Info, news & debate

03/2016 posts

Come to the ‘How to do it’ gathering next weekend to talk about system change – full programme and timetable

Roger Hallam of How to Do It | 31-Mar-2016 | 0

We blogged in January about the ‘How to do it’ conference about grassroots change that’s happening next weekend in London. There are still places available – book your free ticket here. Read more

Where does money really come from? (erratum: there is no fractional reserve system in the UK)

Dave Darby of | 29-Mar-2016 | 5

There is a simple conception of the banking system – that banks look after money for savers, and pay them interest. They then loan out that money to other people and charge them a slightly higher rate of interest, and that’s where they make their profit. Read more

Should the TV licence fee be scrapped?

Dave Darby of | 26-Mar-2016 | 4

It’s a tricky one. The argument for the licence fee (and one that I used to subscribe to until I watched the Panorama corporate propaganda piece – see below) is that the Beeb produces drama of a quality not found anywhere else. Read more

Ageing: rejecting cosmetic surgery and embracing the crone

When I sit in a coffee shop people-watching other older women, I am often drawn to two main types. First there is the older woman keen to retain an image of youth to whom ageing successfully is to be seen to be as young as possible for as long as possible by whatever means.  Read more

More on the EU referendum from a low-impact perspective: is another Europe possible?

Is the European Union an empty vessel into which any political content may be poured? Can it accommodate not just neoliberal conservatism but also Keynesian social democracy, hard-line greenery and even pro-nationalisation democratic socialism? Read more

Installing a horizontal-flow reedbed

This week we undertook the building of a ‘proper’ horizontal flow reedbed. Our existing little ones were a hastily built, stopgap measure that we installed when we got here, and it was time to do things correctly. Read more

Thinking of starting a community enterprise? Win a free place on a three-day workshop

Our friend Jonathan at Stir to Action (incorporating STIR Magazine) is hosting a three-day workshop for people who are interested in starting a community enterprise, rather than joining the corporate rat-race. He’s offering one place on this workshop for free Read more

The EU referendum from a low-impact perspective

Dave Darby of | 13-Mar-2016 | 6

We’ve got a referendum coming up in June that Cameron didn’t want, but was forced to promise at a time when it looked as though votes lost to UKIP might have cost him the election. His arguments now are largely based on the number of jobs that could be lost if we leave. Read more

The environmental damage caused by flail cutting of hedgerows, and what can be done about it

Hugh Barker of Hedge Britannia | 12-Mar-2016 | 10

One of the most damaging post-war developments in hedgerow preservation was the increase in mechanised cutting of hedges, in particular using the flail. Read more

Review of Ralph Ibbott’s book ‘Ujamaa: the hidden story of Tanzania’s socialist villages’ and how I was lied to in Tanzania

Dave Darby of | 10-Mar-2016 | 4

I have a special interest in this book. As a young man in the 1980s I’d read Julius Nyerere’s Ujamaa (Swahili for “togetherness”, “unity” or “familyhood”). I was inspired by his vision of a co-operative, non-hierarchical society based on sustainable villages Read more

Home-made biogas anaerobic digester

Dave Darby of | 08-Mar-2016 | 11

Thought you might like this. Just came across an old photo of a simple biogas digester built by co-founder Phil when we were based at Redfield Community in Buckinghamshire. Read more

Artists against TTIP, and how the new ICS differs from ISDS (spoiler – not much)

Linda Kaucher of Stop TTIP | 03-Mar-2016 | 3

‘Corporate interests have got to stop coming first’ – well said, Juliet Stevenson. A group of artists including actors Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott and Juliet Stevenson and designer Vivienne Westwood are fronting a campaign ( to raise public awareness of the trade deal TTIP Read more

Is it a good idea to recruit (in N America and Europe) for sustainable living apprenticeships in Peru?

Dave Darby of | 01-Mar-2016 | 8

We’ve just been approached by someone running ‘sustainable living apprenticeships’ in Peru, asking if there’s anywhere to promote them on our site. This sort of thing happens all the time, by the way – yoga retreats in India, conferences in Malaysia, meditation on Greek islands etc. Read more

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