1 May 2006

Dr Wall's Diary: Elections, Industrial Action, Culture

Well, diary stuff, may be this is boring but its a blog diary...we will see. I went election canvassing for cllr Penny Kemp in deepest conservative rural Kent yesterday...its a two horse race Penny versus the Conservative sitting councillor Jenny Gibson and very exciting. Responses ranged from confident Green voters keen to take posters to 'you have to be joking' usually from those with a little armarda of four by four gas guzzlers.

The Reverend Tony is a keen supporter so we visited for a quick pit stop and inspected his garden full of recycled tyre plant pots...phone your local garage they all apparently have lots of spare worn out tyres...put in a layer of compost (peat free please), some manure, horse is good (remember we don't eat them) underneath and away you go. Very nice potatoe plants.

Headcorn where my partner Sarah lives is a good example of eco campaigning...She and Penny have put together a farmers market, a sustainability group">
with 180 members, a community shop to sell eco balls (does away with washing powder) and local veg....They are campaigning hard to conserve the local high street as a non clone town shopping centre. Both are of course instigators of the Headcorn declaration, a manifesto for ecosocialism.

Penny has decades of experience as an activist, even advising the King of Jordan on climate change and campaigning for tax free biodesiel (chip fat not agri-business pharm crops).

A victory for Penny next week is in sight....canvassing is so important to let people know about the green message and to make sure voters simply vote on the day.

CULTURAL PROJECTS

Sarah and I bought the BBC Shakespere, all 38 plays, well not Edward III which computer analysis found was his work later, filmed in the 1970s and have been watching lots of other Shakespere stuff, Titus from titus andronicus...pretty low on ecology and socialism but endlessly stimulating...

Watching the channel four 19 plays from the Samuel Beckett cannon...Beckett is very zen, when asked why his favourite actress was Billy Whitelaw he said 'because she doesn't ask any dam fool questions.' Talking on zen at the climate change conference, not that Zen is a talk thing at all.

Reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez's first volume of bio Living to the Tell the Tale, in Spanish and English to get my faltering Spanish up..big on arepa and other elements of Carribbean coast Columbia and Venezuela, big on socialism (the banana workers massacre) and ecology ...river pollution.

Dr Who continues to be fun and has some real emotion resonance, evil school teachers with chemical enhanced chips fed to the kids, ha ha ha.....Russel Davis was of course great with his 'Queer as Folk'.

WORK

AUT action seems to be biting, still not marking anything at Goldsmiths, hopefully the dispute will be over soon because the implications of this action are big...universities are of course very casualised, with lots of us on part time contracts.

Well, New Labour Economics lecture to write today to catch up with when I missed some teaching to go to Venezuela.

CAMAJEO

Peter Camajeo, Venezuela born super Green in California, ex-US SWP, ethical commodity broker(?), Nader's running mate, now gearing up for November contest with Donna Warren, one of the more interesting Green Party politician's on the planet (well after Penny ofcourse)

Representing Green Party, Peter Camejo visits campus for lecture
Speech addresses immigration debate, education funding
By: Elise M. Kane
Issue date: 4/26/06 Section: Campus News
PrintEmail Article Tools Page 1 of 2 next > Aristotle has been dead since 322 B.C., but California Green Party gubernatorial candidate Peter Camejo was channeling him Monday night when he spoke to a sizeable audience in 216 Wellman.

"Truth can only be ascertained by the conflict of ideas," Camejo said.

He went on to compare the Green Party stance to Democratic and Republican viewpoints on varied topics including gay marriage and funding for education.

Challenging opposition to gay marriage, Camejo dubbed sexual orientation "genetic" and an occurrence as common as left-handedness.

"Two left-handed people should be allowed to get married.... I think you see my point," he quipped.

On the subject of college education, Camejo noted that in the 1960s education in California was the best in the nation. Since then, California has dropped in the ranks and the country has stopped taxing affluent citizens to acquire the necessary funding for education, he said.

If a hypothetical wealthy citizen were taxed appropriately, instead of living off $50,000 a month, his monthly living wages would be $46,300, Camejo said.

"Hold back your tears, this could be really rough on people," he joked.

The Green philosopher criticized the current political system within the nation, calling the political institution a body that "gives the impression of democracy" while castigating third-party infiltration.

"We are so isolated in our knowledge," Camejo later said of the dominant political binary in the United States. "They even teach us in school that it's good we only have two [political] parties."

The Green Party is excluded by default, he said.

"When Greens run [for office], you know what they say? 'You're spoilers,'" Camejo said.

Camejo was in no shortage of words as he delved into subjects of contention among Greens, Democrats and Republicans.

"You have to get in line to ever normalize your situation," he said of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) proposed immigration bill, which looks to establish an earned legalization program to reconcile border Camejo segued into a continuation of an earlier argument based on economic class and labor structure. He noted that the immigration bill would be a form of apartheid, widening fissures in the already unstable terrain of California's worker and environmental protection policies.

"We belong to a religion called 'the market,'" Camejo said, mentioning that only an opulent 1 percent of the U.S. population has made any gain in income, as adjusted for inflation, in the last 30 years. "We're living under globalization that has a depressing effect."

True to Aristotelian empiricism, Camejo used data of experience to offer opinions about the importance of solar energy and the need for affordable housing, returning repeatedly to the themes of a flawed taxation system and the negative implications of overpopulation.

Camejo fielded questions about related topics at the end of his talk, engaging the audience in a discussion about government triumphs in Venezuela in relation to Green Party values and objectives.

He encouraged the audience to attend a protest at the California Democratic Party convention Friday, where Green Party members will act against Democratic leaders supporting the immigration bill, death penalty and war in Iraq. Green Party members will be meeting at 11 a.m. at the north steps of the state Capitol and march to the convention.

"In the end, we should start saying the truth and not be afraid to defend it," Camejo said.



ELISE KANE can be reached at campus@californiaaggie.com.

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