30 Aug
2016

The Desire to be Inside

One of my favourite weekly reads is John Michael Greer’s blog (aka The Archdruid Report). He is almost always entertaining and thought provoking; he writes from a USA perspective and much of his writing concerns the current slow unravelling of the American Empire which peaked sometime between 1948 and 1989. Most of what he says is also globally relevant, and has implications even for a tinpot ex-imperial client state of the USA such as mine.

This week he presents some useful thoughts on the almost complete failure of the broad environmental movement to have made any progress at all over the past 44 years, contrasting this with other more successful movements. Very much of what he says is highly relevant to the UK Green movement, both its non-political “big green NGO” wing (FoE, Greenpeace, WWF, etc etc), and its political wing (GPEW), and also its campaigning wing (from CND to 1010, Climate Coalition, Plane Stupid etc etc.).

Read More

21 Aug
2016

Alliances – Progressive, Regressive, or Ineffective?

Many in the “progressive left” are talking up the need for a grand alliance to defeat the forces of the neo-liberal right and enable some fundamental changes to our system of governance.

Laying aside the warlike and conflict based language of such a call for the moment, I do wonder how effective pursuing such a course might be.

Two main possible benefits from an alliance would be the introduction of PR for elections, and ensuring that a leftish government can still be elected given Labour’s inability to command a majority in parliament without seats in Scotland.

To be fair, whilst this came to prominence when Ms Lucas joined the fray, not everyone is calling for a grand top down imposed pact – or stitch-up by the political class as the voters are likely to see it.

Molly SC at the Green Gathering was talking more in terms of very local tactical pacts which may have some merit as a way of capitalising on a local opportunity rather than supping with a big devil. But little local imps can be just as treacherous and devious in the winner takes all game that is our political system so great care is needed even there. Read More

10 Aug
2016

Fear and Hope

Much entertained by the dissonance in Natalie Bennett’s response to Theo Simon’s question at her Speaker session at the Green Gathering.

Theo asked (in part) what about the climate emergency  Рtell people or not frighten them?

Natalie answered by first erecting the old straw man that the green movement used to go around peddling gloom and doom and never got anywhere like that – just turned people off. Then she came out with some vague stuff about hope, and how the Greens must tell a positive story, which she, as a shallow green, thinks can be done by talking about how renewables can power a version of what we (the guardian reading class) enjoy now. She then talked of the rise of the right, citing the Austrian presidential elections as well as Trump and the¬† green bogeyman UKIP and how they use fear to get their support – fear of immigrants and ‘different’ people, whereas she insisted that the green way must be to offer hope.

Hang on a minute. Read More