Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Green Surge!

This is an exciting time to be a member of the Greens in the UK.  Starting with the upsurge in political debate around the Scottish Referendum this summer and leading into autumn and the major parties' panic over the rise of UKIP there has been a marked surge in Green Party membership and support on both sides of the border.

This has been recently assisted by the massively supported online campaign for Greens to be represented in forthcoming UK election debates on TV and radio.  The desire of the Tories and Labour to ape UKIP (to - so far unsuccessfully - win over some of their support) and the continuing decline of the Lib Dems as the coalition "mudguard" have played a part in this.  Another factor is the increasing move amongst left of centre younger people to see the Greens as a viable expression of many of their progresssive and egalitarian views.  The unfortunate floundering of the "Left Unity" project (sadly locally now tagged "Left Disunity" due to ongoing quarrels) has led some towards, or back towards, the Greens as a relatively well established and internally democratic option  that can actually have some success in local politics.  It is my opinion that Leninism is a long term brake on the development of left and progressive politics in the UK and all projects that allow Leninists of whatever stripe to take a dominant role are doomed to failure.  The Greens do not have this baggage and the main left currents in the Greens are eco-socialist and libertarian socialist - currents that are far more in tune with the online, connected and eclectic activist world of today than the centralism and sectarianism of UK Leninists.

Whilst problems remain in the Greens in England and Wales (lack of political education, a shoestring organisational budget, off message councillors and the odd careerist,  and some infuriating administrative and financial communication barriers would be my personal bugbears) the Party remains the best short term option for anyone wishing to make a noticeable impact on British politics and create a space for dissemination and discussion of ideas outside the neo-liberal consensus.

The Greens face a major struggle to keep Caroline Lucas MP in Parliament (largely due to Labour now openly targeting the Greens for "elimination" - perhaps resenting us as an unwelcome reminder of the Labour Party's increasing inadequacy as a Party of the Left - and also some of the aforementioned "off message councillors"in Brighton).  But it should be possible to retain her seat and possibly even gain more next year if the current momentum can be maintained or improved upon, and particularly if we can get Natalie and/or Caroline onto televised and radio debates.

Austerity, fracking, attacks on civil liberties and sucking up to corporate and financial interests remain very unpopular despite the efforts of all the recent "governmental" parties to support them.  The reservoir of Green support is there for tapping into and articulating.  A key aim should be to strengthen all the movements fighting these things regardless of the election result next year.  So the Greens can play a key role in both building the fightback and putting forward positive alternatives.   Come and join us....

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Support the People's March For The NHS

Support The People's March for the NHS

The march leaves Jarrow on 16th August and Arrives in London on 6th September - more information here -

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

June 21st Anti Austerity Demonstration

Join the Saturday 21st June Anti Austerity Demonstration and Festival organised by the People's Assembly:

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Monday, March 24, 2014


* A dangerous new treaty is on the way between the EU and the USA. It's called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

* It may make it impossible to re-nationalise any public service that's been sold off or contracted out - like the railways or bits of the NHS!

* It will let companies sue governments about almost any policy that's against the company's interest

* It may threaten environmental regulations, safety rules, and workers' rights

* It's being talked through in secret. The European Commission promised a public consultation period in March

* Similar treaties have got some governments (e.g. Equador) big fines even for trying to get a company to pay its taxes properly

More information and debate on the site of the Green group in the European
Parliament at

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Monday, December 09, 2013

Green Left Statement on Local Authority Cuts

Green Left Statement on Cuts to Local Authority Services
The following statement was agreed and issued by Green Left, the ecosocialist platform in the Green Party of England and Wales, on 8th December 2013:
The Green party of England and Wales fought the 2010 general election in opposition to the savage public service cuts supported by the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. The Green party offered a different approach to reducing the country’s debts, which included making the wealthy (people and corporations) pay their fair share of tax, investing in the economy to produce sustainable growth through the Green New Deal, some cuts for example to Trident and pledging to protect public services particularly for the most vulnerable in our society.
Unfortunately, we did not win the general election and so are unable to put these policies into practice, although Caroline Lucas has almost single handedly taken the opposition to the Coalition government cuts agenda. The ideologically driven shrink the state policies of the Coalition government aim to reduce public spending and turn most of the public services over to private corporations. Our elected representatives in local government are on the front line in the assault on public spending, with local authorities having their funding from central government cut by around a third since 2010. Councils of all political stripes are hurting and they worry about whether they will even be able to fund their statutory duties in the future. Local government is under serious threat and everyone involved in it knows this to be true, despite the blithe statements about local authorities making efficiency savings and encouraging local business growth to pay for services, trumpeted by the Coalition central government. All the easy savings and many not so easy have been made now, and a future of even more of the same is daunting.
We in Green Left say enough is enough, and call on all of our existing elected Green party local councillors and any that are elected in the 2014 local elections, to firmly refuse to implement these Coalition government cuts to essential public services. If the government sends civil servants to carry out their dirty work then the responsibility for the cuts will be firmly in the public view, and our elected representatives can be in the forefront of a popular campaign against them. The time has surely come to make a stand, in solidarity with our communities that depend so heavily on the services provided and with the local authority workforce who have endured cuts in wages if not redundancy.

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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Land of Opportunity?

David Cameron thinks that the Tory-led government are creating "a land of opportunity". 

In a sense he is right, they are creating a land of opportunity for loan sharks, exploitative bosses, union bashers, immigrant haters, spittle flecked tabloid ranters, divisive fundamentalist "faith schools", badger killers, environment-wrecking Frackers, Rachmanite landlords, joke "training" schemes for the unemployed, free labour for corporations, US Healthcare corps salivating at rich pickings from the corpse of the NHS, principle-free careerist politicians on the make and far right demagogues. A land with the opportunity for ordinary people to experience poverty, exploitation, prejudice, all-seeing surveillance and political betrayal. 

Some land of opportunity!

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Centenary of the First International Syndicalist Congress

100 years ago this week there took place in London the first International Syndicalist Congress, this came in part as an initiative of the Industrial Syndicalist Education League of Tom Mann, Guy Bowman and others who held a significant conference in Manchester three years earlier...It is interesting that on this anniversary weekend of an event that had so much promise, and that have might have led to great things had not the First World War intervened, the Unions in Britain are supporting a major demonstration in Manchester outside the Tory conference.  If workers wish to rebuild organisation and take the fight to the enemy in the era of zero hours contracts, exploitative agencies, workfare, poverty pay and food banks, they could do worse than look to the example of the industrial unionists and syndicalists of 100 years ago.  Reading facsimiles of Tom Mann's Industrial Syndicalist bulletin of that period, and the famous Tressell novel The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists that also grew out of early Twentieth Century social conditions the relevance to today is clear.

"The First International Syndicalist Congress was a meeting of European and Latin American syndicalist organizations at Holborn Town Hall in London from September 27 to October 2, 1913. Upon a proposal by the Dutch National Labor Secretariat (NAS) and the British Industrial Syndicalist Education League (ISEL), most European syndicalist groups, both trade unions and advocacy groups, agreed to congregate at a meeting in London. The only exception was the biggest syndicalist organization worldwide, the French General Confederation of Labor (CGT). Nevertheless, the congress was held with organizations from twelve countries participating. It was marked by heated debate and constant disagreements over both tactics and principles. Yet, it succeeded in creating the International Syndicalist Information Bureau as a vehicle of exchange and solidarity between the various organizations and the Bulletin international du mouvement syndicaliste as a means of communication. It would be viewed as a success by almost all who participated."

More here
and here

The leading and growing advocates of radical Industrial Unionism in Britain today are the Industrial Workers Of The World  who will be represented on this Sunday's demonstration.  The current IWW pursue a strategy both inside and outside the existing TUC unions.

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