Showing posts from February, 2012

This plant will kill you, this idea will maim you....

I am thinking about culture and the commons, feedback welcome.
Culture is a vast, complex and shifting area of discussion, it is easier perhaps to ignore and any attempt to deal with it are likely to be incomplete at best.  Even defining the term 'culture' is difficult, indeed the literary theorist Terry Eagleton notes it, ‘is said to be one of the two or three most complex words in the English language’ (Eagleton 2000: 1).  In this context 'culture' deals with the beliefs and practices relating to the management and meaning of the commons.  However the writer and activist David Korten has developed a useful description, arguing: Culture is the system of beliefs, values, perceptions, and social relations that encodes the shared learning of a particular human group essential to individual survival and orderly social function. It serves as the interpretive lens through which the human brain processes the massive flow of data from our senses to distinguish the significant f…

Occupy discussion at Green Party Conference

I am introducing a fringe session at Green Party Conference in Liverpool at 5pm on saturday to discuss how we can learn from and support the occupy movement.

Do come along if you are at conference and join the conversation.

Derek Wall discusses commons and resistance to enclosure

From my meeting on monday....

Labour vote with Tories to defeat Brighton Green Party

So Labour have united with the Tories to vote down the Greens budget in Brighton, no doubt all part of Miliband's pro-cuts policy.
Labour need to stop uniting with the Tories.  Where Labour works for the British people all to the good but when they work for neo-liberal policies and priorities they must be opposed.

Its all to the good when Labour figures like Ken Livingstone work with the Green Party. 

We need to build the left and oppose the destruction of the welfare state in the UK.
Its not my party right or wrong, its about building for real change.
I hope Labour reverse their support for the Tories in Brighton.
Red-Green is better than Blue Labour!

Speaking at doomed Willesden Green Library tomorrow

I am speaking at Willesden Green Library tomorrow, I am sad though that library is to be demolished, this seems to be the reality in Britain today, a symbol of a wider assault on culture.

Economics lecturer, writer and Green party activist, Derek Wall will be at the Willesden Green Library Centre on Monday 20th February at 7.30pm to talk about his book, the “No-Nonsense Guide to Green Politics” and a book he is currently completing on the history of the commons.This event is the fourth in a series of “Environmental Writers” meetings at the Willesden Green Library Centre, where authors read from their books with environmental themes and discuss them with the audience. The series is organised by the Brent Campaign against Climate Change in liaison with the Brent Library Service.Derek Wall is an economics lecturer and writer. He has been a member of the Green Party since 1980 and was Green Party Principal Speaker from 2006 to 2007. Derek is a founder of the Ecosocialist International and…

'If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers"

Questions for good ancestors is something I am working on feedback welcome!

the enclosure of the common more than to any other cause may be traced all the changes that have subsequently passed over the village. It was like knocking the keystone out of an arch. The keystone is not the arch; but, once it is gone, all sorts of forces, previously resisted, begin to operate towards ruin, and gradually the whole structure crumbles down. This fairly illustrates what has happened to the village, in consequence of the loss of the common. (Sturt 2010: 130)
By the “common” we mean, first of all, the common wealth of the material world – the air, the water, the fruits of the soil, and all nature’s bounty – which in classic European political texts is often claimed to be the inheritance of the humanity as a whole, to be shared together. We consider the commons also, and more significantly those results of social production that are necessary for social interaction and further production, such as kn…

Two events in Durham

Come along to the People's Bookshop to meet Derek Wall, eco socialist, writer and activist. It will be an informal gathering and a chance to quiz Derek about his latest book, 'The Rise of the Green Left' as well as discuss the future of green- left collaboration. Derek will be talking on 'Indigenous People and the Global Fight for Climate Justice' at Durham University in the evening (7.30, Elvet Riverside) and this is a not-to-be-missed be opportunity to nab him before, get a book or two signed and chew the fat with one of the foremost Green activists in the country.
I am book signing and drinking fair trade tea at the People's Bookshop, 69 Saddler Street, Durham tomorrow, 13th Feb from 4pm
And then on to Durham University to discuss 'indigenous and sustainability' with the Green Society.

Discussions may well continue in the pub after.

Catch some of yo…

Lords could save squatting!

The artist Antony Gormley put forward a passionate defence of squattingat the launch of an exhibition in aid of the homeless on Tuesday morning.
Gormley, famous for his humanoid sculptures, notably the Angel of the North in Gateshead, said: "I'm very against the criminalisation of squatting – I think it's absolutely criminal that many inner city properties are empty.
"Squatting is a very good way of preserving properties while at the same time putting them to good use. It's a no-brainer that properties that are awaiting renovation or don't have commercial tenants can be of use for creative things, and indeed to provide shelter for the homeless."

Keeping property empty means that people go homeless.

Squatting of residential homes where people live, is of course, already illegal.

The Condems have worked up hysteria with the result that people will go on the streets and protest occupations could be made illegal.

Do lobby the Lords who will debate this on…

Vote Leanne Wood! Pleidleisiwch Leanne Wood

Leanne Wood would like Caroline Lucas and Salma Yaqoob count as a third brilliant women leader prepared to work for a green-left agenda.  I would urge all Plaid members to vote for her.

Hopefully the Green Party which works with Plaid as part of the same group in the European Parliament could work constructively to help put forward a joint agenda from anti-cuts to anti-war to pro-Welsh and environmental policies.

Mark Serwotka leader of the PCS union has like me endorse Leanne

Her leadership facebook page is here, go on give it a like.

Here is Leanne's pitch for leader from Red Pepper:

Our party has much of which it can be proud, including standing firm against Trident and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, delivering more devolved powers for Wales and providing an  alternative to the privatisation agenda. 
However, we still have much to do. I believe the time has now come to build the case for independence - not for its own sake, but in order to break the cycle of poverty and a weak eco…