Monday, December 26, 2005

"The Chainsaws, the Chainsaws - they cut down all the trees. The Pixies, the Pixies, trashed their JCBs." 1

1. Do or Die, Issue Ten
"To attempt to seriously change the world is to put realismin the attic" 1

1. Do or Die, Issue Ten

Saturday, December 24, 2005

"God save our yobs, we've demonised our future. Hoodies, yob, youth" 1

1. ???
"Everything that lives is holy but most of us are trying to escape our beautiful world." 1

1. William Blake

Thursday, November 17, 2005

"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger; it works the same in any country" 1

1. Hermann Goering.

Friday, November 04, 2005

"A nation that oppresses anther cannot itself be free" 1

1. Karl Marx

Sunday, October 23, 2005

"There is no Wealth but Life" 1

1. John Ruskin.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Peak Oil

"The 1970s saw the first and second world oil crises. What we are talking about now is the third and final, crisis." 1

1. Chris Skrebowski, ???

We're animals ina zoo

"It's like we're animals in a zoo...It's not that we're not surviving. You kow animals in a zoo often adapt and they live long lives. And, suprisingly, if you open the gates they often prefer the zoo, because that's where they've been born. But that doesn't mean you have a full accopunt of what an animal's life can be like, if it's fully thriving as the species can." 1

1. Peter Kahn, ???
"Correlation ain't causation" 1

1. Unknown.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

"Follow the money: A scientific consensus should be treated with scepticism if the consensus happens to suit interestes of the rich and powerful."

Monday, August 01, 2005

"Thw collapse of the global market place would be a traumatic event with unimaginable consequences. Yet I find it easier to imagine than the continuation of the present regime." 1

1. George Soros.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"It's not about how much more we can give, so much as how much less we can take." 1

1. Vandana Shiva, July 2005. Ecologist.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

As good as it gets?

No man "comes into the world with a saddle on his back, neither any booted or spurred to ride him" 1

"Under capitalism the strong are booted and spurred to ride the weak" 2

"In truth, the capitalist democracies of the 21st centuary perpetrate a double fraud...partly because the inequalities that are inseperable from capitalism are bound to spill over from the economy into the polity, and partly because the citizenry does not, in any serious sense, control the political class that is supposed to be its agent."

1. Richard Rumbold.

2. David Marquand, 27th June 2005. As good as it gets? New Statesman.

Social Justice - Equality of opportunity and personal responsibility

"If we are serious about equality of opportunity, he contends, we need to be serious about eradicating, all the influences that social class, race and family background have on life chances...Taking equality of opportunity seriously actually invloves keeping outcomes within a narrow range...In policy terms this would entail a huge expansio of schemes such as Sure health grants to young people and a universal basic income." 1

1. Martin O'Neill, 11 July 2005. Only fair, New Statesman.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

"Debt, unfair terms of trade and poverty are not causes of Africa’s problems but symptoms. The cause is power: the ability of the G8 nations and their corporations to run other people’s lives." 1

1. Monbiot, 09/07/2005.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Opposition unites, proposition divides.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

"Be quick to learn and slow to judge" 1

1. Unknown

Friday, June 24, 2005

"It's ok to take a step backward when you'er standing on the edge of a cliff" 1

1. Unknown.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

"what sort of world is it, he asks, where we are told to believe that 'bombing is security', tht 'racism is crime fighting', that 'sweatshops are efficiency'? 'When things are this absurd' he says, 'we forget what evil is'. 1

1. Reverent Billy, June 2005. The Ecologist.
"We subsidise every cow in the EU by $2.50 a day and force the vast majority of peasants in Africa and Asia off their land to live on less than $1 a day." 1

1. Ziauddin Sardar, December 2005. Terrorists R US, Adbusters.
"the ledger is not complete until all the externalities are published" 1

1. Todd Boyle Deceber 2005, Adbusters.
"One day, I went fishing with Dad. As I was walking along behind him I was dragging my spear on the beach which was leaving a long line behind me. HE told me to stop doing that. HE continued telling me that if I made a mark, or dig, with no reason at all, I've been hurting the bones of the traditional people of tht land. We must only dig and make marks on the ground when we perform or gather food." 1

1. Galarrwuy Yunupingu, son of the Austrailian Aboriginal artist Mungurrawuy
"We the people must win control f society's most powerful means of expression. Without the ability to share our ideas and opinions, we cannot debate issues of make informed decisions." 1

1. Adbusters, Let's fight for a new human right
"[For the] Zapatistas...solidarity meant people making their own revlutions in ways which were relevant to their own lives. They argued that the fight for a new world, which would embrace the dignity of all, would need to be plural and diverse. Indeed was a fight for a world in which many worlds were possible." 1

1. Days of Dissent, The emergence of a global movement.
"False common interests weaken us, blur things and benefit the opponent - this is why they should be separated by space time and form of action." 1

1. Days of Dissent, We will disrupt this conference.

John Gray - ideas

"What does economic development mean at a time when the way of affluent societies is ceasing to be sustainable? IF scarcity of energy is going to shape our future, should we not be reinventing our cities as places of high-density living, where people can live o nfoot? Does a middle-ranking country such as Britain need a new generation of nuclear weapons?" 1

1. John Gray, 6 June 2005. NS, Essay.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Millennium Assessment

Ecological Politics

"...questioning the desirability of continuous economic growth, and the idea that nature is a resource that can be "conquered". Ecological ethics invovle the reduction of human impact on the planet and its resources, a balanced economy instead of a growth based economy, and support for individual creativity, craftsmanship, local cultures and cooperation in place of conformity, homogenity, mass production and competition. A new Ecology Party would work for a change in work with the grain of the natural world, instead of against it as at present." 1

1. Aidan Ranking, May 2005, The Ecologist.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Can't eat money

"Only when the last tree has died and
The last river has been poisoned and
The last fish has been caught,
Will we realise that
We cannot eat money" 1

1. 19th Century Cree Indian

Monday, April 18, 2005

Work less, live more.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


"Science has become politisised and politics have become comercialised" 1

1. Unknown.

Work play balance

"legislate to put employees family lives on a par with their health and safety." 1

1. Peter Wilby, 4 April 2005. Maternity leave: an employer writes, New Stateswoman.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Green Belt Movement in Kenya

"I used to say to the women, "If we say we are too poor to take care of the environment then it will only get worse. We have to turn it around and push poverty back. Planting trees breaks the cycle:when we can give ourselves food, firewood, and help to nurture soil for planting and clean water, then we begin to roll poverty back.""

The World Bank and International Monetry Fund may insist that internaional trade is the exclusive route to prosperity, but [Wangari] Maathai has proven that it's self-sufficiency on a micro level that is more efficient and sustainable." 1

1. Nicola Graydon, March 2005. From Tiny Seeds, The Ecologist.

To save Africa we must listen to it

"Two opposing narratives inform our understanding of Africa. The first tells of a continent undeveloped and underpopulated until Europeans discovered it and opened it up to trade and the benefits of science and civilisation. Until outsiders came, sub-Saharan Africa had no writing and no wheel. Its inhabitants belonged to thousands of ethnic groups which, outside the West African Islamic kingdoms, ruled themselves according to custom. Once colonial rule had been established, Africa's population leapt from 120 million in 1880 to 165 million in 1935. With the benefits of peace, stability, western education and science, it rose to 330 million by the 1960s. The colonialists left Africa's economies in reasonable shape, but after independence they sank back into anarchy and poverty. The cause: tribalism and corruption.

The other narrative goes like this: the continent flourished until Europeans started prowling around its coasts in the 16th century looking for loot. The loot they found was human - slaves - and over the next two and a half centuries, millions of Africans were ripped from their land and shipped across to the Americas to labour in mines and on plantations. That impoverished Africa and made Europe wealthy. The slave-trade wealth was invested in Europe, creating the industrial revolution. This in turn gave Europe a further advantage over Africa and a sense of superiority which Europeans interpreted as racial. That gave the impetus for imperialism and colonialism. Europe carved up Africa so it could more easily exploit Africa's mineral wealth and cheap labour.

Then, after most of Africa won political independence in the 1950s and 1960s, Europe kept its former colonies dependent and continued to manage the international trading system to its own advantage and against Africa's. As part of the cold-war divide, appalling dictators were propped up because they were "our" dictators. Furthermore, the western powers bound Africa's economies to them through loans that in time became unpayable, at the same time giving a pittance in aid to individual African countries. Those loans, this narrative says, are modern slavery. The thread in the cord that binds Africa in poverty and weakness is made in Europe and it is strong and long-lasting." 1

1. Richard Dowden, Monday 14th March 2005. To save Africa we must listen to it, New Statesman

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


"Polititians can use laws, institutions, example and persuasion." 1

1. Richard Reeves, 21 February 2005. NS Essay.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Capitalism and greed

To papaphrase Michael Moore (badly), "one of the flaws in capitalism is greed. The greedy man will sell you enough ropre to hang himself."


"The past decade has brought the lowest inflation, interest rates and unemployment for 40 years and an unprecedented preiod of uninterupted growth. Yet mental health has declined sharpely. More than two million Britons are on antidepressants, half a million on Class A drugs. Binge drinking, and what Fromm called "acts of destruction" - violence, self-abuse and vandalism - have reached record levels." 1

1. Neil Clark, 14 February 2005. How we forgot the art of loving, New Statesman.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


"We could introduce torture trading within the torturing community. Thus we could give a country with high torture requirements the opportunity to buy torture credits from a country with low torture rates." 1

1. Mark Thomas, 31 January 2005. New Statesman.


"What I would really love is for there to be a general strike of all first, and second-generation immigrants. The whole country would close down"

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Testing Sensitivity

To illustrate how sensitive we can be in certain areas try exchanging words. Finding an article on women and try replacing the word woman with the word Jew or black. Would this article be acceptable now?

Thanks to Marina for that one.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Ecological Debt

"Ecological Debt is the debt accumulated by Northern, industrialised countries on account of resource plundering, unfair trade, environmental damage, and the free occupation of environmental space to deposit waste. A particular and interesting aspect of it is carbon debt, as a consequence of greehouse gas emissions." 1

1. Alier, Simms, Rijnhout. Poverty Developement and Ecological Debt.


"The IRA's warning, after the bombing of the Conservative Party conference in Brighton 1984, that "we only have to be lucky one; you will have to be lucky always" has a new and more acute meaning in the age of new-style global terrorism." 1

1. Anthony Giddens, 10 Jan, 2004. New Statesman.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Bad Taste

"People buy "bad taste" because they are insecure about there own preferences." 1

1. Stacey.


"I don't know how people find the time to work full time" 1

1. Nick.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


"Every person needs to have a piece of garden, however small, to keep them in touch with the earth and therefore with something deeper in themselves..." 1

"The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which joins one family." 2

"There's not a pair of legs so thin, there's not a head so thick,
There's not a hand so weak and white, nor a heart so sick,
But it can find some needful job, that's crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth everyone." 3

1. Carl Jung.
2. Chief Seattle.
3. Rudyard Kipling, 1911. the Glory of the Garden.
Why are you here? To be with friends.
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar" 1

1. Freud.


Anything can be consumed; religon, protests etc.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Talking about conflict between economy and environment in Tasmania, "this issue will only be resolved once both sides stop looking at it as a battle, and treat it instead as a shared campaign for a shared future." 1

1. Paul Kingsnorth, December 2004. The Ecologist, Global Rescue.
"The one resource the developing world has in abundance is people. So why are we promoting systems of agriculture that negate this advantage and which seem bound to contribute directly to further human misery and indignity" 1

"Globalisation of responsibility" 1

"Industry without art is brutality" 2

1. Prince of Wales, 23 October 2004.

2. John Ruskin, ???

Monday, December 20, 2004

"Your hammer will always find nails to hit." 1

1. BENOIT MANDELBROT, 20 December. The Edge.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Worlds First Multinational

"Corporate greed, the ruination of traditional way of life, share-price bubbles, western imperialism: all these complaints were made against the British East India Company in the 18th centuary." 1

1. Nick Robins, 13 December 2004. New Statesman.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Short Term Profit

"Edward Goldsmith of the International Forum on Globalization provides an instructive apocryphal story of two friends who both inherit a 10,000 acre tract of forest. Friend one leaves his 10,000 acres in its pristine state, friend two sells the trees to McMillan Bloedel Corporation who cut them all down. He then sells the mineral rights and the topsoil, he fills the resulting dank hole with toxic waste. He then constructs a shopping mall and theme park. Friend one is labelled as a waster, friend two boosts GNP by $1,000,000s runs for office and becomes a senator" 1

1. Goldsmith and Mander 1996:15.

FOE Founder David Brower

"Think globally, act locally" 1

"We do not inherit the earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children [and]...we're not just borrowing from our children, we're stealing from them - and it's not even considered to be a crime" 1

1. David Brower

Value of Nature

The value of the services that nature provides to humanity for free has been put at £18 trillion per year, nearly twice global economic activity measured by GNP. 1

1. Costanza et al in Nature. 1997, Vol. 387 pp253-260.


The developing world and the over-developed world.

Friday, December 10, 2004

EDO and War

"EDO are proud sponsors of war and oppression all over the place. They might argue, as others have, that if they don't do it someone else will. This logic has yet to save a heroin dealer from being convicted." 1

1. SchNEWS 477, Friday 10th December, 2004.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


If you can keep your head when everyone around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you... if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you and make allowances for their doubting too... if you can wait and not be tired of waiting or being lied about don't deal in lies, or being hated dont give way to hating- and yet dont look too good nor talk to wise... If you can dream and not make dreams your master... if you can think and not make thoughts your aim... if you can meet with triump and disaster and treat them just the same... if you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools and watch everything you gave your life to broken and stoop and build it up with worn out tools... If you can take one heap of all your winnings and risk it on one turn of pitch and toss and lose and start again at your beginnings and never breathe a word about your loss... if you can force your heart nerve and sinew to serve its turn long after you're gone and then hold on when there's nothing in you except the will which says to them " hold on"... If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue or walk with kings nor lose the common touch... if neither foe nor loving friend can hurt you... if all men count with you but none too much... If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distant run, Yours is the earth and every thing in it and which is more...


by Rudyard Kipling

Monday, November 29, 2004

Compensation Culture

"In opposing our mythical compensation culture, Sunderland and Letwin are creating something much uglier: a risk culture. They are glorifying the risks which the powerful impose on the weak." 1

1. George Monbiot, 16/11/2004. The Myth of Compensation Culture,


Plan monitor and manage or predict and provide?

Monday, November 22, 2004

Against Progress and other Illusions

"In the minds of believers we can overcome the laws of nature; science can make us gods. Nothing that humans do however, can prevent the earth returning to equilibrium." 1

"The human animal may yearn for peace and freedom, but it is no less fond of war and tyranny. No scientific advance can alter the contradictions of human needs. On the contrary, they can only be intensified as sciense increases human power." 1

1. John Gray, Heresies: Against Progress and other Illusions.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Phychoanalysing Polititians

"Adopting a ready-made political role, one that all but crowds out any other aspect of yourself, provides identity, company and a pastiche emotional life. Because you expose your artifice only it feels phychologically safe." 1

1. Derek Draper, November 2004. My Generation, New Statesman.

Friday, October 29, 2004

"The system which governs our economic lives, which we call capitalism, is itself is a limited resource. Capitalism is a pyramid scheme. Let me try to explain this.

It is a built on a system called fractional reserve banking. Almost the entire money supply – generally, depending on where you live, between 90 and 95% of it – is issued not by the state, but the commercial banks. It is issued not in the form of notes and coins, but in the form of loans. Between 90 and 95% of the money supply, in other words, is debt.

To pay off the debt that is issued today, the banks must issue more debt tomorrow, and so on and so forth. In a world which is not based on material realities, the world which might exist, for an example, in a computer model, it could expand for ever. But in the real world, the supply of money is linked to material realities called collateral: the real wealth which gives the loans meaning, and without which the whole scheme would be exposed as a fraud. Eventually the amount of lending must inevitably exceed the availability of meaningful collateral, for the simple reason that the material world is finite while the possible issue of credit is not. That is the point at which the whole structure comes tumbling down." 1

1. George Monbiot, 06/10/2004. No Longer Obeying Orders.

Myths and facts


"there is no limit to human potential" 1

"the assumption that industrial and post-industrial development will automatically distribute wealth, rather than concentrating it" 1

"the resources required to bring this utopia about are infinite" 1


"At any rate of use, non-renewable resoures are, by definition, depleted" 1

"Beyond a certain rate of use, renewable resources are depleted." 1

"Beyond a certain rate of exploitation, renewable resources become non-renewable resources." 1

"The earth’s capacity to absorb pollution is limited." 1

"The system which governs our economic lives, which we call capitalism, is itself is a limited resource." 1

"The people who get hit first and hit hardest by any one of these realities are not the rich but the poor." 1

1. George Monbiot, 06/10/2004. No Longer Obeying Orders.

Europe and the US

"Rather than whinge about how horrid Bush and his cohort are, Europeans should accept US ideology and power and forge a real European identity and foreign policy as a counterbalance." 1

1. Lellouche, ???

Monday, October 25, 2004

Church of Satan

"Nine Satanic Statements, which include "Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence", "Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek" and "Satan represents all of the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification"." 1

1.. BBC News, October 2004.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Speed, Time and Experience

"The machine city is pre-occupied with output; a future state. Speed is an attempt to beat time and bring the future forward. It reinforces our future-oriented 'mode of becoming' because the focus of the jorney is the activity (which we are rushing to. Speed also destroys the opportunity to experience the immediate environment at the immediate moment and divorces us from place." 1

1. David Engwicht, 1992. Towards an Eco-City.


"Mono-cultures, for example single crop farms, are inherently unstable. They must be sustained from the outside with massive supplies of fertiliser, water and pesticides. Ironically the farmer is fighting against nature's attempt to reassert its diveristy." 1

1. David Engwicht, 1992. Towards an Eco-City.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Forum Theatre

Theatre should bring about social transformation, and it should be "a theatre as politics rather than political theatre" 1

1. Liza Ann Acosta, 2001. Review of Augusto Boal's Legislative Theatre.

Planet Under Pressure

"Food: An estimated 1 in 6 people suffer from hunger and malnutrition while attempts to grow food are damaging swathes of productive land.

Water: By 2025, two thirds of the world's people are likely to be living in areas of acute water stress.

Energy: Oil production could peak and supplies start to decline by 2010

Climate change: The world's greatest environmental challenge, according to the UK prime minister Tony Blair, with increased storms, floods, drought and species losses predicted.

Biodiversity: Many scientists think the Earth is now entering its sixth great extinction phase.

Pollution: Hazardous chemicals are now found in the bodies of all new-born babies, and an estimated one in four people worldwide are exposed to unhealthy concentrations of air pollutants.

And underlying all these pressures is a seventh - human population." 1

" How many of us can live at northern consumption levels, and what level should everyone else be expected to settle for?" 1

"How can we expect poor people to respect the environment when they need to use it to survive?" 1

And how can we act when sizeable and sincere parts of society say we are already overcoming the problems, not being overwhelmed by them?"

"The challenge we face is not about feeling guilty for our consumption or virtuous for being "green" - it's about the growing recognition that, as the human race, we stand or fall together." 1

"Living within the planet's means need not condemn us to giving up what we now assume we need for a full life, just to sharing it." 1

1. Alex Kirby, 01/10/2004. Planet Under Pressure, BBC News Online.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Corporate Free Press

"Power without responsibility, influence without accountability: 'the corporate free press' is an oxymoronic disaster for justice and freedom" 1

1. David Cromwell and David Edwards, 20 September, 2004. The editors are unrepentant, New Statesman.

Saturday, September 18, 2004


"Ideas are far morepowerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns. Why should we let them have ideas?" 1

1. Stalin, ???

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Economic Equality

"No citizen shall be rich enough to buy anothr and none shall be so poor as to be forced to sell himself." 1

1. Rousseau, 1762.


"The English people believes itself to be free, it is gravely mistaken; it is only free when it elects its member of parliment; as soon as they are elected, the people are enslaved; it is nothing. In the brief moment of its freedom, the English people makes such use of its freedom that it deserves to lose it." 1

1. Rousseau, 1762. The Social Contract.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Frozen Food

When you factor in the cost of freezing food, is frozen food the most expensive?
"the more powerful the government is, the less people take the personal responsibility" 1

1. Pat Murphy, 11 September, 2004. Locus Online, Global to Local.
"When you're a net importer or IP, there's no good economic reason to treat foreign ideas as sacrosanct property. Indeed, piracy and successful induustrialisation go hand in hand." 1

1. Cory Doctorow, 10 September, 2004. Global to Local, Locus Online.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


"Nothing is permenant" 1

1. Unknown

Sunday, September 05, 2004

House of Commons

The house of commons is a house of "representatives". There are a lot of people representing middle aged men, who is representing everyone else?

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Management Structure

In a pyramidical organisation, there's only so muc people can focus on.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

"It [money] has value only as long as we collectively believe it does...the 70s raised the same doubts about money that the eighteenth centuary raised about religon." 1

1. Slater P, ???
"If we hurt what we take to be outside us, we hurt ourselves." 1

1. Derek Wall, 1990. Getting There, GreenPrint.

Philisophical Guerrilla

"The philisophical guerrilla should identify contradictions and push them into their opposites. Capitalism promises prosperity yet millions particualry in the developing world live in poverty. Despite wealth millions of others feel their lives to be pointless and boring. Despite freedom of choice we have little say in decision making. Despite the 'free market', multinationals call the tune. To achieve short term economic 'security', we are destorying life. Contradictions can be made more obvious and the owners of 'the mental means of production' put on the defensive." 1

1. Derek Wall, 1990. Getting There, GreenPrint.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Vote Green

"Vote Green, but don't just vote..." 1

1. Derek Wall, 1990. Getting There, GreenPrint.


"We had better aim not at seizing power but at eroding, undermining, democratizing, decenteralizing and distributing" 1

1. Dave Dellinger, ???

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Protection of Democracy

"Contradiction of how an institution as profoundly undemocratic and heirachical as our present army is supposed to defend a democratic system." 1

1. Derek Wall, 1990. Getting There, GreenPrint. Talking about Peter Tatchell's book.


"Women constitute half of the worlds population, perform two thirds of its work, receive one tenth of the worlds income and own less than one hundredth of the worlds property." 1

1. Cynthia Cockburn.


"The education system looks more like a grand and pointless intelligence test to separate the managed from the managers."

1. Derek Wall, 1990. Getting There, GreenPrint.


"Soap operas about neighbours and community are billion viewer substitutes for real communities and real contact with ones neighbours." 1

1. Derek Wall, 1990. Getting There, GreenPrint.


"The environment is the base of all economic activity, and if we destroy it we destroy ourselves." 1

1. Derek Wall, 1990. Getting There, Green Print.


"The kindest slave owners were really the most cruel because there slaves were less likely to seek freedom" 1

1. Oscar Wilde

Monday, August 16, 2004

You become what you hate

"You become - if only in part - that which you fought against. It is not inevitable, but only progressive and radical thinking protects you against peril." 1

1. Darcus Howe, 16 August. The hierarchy of skin colour presumes that Caribbean folk are at the bottom of the pile, New Statesman.

To Quotation or not to quote

"I hate quotations. Tell me what you know." 1

1. Ralph Waldo Emerson, ???

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Me or you

"For the last 200 years philoposhers and poets and men of letters have said, 'Look inside yourself, understand yourself, focus on your memories,' I am saying 'No, look at other people. Find out what other poeple are like, they ar emore interesting than you. Try and help them. Inspire others and you will feel inspired yourself.' 1

1. Dr Theodore Zeldin, July 2004. Richer not happier: a 21st-century search for the good life, RSA Journal.


"How you spend your money is how you vote on what exists in the world" 1

1. Vicki Robin, ???. ???.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

New Curriculum

"Topics would include serving others; understanding and managing your feelings; maintaining your health; the appreciation of beauty; love, family and parenting; money and housing keeping; work; mental illness; political activity; and philosophical and religous ideas." 1

1. Richard Layard, July 2004. Have we solved the economic problem.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


"Boundaries are always to an extent arbitary, but that does not make them any the less necessary in the maintenance of a civilised society." 1

1. Theodore Dalrymple, 9 August 2004. A nation of paedophiles, New Statesman.


"The best way to inspire people to act is to provide them with the visible results of their actions." 1

1. Alex Greenwood, 26th July 2004. A subculture in the cybersalons, New Stateman.

Monday, August 09, 2004


"When a language becomes extinct, a whole way of seeing the world dies" 1

1. Germaine Greer, 2004. Whitefella Jump up, Profile Books.

Saturday, August 07, 2004


"Does individuality exist in a world of peer presure, fashion and trends." - Unknown

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Freud explains depression as "anger turned upon the self."

Sunday, August 01, 2004


"Governing a complex society needs technical expertise, but technical decision making conflicts with increasingly participatory and even populist politics." 1

1. Daniel Bell


"Things on a small scale behave nothing like things on a large scale" 1

1. Richard Feynman

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Blair and the War in Iraq

"It is not questions of good faith that matter, it is competence. In the use of intelligence, in diplomacy and in the absence of sang-froid that is required to take the most serious decision to go to war, this prime minister has been found wanting". 1

"The decision to take his or her country to war is the gravest that a prime minister can make. It puts at risk not only the lives of the country's troops, to say nothing of the lives of foeighn nationals, but also the country's future security and internaitonal good will... For Tony Blair now to say that the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power borders on frivolity." 2

1. John Kampfner, 19th July 2004. Blair is weighed in the balance and found wanting, New Statesman.

2. He got it wrong, 19th July 2004. The New Statesman.

Market Economies

"The tragedy of market economies is that they have to create problems and needs, or their gears will gind to a halt." 1

1. Jonathan Rowe, July/August 2004. For the Common Good, The Ecologist.


"The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" 1

1. Deep Sea Fish Farming, July/August 2004. The Ecologist.


"Imigrants are just following there wealth" 1

1. Unknown

Thursday, July 15, 2004


Women are frequently judged by men on their appearence. Wearing a burqa takes away the ability of someone to judge a woman on her appearence. This can be empowering for the woman.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Green Party Core Values Statement

"The values of caring, co-operation, nurturing and sharing must be encouraged to replace the values of competitiveness, domination and aggression which have characterised our society for so long." 1

1. Unknown.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Small is beautiful

"Schumacher wanted what he called 'intermediate technology' - technology that people could control, understand and fix themselves. He argued for human scale development and economics that kept the profit of work within the community, and that the giganticism of the multinational company was fundamentally flawed because it was out of proportion to the human scale. The only way to solve the environmental crisis was to go small." 1

1. Alan Shepard, May 2004. Is small still beautiful?

Hope and Faith

"As long as we have faith we have no hope. To hope we have to break the faith" 1

1. Arundhati Roy, April 1999. The Greater common good.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Contradiction in Conservation

There is a "contracdiction between cultural and ecological conservation" 1. No-one bats an eyelid when curry becomes the national dish of the UK, but it is a disaster when the grey squirrel moves in on the native red.

1. Adrian Rankin, 14 June, 2004. Escape from UKIP, New Statesman.

Trickle Up Economics

"After 'trickle down' (or so the Tories said), in which the more wealth for the rich helped the poor, comes 'trickle up'. If there's less poverty, the rich pay less tax (or so labour says)" 1

1. John Kampfner, 15 June, 2004. Politics, New Statesman.

Israel and Queers

"Israel: stop persecuting Palestine. Palestine: stop persecuting queers" 1

1. Outrage! slogan.

The Third Way

"...the disappearance of socialist utopias, globalisation, the development of a service economy and ageing populations. In the face of these, the First Way - classical social democracy, based largely on Keynesianism and traditional statism - has become largely obsolete. The Second Way - Thatcherism or free market fundamentalism - proved a disasterous alternative. The aim of Third Way thinking - revisionist social democracy - is to create policies for the centre left that respond to these changes." 1

1. Anthony Gidens, 7 June, 2004. Did they foul up my Third Way, New Statesman.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Emotion and Logic

Emotion gets in the way of rationality. If someone is being emotional then they are not being rational.


"Ownership is theft" 1

1. Unknown

Why don't people feel connected to the environment?

Because they don't interact with it?

People spend hours on their computer, TV, indoors.

There is no local community.
"If your only tool is a hammer every tool looks like a nail" 1

1. Unknown

Monday, May 31, 2004

Democracy and Money

"democracy is impossible in the presence of capitalism or, for that matter, any system which permits the concentration of wealth" 1

1. George Monbiot, May 2004, The Democracy We Never Had.

Friday, May 21, 2004


"The camera may not lie, but we do to ourselves" 1

1. Lindsey Hilsum, 17 May, 2004. World View, New Statesman.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Wealth and Population

"Those who spent the 1970s and 1980s campaigning against overpopulation were lamenting not the evident surplus of white intellectuals, but the abundance of impoverished people with brown skins, [however,] human wealth has long been a bigger environmental issue than human numbers. The citizens of the United States, for example, each use 88 times as much energy as the citizens of Bangladesh." 1

1. George Monbiot, 15th May 2004. Just Fade Away, Spectator

House Building

'Just as new roads contribute towards congestion, building new houses will have the same effect - increasing demand...the government should be managing the demand for houses, rather than using short-sighted, and unsustainable, "predict and provide" policies' 1

1. Rob White, May 2004.

Monday, May 17, 2004


Is your convienience at someone else's expense?


"Money and the complex system that makes it work is a man-made product that we invented and yet, like Frankenstein, it has us all in its grip." 1

1. David Boyle, Associate of the New Economics Foundation.

Slow Revolution

Live your life slowly, appreciate, savour and experience everything that you do.


"Time is not money, Time is life" 1

1. Micheel Ende, Momo.

Friday, May 14, 2004


"It is easier and less costly to change the way people think about reality than it is to change reality" 1

1. Morris Wolfe, PR consultant.

Monday, May 10, 2004


"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually, the slaves to some defunct economist" 1

1. J M Keynes.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Subversion of Advertising

I shop, therefore I am...(manipulated)
Don't blame me, I wanted to be 17 bicycles.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004


"The first casualty of war is the truth." 1

"There is more receptivity for voices for peace when emotions are not involved in the name of nationalism, ethnicity, [class,] or religon." 2

"How many people's deaths in war a you prepared to accept so that you can sleep in peace?" 3

1. Ippy, December 2003. Knowledge is Power, Peace News.
2. Beena Sarwar, December 2003. Getting our Issues "out there", Peace News.
3. Jan Melichar, Winter 2003. War is Peace, Peace Matters.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Planned Economy and Market Economy

The main difference between a planned economy and a market economy is how the government intervenes - directly or indirectly.


"[John Rawls said] deprived of knowledge about their own talents and abilities, [most people] would choose to live in an egalitarian society[...]The fear of being poor will outweigh the desire to be rich." 1

"The personel is the political" 1

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." 2

1. Andrew Heyward, 2002. Politics.
2. Karl Marx.

Friday, April 30, 2004


Politics isn't about me winning or my party winning, its's about people world wide, and the planet both now and in the future winning.


So far in history no violence or war has ended violence and war!

Do you ever have the right do kill someone?

Have any of the people advocating violent revolution experienced violence first hand?

Resorting to violence shows that you have lost the discussion.

Majority Rule or Individual Rule?

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

"In 1962...Anthony Sampson portrayed this country as governed by a hereditary ruling class, for the most part educated at a few public schools and Oxbridge colleges, cut off from ordinary people and wholly unsuited to wield power in the modern 40 years on...Sampson has produced a new's meritocracy, which is the product and beneficary of that capitalist triumphalism, is enslaved to it money and soul...He used to be quite fond of arguing that the old aristocracy was particulary unfit to govern a modern society precisely because of aristocrats' snobbish contempt for trade. Now he has come round to the view that such ambivalence about money would be the ruling class's saving grace." 1

1. Peregrine Worsthorne, 26 April 2004. In sickness and in wealth.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Virtue Ethics

"One of the classic questions of philosophy is “what should I do?” However, from the earliest times some have argued that this question is less important than the question of what kind of people we should be. If we can become better people, they say, then good actions will follow naturally." 1

1. Rick Lewis, 2004. What is Virtue?

Our thoughts of Freedom are our cage

"As long as we think in terms of freedom, democracy and rights we will remain trapped in some version of our mournful melancolic paradise and continue to engulf others within it" 1

1. DR David Gamez, 2004. Pax Americana.

Potential of the Masses

"A more radical analysis of the potential of the masses is offered by Baudrillard, who suggests that they resist any attempt to control or oppress them through sheer inertia" 1

1. DR David Gamez, 2004. Pax Americana.

Just War and the Spread of Utopia to other Counties

"We can either fix problems with the spread of utopia to other countries, prevent the spread of our utopia to other countries, or give up on the idea that our society has achieved utopia and attempt to resist it...When spreading utopia to other countries using war, the war can only be considered just if a number of conditions are obtained prior to the first intervention:

1. The intervening country has to demonstrate that it has already achieved utopia within its own borders (Sweden or Denark are good examples of this).
2. The invading country has to demonstrate a respectable recent track record in achieving utopia by military force.
3. The intervening country must set out a detailed plan prior to invasion that explains how utopia is giong to be achieved with military force...including number of people likely to be killed...and a timescale foe the reconstruction of the country.
4. The intervening country must set aside a realistic amount of money for the realisation of this plan.
5. The intervening country must consult this plan as far as possible with the citizens who will be affected and with advisors from other countries, the UN, NGOs etc.
6. The intervening country must make a commitment to educate the population in the utopian (capitalist) way of life for as long as it takes to convert them to this way of thinking." 1

1. DR David Gamez, 2004. Pax Americana.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Fair Trade in the UK

"Later this year, the Soil Association will launch an 'ethical trade' certification scheme that will apply fair-trade criteria to British farmers and processors. How much do they contribute to the local community? How fair are the prices that they receive, the contracts that they award or the wages that they pay?" 1

"Supermarkets sell four-fiths of [organic] produce; imports though falling, make up roughly 56 per cnet. As has been noted frequently, food that has been airfrieghted across the globe may be free of chemicals, but it hardly carries a clean bill of environmental health." 1

1. David Nicholson-Lord, April 19, 2004. the food revolution that lost its soul.

Greens and Socialism

"The Green Party's Manifesto for a Sustainable Society incorporates key socialist values. It rejects privatisation, free-market economics and globalisation, and includes commitments to public ownership, worker's rights, economic democracy, progressive taxiation, and the re-distribution of wealth and power. The Greens have produced a re-green synthesis integrating policies for social justice with policies for tackling global warming, envrionmental pollution, resource depletion and species extinction." 1

1. Peter Tatchell, 19 April, 2004. NS Diary.

Labours Environemntal Policy

"The whole thrust of the government's envrionmental policies at present is to minimise their effect on the majority of voters." 1

1. NS Leader, 19 April, 2004. Do they really want to save the world?


There are two types of friendship. Friendship that benefits you (selfish friendship) and friendship that doesn't benifit you (selfless friendship).

Monday, April 19, 2004

National ID Cards

"A national ID card program will actually make us less secure" 1

"Security must be evaluated not based on how it works, but on how it fails" 1

"It will be forged. And even worse, people will get legitimate cards in fraudulent names" 1

"Additionally, any ID system involves people... people who regularly make mistakes" 1

"The main problem with any ID system is that it requires the existence of a database...Such a database would be a kludge of existing databases; databases that are incompatible, full of erroneous data, and unreliable. As computer scientists, we do not know how to keep a database of this magnitude secure, whether from outside hackers or the thousands of insiders authorized to access it...And when the inevitable worms, viruses, or random failures happen and the database goes down, what then? Is America supposed to shut down until it's restored?" 1

"What good would it have been to know the names of Timothy McVeigh, the Unabomber, or the DC snipers before they were arrested? Palestinian suicide bombers generally have no history of terrorism. The goal is here is to know someone's intentions, and their identity has very little to do with that." 1

1. Bruce Schneier, April 15, 2004. Crypto-Gram Newsletter.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Animals and Humans

The relationship between a human and an animal is the same as the relationship between a human and an adopted baby.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Free will of Children

"As parents claim the credit if their child succeeds and professionals say there's something wrong with the family if the kids do badly [what are the] implications of not trusting children to exercise free will" 1

1. Suzanne Moore, 12 April 2004. NS Essay.

Slow Food

"By 'slow food'...I mean food that is authentic, that had been grown and prepared using methods that are local, organic and sustainable." 1

1. Eric Schlosser, April 2004. Special report on slow food, The ecologist.

Fast Food

"Fast food is indeed factory food, perhaps the most heavily processed food on the planet, and the low-paid workers who defrost, reheat and reconstitute it have jobs as boring, highly regimented and strictly supervised as the workers in the 19th century textile mill would have had." 1

1 Eric Schlosser, April 2004. Special report on slow food, The ecologist.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Victims Licence

"We must never forget the appalling crimes from which they draw their [victims] licence. But if we really wish to ensure that it 'never happens again', we must judge people by what they do rather than by who they are." 1

1. George Monbiot, 13th April 2004. Victim’s Licence.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Finance Rules Politics

"Financial speculators establish the limits of political action: if a government steps over the political line and "loses the confidence of the markets", the economy collapses, and the government soon follows." 1

1. George Monbiot, 6 April 2004. Jump on our Bandwagon.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Coporate Advertising Tactics

"The sugar industry has learned the tricks of the tobacco industry. Confuse the public. Produce experts who disagree, try to dilute the message, indicate that there are extremists like me involved in public health." 1

These are also the tactics employed by the oil industry.

1. Professor Phillip James, 5 April 2004. Quoted in SchNEWS Issue 448.

Independence of Advertising

Companies shouldn't be allowed to advertise their own products as they are biased. Advertising should be independent. For example the Which? magazine.

Stimulating the Economy

Fashions allow for more products to be sold. They stimulate the economy.

Wars use up your weapons, requiring new ones to be built, stimulating the economy.

Quality verses Quantity

Houses and antiques were built for quality. Their value increases over time.

Most goods today are built for quantity. This has led to a reduction in quality. The value of goods built for quantity decreases over time.

What if everything was built for quality?

The manufacturing, mass production sector would shrink. The repair sector would grow. Repair is labour intensive and more jobs would be created?

Citizen's Income

Share basic needs as a right. Private enterprise can be used for anything else.

The minimum wage works against citizens income.

"If work was that good, the rich would keep it for themselves." - ???

Keynes and Economics

Keynes argued that you need governmet intervention to guide the market.

Keynes proposed a single nation independant currency to replace the gold standard. The dollar standard as a replacement to the gold standard gives the USA an advantage.

Economics is irrational as humans are irrational.

The system doesn't work, but we can make it work.

European Union

The bigger the EU gets the less consensus and more majority voting we get, hence the more unhappy people.

The single currency and European constitution reduce our 'policy space'. That is our ability to make fundamental changes to the way the EU runs.

"Europe...has been a success in almost every respect [socially and culturally] except the political." 1

1. NS leader, 26 April 2004. On Europe, vote, vote and vote again.

Schumacers Law

Wealth obtained from a finite resource must be used to make you independant of that resource.

Using finite resources as income is a recipe for disaster!

Richard Lawsons 3 axioms

1. You cannot expand forever in a finite space.
2. You cannot take forever from a fintite resource.
3. Everything is inter-related.


Basic (primary); air, water, sun, food, shelter, energy, waste disposal.

For a community (secondary); transport, communications, market exchange.

For a bigger community (tertiary); currency, financial services, market.

quaternary; arts, science, philosohphy.

Maslovs hieracy; physiological, safety, love, esteem, self-actualization.

The world should be needs led not finance led.

Ecology and Economy

Ecology is hte place we live, and economics is the management of it.

Funding of Politics

Politics should be funded publicly. This would make it impartial.

Sunday, April 04, 2004


"According to Darwin, the mechanisms of the natural selection are thwarted by human civilization. One of the objectives of civilization is somehow to help the underprivileged ones, therefore to be opposed to the natural selection responsible for extinction of the weakest...Eugenists thus propose to promote actions to balance effects of natural selection mechanism loss within civilizations." 1

1. Wikipedia, April, 2004.

Monetry Reform

"Public credit, as measured by the proportion of publicly created money in circulation, has fallen from 20 per cent. of the money supply in 1964 to three per cent. today...Increasing the proportion of publicly created money should be used to cut the costs of, and to boost the quantity of, public investment...and this can be done without any impact on inflation." 1

"Why should polititians and economists endlessly claim that a carefully calculated supply of publicly-created money would be inflationary, yet, inconsistently, do not extend the same logic to the private banking sector, which creates virtually unlimited quantities of money [through interest baring loans] all of the time." 2

1. Prosperity UK, November 2003. New EDM calls for money reform.
2. EDM 323.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Blair's Labour

"In opposition, new Labour emphasised the need to reinvigorate the relationship between state and citizen. In practice, it has largely accepted the redundancy of political action in favour of economic action. It has convinced itself that in an individualised and consumerist age, the state must remodel citizenship according to market mechanisms. What the citizen should get from state, the government has decided, is the sleek delivery of the private sector. But in trying to consumerize politics, it has pulled the rug from under those who still want to act as citizens and to participate in remaking their political community." 1

"[The government] has, in effect equated economic efficiency with social justice. The state's old role of providing collective insurance against poverty and or misfortune has been usurped by the market. As long as people can find work...they can buy their own protection against old age and short periods of unemployment." 1

"The historic goal of social democracy, to make the markets the servants of the people has been inverted." 1

"find the right balance between market creativity and the protection of the public domain." 1

1. Neal Lawson and Daniel Leighton, 29 MArch 2004, Burn the village to save the village, New Statesman.


"...terrorism is a great leveller...before September 11th 2001, we lived in a world where American buyers of assets could use what amounted to free, manufactured money. The US was not paying for the wealth it was acquiring; it was just swapping worthless loans at the World Bank and the International Monetry Fund for it. When necessary, it sent in troops to grab assets - again virtually free of change...Al-Qaeda is restoring equilibrium to the market place. If the US wants to own Iraqi oilfields, it is going to have to pay real money." 1

1. Max Keiser, 29th March 2004. Letter of the Week, New Statesman.
"It is so much easier to destory and cause havoc. Yet every stone thrown could have been a brick laid." 1

1. Arnold Wesker, 29th March 2004. Diary, New Staesman.


"Marxism offers a classless society in which wealth was owned in common, production was geared towards human need, and the state had 'withered away', allowing for spontaneous harmony and self realization." 1

1. Andrew Hayward, 2002, Politics.

Simultaneous Policy (see

There are certain policies that the government would like to bring in (anti-pollution laws for example, but cannot do so, as it would put the UK at a short term competative disadvantage to countries that don't intorduce similar laws. These policies need to be brought in simultaneously across the world, and then no one is at a disadvantage.

There is a Simultaneous Policy organization, with groups all around the world. Each groups is a block of votes in the particular country. This block of votes will go to any reasonable candidate or party that agrees to the Simulatanesous Policies. The candidate agrees to implement the policies when all or most other countries have also got a party in power that has pleged to implement the Simultaneous Policies.

As far as I can see this will need some sort of global decision making organisation with power to "see through" the implementation of the Simulataneous Policies, so why don't they just go for a single policy that doesn't need to be simulataneous, along the lines of, "we want a democratic global decision making organisation with global power"? This organisation can them come up with the policies.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Nuclear non-proliferation

"Those states which did not possess nuclear weapons would not seek to acquire them. In return, the states which already possessed them - the US, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom - would "pursue negotiations in good faith ... on general and complete disarmament". Libya is now in conformity with international law. The United Kingdom is not." 1

" If a nation like Britain, whose prime minister poses as a broker of peace and disarmament, has abandoned the non-proliferation treaty, is installing the capacity to build a new generation of nuclear weapons, has asserted the right to strike pre-emptively and is beginning, in short, to look like a large and well-armed rogue state, then what possible incentive do other nations have to abandon their weapons?" 1

"When your enemies are suicide bombers, and...have no direct connection to a nation state, mutually assured destruction ceases to be a useful threat. Your intransigence merely encourages proliferation elsewhere, and so enhances the possibility that nuclear material will fall into the hands of terrorists. The more we assert our strength, the more vulnerable we become" 1

1. Mark Thomas, 30th Marth 2004. The British Threat.

Saturday, March 27, 2004


"Traditional Marxists argue that politics in a capitalist society is characterised by the exploitation of the proletariat by the bougeoise." 1

"Marx predicted that class expolitation would be overthorn by a proletarian revolution." 1

1. Andrew Hanward, 2002. Politics.

Politics and Private Life

Politics is "power structured relationships, arrangements where by one group of persons is controlled by another." 1

"The personal is the political" 2

1. Kate Millet
2. Andrew Hayward, 2002. Politics.


"Politics in it sbroadest sense, is the activity through which people make, preserve, and ammend the general rules under which they live." 1

1. Andrew Hayward, 2002. Politics.


Boredom is not an activity, but a state of mind. The person who is bored is the cause of the boredom.
"There is no they" - Oliver Dungey, March 2004.

Friday, March 26, 2004

World Bank IMF and WTO

"World Bank and IMF have 1 one 1 vote. 85% majority needed. USA holds more than 15% which is effectively a veto." 1

1. George Monbiot, 2003. Age of Consent.


"The majority of the media limits our political choices by mis-representing them." 1

1. George Monbiot, 2003. Age of Consent.


"With regards to communism, who guards the guards (leaders)." 1

"Communism in its simplest sense, is the communal organization of social existance on the basis of collective ownership of property." 2

1. George Monbiot, 2003. Age of Consent.

2. Andrew Hayward, 2002. Politics.


"If we accept that preventing trade with Iraq impoverishes and in many ways threatens life of the people, we must also accept that a global cessation of most kinds of trade would have the same effect but on a greater scale." 1

1. George Monbiot, 2003. Age of Consent.


"The feedback to the democratic party in power is through elections." 1

"Democracy reflects the interests of the majority. What does it do to the minority?" 1

"Democratic restraints stop a democracy attacking people within, but not people/nations outside its borders." 1

"A democracy can be understood as a self refining experiment in collective action." 1

"Democracy has the potential to be politicallly engaging." 1

"Democratic choice is reduced as a result of te constraints introduced by migration of power to the global sphere." 1

"Consumer democracy. One dollar one vote. This is bad." 1

"Representation without participation is clumsy. Partial participation without representation is dictatorship." 1

Marjority democracy or concensus democracy?

1. George Monbiot, 2003. Age of Consent.

United Nations

United Nations

"The five UN security council members that have the power of veto, the ones that decide how threats are handled are the five nations that pose the most serious threat to the rest of the world."

1. George Monbiot, 2003. Age of Consent.


"The third form of happiness, which is meaning, is again knowing what your highest strengths are and deploying those in the service of something you believe is larger than you are. " 1

Happiness should be given to others rather than taken for yourself.

1. Martin Seligman

Competition in Society

From an early age competative values are forced onto people. This is done through sports (winning), education (obtaining better grades than you mate). This is bad and in latter life people's competative nature is used to create success at the expense of other people (winners and losers).

Collaboration, team work and sharing should be encouraged, with the problem as the opponent.

"It's not about being right or wrong, it's about working together, sharing information and learning. You asked the question, I answered it. Good team work I'd say. We are both winners, but neither without the other" 1

"Everything is a competition...Evolution is a competition..." 2

Not any more. We have evolved to the top of the food chain. The only competition is against ourselves, which is pointless. We need to move to a post-evolution way of living.

"At present the logic of capital means that an 'advance' has to be implemented whatever its costs, lest a rival company or country develops it first and swamps us with missiles or cheaper consumer goods." 3

1. Rob White, April 2004.
2. James Adams
3. Derek Wall, 1990. Getting There, Green Print.


"The most obvious benefits of localization are:

(1) It protects local industries and economies from being undercut and undermined by distant competitors and global forces beyond their control.

(2 It prevents land-use systems, which are dependent upon these local economies, from collapsing.

(3) It helps people maintain control over their local natural resources. As George has himself reported, when crops are grown for export, peasants tend to be dispossessed of their lands by large commercial interests.

(4) It prevents wealth being siphoned away from the locality by distant interests or amorphous corporations. The more distant the market, the less the primary producer is likely to receive out of the final retail price and the more is likely to go to middlemen.

(5) It is easier to take stock of the environmental, social and animal welfare impacts of any product if it is derived locally. The UK government recognizes this under what it terms ³informed consent².

(6) It safeguards cultural diversity. Cultures and societies are defined to a large degree by what they produce and consume from the land and resources around them. Globalized trade destroys these differences and leads ultimately to one global McCulture.

(7) It promotes human-scale social structures. Localization rejects economies of scale in favour of economies of distribution, leading to more human-scale corporations and institutions, less division of labour and factory-style conditions. Lots of little brothers, instead of one big one.

(8) Reduced transport. Localization leads to reductions in carbon emissions, pollution and other transport impacts in respect of road and air freight (less so in respect of waterborne goods). In particular it cuts out the absurdity of ³cross haulage² (ferrying separate consignments of an identical product in opposite directions). " 1

"George Monbiot opposes localization because he thinks it will prevent poor countries becoming wealthier . . ." 1

"Localization doesn¹t, on its own, explain how the poorest countries can obtain the resources necessary to bring their standard of living and opportunity up onto a level with ours, even if ours should diminish to sustainable levels." 1

"However, if we accept that localization does not in itself satisfactorily address the issue of inequality between nations, it does not necessarily follow from this that localization is incompatible with a programme that does address this inequality." 1

"Here is a list of some of the main categories of potential wealth transfer from rich to poor countries consistent with a programme of localization;

- Processed materials. A key principle of fair trade is that added value through processing should generally take place in the country of origin of the materials, particularly where it is ergonomically or ecologically preferable (in line with the proximity principle). So coffee gets made into instant coffee in Tanzania or Mexico; timber is sawn into planks or made into plywood in Russia or New Guinea, rather than exported to timber-deficient countries as logs; copper wire could be manufactured in Zambia; West African bauxite could be turned into aluminium in West Africa, with West African oil or possibly solar energy; Third World oil could be refined or converted into plastics in Nigeria or Azerbaidjan, rather than exported as crude. All of this is consistent with localization policies: local industries typically grew up around a key resource, or a happy conjunction of two, such as grass, water power, woodland, iron ore deposits, or coal. George doesn¹t mention this at all.

- Specialist and quality goods. These are goods whose high quality or cultural distinction would allow them to remain competitive even if tariffs were imposed (eg Cuban and Indonesian cigars, oriental carpets, local crafts and textiles, Austrian scythe blades and Ferraris.) George doesn¹t mention this either.

- Tourism. Tourism is becoming increasingly important as a means of transferring wealth from North to South, and is expected to be the world's largest industry bt 2010. . A lot of its effects are extremely undesirable, both socially and environmentally. But an economic system which gave local people greater control over what sort of tourism they found acceptable would almost certainly improve matters. Once again, George doesn¹t mention tourism

- Economic Migrants. If rich people are allowed to travel round the globe for leisure purposes, then why should not poor people be allowed to travel for work purposes? ³Everything has been globalized except our consent² is the opening sentence of The Age of Consent; but George forgets that labour has not been globalized either. The WTO forces countries to open up their borders to goods, but not to migrants . If there were a free trade in labour the differences in wealth between countries would fade away in a very short time ‹ but there would be a host of other problems! To parrot George¹s phrase, there is no argument founded on justice for permitting corporations to sell their products wherever they like whilst preventing people from selling their labour wherever they like. It means that corporations can play the labour market to their advantage, but people can¹t. If justice is your aim, you must either allow free movement of goods and free movement of people ‹ or neither. As the Tupamaros used to say ³Everyone dances . . . or no one dances.²

- Aid. George does mention aid: ³Redistribution is simply not going to happen through aid . . . But even if, in a sudden fit of compassion, the rich world were to start pouring its money freely into the hands of the poor, this would merely trap the poor nations in patronage, dependency and blackmail . . .There has been a great deal of talk within the global justice movement of the need to compensate the poor world for centuries of colonial plunder, slavery and environmental destruction. But some of the proposals raised appear paternalistic: the rich world should forgive the debts of the poor world, or should raise significantly the aid it provides. What better compensation could there be than to permit the poor world to pursue its own path to development, if necessary at the expense of the rich world?² " 1

"Colin Hines¹ book calls for a ³redirection of aid, geared to help the rebuilding of local economies, rather than international competitiveness.² He cites land reform, micro credit , energy conservation, waste reduction, public transport systems, food production on allotments and wasteland and enhanced lobbying power for community groups as being suitable targets for aid. George gives no reasons or evidence as to why aid directed towards the empowerment of local self-reliant communities could not be an effective way of transferring wealth from North to South." 1

"Who will produce all these cheap goods once everyone is rich,? The people of China and Ethiopia ‹ however much money they may claw back from us ‹ can never enjoy the abundance that we do because there will be no further pool of cheap labour to manufacture their shoes and washing machines and answer their telephone enquiries at a fraction of their minimum wage. (but massive increase in living standards there) To become as wealthy as we are in the North, poor countries don¹t simply have to become free from exploitation; they have to have someone else to exploit. The advocates of unbridled trade are purveyors of illusions: the illusion that there are limitless resources somewhere the other side of the blue mountains; and the illusion that one day all the worlds¹ people will be able to enjoy the abundance that comes from exploiting a distant proletariat." 1

"The transfer of wealth from nation to nation, may seem important in remedying global inequalities, but it is far more important to make sure that all people have access to land, shelter, education, health care, shared transport, local food and some imported food for things they can't grow." 2

1. Simon Fairlie, 26th March 2004. Battle of the Manifestos, Chapter 7 debate.
2. Jyoti Fernandes, , 26th March 2004. Battle of the Manifestos, Chapter 7 debate.
Clip the wings of capital.

Re-branding the Trade Justice Movement

Most people inthe world have begun to realize the need for justice in the trade of physical items (event he government). However the trade in money is far more damaging to the developing world than the trade in physical items! People need to be educated of this. Should the trade justice movement therefore be re-branded to the "monetary Justice Movement"?

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Lower Road Speeds

Imposing substantially lower road speeds, (as well as reducing accidents?) would make traveling by car less appealing as journies would take longer. This would move people onto public transport.

This wouldn't have too negative an impact on people who have to use cars (disabled, people living int he country etc).

Corporate Responsibility and Accountability

"The [proposed] Bill would make companies report on their social and environmental impact, and place a duty of care on campany directors, not jsut to return a profit to shareholders, but to care for the environment and society...Companies would be forced to give an accurate account of their behaviour. If their products were driving deforestation in Indonesia, biodiversity loss in the UK, slave labour in Guatemala, or illegal mining inthe Congo, they would have to say so. And once they admit it, they would have to do something about it." 1

Robin Webster, Spring 2004. Shopping the planet wreckers, Earth Matters Issue 57.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004


"Identical twins often react differently to the same drug, and usually suffer from different diseases. If human twins cannot predict each others' responses, how can we expect monkeys to be reliable models for humans?" 1

1. Ray Greek, March 2004. Cambridge vivisection lab abandoned, The Ecologist.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Military Intervention

"The second argument against intervention is that it will only ever be exercised against the weak. As David Rieff points out, it is impossible to conceive of force used against Russia on behalf of the Chechens, or against China on behalf of the Tibetans." 1

"One choice, always, is to follow the Hippocratic principle: 'First, do no harm.' If you can think of no way to adhere to that elementary principle, then do nothing." 2

" soon as we accept that an attack by a powerful nation against a weak one is legitimate, we open the door to any number of acts of conquest masquerading as humanitarian action. As Chomsky points out, Japan claimed that it was invading Manchuria to rescue it from "Chinese bandits"; Mussolini attacked Abyssinia to 'liberate slaves'; Hitler claimed he was protecting the peoples he invaded from ethnic conflict." 3

"Surely then we need a new UN charter, not just to save the oppressed from the likes of Saddam Hussein, but also to save both humanitarianism and world peace from the likes of George Bush. We need a charter which permits armed intervention for humanitarian purposes, but only when a series of rigorous tests have been met, and only when an overwhelming majority of all the world's states have approved it. We need a charter which forbids nations with an obvious interest in the outcome from participating." 1

You can always do more though. Sending in unarmed peacemakers, and educators. However, this would be a slow process to bring about change and lots would be killed!

1. George Monbiot, 23rd March 2004. A Charter to Intervene.
2. Noam Chomsky, 9th April 1999. Judge the US by deeds, not words. New Statesman.
3. Noam Chomsky, ibid.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Tobin Tax - from

A Tobin Tax is a simple sales taxes on currency trades across borders.

- Currency speculators trade over $1.8 trillion dollars each day across borders. The market is huge, and volatile.
- Each trade would be taxed at 0.1 to 0.25 percent of volume (about 10 to 25 cents per hundred dollars)
- This would discourage short-term currency trades,about 90 percent speculative, but leave long-term productive investments intact.
- The currency market would thus shrink in volume, helping to restore national economic autonomy. Nations again could intervene effectively to protect their own currency from devaluation and financial crisis.
- Billions in revenue, estimated at $100 - $300 billion per year, would be generated.
- Revenue could go into earmarked trust funds to fund urgent international priorities.
"MPs and councilors should be forced to ravel by public transport, use the NHS, government schools etc." - Kathleen James

Political Whip System

At national level, you are no longer electing a person, but a party.

The whip system in the major parties forces people to tow the party line (the Green Party has no whi system or equivelant).

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Dollar is the main worlds reserve currency

The USA in her unique position as the issuer of the world's main reserve currency, means that her currency has, to date, been protected from the ravages of global and financial markets.

International Economics

"In the textbook model of the internatinoal economey, exchange rates are largely determined by imports and exports of goods and services. Poor countries will import more than they export, and will borrow from abroad to finance this gap. When the current account deficit gets too large, the currency starts to depreciate, increasing exports and reducing imports until a balance is restored.

But under financial liberalisation, through the globalisation process, has meant that exchange rates are no longer determined by the physical movement of goods and services, but by flows of capital...But the implications fo this new paradigm are that imbalances on the trade balance are often reversed through financial crises rather than gradual adjustment."

1. The new economics foundation, April 2002, The United States as a HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Country).

Pricing models

If you can afford to pay, pay, if you can't then its your for free.

Farming, Famine, Feeding the Third World

"There will never be any other industry that can employ as many people as farming". 1

"To be sure, farms need to be run as businesses. The peasant agriculture of Russia was primitively capitalist and worked far better than Stalin's collectives." 1

"The modern business model demands maximum generation of cash and profit, all driven by maximum competition. No one sensible denies that cash is necessary. Profit is not bad per se. Competition is an antidote to complacency. What is wrong is the stress on maximum." 1

Shortfall [of food production] is disastrous, locally and globally, but overproduction runs a close second to it. It leads to a glut. When prices plummet. Consumers might benefit in the short term, but if the farmers go bust, everybody loses in the long run." 1

1. Colin Tudge, March 22 2004, New Statesman.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

National Political Issues

"Issues that matter to the people of this country - food, transport and public services, social inclusion and human rights, planning and the environment, asylum and immigration." 1

"The Green Party is committed to accountable and transparent politics," 2



Al-Qaeda Aims and Objectives

In an al-Qaeda house in Afghanistan, New York Times reporters found a brief statement of the “Goals and Objectives of Jihad”:

1. Establishing the rule of God on earth
2. Attaining martyrdom in the cause of God
3. Purification of the ranks of Islam from the elements of depravity

In 1998, several al-Qaeda leaders issued a declaration calling on Muslims to kill Americans—including civilians—as well as “those who are allied with them from among the helpers of Satan.”

Al-Quaeda are using globalization to defeat globalization.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004


"Whoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world and hence the world itself." 1

1. Sir Walter Raleigh


"Each year a typical UK family generates 4.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide from their house, 4.4 tonnes from their car and 8 tonnes from the production, processing and packaging of the food that they eat". 1

1. Zac Goldsmith, March 2004, Why I hate Supermarkets, Earth Matters Issue 56.

Monday, March 15, 2004


"Food accounts for 12% of jobs, 12% of household waste, and has a hugeimpact on tourism, and therefore on the ecomony." 1

1. Jenny Jones, Winter 2004, Green Food, Green World Issue 43.


"A nuclear war cannot be won and must neer be fought." 1

1. Mikhail Gorbachev


"GNP is simply a gross tally of the financial value of all products and services bought and sold. There is no account taken of hidden costs, or distinction made between transactions that add to well-being, and those that diminish it:clearing up after major oil spills, or fighting wars, are great news for the GNP, but hardly for human well-being." 1

"The Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) attempts to measure the true state of people's well-being by correcting GDP over a range of issues, such as income inequality, environmental damage, and the sepletion of environmental assets." 1

1. Caroline Lucas, Winter 2004, Interview with Caroline Lucas by Derek Wall.


"Be the change you want to see in the world." 1

1. Ghandi

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Prioritization of Work

The first time someone asks you to do something. Don't do it on the basis that if its important they'll ask you again.


"It took the exploitation of half the globe to make Britain what it is. How many globes would it take India to do the same?". 1

1. Ghandi


"Quality of life isn't the same as consumption and that beyond a certain point consumption makes us worse off, not better". 1

Our over-consumption in the UK can be shown by our Ecological Footprint. This means the amount of land needed to produce the resources we consume. There are 1.7 hectares available per person on the planet (is this including the oceans???). The worldwide average is 2.3. The UK figure is about 5, and the USA figure is about 10. (From the 1997 study ‘Ecological Footprints of Nations’ on the website

"20 per cent of the Earth's population currently consumes over 80 per cent of available resources. Whilst most Westerners lead lives of unprecedented material comfort fuelled by spiralling consumption patterns, 1.3 billion people exist on less than US$1 per day." 2

"Compared to the average citizxen of India, the average US citizen uses 50 times more steel, 56 times more energy, 170 times more synthetic rubber, 250 times more motor fuel, and 300 times more plastic." 3

1. Roger Levett, 11 March 2004, A rave review from Roger Levett (published in EG magazine),
2. Earthscan, Tomorrow's World Summary,
3. Derrick Jensen, March 2004. Most discussion of population misses the point. The earth simply cannot support our lifestyle, The Ecoligist.

New Economics

"Our leaders still treat economic growth as the main and overriding goal for society". 1

"Growth for the sake of growth is the idelogy of the cancer cell". 2

"Economic growth is only worth having if it makes people better off". 1

"Roll back the market as far as it will go" 3

1. Simon Bullock, February 2004, An ABC of New Economics. Change Your World.
2. Edward Abbey
3. Derek Wall, 04 April. Green Party Economics Day.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004


"I always drank from that cup as though it were already broken." - Unknown

"Venerate the things and people you love with your caring while appreciating them in the manner that only feeling their loss can provide" - Phillip Moffitt, Paying the Boatman


There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Turn to the lawyers for justice - Stephen grey

When governments are so feeble, unions so weak and corporations so powerful, we should welcome the "compensation culture"

Thirty years of compensation litigation [in America] has forced manufacturers to re-engineer their products and make them the most consumer-friendly in the world.

[In the UK]...the introduction of no win, no fee was followed by the withdrawal of legal aid for most personal injury cases.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Deep Ecology - Stephan Harding and Arne Naess

1. All life has value in itself, independent of its usefulness to humans.

2. Richness and diversity contribute to life's well-being and have value in themselves.

3. Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital needs in a responsible way.

4. The impact of humans in the world is excessive and rapidly getting worse.

5. Human lifestyles and population are key elements of this impact.

6. The diversity of life, including cultures, can flourish only with reduced human impact.

7. Basic ideological, political, economic and technological structures must therefore change.

8. Those who accept the foregoing points have an obligation to participate in implementing the necessary changes and to do so peacefully and democratically

Artificially Managed World

The line of thought that says we should increase in numbers, material wealth and ease will lead us to an artificialy managed world.


With selective breeding you are still operating within the confines of nature. With genetic engineering there are no limits.

"The biotech companies are not interested in whether or not science is flourishing or people are starving. They simply want to make money. The best way to make money is to control the market. But before you can control the market, you must first convince the people that there's something else at stake [scientist and researchers leaving the UK, or resolving world hunger]." 1

"This new wonder-crop [Chardon LL T25] is coming to us from the test tubes of Bayer CropScience, and will supposedly only be fed to animals- who luckily for Bayer can't say no!". 2

"Today's GM crops and those in the pipline are not intended primarily to raise total output or quality, but to make it easier to mass-produce crops with minimum labour". 3

"Present day genetically manipulated organisms are not intended primarily to feed people, but to give power to the corporations that develop them." 4

1. George Monbiot, 9th March 2004, Seeds of distraction, Guardian.
2. SchNEWS, 12th March 2004, MAIZE OF LIES, SchNEWS Issue 445.
3. Colin Tudge, March 2004, Golden Goose or GM Turkey, Earth Matters Issue 56.
4. Colin Tudge, March 22 2004, New Statesman.
""If we want local democracy, our locally elected representative bodies must be able to levy local taxes to provide the money for the local services that we want" - Muriel Parsons


"We need to build bridges, not walls". 1

"Israel is the guard dog of America's plans for the Middle East." 2

1. Caroline Lucas on the Israeli wall
2. John Piliger, 22nd March 2004, New Statesman.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Strength of Mind - Aadil Palkhivala

Mental flexibility is so important for our growth, [however if we are not careful] we can find ourselves trapped in a world where everything is relative, all options are valid, and decisions are nearly impossible.

As we learn different truths, we must be able to discern between them and clearly discriminate whether an alleged truth is appropriate for our own practice...This is strength of mind.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

"The world is in a dangerous situation...It is not that we may simply blow up the planet with nuclear bombs, strangle ourselves with over-population, destroy natural resources through poor conservation, or ruin the soil and its products with improperly understood chemicals and pesticides... The problem is more basic: the root of the matter is the way in which we feel and conceive of ourselves as human beings; our sensation of being alive, of individual existence and identity." - Alan Watts

CO2 Emissions

Together, electricity and heat production constitute the worlds single largest source of carbon emission (39%).

Transport is the fastest growing contributer to global warming, and the second largest source of carbon dioxide (24%).


Humans have rights. Should the planet, animals and plants not have rights as well?

The need for law

Not all people will act responsibly and in the interest of the whole. Therefore laws are necessary to force people down a certain path.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Do you work for the company or does the company work for you?


The nation state has outlived its usefulness.

EU seeks peace and prosperity through a free trade market.

The main problem with the EMU and single currency, is trying to apply one set of monetary rules to such a large and diverse number of countries.

The EU strives for Economic competitiveness and Environmental sustainability. These two goals are conflicting.

The MEP voting system is a proportional voting system. The UK is broken down into regions.

The EU is well placed to tackled European issues such as the environment, human rights, immigration, travel, how-ever it shouldn't be used to regulate local issues.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Feminism or the other way

There has been a gross sexulisation of popular culture.

The unrealistic, impossible standards of female beauty are a destuctive social control.


In India a teacher gets paid 35p and an outsourced worker gets £140. This isn't good for Indians as teachers, nurses, engineers, even doctors will inevitably be tempted away from more socially useful emplyment.

There is no reason why an Indian worker, working for a Brisish company shouldn't be protected by British employment law.


Prosporous countries such as Britain live off the backs of a new proletaria.

If they were specially lazy, they would have stayed at home. In reality the welfare seekers are far exceeded by the work-seekers.

The welfare state doesn't draw them here, the bouyant economey does.

Illegal migration simply pushes newcomers to the margins of society, and well beyond the reach of any solidarity.
Krugman describes his four principles of research as "listen to the Gentiles, question the question, dare to be silly and simplify, simplify".

Look out for the Black spot!

The mental environment

Social conditioning

"In the end the resistance was known for one thing - they simply would not participate. Not in the 24 hour economy, the 60 hour work week, the flag waving parades, the media mania, the permenant fear, the cheers for troops. And then there was teh mark of course. It crept into daily life until it became a constant reminder that these realy were bleak times. Until one day you no longer knew who was in control, the empire that was everywhere or this invisible revolution." - Adbusters

Friday, February 27, 2004


"With a twentieth of the world's population, the US produces a quarter of the worlds' greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions are up 14% from 1990 levels and are projected to rise by a further 12% over the next decade." - SchNEWS Issue 443

Now numbering more than six billion souls, the human population has doubled since 1950.

1/5 of the worlds population live in China.

The prison and the cost of holding each prisoner is £24 241.

Home office research shows that in a single year, migrants, including asylum seekers and refugees, contributed £2.5 billion more to the economy than they cost in taking up services.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

NS - The tyranny of targets

"Audit is an iron cage" - David Marquand

Targets stop you adapting as circumstances change, and they may force you to adapt your practices to the demmands of the audit process.

It is the nature of state employees that they play things by the book, referring decisions upwards, protecting their backs, sticking to establishment procedures. The penalties for unauthorised error are greater than the reqards of inspired sucess. Targets and central controls make public servants more risk-adverse, and less inclined towards...bold inovation.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

The biggest threat to our future is not terrorism, but our own dependence on fossil fuels. In other words, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." - Unknown

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The battle for the plannet - NS Essay - Mark Lynas

We are now in the early-to-middle stages of the sixth mass extinction to hit the plannet since complex life began 2.1 billion years ago. Species are disappearing at between 1000 and 10000 times the natural bakcground rate.

We are all deeply dependant on the "ecosystem services" provided free by the natural world. These include purification and retention of fresh water (and flood control); the formation and enrichment of soil; the detoxification and recirculation of waste; the pollination of crops; the production of lumber, fodder and biomass fuel; and the regulation of the atmosphere and climate.

The destruction of the natural world... is a consequence of...[our] evolutionary success.

The "contraction and convergence" proposal for tackling climate change knits both human equality and ecological survival into an elegant equation. Similary, we can protect biodiversity by stopping habitat destruction and countering the spread of alien species around the world, especially in highly biodivrse areas. And increasing women's control over their fertility is a straightforward way to reduce population growth.

Yet these proposals are so vast and all-consuming as to require a strong and durable consessus before they can be agreed or implemented. Biodiversity protection cannot be bolted on to existing growth-orientated economics. Contraction and convergence would require enormous resource transfers fro rich to poor countries, as teh developed world pays the developing nations not to follow in its own dirty footsteps.

The much-vaunted "clash of civilisations" is at best a distraction, at worst a racist fiction. Preventing the clash between human civilisation and nature is the battle we ought to be fighting.

Is this how to end public service failure - David Boyle

Put simply, "co-production" means that welfare programmes, policing and health need to be equal partnerships between professionals and clients.

End of the sex war - Jack O'Sullivan

"Both sides of the debate" says Coote, "have recognised that we have far more interests in common than in conflict."

Monday, February 23, 2004


Future generations have no vote.

Foriegn countries have no vote in decisions that will affect them.

The first-past-the-post system still used in local and Westminster elections encourages tactical voting.

Are there such things as human values?

Majority or Minority

Racial and religous majority and minority depends on where you draw the border. There are far more minorites in a world when it is divided into nations.

Would you kill someone for $3?

The number of people living on less than $1/day is roughly 1.8 billion; the number living on less than $2/day is on the order of 2.8 billion. More than 1 billion people worldwide lack access to adquate sanitation, and more than 800 million adults are illiterate.

Power and Politics

Powerful people want to hold on to their power.

"Power tends to corrupt" 1

"The task is therefore not to abolish polititiansand bring politics to an end, but rather to ensure that politics is conducted within a framework of checks and contraints that ensure that governmental power is not abused." 2

1. Lord Acton

2. Andrew Ayward, 2002. Politics.


How do you harness peoples selfishness?

Limbit speaking at Reading Town Hall 2004

In order to stop the shooting and bombing, you have to start the dialog.

If you make something illegal you cannot regulate it.

Politics is a means to an end. What is your end?

Information taken from the "End of Nature" - Bill Mckibben

We are no longer able to thing of ourselves as a species tossed about by larger forces. We are those larger forces...that is what I meant by the 'end of nature.

The most powerful ideology of all is consumerism.

Our oil dependence poses a security threat as well as the environmental one.

Imigrants are part of the solution, not the problem. If you don't like it there is plenty of space elsewhere on the planet.

When we have mastered science allowing us to create life, make planets and bring imortality what differentiates us from god?

"God is dead" - Nietzshe

God never lived.

We, all of us in the first world have participated i nsomething of a binge, a half centuary of unbelieveable prosperity and ease.

What do you do when the past (climate wise) is no longer a guide to the future?

Unless all act together there is little reason to act seperately. - World Watch

Some countries may percieve themselves as potential 'winners' in a climate change.

Even the countries that think they wouldn't mind warming of a degree or two can't endure endless heating.

If the change [climate] is slow enough you can study the problems, determine what the regional impacts will be, and learn how to adjust. - Stephen Schneider

Everything is one

Everything is part of the eco-system. Everything is one.

Science and Technology

We use science to fix one problem and unwittingly create another. We move the problem.

Earths Population

A reduction in the earths population solves alot of our environmental problems.

Is mother nature limiting the size of the human population through disease ie aids, and people choosing not to have children etc.
"The skies and we are weeping together" - Grimm's Fairy Tales

Can you be too politically correct and thus values neutral?


We tend to assume that the future will resemble the past.


We cut up the continua of space and time with which we are surrounded into segments, so that we are predesposed to think of the enironment as consisting of vast numbers of separate things belonging to named classes, and to think of the passage of time as consisting of sequences of separate events.
"Light makes potential colors into actual colors" - Aristotle


"All my fathers brothers are my fathers".

Large extended family reduces presure on individuals.

Is it better to live with your family or friends?

Mental Experiments

Count to 1000.

Listen to the pauses in a conversation. Draw the space around an object. Taste the absense of food.

Security and Liberty

Citizens exchange liberty for security.
In the absense of any information there are too equaly likely outcomes, either something is, or it isn't.
There is an infinity of numbers between 0 and 1.

Free choice

People should have free choice unless it impacts on someone elses free choice.

Not all physical action comes from conssious mental action ie. breathing.

"The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had" - Mad World

Virtual Reality

When VR becomes indistinguishable from life you will be able to do anything. Then, then only adventure left will be death.

Straw Dogs - John Gray

In Science, knowledge is an unmixed good. In ethics adn politics it is not.

The idea of progress is a secular version of the christian belief in providence.

The aim of life is not to channge the world, but to see it rightly.

Humans can be no more the masters of their destiny than any other animal.

Most people today think they belong to a species that can be master of its destiny. This is faith not science.

By submitting to the authority of science we can hope for similar freedom from thought (as religon).

Individual selfhood is an illusion.

According to humanist the earth had no value until humans came on the scene.

Did he jump, or was he pushed by events?

Freud believed that by bringing repressed merories into conscious awareness we can gain greater control of our lives.

The a collection of competing behaviours.

We think our actions express our decisions. But in nearly all of our life willing decides nothing ie/ dreams, memory, sleeping.

Sciences' supreme value may be in showing that the world humans are programmed to perceive is a chimera.

Mr Nobody (Rees) a man without qualitis, a person without a sense of 'self'.

We are programmed to percieve identity in ourselves, when in truth there is only change. We are hardwired for the illusion of self.

Self is a still from the film of life.

Humans use language to look back on their lives and call up a virtual self.

The idea that we can rid ourselves of animal is the greatest illusion of all.

Seeing that the self we take ourselves to be is a illusory does not mean seeing through it to something else. It is more like surrender to a dream. To see ourselves as figments is to awake, not to reality, but to a lucid dream, a false awakening that has no end.

Chuang-Tzu sees human life as a dream, but does not seek to awaken from it. He writes of dreaming he was a butterfly and then not knowing on awakening whether he is a human being who has dreamt of being a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he is human.

Which untruths can we get rid of and which can we not do without?

Morality is a convienience to be relied upon in normal times.

Money corrupts everything that it touches.

Money and science is a bad combination, as money demmands return which rushes the science, often compromising safety.

GM foods may feed the poor, but there are better ways to help them.

Like beauty and intelligence, goodness is a gift of fortune.

When we are fully conscious, everything we do will be done for reasons we can know. At that point we will be the authors of our lives.

For Taoists...the freest human being is not one who acts on reasons he has choosen for himself, but one who never has to choose. Rather than agonising over alternatives he responds effortlessly to situations as tehy arise.

What was humankinds origonal Sin? Temptation?

How does the suffering of Christ re-deem it?

From what and to what could this infinite whirl be saved?

There is nothing from which to seek deliverance.

Who is the perfect saviour...It is the saviour who shall deliver mankind from salvation - Buddha

Grand inquisitor - Humanity is to weak for freedom, and will worship the provider of ordinary bread. Jesus's teaching amended and founded on miracle, mystery and authority. Men rejoiced as they were led like sheep. And rejoiced as they were freed from the suffering that freedom brought.

Drug use is a tacit admission of a forbidden truth. For most people happiness is beyond reach. Fulfilment is not found in everyday life, but in escaping from it. Since happiness is unavailable the mass of mankind seeks pleasure.

We are inclined to think of hunter gatherers as poor, because they don't have anything; perhaps better to think of them for that reason as free - Marshall Sahlins

Do you own your possessions, or do they own you?

The move from hunter gatherer to farmer didn't improve quality of life, but allowed more people to survive at a lower level.

The function of this new economey (entertainment) legal and illegal, is to entertain and distract a population which - though busier than ever before - secretly suspects that it is useless.

Religon was church, then politics andnow science.

Future wars will be fought over dwindling natural resources.

So long as the population grows, progress will consist in labouring to keep up with it.

How can we enforce zero population growth without the use of draconian powers (By giving people control of there ability to become pregnant through the use of contraceptives).

Action gives us consolation for our existence.

How can there be any play in a time when nothing has meaning unless it leads on to something else?

If you know what you are seeking you will find what you seek.

Recomended retail price for food to stop the spread of supermarkets.

Make renting cheaper than owner occupying to reduce commuting.