Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekly Links 17/11/2008

The waiting is over! Two long awaited drama serials are set to start on terrestrial TV in Britain this week - the remake of Terry Nation's seminal apocalyptic series Survivors, which I have blogged on before, and the English Civil War story The Devil's Whore by the man who created the brilliant Our Friends In the North.
The BBC is due to air its first episode of Survivors on Sunday 23rd November.
Channel 4 air the first episode of The Devil's Whore on Wednesday 19th November.
Here is a topical (see later) piece by Ronan Bennett on The Devils Whore.

I am very excited by both of these series and will report back in due course, along with posting more links on both.

British Republicanism
Graham Smith, of Republic returns to the fray at the Guardian Comment is Free site this week after a Republican article by him last week got a massive response, pro and anti.

"You may have seen reports that prince Charles wishes to become an activist-King. Not content with meddling in political debates and haranguing ministers as heir to the throne, he craves power and influence at the highest level, but wants to be spared the inconvenience of an election. In the article I argue that a politically active King would be tantamount to winding the clocks back on centuries of gradual democratic reform. The only answer of course is the abolition of the monarchy and the creation of a democratic alternative."

Graham blogs here.

Workers and Unions
This is from Eric Lee at Labourstart -
I doubt if many of you regularly buy leather goods sold by Prada, Louis Vuitton, Mulberry and Nicole Farhi. These are luxury brands, priced too high for ordinary working people like us.

But the people who make those products are often low-paid, non-union workers. When those workers stand up and fight for their rights, it's our responsibility to stand with them.

Earlier this year, hundreds of workers at the Turkish leather manufacturer DESA -- which produces for all the luxury brands mentioned above -- joined a union. The reaction of the company was fierce: 44 union members were sacked, and 50 more compelled to quit the union.

Nevertheless, the workers have stood firm, holding daily protests outside the factory. Local police have been called in to arrest them, and bribes offered to union leaders to call off the demonstrations.
Families have been threatened.

Workers at DESA need a union urgently. They complain of poverty wages, long hours and terrible health and safety conditions.

Please take a moment to send off a message to DESA's customers -- the luxury fashion brands -- telling them that you support the DESA workers in their struggle:

Tell them that a union is right, not a luxury.

Thanks - and spread the word!

Eric Lee

Green Politics
The German Green Party, much reduced after its years of historic compromise has elected a new broom as co-leader.

This from the BBC -
The first ethnic Turkish head of a German political party has dismissed any comparisons between himself and US President-elect Barack Obama.

Cem Ozdemir, who was elected co-leader of the Green Party at the weekend, told Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper such comparisons were "inappropriate".

Closer to home, the Green Party Trade Union Group's latest bulletin is now out.

Lefty Politics
For us lefty trainspotter types, there are some interesting, dare I say even slightly original (if still mainly plagiaristic)new boys on the block of lefty politics these days - for example the International Luxemburgist Network and in Britain The Commune, Group of International Communists who put a libertarian socialist motion to the recent Labour Representation Committee conference -

Social Ownership and Workers Self-Management

After years of being told 'There is No Alternative', the crisis of global capital has shown that the entire system can be brought into question. Furthermore the widespread state intervention to preserve finance capital has brought into question previously conceived ideas of nationalisation and "public ownership" traditionally accepted in the labour movement.

As part of developing a vision of a viable alternative to capitalism our movement needs to develop new ideas of social ownership and abandon statist conceptions which have proven to be an historical failure.

1. State ownership, no matter what pseudonym it goes under is not social ownership. They are in fact two counter-posed things: one cannot equate the state with society.

2. The state is not a neutral force concerned only with the welfare of society and possessing the ability and the means to take measures suited to this end. The state
is not a vehicle to achieve 'socialism' and cannot be relied upon to act as a protective shield against capital.

The capitalist system, whether in its private or state forms of appearance, does not and cannot work in the interest of the majority. It is an unjust system, an economic tyranny where the rulers at all levels make the crucial economic decisions that affect our lives, solely on the basis of what will increase their profits and promote their interests. The Labour Representation Committee considers that the people who should have the deciding voice on the economy and its problems are the people most directly connected with it, the workers who produce the goods and services.

As such the Labour Representation Committee sets as it goal a system of genuine social ownership, organised on the basis of workers' self-management, a system of participatory democracy based on the sovereignty of those who produce the goods and services in society.

Conference recognises that if we are to realise the slogan 'another world is possible' workers' self-management is a necessity in the creation of a new cooperative society based on common, social ownership. Workers' self-management is not something which can be proclaimed or enacted from above, nor is there a blueprint. It requires a process of social self-organisation and creativity from below.

The publication of Building a new common sense, Social Ownership in the 21st Century is a welcome initiative in helping rejuvenate discussion of these issues in the movement.

Conference agrees:

1. To hold a series of forums and conferences on the question of social ownership and workers' self-management, with LEAP and fraternal organisations.

2. To publish a series of pamphlets on making the case for social ownership and workers' self-management, drawing on historical, international and contemporary experiences of the working class.

3. To develop with affiliated trades unions the case for workers' self-management in specific industries.

4. From these discussions and debates to take forward a campaign for workers' selfmanagement and social ownership

Interesting blogging here on the situation in Iceland.

Some updates from my blog on Saturday re



The Paris Demo

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At 9:40 pm, Blogger Matt Sellwood said...

Mr Greenman Esq,

You might be interested to know that I am childhood friends with one of the actresses in the new Survivors. So I hope you enjoy it!


At 7:19 pm, Blogger greenman said...

Hi Matt, how are you?
I have added your new blog to my links.

At 1:05 am, Blogger Matt Sellwood said...

Not doing badly at all, thanks. Getting stuck into re-electing Jean in London.... :)



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