Here's a long article by Paul Kingsnorth arising from his reaction to a visit to the Caves at Niaux and the paintings therein. A mutedly passionate call for the value of sacred awe as an essential component of human life.

In the Black Chamber

I like this.

I've just been watching the online video of the hustings for the election of a new Deputy Leader of the Green Party. None of the candidates really took any of the opportunities which were offered by the questions to be passionate and radical in their approach. Instead they to a man, and one woman, played them with a straight bat. No boundaries were scored, just the occasional single.

Two specific examples:

Question: What three policies should the GP promote in the coming general election campaign.

The correct answer would have been "We shouldn't promote any particular policies - we should focus on our core beliefs; an eco-centric view of the world and human society as a holistic phenomenon. A complete rejection of the industrial capitalist paradigm in all its forms from the impossible search for never ending growth to the inevitable concentration of power and wealth that it creates.

Of course if responding to a question on policy then we have an answer that applies within the current paradigm, but always we should be saying that a better world IS possible and the question "what is your policy on XYZ?" is the wrong question because it assumes that the world has to be like it is today.

None of the candidates scored any runs on this question.

Question: What lessons can we learn from the success of UKIP

A couple of them managed a single here by pointing out that UKIP were, like us, a single core issue party and managed that very effectively. As one candidate said the clue is in our names.

What we could learn is the importance of effectively communicating what your core values are, irrespective of what policies you may or may not have. UKIP bang on and on about the importance of an independent UK and the need to row back from Europe. We did not bang on and on about the importance of putting ecology ahead of economy and the positive consequences of doing that. People need a vision to latch on to and can believe in, once they have that they will overlook the fact that you don't measure up to the vision and project their own positives onto you. This is how UKIP succeed, the GP's reductionist and scientific approach of focusing on rational argument and specific numbers and policies simply is not effective.