Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chris Hedges on The BP Oil Disaster

The continuingly interesting and intelligent writer and observer Chris Hedges has written a very good article for Truth Dig entitled BP and The Little Eichmanns

The corporations, and those who run them, consume, pollute, oppress and kill. The little Eichmanns who manage them reside in a parallel universe of staggering wealth, luxury and splendid isolation that rivals that of the closed court of Versailles. The elite, sheltered and enriched, continue to prosper even as the rest of us and the natural world start to die. They are numb. They will drain the last drop of profit from us until there is nothing left. And our business schools and elite universities churn out tens of thousands of these deaf, dumb and blind systems managers who are endowed with sophisticated skills of management and the incapacity for common sense, compassion or remorse. These technocrats mistake the art of manipulation with knowledge.

More Here

Hedges also quotes The Great Transformation by Karl Polanyi - a work that speaks to us across the years about the neo-liberal nightmare we find ourselves living in the later stages of, and points out some of the exit routes.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Green MP on Queen's Speech

Green Party leader’s comment on the Queen’s Speech

“It’s a pack of half-hearted measures” says UK’s first Green MP

Caroline Lucas MP, the first Green MP in the UK parliament, commented this afternoon:
“It’s a pack of half-hearted measures. For example they talk about far-reaching political reforms, but all they’re offering is a referendum on AV, which would go nowhere near far enough."

“There are warm words on climate change and energy efficiency, but no real detail. We need to see genuine commitment to serious targets and to the investment needed to meet those targets."

“Even worse, the fact that this comes the day after we’ve heard of budget cuts to public transport suggests the joined-up thinking isn’t there."

“The Green Party welcomes the scrapping of ID cards, but we would also like to have seen action on the use of control orders.”

Today Channel 4 published the “Green Queen’s Speech” – an alternative Queen’s Speech prepared by Caroline Lucas MP to show what a Green government would prioritise.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Caroline Lucas - Magnificent On "Any Questions?"

Caroline Lucas, Leader of the Green Party and newly elected MP for the Brighton Pavilion constituency was on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions? this week with Douglas Hurd, Simon Hughes and Roy Hattersley. Caroline came over brilliantly, was cheered to the rafters by the audience and was praised by the other guests. She also clearly got over the Green Party's radical left of centre position and how it contrasts very strongly with the big three and their shoddy compromises.
BBC Iplayer recording here
I hope Party Office have a got a good supply of new members' packs in !

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Trident Replacement?

We have yet to hear, but I guess we might hear very little now from the Lib Dems in coalition government about opposition to Trident replacement. Their policy was a little like their Iraq war policy in any case (They opposed the war until it started , then "supported our boys", whilst loudly trumpeting at subsequent elections that they had been the "anti-war party". For Lib Dems anti-war presumably means until it starts then.) They said they were anti- Trident replacement, to win the anti-nuclear and peace vote and to be seen to be making savings, whilst quietly saying that they were really interested in a "cheaper alternative". So that is alright then - Lib Dems are only in favour of cheap weapons of mass destruction.
Nevertheless, the Lib Dems policy in the election campaign (presumably now quietly dropped) launched a lot of anguished shrieking about "deterrence" in a world of dangers from the big two establishment parties and the establishment media.
I had this thought the other day about the so called "Deterrence" argument.
The argument for deterrence implies that your potential enemies must be convinced that if attacked, your country will respond with devastating nuclear force. However, anyone who would launch a nuclear attack potentially killing and maiming millions of people would be by definition a war criminal and by implication a genocidal maniac and sociopath. So an ememy must be convinced that your defence is in the hands of genocidal maniacs. And the only way you could really convince their intelligence services of this would be to have people in post who were indistinguishable from such maniacs - such that *no-one* could tell whether they were or not. Otherwise deterrence would not be credible. So in effect, deterrence means handing over your defence to genocidal maniacs - the sort of people who might launch a nuclear attack in any number of circumstances! I do not think most people realise this implication and think this would be a very scary realisation for most people, if they really thought about it.
(Although of course, the British Independent Nuclear "Deterrent" is neither fully British, Independent or a Deterrent - how do you deter suicidal terrorists?)
With the importance the British establishment places on "British" nuclear weapons, one wonders how most of the countries of the world can live from day to day, being in constant fear of nuclear attack or blackmail as they must be, "unprotected" by "their own" nukes? Or then again, perhaps they are not in constant fear, save a lot of money and do not live with expensive and redundant Imperial hangups.......

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

The new political landscape

This is written shortly after the final non-postponed result from the British general election came through, so is a first response, things may change and develop over the next days and weeks.

The Green Party of England and Wales have made a truly historic breakthrough. On a night where all left and progressive forces suffered dramatic setbacks and most minor parties of any complexion failed to make much progress, GPEW saw the election of the first Green MP - Caroline Lucas, the new MP for Brighton Pavilion. I pay tribute to the hard work and determination of Caroline and my fellow Greens in achieving this. We were forced by the unfair electoral system to focus massively on just three seats. The relatively poor results of many of the other Green candidates are probably related to this (along with "Cleggmania", tactical voting and the higher turnout for the main parties). Nevertheless, it paid off and the Green Party now has an unprecedented platform for growth and political advance as well as Caroline having the opportunity to offer real help to the people of Brighton.

Another reason for celebration on the night was the wreck of the hopes of the fascists in Barking and Dagenham - not only failing to take a seat, but losing all their council seats in the concurrent local election as well!
The broader picture is still uncertain, (though we can be certain that whichever combination of the establishment parties takes power, we - the ordinary working people, students, disabled, pensioners etc are going to be asked to pay for the banker's and governments errors and greed). But the hung parliament situation opens up a vista of opportunities and threats.

There is the potential, perhaps, for the rise of a broad based movement to demand political change encompassing at the very least electoral reform and an elected second chamber. We will see over the coming days whether existing large internet based campaigns can begin to be translated into street protest.

The position of the Liberal Democrats means that they are asked to bring about electoral reform or suffer the consequences - whoever they ally with, the exposed and compromised position this will put them in may lead to them getting battered at the next election (that may be sooner rather than later). Any alliance with the Tories will be a great driver of Lib Dem voters and supporters into the arms of the Greens, the Welsh and Scottish Parties and/or Labour. An alliance with Labour will likely split off part of the Lib Dems' suppport to the right.

Meanwhile the international sovereign debt crisis rumbles on accompanied by calls from various representatives of the global elite for governments to make the workers pay. The most extreme example of this is currently in Greece. The resolution and even trajectory of that conflict remains in the balance.

Those on the green and progressive left in Britain must keep their wits about them and seek to rally all the defensive potential of workplace and community organisations - unions and associations - for the inevitable coming stuggles. In comparable situations in the 1970s there was significant risk of covert or even overt action by the secret state and more extreme elements of the ruling class (the Wilson plot, private armies etc etc) Though the risk of this may be less in the absence of them facing or fearing any comparable major organised threats from the left or workers organisation, we still need to be on our guard and remember that in mobilising and organising for the inevitably necessary defence of jobs, services and pensions we are also drawing together those forms and forces (trades councils, workplace organisation, local networks) that will be essential defensive and offensive bodies if elements of the ruling class begin to reach for more repressive and "permanent" solutions to the problems of their system. We do not know how severe the economic crisis may become and into what startegies and tactics this may drive some of those who seek to maintain or build their power over the rest of us.

In the short term we must give practical solidarity to those workers and others already moving into dispute and conflict with the employers and the state.

Good luck to that small band of radicals and progressives that have managed to get elected to Parliament - Caroline Lucas, John McDonnell and a few others - let us hope they can cooperate to give a Parliamentary voice to the opposition to the neo-liberal consensus on who is going to be made to pay for the crisis and the best ways to approach the Climate Emergency.

There is much work to be done!

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Where You Can Vote Green This Week!

South West Region (Green Party of England and Wales)
Bath Eric Lucas
Bridgwater and West Somerset Charles Graham
Bristol East Glenn Vowles
Bristol North West Alex Dunn
Bristol South Cllr. Charlie Bolton
Bristol West Ricky Knight
Camborne and Redruth Euan McPhee
Central Devon Colin Matthews
Chippenham Samantha Fletcher
Devizes Mark Fletcher
East Devon Sharon Pavey
Exeter Cllr. Paula Black
Filton and Bradley Stoke Jon Lucas
Forest of Dean James Greenwood
Gloucester Bryan Meloy
Kingswood Nick Foster
Newton Abbot Corinne Lindsey
North Devon L'Anne Knight
North Dorset Anna Hayball
North East Somerset Michael Jay
North Swindon John Hughes
North Wiltshire Phil Chamberlain
Plymouth, Moor View Wendy Miller
Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport Tony Brown
Salisbury Nick Startin
South Dorset Brian Heatley
South East Cornwall Roger Creagh-Osborne
South Swindon Jenni Miles
South West Devon Vaughan Brean
St Ives Tim Andrewes
Stroud Cllr. Martin Whiteside
Tewkesbury Matthew Sidford
The Cotswolds Kevin Lister
Tiverton and Honiton Cathy Connor
Torbay Sam Moss
Torridge and West Devon Cathrine Simmons
Totnes Lydia Somerville
Truro and Falmouth Ian Wright
Wells Chris Briton
West Dorset Cllr. J. Susan Greene

South East Region
Ashford Steve Campkin
Banbury Alastair White
Beaconsfield Jem Bailey
Bracknell David Young
Brighton, Kemptown Ben Duncan
Brighton, Pavilion Caroline Lucas
Canterbury Geoff Meaden
Chatham and Aylesford Dave Arthur
Chesham and Amersham Nick Wilkins
Crawley Phil Smith
East Worthing and Shoreham Susan Board
Fareham Peter Doggett
Faversham and Mid Kent Tim Valentine
Folkestone and Hythe Penny Kemp
Gillingham and Rainham Trish Marchant
Gosport Claire Smith
Gravesham Richard Crawford
Henley Mark Stevenson
Horsham Nick Fitter
Hove Cllr. Ian Davey
Isle of Wight Bob Keats
Lewes Susan Murray
Maidenhead Peter Forbes
Maidstone and The Weald Stuart Jeffery
Mid Sussex Cllr. Paul Brown
Milton Keynes North Cllr. Alan Francis
Milton Keynes South Katrina Deacon
Mole Valley Rob Sedgwick
New Forest East Beverley Golden
New Forest West Janet Richards
Newbury Adrian Hollister
Oxford East Sushila Dhall
Oxford West and Abingdon Chris Goodall
Portsmouth North Dr. Iain Maclennan
Portsmouth South Tim Dawes
Reading East Rob White
Reading West Adrian Windisch
Reigate Jonathan Essex
Rochester and Strood Simon Marchant
Runnymede and Weybridge Jenny Gould
Slough Miriam Kennet
South West Surrey Cherry Allan
Southampton, Itchen John Spottiswoode
Southampton, Test Chris Bluemel
Tonbridge and Malling Steve Dawe
Tunbridge Wells Hazel Dawe
Wantage Adam Twine
Wealden Cllr. David Jonas
Windsor Derek Wall
Witney Stuart MacDonald
Wokingham Marjory Bisset
Worthing West David Aherne

Barking Jayne Forbes
Battersea Guy Evans
Beckenham Ann Garrett
Bermondsey and Old Southwark Tom Chance
Bethnal Green and Bow Farid Bakht
Bexleyheath and Crayford Adrian Ross
Brent Central Dr. Shahrar Ali
Brent North Martin Francis
Brentford and Isleworth John Hunt
Bromley and Chislehurst Roisin Robertson
Camberwell and Peckham Jenny Jones
Carshalton and Wallington George Dow
Chelsea and Fulham Julia Caroline Stephenson
Chingford and Woodford Green Lucy Craig
Chipping Barnet Kate Tansley
Cities of London and Westminster Dr. Derek Chase
Croydon Central Bernice Golberg
Croydon North Shasha Khan
Croydon South Gordon Ross
Dagenham and Rainham Debbie Rosaman
Dulwich and West Norwood Shane Collins
Ealing Central and Acton Sarah Edwards
Ealing North Christopher Warleigh-Lack
Ealing, Southall Suneil Basu
East Ham Judy Maciejowska
Edmonton Jack Johnson
Eltham Arthur Hayles
Enfield North Bill Linton
Enfield, Southgate Peter Krakowiak
Erith and Thamesmead Marek Powley
Feltham and Heston Elizabeth Anstis
Finchley and Golders Green Donald Lyven
Greenwich and Woolwich Andy Hewett
Hackney North and Stoke Newington Matt Sellwood
Hackney South and Shoreditch Polly Lane
Hammersmith Rollo Miles West Central
Hampstead and Kilburn Beatrix Campbell
Harrow East Madeleine Atkins
Harrow West Rowan Langley
Hayes and Harlington Jessica Lee
Hendon Andrew Newby
Holborn and St Pancras Natalie Bennett
Hornchurch and Upminster Melanie Collins
Hornsey and Wood Green Pete McAskie
Ilford North Caroline Allen
Ilford South Wilson Chowdhry
Islington North Emma Dixon
Islington South and Finsbury James Humphreys
Kensington Melan-Zahra Ebrahimi-Fardouee
Kingston and Surbiton Chris Walker
Lewisham East Priscilla Cotterell
Lewisham West and Penge Romayne Phoenix
Lewisham, Deptford Darren Johnson
Leyton and Wanstead Ashley Gunstock
Mitcham and Morden Smarajit Roy
Old Bexley and Sidcup Jonathan Rooks
Orpington Tamara Galloway
Poplar and Limehouse Chris Smith
Putney Bruce Mackenzie
Richmond Park James Page
Romford Gerry Haines
Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner Graham Lee
Streatham Rebecca Findlay
Sutton and Cheam Peter Hickson
Tooting Roy Vickery
Tottenham Anne Gray
Twickenham Stephen Roest
Uxbridge and South Ruislip Mike Harling
Vauxhall Joseph Healy
Walthamstow Daniel Perrett
West Ham Jane Lithgow
Westminster North Tristan Smith
Wimbledon Rajeev Thacker

Brecon and Radnorshire Dorienne Robinson
Cardiff Central Sam Coates
Cardiff North Christopher von Ruhland
Cardiff South and Penarth Matt Townsend
Cardiff West Jake Griffiths
Ceredigion Leila Kiersch
Monmouth Stephen Millson
Newport West Pippa Bartolotti
Pontypridd John Matthews
Swansea East Tony Young
Swansea West Keith M Ross
Torfaen Cllr. Owen Clarke
Vale of Glamorgan Rhodri Thomas

West Midlands
Aldridge-Brownhills Karl MacNaughton
Birmingham, Edgbaston Phil Simpson
Birmingham, Ladywood Peter Beck
Birmingham, Northfield Susan Pearce
Birmingham, Selly Oak James Burn
Coventry North West Justin Wood
Coventry South Stephen Gray
Kenilworth and Southam James Harrison
Ludlow Jacqui Morrish
Meriden Dr. Elly Stanton West Midands
Mid Worcestershire Cllr. Gordon Matthews
North Herefordshire Felicity Norman
North Shropshire Steve Boulding
Redditch Kevin White
Rugby Roy Sandison
Shrewsbury and Atcham Alan Whittaker
Stafford Mike Shone
Stone Damon Hoppe
Stourbridge Will Duckworth
Stratford-on-Avon Karen Varga
Sutton Coldfield Joe Rooney
Warwick and Leamington Ian Davison
West Worcestershire Cllr. Malcolm Victory
Worcester Louis Stephen

East Midlands
Broxtowe David Mitchell
Chesterfield Duncan Kerr
Daventry Steve Whiffen
Derbyshire Dales Josh Stockell
Erewash Lee Fletcher
High Peak Peter Allen
Leicester East Mo Taylor
Leicester South Dave Dixey
Leicester West Geoff Forse
Northampton North Anthony Lochmuller
Northampton South Julie Hawkins
Nottingham East Benjamin Hoare
Nottingham South Matthew Butcher
Rushcliffe Cllr. G. Richard Mallender
South Holland and The Deepings Ashley Baxter
South Northamptonshire Marcus Rock
Wellingborough Jonathan Hornett

East Anglia
Bedford Ben Foley
Braintree Daisy Blench
Brentwood and Ongar Jess Barnecutt
Broadland Susan Curran
Bury St Edmunds Mark Ereira-Guyer
Cambridge Tony Juniper
Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Cllr. Andrew Stringer
Chelmsford Angela Thomson
Clacton Chris Southall
Colchester Peter Lynn
Epping Forest Simon Pepper
Great Yarmouth Laura Biggart
Harwich and North Essex Chris Fox
Hertsmere Arjuna Krishna-Das
Hitchin and Harpenden Richard Wise
Huntingdon John Clare
Ipswich Tim Glover
Luton North Simon Hall
Luton South Marc Scheimann
Mid Bedfordshire Malcolm Bailey
Mid Norfolk Timothy Birt
North East Hertfordshire Rosemary Bland
North Norfolk Cllr. Andrew Boswell
North West Norfolk Michael de Whalley
Norwich North Jessica Goldfinch
Norwich South Adrian Ramsay
Peterborough Fiona Radic
Rochford and Southend East Andrew Vaughan
Saffron Walden Reza Hossain
South Cambridgeshire Simon Saggers
South East Cambridgeshire Cllr. Simon Sedgwick-Jell
South Norfolk Jo Willcott
South West Norfolk Lori Allen
Southend West Barry Bolton
St Albans Jack Easton
Suffolk Coastal Rachel Fulcher
Watford Cllr Ian Brandon
Waveney Graham Elliott
Welwyn Hatfield Jill Weston
Witham Cllr. James Abbott

Yorkshire and Humberside
Batley and Spen Matt Blakeley
Beverley and Holderness Bill Rigby
Bradford West David Ford
Calder Valley Kate Sweeny
Colne Valley Chas Ball
Dewsbury Adrian Cruden
East Yorkshire Mike Jackson
Haltemprice and Howden Shan Oakes
Huddersfield Andrew Cooper
Kingston upon Hull North Martin Deane
Leeds North West Martin Hemingway
Leeds West David Blackburn
Richmond (Yorks) Leslie Rowe
Scarborough and Whitby Dilys Cluer
Scunthorpe Natalie Hurst
Sheffield Central Jillian Creasy
Sheffield, Hallam Steve Barnard
Sheffield, Heeley Gareth Roberts
Shipley Kevin Warnes
Wakefield Miriam Hawkins
York Central Andy Chase

North West
Barrow and Furness Dr. Chris Loynes
Bolton South East Alan Johnson
Bolton West Rachel Mann
Bury South George Heron
Carlisle John Reardon
City of Chester Tom Barker
Copeland Jill Perry
Fylde Philip Mitchell
Halton Jim Craig
Hyndburn Kerry Gormley
Lancaster and Fleetwood Gina Dowding
Liverpool, Riverside Tom Crone
Liverpool, Wavertree Rebecca Lawson
Macclesfield John Knight
Manchester Central Gayle O'Donovan
Manchester, Gorton Justine Hall
Manchester, Withington Brian Candeland
Morecambe and Lunesdale Cllr. Chris Coates
Stalybridge and Hyde Ruth Bergan
Stockport Peter Barber
Stretford and Urmston Margaret Westbrook
Warrington South Stephanie Davies
Weaver Vale Howard Thorp
West Lancashire Peter Cranie

North East
Gateshead Andy Redfern
Newcastle upon Tyne Central John Pearson
Newcastle upon Tyne East Andrew Gray
Newcastle upon Tyne North Anna Heyman
South Shields Shirley Ford
Tynemouth Julia Erskine
Wansbeck Nic Best

Northern Ireland
Castlereagh Martin Gregg
North Down Steven Agnew
South Down Cllr Cadogan Enright
South Belfast Adam McGibbon
Strangford Barbara Haig

Scotland (Scottish Green Party)
Aberdeen South Rhonda Reekie
Argyll and Bute Elaine Morrison
Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale Alis Ballance
Dundee East Shiona Baird
East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow Kirsten Robb
East Lothian James Mackenzie
Edinburgh East Robin Harpur
Edinburgh North and Leith Kate Joester
Edinburgh South Steve Burgess
Edinburgh South West Clare Cooney
Glasgow Central Alistair Whitelaw
Glasgow North Martin Bartos
Glasgow North West Moira Crawford
Glasgow South Marie Campbell
Gordon Sue Edwards
Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Donnie Macleod
Midlothian Ian Baxter
Ochil and South Perthshire Hilary Charles
Ross, Skye and Lochaber Eleanor Scott
Stirling Mark Ruskell

Well done to all these candidates for giving the voters a real choice - and good luck!

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