29 Mar 2007

Could we beat the conservatives in Scotland

like shares, poll ratings can go up as well as down but I am encouraged by this.

Assembly elections on May 3rd, also note that the Scottish Green Party is indepedent from GP of England and Wales.

Poll by Progressive Scottish Opinion on last night's Newsnight:

SNP 34%
Labour 28%
LD 11%
Tory 11%
Green 9%
Others 4%

Projected seats

SNP 46
Labour 40
LD 17
Tories 12
Greens 10
Others 4

28 Mar 2007

16 days left to Save the William Morris gallery


As Principal Male Speaker of the Green Party I recognise the enormous debt that Greens have to William Morris, a great thinker and artist who campaigned for environmental and social justice, it is vitally important to save this resource

The William Morris gallery in Walthemstow is under closure threat from Waltham Forest council, he was a great artist and green thinker, a founder of the socialist movement in Britain, his legacy should be celebrated not put in the bin!

Read more from the wiki oracle....he had the same politics as me red and green!

this is his take on globalisation



And what is all this for? For the spread of abstract ideas of civilization, for pure benevolence, for the honour and glory of conquest? Not at all. It is for the opening of freshmarkets to take in all the fresh profit-producing wealth which is growing greater and greater every day; in other words, to make fresh opportunities for waste; the waste of our labour and our lives.
from 1896! see here for more

here is some more on the campaign

16 Days Left to Save the Gallery
The Council have set an Official Consultation period to review the cuts,
reduced opening hours and redundancies. This will end on April 13th please
can we have one last push of support from everyone to the council before
this time.

If you haven’t writtin to the Council yet, please do so.
If you haven’t heard back from the Council, please read the complaints
procedure below.
Please mail friends, neighbours and colleagues and urge them to sign the
petition.
Thank you all so much for your support so far. The Council has received
thousands of letters.

-----
Local & National/International Mailing List
We are dividing the mailing list into 2 strands – local and
national/international in order to target local events only to the
relevant people – whilst keeping everyone up to date with news.

If you want to be moved to the national/international mailing list –
please reply with ‘national/international’ in the subject line.

-----
Council Not Replying to Your letters
It has come to our attention that many of you, who have spent time and
effort writing to the Council, have to receive a response. The Council is
duty bound to reply to you. There is a complaints procedure which involves
sending an email outlining your concerns about the lack of communication,
you should then receive a response from the Councillors concerned.
Please fill out the online form here:
https://www1.walthamforest.gov.uk/webforms/complaints/default.aspx

-----
Saturday’s Party
Against a bitter wind, constant threat of rain and closure of Walthamstow
Central Station hundred’s gathered at William Morris Gallery on Saturday
24 March.

The event saw a tremendous coming together of people in protest and
celebration. The William Morris Gallery was festooned with artworks,
poetry, placards and banners. From a small stage people volunteered to
read the words of Morris, others read their poems, Ros Kane led the
assembly in singing Leon Rosselson's wonderful News from Nowhere. A group
of traditional musicians came from the local folk club and fiddle tunes
danced on the wind.

See the website (www.keepourmuseumsopen.org.uk) for more details.

-----
Online Petition Reaches over 3000 Signatures
The online petition has reach over 3000 signatures so far, if you haven’t
already signed and sent on to friends and colleagues, please visit:
www.petitiononline.com/savewmg

-----
This email has been sent from http://www.keepourmuseumsopen.org.uk

27 Mar 2007

Papuans Seek Global Support for UN Peacekeepers, Free Elections

South China Morning Post
March 22, 2007

Papuans Seek Global Support for UN Peacekeepers, Free Elections

Abused by the Indonesian army and exploited by multinationals, Papuans are seeking self-determination, writes Fabio Scarpello

The Reverend Socrates Sofyan Yoman is a soft-spoken man. But his voice turns firm when asked what is the way forward for Papua, the region where he lives and where most locals have been demanding independence for nearly four decades.

"The only way out is self-determination. We have the right to decide for ourselves," said the chairman of the West Papuan Baptist Church.

Mr Socrates does not trust Jakarta. Nor does he think the 2001 Special Autonomy Law is the answer to the region's problems.

"In Special Autonomy there was a hope of improving the people's standards of living; but the law has not stopped the tears and blood of the indigenous, and the truth is that it gives the Indonesians more of a chance to use more cruel and inhuman policies to oppress the Papuans," he said from the provincial capital, Jayapura.

His comments point to the recent splitting of Papua into two provinces - Papua and West Irian Jaya - as the latest evidence of Jakarta's bad faith.

"The Special Autonomy Law mentions one Papua," Mr Socrates said. "Jakarta's move is illegal and a typical divide-and-rule tactic."

His view is shared by most analysts, who agree the move has backfired, amplifying Papuans' mistrust in the central
government, and undermining the pro-autonomy, moderate intellectuals.


Yet, for Mr Socrates - who claimed to speak for
most Papuans - the Special Autonomy Law's failure is just an added grievance. His call for self-determination is spurred by what he says is "constant abuse by the Indonesia Military [TNI], increased militarisation of the province, relentless arrival of migrants and the discrimination perpetrated against them on their own land".

Jakarta maintains that the situation is not as bad as the
picture painted, that the pro-independence feeling is limited, and that the region is governed by locals. In regards to the ongoing "voluntary" migration to Papua, Saut Situmorang from the Interior Ministry said that "Indonesians can freely move, and it is good to foster the sentiment that we are all brothers".

Facts are difficult to confirm. But credible information
validates the Papuans' side of the story. Recent reports
trickling out from the region tell of more than 5,000 people being forced to flee their houses after a TNI offensive in Puncak Jaya. The attack was spurred by the hoisting of the Morning Star flag, Papua's most important nationalistic symbol, by alleged members of the Organisasi Papua Merdeka (OPM), last December. OPM is a small rebel group active in the region since
1965.

Diaz Gwijangge, a representative of the Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy, said the refugees were living in the forest, in precarious conditions. He added that "some have died of hunger and diseases, and more will die if nothing is done".
The Puncak Jaya episode is not an isolated case. Locals said"proxy OPMs are used by the TNI as an excuse to attack and justify their presence".

General Agus Widjojo, a former TNI chief of territorial affairs, admitted there were problems in controlling troops, especially in conflict areas. "The TNI command structure expects to be followed from top to bottom. But this is still not perfectly implemented as we are in a transition period," he said.

The reason why the TNI wants to stay in Papua is, basically, money. The TNI receives only 30 per cent of its budget from the Indonesian government. In Papua, the TNI is involved in a string of businesses, including prostitution, illegal logging and protection.

US mining giant Freeport McMoRan - Indonesia's largest foreign taxpayer - has admitted paying US$5.6 million annually for "protection" to the TNI, in addition to providing US$37 million to build a new military base. Freeport is one of the multinationals that Tapol, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, said "are plundering Papua's immense natural resources and threatening the very existence of the Papuans".

Observers say Papua's rich natural resources have been exploited for the benefit of the TNI, the Indonesian treasury, and the elite in Jakarta, leaving the Papuan population as one of the poorest in Indonesia.

Official data shows there are 12,000 TNI troops and 2,500 paramilitary police in Papua. Other sources say there are 50,000. The TNI has announced a troop increase soon, and rumours say that 15,000 more troops will be sent to Papua by 2009.

"There are soldiers everywhere; in every corner, in every
village. It is scary and intimidating," said a resident.

There are also many reports of abuse by the police. In a recent report, the International Crisis Group noted that the "human rights situation has improved with democratisation, but serious abuse still occurs and the officers responsible are seldom held accountable".

In its latest report, Human Rights Watch underlined how Papua's political activists are targeted for arrest. The report recorded a number of people sentenced to long jail terms for raising the Morning Star flag or expressing dissent. Papuans are also starting to be victims of a slow "cultural and religious genocide".

"Genocide is not only about killing. It is also about seeing our culture and religion disappearing with the arrival of migrants," said Mr Socrates. "Three Royal Line passenger ships bring 15,000 migrants to Papua every week. You can see mosques everywhere."

The word "genocide" was used in this context in a 2003 Yale University report, which argued that the influx of non-Papuan Indonesians was diluting the ethnic Papuans to a point that could be considered "the act element of genocide". Papuans, a mix of 312 tribes of ethnic Melanesians and mostly Christians, have little in common with the Muslim Indonesians who have landed in the region since it was annexed. In 1960, Papuans
accounted for 97 per cent of the population. Today, they are about 50 per cent, although Jakarta stopped its internal migration programme in 2000. Muslims migrants are the majority in the main cities.

Jakarta, and many of the migrants in Papua, also perceive the native Papuans as "stupid, drunkards and primitive", according to Catholic priest Neles Tebay. He said this led to "the presumption of incompetence and the assertion that Papuans cannot be trusted with jobs of responsibilities, and need to be civilised".

The discrimination has exacerbated the divide along ethnic and religious lines and created tension. Credible reports talk of the sprouting of TNI-backed Islamic militias. Some fear that ethnic clashes loom.

Papuans' frustration, anger and fear have translated into an effort to force their plight onto the world stage. "Protesting in Papua only leads to beatings and arrests," said a local source.

Mr Socrates added that "the only way forward is to involve the international community". The Papuans' main objective is a revision of history and the acknowledgment that the 1969 Act of Free Choice was an injustice. The act was a tainted referendum that decreed Papua's inclusion within Indonesia. They want it annulled and to vote again.

This strategy angers Jakarta, which considers Papua an internal problem and does not want to risk "another East Timor". East Timor broke away after the international community's outrage over TNI's abuse forced Jakarta to grant a referendum on independence and the landing of UN troops in 1999.

NGOs, church organisations and human rights groups have espoused the Papuans' cause worldwide. There are nods of support from some politicians in Britain, the US and Australia, among other countries. Only Vanuatu recognises Papua as an independent nation and it is doubtful more will follow, despite the confidence of Benny Wenda, the Papuan independence leader and
chair of the Koteka Tribal Assembly, who is in exile in England.

But Mr Wenda and many others like him are not about to give up. "I fear that within 30 years, the Melanesian race will have disappeared from Papua," he said. "That's why I am not talking about autonomy. We need the international community to force Indonesia to withdraw from Papua.

"In its place, we need a UN peace-keeping force, which can guarantee a free, democratic self-determination vote. I will not stop until our day of freedom comes."

Forgotten region with a troubled past

Occupying the western half of New Guinea, Papua is virtually unknown beyond the circle of activists and regional experts. Rooted in history, the region's predicament is compounded by abuse, ethnicity and money, and clouded by a lack of independent
reports from the area, where foreign journalists are forbidden to enter.

Papua was not included in the Indonesian declaration of
independence in 1945. The Netherlands, the former colonial power, saw it as a separate entity from the rest of Indonesia and decided to set it on a path of self-determination to be achieved by 1970. On December 1, 1961, Papuans were allowed to hoist the Morning Star flag and declare independence.

But the region was de facto invaded by Jakarta in 1962. At the beginning, the Netherlands stood firm and war with Indonesia loomed. But Papua was too small in a political scenario gripped by the cold war syndrome.

Washington feared Jakarta could fall under the spell of
communism and pressured the Dutch to let Papua go. The UN watched powerlessly as Jakarta selected 1,022 Papuans and threatened them into accepting inclusion within Indonesia in a 1969 referendum, paradoxically called the Act of Free Choice. A 2005 study by the Dutch government called it "a sham".

Papuans' sense of betrayal has been inflamed by the harshness of Indonesian rule. Even before the Act of Free Choice, the OPM had started fighting for independence. The small, badly armed rebel group never posed a real threat to Jakarta, but the TNI response has been disproportionate, with widespread abuse and a civilian
death toll that sources estimate at up to 100,000.

In 1999, a delegation of 100 Papuans met Indonesian president B.J. Habibie in Jakarta. Their message: Papua wants independence. The climax of the peaceful push for freedom was the Second Papua People's Congress, in Jayapura, a few months later, and attended by an estimated 15,000 people.

A change in the country's leadership, the loss of East Timor, and the growing pro-independence feeling in Papua worried Jakarta.

A 2001 Special Autonomy Law was the central government's only significant attempt to reach out to the Papuans. Although wide in principle, autonomy has never been implemented.

Fabio Scarpello

26 Mar 2007

EXPOSE EXXON DAY










“Climate Disinformation is Genocide”



Come and target the ultimate global warming villain





24 hours of protest at Exxon (Esso) HQ



5.00 pm Thursday 5th April to 5.00 pm Good Friday, April 16th



Mass Action, 2.00 pm Friday



FAT CATS PARTY - Climate Victims Vigil



Music, Street Theatre, Workshops, Climate impacts displays



Speakers include :

Mark Lynas (Climate Change journalist and author)
Derek Wall (Green Party Principal Speaker)
Elaine Graham-Leigh (RESPECT Environment spokesperson)
Phil Thornhill (Campaign against Climate Change National Coordinator)
Shane Collins ( Grass-roots environmentalist & Green party candidate, Brixton)



ExxonMobil (trading under the name “Esso” in the UK) Headquarters is South of London, about 20-30 minutes walk

from Leatherhead Railway Station (trains from Waterloo & Victoria) . It is North of Leatherhead, just inside the M25.



For map showing location and full schedule go to http://www.campaigncc.org

(& for floorspace available overnight etc..)



Protest bike ride leaves London 10.00 am, Friday, to go to Exxon HQ, Leatherhead

Gathers under Waterloo Bridge on South Bank at 10.00 am



PLEASE PASS THIS EMAIL AROUND TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE



Exxon Disinformation is still doing damage………………… the Channel 4 programme “The Great Global Warming Swindle” not only trotted out some very old discredited arguments but also figures like Fred Singer who have long been part of the Exxon-sponsored climate denial and disinformation machine. But the programme convinced many – or at least weakened their sense of certainty about the global warming threat. There are many difficult political battles left to be won to get the radical action we need and this will make them harder………..they could take longer to win and we are in a race against time……………



To see how Exxon has been the biggest corporate block to action on climate change - why it is the “ultimate global warming villain” see http://www.campaigncc.org/stopexxon.html and follow the links…..







2/ (London)



Planning Meeting / Party-Social at the Synergy Centre,



This Tuesday 27th, from 7.00pm

The Synergy Centre is at 220 Farmers Road, London SE5 0TW. (http://www.thesynergyproject.org )

Nearest tube is the Oval : then down Camberwell Road, turn left Wyndham road, very soon left again Farmers Road & its near the end on the left.



See map here:

http://www.multimap.com/map/browse.cgi?client=public&X=531500.106746092&Y=177000.38401873&width=500&height=300&gride=531872.106746092&gridn=177268.38401873&srec=0&coordsys=gb&db=GB&addr1=&addr2=&addr3=&pc=&advanced=&local=&localinfosel=&kw=&inmap=&table=&ovtype=&keepicon=true&zm=0&scale=10000&up.x=190&up.y=5





This is the big planning meeting for the ExposeExxon Day ….it will be a great help to get as many people together for this as we can……….and after the meeting you can stay (till late) for…



……a party/social in the relaxed atmosphere of the synergy cafĂ©…….bring your musical instruments etc…



And here’s the updated notice for the mass action at Exxon HQ

(see more details http://www.campaigncc.org/exxonplan.shtml )

23 Mar 2007

conference speech: mainlining on petroleum

PRINCIPAL SPEAKER DEREK WALL GIVES ROUSING SPEECH

Dr. Derek Wall this morning gave his first keynote speech to the party's Spring conference.

Talking around the theme 'Catastrophe and Resistance', he outlined the ways in which radical green politics can equip us to challenge the threats of ecological and economic catastrophe. Dismissing the Tories as 'green pretenders', he cited conventional politicians 'lack of understanding, lack of vision and lack of aspiration.'

"Gordon Brown commissioned the Stern review, but there is little evidence that he has read it.

"We have new green, the painted on environmentalism of Cameron, Campbell and Brown, united yes by ecotaxes but also by support for nuclear weapons and the insanity of ever increasing economic growth. They use accountancy to pretend they are doing something, but its more like pushing food around your plate than eating up the problem."

"Cameron the neo-con backs war in Iraq as well.

"The bribery scandal, with investigations of alleged BAE payments to Saudi Arabia, was halted by the Blair government, and reveals the truth. They stand from top to toe in blood, shattered bones and entrails. And in this week's budget, an additional £400 million of public money was set aside to fund 'defence', a euphemistic way to describe spending more on death and destruction in our name. Trident alone will cost as much as £70bn on mega death.

"Addicted to profit based on consumption of fossil fuels, old-style politicians are fighting desperately to maintain an unsustainable way of living.

"But tell an addict to cut their habit and they get angry, everyday politicians are tightening the tourniquet and mainlining on petroleum. They can't see the truth, blinded as they are by corrupt desires.

Dr. Wall also condemned the use of carbon offsetting schemes and challenged other environmentalists like him to give up flying.

"Politics is the art of the possible. Green politics cannot fail - we have a world to save.

Dr. Wall was also joined on stage by Rhodri Griffiths, the Green Party's number one candidate for the forthcoming Welsh Assembly election, and Benny Wenda, Papuan Tribal Leader of the Free West Papua campaign, both of whom he cited as inspirational figures in the world of radical Green politics.

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

The party's conference continues until Sunday - full details can be found at www.greenparty.org.uk

The full text of Dr. Wall's speech can be read below:

"Good morning conference

What do we expect from politicians' conference speeches, from Blair, Brown, Campbell and Cameron? We expect comforting lies. I believe we must break with conventions in many ways. I am going to try and give you some disturbing truths. It is not enough to say we are right and they are wrong. We have to get political in a deeper sense than self congratulation.

I am going to talk about catastrophe and resistance, about the differences between new green and real radical green politics, about the two contrasting pathways we can take in the Green Party.
My 27 years in the Green Party has been about fighting catastrophe. The late Mike Woodin fought against catastrophe; the great historian EP Thompson, who I listened to in my first party conference in Malvern in 1980, fought against catastrophe. Green politics is about avoiding catastrophe on this planet and moving towards an ecological sound, socially-just, peaceful and democratic society.
Catastrophe is the title of a play by Samuel Beckett. He is not seen as political playwright, but he worked for the resistance in Nazi occupied France. His most political play written in 1982 is Catastrophe, about totalitarianism, the destruction of nature and resistance. I am going to talk about the catastrophe on this planet and how we resist, through ideas, through culture, through winning elections, through direct action

The catastrophe is about war and imperialism. Four years ago Britain and America invaded Iraq;. War in Iraq has killed 650,000 according to Lancet, with the destruction of cities like Fallujah, with the human rights abuse of Abu Grahib. Now they are saying that Iran is developing WMDs and contemplating my bloodshed. In Iraq privatisation of oil revenues are going to divide the spoils between the oil companies. Billions of profits are made from weapons and the corporations recycle them back to political parties. In Britain BAE may be going green by producing lead free bullets but their weapons and planes kill on a frightening scale. The bribery scandal, with investigations of alleged BAE payments to Saudi Arabia, was halted by the Blair government, and reveals the truth. They stand from top to toe in blood, shattered bones and entrails. And in this week's budget, an additional £400 million of public money was set aside to fund 'defence', a euphemistic way to describe spreading more on death and destruction in our name. Trident will cost as much as £70bn on mega death, this destructive, waste on an instrument of terror could have instead been used to abolish student fees and fund public services, with money left over to meaningfully tackle climate change. The US has intervened over 40 times since 1945. It is said that Iraq would never have been invaded if it had grown carrots instead of oil but in 1954 the CIA removed the government in Guatamala because they stood up to the US based United Fruit Company who were concerned with bananas. In 1973 the communications company ITT had Allende murdered in a coup in Chile.

The catastrophe is ecological. We have the highest level of co2 in the atmosphere for 600,000 years, the warmest winter since 1834. The risk of runway greenhouse effect is terrifying. As the ice melts, more heat is absorbed by the earth, as the permafrost melts millions of tonnes of methane will be released, accelerating the warming. Mass extinctions will occur, sea levels will rise, the climate scientists James Hansen argues we have 10 years to take radical action. At the same time, even if we halt global warming, commercial fish stocks are likely to be gone by 2040,the great apes by 2050. Indonesia has the fastest deforestation rate in the world, with palm oil plantations crowing out the habitat of orang utangs. Palm oil its in everything from margarine to biofuel. There are dozens of other ecological cycles that are under threat and thousands of species. The natural sinks of carbon in the forests and the seas are being absorbed by the economy and made useless. Whaling is on the agenda. Non human species mean nothing. Green politics is about respect for all creation and creation is being battered by a highly organised system of greed..
The catastrophe is economic. The more we produce, the more we consume, the more we waste, the longer we commute...the more the economy grows. Profit and growth are everything. Human life and nature are nothing. Capitalism is a secular religion, a fundamentalist religion....its priest, obbssessed with a puritanical desire to get its all working harder for the economy is Gordon Brown. Education is about preparing us for work, the olympics is about boosting the profits of mcdonalds, tescos are going to be running doctors surgeries. Accumulat, accumulate is the Moses and prophets. But how can our economy grow for ever, we consume 52 million barrels of oil a day, we cannot keep consuming, Americans gordon browns model of commercially responsible humanity are profligate, producing 20 times the co2 of the worlds average citizen. The mathematics behind western civilisation simply don't add up. But tell an addict to cut their habit and they get angry, everyday politicians are tightening the tornique and mainlining on petroleum. They can't see the truth blinded as they are by corrupt desires.

Corporate globalisation means companies outsource to the parts of the globe with the lowest wages and the poorest environmental standards. Cutting corporation tax is another step towards reducing the tax burden on big business - a step in the wrong direction from Brown. Even if we could ignore the ecological realities we face global economic catastrophe. The highest wages in the US, the most developed nation on Earth, are 400 times higher than the lowest wages. The share wages as a percentage of GDP is falling globally. Wealth creates poverty. In the USA African-Americans, have lower life expectancy than many in the developing world. Corporations are legally required to maximise profit, they do so even if it kills.

Tobacco kills more than 400,000 Americans each year, the first convincing link between smoking and cancer was established in clinical and epidemiological studies in the 1950s.
The Tobacco companies knew they were killing more people than many many thousands of serial killers, did they care. They cared about dividends, investments and bottom lines. Phillip Morris funded think tanks like the Competitive Enterprise institute to muddy the water about tobacco, CEI have now done the same for Exxon, spreading lies about climate change.
The catastrophe is political. We have new green, the painted on environmentalism of Cameron, Campbell and Brown, united yes by ecotaxes but also by support for nuclear weapons and the insanity of ever increasing economic growth. They use accountancy to pretend they are doing something, its more like pushing the food around the plate than eating up the problem.

We have carbon off set...in Brown's anti-carbon legislation, where we pay others to pollute less so we can pollute more. Can you imagine nicotine offset, where you smoke 40 a day and pay someone else to give up, where you pay for nicotine education and awareness programmes in China rather than giving up. Carbon offset in both Brazil and Uganda, involves enclosing land and oppressing local people. You fly feel less guilty and buy a tree on stolen land, that does nothing to prevent climate change.

Given war, inequality and ecological disaster, civil liberties are threatened and politics has become more and more about control. A managed democracy where we have less and less say, where personality games are used to lull us to sleep. Where our every movement is watched. Where are every movement is watched. I predict micro chipping for fetuses, I predict like George Orwell that televisions will be watching us soon not the other way around. Who would have believed that we would be watched hundreds of times a day by secret cameras, that the CIA would fly prisoners out of scotland to torture chambers. Every day John Reid is looking for new excuses to send asylum seekers back to repressive regimes....I guess we are moving towards a repressive regime in Britain with ID cards, even the oyster is used to track our movements.

Resistance is essential but how do we resist. Resistance is about ideas, we have to think hard about strategy, about getting there. My time in politics has been an almost continuous meditation on strategy, on what works. I have a phd in political sociology, a phd in trouble making. AI think sometimes we are so worried by the threats to our planet by the multiple catastrophes, that we don't think about how we change things. Politics is the art of the possible. I won't tell you anything but I will try to provoke, to fight the war against sleep, we must think ever more deeply if we are to succeed. Guess what I don't think have a leader will deliver success.

Resistance has to be about culture. When they are most successful, movements take new ideas, new social codes and put them into the mainstream. We have to make respect for the planet part of the political consensus and change our lifestyles. To change culture we need to make it easy for people to be green. Congestion charges going up, rail firms like SW trains 16 million passengers face 20% rise in fares, while their owners are on the rich list with £395 million. Cheap public transport and local services are essential. Lead by example, teach our kids to cook, grow where we can, enjoy being green. Positive cultural change, not sacrifice. One thing that angers people rightly is when environmentalists lecture them about flying less and then rush off to green conferences by plane. As principal speaker I no longer fly, it cannot be justified.

Resistance is about direct action. It's in the manifesto, it's essential. Non violent direct action is a way of dealing with inbalances of power, companies, the wealth, elites have huge power but direct action can slow, stop and reverse the wheels of the juggernaut. Direct action by greens halted the roads programmed, by Gandhi freed India, with your help on April 5th at Exxon's headquarters at Leatherhead will help fight global warming.

Resistance must be based on winning elections. We have to bring in the policies, from renewables to ending arms sales to promoting a democratic economy. 2046 is too late; already we are winning. Kirklees produces carbon budget amendments, Green GLA members green jet setter Ken Livingstone. First to predict NI assembly gains, this year I predict are sister parties in Ireland and Scotland will make gains and participate in government. Rhodri Griffths with your help will be a member of the Welsh Assembly. Green politics is about taking political power and introducing a new green economy based on meeting need instead of corporate greed. We have to change the structures, we can do that by electoral success. We have come a long way from the 1970s but we must not rest.
Its never ever easy. Anyone who promises you easy success is wrong. But we do have a choice we can embrace our own form of 'new green' politics which is shallow, falsely pragmatic and market friendly. Or we can deepen our green, stick to our principles and change the world so we have a world. I believe that choosing a leader will be a step on the way to irrelevence, to new green. You may disagree but I don't think being called leader makes anyone more persuasive or more articulate, wiser or more intelligent. I do think being called a leader has the potential to corrupt. I look forward to being replaced as Principal Speaker by someone better but I will mourn if speakers make way for old style ego led political figures. I have no easy answers, I won't tell you any comforting lies but I know my history and I can recognise a trap however well disguised.

The fact that we are not organized like a ‘proper’ party, when the big parties are increasingly seen as bunches of liars, hypocrites and suits on the make, can be (if we handle it right) a positive benefit to us. As George Monbiot wrote: “I think much of the Green Party's refreshing distinctiveness rests on the absence of a single leader. It's one of the only parties which really looks like a party, rather than simply an apparatus of power designed to sustain those at the top.”

Virtually every radical movement in history has been sucked in and domesticated. Socialism led to Stalin and Tony Blair. The Romans deposed their kings, built a republic and replaced it with Empire. Jesus preached humility but under Constantine was used to christen an autocracy. The history of struggle is one of repetition, with radicals bought off, killed off or brain washed into submission. John Prescott used to be a union man, Gordan Brown used to be socialist. Politics can be like a gerbil cage you go up and up and up to the top slot but with compromises to get their you crash back like the fallen radicals.

Green politics cannot fail - we have a world to save. If we win power but at the cost of our ideals, that really would be a catastrophe.
I would like to introduce two people who inspire me. The first is Rhodri Griffiths, our lead candidate for the Welsh Assembly, he is going win, he is going be in the Assembly, pumping funds into renewables, fighting job cuts in the valley, working for animal rights, promoting trade unions and justice. My second hero is Benny Wenda, who has seen his homeland West Papua invaded by Indonesia, a country armed by Britain. The Free West Papua movement has opposed the destruction of their forests, the invasion by corporations stealing land for cheap minerals, the imprisonment and execution of 100,000s West Papuans, often for simply raising their flag the Morning Star. The people who do the most to preserve our planet, like Benny have the hardest fight, they wont get any support for Tony Blair and David Cameron. They need our solidarity and we need their inspiration.

I give you real green politics, I give you Benny and Rhodri...we all have to struggle to save our beautiful planet, to free humanity from the burden of history, and to enjoy life instead of being enslaved by economic forces. Always struggle until victory.

21 Mar 2007

My budget speech

Gordon Brown, cuts for corporations, tax bribes for the middle class, cutting the 10p band will hurt the poorest. Little in the way of serious carbon cuts and more cash for war.

Well what did we expect.

Watch my budget here.

20 Mar 2007

All parties move to the right......

The reason why this all matters is that the history of all previous egalitarian parties shows that as they gradually developed a professional bureaucracy and a leadership consisting of full time professional politicians they gradually moved to the right and towards accommodation with the ruling political establishment – and with the ideas of that establishment.



this was a great contribution to the lets have a leader debate, I don't agree with Sean especially because I think it is easy to explain what a speaker is and obvious comparison with the kibbo kift kin are a bit of a dig (more on social credit another day)

but Sean, who incidentally is an ex member of RESPECT, covers a lot of interesting ground on the vexed issue of political organisation.

Incidentally this give you a taste of the Green Left group in the Green Party at its best, lots going on the ecology and islam front in the Party which I will blog about soon...any way enough of me on to Sean



Hi Folks

It seems that one can’t post attachments to the GP lists, so I’m afraid I’ll just have to lumber you with an indigestible chunk of e-mail. See you all in Swansea I hope.

A contribution to the leadership debate

In the introductory section of their conference resolution, those who are arguing for the replacement of the role of ‘National Speaker’ with that of ‘Leader’ make a valid point. ‘Principal Speaker’ is an opaque and quaint title, redolent of Kibbo Kift moots and suchlike mumbo jumbo, that has to be explained to any journalist – or for that matter any ordinary person – who wants to know more about us. So when the resolution notes that there is some “public confusion over the notion of Principal Speakers” and that there is an ongoing “…difficulty in explaining to the media what a Principal Speaker is” it is doing no more than describing current reality.

One would have thought that the logical inference to draw from this was that we should change the name of the existing posts to something clearer such as, say, chief or national spokesperson. Given that the proposed job description for the new posts is that the “Leader and Deputy will be the primary public faces of the party, responsible for presenting Green Party policy and promoting its electoral activity and campaigns to the public on a day to day basis” a job title of national spokesperson would seem to be perfectly accurate.

But the drafters of the resolution go further. Not only is the role confusing for the press, it is responsible for a “perception among the public that we as a party do not take our vital political role sufficiently seriously”. Now, since hacks are almost always lazy, ignorant and rushed, it is convenient for them to assume that all parties are built to the same design and to look for just one face, one name, to be the personification of the Green Party. Ordinary people are used to being presented with personality politics in lieu of genuine political debate (inevitable when the actual politics of Tony, Dave and Ming are essentially the same) and might well find a party the doesn’t fit in to the familiar PR mould slightly disconcerting.

However, to infer from this that in order to be seen as ‘serious’ we should disguise ourselves as a smaller, poorer and less powerful version of the venal and discredited parties of the neo-liberal ‘mainstream’ is quite extraordinary. This position is quite wrong for two reasons.

First, it assumes that the Green Party is not seen as a serious player because its doesn’t copy some of the structures and style of the ’major’ parties. I think it more likely that insofar as the assessment of our public profile is true, it is primarily because; a) we are in reality a very small organization with very little clout who most people know virtually nothing about; b) what we have to say is difficult and extremely challenging to received wisdom; c) there is still a perception of the Green Party as a slightly cranky one trick pony.

Second, it doesn’t recognize the depth of disillusionment in politicians and political parties among ordinary people in general, and among younger people in particular. The fact that we are not organized like a ‘proper’ party, when the big parties are increasingly seen as bunches of liars, hypocrites and suits on the make, can be (if we handle it right) a positive benefit to us. As George Monbiot wrote: “I think much of the Green Party's refreshing distinctiveness rests on the absence of a single leader. It's one of the only parties which really looks like a party, rather than simply an apparatus of power designed to sustain those at the top.”

I’m relaxed about the particulars of how we choose to organise ourselves, indeed one of the things which caused me to finally lose patience with the far left sects was their organizational fetishism, which resulted in endless variations of a largely mythical organizational form initially developed in order for an exiled leadership to run a semi illegal party in Russia almost a century ago. I think that the way we organise ourselves must inevitably change with changing circumstances – clearly a tiny group of a few hundred can get away with a much looser and more informal structure that that of an organisation of over seven thousand with a handful of paid staff and four full time professional elected representatives. And of course, in two or three years when (we hope) we have twice as many members, more councillors and more paid staff, we might well need to adapt our structures and procedures to manage the party effectively.

However, while we should be flexible and undogmatic about the organizational forms which might be appropriate at any particular time, the forms have to be underpinned by one crucial principle; that of the absolute necessity for maximum openness and democracy. The Philosophical Basis document states it quite clearly:

“We seek a society in which people are empowered and involved in making the decisions which affect them. We reject the hierarchical structure of leaders and followers, and, instead advocate participatory politics.”

This statement of principle has to be central to the way we organise ourselves, not just because in a general way it is A Good Thing (although it is) but because openness and democracy – more specifically, continual informed debate, active membership participation at all levels of the party and genuine meaningful accountability on the part of party officers, MPs/MEPs/councilors – are vital to the life of the party. The core of our politics is our commitment to participatory democracy.

It is the lifeblood of our party because it is the only antidote to what Robert Michels described as the Iron Law of Oligarchy. Michels noted in the early years of the last century that the European socialist parties, despite their democratic ideology and provisions for mass participation, seemed to be dominated by their leaders, just as much as the traditional parties of the Right. Modern democracy allowed the formation of organisations such as political parties, but as they grew in complexity, they paradoxically became less and less democratic

Michels argued that any large organization is faced with problems of coordination that can be solved only by creating a bureaucracy. A bureaucracy, by design, is hierarchically organized to achieve efficiency This process is further compounded as delegation is necessary in any large organization. The delegation however leads to specialization : the development of bases of knowledge, skills, and resources among a leadership, which further serves to alienate the leadership from the rank and file and entrenches the leadership in office.
People achieve leadership positions precisely because they have unusual political skill. Once they hold office, their power and prestige is further increased. Leaders tend to have access to, and control over, information and facilities that are not available to the rank-and-file. Leaders are also strongly motivated to persuade the organization of the rightness of their views, and they use all of their skills, power and authority to do so. By the nature of the organisation, the rank and file are less informed than their leaders, and of course we are all conditioned, to some degree, to look up to those in positions of authority. Therefore the rank and file tend to look to leaders for policy directives and are generally prepared to allow leaders to exercise their judgment on most matters.

The reason why this all matters is that the history of all previous egalitarian parties shows that as they gradually developed a professional bureaucracy and a leadership consisting of full time professional politicians they gradually moved to the right and towards accommodation with the ruling political establishment – and with the ideas of that establishment.

While Michels used the pre First World War SPD as a case study there is a more recent and relevant example at hand. During the 1970s and early 1980s , the German Greens made a conscious effort to try and break the Iron Law. Anyone could be or could remove a party official. There were no permanent offices or officers. Even the smallest, most routine decisions could be put up for discussion and to a vote. When the party was small, these anti-oligarchic measures enjoyed some success. But as the organisation grew larger and the party became more successful, the need to effectively compete in elections, raise funds, organise mass demonstrations and work with other political parties once elected, led the Greens to adapt more conventional structures and practices (allowing MPs to be members of the Executive Committee for example). And of course that inevitably led their leaders to being incorporated into the neo-liberal establishment and ending up supporting cuts in welfare and German troops taking part in the invasion of Afghanistan.

Michels thought that all forms of organisation, regardless of how democratic or autocratic they may be at the start, will eventually and inevitably develop oligarchic tendencies, thus making true democracy practically and theoretically impossible. However, he was an anarcho-syndicalist and was living in an era before the sort of technology that we have at our disposal for making participatory democracy a practical possibility existed.

Of course, the problems of bureaucracy and the tendency towards the development of hierarchies and a self sustaining professional leadership are endemic in our party as they are in any other organisation – and the more successful we are the more powerful those tendencies will become. To counter these tendencies we need to do two things.

First, we must continually resist the ongoing furring up of the organisation with necessary and inevitable bureaucracy and the development of a semi permanent leadership group based round our leading full time representatives by ensuring that our constitutional and administrative procedures minimize their tendency to develop. Thus, though I have no eternal moral objection to a party post with the title of Leader (or Grand Poobah for that matter) I oppose the current proposal because it would inevitably encourage rather than discourage the development of a centralized professional leadership group.

Second, and much more important, we must continually strive to develop the conditions in which active democracy can thrive. That means above all encouraging discussion and debate at all levels within the party, which in turn demands ongoing programmes of political education (particularly for new members) in order to build the capacity of party members to both take an active and informed part in developing party policy and to effectively hold the leadership of the organisation to account. And yes, we need to be continually building the capacity of our members to take leading roles within the party at all levels. We need more leadership in the Green Party rather than less, but leadership spreading up from the base rather than down from the top or out from the centre.

As we grow, we will inevitably develop an increasingly professional bureaucracy – and we need to. We will also, one hopes, have a growing number of professional full time elected politicians. There is no doubt that we must pay a price to ensure that these hierarchies do not slowly begin to dominate the party, as they inevitably will without the conscious commitment of the membership to counter that trend. Decision making will inevitably be slower and more cumbersome than in a more ‘efficient’ centralized organization and will involve apparently endless debate over everything. However, that endless debate is in fact the lifeblood that keeps our politics alive and healthy. Bureaucracy and centralized leadership is like the clotting agent in that blood – essential if we are to operate, but fatal if not kept continuously in check.


Sean Thompson (Camden Green Party)
March 2007

Another ape threatened with extinction

George Monbiot, published in Green World 35:

"I think much of the Green Party's refreshing distinctiveness rests on the absence of a single leader. It's one of the only parties which really looks like a party, rather than simply an apparatus of power designed to sustain those at the top. It's essential that we have alternatives to the increasingly monarchical style of Blair, Bush and the other G8 leaders and to the appalling whipping system which dominates almost all forms of party politics in Britain, crushing dissent, free speech and genuine representation. Partly because of the absence of a single charismatic leader, the party has the potential to remain much closer to the voters. How this plays in terms of realpolitik is another matter, but I believe the Green Party is respected for its integrity and idealism, and is trusted as a genuine alternative to the others."



here is our petition to preserve the principal speakers male and female instead of going for a leader.

it's going to be the big debate at party conference in Swansea.

GENUINE LEADERSHIP PETITION.
============================
We the undersigned believe that the Green Party's commitment to democracy and accountability distinguishes us from conventional politicians in a way that affirms our values and helps us to pursue our radical political goals - without a Leader, as enshrined in our Philosophical Basis.

Moreover, as a result of a series of on-going attempts by some to inaugurate a
Party Leader, we recognise the need to reaffirm our commitment to a non-hierarchical structure of governance within our Party.

As it says in the Philosophical Basis (Empowerment section), we reject the hierarchical structure of leaders and followers, but advocate participatory politics instead.

We believe that the Green Party's enduring constitution is the best way to advance genuine leadership and initiative - from the grassroots up.

ONE WORLD. ONE CHANCE. ONE LEADERSHIP PETITION!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Please print off this page for use in your local parties:

NAME LOCAL PARTY Any party position (optional) Email (organisational matters)










CURRENT SIGNATORIES TO THE GENUINE LEADERSHIP PETITION

NAME LOCAL PARTY

1. Jenny JONES Southwark Assembly Member & councillor
2. Derek WALL Windsor Principal speaker
3. Noel LYNCH Barnet London coordinator
4. Jonathan DIXON Scarborough Borough councillor
5. Shahrar ALI Brent London policy coordinator
6. Romayne PHOENIX Lewisham Councillor
7. Keith Malcolm ROSS Swansea
8. Paul INGRAM Southwark former co-leader of Oxford City
9. Penny KEMP Maidstone and Kent
10. Molly SCOTT CATO Stroud Economics speaker
11. Annie WILLERTON Scarborough Chair
12. Geoff COLLARD Bristol West GPRC rep for South West
13. Linda GARRARD Swansea Secretary
14. Peter Kenneth JONES Swansea Treasurer
15. Brian ORR Brent Chair
16. Panayiotis ZENIOU Islington
17. Christian ANTONIOU Barnet
18. Heber MICELLI West Central
19. Marc SHEIMANN Luton
20. Madeleine LAUDER-ATKINS Harrow
21. Andy D'AGORNE City of York Councillor
22. Peter MURRY Brent
23. Daniel VIESNIK Brent
24. Jane RICHMOND Swansea Chair
25. Shasha KHAN Croydon
26. Ian WINGROVE Hackney
27. Adam STACEY N & E Hampshire
28. Michael O'SHEA Barnet
29. Tim TURNER Wandsworth
30. Ken BURGESS West Central
31. Elizabeth O'SHEA Barnet
32. Anne GRAY Haringey
33. Andie HARRIS Scarborough
34. Michelle LYNCH Barnet
35. Priya SHAH Brent
36. Telai QUARTERY-PAPAFIO Barnet
37. Khalid AKRAM Brent
38. Nigel RAYMENT Lewisham
39. Chris ASHBY Islington
40. Graham LEE Hillingdon
41. Andy HEWETT Greenwich
42. Alan WHEATLEY Camden GPEW disability spokesperson
43. George GRAHAM Lambeth
44. Danny BATES Hackney former GP executive officer
45. Tim SUMMERS Lambeth GPEW campaigns coordinator
46. Shane COLLINS Lambeth GPEW drugs spokesperson
47. Miranda DUNN Barnet GPRC rep for London
48. Anthony AGIUS Hounslow
49. Adrian WILLIAMS Islington
50. George SHAW Barnet
51. Joseph HEALY Southwark GPRC rep for London

THIS PETITION WILL BE UPDATED ON A REGULAR BASIS. TO HAVE YOUR NAME ADDED, OR TO ADVISE OF ANY CORRECTIONS, PLEASE EMAIL SHAHRAR AT DECOUVREZ@YAHOO.COM.
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN SAYING?

Jenny Jones, London Assembly Member and Southwark councillor:
"We've proved in London that you don't need a leader to get good media coverage - there are plenty of opportunities for us all. In fact, the limitation on how much media we can do is often the need to rest, eat and visit the loo. So what we need is more people prepared to do media, not rely on one fallible person to deliver our message."

Derek Wall, Green Party Principal Speaker:
"Leadership is vital. We must have effective voices. However, conventional leadership with a single leader has been disastrous for political participation. It almost always comes with commitments to water down the message, to remove real debate and participation. It makes ordinary members into observers. Please sign this petition to give support to a real, radical green party that values everybody."

Paul Ingram, former co-leader (legal position) of Oxford City Council:
"Leadership within the Green Party is vital. Having a formal leader will itself not bring any of the benefits its advocates dream about, and is likely to bring further conflict into the Party. It dangerously distorts the fundamental philosophy of empowerment at the heart of the Green Party."

Priya Shah, young Green, and new member of Brent Green Party:
"I believe that hierarchical party structures are outdated. To advocate the participation of all in a party without hierarchical structures is the only base on which to develop the politics of the present and future. Naturally, if we were to be an elected government, we would need a party spokesperson, but this is not to be mistaken with the obsolete idea of a party leader."

Shahrar Ali, London Policy Coordinator:
"A person with genuine leadership qualities will benefit our party with the authority that he or she earns along the way. True Green politics is about not being afraid to stick to our joined-up principles even if that did mean bucking the trend in media expectations."

Joseph Healy, GPRC International Friend:
"Better to follow the path of integrity and truth than the path well trodden. There are enough grey parties with grey leaders and people have had enough of them."

Daniel Viesnik, Brent Green Party:
"There are already too many clone parties in UK politics. One of the strengths of the Green Party lies in its courage to be different and determination not to sell itself out on its principles and ideals. I do not go along with the notion that strong leadership and direction require a designated leader."

Andy D'Agorne, one of the first Green councillors for York in 2003:
"I have always felt that a major strength of the Green Party has been its approach to cultivating new leaders, promoting gender equality and challenging 'conventional wisdom' . We have people of stature and experience in the party who would not have that if they had had to challenge a Leadership position to do so."

Molly Scott Cato, GPEW Economics spokesperson:
"Leaders only create psychological dependency and disempowerment. Our process is as important as our policies so let's not have our agenda set by the requirements of the media."

To have your comment added here please email decouvrez@yahoo.com. Please allow me to make minor edits.


APPENDICES

1. FROM PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS OF THE MANIFESTO FOR A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

STATEMENT OF CORE PRINCIPLES
PB001.
Para 6. We emphasise democratic participation and accountability by ensuring that decisions are taken at the closest practical level to those affected by them.

SECTION ON EMPOWERMENT
PB440 Power is simply our ability to be effective, but it takes different forms. 'Power over' is dysfunctional, succeeds only at the expense of others and should be limited and contained. 'Power to', or empowerment, is our potential to co-operate and take control over our own lives. Organisations which have based themselves on empowerment have found that they are as successful, if not more, at achieving their aims, and have delivered considerable social and environmental benefits.

PB441 However, 'power over' remains the dominant force in our hierarchical, competitive society. We have to engage with it, but we do so only in order to transform it. This requires changes in law, culture and economics.

PB442 The Green Party does not believe there is an automatic moral obligation on all people to obey their governments. It seeks to maximise the extent to which obedience to laws is based on consent and minimise the need for conformity through deterrence. We believe there are occasions when individuals and groups in society may openly, and peacefully, protest at an unjust law or practice through civil disobedience.

PB443 We seek a society in which people are empowered and involved in making the decisions which affect them. We reject the hierarchical structure of leaders and followers, and, instead advocate participatory politics. For this reason the Green Party itself does not have an individual leader.


2. RECENT CONFERENCE DECISIONS

Autumn 2006, Brighton. Motion D07 - single principal speaker - Defeated
Autumn 2005, Lancaster. D08 - Leader & Deputy Leader - Defeated
D08 Amendment 1 - Defeated
Autumn 2005, Lancaster. D05 Change name of principal speakers to ‘co-leaders’ - Defeated
Autumn 2004, Weston-super-Mare D3 - Amend titles of Principal Speaker roles - Defeated
Further past conference decisions to follow


3. WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID

George Monbiot, published in Green World 35:

"I think much of the Green Party's refreshing distinctiveness rests on the absence of a single leader. It's one of the only parties which really looks like a party, rather than simply an apparatus of power designed to sustain those at the top. It's essential that we have alternatives to the increasingly monarchical style of Blair, Bush and the other G8 leaders and to the appalling whipping system which dominates almost all forms of party politics in Britain, crushing dissent, free speech and genuine representation. Partly because of the absence of a single charismatic leader, the party has the potential to remain much closer to the voters. How this plays in terms of realpolitik is another matter, but I believe the Green Party is respected for its integrity and idealism, and is trusted as a genuine alternative to the others."

19 Mar 2007

My budget!

The rumour is that Sian and I sat in some cafe in Islington to iron out who would do what and guess what I am not PM!

Here is my Green Party budget....for planet, real prosperity and justice.

We like open source, renewables, workers control/mutuals, low carbon, trade union freedom.

We don't like city bonuses, monopolistic pharmaceutical firms, expensive housing or 'neo-classical endogenous growth theory'.

If I look like I have a cold and sound like I have a cold, its because of the lingering nasty flu.


Here is the video if you want to watch, nice bumping into Gandhi.

Lets get on with the conference speech!

Crikey arguing with Christopher Horner!!!!

Douglas Coker said...
Derek. Crikey arguing with Christopher Horner!!!! I saw him on C4 News a year(?) ago being interviewed by Jon Snow. Horner came on like a thug in a suit with a machine gun delivery style and had Snow pinned aaginst the wall and seriously struggling.

I subsequently e-mailed Snow saying if these people are to be interviewed much preparation needs to be done and thought given to how to tackle them. They are not, emphasise not, interested in reasoned rational debate. I actually wonder if it is in any way useful trying to engage with these people.

How did you get on? Did you survive?

Douglas Coker


I am more worried about those in the Green Party who are so desperate to shut me up, they are going to abolish my post this week at conference via a referendum!

Chris Horner was a soft touch compared to political opponents with a fist full of proxy votes!

any way have a look at me on Naadir's blog which has the you tube cut.

18 Mar 2007

Cameron and compassionate conservatism

We would love to think they are 'compassionate conservatives', especially as New Labour are so far to the right.

However Cameron and co will still work for the corporations if they gain power, we will just have a change of emphasis...

this is from 'action without theory' blog




Tory leader David Cameron is secretly promising business leaders that - if elected - he will take away rights workers and trade unions have won in the last ten years.
I am told Cameron briefed bosses at a meeting in Leeds, at the office of the Yorkshire Post newspaper.
He promised to "roll back" legislation like rights for workers to vote to force their employers to negotiate with trade unions. One of the places where this has happened is Yorkshire Post Newspapers.
Union recognition - as this is called - has given thousands of workers the chance to negotiate proper pay scales, challenge the long hours culture, and stand together against bullying bosses.


More here

17 Mar 2007

Royal Bank of Scotland fund climate change

had this..

Hi Derek

I spoke alongside you at CCC's Exxon meeting at Vernon Square the other Monday.
Was wondering whether you could feature a report I just produced on RBS & the
financial fuel behind climate change on your blog?

The RBS PR machine is pretty powerful and nixed most of our mainstream coverage,
so am trying to get our findings out via blogs etc.
You can see the report on www.carbonweb.org/rbs and have copied the blurb about
it below.

cheers mika




MEDIA RELEASE from

PLATFORM
Friends of the Earth Scotland
People & Planet
nef (the new economics foundation)
BankTrack

THE OIL BANK OF SCOTLAND - fuelling climate change

The Royal Bank of Scotland is covering up involvement in carbon emissions
greater than those of the whole country of Scotland, according to new research
published today, Monday 12 March 2007.[1] As the government prepares to publish
its draft Climate Change Bill, the report “The Oil & Gas Bank” reveals the
extent to which RBS-NatWest is providing the financial fuel driving climate
change.

Publicly promoting itself as "The Oil & Gas Bank", RBS provides oil
corporations
with the cash to build and operate drilling rigs, pipelines and oil tankers in
some of the world’s most sensitive and unstable places.[2] Bank loans play a
key role in forcing open the new carbon frontier. RBS has financed oil projects
in Nigeria, Angola and Ecuador that cause environmental destruction, disruption
of indigenous peoples and increase conflict.

Andrew Simms, policy director of nef (the new economics foundation) said “At a
time when the whole world is waking up to the reality of climate change, RBS is
behaving like a corporate fossil. By aggressively pursuing a policy that
squeezes the last drops of oil from the most sensitive and volatile regions on
earth, they are helping to send us all in the direction of the dinosaurs.”

The report exposes the degree to which just one part of UK plc is fuelling
climate change, and undermining efforts to reduce concentrations of carbon in
the atmosphere.

By financing vast oil and gas projects, RBS loans lead to carbon emissions
“embedded” in the activities of the fossil fuel sectors that tower above the
bank’s direct, publicly disclosed carbon emissions that stem from its building
use or business travel.
• The emissions embedded within RBS project finance to oil and gas
projects
reached 36.9 million tonnes in 2005, equivalent to those of a quarter of all UK
homes (6.2 million)
• Yet RBS reported 2005 emissions as only 318,000 tonnes in its
Corporate
Responsibility Report – less than one hundredth of the 36.9 million tonnes RBS
was responsible for through its financing of new oil and gas projects.
• Provisional figures for 2006 already show that RBS annual emissions
are
greater than Scotland’s. [3]

Mika Minio-Paluello of PLATFORM and the report’s lead author said "RBS-NatWest
is locking vast emissions into our collective future. By identifying itself as
“the Oil & Gas Bank”, RBS is brazenly embarking on a destructive binge with
potentially devastating consequences for the planet.”

Bronwen Thomas of national student network People & Planet said “Climate change
is a massive issue amongst students, as big as apartheid was in the 1980s.
Students are concerned that by opening NatWest accounts they will help push the
atmosphere past its tipping point. Soon the Oil & Gas Bank might find their
young customers switching to more climate-friendly alternatives.”

16 Mar 2007

Derek Wall takes on climate denier on David Frost Show

I am on with David Frost,aljazeera TV, arguing with climate denier Christopher Horner, tonight (if you are UK). ...I think at 6.30

Christopher Horner is one of the few 'deniers' who will still debate on TV apparently. He is slick, humourous and even has some good points, for example, I agree with him that Kyoto is too weak (but it is too weak cos of deniers like Chris, who make it difficult for policy makers to cut the emissions).

Emissions trading is something I must get back to discussing another day.

In text he is very US neo-con populists....climate change is a plot by anti-capitalists...European socialists (i.e Blair) trying to bring down the US economically.

In the flesh he is rather more convincing.....but it amounts to using the fact that climate science is complex as a way of grouping doubts to prove that nothing is happening.

I was please though to do this by video link, with the climate deniers flying less and doing stuff from a studio there is hope.

Be nice if Al Gore stopped flying.

Denier sounds strong but the Competitive Enterprise Institute who Chris works with took the Phillip Morris dollar and attacked passive smoking.

I read from the Economist (issue out today) that smoking is the biggest cause 140,000 a year just from lung cancer of death in the US....tobacco denial from libertarians helped build a mountain of skulls, so although it is good to get a contrarian view and fun to argue on tv, the real cost of the revisionists could be high.


Exxon have now cut their funding to the CEI

CEI are anti-Linux as well!

Why can't the 'free marketeers' work for freedom instead of cash from corporations?

I think we know why?

15 Mar 2007

Bengal Communist steal land from the peasants

Peasants reclaim land in Brazil, in India land is stolen from the people
Communism in West Bengal....is about power and 'growth'. Communism in West Bengal, I call it theft. The CP government are going ahead with land seizures from peasants to create an 'export processing zone' where cheap labour will service a giant petroleum plant.

This is enclosure.

Throughout history land is stolen, nature destroyed and ordinary people seperated from their means of life.

Resistance continues!

Read more here.

14 Mar 2007

EDM: WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENTAL REPRESENTATIVES

Well still shaking off the avian illnesses and quite busy. What should I put in my Green Party conference speech for nextweek? How should Brown by challenged on his budget? And all the usual dodgy internal politics you get not just in the green party but I guess in most institutions....dear oh dear, you all know who you are and will be named and shamed in due course!


Any way got sent this by my union the UCU, please support!

To members and likely supporters of UCU's 'sustainability network' :

1) The following EDM is being promoted in support of workplace environmental representatives. You may wish to encourage your MP to sign this. This is just one aim of UCU's 'sustainability network' .



1125
WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENTAL REPRESENTATIVES
13:3:07





John McDonnell


Mr Elliot Morley


Tony Lloyd


Colin Challen


Nia Griffith


Mark Lazarowicz





* 8





Mr Andrew Love
Mark Durkan





That this House notes the warnings set out in the Stern Report about the potential economic effects of climate change; strongly welcomes the fact that the Climate Change Bill will legislate to reduce carbon emissions by 60 per cent. by 2050; believes that trades unions and their 6.7 million members have a vital role to play in this task by working for best environmental practice in the workplace by negotiating sustainable workplace agreements with employers; notes that the Department of Trade and Industry is currently reviewing facilities and facility time for workplace representatives; and urges the Government to use this review to respond positively to the campaign for trade union environmental representatives to be given the same rights at work as other trade union representatives.




11 Mar 2007

I escaped from hospital and made my way to Question Time



I think Bernard Matthews has taken revenge for loss of sales over my BBC news bird flu comments, incidentally like all good capitalists when there is a down turn in sales he slashes the work force rather looking to an ethical alternative, did he inject me with the virus? Who else have I upset....come down the usual 429 suspects from the orthodox of Tibet to the green right to young liberals everywhere..

I have had the flu and struggled on but it has kept me from virtually all useful communications.

In fact this is me, I have escaped from hospital and I am making my way to do the Green Party Principal Speaker spot on Question Time on thursday, If you watched you will know that I got as far as the Lake District and didn't make it to the Newcastle venue.

Question Time, well Sian Berry was lucky enough to get this fantastic opportunity, you can see how she did here? (pod cast only for a couple of days so get in quick).




Seriously, the photo is from the great horror film about the flu '28 Days Later' which my teenage son Vince alerted me to, thanks son (don't watch it yourself until you are 18, the eye gouging bit is quite nasty! but i will get you the graphic novel if there is one).


Right lets do another line of asprins....those pacts of rubbish drugs for colds and flu are rubbish, with the death of patent you can buy asprin for 15p instead of the packet stuff with a bit of added caffeine and 'sunset yellow' for £2.94

8 Mar 2007

Greens will win North Down seat.

Brian Wilson GP 2,839 9.2% on first count, I predict first Green victory in Northern Ireland Assembly elections.

I have even canvassed in North Down for them last time around, less bracing than the Ballysillan Road full of dangerous dogs and nervous households....but for Peter Emerson who is a global peace visitor, this is home.

Even without a Wilson victory, the Green votes are stacking up nicely at present and bode well for gains in the South, Scotland and England as well as first success in Welsh Assembly

7 Mar 2007

The high cost of low prices

Wal-Mart contributed to 206 members of Congress who voted for the 2005 energy bill, one of the most harmful anti-environmental pieces of legislation in the past decade. The energy bill turned back the clock by weakening environmental laws and giving away billions in tax breaks and subsidies to oil, gas and coal companies. From


Derek Wall were sceptical about whether companies would ever really be part of the solution.

Well what I did say was that it was inappropriate to praise ASDA Wallmart, which Jeremy Leggett did for their zero carbon policy, that green politics was about justice not just the environment and that a company that pushed wages down for producers and steam rollers local economies, should not be seen as green.

The best movement was when Chris Huhne refused to rule out a moratorium on new runways, clearly the Liberal Democrats can be embarrassed into a stronger position.

For more on the Exxon meeting and how to fight corporate driven global warming click here.

Is Walmart green? Read here

6 Mar 2007

Just do it.

Click here for instant enlightenment (well....), just click here


Zen is essential.

sadly all this principal speaker stuff is cutting into my zazen. Perhaps I could organise an offset...this monday I got to argue with Chris Huhne MP...so I pay you to sit in meditation for me....the other week too busy for zazen cos of preparing for Hard Talk...now hard talk is zen but may be I could pay for a programme of Buddhist ethical advice aimed at teenages in Salford.

Zen Master Dogen said, "you and the streams
and the mountains are one and the same,"
you could read the fascinating article on Zen and ecology this is from but no I don't want you to read about Zen, Zen is doing.

Incidentally one of my muslim environmentalist friends told me that his Sufi order are in the tv series 'The Retreat'.....Sufism is of course strong on practice as well, so just do zen, if not join a sufi circle....but without getting into dualism, discrimination and instruction... don't read one of the hundreds of books on zen as a substitute.

Just think what a world we would have if economists did zen rather than econometrics...or as well as.

Npower criminalise protest

Granted in the high court by the Honourable Mr Justice Calvert-Smith, it forbids the people of a village in Oxfordshire from "coming to, remaining on, trespassing or conducting any demonstrations or protesting or other activities" on the claimant's land.

George Monbiot writes today in the Guardian about how Npower have used an injunction to criminalise protest against the dumping of waste in the beautiful Radley Lakes.

Interesting report on ITN News yesterday with film of Chinese farmers protesting against having their land stolen for development.

Free market economics spins its story as being about liberty and freedom from the big state, in reality it is based on theft, we call it 'enclosure'. Resistance to enclosure is what the politics of class struggle and environmental justice is about.

Incidentally you may have heard that there is a great push in the Green Party to enclose my position and go for a single leader.....as they say 'if voting changed anything....'

In opposition to hierarchy we erect hierarchy, in opposition to market failure and unsustainable growth, we extend the market.

So learn more about the politics of enclosure and the open source alternatives and tear up your Npower contract.

The essential text is whose common future....so good that Nicholas Hildyard had to leave the Ecologist shortly after.

3 Mar 2007

DEREK WALL CALLS FOR DIRECT ACTION AGAINST EXXON MOBIL

Green Party Principal Speaker to address Campaign Against Climate Change meeting

7pm, Monday 5th March, Room V111, Vernon Square Campus, off Kings Cross Rd

Dr. Wall will join Chris Huhne MP - Lib Dem Shadow Environment Minister, Jeremy Leggett - Author and Director of Solar Century, and others to debate the motion: "Is Exxon Mobil the World's worst climate criminal?"

In advance of the meeting Derek said: "Utah Phillips, the great labor organiser and advocate of direct action, once said 'The Earth isn’t dying, it's being murdered. And those who are doing it have names, addresses and faces.' "

"Exxon Mobil has been at the forefront of a massive lobbying effort by the fossil fuel industry around the world, but most especially in the US, to prevent international agreement on emissions reductions. The damage they have done in hindering action on climate change - the greatest threat the world faces - cannot be underestimated.

"I urge people to boycott Exxon, or Esso as they are known in the UK, and to come to the 24 hours of protest at Exxon HQ, happening from 5.00 pm on Thursday 5th April." (1)

"Direct action is a vital component of radical politics in a system where vested economics interests exercise so much power and the democratic deficit is so immense."

A staunch supporter of non-violent direct action, Dr wall's PHD was in direct action - 'the politics of Earth first UK.' His book 'Earth First and the Anti-Roads movement' looked at how non violent direct action defeated the roads menace in the 1990s.

Texan-based ExxonMobil (trading under the brand name 'Esso' in the UK) has been at the forefront of the massive lobbying effort by the fossil fuel industry in the US against US acceptance of Kyoto or any international agreement on emissions reductions. Other fossil fuel companies have played an important role - for instance Peabody Energy, the world's largest coal company, the role of which in the lobbying that pressured Bush into rejecting Kyoto in 2001 was well reported by BBC 2's 'Money Programme' (and see, for instance here ). But ExxonMobil has been much the most agressive and influential of all the US fossil fuel companies in the campaign that has been waged against Kyoto and to stop the US government placing any effective curbs on US emissions of greenhouse gases.

Exxon is the largest oil company in the world. It makes more than $ 1,000 a second, and last year made the biggest annual profits of any company ever - $ 36 billion. Exxon uses its incredible wealth to back Bush : 1.376 milion dollars in the 2000 election cycle, with 90% of its political donations going to the Republicans. (1)


ENDS

Notes for Editors:

More information on the debate, and the subsequent demo outside Exxon HQ can be found at: http://www.campaigncc.org/stopexxon.html


Green Party Press Office
020 7561 0282
http://www.greenparty.org.uk

Published and promoted by Jim Killock for the Green Party, both at
1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.

2 Mar 2007

Right wing wiki


Right wingers in the states have created http://www.conservapedia.com/Main_Page....saying wiki is too 'liberal'.....

it just looks like a rubbish version of the true open source goddess to me..but at least we have hooked them in.

Lets have a look at their world:

February 28
The Republican Party of the United States of America was organized on this day in 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin.
this the most recent date on the date bit!

Marx drew heavily on the ideas of the German philosopher Friedrich Engels. I suppose with the wiki system they will change this to Hegel.

Zen well the whole thing reads
A belief system which emphasizes awareness and "seeing deeply into the nature of things". It began in China and eventually spread to the rest of the world.

Zen Buddhism mixes Daoism with Buddhism.



lets try another search
Search results
From Conservapedia
You searched for homosexual

Jump to: navigation, search
There is no page titled "homosexual". You can create this page.

For more information about searching Conservapedia, see Searching Conservapedia.

Showing below 5 results starting with #1
.

what next a wiki just for say Scientologists....any way the wiki idea is pretty subversive so if we have conservatives seduced by it all to the good.

If I want some contra opinions I will look at my Economist sub....US conservatism just seems silly.

Reality has a well-known liberal bias. If people want want to live in a fantasy world they will come and edit this site.


This is a pr disaster, I mean everyone one I disagree with from 'neo-liberals' to fundamentalist Salifists has better spin doctors than these people.

Evolution....what do they say here:

"Fossil evidence of human evolutionary history is fragmentary and open to various interpretations. Fossil evidence of chimpanzee evolution is absent altogether". Henry Gee, “Return to the Planet of the Apes,” Nature, Vol. 412, 12 July 2001, p. 131.

For more quotes regarding the fossil record please see: Fossil record quotes

Evolution Violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Evolution does in fact lower the entropy of the sum of the living DNA on this planet. The mechanism used by evolution to lower entropy is the collection and storage of information about trait survivability on strands of molecules called DNA. The theory of Evolution says that this information collects naturally through non-random selection from offspring variation.


Hugo Chavez
From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hugo Chavez is the president of Venezuela. He was born on July 28, 1954. The young and intimidating Chavez is described as "Castro with money".
I dare say they will flesh this out...

1 Mar 2007

Did David Cameron kill Bambi's mum?

I bumped into to George Osbourne at the first of this year's Reith lectures (Jeffery Sachs) yesterday...I should have asked him if David had killed Bambi's mum?

Cameron is said to be a keen deer stalker who takes family holidays on a Scottish Island, teeming with wildlife, that he kills! Well deer anyway.

He is also said to be pro-fox hunting, During last year's Conservative leadership contest, Mr Cameron, who has foxhunted in the past, told one pro-hunting Tory MP: 'You must vote for me because I am the only candidate to have hunted with two mounted packs.' More here

Seems like fun for the well off rather than an ecologically motivated hobby to me.

A Green leader?

Did anyone from Greenpeace or Earth First! ever imagine that the world’s first environmental president would come from Venezuela? Many Greens might find such an idea ludicrous considering that the South American nation is one of the largest oil producing countries in the world and a major resource for heavy mineral and coal mining.

A solid article from Eva...Chavez has certainly been keen to tell me of his green concerns and wish to promote Green Party ideas.