles Clarke's diatribe against "self indulgent" green campaigners:

"Most people and organisations do want to make their own contribution in the fight against global warming, and it is up to the government to adopt the right policies to ensure it is easy for them to do this.

"It is self-indulgent for anyone in the parliament to talk about what individuals can do when they, as politicians, are well placed to ensure the right framework is in place for us all.

"Sadly Charles Clar…

GREENS LAUNCH EU BID TO ‘FREE WEST PAPUA’

GREENS LAUNCH EU BID TO ‘FREE WEST PAPUA’

WRITTEN DECLARATION CALLS FOR INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM

EURO-MPs are to call for the EU to intervene in forcing Indonesia to respect
human rights in West Papua – and grant the province a free and fair
referendum on independence – in a Written Declaration launched this Friday
(December 1st) to coincide with West Papua Independence Day.

The Written Declaration – the European Parliament’s equivalent of an Early
Day Motion in the House of Commons – has been co-sponsored by Green MEPs
Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert, Plaid Cymru Euro-MP Jill Evans and Italian
liberal MEP Luigi Cocilovo.

It notes that following the withdrawal of Dutch colonial forces, West Papua
has been under military occupation by Indonesia for more than 40 years. At
that time it was allowed to administer the territory until a UN-guaranteed
independence referendum could be held, but Indonesia failed to fulfil its
obligations under international law and hold such a vote, instead annexing
West Papua…

West Papua protest Friday

FREE WEST PAPUA CAMPAIGN, OXFORD
www.freewestpapua.org

WEST PAPUA : 43 years of illegal Indonesian military occupation is 43 years too long!

Join West Papuan independence leader, Benny Wenda, and Free West Papua supporters from all over the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands for a DEMONSTRATION to mark West Papua Independence Day.

From 12 NOON, Friday 1st December 2006, outside the Indonesian Embassy, 38, Grosvenor Gardens, London W1 (south side of Grosvenor Sq.near the US
Embassy).

From 2.00pm we will make our way to St James's Square to protest outside the Headquarters of Rio Tinto & BP, two British multi-nationals with West Papuan
blood on their hands.

Benny Wenda says:
"Ist December is a day written in every West Papuan's heart. It's the day in 1961 when the Dutch gave us our flag, national anthem and parliament and promised us independence in 1970.

Two years later the Indonesians invaded and 43 years of occupation and killing began for my people. We call 1st December ou…

EU MUST SUSPEND ISRAEL TRADE DEAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS GROUNDS’

EURO-MP SPEAKS AT PORTSMOUTH PALESTINE MEETING

‘EU MUST SUSPEND ISRAEL TRADE DEAL ON HUMAN RIGHTS GROUNDS’


Event: Euro-MP speaks on role of EU in bringing peace to
Palestine
Place: Menuhin Theatre, Central Library, Guildhall Square,
Portsmouth
Time: Friday, December 1st, 7pm


THE EU has a key role to play in bringing peace to the Middle East and a
resolution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, Green Party Euro-MP
Caroline Lucas will tell a Portsmouth meeting on Friday.

It should suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement – which gives Israel
preferential access to EU markets – until Israel ceases all violations of
Palestinians’ human rights, she will tell the meeting, which is entitled:
‘The European Union: its potential role in a just resolution of the
Arab-Israeli conflict and how we can get the EU to act’.

Dr Lucas, who is a member of the European Parliament’s delegation to the
occupied Palestinian territories and a former EU election observer in Gaza,
said: “Thoug…

Malachi Ritscher's Suicide Note

this horrified me, the idea of committing suicide in the most extreme way to protest about war and the fact that protest seems to have been ignored by the world's media, means we in the blogsphere have to shout out loud.

Malachi Ritscher's obitituary written by him is here.

report on his death here, I have lost the blog address so if you do copywrite apologies to you who wrote this on green bloggers over the weekend.

Saturday, November 25, 2006
Malachi Ritscher
Activist and artist Malachi Ritscher burns himself alive in Chicago in front of morning rush hour commuters to protest the war in Iraq.
From: http://cleveland.indymedia.org/news/2006/11/23624.php


Malachi Ritscher


The press has almost completely blacked out this news in mainstream press .
A long time Chicago activist, artist and contributer to the Chicago jazz scene has burned himself alive in an act of protest against the iraq war. He is only one of 10 Americans in history to have done this .
Buddist monks did this during…

Our Member of Parliament to challenge Queen's Speech

A good critique of the governments climate change approach from Tim Beaumont, who incidentally is part of the broad church which is the Green Left!


Subject: Lord Beaumont to address the House of Lords


SPEECH OF LORD BEAUMONT OF WHITLEY, GREEN PARTY PEER IN THE DEBATE ON THE QUEEN’S SPEECH ON THE AFTERNOON OF MONDAY NOV 27 2006


My Lords, there are many things in the gracious speech that the sole Green Party representative in Parliament might have chosen to speak on and for a time I was tempted to speak on international affairs, to protest against our illegal involvement in two wars and to point out that no one had ever dabbled in the affairs of Afghanistan or Mesopotamia with profit to any of the parties concerned from the First Afghan War, chronicled by my great-great-grandfather Henry Havelock, through the advocacy of the use of mustard gas and the bombing of unarmed civilians by Winston Churchill to the present unhappy events.


Not all that long ago the Commonwealth Parliamentary Assoc…

China's new social movement

This from LRB on China is fascinating and important a new movement opposed to Stalinism and the free market, eager to talk to greens. Read more here

Pray with me at the Church of no shopping

Starbucks has succeeded in "normalizing" its products, while sustaining brutal company policies in Guatemala, Chiapas and elsewhere. Put bluntly -- they don't pay for their coffee. Families are putting 7, 8 and 9 year olds into the fields to eek out that extra peso. So breaking through $bucks' veil of lies – the best liars in coffee – is like exercising your sacred boycotting muscle.



Well had lots of congratulations, ranging across the spectrum from Liam Macuid to Tariq Ali to Adam Afriyie MP, so thank you all! One of the things I enjoyed about the Principal Speaker race were the husting, the London Federation of Green Parties debate between Keith, Ashley Gunstock and I was videod and is on the Green Party members site. An open debate is always a good thing, it is not certain that John McDonnell will even get on to the ballot for the Labour contest, the contrast with the Green Party is obvious.

Anyway I was told to 'keep off of religion and politics' during my…

PRINCIPAL SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED

Former Green Party Principal Speaker Keith Taylor commented: 'I congratulate Siân and Derek on their success, and wish them well over the next year."


NEWS: Green Party in England & Wales

PRINCIPAL SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED

Dr Derek Wall and Siân Berry have been announced as the two new Principal Speakers of the Green Party in England and Wales.

Their election puts two strong, grassroots campaigners into the Green Party's top positions, providing an ideal platform from which to seize on growing public clamour for political change and real action on issues such as climate change.

Both say they aim to recruit more members and activists into the Party from across the spectrum of single-issue campaigning and traditional party politics.

Siân Berry, 32, a resident of Kentish Town in North West London, is best known for her highly successful campaign against 4x4s which is credited for turning UK public opinion against 'Chelsea tractors' and helping to persuade L…

Principal Speaker result- I won!

I am pleased, flattered and surprised to be elected as Green Party Male Principal Speaker. I have dedicated my entire adult life to the promotion of green politics since realising as a 14 year old back in 1979 that green politics is the politics of survival.

well I won much to my surprise, now back to work promoting radical green politics as the new Green Party Principal Speaker, here are the figures.

Round 1
Ashley Gunstock 273
Keith Taylor 572
Derek Wall 657
RON 17
invalid vote 1
blank ballot 1

so Ashley Gunstock eliminated

Round 2
Keith Taylor 705
Derek Wall 767
RON 35

so Derek Wall elected

Best wishes
Graeme McIver


I will try and do my best in the spirit of William Morris...


The core green message of ecology, social justice, decentralisation and non violence is going to be proclaimed loudly and clearly.

I am joint with Sian Berry and of course our MEPS and GLA members effectively will all be speaking on the GPEW behalf.


Statement.

I am pleased, flattered and surprised to be elected as Green Party…

Green Left motions on travel

The chaos caused in London on the underground because of the mess ups by the PPI firm Metronet has become one of the main news stories this week in the capital. Many travellers have been late for work/appointments etc or have failed to arrive at all. Gordon Brown's insistence on pushing the policy of PPI has resulted in this. London Fed passed the following two motions on Monday night. They were proposed and seconded by two members of Green Left.

It would be good if this information could be circulated to unions, particularly T&G.

Joseph Healy
Southwark Green Party


The London Federation of Green Parties passed two motions on Monday night:

(1) Calling for the tube contractor Metronet to be sacked and for the work
to be brought in-house
(2) Supporting the strike by Metroline bus drivers

The following went out after the meeting:

*Sack Metronet!*
**
*The London Federation of Green Parties last night passed a motion calling
for the sacking of tube maintenance firm Metronet and for its work…

Open everything

Like Shakespeare and Dickens, they will become public property. Hooray. At least that is the theory. In practice, the recording industry has been lobbying at 78 revs a minute to get this period extended to - wait for it - 95 years or even longer than that (life plus 70 years) if they can get away with it. excellent article from Victor Keegan




This is my article on open source lets shrink the market and the state, and just do it for pleasure and creativity.

Open source economics is a powerful alternative to corporate capitalism and state planning.

You will note also from todays Guardian that Mick Hucknall's creative energies will dry up unless copyright is extend for over 50 years...may be Mick could do something else when he becomes a pensioner.

Green garbage

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The EU have set strict limits on the amount of waste than can be sent to land fill, local authorities face big fines if they don't reduce what they throw away. So incinerators are on the march but even Bjorn Lomborg in his Skeptical Environmentalist chapter on air pollution notes that the tiny mb10 particles are a possible health danger. For the anti-incinerator campaign go here.

So I am encouraged to see Blackpool council taking a contract with an Australian company dedicated to digesting the waste and recycling with out burning. its here in the guardian

Of course local authority control might be better than corporate, may be a workers rubbish coop might be good...and yes we should all embrace zero waste and get a worm bin but this seems a bit of good news.

How are green local councillors getting involved in waste reduction? Green boxes are now common and recycling is common, local press from greens and the influence of greens in the EU have both helped.

Jean Lambert address rally on religious discrimination

20th November 2006

GREEN MEP CALLS FOR AN END TO RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION

London’s Green MEP will tonight urge the UK Government to take cohesive and immediate action to tackle the increasingly common problem of religious discrimination, when she joins with Liberty and the British Muslim Initiative at a Rally to Defend Religious Minorities to address the issue.

Recent reports have shown that mounting levels of Islamophobic prejudice and discrimination have been present in the UK since September 11th 2001, yet little has been done to address the suspicion and stigmatisation threatening community relations and social exclusion.

Jean, who is the Vice President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Anti-racism and Diversity today supported the rally’s calls for a rational debate about the issues concerning religious communities without creating an atmosphere of hysteria and victimisation, to unite and promote civil and religious liberties on a national level. In her speech to the ral…

Venezuela Events

happy to say that the green party is affliated to Venezuela Information Centre


Dear friend,

I am writing to inform you of two events The Venezuela Information Centre is co-organising in the next few weeks:
1) On Wednesday 22 November, VIC, in conjunction with Verso Books, is hosting the launch of Tariq Ali's new book on Latin America, Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope in London. The event is from 7-9pm in Bolivar Hall, 54 Grafton Way, London W1. There are a limited number of places still available, so to guarantee entry please register beforehand by e-mailing info@vicuk.org or by ringing 0207 250 0132.

2) On Saturday 2 December, on the eve of the presidential election in Venezuela, guests from Cuba, Bolivia and Colombia will speak at the Latin America 2006 - Making Another World Possible conference in London. The Conference will also feature a video link up with Venezuela, a showing of the new film "Venezuela - A Land with Many Missions," and two workshops on Venezuela.…

RESPECT resignations

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Interesting post on Liam Mac Uiad's blog, Liam is a member of Socialist Resistance who have supported RESPECT but clearly the level of control freaky has got too much for him. I was afraid that RESPECT would make it more difficult for Jean Lambert and Caroline Lucas to get re-elected, also having seen the SWP mess up the Socialist Alliance, I didn't think that an alliance essentially between them and George Galloway would be very stable. Linking progressive Muslims, the left (pretty homeless after the decline of the once strong labour left around Tony Benn) and greens sounded good but it hasn't delivered.

The Green Party is not perfect but the basic idea of free discussion is there, which is essential. The left has been poor at allowing debate to occur. The Tommy Sheridan affair has been pretty tragic as well, lets avoid 'leaders' neither 'Washington nor Moscow' perhaps should be no to Galloway, Sheridan and all the rest...it is hard job arguing for soci…

Green councillors in action

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Local councils have less and less power, Thatcher cut their influence, trying to make all decisions ones decided by the market....look at the way Blair is heavily pressurising local authorities to get rid of their council houses.

Nonetheless there are some great examples of action by Green councillors, now nearly 100 strong, in the UK (same figures as the Liberals in the 1960s who have thousands and thousands)...we need to elect more councillors and extend their effective action.

Brighton and Hove are campaigning on cuts to HIV/Aids services.

Brighton and Hove Green Party's local manifesto is here.

Phillip Booth who is a councillor in Stroud has an interesting blog with lots on the potential for change, Stroud is one of the strongest areas for the GP in England.


The news from his blog that pubs are introducing fingerprint checks is news to me!



Fingerprint scanning scheme for pubs

Pubs and clubs around the country are introducing fingerprint scanning systems for drinkers. The scheme whi…

'there is no honey on the moon'

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It contains swearing, blood and sex, yet still somehow feels like a children's programme. Thirteen-year-olds should love it; anyone else is likely to be more than a little confused.

Taking a rest from my non violent political boxing match with Keith Taylor and have just watched Kidulthood.

Noel Clarke what a star! A little slice of Shakespeare, which is exactly what you expect from someone who received 'Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer..' Grime. London vibes, worth watching.

Here is the wiki take

a lot of media hysteria over this and although this is life plus 10, it is still life for a lot of teens in North Kensington.

Noel is Mickey in Dr Who and has ofcourse written episode 11 'combat' of the excellent Torchwood.

So Farewell Milton Friedman

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Milton Friedman died a day or two ago and there is an obituary in the Guardian by Charles Goodhart (famous for `As soon as the government attempts to regulate any particular set of financial assets, these become unreliable as indicators of economic trends.' i.e the Monetary Policy committee will fuck up if you give the monkeys long enough on the typewriters)


From Friedman's days in the Ayn Rand School for Tots to his monetary history of the USA (co-authored with Anna Schwartz) to his work with Mrs Thatcher, he was at the vanguard of liberal free market economics.

They say one thing 'leave it to the market', polllution, poverty, education, pets...leave it to the market. You know my open source views on this perspective. If you don't look at my book Babylon and Beyond. Defeated by Keynes they regroup via the Institute of Economic Affairs, Adam Smith Institute and fought their way back to dominate economics in the 1990s.

Most controversially Friedman was one of the &#…

Inefficient?

Out of interest Derek, how do you deal with the usual criticisms levelled by critics of green economics/socialist economics? ie, that without competition and the incentive of self interest as the driving force of production, production would become inefficient and the quality and range of goods would drop off over the medium to long term?

I wondered if you had any pithy answers to these objections. I usually find myself blathering for too long when I try to address them. I'm sure you are much more experienced at fielding these sorts of questions.



Excellent and important question....in our economy goods and services are produced because we make cash out of doing so or are told to do so by the state.

While states can be democratised and markets embedded in society, we need to think about other ways of running the economy.

The crude principle should be that something is done because it is intrinsically worth doing, ecofeminists point out that the real life and death stuff of looking afte…

Anti-capitalism for bears

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I used to have a great cartoon of chickens dancing around Col. Saunders grave, I suppose this would be an incitement to terrorism in Blair's Britain. Any way lets think about the economy.

I think we need green economics. Green economics argues that what is good for the planet and for people is not always what leads to the greatest expansion of GNP or short term profit.

Two examples are KFC, a giant advert that can be spotted from the sky, undesirable, along with the whole system of food production involved.

The continuing scandal of pharmaceutical companies trying to shape the medical system for profit and in particular using the patent system to deny cheap generic drugs to African citizens suffering from AIDS.

The interesting fact is that the alternative is not hair shirtism, although I guess we do need to cut back on flying until silent and co2 netural flights to Caracas exist, but consuming differently.

Cheap generic drugs, cheap low impact housing, locally produced food, libraries…

Life with Derek

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Well usual madness. Last monday went to Ann Pettifor's book launch on debt and global politics, I will read it but I was a bit alarmed by her failure to deal with ecological economics and her assumption that capitalism is fine, finance is evil. She even made a throw away remark about Mcdonalds being better than the banks because they made food. Lets have joined up alternative economics.

A much more interesting time on sunday with Lines the London Islamic Environmental Network, where I was pleased to be invited along, lots of lively contributions from the dangers of big supermarkets to debt to the way conventional economics promotes ever growing consumption. If you are a Muslim or have friends who want to learn more about Islam and the environment encourage them to look at this dynamic and thoughtful group. discussion list here

Well, some of you read this just for the worms. I have stuck my pets in the shed, I don't want them harmed by the frosts. Kitchen waste, cardboard…

Poppy fascism: 11/11/11

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had this comment on the blog from Mike

Am a Labour Party member who has had enough for all the reasons you've so eloquently outlined. Tomorrow will be the limit - seeing Govt ministers have the hypocrisy of laying wreaths at the cenotaph. How many widows have they created? The latest casualty was a 19 year old from Barrow. I just can't support Labour any more - ID cards, airport expansion etc etc. The totally damning thing about the party is that they should know better. There's no Green Party where I live to vote for, and so many of my friends (ex CND etc) are sticking with Labour despite their reservations as they see no other way and want to change their party from within. I don't think that's possible any more.

Today politicians and others lay wreaths for the dead of many wars here in Britain,
red poppies are worn. I have been sceptical ever since the late Heather Tanner, writer, Ecology Party member and husband of the master etcher Robin Tanner told me why she b…

GREEN ECONOMICS, MUSLIMS AND THE ECOLOGICAL CRISIS

Salaams, may peace be with you -

Firstly, A really big THANK YOU, MERCI, SHUKRAN... to everyone who supported us in the build up to the national climate justice demonstration on Saturday. In the end there were about 20, 000 people at the march, and a further 10, 000 that went to the I-Count gathering in Trafalgar Square (Campaign against Climate Change estimates). LINE's input showed that it is becoming a more solid and skilled group, and we had lots of interest and lovely conversations around the stall, both near the US embassy at the start and near Trafalgar Square at the end. Thank you to everyone who came to check us out, chat with us, or simply pick up a leaflet.

However(!), the work still continues and hence we take great pleasure in inviting you to our November meeting *this* Sunday at which we are delighted to have Dr Derek Wall as our guest speaker, and who brings years of experience within the Green movement, as well as being an economics lecturer and author. Full details …

ALMOs no, Council housing yes

The Green Party must defend council housing, support for ALMOs is like support for IMF policies, yes this is at fiscal gunpoint but no we should not give in.


This is from Anne Gray, I am against ALMOs too, they are soft way of privatising the remaining council houses, houses are now selling for over £300,000 on average in London, where are my children going to live and yours if this stays like this!



I am strongly against ALMOs. This issue has been much discussed in the community in Haringey where live. It did actually come up in hustings in the May 2006 elections and one or two Green Party candidates did attend a public meeting specifically called to discuss the ALMO issue amongst tenants' groups, where they opposed the ALMO. All candidates in the local election, of any party, were challenged by the residents' anti-ALMO campaign to respond to a questionnaire about their position and I think virtually all followed my lead in giving answers which were opposed to ALMOs - with the…

Carbon change needed: ideas from the Greens

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This was from Spencer Fitz-Gibbon a Green party response to climate change, I think although a year or two old it is still good.

Incidentally some very encouraging Green Party scores in USA today.

while we are on climate change, I would recommend the pdf carbon trading, a good critique.


The Climate Change Challenge





Twelve commitments the government must make NOW if it’s really serious about stopping climate change


Dr Spencer Fitz-Gibbon
Green Party spokesperson on climate change




13 September 2004









Introduction




Why the Tories, Labour and the LibDems can’t be trusted on climate change





In a speech at the World Clean Air and Environmental Protection Congress in London, 24 August 2004, environment minister Lord Whitty stated that "internationally our first priority is climate change, in the long term probably the most important issue we face as a global community." Tony Blair himself has described how “critical” climate change is on a number of occasions.



And this week the Conservative and…

Green results here

Some good green results here.Voters being intimidated, dodgy counting machines, this seems to be the story of the Mid-terms, just imagine if this happened in Venezuela, the US government would insist on a rerun and set up monitoring groups.

Interesting how the Bush regime threaten countries like Nicaragua who vote for candidates they dont, like.

Big pharm are heavily funding election candidates Democrat and Republican who oppose plans to use state power to push down medical bills. Shocking but true..


Executives at the UK's three biggest pharmaceuticals companies have been funnelling thousands of dollars from their personal fortunes to help the re-election campaigns of industry-friendly politicians in the US.

Over here they have Cancer United to do the job.

However, news just in Sanders wins as first socialist senator here

The Ecology Party in the early 1980s

“We must be brave because it is only when we are prepared to get arrested for our beliefs that people will sit up and take notice. Through direct action we shall see the real nature of the nuclear state; the cloak of public enquiries will be thrown aside and its teeth will be drawn. Direct action is the cutting edge of change.”


Don't worry only four chapters in total, although I stop in 1993! The Party grew from the 1979 General Election and then virtually collapsed.


The Party entered the 1980s in an optimistic mood. At the first Spring Policy Conference, held in Manchester in 1980, Porritt, then chair of the Party’s National Council, announced with a note of near euphoria that membership had risen from 500 to 5,000 in a year.


The number of ECO branches was now 192, giving credence to his claim that the Ecology Party was the fastest growing party in the UK. He revealed plans to increase membership to 20,000 over six months and “to achieve a level of visibility in the press and med…