Showing posts from 2010

Caroline Lucas's New Year Message to Ed Miliband


While I share Seumas Milne's analysis of the fragility of the coalition, I do not share any optimism that Labour can offer a credible alternative (Cameron and Clegg have shown they are for turning, 30 December). Having ditched their principles in government, Labour want to reclaim them now they are out of power. But politicians must take some responsibility for their actions, and show some consistency over their policies. How can a party that introduced student fees now oppose them on principle? Like the Liberal Democrats, Labour broke a manifesto pledge in doing so. But unlike the Lib Dems, they were not then the junior members of a coalition. Labour had a Commons majority when they ended the principle of free tuition. It was entirely their decision. Now Ed Miliband appears to believe he can airbrush that decision from the record.

Similarly, the ethos of the NHS as a public service, where patient needs com…

Cops use holiday period to attack protesters

Despite dozens of international calls for a peaceful resolution, the Chilean government has once again mobilized against the peaceful Rapanui people on Easer Island. According to the following press release, on December 29, " just before 7 PM, a contingency of 200 armed police began violently dislodging the Rapanui Parliament from their headquarters in the ...

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Not really sure about comparing sexual organs to politician, I mean most of us are happier with our sexual organs, nonetheless nice to be asked to write something about Clegg for Bright Green Scotland's dick of the year competition.

'Clegg has helped destroy the left and green traditions in the Liberal Democrats. However his biggest crime was to use lies to gain votes (most visible over student fees) and power. He acted as an X factor politician with promises of a new politics, rejection of back room deals, only to give us all a more unequal and unhappy future in the most sordid back room deal of all.'


No Noah's Ark

"This Time There Will Be No Noah's Ark"
Daniela Pastrana interviews LEONARDO BOFF, Brazilian writer and theolog

The collective duty of humanity is to seek a balance with nature. Everyone has to do their part; be more with less. The problem is not money, says Brazilian Leonardo Boff in this exclusive Tierramérica interview.

MEXICO CITY, Dec 27 (Tierramérica).- "The market is not going to resolve the environmental crisis," says theologian and environmentalist Leonardo Boff, professor at Brazil's State University of Rio de Janeiro. The solution, he says, lies in ethics and in changing our relationship with nature.

Boff, who teaches ethics, philosophy of religion and ecology, is one of the leading figures of Liberation Theology, a progressive current in the Latin American Catholic Church. He has written more than 60 books and has dedicated the last 20 years to promoting the green movement.

He was one of the 23 proponents of the 2000 Earth Charter, and a year lat…

Don't forget the Prophet Mohammed was a feminist

A great letter in today's Morning Star that sums up my feelings, although plenty of Muslims, Marxists and Christian's have followed the good principles of justice, equality and pluralism of the founders, although equally plenty of manifestations from them been pretty rubbish....think Albania for Marxism for a start!

Two things really wind me up when it comes to Islam
1) The amount of ignorance and abuse heaped on Muslims.
2) The support of governments like the US and UK of Saudi Arabia whose salifist Islam is indeed hostile to human life!

And don't put abusive comments in the box, read up on Rumi instead.

Any way on to said letter.

Don't blame founders for later crimes

Tuesday 28 December 2010

Although an atheist myself, I find Richard Sunderland's letter quite amazing (M Star December 20).

Has he read no history? Does he not know that most ideological movements (not only religions) get taken over by groups more interested in power than the principles they are supposed to b…

Funeral for Jayaben Desai, a working class women hero

You will probably have read of the death of Jayaben Desai, leader of
the Grunwick Strike, shortly before Christmas, aged 77. Pete Firmin of
the Brent TUC has been in contact with her husband, Mr Desai, who would
like people to attend if they can. The funeral is at 11am on December
31st at Golders Green Crematorium.

Further information:

Very good piece from my friend Salma Yaqoob who is also a brilliant women leader here.

Laurie Penny, Tommy Sheridan and the continuing failure of the left

The Con Dem government are slicing and dicing the welfare state, Murdoch's media control is accelerating, ecological catastrophe beckons and the financial system has failed .We need a left that can gain enough strength to pull the brakes and stop the train leaping into the abyss.

However an effective left looks further away than ever. Attempts to build a left alternative to the Labour Party such as the Scottish Socialist Party and Socialist Alliance have failed. In England only the Greens and Respect have made gains and these have been modest and local.

The argument that there is no electoral alternative outside the Labour Party seems over whelming, yet there is no place for the left in Labour either. The Party is top down, undemocratic and more responsive to oligarchs than bus drivers. The failure of the inspiring John McDonnell to get on the ballot paper for Labour leader, tells us everything we need to know about the possibility of moving the Party left.

Politics, at least, in En…

'Torturing yourself with the idea of global warming'

This is from a great green blog at the US site Daily Kos Cassiodorus tells it like it is. Although while its easy to be politically pessimistic in the USA, in places like Peru indigenous people are putting up a tremendous fight and even winning (this is worrying the US poltical establishment).

Any how enough of me and on to Cassiodorus

On balance, the Republican deniers have a better way. You might as well be a denier, disbelieving in global warming until the famine, the drought, or other weather phenomenon finally wipes you out. If you're not really going to do anything proactive, you might as well believe in fairies and unicorns, or the second coming of "Jeeeezus" or whatever. The fact that you have sacrificed your children to this reality is nothing, because they're going up in the Rapture too.

Torturing yourself with the idea of global warming, while limiting your purview to ineffective measures, is the surest route to unhappiness. I honestly don't see ho…


Great new green left blog here.

Mankind is divided into three classes - the rich, the poor, and those who have enough...Abolish the rich and you will have no more poor...for it is the few rich who are the cause of the many poor."

Radical words. An extract from Marx's "Das Kapital"? A trade union leader rallying their members against job losses? A motion passed by the last Green Party conference declaring its support for a maximum wage?

It could be any of the above, but in fact its none of them. The words were written by an author known as the "Sicilian Briton" in the first few years of the fifth century. As the Roman Empire was beset by barbarian invasions and usurper Emperors, the plebeian and slave classes began to agitate for a fairer share of the resources of the world's first superstate. While some openly rebelled and established their own states as the bacaudae, the western world's first social revolutionaries, others used parts of the newly est…

Protest works: Government U turn on Booktrust

I don't think things are good.

Globally it is simple, we don't have an economic system that works. Banks are structurally unstable, global imbalances threaten economic chaos but more fundamentally the economic system, capitalism, only works if we work more, consume more and throw more away.

This doesn't add up ecologically.

From over population to technofixes virtually everyone is ignoring the basic driver of environmental chaos, the present unfit for purpose economy.

Here in the UK politics is very blocked. The electoral system makes it difficult for Greens and the Left to gain representation and we have a right wing media based on the Daily Mail and the Murdoch empire.

However there are signs of resistance achieving change. The student protest has been inspiring and the news that the government is going to U turn and no longer scrap the book scheme aimed at encouraging children to read is very encouraging.

Change won't come from the supine Labour Party but it may come f…

Bethlehem behind barbed wire.

Just had this, worth reading at this time of year.

The other story of Bethlehem
Churches will be crowded throughout Britain over the coming days in celebration of events believed to have taken place 2,000 years ago.

Christian clergy will commemorate the birth in the Palestinian town of Bethlehem of their saviour as the son of God who had no place to lay his head and was, accordingly, born in a manger.

In Palestine today, lack of shelter remains a major problem for the people of Gaza, many of whom have been condemned to live in tents for the past two years.

Monday will mark the second anniversary of Israel's unjustified military assault on the coastal enclave, when its armed forces wiped out over 1,400 Palestinians in just over three weeks.

The attack was designed to destroy social infrastructure to make people's lives unbearable as a way of turning the Palestinian people against Hamas, which they had backed in free and democratic elections.

Israel has tightened the blockade agai…

Tommy Sheridan found guilty

Tommy Sheridan the former Scottish Socialist Party MSP has been found guilty at his trial in Edinburgh.

The News of the World made a series of sex allegations against him.

Tommy sued successfully but has now been found guilty of perjury.

The Sheridan affair smashed the Scottish Socialist Party, the first successful non Labour socialist Party in the UK, since Commonwealth in the 1940s.

I have long thought the whole thing smelt of MI5 but I must admit I was sceptical of Tommmy in this.

The Scottish Socialist Party would never have been succesful without Tommy but reliance on one charasmatic leader is always dangerous.

Rupert Murdoch's grip on everything is stronger......a very sad affair.

Hope Greens, Scottish Socialists and Solidarity can work together but doubt this will happen.

George Galloway Party stands aside for Greens in Oldham by-election

A sign of continuing cooperation between the Green Party and the Respect Party is that Respect who at one time were thinking of standing George Galloway in the upcoming Oldham by-election, have stood aside for the Green Party's Peter Allen.

Greens and Respect do cooperate to some extent in the Greater Manchester area and Peter is a well known member of the Green Left.

The by-election comes about because Phil Woolas who ran a campaign based on racist fear was forced to stand down after a hostile court judgement.

Respect supported Caroline Lucas and Caroline Lucas in turn while not endorsing the Respect Party did urge Greens to stand aside for Salma Yaqoob.

I am a bit of Galloway sceptic although he does do some very good work, I am very keen on Salma who I think has a strong sympathy with ecosocialism and kindly endorsed my recent Green Left book.

On the left we disagree but it is vital to build cooperation.

The Green Party has declared a candidate. Peter Allen is an active trade unionis…

Derrick O'Keefe has a recommendation for the activist in your life

Derrick O'Keefe has a recommendation for the activist in your life:
Derek Wall's The Rise of the Green Left traces the emergence of a socialism worthy of the struggles of the 21st Century, with ecology and indigenous rights at its core. The author is the type of activist-intellectual our movements need -- he explains complex topics in simple, clear language and always ties the theory back to concrete action.
A former chief spokesperson of the U.K. Green Party, Wall has been immersed in the effort to bring greens and the left together for over three decades. The Rise of the Green Left is the story of an important work in progress -- the success or failure of this historic convergence may well determine the future of our species.


Jean-Luc Godard 'no such thing as intellectual property'

I am buried deep in the commons, trying to work on my book on Elinor Ostrom, her work is so important for defending the hey if you want to publish an academic book on Elinor, just mail me! The intention is that it will be book number nine for me and I want to do something tight, referenced, and well the opposite of these mis-spelled quick put together blogs.

Any how missed this story until now, with the occassional reservation, I love Godard. Still think Contempt is the best film ever.


I am against Hadopi [the French internet-copyright law, or its attendant agency], of course. There is no such thing as intellectual property. I'm against the inheritance [of works], for example. An artist's children could benefit from the copyright of their parents' works, say, until they reach the age of majority... But afterward, it's not clear to me why Ravel's children should get any income from Bolero...

Godard paid 'a thousand euros toward the legal def…

Dave Mellows 'truly amazing'/ Revolution Dub

Dave Mellows is a member of Green Left, he has kindly let me blog his thoughts on the protest movement.

Personally I really fear for my children and I have been getting quite depressed, the USA government seem to be working quite hard to build hell on Earth and the power to do the wrong thing is very strong. Our economic system is not fit for purpose. The Con Dem government are making our future far less secure, the right wing media in the UK has a virtual monopoly.

However resistance is growing and it does inspire me, and it inspires Dave, so over to Dave.

Oh and enjoy the dub step above!

For me the past couple of months have been truly amazing, since I joined the first UK Uncut protest on 27th October. I am retired so have been able to be involved in the main anti-fees protests in London - Millbank on 10th November, Whitehall 24th November, Trafalgar Square 30th November, and Parliament Square on 9th December (when in the evening I had the surreal experience of coming face to face w…

Caroline Lucas 'Why we need direct action on climate change'

Why we need direct action on climate change

A protester sleeps as police officers form a line during a climate change demonstration at Ratcliffe Power Station at Ratcliffe-on-Soar on October 17, 2009. Photograph: Getty Images
It is a complicated defence, the defence of necessity. Last week, twenty people admitted their plan to shut down Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal power station, but justified their actions to prevent death and serious injury from the carbon emissions. A jury heard compelling evidence on the horror of climate change, but still returned a guilty verdict. We'll never know what those twelve people discussed, but the fact that governments are failing us all is clearer than ever.

Yes, they were acting -- or planning to act -- through an unconventional process. Had the plan gone ahead, arrests would have been inevitable. But given time to present their evidence, research and sophisticated safety measures, the defendants adeptly explained why their actions were reasonable.

Not onl…

'Come on feel la Haine'

Just saw this on my facebook, amazing.

Keny Arkana, born in 1982, is a French anti-capitalist rapper, from Marseille.

This certainly hits the spot and is worth a listen.

Come on feel La Haine!

This is what you can find out on the web about her

La Rage (The Rage) by French female rap artist Keny Arkana. Released in 2006, La Rage refers to global politics and the 2005 riots in the banlieues (ghettos) of Paris which spread to other cities in France:

Keny Arkana is part of La Rage Du Peuple (The Rage of the People), a music collective formed in 2004 in Marseille, activists in the alter-globalization movement.

Official site & Downloads:

Join the revolution!

El capitalismo explota a los trabajadores y en la misma medida destruye al medio ambiente!

Capitalism exploits the workers and at the same time destroys the natural environment!

Ecosocialism or barbarism! There is no third way!

Show your support for ecosocialism
1000 names by the end of the year!

Add your name to the list
Añade tu nombre a la lista
Nombre Anade tu a la lista
Anade jste do seznamu
Anzahl anand Sie die Liste

A list for hope and for change. Let the world know that you are an ecosocialist and you are proud of what you stand for; add your name and your country to the form and the great list of united ecosocialists will begin to grow. Every new name carries the same importance as the last and with every single name, the revolution gathers strength.

Share, Share, Share, Facebook, Twitter, Email,

Julian Assange in 47 seconds

Larry Flint 'Why I Am Donating $50,000 to WikiLeaks' Defense Fund'

Larry Flynt Publisher of Hustler magazine and free speech advocate has written

Let's get something straight: Julian Assange is a journalist. You can argue that he is not practicing journalism the way you think it should be practiced -- releasing classified U.S. State Department documents -- but he's a journalist nonetheless. And for many of us he's a hero.

I'm sick and tired of the politicians and political pundits treating this man as if he were a criminal. If WikiLeaks had existed in 2003 when George W. Bush was ginning up the war in Iraq, America might not be in the horrendous situation it is today, with our troops fighting in three countries (counting Pakistan) and the consequent cost in blood and dollars.

Here's what I know about censorship: The free flow of information is ultimately less harmful than the impeded flow of information. A democracy cannot exist without total access to the facts.

What's wrong is that a concerned outsider -- an Australian publisher…

Guardian reprints CIA propaganda story 'Cuba bans Michael Moore film Sicko'

According to the Guardian
Cuba banned Michael Moore's 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a "mythically" favourable picture of Cuba's healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a "popular backlash", according to US diplomats in Havana.

The revelation, contained in a confidential US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks , is surprising, given that the film attempted to discredit the US healthcare system by highlighting what it claimed was the excellence of the Cuban system.

But the memo reveals that when the film was shown to a group of Cuban doctors, some became so "disturbed at the blatant misrepresentation of healthcare in Cuba that they left the room".

Castro's government apparently went on to ban the film because, the leaked cable claims, it "knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them."

Carnival of the Oppressed

I visited Goldsmiths College Library last week to find not only that it was occupied by students but I could still borrow books.One of their demands was that staff should lose no pay, and the occupiers were carefully reshelving books and making sure nothing got nicked. It was wonderful and cheered me up in the face of the daily absurdities of the Con-Dem government.As I write, direct action protests are erupting on the streets of Britain.The students and schoolkids have shaken the coalition government, activists are targeting tax-avoiding companies like Vodafone and direct action environmental protests from groups such as Climate Camp and Climate Rush continue to grow.Dozens of universities are witnessing occupations on their campuses as anger rises.Unruly, disruptive and anarchic, the rise of direct action fills me with joy. Direct action is not an alternative to democracy but part of the process, and it should be embraced by all those who want an equal and ecological future.Increasi…

Captain Beefheart RIP

Love the vacuum cleaner story (more than the music)

Mumia Abu-Jamal 'OBAMA: Clinton With a Tan'

[col. writ. 12/12/10] (c) '10 Mumia Abu-Jamal

As rumblings of discontent arose in the wake of the extension of the Bush era tax cuts by the Obama administration, President Barack Obama pulled out his secret weapon: former President William Jefferson Clinton.

Clinton before a bank of microphones is always a sight to behold, for few politicians have his peculiar mix of pure intelligence, down home folksy charm and sheer performance skills.

It is a measure of our politics that the system elected a man who was virtually a Clinton clone: born to poor and working class people; educated in Ivy League schools; advocates of globalism and neo liberalism, and servants of the business class.

When we recollect the acrimony and bad blood that flowed between the two camps during the campaign, and the post election integration and indeed immersion of Clintonites into all levels of the Obama administration, why should we be surprised when the president runs into a bad squall, and he calls out Bill Cli…


An election was held for a vacant council seat in the Tower Hamlets Borough ward of Spitalfields and Banglatown on Thursday, 16 December 2010.

The result of the election was as follows:
•Abdul Alim, Labour Party - 553 votes 37.21%
•Jewel Chowdhury, Independent - 28 votes 1.88%
•Magaret Ann Crosbie, The Green Party - 52 votes 3.5%
•Fozol Miah, Respect - 666 votes (elected) 44.82%
•Ferdy North, Liberal Democrats - 33 votes 2.22%
•Matthew James Smith, Conservative Party - 135 votes 9.08%

Number of ballot papers spoilt: 19

Interesting result.

Modest vote but glad to see Green candidate the excellent Maggie Crosbie beat those neo-liberal democrats.

Interesting but I suspect Tower Hamlets has its own micro politics, lovely to see the Lib Dems do so badly when they used to turn the Borough.

Julian Assange speech on release from prison

Selling Out...Softly, by Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia Abu-Jamal remains one of the most important and poetic political commentators on the planet, no wonder the Americans put him in prison and no wonder they want to put Julian Assange in the cell next door to Mumia on death row.

Its a proud fact for all ecosocialists and greens that Mumia has long championed radical green politics.


Right on to Mumia on Obama

Selling Out...Softly, by Mumia Abu-Jamal

[col. writ. 12/8/19 (c) '10 Mumia Abu-Jamal

The big-eared U.S. president appears before TV cameras and the message he exudes by his hang-dog look is one of surrender and failure.

His speech is halting, peppered with "uhs", and "ums", as he searches for a silver lining in a gathering of dark and foreboding clouds.

If you're old enough (say in your 50's) the mind may flash back to old black and white video of a news conference by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, perhaps discussing the latest chaos from Vietnam.

If you're younger…

Socialist Party reply to their National Shop Stewards critics

I count Dave Chapple as a long standing friend but this is the SP reply to his criticism of their recent activity in the NSSN.


We send this reply to NSSN supporters and those outside of the NSSN who have had Dave's email. It wasn't our choice to have a public debate in this way and we regret his damaging actions but we have a duty to respond and give our side of the story. If you've read his email, you will understand the unavoidable sharpness of our response.

Dave Chapple has circulated a critical email about the decision of the NSSN Steering Committee to launch an Anti-Cuts Campaign at its Conference on January 22nd.

The real facts of what happened are the following. After a debate in the Steering Committee lasting around three hours and 39 attending, where all those wanting to speak did speak, a vote was taken. On a show of hands Dave's view did not prevail. Behind the disparate opposition to the NSSN majority is a clear differen…

They lied, millions died! ITV 10.35PM tonight

John Pilger's must watch film is on British television tonight.

They lied to us and millions died in Iraq.

They are still lying to us.

John to his credit has been doing massive work supporting Julian Assange.

Australia, they make them there!

Do watch tonight and spread the word.

I must admit it is rare I watch TV and I am staying with someone with a broken TV but hey I have still got a couple of hours to sort something out.

'this guy is a hero. Ben Brown treats him as a criminal'

There are going to sweep those in wheel chairs away with water cannons next, welcome to austerity Britain!

Well austerity for voters, tax cuts for corporations.

Lenninists trash anti-cuts campaign?

I am sometimes agree with Socialist Party criticisms of the Greens but I don't respect them when they do this kind of stuff, absolute insanity and very damaging when we need to fight this neo-liberal government, pleasure to know the excellent Dave Chapple, sorry it has come to this.

"We are drawing attention to the disastrous outcome of the Steering Committee of the National Shop Stewards’ Network (NSSN) meeting on Saturday 4th December.

The majority in the meeting, who were Socialist Party (SP) members, voted through a series of decisions despite the opposition of absolutely everyone else, of various political affiliations and none.

The meeting decided to propose that the anti-cuts conference being organised by the NSSN on January 22nd should set up an “NSSN All-Britain Anti-Cuts campaign” and the election of a committee at the conference, which would be separate from the existing NSSN structures. As supporters of the NSSN, we are aware that the NSSN and its supporters are alre…

Banlieues rising! EMA Protest tomorrow!

Just got this email, sharing it with you! Banlieues rising!
I'm letting you know that a protest has been called at the Department of
Business, Innovation and Skills at 1 Victoria Street, Westminster at 4PM
tomorrow (Monday) to defend the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA),
which is set to be scrapped.

The EMA is a payment scheme for 16- to 19-year-olds from low-income
backgrounds who have chosen to stay in education. Together with the
trebling of tuition fees, abolishing the EMA will restrict access to
education even more.

The protest is called by the Education Activists Network and supported by
UCU London Region, as part of the Save the EMA day of action.

Location map:

Hope to see you there.

If you have not already done so, please also sign the petition for the EMA
to be restored.

KillaFlaw bootleg revolution video

The banlieues of South London not small groups of anarchist conspirators are powering the student protest, I am not sure they would actually listen to this but it gets the idea over.

Post me vids and I will post them

Kettle the cops for Alfie!

Alfie Meadows was beaten around the head, it is alleged that the police refused an ambulance during thursdays fees protests.

Despite bleeding on the brain the first hospital he arrived at wanted to turn him away they had reserved places just for the police but after protests by the ambulance driver he was allowed in

The paint job on the Royal Family gets the headlines, injured students get virtually no column inches.

Remember the police follow orders and the brain injury is down to Vince Cable, Dave Cameron and Nick Clegg.

Any how Join the protest on tuesday to surround and kettle New Scotland Yard.

Tuesday 14 December, 1pm, at New Scotland Yard, 8-10 Broadway, London SW1H 0BG (St James' Park tube)

We Ain't Gonna Pay For This - Kéjé Foxx

Cancun agreement 'a victory for the rich nations who bullied and cajoled'

December 11, 2010 (Cancun, Mexico) – The Plurinational State of Bolivia believes that the Cancun text is a hollow and false victory that was imposed without consensus, and its cost will be measured in human lives. History will judge harshly.

There is only one way to measure the success of a climate agreement, and that is based on whether or not it will effectively reduce emissions to prevent runaway climate change. This text clearly fails, as it could allow global temperatures to increase by more than 4 degrees, a level disastrous for humanity. Recent scientific reports show that 300,000 people already die each year from climate change-related disasters. This text threatens to increase the number of deaths annually to one million. This is something we can never accept.

Last year, everyone recognized that Copenhagen was a failure both in process and substance. Yet this year, a deliberate campaign to lower expectations and desperation for any agreement has led to one that in substance is …