Tribute to my friend Martin, who died yesterday
My friend Martin died yesterday. I drink at his bar – the Little Bar – and dance. I danced with my partner there many times. He put music on, people danced – and sat and talked. Everyone talked to each other. He sold beer made in a brewery on an industrial estate up the road Read more
Braziers Park community wants to set up a university completely independent from the corporate sector, and you can get involved
‘When a university becomes a business the whole of student life is transformed. When a university is more concerned with its image, its marketability and the ‘added value’ of its degrees, the student is no longer a student – they become a commodity and education becomes a service.’ Read more
The elephant in the room that will be present at all pre-election debates
Last night I attended an event organised by our local Transition group, Transition Town Tooting, where local people were able to meet and chat to parliamentary candidates for the upcoming general election. Read more
Mark Lynas thinks that corporate capitalism can solve climate change – that’s like burning your house down to keep warm
Oh do beware someone who comes before you and claims to be the voice of reason. Mark Lynas does exactly that in this morning’s Guardian and it doesn’t wash. His argument is barely an argument at all, more like a sort of faux man-in-the-street flimflam. Beware. Read more
Here’s our new ‘manifesto’. We’d be interested in your feedback
Our manifesto We now know that the richest 1% of the world own the same amount of wealth as the other 99%. But it’s worse than that. Read more
Why Adam Smith, father of capitalism, would have hated neoliberalism
1776 was a very good year. The US declared independence and Adam Smith wrote the Wealth of Nations. Both of these events helped mark the transition to a new world; both have contributed enormously to human freedom, and have therefore been claimed by neoliberals as their own. Read more
What is human nature? Are we really a horrible species?
When discussing war, exploitation, wealth disparities, violence and the apparently uncaring nature of society, a common response is: ‘well, that’s human nature for you’. Is it? Really? Are we that bad? Are we inherently, intrinsically, irredeemably horrible? Read more
Do you consider yourself left-wing or right-wing, and does it matter any more?
Do you label yourself ‘left’ or ‘right’, or somewhere in the middle? Do you think the Labour party in the UK or the Democrats in the US, are left-wing parties? Or do you have only a vague idea about what those labels mean? Read more
It’s not possible to demonise people any more, in the age of the internet
Western populations have to kept in a state of fear, so that weapons corporations can continue to make huge profits. People of America – this is your latest enemy: Read more
Could you explain Mercantilism, if you were asked?
If you were asked, could you describe Mercantilism? I dare say you could have a good go at Capitalism and Feudalism. But Mercantilism? And is it worth finding out? I think it is, because it tells us a lot about the system we live under now Read more
‘Breaking the Frame’ gathering & volunteer opportunity
Here’s some information on a great gathering happening in Derbyshire in May, and see below for an interesting volunteer opportunity in London to assist in organising the event. Over to David. Read more
This is how ‘development’ works – from a low-impact perspective & as reported in the corporate press
This is how ‘development’ works. NB: you can substitute any rich country for Germany, and any poor country for Zambia. In the boardroom of a global corporation in Germany, the following conversation takes place: Read more
Is there such a thing as progress?
Here’s a blog I recently came across, by the ‘Archdruid’ – his argument is that the concept of ‘progress’ is now defunct and that science is just another story – a myth amongst many others that attempt to explain the universe. Read more
Review of ‘Why Marx Was Right’ by Terry Eagleton
Review of Why Marx Was Right, by Terry Eagleton. Yes, we’re all looking for alternatives to capitalism – it destroys democracy, it eats nature and it’s vacuous – but you don’t have to have read any philosophy or economics Read more
Everything is one: a blackbird told me
I’m writing this listening to a blackbird singing. Short bursts of song, a different tune every time. The blackbird occasionally drops down to the lawn, pecks around, pulls out a worm and flies off to eat it. Read more
Mrs Thatcher was not ‘evil’ – she did what was necessary for Britain to succeed in a game that is utterly wrong
On the day of Mrs Thatcher’s funeral she will receive many plaudits and much abuse. I don’t think that there is any merit in rejoicing in the death of a woman who believed that she was doing the right thing Read more
Review of Roger Scruton’s Green Philosophy
Roger Scruton is probably the nation’s most famous right-wing philosopher. So you might find it surprising that as a director of an environmental organisation, I found a lot to agree with in this book. Read more
Who says green/spiritual/progressive ideas aren’t represented in the mainstream?
When we complain that green/spiritual/progressive ideas are not represented in the mainstream, let me tell you about the Jonathan Ross show on Saturday night (and you can’t get any more mainstream than that – it’s the epicentre of mainstream). Read more