31 Oct 2006

Green/ethical Christmas




The first consignment of tea was due to go out to a group of people who are known are considered to be untouchable by upper caste Hindus. Because, they are the community that does all of the un-clean work, cleaning toilets, burying carcasses and so on: totally un-touchable. There is terrible discrimination against them. We found that they were also huge tea drinkers. And we said why don’t we send the tea to them? And we had a meeting of our tribal people. And asked them if some profit is generated through this transaction how do you think we should distribute it? How much should they get, how much should we get? Now, there were two hundred people at this meeting, and they turned around and said, are you mad? These people are so much worse off than us, they have trouble in every way, why should we take anything of their profit, and we’ve got the cost of our tea. We’ve got a fair price. If there is a surplus generated, let them keep it. Market sense? Not at all. (Thekaekara 2003: 9-10)


May seem early for this but I thought it if you want to get gifts from New Internationalist, etc might but good to get in just after Halloween...

Ethical present...just go for the tea that Stan Thekaekara is discussing abovehttp://www.justchangeuk.org/ You can buy it from New Internationalist, if you don't do tea, grow some mint and use instead but as an alternative to pg, this is the most ethical tea you can get, see New Internationalist

Here is what the wiki oracle says about Christmas,
In 274, Emperor Aurelian designated December 25 as the festival of Sol Invictus (the "unconquered sun"). Aurelian may have chosen this date because the solstice was considered the birthday of Mithras, a syncretic god of Persian origin. Mithras is often identified with Sol Invictus, although Sol was originally a separate Syrian god.

Here are some of the ecological impacts of Christmas in the UK
* One billion Christmas cards (17 for every man, woman and child);

* Six million Christmas trees;

* 4,200 tonnes of aluminium foil;

* 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging;

* 80,000 tonnes of old clothes and other waste textiles;

* 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper (enough to cover an area larger than Guernsey). http://www.iema.net/news/envnews?cat=230&aid=3320

All of which seems like an argument for a holiday with Richard Dawkins....

Of course if your are Christian, you won't be having a Christmas tree,
[Jeremiah 10]
God and the idols....states

3 For the customs of the peoples are false:
a tree from the forest is cut down,
and worked with an ax by the hands of an artisan;
4 people deck it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so that it cannot move.

this is from.

Christmas presents


The very best, after the tea, is to dry your chillis you have been growing, carefully on the lowest heat in the oven (take care!), pot and label...perfect, perfect, perfect. Other nice garden stuff pickled or jamed will keep some people happy and doesn't involve air freight....


Set up a blog for a friend, if they want a blog!

Make your own open source recipe book.





Havana Club....we have to cut down on the peat based single malts, so this is a good alternative from Cuba. Buy it in Waitrose or the Coop...

Good beer guide http://shop.camra.org.uk/DisplayDetail.aspx?prodid=166&secid=0,

That's enough alcohol....subscriptions to 70 radical publications from INK http://www.ink.uk.com/

LRB, useless on green politics, but essential....sub from

New Internationalist have lots of interesting gifts including the tea here.

Cuba Solidarity, lots of goodstuff here

Permaculture, after a year or two you can grow christmas gifts Permaculture shop

Remember no shopping day is coming up


Treat this as a wiki, add your comments and I will roll them in,

by the way this is the Babylon passage about the tea to bring us back to where we started

Embedded markets and anti-capitalist states?
One approach to amphibious politics is to adapt markets as a way of beginning to move beyond the market. Markets can be embedded in society and state provision decentralised. A strong example comes from Stan Thekaekara, who worked with Indian adivasis, ‘first inhabitants’, a marginalized group kicked off their land by higher caste groups. Once they had reclaimed their land, they grew tea, sold directly to fair trade outlets in India and the UK. Face to face contact was made with working class communities in Easterhouse Glasgow who were sold ethical and cheap tea. Social preference rather than profit maximisation socialised economic activity:
In the present market economy, even in the Fair Trade model, the moment we put our tea into the market chain, at the first point of contact a price would be determined and we would lose ownership over the tea. And then the tea would take a life of it’s own. We are divorced from that tea. The ownership moves from us to somebody else. And then to somebody else and somebody else, ownership often changing till finally it ends up in a package with a pretty picture on it. And all along the way, the price also changes. And as the tea moves along the market chain the price is increasingly de-linked from the cost of production and the initial payment made to the producer. What you as a consumer pay for your tea has nothing to do with what I as a producer got for that tea. (Thekaekara 2003: 9)
Instead of being ‘divorced from that tea’, the tea was produced and exchanged under conditions determined by the farmers. The project erased distinctions between the global and the local by being controlled by the producers who built relationships with the consumers based on equity and respect:
The first consignment of tea was due to go out to a group of people who are known are considered to be untouchable by upper caste Hindus. Because, they are the community that does all of the un-clean work, cleaning toilets, burying carcasses and so on: totally un-touchable. There is terrible discrimination against them. We found that they were also huge tea drinkers. And we said why don’t we send the tea to them? And we had a meeting of our tribal people. And asked them if some profit is generated through this transaction how do you think we should distribute it? How much should they get, how much should we get? Now, there were two hundred people at this meeting, and they turned around and said, are you mad? These people are so much worse off than us, they have trouble in every way, why should we take anything of their profit, and we’ve got the cost of our tea. We’ve got a fair price. If there is a surplus generated, let them keep it. Market sense? Not at all. (Thekaekara 2003: 9-10)

Support climate change protest: November 4th

Hi folks,

pleasing to get a letter published on Stern albeit a bit edited and deradicalised today





This is a mixture of Green party stuff in preparation for the march, we need to be thinking incidentally about reclaiming and deepening green politics, in response ot climate change.

Society has to change radically, so radical green solutions are important, spray paint environmentalism is not enough.



Climate Change March
On November 4, the Saturday before the UN Climate Talks in Nairobi, it is
important for the Green Party to have a strong presence at the Campaign Against
Climate Change London march. Party members, wearing green if possible, are asked
to assemble in Grosvenor Square (in front of the US Embassy) at 11am, for the
noon start of the speeches, which will feature our own Caroline Lucas MEP. (Look
out for campaigns coordinator Tim Summers and his megaphone.) Last year there
were many hundreds of us, including Young Greens and people from all over the
country, and it was the most impressive Green turnout at a demonstration anyone
could remember, so let’s see if we can make it better this year! Any queries
contact Tim: tim-summers@hotmail.com.


This is from the London Green party list

Dear Green climate campaigner,

UPDATE on GREEN PLANS FOR NOV 4th

All day Green Party stall sets up at 10.30am in Trafalgar Square with Ann C. leading and other volunteers
arriving through the morning. Hopefully next to the large Brixton Tea Party refreshment stall also run by Greens.

11am- US Embassy: Green stall and all placards, leaflets, banners assemble outside US Embassy, probably south side from 11am onwards.


Join Rally outside US Embassy. Distribute new climate leaflets in 100 bunches to any available Green activists.

Young Greens expected to have their own presence and own climate placards available.
1pm Assemble and join CACC demo in various Green groups with all available banners, placards, leaflets etc and march to Trafalgar Square whilst spreading the Green Party message and having as high visibility as possible.



Green Left are pitching in with the general Green Party effort.

29 Oct 2006

Stern is not enough


Post office privatisation is closing offices, here in Berkshire there are no buses on a sunday or after 6.30 weekdays. Consumerism is virtually a secular religion. Stern draws attention to climate change but the solution is a green society based on local production for local need, open source economics, sharing more, making goods to last longer....and all the rest.

The realisation that we cannot treat our planet as a badly managed toilet, is slowly dawning.

However, everything requires a rethink.

Radical green politics I think so, alternatives to an economic system that works best when we consume more and more I know so.

A different kind of economy, cultural change....the Green Party needs to be raising awareness and supporting struggles to keep the local post office open (neo-liberalism is working to close it), arguing for a world which meets need (cheap housing for the next generation in Britain, please) and works against greed (£7.5 billion last year in city bonuses).

We need to get the message across and draw upon radicals from Illich to Bookchin and beyond.

Personalities to lead us into the promised land, hey its going to take more and look where Joshka Fischer took the German greens.


From the standpoint of a higher economic form of society, private ownership of the globe by single individuals will appear quite absurd as private ownership of one man by another. Even a whole society, a nation, or even all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not the owners of the globe. They are only its possessors, its usufructuries, and like boni patres familias, they must hand it down to succeeding generations in an improved condition. (Marx quoted in Kovel 2002: 238)

Or as Nandor notes in my book Babylon, 'We humans think that we can own the planet, as if fleas could own a dog. Our concepts of property ownership are vastly different from traditional practises of recognising use rights over various resources. A right to grow or gather food or other resources in a particular place is about meeting needs. Property ownership is about the ability to live on one side of the world and speculate on resources on the other, possibly without ever seeing it, without regard to need or consequence.'

See you at the lse perhaps tomorrow night or on saturday's climate change march.

28 Oct 2006

Blair = greed = ecocide


The greatest crime of the Blatcherites has been the spreading of the affluenza virus among the rest of us. They seem to despise mothers who care for their small children - or anyone else whose work is not paid. They use education to create good little consumer-producers, not to set minds free. They lock students into debts, then impose an insecure, workaholic working environment and a bloated property market that keeps the young on a hedonistic, consumerist treadmill. Above all their talk of "opportunity", "choice" and "freedom" is just Americanised material aspirationalism.


Blair, well I am being shallow but he is not nice man at all...here is a letter to the Guardian, they didn't print it, have had 4 in the G or the O in about two months so fair enough...


Dear Editor,
Oliver James critique of 'Nouveau Riche Labour' (Guardian, 23rd October) is instructive. In 1997 would those who voted 'New Labour' with the jingle 'things can only get better' ringing in their heads have believed that Tony Blair's enduring monument who be the Dome, a giant Texas owned cash till on the banks of the Thames? Who would have predict the war in Iraq driven by oil barons and Haliburton contracts? Who would have imagined Blair on holiday in the villa of Berlusconi, a quasi-fascist billionnaire media moghul?

Money, it is said, makes the world go round but the kind of addictive Dallas style consumerist capitalism, promoted by Blairites, if it doesn't drive us to despair will kill us with ecological catastrophe. It is insanity to believe that the economy can grow for ever on a finite planet.

Gambling, mushrooming mortgage debt, student loans, post office 'deregulation', the truth is that less is more. Bob Dylan in one of his more lucid moments noted that 'money doesn't, talk it swears', depressingly all of our parliamentary parties put happinesses and environmental sustainability, well below, the task of making and circulating more of the stuff. Even the Olympics is an opportunity to sell McDonalds and Coca Cola as well as appropriately competitive sport.

Gordon Brown I think we can safely predict, as the architect of New Labour's economic policies will be giving us more of the same. Love of those with obsence amounts of cash is the passion behind New Labour and while Blair is on his way out, this affair is far from over.


Yours

Dr Derek Wall,

CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS WEEK

LSESU Climate Change Awareness Week - Featuring Michael Meacher, Aubrey Meyer, Andrew Simms and More!
Submitted by Aled Dilwyn Fisher on 27 October, 2006 - 14:11 unions | C&C | emissions | renewable energy | students | nuclear | Blair & Labour

Dear Campaigners against Climate Change,

My name is Aled Dilwyn Fisher and I am the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Students' Union (SU) Environment and Ethics Officer. Next week, between Monday 30th October and Friday 3rd November, the LSESU is running its first ever Climate Change Awareness Week in anticipation of the November 4th worldwide demonstrations. A number of events are happening, listed below, including talks from Michael Meacher MP, Andrews Simms, Aubrey Meyer, Derek Wall and many more!

LSESU CLIMATE CHANGE AWARENESS WEEK

MONDAY OCTOBER 30th, 6.30pm, D302
Does Capitalism Equal Climate Change?

SPEAKER: Dr. Derek Wall, Visiting Lecturer in Political Economy at Goldsmiths College and author of Babylon and Beyond

TUESDAY OCTOBER 31st, 6pm, D202
Minor Distraction or Massive Challenge – How Does Modern Politics Deal with Climate Change?

SPEAKERS: Michael Meacher MP, Labour Party MP and former Environment Minister
Jean Lambert MEP, Green Party MEP

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 1st, 1pm, D206
DVD and Talk: The Power of Community – How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

SPEAKERS: Sian Berry, Green Party Female Principal Speaker
Shane Collins, Green Party Drugs Policy Spokesperson

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 1st, 7pm, U8
Climate Change - An End to Development? The Wealth of Nations and the Health of the Planet

SPEAKER: Andrew Simms, Policy Director and Head of the Climate Change Programme at the New Economics Foundation (nef), and author of Ecological Debt

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 2nd, 3pm, D211
Climate Change: Reasons for Concern and Options for Action

SPEAKER: Dr. Simon Dietz, LSE Academic, Geography and Environment Department

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 2nd, 7pm onwards, The Quad
Climate Change Film Showing and Social!

FILM: The Great Warming, narrated by Keanu Reeves and Alanis Morisette FOLLOWED BY: Drinks, Food and Entertainment from the Live Music Society!

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 3rd, 2pm, E168
Reducing Global Emissions Equitably: the Contraction and Convergence Model

SPEAKER: Aubrey Meyer, Director of the Global Commons Institute (GCI) and Pioneer of the Contraction and Convergence Model

27 Oct 2006

More Green Party history





off line for a couple, don't worry I haven't been kidnapped by Ron Hubbard, here is some more history!

The Party only had about 400 members in those days, a mere dozen of whom seemed to live in London, so candidates were obviously few and far between. So ‘green’ was I that I didn’t even know that as an ILEA teacher, I was not in fact permitted to stand as a candidate for the GLC!” Jonathon Porrit in Seeing Green. 1984

Well 1977, the first Ecology Party constitution is agreed (has anyone got a copy, this would clear a few questions that I have been asked), Jonathon Porritt is about to join...


At the 1977 Birmingham Conference, the first Ecology Party constitution was ratified. Ironically, its author, Jonathon Tyler, was to spend much of his time as a Party member attempting to amend his own constitution, a process that led to his disillusionment and eventual resignation after the ‘Maingreen’ affair. The Party has generally generated more heat over constitutional debates than policy differences.

During the conference, Shepherds Bush comprehensive teacher and old Etonian Jonathon Porritt joined him on the NEC.
After being lent a copy of The Ecologist, Porritt became a subscriber and noticed advertisements “exhorting me to join the Ecology Party”. He wrote for further details, only to be informed by Clive Lord that the Party was out of literature, but Lord suggested that he join anyway. “I did, for no particularly good reason, and a couple of weeks later found myself press ganged into standing as a candidate in the 1977 Greater London Council election. The Party only had about 400 members in those days, a mere dozen of whom seemed to live in London, so candidates were obviously few and far between. So ‘green’ was I that I didn’t even know that as an ILEA teacher, I was not in fact permitted to stand as a candidate for the GLC!”, Porritt recalls [18].

Porritt was the only 'Ecology Party' candidate in the whole of London, bizarrely two PEOPLE candidates contests seats in Havering..perhaps this didn't know about the name change!

After gaining 1.9% of the, albeit illicitly, in ward, Porritt scraped onto the Party NEC by a single vote. His twenty votes, a mere eleven less than the top scorer with thirty-one, illustrates the small number of members active in the 1970s. Porritt’s victory was to have serious implications – hostile to the bleak doom mongering of its survivalist origins, he worked to provide the Party with an attractive image and effective organisation. Along with his ally, Hampstead economist David Fleming, Porritt’s vision was of an effective, radical yet electoral Party. Porritt was closest, may be, to the ecological wing of the Liberal Party.





David Fleming is still writing about oil and congestion, here is his thoughts on why oil prices will kill or at least maim the car here.

Here is his bio from FEAST magasine
David Fleming read History at Oxford from 1959 to 1963, and then worked in manufacturing (textiles), marketing (detergents), advertising and financial public relations, before taking an MBA at Cranfield in 1968. From 1977 to 1995 he practised as an independent consultant in environmental policy and business strategy for the financial services industry. He edited a manual on the formation and management of investment funds in the Former Soviet Union, which was published in 1995. He was the Ecology (Green) Party's economics spokesman and press secretary between 1977 and 1980. It was at this time that he started to develop the concept of his forthcoming book The Lean Economy. In order to research the economics underlying the concept he took an MSc in economics at Birkbeck College, University of London in 1983 and a PhD in 1988. He was Honorary Treasurer and then Chairman of the Soil Association, the UK's leading advocate of organic farming, between 1984 and 1991. He has been a regular contributor to Country Life, and has published in Prospect and other journals, and in the academic literature. He was editor of The Countryside in 2097, published in 1997, and gave the 2001 Feasta lecture.

Here is his FEASTA paper on a lean fuel future.


http://www.election.demon.co.uk/glc/glcct.html
reveals the Porritt GLC result!
1977 41,377 37.0
H.H. Sandford Con 10,359 67%
I.J.C. Peddie Lab 3,468 22.7%
P.R. Vandekar L 645 4.2%
NF 372 2.4%
Hon. J.E. PorrittEP 298 1.9%
J. D’Arcy SPGB 102 0.7%
B.D. Lake Ind 67 0.4%

23 Oct 2006

Tom Cruise killed Kenny!





I really must let this go, Blairism, capitalism, salifism are all just as vulgar and nasty as the creed of Tom Cruise and Posh Spice(?) simply could not resist this, though. They are loonies, are they not?

by the way excellent review of the Dawkins book by Terry Eagleton (who in my opinion can do no wrong) here



Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology.


Just found this...Erich Fromm is always worth reading as well!

This is the html version of the file http://www.erich-fromm.de/data/pdf/1950b-e.pdf.

Erich Fromm
„Dianetics“ - For Seekers of Prefabricated Happiness
This is a review of L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics with which Hubbard founded
his Scientology-Church. The review originally was published in The New
York Herald Tribune Book Review of September 3, 1950, p. 7. - Copyright
© 1950 by Erich Fromm and 2004 by The Literary Estate of Erich Fromm,
c/o Dr. Rainer Funk, Ursrainer Ring 24, D-72076 Tübingen, Fax: +49-7071-
600049, E-mail: frommfunk[at-symbol]aol.com.
Never have people been more interested in psychology and the art of living than
today. The appeal which books dealing with these subjects have is a symptom of
a serious concern with the human rather than with the material aspects of living.
But among these books are some which satisfy the need for rational guidance
and others appealing to readers who look for prefabricated happiness and mira-
cle cures. Dianetics is the latest in this series of books and the author uses all in-
gredients of the success formula with a remarkable lack of embarrassment. „The
creation of Dianetics is a milestone for Man comparable to his discovery of fire
and superior to his inventions of the wheel and the arch.“ The author claims to
have discovered not only the „single source for every kind of neurosis, psychosis,
criminality and psychosomatic illness“ but also a therapy which cures all these
ills. „Dianetics cures and cures without failure.“
The author presents first a general theory of the structure of the mind, then
builds upon these premises a theory of mental disturbances and a technique for
their cure. „Man is motivated only by survival.“ He is surviving for self, sex, group
and mankind and each of these „purpose divisions of the entire dynamic princi-
ple“ is called a „dynamic.“ He distinguishes between the „analytical mind,“ „which
perceives and retains experience data to compose and revolve problems and di-
rect the organism along the four dynamics,“ and the „reactive mind,“ „which files
and retains physical pain and painful emotion and seeks to direct the organism
solely on a stimulus response basis.“ While the analytical mind which is com-
pared to an exceptionally magnificent calculating machine thinks in differences
and similarities, the reactive mind thinks only in identities.
The concept of the reactive mind is the basis of the author's theory of mental
illness and its cure. During moments of intense physical or emotional pain the
analytical mind is suspended and the words spoken in the presence of the „un-
conscious“ person are stored as „engrams.“ These engrams are not accessible to
the normal process of recall. Without being aware of it the person is determined
by the contents of these engrams similar to a person whose behavior, posthyp-
notically is motivated by suggestions given during the hypnosis. „If there ever
was a devil, he designed the reactive mind. ... It does anything and everything
that can be found in any list of mental ills: psychoses, neuroses, compulsions,
repressions. ... It can give a man arthritis, bursitis, asthma ... and so on down the
whole catalogue of psychosomatic ills. ... The engram is the single and sole
source of aberration and psychosomatic illness.“
Dianetic therapy follows from these premises. The patient („preclear“) is ill
because the engrams make him so. When all important engrams, particularly
those of the prenatal period are recalled („returned“), the patient is free forever
(„cleared“) from all „aberrations“ and superior in intelligence to the average per-
son. The therapist („auditor“) brings about this „return“ of the engram by putting
the patient in a state of „reverie.“ „When I count from one to seven your eyes will
close. You will remain aware of everything that goes on.“ Then the auditor counts
„slowly, soothingly“ until the patient closes his eyes. During the following period
Page 2
2
of reverie the patient is told to „return“ to earlier periods of his life as far back as
conception and at the end of the session he is brought back to the present. The
engram must be recounted many times until they are completely „erased.“
In spite of the authors fantastic claims there is hardly anything original in his
theories except new words for a mixture of misunderstood and undigested Freud-
ianism and hypnotic age regression experiments. Some notions which are truly
„original“ are startling indeed. Thus we hear the patient report the words spoken
by the doctor to his pregnant mother, or by the father to his wife shortly after con-
ception. This reviewer when reading these case histories was tempted to wonder
whether the author had intended to write a witty parody on certain psychiatric
theories and the credulity of the public.
Hubbard's book can hardly be taken seriously as a scientific contribution to
the science of Man but it must be taken seriously as a symptom of a dangerous
trend. Were it only an oversimplified popularization of early Freudian theories it
would be harmless. But Dianetics is expressive of a spirit which is exactly the op-
posite of Freud's teachings. Freud's aim was to help the patient to understand the
complexity of his mind, and his therapy was based on the concept that by under-
standing one's self one can free one's self from the bondage to irrational forces
which cause unhappiness and mental illness. This notion is part of the great
Eastern and Western tradition from Buddha and Socrates to Spinoza and Freud.
Dianetics has no respect for and no understanding of the complexities of person-
ality. Man is a machine and rationality, value judgements, mental health, happi-
ness are achieved by an engineering job. „In an engineering science like Dianet-
ics we can work on a push-button basis.“ There is nothing man has to know or to
understand except to apply Hubbard's engram theory. If he does not accept this
theory he must have ulterior motives or be possessed by a „denyer“ which is „any
engram command which makes the patient believe that the engram does not ex-
ist.“ Everything is exceedingly simple. If you have read Hubbard's book you know
all there is to know about man and society because you know which buttons to
push.
Problems of values and conscience do not exist. If the engrams are erased
you have no conflicts. All great philosophical and religious teachers wasted their
efforts. There is no problem which does not result from engram command and
there is no point to their thinking since they did not know Hubbard's discovery. Al-
though the author says that „the ancient Hindu“ writings, the work of the „early
Greeks and Romans“ including Lucretius, the labors of Francis Bacon, the re-
searches of Darwin and some of the thoughts of Herbert Spencer compose the
bulk of „the philosophical background“ of his work it is hard to believe: certainly
Dianetics does not show the fruits of such concern. The discovery „that survival is
the single and sole purpose of life“ is certainly not the expression of the spirit of
the „ancient Hindus“ or the „early Greeks“ but that of a crude biologism for which
ethical values are subordinated to the urge for survival - if there is any place for
them at all.
But perhaps the most unfortunate element in Dianetics is the way it is written.
The mixture of some oversimplified truths, half truths and plain absurdities, the
propagandistic technique of impressing the reader with the greatness, infallibility
and newness of the author's system, the promise of unheard of results attained
by the simple means of following Dianetics is a technique which has had most
unfortunate results in the fields of patent medicines and politics; applied to psy-
chology and psychiatry it will not be less harmfull.
This negative view on Dianetics does not result from this reviewer's belief that
present-day methods of psychiatry are satisfactory; they are in need of new ideas
and experiments indeed. Fortunately, many psychiatrists and psychologists are
aware of this need and in search for more effective methods of approaching the
unconscious level (like, for instance, the Slesinger „Looking-in“ test). But the
premise must be the strengthening of the patient's responsibility, critical ability
and insight.
Page 3
3
Copyright © 1950 by Erich Fromm and 2004 by The Literary Estate of Erich Fromm
c/o Dr. Rainer Funk, Ursrainer Ring 24, D-72076 Tübingen
Fax: +49-7071-600049, E-mail: frommfunk[at-symbol]aol.com.

The Church of the Poisoned Mind: Scientology in London.
















Behind the hype and "PR" (public relations), Scientology is a money-making enterprise which systematically exploits, under the guise of help, the hopes, needs, and weaknesses of those it recruits. It operates by selling questionable services with ambiguous products (so that fraud is difficult to prove), then using mind control techniques to substitute certainty (loyalty) in place of truth. The result is to make those who take the bait into captive group members who will sacrifice their lives and fortunes to the group, defend it, and insist publicly that they received benefit.

In its efforts to conceal the reality, Scientology has become notorious for vicious attacks and disregard of the civil rights of any who would expose the truth of its actual practices. As with rape and other abuse, cult activity can cause lasting harm to those involved, to their families, and to society.
Scientology and social control

Well, wake, take a look at the BBC London news and there is a hymn to Scientology, the usual couple of teas to kick start the day and look at the Guardian, to find police Chief Superintendent Kevin Huntley had been speaking from the podium at the opening of the opening of the Church of Scientology (article here) £24 million centre in London.

Come back Richard Dawkins all, is forgiven, 'religion is' indeed the 'opium of the people' and for this kind of morphine the punters pay.

well, the church of wiki....tells it like it is (see)

Scientology was founded by a science fiction writer, so.... Jesus was I think unemployed but did a bit of cash in hand fishing, the Buddha was a play boy aristocrat...so perhaps one should not be sniffy about occupation.

The problem is that the theology isn't merely science fiction but science fiction one pays for dearly.

The Guardian notes that the prophet Hubbard once state,
Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."

One demonstrator, who gave his name only as Stefan, claimed that during his nine years in the association, which asks all followers to donate a minimum of $450 (£240) a year, he had lost his home.


No open source here. Scientologists move through a series of stages, where they are 'cleared'....cash changes hands


This as Oliver James points out is the essence of New Labour...the worship of cash....no wonder Scientology is being praised, its adherents are film stars and it acts to accumulate. Who was it who said 'Accumulate, accumulate...this is Moses and the prophets'

Scientology is part of the war against the commons, there are technologies of the self that exist that produce results, psychological and physical methods which are thereputic and produce pretty solid results. Meditation, etc work to some extent....you take the techniques, which are open source, use their obvious benefits to justify a complex and esoteric set of beliefs and make people pay.

On scientology and Buddhism see

The plot, we are all aliens, clearing makes us aware of our true nature and liberates us. At least you only paid £5 or £6 to watch the matrix, here it is made into a whole way of life.

An evil alien boss Xenu has apparently enslaved and weakened us but with the right techniques we can realise our true nature...this knowledge is apparently copyrighted.

Scientology uses copyright law to make people pay...., if their truths were eternal, why not give them out for free?

Its all about escaping from our beautiful planet, another gnostic heresy that ultimately preaches hostility to the living human being and the rest of nature.

The wiki entry makes interesting reading Ron Hubbard, kicked out of the US military for shelling an island which he told his men was unihabited, writing to the South African President to praise apartheid, nasty bloke if you ask me.

Tom Cruise as Pope, L. Ron Loony as the prophet....not for me but I guess Tony Blair will be around for tea if Oliver James is right.

Luckily some brave souls are mounting a fightback....see

and here is a set of texts, mainly open source....s/

Scientology will lose in the end because its critics are open source, it is a religion where you pay for the theology. All part of the American way

Bare faced messiah, the main Hubbard bio is here for free


They even had an episode of South Park, taking the piss out of them, banned....direct action, well watch it here and boycott any film with Tom Cruise in it, if they keep up their antics, we may have to act against Pulp Fiction and Grease, next. But that would be as bad as giving up short haul flights to Europe....

21 Oct 2006

Smash the mirror

Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay.



The ravages of Pinter's battle with cancer are staring you in the face as he sits wheelchair-bound, and every word he speaks sounds as if it comes from the grave, deep and rasping. The combination of frailty and tenacity is terribly moving.
(Independent, 22/10/2006)

The United States possesses 8,000 active and operational nuclear warheads. Two thousand are on hair trigger alert, ready to be launched with 15 minutes warning. It is developing new systems of nuclear force, known as bunker busters. The British, ever cooperative, are intending to replace their own nuclear missile, Trident. Who, I wonder, are they aiming at? Osama bin Laden? You? Me? Joe Dokes? China? Paris? Who knows? What we do know is that this infantile insanity - the possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons - is at the heart of present American political philosophy. We must remind ourselves that the United States is on a permanent military footing and shows no sign of relaxing it.
Pinter Nobel speech.

I have just had the pleasure of watching the dvd of Harold Pinter Nobel speech.

I am a bit of a Pinter sceptic or I was. Firstly, I go to left events, I am seen as on the 'left', there is a family or families of radicals, leftists, progressives...but the big idea that we are wrecking the planet and wrecking us because of our economic system, that the economy cannot grow for ever and that humanity is a mere tool for the economic system...isnt quite what the left are about, they like everybody are against bad things and for good things. Left is good, right is bad...however the edge sometimes is not quite on the blade.

Pinter is part of this left(s) that does not always talk to my central concerns.

Also I remember Pinter rolling up at Red Pepper events, Lady Antonia Fraser in tow (was she in furs I forget) and making ranty speeches...impressed, I suppose my expectations were too high but I was not.

Yet his Nobel speech is wonderful, you can read it here

or watch a free video on screen here
or order the DVD here.

The Stage noted Yesterday’s news that Sir Harold Pinter has just added to his accomplishments by being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature received a blissful moment of the simultaneously absurd and embarrassing that could have been lifted from one of his plays, when – according to the Evening Standard – “A Sky News presenter announced at 12.01pm that Harold Pinter had died, before correcting herself, after a Pinteresque pause, and saying that he had in fact won a Nobel Prize”.


Pinter dissects the USA, not just Bush, but the US political establishment...the greatest salesman, he calls them...fermenting coups...supporting every post WWII right wing regime. He dissects with clarity and appropriate aggression, beautiful to behold.

He is beautiful, very sick with cancer, in a chair, clothed in a blanket...a Beckett character, delivering a monologue on truth.

He argues that we need to smash the mirror of the spin doctors and find the truth, the mirrow we must smash is the mirror that stops us seeing the truth of a world running on principles that are utterly inappropriate.

Watched the Caretaker and was surprised that this bizarre piece of Beckett theatre was based on true events, read about Pinter and Beckett, read all the rave rewiews of his performance of 'Krapp's Last Tape'. 'This is the most courageous, remorseless performance you will see', etc.

There is a debate about Beckett and the political, Beckett of course did his bit for the French Resistence.

There is no debate about the vital nature of Pinter's politics, yes smash the mirror.


Krapp's last tape is apparently going out on BBC 4, I look forward to it. Beckett, is the greatest master of the 20th century, a discipline to watch his work, a practice..

Here is a bit of the nobel speech

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love. It's a winner. Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, 'the American people', as in the sentence, 'I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of the American people.'

It's a scintillating stratagem. Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words 'the American people' provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don't need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it's very comfortable. This does not apply of course to the 40 million people living below the poverty line and the 2 million men and women imprisoned in the vast gulag of prisons, which extends across the US.

Peat is new peak oil





Any sign of the principal speaker ballot papers or the online candidates hustings video?

Anyway this is from Schnews, they would make a much better Green Party principal speaker than any of the actual candidates.

From Schnews

AND THE PEAT GOES ON

SchNEWS gets its hands dirty and fingers burnt in the climate change debate

So what on earth do bogs, moors, muskegs, mires and tropical swamp forests all have in common? Yep, the clue was in the question - they're made of good old peat that's what. The rich soily stuff forms from layers of decayed organic matter. Under the right conditions it is an early stage of the coal forming process. And all that means that it's packed full of carbon, which as nearly everyone (!) now knows causes major hassles for the climate when it gets rudely and massively released at the hands of unthinking humans. You might be surprised to learn that the carbon stored in global peat is the equivalent of 100 years of fossil fuel emissions at current rates.

If you're thinking of boggy Ireland and the swampy Florida Everglades as typical examples of peatlands, and guessing that there must be loads of inaccessible places where the peat is left largely undisturbed, you'd be right. Only 7% of the world's peatland has been exploited and yet the effects of it have already caused measurable problems for the environment.

So how does the world's peat every get its carbon released? Well, for example over 60% of the world's tropical peat is in one place: Indonesia. There, and across South-East Asia, huge greenhouse gas emissions are caused annually as forests and peatlands are deliberately torched, largely to make way for enormous oil palm plantations and acacia plantations. These produce palm oil, timber and paper, plenty of which heads straight for the European market. The destruction has accelerated recently because Europe has started importing vast amounts of palm oil for biodiesel and also for biomass to burn in power stations.

And quite aside from the environmental concerns, all this resource exploitation has also lead to the usual capitalist vices: local farmers are evicted and forced into barely arable natural areas, there are massive human rights abuses and an estimated 30% of children under five in the peatland areas suffer from respiratory diseases and associated growth retardation because of the fires.

Overall this flaming mess is responsible for carbon emissions of a not-so-cool 1 billion tonnes a year - a heavyweight contributor when you consider that the Kyoto Protocol only aims to reduce total global emissions by around 188 million tonnes per year from 1990 levels. This underlines just how woeful a response to climate change the global governance game has come up with. The emissions they encourage and allow in Indonesia alone would take several Kyoto's to negate. And the real irony is that the industries responsible for all the destruction are getting large amounts of their funding through the crazy carbon credit competition bonanza (See SchNEWS 311), the so-called 'Clean Development Mechanism' transfers under that same Kyoto Protocol.

One report claims that the 1997 emissions from Indonesia may well have exceeded total emissions from any other country, including the US. Gee, that's some real great pollutin there, especially when you remember that California is the world's 4th largest total polluter on its own. And as South East Asia continues to burn and slash, with others like Malaysia and Brunei joining the party, the climate is doubly threatened as not only does peat destruction release massive quantities of carbon, it also destroys one of the planet's most important carbon sinks, meaning less other CO2 emissions can be absorbed by the biosphere.

This all means that peat should be the word on everyone's lips - but over here more people are concerned about the latest crises in the world of Pete and Moss. While receiving little press, the situation is now so alarming to informed climate campaigners that they have organised into new groups to try and raise awareness - and do what their governments are failing to do for all humanities sake. One of these is the new Biofuelwatch, which is distributing an urgent action alert at www.climateark.org as well as a campaign to stop Npower from profiting from cleverly fulfilling their mandated 'Renewables Obligation' by just burning palm oil from Indonesian and Malaysian deforestation.

20 Oct 2006

Robbing the sick to pay the rich: Cancer drug monopolists

H319 The Green Party recognises the huge profits made by the drug companies out of the NHS. This is often through a form of cartel pricing, and we do not believe it is right that the National Health Service as a public health service should have to pay unfair prices. Therefore we will set up an independent NHS Pharmaceutical Body with power to set the price of drugs provided to the NHS. The Body will be composed of doctors, healthcare professionals, economists, and a legally trained chairperson, which will look at the cost of research and development in drugs and their manufacture, and receive evidence from chemists, the pharmaceutical companies, and other countries' health services. The Body will then decide what is a fair price for a drug which is to be provided to the NHS by the manufacturer, and that will be the price which the NHS will pay for the drug.


Herceptin is one example but there are many others, cancer drugs that NICE the government body over seeing NHS drugs buying, has rejected at one time or another as too expensive.

Cancer United, a pressure group, lobbying for better access to cancer treatment, launched yesterday with celebs including the ex-Blair spin doctor Alistair Campbell. The Guardian has revealed that CU is financed by the big pharm company ROCHE, read more here.

Roche produce herceptin.

My fear is that pharmaceutical companies through patents on 'life saving' drugs, can push prices up to the sky and make huge profits. With their profits they can shape the kind of health care we have access to. Health for profit, is simply a very expensive form of illness.

The WTO has been working hard to make cancer drugs more expensive and to help big pharm.

A green approach to health based on prevention is vital....at the margins but across the spectrum the threat of big pharm is being recognised, see for example IstanbulTory on the links between Blair and the drugs barons.

Also a good article in here on how Novartis are trying to patent an anti-cancer drug in India, this will remove affordable cancer treatment from 1,000s of poor cancer suffers.

Ivan Illich we will honour your memory!

Herceptin, the Guardian notes
CancerBacup has led the charge against "postcode prescribing" - where some health trusts will pay but others won't - for a number of drugs. "Even though Herceptin doesn't yet have a licence for early breast cancer, all good private medical insurers are already funding this treatment because of the strength of the clinical trial data. The time to act is now," Rule said last October.

CancerBacup's latest financial statement showed that it received 31% of its income from companies and charitable trusts. They include Roche and around 14 other major drug companies. That doesn't matter, says the charity, because it has guidelines on relations with the industry.

Caroline Lucas in 7.35pm channel four appeal for West Papua

UN seat for Indonesia!

MEP DEMANDS UN ACTS TO END PAPUA VIOLENCE
CHANNEL FOUR DOCUMENTARY GIVE VOICE TO WEST PAPUANS

A EURO-MP has called for Indonesian troops to withdraw from West Papua and
the peoples of the island to be granted a referendum on independence ahead
of a Channel Four documentary detailing human rights violations in the
province to be screened tonight (Friday, October 20).

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP for South-East England, said the Unreported
World programme, to be screened at 7.35pm on Channel Four tonight (Friday,
October 20th), gives a rare insight into life – and death – in one of the
most isolated and oppressed countries on earth.

She said: “West Papuans have no political freedom – even discussing the
notion of independence can – and often does – lead to torture and murder at
the hands of the Indonesian military.

“The international community must put pressure on Indonesia to withdraw from
West Papua and let the Papuans democratically decide their future for
themselves. The Indonesian military has been responsible for terrible and
unlawful abuses of the Papuan people’s human rights – and they must be
withdrawn and replaced by ‘blue beret’ UN peacekeepers to quell the
violence.”

The Unreported World documentary relied on secret filming to uncover the
reality of life under Indonesian rule for the West Papuans – all foreign
media are banned and journalists usually arrested on arrival. The film
brings details of the occupation and violence to British TV screens for the
first time – thanks in part to the collaboration of the Oxford-based Free
West Papua Campaign.

The Free West Papua Campaign has organised a public screening of the film at
The Vaults and Gardens Cafe in Radcliffe Square, Oxford, from 7pm tonight.

The campaign has also been collecting messages of solidarity from students
across the city. The messages, collected in a huge card, will be sent to
West Papuan students currently in refugee camps over the border in
neighbouring Papua New Guinea.

Dr Lucas added: “West Papuan have suffered 42 years of human rights
violations, discrimination and abuse at the hands of Indonesia after it
fraudulently took control of West Papua in a staged ‘referendum’ organised
by the UN.

“Like East Timor, West Papua had been a European colony before Indonesian
occupation – but unlike East Timor, the UN is yet to rectify the mistakes of
the past and grant West Papuans their right to self-determination.”

She is to table a Written Declaration – the European parliament’s equivalent
of an early Day Motion in the house of Commons – calling for the EU to back
a referendum on West Papua’s future.

19 Oct 2006

Renationalise Thames water

Darren Johnson
London Assembly Green Party Member




12 October 2006

Water sale opposed

Responding to news that Thames Water has been taken over by the company Macquarie for around £8billion, Darren Johnson, a London Assembly Green Party member said:

"Londoners are faced with more uncertainty over the capital's water supply following the sale of Thames Water. What are the new company's attitudes to the investment needed to tackle leakages, conserve water and stop raw sewage being dumped in the Thames? We have absolutely no idea. What we can be sure of is that, once again, the demands of shareholders will come before the needs of customers and the needs of the environment. Rather than let the new owners take control it's time for Thames Water to be brought back into public ownership, properly accountable to Londoners through the GLA."

Notes to Editors

1) A group led by Australian investment bank Macquarie Bank Ltd. won the battle to buy utility Thames Water for 4.8 billion pounds. The deal for Thames, owned by German utility RWE AG, runs to 8 billion pounds including the assumption of 3.2 billion pounds of net debt.

2) Last year Thames Water put up its profits by 21%, before reporting a surge in profits of 31%, it also announced it was to cut 25% of its staff.

3) Between 2000 and 2003 £500m in profits were taken out of Thames Water by the parent company RWE.







GREATERLONDONAUTHORITY

18 Oct 2006

Islam in Windsor

http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2694 commented here on the Green Party site on the need for a Muslim place of worship in Windsor. You may have picked up on the violence in Dedworth, Windsor, the planning dispute over a Muslim prayer space and the fact that the Queen has allowed part of Windsor Castle to be used for Muslim prayer.

17 Oct 2006

green party hist ch1, pt 2

“… voters did not connect PEOPLE with ecology. What I wanted was something that the media could look up in their files so that, when they wanted a spokesman of the issue of ecology, they could find the Ecology Party and pick up the phone. It was as brutal and basic as that. PEOPLE didn’t communicate what we had hoped it would communicate”.

It's 1974, teenage public school boy David Taylor is contemplating growing his hair long, changing his name , sitting in front of trains to stop them transporting nuclear waste and getting stuck into the anarcho direct action green movement including the green gatherings and green CND.....surely this man must have been the most controversial male principal speaker the Green Party has every seen. Seriously I saw David at the Hove conference, he has a very lengthy pedigree as a key Green political activist, I met him at my first Ecology Party South West regional meeting in 1981 and was amazed by how long his blonde hair was.

He pretty much defined radical but non socialist green politics in the early to mid 1980s....its 1974 and he is the first PEOPLE candidate in a school election. The political division in the Party in the early 1980s was anarcho green gathering types and the electoralist around Porritt and Jonathon Tyler....I started off in the electoralist camp but my real passion was of course ecosocialism, so I was slightly at 45 degrees to these debates.

This section notes the change to the Ecology Party name, debates over socialism and the near death experience of the Party in the lean mid 1970s.

Green Party history chapter one, part 2

Student David Taylor stood in the Party’s first ever school election at Radley College in Oxfordshire, using green as his campaign colour. Even Taylor’s enthusiasm failed to raise spirits and poor results and lack of media interest inflicted, by the second 1974 General Election, was a sharp blow. Far from debating global survival, the Party was discussing its own future and reaching increasingly depressing conclusions. After existing for eighteen months, PEOPLE was far from strong and local groups began to collapse. Coventry, the strongest, disappeared in 1975. Of the two other active branches, Liverpool was in serious decline but Leeds hung on and is now the oldest continuous local Green Party branch anywhere in the world. Leeds has recruited such luminaries as Alex Begg, Keith Rushworth and Sara Parkin [14]. But even in Leeds the group “was graduating, leaving and not being replaced” [Interview with DW].
In November 1974, an area organisers’ meeting in Liverpool surveyed the swiftly disappearing opportunities. Lesley Whittacker read a letter out from a fourteen-year-old Surrey member, Francis Milled, arguing that we should join the Liberals. Benfield argued that young people should be targeted. Jill Hubbard argued that Trade Unions should be worked on and a local member from Leeds had been trying to interest his branch of ASTMS in ecological campaigning. Peter Allen noted that “a substantial section of the meeting felt that if PEOPLE were to have any impact, it must appeal to the Unions and to do this it must become a Party of the Left”. Clive Lord noted the Party’s commitment to redistributing wealth, while John Davenport, later elected as one of the Party’s first local councillors, argued that the manifesto drew no distinction between Left and Right. Tony Whittacker reaffirmed his belief that socialism was committed to economic growth. Peter Allen reminded the meeting of the distinction between “the traditional left, which believed in state ownership, and the libertarian Left, which believed in complete devolution”, observing that The Ecologist had contained a number of articles on anarchism. The ideological debate finished inconclusively [15].
If 1974 was difficult, 1975 was devastating. This was the year that the Party came near to folding. The Whittackers, arguing that they had intended to give the Party a two-year trial period, felt that the experiment had more or less failed and took to self-sufficiency in Devon:

“By 1975 we had made some progress but nothing like as far or as good as we really would have liked. Quite honestly, we had covered thousands of miles and spent a lot of money and time. Lesley and I were getting slightly soured, so that when we ran for the hills of Exmoor the thing had to stand on its own feet or die”.

PEOPLE changed its name and colour at a second national conference in June 1975, becoming the Ecology Party. Lesley proposed the new name, despite her move to Devon, for pragmatic reasons:

“… voters did not connect PEOPLE with ecology. What I wanted was something that the media could look up in their files so that, when they wanted a spokesman of the issue of ecology, they could find the Ecology Party and pick up the phone. It was as brutal and basic as that. PEOPLE didn’t communicate what we had hoped it would communicate”. [Interview with DW]

Often, PEOPLE was described in error as the People’s Party, which sounded vaguely communistic; equally, the subtle colours of coral and turquoise were reproduced as red, white and blue. Green was much simpler and communicated the ideal. A new Manifesto for a Sustainable Society was drafted by Peter Allen with a nod to the Romantic poets. It started:

“When in 1884 Lord Byron wrote: “The fact is riches are power and poverty is slavery all over the Earth and one sort of establishment is no better nor worse for than another”, there was every expectation that an increase in material affluence promised by the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution would at least ease the poverty. It is a sad indictment of the last 160 years that little has changed. Some nations have become very rich, but within them there is still abject poverty and the poor nations, if anything, are poorer”. [MFSS]

Economic growth had failed humanity while destroying nature.
The National Executive Committee (NEC), set up in 1973, continued to meet amidst arguments between Allen and Benfield that resulted in both dropping out of activity. Clive Lord from Leeds was probably the only member who remained continuously active from 1973 to the 1979 General Election and beyond. The 1976 Conference in Sheffield was attended by only twenty-seven members. Clive feared that the Party “was in real danger of petering out”. Emergency survival measures included merger with the tabloid environmental newspaper Good Earth, published by former car worker and Conservation Society dissident Ron Andrews. Throughout 1976 and ’77, brave headlines proclaimed the continuing advances and occasional set backs of what must surely have been one of Britain’s smallest political party.

The only thing that maintained the Party’s tiny membership, other than the Good Earth arrangement, was a set of remarkably good local election results, a pattern that was to lift spirits at other difficult times. Despite membership of under 200, no Party office and little electoral experience, the re-named Party gained its first councillors! Out of a field of six candidates in the 1976 local elections, two were elected. John Davenport gained a council seat near Worcester, while another parish councillor was elected elsewhere.


The following year, Jeremy Faull won a County Council seat in Cornwall, near Goldsmith’s Ecologist office. Steve Lambert, husband of the Green Party’s first representative in the European Parliament, Jean Lambert, joined and gave the Party a contact in London. Jonathon Tyler, a transport lecturer from Birmingham, also became active at this time. Tyler was picked to contest the first parliamentary by-election for the Party in 1977.
The vacancy created conveniently in the West Midlands seat of Walsall North by absconding Labour MP John Stonehouse was, however, not to be filled by Tyler. Good Earth trumpeted the fact that the “Ecology Party fights eight in Stonehouse country” and noting “as we go to press, the Walsall North by-election is entering its final week of hectic campaigning” [16]. Goldsmith came up from Cornwall, picking up David Taylor, Nicholas Hildyard and Kathy, a New Zealand Values Party activist, to go on the canvassing trail. 40,000 neatly printed green and black leaflets were delivered to ever household but gaining media attention was an impossible battle. Good Earth concluded bravely that “no-one expects the EP to win this election but the cost of fighting it will be justified if at the end of the day we end up with increased support and a viable nucleus of organisation in Birmingham and the surrounding area” [17]. Sadly for Tyler, the result failed to reach even the lowest of expectations. Tyler cam eighth out of nine, beating only Commander William Boaks (the Democratic White Monarchist Public Safety campaigner) with 0.5%.
Again, the local elections proved to be a boost. Tyler took a respectable 572 votes in Birmingham Selly Oak, close to the third place Liberal with 620. Six candidates in Leeds, including a Liberal/Ecology ticket in Moortown, averaged 3% - small, admittedly, but six times stronger than the Walsall result. Faull won his Cornish seat when his only opponent dropped out “unable to fault any of the Party’s policies” and the overall county vote in three further contested wards was a good 16%. Candidates often worked on their own, heroically designing, writing, funding and finally delivering election leaflets, acting as their own agents, canvassing and putting up posters. Peter Sizer, later the Party’s Treasurer, had a particularly bleak time in Birmingham Sparkhill:

“The idea was that we should concentrate our efforts in the Birmingham conurbation – so I pedalled the 20-odd miles there and back each time for canvassing, leafleting, etc. The help we hoped for from Birmingham conservationists didn’t materialise, and I found I was working single-handed more or less… My thirteen year-old daughter helped with getting my nomination paper signed and joined me for leafleting one Sunday afternoon. My only contact in the ward to start with was the man who mended my bike several times when I broke down on my way through.

“Campaigning by bike from twenty miles away is far from easy… One of my bikes was stolen… and on another occasion an Alsatian dog grabbed a finger as I was pushing a leaflet through the letterbox. Perhaps in these days of packaged pet food a finger of postman or electioneer is the square meal the poor brute gets.

“But the 145 votes in an inner city area where I was unknown? Not bad. Duplicated leaflet, a bit of canvassing and a few Good Earths constituted the campaign. I was billed by a sympathetic Sunday newspaper as the cycling candidate who would be canvassing from a poster be-decked bike. I hadn’t reckoned with the weather, and ended up with a bike festooned with soggy papier-mâché.

“Worth it all, though”.
[18]

The Party newsletter noted, “in general, we have reason to be well pleased with the results. Our aim should perhaps be to increase our number of campaigns threefold again – from six in ’76, to seventeen in ’77, to 50 in ’78? 1978 could be ‘the year that people started talking about Zero Growth in Britain’” [19]. The Party had survived.

16 Oct 2006

George Monbiot. Heat, a review

"unless you believe that these activities are worth the sacrifice of the biosphere and the lives of the poor", you won't be flying after reading George's book Heat.




Today you can find the tariffs for crimes about to be committed on noticeboards erected throughout cyberspace. 'Carbon offset' companies promise to redeem the environmental cost of your carbon emissions by means of intercession with the atmosphere: planitng less, funding renewable energy projects in distant nations and doubtless, somewhere, helping Andean villagers to build bridges. Just as in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries you could sleep with your sister, kill and lie without fear of eternal damnation, today you can leave your windows open while the heating is on, drive and fly without endangering the climate, as long as you give your ducats to one of the companies selling indulgences. There is even a provision of the Kyoto Protocl permitting nations to increase theri official production of pollutants by paying for carbon-cutting projects in other countries.* I will not attempt to catalogue the land seizures, conflicts with local people, double counting and downright fraud that has attended these schemes. That has been done elsewhere


I have really enjoyed George's new book, I disliked the previous 'Age of Consent' but this is much more thoughtful and interesting. World parlaiment indeed!

George looks at how we can live in a Britain which cuts CO2 emissions to a sustainable level and gets to grips with all sorts of problems.

George goes for 90%, so no flights to India for him. He also believes that carbon off setting is a con.

This extract looks at the climate hoaxers who are funded by Exxon and similar groups.

Some nice links here from George to lunatic tabliod articles full of climate denial including one from David Bellemy.

There are some surprises, coaches are the best form of passenger travel, home shopping is vital because shops generate so much energy.

Carbon off setting is described as a con, and many forms of reform simply allow us to pollute more...cars are a little cleaner but car use accelerates causing a huge rise in co2 from cars.

My doubts, I am not a technical expert but I wonder how the energy internet works or how we get to the coach stations from East Oxford when they are taken out of town centres and placed on motorways.

Hey George, can the economy grow for ever...no, it will just accelerate to a new form of global catastrophe, the book does not get to grips with capitalism.

Equally it does not look at politics, the rich and the powerful seek to maintain their position and the less powerful pick up the bill...will this happen with George's ideas?

15 Oct 2006

Plane Stupid

In the past year the directors and chief executives of groups such as WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the Soil Association have crisscrossed the globe, visiting the Falklands, Japan, Africa and Brazil.



All are running high-profile campaigns to persuade people to change their lifestyles and cut emissions of carbon dioxide.

George Monbiot, a leading environmentalist, said this weekend he was “very disappointed — especially if they are flying on holiday”. Heat, Monbiot’s new book on climate change, warns of disastrous temperature rises unless western countries cut carbon emissions by 90% by 2030, meaning a virtual end to flying.
Green jetsetters, Sunday Times, October 1st, 2006.


Nearly got run over by this huge motorbike, sure it was driven by Mayer Hillman, well for at least half a minute.

Jonathon Leake from the Sunday Times phoned me up to talk about the new direct action campaign against flights and mentioned Joss Garman, who seems to be the personality behind a wave of new direct action evolving from Earth First! and the anti-roads movement in the 1990s...here is some stuff from his Plane Stupid web site.

mail them on info@planestupid.com to get involved.



10 Reasons to Ground the Plane…

AVIATION IS THE FASTEST GROWING CAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE



Aviation is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse-gas emissions, already accounting for eight million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year - more than 10 per cent of the UK total. (Lynas, New Statesman, 03/04/06) By 2050, aviation could contribute 15% of the world’s greenhouse gases. (Transport 2000) We could close every factory, lock away every car and turn off every light in the country, but it won't halt global warming if we carry on taking planes as often as we do and yet aviation is not considered by any binding international treaties such as Kyoto.



Further, the burning of aircraft fuel has a “radiative forcing ratio” of around 2.7. What this means is that the total warming effect of aircraft emissions is 2.7 times as great as the effect of the carbon dioxide alone. The water vapour they produce forms ice crystals in the upper troposphere (vapour trails and cirrus clouds) which trap the earth’s heat. According to calculations by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, if you added the two effects together (it urges some caution as they are not directly comparable), aviation’s emissions alone would exceed the government’s target for the country’s entire output of greenhouse gases in 2050 by around 134%. (Monbiot, The Guardian, 28/02/06)



There are no alternative fuels for aircraft. Indeed, as George Monbiot notes, “The airline companies keep talking about hydrogen planes, but if ever the technological problems were overcome, they would be an even bigger disaster than the current models. “Switching from kerosene to hydrogen,” the Royal Commission says, “would replace carbon dioxide from aircraft with a three-fold increase in emissions of water vapour.” Biofuels for airplanes would need more arable land than the planet possesses. The British government admits that “there is no viable alternative currently visible to kerosene as an aviation fuel.”” (The Guardian, 28/02/06)



AIRPORT EXPANSION IS WIPING COMMUNITIES OFF THE MAP

At its seven airports across the UK BAA is proposing the biggest single programme of airport expansion that the UK will have ever seen, looking for new runways at Stansted, Heathrow, Edinburgh and possibly Glasgow, with significant increases in flights at Gatwick, Aberdeen and Southampton (HACAN Clearskies). These expansions, if approved, would see the demolition of entire swathes of countryside, as well as forced dispersals of large and established communities. As the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee noted, the growth the government foresees will require “the equivalent of another Heathrow every 5 years.” (Select Committee on Environmental Audit, 10th March 2004. Third Report.)



Near Heathrow, Gordon Brown would like to see the biggest evictions since the Highland Clearances, as the West London village of Sipson is wiped off the map. However, the expansion plans will also affect Harmondsworth and the surrounding settlements.



AVIATION IS CREATING MASSIVE NOISE POLLUTION, DAMAGING HEALTH



Living under a flight path is like living on a motorway. Over 1 million people live under the flight paths to the Heathrow and many have to endure a plane flying over every 45 seconds. (Hacan Clearskies) In fact, 14% of people in the UK are moderately or extremely bothered by aircraft noise. (MORI 2004)



The World Health Organisation has expressed concern about the impact of aviation on human health. Long term (5-30 years) exposure to air traffic noise levels averaging 65 to 75 decibels can increase blood pressure levels and the risk of hypertension. Sleep disturbance can lead to fatigue, hypertension, greater risk of heart and respiratory problems, poor concentration in work and school, increased risk of accidents, depression, anxiety and higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse. (Greenskies)



Children in schools or living under flight paths chronically under perform. 0.1-2.5% extra pupils in the last four classes of primary schools around Schipol Airport have a low test result for reading comprehension due to aircraft noise exposure. (RIVM, 2005)



AVIATION IS CAUSING ILLEGAL LEVELS OF AIR POLLUTION



Heathrow airport is already breaching UK and EU legal limits for the high levels of nitrogen dioxide and therefore the present growth in the number of flights is probably unlawful. The government’s own figures show that if a third runway is built 35,000 people would be exposed to this poisonous gas. (Airport Environment Foundation, 2006) Indeed, this could be why there is a growing body of evidence, particularly from the USA, which points to higher levels of cancer around major airports. (HACAN Clearskies)



AVIATION IS MOSTLY UNNECCESSARY



80% of worldwide flights are within Europe and 45% of these air journeys are less than 500km – about the distance from London to the Scottish border. (Department for Transport/Transport 2000) These journeys could quite easily be made by other means of transport like bus, ferry and train – all of which are over ten times less polluting. For example, the CO2 levels from London – Edinburgh by plane are 96.4 tonnes, compared with 71 tonnes by car, 11.9 by rail or 9.2 by coach. (Transport 2000)



THE AVIATION INDUSTRY IS DIVERTING MONEY AWAY FROM PUBLIC SERVICES



The airlines receive over £9 billion in tax breaks each year because of tax-free fuel and VAT-free tickets and planes. That’s enough to buy over 30 new hospitals, build 2,000 new schools, put at least 450,000 new police on the beat, and pay the tuition fees of over 3 million students!



Meanwhile, over the last 10 years as air travel fares have come down by 42%, bus fares have been raised by 42%. This hits the poorest the hardest, as 90% of public transport journeys taken by the poorest 20% are by bus.



THE AVIATION INDUSTY’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE ECONOMY IS HUGELY OVERSTATED



The aviation industry is only the 26th biggest industry in Britain, half the size of the computer industry, and just a tenth the size of banking and finance. It also helps create a tourism deficit of £7 billion pounds each year whereby the amount of money spent abroad by Britons flying out of the UK for leisure and holiday trips exceeds the amount visitors into Britain spend here. (HACAN Clearskies)



Government estimations have ignored the social and environmental costs of flying which are estimated at £10.5 billion per year across the European Union. (The Myths of Flying, 1998)



The 1999 government report entitled, The Contribution of the Aviation Industry to the UK Economy, estimated that, for transport as a whole, every 10% increase in the provision of transport services in the UK between 1979 and 1998 increased overall productivity by 1.3% - about £800 million a year. When the report repeated this exercise for aviation, they could not rule out the possibility there was no link.



‘CHEAP’ FLIGHTS ARE A PERK FOR THE RICH



It’s the rich who are really benefiting from the artificially low prices of air travel. The average income of people using Stansted Airport is £47,000 per year – and it’s supposed to be a budget airport! Low-skilled people and people on benefits, despite making up a quarter of the population, only took 6% of the flights whilst the top quarter of the population took almost half of all flights. (Civil Aviation Authority) Indeed, 75% of those who use budget airlines are in social classes A, B and C with people with second homes abroad taking an average of six return flights a year. Most of the growth, the government envisages, will take place among the wealthiest 10%. (Monbiot, The Guardian, 28.02.06)



AIRPORT EXPANSION IS PUTTING SWATHES OF BRITAIN’S COUNTRYSIDE AT RISK, THREATENING BIODIVERSITY



The Woodland Trust are amongst those opposing airport expansion which is expected to see hundreds of acres of ancient woodland, including oak trees around 400 years old, be destroyed to make way for tarmac. (Woodland Trust) As well as woodland, ponds, meadows, hedgerows and ditches – all important habitats, will be gone forever.

At Luton airport alone, 330 hectares of green belt are under threat. (SLAP) Near Stansted airport around 60 species of bird will lose their habitats including a number which are on the RSPB’s “red list” because they are vulnerable species at risk. (SSE) Otters living in the vicinity of Edinburgh airport will lose their habitats. (The Scotsman)



IMPORTANT HERITAGE SITES WOULD BE LOST DUE TO EXPANSION



Philip Venning, the secretary of the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), established by William Morris in 1877, said: "This (the government’s plans for airport expansion) is potentially the biggest single number of destructions of historic buildings in living memory.” (The Guardian)



At risk include 64 Grade II listed buildings and a 900 year old church near Stansted; a 15th Century Tithe Barn and the 12th Century St Mary’s Church in Harmondsworth, near Heathrow; a wooden Providence Chapel at Charlwood near Gatwick, which was used to shelter troops during the Napoleonic Wars; and a 14th Century Cooling Castle near Cliffe’s proposed airport in Kent.

Heat. George Monbiot

"unless you believe that these activities are worth the sacrifice of the biosphere and the lives of the poor", you won't be flying after reading George's book Heat.




Today you can find the tariffs for crimes about to be committed on noticeboards erected throughout cyberspace. 'Carbon offset' companies promise to redeem the environmental cost of your carbon emissions by means of intercession with the atmosphere: planitng less, funding renewable energy projects in distant nations and doubtless, somewhere, helping Andean villagers to build bridges. Just as in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries you could sleep with your sister, kill and lie without fear of eternal damnation, today you can leave your windows open while the heating is on, drive and fly without endangering the climate, as long as you give your ducats to one of the companies selling indulgences. There is even a provision of the Kyoto Protocl permitting nations to increase theri official production of pollutants by paying for carbon-cutting projects in other countries.* I will not attempt to catalogue the land seizures, conflicts with local people, double counting and downright fraud that has attended these schemes. That has been done elsewhere


I have really enjoyed George's new book, I disliked the previous 'Age of Consent' but this is much more thoughtful and interesting. World parlaiment indeed!

George looks at how we can live in a Britain which cuts CO2 emissions to a sustainable level and gets to grips with all sorts of problems.

George goes for 90%, so no flights to India for him. He also believes that carbon off setting is a con.

This extract looks at the climate hoaxers who are funded by Exxon and similar groups.

Some nice links here from George to lunatic tabliod articles full of climate denial including one from David Bellemy.

There are some surprises, coaches are the best form of passenger travel, home shopping is vital because shops generate so much energy.

Carbon off setting is described as a con, and many forms of reform simply allow us to pollute more...cars are a little cleaner but car use accelerates causing a huge rise in co2 from cars.

My doubts, I am not a technical expert but I wonder how the energy internet works or how we get to the coach stations from East Oxford when they are taken out of town centres and placed on motorways.

Hey George, can the economy grow for ever...no, it will just accelerate to a new form of global catastrophe, the book does not get to grips with capitalism.

Equally it does not look at politics, the rich and the powerful seek to maintain their position and the less powerful pick up the bill...will this happen with George's ideas?

13 Oct 2006

climate change march, 4th November


Cycling from work today, saw a guy driving a huge 4 by 4 lunge towards me, convinced it was Tony Juniper for at least 46 seconds,

anyway Calvin Jones, thanks for this, Both Calvin and I forgot the date...it is of course 4th November....London Fed of Green Parties will be having an organisation meeting and GPEX campaigns officer Tim Summers will be organising a Green Party meeting point, so watch this space.


10.00am Cycle protest assembles at Lincoln's Inn Fields, South side (Holborn/Temple tube). Goes via ExxonMobil offices, Australian Embassy and Downing Street to arrive at US embassy at 11.30 am.

11.00am Rally opens : Messages from around the world, performance poetry & musical protest with "Seize the Day" and others.

12 noon Main Rally at US Embassy, Grosvenor Square. Speakers include George Monbiot, Colin Challen MP, Caroline Lucas MEP, Norman Baker MP, Zac Goldsmith.

1.00 pm March for Global Climate Justice from US embassy to Trafalgar Square

1.45 - 2.00 pm March joins i-Count's.. Mass Gathering in Trafalgar Square

1.00 - 3.00pm i-Count Mass Gathering in Trafalgar Square

Stop climate chaos are limiting their activities to the UK but the march organisers, CCC, are keen on international solidarity, more on: http://www.campaigncc.org/.

Join us for the biggest event of the year to stop climate chaos!

Save Titnore Woods

"Clearly with so many outstanding issues it would be premature to recommend to those camped in the woods to protect them, to end their occupation".

Sat up a tree once myself, small tree...but it helped stop Tesco's from gobbling up Golden Hill for a little longer....we did trolley runs as a protest when they built it finally and I got told that I was banned from all Tesco stores for life.


Hi Derek

Please could you support our campaign in anyway possible..

www.protectourwoodland.co.uk

I am a fully paid up member of UK Green Party

love & solidarity

Chris Tomlinson

Protect Our Woodland

Press Release for Immediate Release 23.09.06

Following the West Sussex County Council's Press Release 997 (1) John Clark on behalf of Protect Our Woodland said: "We are delighted that the County Council have acknowledged how important to local people the woodland along Titnore Lane is by now recommending that the bends should not be straightened opposite South Lodge. The result of that means the most sensitive part of the woodland eco-system will not be destroyed by a new section of road".

"However we feel WSCC have missed a golden opportunity by failing to announce that the present speed limit of 60 mph will be reduced, or that there will be a ban on HGV's. Clearly there was some initial confusion over the status of the Lane, but with WSCC acknowledging that the A grade designation given to the Lane following completion of the flyover at Patching Pond was only a 'paper exercise' and that designation could only come into force after the Lane was brought up to A grade standard - i.e. the bends straightened and sight distances improved - there appears to be no reason why the limit can not be reduced now".

"Naturally we support WSCC in their desire to prevent accidents along Titnore Lane, and it is for that reason we can not understand why they still allow HGV's to use the Lane and not route them down the Angmering bypass as originally attended. It is also a mystery why they haven't insisted that the Highway's Agency remove the incorrect Titnore Lane A2700 signage from the
A27".

"Clearly with so many outstanding issues it would be premature to recommend to those camped in the woods to protect them, to end their occupation".
ENDS.

Notes:

(1) NEWS FROM WEST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL

PR 997

20/09/2006 For Immediate Release

Titnore Lane Change Will Save More Than 200 Trees

More than 200 trees could be saved in the Titnore Lane area of West
Durrington because West Sussex County Council is taking advantage of
national changes, and is no longer insisting that a bend is straightened and
a roundabout built to serve a proposed housing development.

The move follows the publication of new draft guidelines on highway
improvements issued by the Department for Transport.

The national changes, proposed in what is known as the 'Manual For Streets',
could mean that there is no engineering work to Titnore Lane other than a
right turn lane into the housing development.

This would mean that around 210 trees would not need to be removed to make
way for a bend straightening scheme and roundabout.

The County Council has this week advised Worthing Borough Council - which
has approved the planning application for housing at West Durrington - of
the impact of the new draft guidance on proposals for Titnore Lane.

Lieutenant Colonel Tex Pemberton, West Sussex Cabinet Member for Highways
and Transport, said: "The County Council's position on Titnore Lane has
always been very clear - we have consistently said that we want to minimise
the impact on the environment without compromising road safety.

"We had already approved a revised scheme which would have meant the loss of
around 210 trees compared with an original estimate of 380 or more.

"In layman's terms, this new draft guidance from the DfT covers issues such
as a reduction in the requirement for stopping sight distances, and that
these need not be as long as previously specified

"My highways experts have looked at this draft guidance as it relates to
Titnore Lane, and have advised me that we are able to review the need, at
this stage, to require the developers to carry out bend straightening."

Colonel Pemberton said the review of the scheme had only been brought about
because of the reduced stopping sight distances that are being proposed in
the new national guidance.

He added: "I am completely satisfied that prior to this draft guidance being
issued we were right to insist on bend straightening.

"The fact that this may not now prove necessary is naturally good news for
people concerned about the environment of the Titnore Lane area, which has
always been an issue of concern to the County Council.

"The new guidance means that a significant number of trees can be saved.

"However, if the housing development goes ahead with the revised road
lay-out, we will monitor its use extremely carefully."

Ahwazi human rights denied by Iran

I get the occassional email about this blog, here is some information and feedback on the persecution of Ahwazi people in Iran



Hi

Mr Derek Wall

My name is Reza Vashahi , i'm an Ahwazi person in Uk, I read your article about Ten Arab activists face execution in Iran , Thank you for your Intrest in Ahwazi case.


Two days ago an Article published in the Times you can see it here :

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2395978,00.html#post_comment


I myself ,I has a : website

Thank you for your Humanity about Ahwazi people.





Reza vashahi

This is how Ahwazi Arab people were put under political, cultural, social and economic subjugation by the past Iranian monarchist and the current clerical regimes for the past 78 years.UNPO :The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization

Fat nation

Dear Editor,

The news that Britain is now officially the fattest nation in Europe is something that we seem to be celebrating. Perhaps this is why Mcdonalds are the official sponsors of the London Olympics? While this may be good for our national sport of Sumo wrestling, it may not set a Jamie Olivier style example of eating habits to our children. What next free Marlboro lites for runners in the London marathon?

yours,

Dr Derek Wall.


had this in the Metro, well a bit sarc...but the propaganda offensive continues. Unlike the Guardian they don't edit it heavily but well a bit sarc

9 Oct 2006

Green Alternatives



Well, the hustings was great fun, it is going up on the green party website in a day or two...so look out for it, although I think it may just be 'internal'...needs to be a bit more open source in my opinion....watch this space

Green alternatives to globalisation
Mike Woodin and Caroline Lucas argue that opposition to globalisation is not enough, coherent economic alternatives have to be outlined together with a series of measures to move from our present society to an alternative future. They build on the approach of Colin Hines, author of Localization: A Global Manifesto (2000). Globalisation for all three authors is largely politically driven. Drawing on the analysis presented by anti-corporate anti-capitalists (see chapter three), they suggest that globalisation has been advanced to meet the needs of an elite. Globalisation is not an irreversible or automatic process, it is politically driven and can be rolled back or radically transformed. Thus they feel it is quite wrong for politicians such as Tony Blair to argue that policies such a privatisation and support for multinationals are inevitable because they are a product of globalisation.
Globalisation is ecologically damaging and therefore the ecological crisis that centrally motivates Greens can only be solved by reversing it. However, economic security is vital to ecological reforms:
Why, for example, should a young man who earns the minimum wage in a dead-end job be expected to fret about the social and environmental consequences of his choice of mode of transport when there is no decent public transport for him to use and when, at every turn, the message is reinforced that the possession of sufficient wealth to purchase the latest car is the measure of man? Equally, why should we expect the poorest countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions when the richest nations blatantly shirk their disproportionately greater responsibility to do the same. (Woodin and Lucas 2004: xix)
An economically secure society would also be more likely to respect nature if decisions were made democratically, according to Woodin and Lucas. This is one of the reasons why they oppose globalisation because it is difficult to give people a real say if decisions are taken on a planetary scale. While some issues such as cuts in greenhouse gas emissions inevitably have to be decided globally, most should be taken as locally as possible to enhance democratic participation. Bodies such as the WTO are more influenced by corporate pressure than the wishes of any imagined global community.
Woodin and Lucas distinguish between green and socialist anti-globalise, suggesting that the left largely ignore ecological issues. They also argue that Green political approaches are not the same as environmentalism, which fails to provide a radical alternative to existing policies. Greens, in turn, while valuing the local reject atavistic, expansionist nationalism and embrace an internationalist politics. In the UK the Greens have made alliances with both Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales and more enduringly, Mebyon Kernow, the Party of the ‘sons of Cornwall’.
Woodin and Lucas stress the links between globalisation, privatisation and poverty. They note how the IMF’s Structural Adjustment Programmes insist that to achieve financial help countries must sell publicly owned resources including power supplies, telecommunications and even transport infrastructure. The stability pact of the European Union, insists that countries in the Euro currency area limit government spending. Even without these institutional pressures, the need for foreign direct investment from multinationals, encourages states to cut spending on welfare, public spending and the environment, so as to reduce corporation tax, so as to attract firms (Woodin and Lucas 2004: 58). Senegal seen as an IMF success, slashed government spending and increased growth rates but saw unemployment rise from 25% to 44% between 1991 and 1996 (Woodin and Lucas 2004: 57). Transnational corporations may dominate the globe but they produce relatively few jobs given their desire to downsize and outsource. The two hundred largest global corporations employ just 0.75% of the world’s workforce (Woodin and Lucas 2004: 73).
The ecological ill effects of globalisation are emphasised with reference to food. Peasants are being squeezed out by ‘free trade’, local diversity in diet is eroded and in the great food swap, identical commodities move thousands of miles across the globe wasting energy and pushing up the production of greenhouse gases. Supermarkets are damaging to farmers, consumers, workers and the environment (Woodin and Lucas 2004: 155-156). European, North American and Japanese agricultural production is protected, while Southern countries are forced by global bodies to open up their markets often with disastrous results:
the IMF bulldozed Haiti into liberalising its rice markets. It was flooded with cheap US imports and local production collapsed, destroying tens of thousands of rural livelihoods. A decade ago Haiti was self-sufficient in rice; today it spends half of its export earnings importing rice from the US. (Woodin and Lucas 2004: 147)

They outlined the absurdity of trade like for like which seems to make a nonsense of comparative advantage and specialisation:

In 1998, Britain imported 61,400 tonnes of poultry meat from the Netherlands and exported 33,100 tonnes of poultry meat to the Netherlands […] it imported 240,000 tonnes of pork and 125,000 tonnes of lamb, while it exported 195,000 tonnes of pork and 102,000 tonnes of lamb. In 1997, the UK imported 126m litres of milk and exported 270m litres of milk […] In 1999, the EU imported 44,000 tonnes of meat from Argentina, 11,000 tonnes from Botswana, 40,000 tonnes from Poland and over 70,000 tonnes form Brazil […] meat exports from the EU to the rest of the world totalled 874,211. (Woodin and Lucas 2004: 148)
The food industry promotes obesity and is hugely abusive to animals, transported ever increasing distances and factory farmed under appalling conditions to push unit costs down.
Woodin and Lucas argue that change must occur, arguing that the present trajectory of the global economy damages its citizens, other species and the natural environment that sustains life. The solution is to introduce local currencies (a theme discussed critically in our next chapter) and to rewrite the multilateral rule book of institutions such as the WTO, IMF, World Bank and EU to promote local economic development. Localisation does not mean complete self-sufficiency or the rejection of trade if it brings real gains. However, social and environmental concerns mean that it is often better to produced goods locally rather than exporting them from many thousands of miles away. Hines concisely defines localisation:
The alternative is that everything that could be produced within a nation or region should be. Long-distance trade is then reduced to supplying what could not come from within one country or geographical groupings of countries. This would allow an increase in local control of the economy and the potential for it being shared out more fairly, locally. Technology and information would be encouraged to flow, when and where they could strength local economies. Under these circumstances, beggar-your—neighbour globalization gives way to the potentially more cooperative better-your-neighbour localization. (Hines 2000: viii)
The localists have been challenged by a number of writers including the journalist and Green supporter George Monbiot, who argues that localisation would prevent development and would put countries in the South at some disadvantage (2003). Other commentators reflect such views that globalisation can be greened or reformed. The German Greens argue for ‘green globalisation’ and believe that institutions such as the European Union can be used to limit the environmental consequences of globalisation. Monbiot argues that trade should be made fairer. Globalisation has both benefits and costs but demands regulation. Monbiot believes that global institutions such as the IMF and WTO could be used to benefit the poorest, if they were made subordinate to a new world parliament, with representatives elected from the entire world. The localists respond that they are not fundamentalists and believe that trade should occur where vital. They argue that trade is too unpredictable to be the sole source of development, that unrestricted trade means that ‘infant industries’ will fail to grow and point to falling incomes as trade increases for the bulk of peasant based producers even in tiger economies like China (Woodin and Lucas 2004: 100). They also challenges Monbiot’s plans for a world parliament as naïve, pointing out that even if the political will could be conjured up to create it, constituencies with ten million voters apiece would eliminate the possibility of meaningful participation (Woodin and Lucas 2004: 89).