Showing posts from August, 2006

Sex, lies, leaders and MI5

'the lesson is, I would argue, to build structures that guard against high star figures dominating and to anticipate lows to follow highs and to expect attempts at destabilisation. I would imagine this happening to the Greens should there be any chance of electoral breakthrough'

PB443 We seek a society in which people are empowered and involved in making the decisions which affect them. We reject the hierarchical structure of leaders and followers, and, instead advocate participatory politics. For this reason the Green Party itself does not have an individual leader."span> - Philosophical Basis of the Green Party of England and Wales

The leadership debate is likely to be in the air at the Green Party Autumn Conference in September. Lots of members are frustrated and feel a leader could give the party a boost; Caroline Lucas MEP (pictured below) cuts an obvious figure. She is good on TV and has an attractive passion. Of course, from the perspective of those suspicious of …


'As an undergraduate, Usama thought of joining
Pakistan's nuclear programme. However, he is now very glad he didn't!'

I am posting this from LINE and would recommend that muslims and non-muslims support their excellent work to develop both practical green projects and to improve green education.

As you know if you are another-green-world blog regular, I am enthusiastic about the sufi strains of Islam, critical of salifists and islamaphobes....back in 1993 when I published Green History, I include something from Nasr on ecology and Islam.

There is also a Christian Ecology group who do good work. At the Green Party conference back in the 1990s we had a very interesting women Rabbi talking about the environment.

Well there are strong arguments for secularism but the most dangerous religion on the planet and the one which is more kitsch than the cult of Madonna is conventional economics.

Zen is an excellent antidote to economics, hopefully see some of you at the South London do…

Cooperation for a green world

Hope you have all picked up on Stuart Jeffery's Green Party NHS blog!

Capitalism is unsustainable but replacing it may not be as difficult as I sometimes think. The alternative is wiki economics, an opensource set up based on participation, use without destruction and creativity. Soviet style central planning, I don't think so, the free market..I don't think so either.

In the mean time before we enter wiki world (exciting this isn't it, can you imagine people sitting around at the end of feudalism discussing the new economy that would replace it? No, neither can I but today we can see something new dimly but quickly coming into replace our modern economy)there are some institutions and practices that are in the right direction.

The Co-operative is one, not perfect, their institutionally still part of the Labour Party as far as I can see and not 100% ethical but they were set up in 1844 by the Rochdale pioneers to benefit ordinary working people. At their high they contr…

Green the Health Service

Economics = absurdity

The absurdity of public-choice theory is captured by Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen in the following little scenario: "Can you direct me to the railway station?" asks the stranger. "Certainly," says the local, pointing in the opposite direction, towards the post office, "and would you post this letter for me on your way?" "Certainly," says the stranger, resolving to open it to see if it contains anything worth stealing. --Linda McQuaig, All You Can Eat


Green politics is the politics of survival, it is repeat a difficult task, it is not a matter of simply replacing 'bad' 'grey' politicians with a new set of 'good' 'green' politics is about saying we have a way of life that does not work, we need a new culture based on consuming less, we need new values and we need a new economic system. Getting there will require a lot of thought and self-criticism, you cannot cut the knot of ecological crisis with a paper knife.

Tragic that in Germany the Greens have gone from visionaries to very mild reformists, the same goes for Jonathon Porritt....depressing, depressing, depressing...However Caroline Lucas et al have been great for the GP of England and Wales...schnews is real great as well! Its a weekly online diy green direct action round up.

This is from Schnews, they are the best thing since organic sliced bread, I love them...get a weekly inje…

Green money?

Credit and banking are a big deal: the way that most aspects of life are turned into financial instruments is of course very, very dangerous. The Yangtse Dolphins are becoming extinct because of your pension! Pensions are based largely on shares and other financial instruments, thus if share values grow, we have cash in old age. This means that environmental and social considerations come second or fourth compared to the growth of financial value. We obviously need an economy that disarms finance and halts financialisation - it's all gambling. You may lose your shirt, gain a suit or kill the planet.

Banking is a big issue. Currency cranks point correctly to the fact that banks create money but simply printing lots of money at the level of the ‘community’ might not act as an alternative, it might fuel inflation because money creation is about confidence.

Green Party policies are aimed at promoting small scale community banks, and building societies, credit unions and mutual non profi…

The genetically modified potatoes are invading

Hi folks,

The genetically modified potatoes are invading! So this seems a good time to move from recent health care postings to agriculture. Notice with both, you have technical fixes to social and ecological problems, yes we need to feed people, yes we need medicine but to see agribusiness doing this out of the kindness of agribusinesses heart is like, say thinking that pharmaceutical companies are motivated by curing the sick.

The techno-fixers argue that high pesticide, high fertilizer, high technology can feed the world. The article below argues that organic is better and less oil dependent.

Notice how in the UK climate change and higher oil prices are already pushing up fruit and veg costs!

Here are some Green Party of England and Wales policies

AG208 Genetic engineering will not solve the problems created by industrial agriculture; it can only add to them. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will give large profits to a few multinational corporations, as opposed to making farming…

Battle won against NHS privatisation

This is an important battle won, the company involved pays it's CEO disgusting amounts of money,
In 2005, William W. McGuire, M.D., its CEO, earned $124 million. His compensation in the five years 2001-2005 was $341 million. He has been the CEO since 1989, when annual revenues were just over $400 million.


*Pam Smith has today won her appeal to prevent a US healthcare
corporation from running a GP surgery in Derbyshire*. Lord Justices
Keene and May quashed the selection of United Health Europe – the
British arm of America’s biggest healthcare corporation – to run the
practice, and ordered North Eastern Derbyshire primary care trust to
start the tendering process from scratch. They also awarded Pam Smith
100 per cent of the costs.

The decision is a stunning victory for a pensioner who dared to stand up
to the might of the government, the NHS and a multi-national
corporation. It is a blow for the government’s reform programme …

Health care without capitalism

Ivan Illich worries about the NHS

There is a very interesting BBC report on Cuban health care workers in Java I am not uncritical of Cuba, how can I say that a country where only one party is allowed is perfect, I suspect as well that there are aspects of the country which are very bureaucratic, however on ecology, poverty, development, education and health Cuba is getting an awful lot right.

Just being prepared as a tiny and relatively poor country to go in with medical aid to Pakistan after the earthquake, Java, to send doctors to the barrios in Latin American countries is impressive. The US cannot even run a free health care system for its own citizens.

Capitalism is not good at delivering health care, the stats show that dollar for dollar it is strikingly inefficient. Pharmaceutical firms have huge monopoly power which pushes up the price of life saving drugs. Doctors in market economies may be tempted to over medicate. The social and environmental causes of ill health are ignore…

Seeing Green by Jonathon Porritt

I remember leafletting Kings Cross, which was near my student halls of residence for Jonathon Porrittfor the 1984 European elections, he was the Ecology Party candidate. Some time afterwards he mentioned he was a having a book published, I still think Seeing Green, which was the title, is worth looking at today.

There is a danger of Green Parties loosing their green credentials, I think political education and political debate is now a bit rare. In the 1970s and 1980s everything in the Party, seemed in a positive sense, much more ideological, green politics was seen as new (I think of course it is old but perceptions are another matter) and all sorts of concepts from 'limits to growth', to holism, to the distinction between 'ecology' and just environmentalism were being discussed. A lot of positive bits of 60s counter culture and the New Left were being integrated.

Seeing Green is still a good introduction by a green political activist to green politics 'the polit…

Mumia celebrates Fidel's birthday

'Death row cop killer praises dictator' some of my readers will say but Mumia speaks political sense with poetic my opinion...

[Col. Writ. 8/10/06] Copyright 2006 Mumia Abu-Jamal

The recent news of the illness of Cuban President Fidel Castro, has unleashed a ghoulish glee in Miami, and also in the White House. The spectacle of people dancing in the streets of Miami, at news of Fidel's sickness was disgraceful.

Few of us who have grown up under the propaganda that passes for the corporate media have any real idea of either Castro's or Cuba's immense social accomplishments, while under the threat of U.S. invasion and destruction. As a student of history, I'm often amazed at what we don't know about other people, even those as close as Cuba. If Americans truly supported democracy, instead of dictatorships, the name Fidel Castro may never have become known to us. That's because Ca…

Socialist Worker to split SSP and launch tartan RESPECT?

The Tommy Sheridan affair is splitting the Scottish Socialist Party, which has been the most succesful left party in Britain outside Labour. The SWP are rumoured to be importing RESPECT from south of the border to bring Muslims and socialist together under the leadership of Tommy, perhaps George Galloway (who was a Glasgow MP) and the SWP.

I predict chaos! Search the web, think about it for more than 5 seconds and you will agree. The consensus seems to be that Sheridan has wronged many in his party during the recent high octane court case with the News of the World.

I don't want to be sectarian, I think the SSP has been a good thing and would like to see stronger links with them and the Greens but the Scottish Green Party demands support rather than a tartan RESPECT party.

here is the statement from the SWP

'Socialist Worker Platform statement on Scottish Socialist Party

At a members' meeting held on Sunday in Glasgow, the members of the Socialist Worker Platform of the Scot…

My friend Walt died from climate change


Walt died on august 20th, 2004....I miss is some Walt stuff, a big unedited lovely heap of booklists, obits, memorial statments, he was the brighest star in the ecosocialist sky. And he practiced zen.

Don't let him die in vain, join the Green Party, educate yourself about ecosocialism and work for liberation.

Derek: I am very sad to have to send this. It will appear in the December CNS


In Memorium

Walt Contreras Sheasby

With the passing on August 20, 2004, of Walt Sheasby, Capitalism Nature Socialism lost a stalwart editor and brilliant contributor, I lost a dear and loyal friend, and the world lost a visionary fighter for ecological socialism. There was a bitter irony to Walt’s death, as he succumbed at age 62 to complications of West Nile Virus, one of the rogue pathogens kicked into orbit by the destabilizations of the ecological crisis against which he focussed his formidable talent in the later years of his life. Sheasby had a monk-like dedication to radical i…