Headline »

Averting climate disaster – conscientious objectors needed

May 14, 2019 – 11:08 am | Comments Off on Averting climate disaster – conscientious objectors needed

Millions of people have been inspired by the young environmental activist Greta Thunberg. Aged 15, she painted her simple sign, sat outside the Swedish Parliament and began a ‘school strike for the climate’.

Her uncompromising language …

Read the full story »
Neoliberalism

The dominant ideology of modern times is hard to pin down but its influence is global and catastrophic. A mixture of bogus economic theory, direct assaults on behalf of class power and a Trojan horse to subvert democracy – everyone needs to understand the nature and influence of neoliberalism.

Corruption

Our taxes pay the wages of politicians, the police and the civil service. These people take our money and our trust to look after OUR interests. When they decide to play the game for themselves and their friends its called corruption and it should always be exposed and challenged.

Corporate Capture

Politics, the Civil Service, the media, the police, the EU Commission – the list of organisations that should bat for us but instead bat for corporate power is depressing – we chart the slide and the fightback. We follow the money, the cushy appointments, the backroom deals all the way to the top

Squashing Dissent

If there is one characteristic of the modern neoliberal era its that the establishment has become hyper-sensitive to any kind of criticism and organised protest. We keep track of all the latest legal and illegal ways that legitimate peaceful protest is undermined, bullied and squashed.

Spying

The role played by the ‘security services’ of the UK and the USA in the mass Orwellian surveillance of innocent people was exposed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden – we will trace developments of this terrifying new front in the battle to defend democracy and basic freedoms.

Featured, Headline, Latest »

Averting climate disaster – conscientious objectors needed

May 14, 2019 – 11:08 am | Comments Off on Averting climate disaster – conscientious objectors needed

Millions of people have been inspired by the young environmental activist Greta Thunberg. Aged 15, she painted her simple sign, sat outside the Swedish Parliament and began a ‘school strike for the climate’.

Her uncompromising language of warning and challenge has inspired a global movement of school strikes and forced EU leaders in Strasbourg and world leaders at the Davros World Economic Forum to listen.

To attend the World Economic Forum in Davros Greta undertook a grueling 64 hour round trip train journey, while 1500 private jet journeys conveyed the other delegates – supposedly our leaders and betters.

Many now agree that climate change and ecosystem collapse constitute an emergency far worse than anything which generated food rationing, the blackout, conscription and ‘dig for victory’ in wartime Britain. Now that the UK parliament has declared a climate emergency, one wonders quite where the emergency measures are.

Of course, there won’t be any meaningful action. Amidst all the self-congratulatory cheer of declaring climate emergencies, the Realpolitik of getting elected still pivots around satisfying consumer demand, increasing wages and growing the economy. Even employees of railway operator Network Rail eschew their own trains and fly on internal UK flights – perhaps they didn’t get the memos about climate change.

A recent poll by Sky News illuminated what most of us already know: a majority of Britons will refuse to unilaterally give up, or even reduce their car journeys, air travel or meat consumption to avert climate change.

The current moral temperature seems to be this: while people worry about climate change and demand that ‘someone else’ should sort it out, the majority are not willing to even slow down their participation in our consumer economy. To be fair, some can’t because they are flat out just trying to survive, but for many (most?) the rat race supports a lifestyle they are unwilling to change or even examine.

It occurs to us that what is needed now is a new generation of conscientious objectors. Their withdrawal will not be from fighting forces as in times of war, but from participation in a global economy which is leading humanity to extinction.

This needs a lot of careful thought. A peace activist can refuse to shoot guns and still live, but participation in the contemporary economy is at least partially mandatory.

Divorced and locked out as nearly all of us are from any land or means of production, we cannot survive a total withdrawal from our fossil fuel driven society. Nearly all of us are grateful to have any employment, regardless of its impact on the environment.

There is much (welcome) talk of a green new deal – essentially a series of techno-fixes to economics, politics and the fuels of industrialism. This is a fantasy however. The impacts of contemporary materialism and consumerism run far beyond our hapless and dangerous reliance on fossil fuels: only the most radical downsizing of our global economic activities will avert a mass extinction event. 

The virtual impossibility of being entirely economically inactive in our atomised and individualistic modern society is an enormous obstacle to dealing with climate change. Bereft of supportive  communities, how can any of us get off the merry-go-round of fossil fuel driven employment and consumption that supports every aspect of our daily lives?  

The truth is we can’t – at least not yet. There are however degrees of withdrawal both from harmful consumption and employment which will be variably possible for people dependent on their circumstances.

Such balances won’t be at all easy to strike and none can be perfect within the current paradigm, but some of us are going to have start modelling a new kind of conscientious objection soon or all will be lost.

Online pledges about carbon footprints etc already exist but a new movement of conscientious objection will have to go much farther. All current and future aspects of consumption and employment now need to viewed in the context of their impact on the environment.  

It simply can’t be sane to forgo flights and then work for a travel agent. No consumer act is climate neutral and no job is climate neutral: all now invoke moral choices critical to the future of humanity.

While some jobs are unquestionably beneficial and vital to our survival, the overwhelming majority of the work that most of us do belongs on a scale which ranges from merely useless to actively harmful. When a society is economically growing itself to death, we either stop playing Monopoly or die.

A new generation of conscientious objectors – eschewing participation in the economic engines of the modern paradigm – is desperately needed.  Objectors  will need ways to support each other through the inevitable abuse and economic precariousness they will have to endure.

What is needed in short is not just a solitary teenager sitting outside the Swedish parliament on her school strike for climate – but a global network of conscientious objection for the climate. 

Sodium Haze will be exploring many of the practical, ideological and philosophical issues that need careful consideration in this context.

I earnestly encourage (without judgement) all readers of this article to do the same.

A second Brexit referendum is a dangerous fallacy

May 4, 2019 – 11:36 am | Comments Off on A second Brexit referendum is a dangerous fallacy

Picture the scene – at a series of press events and amidst a flurry of tweeted delight from Labour’s right wing MP’s – Jeremy Corbyn backs a 2nd Brexit referendum. Oh how DE-LIGH-TED will be …

Beware the Blairite 2nd Referendum trap

May 3, 2019 – 11:47 am | Comments Off on Beware the Blairite 2nd Referendum trap

When the opinionators of The Guardian unite with the Blairite rump in the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) to give Jeremy Corbyn advice you know its poison, since they fear and despise him in equal measure.
Faithful …

Declaring climate emergencies is cosmetic – let’s not forget that

May 2, 2019 – 12:09 pm | 2 Comments

Congratulatory cheer abounds as various bodies are declaring a climate emergency. This is not to be decried or belittled – it speaks to a shift in another climate, that of public opinion. Extinction Rebellion deserve …

Questions eXtinction Rebellion must answer – Part Two

April 21, 2019 – 9:53 am | 3 Comments

The Extinction Rebellion movement is the current flagship of climate change protest. I applaud their well branded PR campaign which conveys wholly appropriate messages of urgency and relative militancy.
I have serious concerns about their policy platform …

Questions eXtinction Rebellion must answer – Part One

April 20, 2019 – 3:08 pm | Comments Off on Questions eXtinction Rebellion must answer – Part One

Will eXtinction Rebellion succeed and somehow avert the onrushing climate apocalypse and planetary ecocide? Should I be on the streets and getting signed up to be arrested?
While I applaud the media savvy branding, some …

Ireland poised to flout its own ban on fracking

September 18, 2018 – 8:53 pm | Comments Off on Ireland poised to flout its own ban on fracking

Small bands of campaigners on the ecologically sensitive west coast of Ireland are fighting Texan fracking giant Fortress Energy over the import and onward transportation of environmentally disastrous fracked gas.
Ireland banned fracking in 2017  and …

How the Guardian aided the anti-semites

June 9, 2018 – 9:03 am | Comments Off on How the Guardian aided the anti-semites

Here’s a small thought experiment that even the editor of the Guardian, Kath Viner, should be able to manage.

Who do you help when you censor a cartoon depicting Israel’s well-documented war crimes against Palestinians – …

The best way to save the planet? Drop meat and dairy | George Monbiot

June 8, 2018 – 9:18 am | Comments Off on The best way to save the planet? Drop meat and dairy | George Monbiot

Whether human beings survive this century and the next, whether other lifeforms can live alongside us: more than anything, this depends on the way we eat. We can cut our consumption of everything else almost …

Israel accused of launching an air strike near Syria’s capital city | Morning Star

May 9, 2018 – 10:13 pm | Comments Off on Israel accused of launching an air strike near Syria’s capital city | Morning Star

SYRIA accused Israel of launching an air strike against army positions near the capital Damascus today just hours after the Iran nuclear deal collapsed.
It is the latest act of aggression by Israel, which has ratcheted …

The Caliphate of Trump and a Planet in Ruins

May 9, 2018 – 3:57 pm | Comments Off on The Caliphate of Trump and a Planet in Ruins

They are the extremists. If you need proof, look no further than the Afghan capital, Kabul, where the latest wave of suicide bombings has proven devastating. Recently, for instance, a fanatic set off his explosives among a group of citizens …

The case for public ownership | New Internationalist

May 9, 2018 – 1:33 pm | Comments Off on The case for public ownership | New Internationalist

After decades of denuding privatization policies, the green shoots of a public takeback are finally appearing. Dinyar Godrej on the promise and the threat

Come election time and politicians’ promises fly thick as clouds of swifts. Imagine if …

Russia: Trump Iran Decision ‘Threat to International Security’

May 9, 2018 – 1:10 pm | Comments Off on Russia: Trump Iran Decision ‘Threat to International Security’

The decision could endanger upcoming negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington, one Russian senator said.

Russia has slammed U.S. President Donald Trump‘s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal as a “flagrant violation” of international law.

“We are extremely concerned that the United States once …

Syria airstrikes: Led by liars and enabled by liars

April 14, 2018 – 9:15 am | Comments Off on Syria airstrikes: Led by liars and enabled by liars

No surprise that Donald Trump hasn’t bothered to consult Congress before going to war to support Saudi backed jihadist terrorists in Syria – furthering American ambitions towards regime change (imperialist conquest) that they have been …

Israeli troops shooting unarmed protesters is not a ‘clash’ – it is murder

March 31, 2018 – 10:09 am | One Comment

I shall spare you the latest list of Palestinian dead, their names and the funerals planned for them in the next few days – if you are moved you can see them on Al Jazeera, …

Anti-Corbyn smears shows why The Guardian deserves to die

March 26, 2018 – 11:37 am | 5 Comments

Here is how it is done – how fake news is created by The Guardian to smear people who won’t fellate them, people like Jeremy Corbyn. 
First of all you seize on a small news snippet …

Russians poison Westminster – tough inaction proposed!

March 19, 2018 – 11:58 am | Comments Off on Russians poison Westminster – tough inaction proposed!

Terrifying evidence has emerged that the evil Russian regime has launched a wave of poisonous attacks against the political integrity of politicians at Westminster. Senior figures within the Conservative Party have been bombarded with briefcases …

People don’t matter in Tory Britain. Capital is God and people can burn.

June 17, 2017 – 1:29 pm | Comments Off on People don’t matter in Tory Britain. Capital is God and people can burn.

David Cameron said in 2012 that his new year’s resolution was to “kill off the health and safety culture for good”.
Health and safety legislation has become an “albatross around the neck of British businesses”, he …

Neil Kinnock to confront Loony Right of the Tory Party

June 11, 2017 – 12:34 pm | Comments Off on Neil Kinnock to confront Loony Right of the Tory Party

Neil Kinnock is being drafted in to speak to a hastily convened Tory Party conference to confront the loony right of the party (most of it)
The Conservatives are clinging to power while trying to navigate the …

It was the manifesto wot nearly won it!

June 10, 2017 – 11:59 am | 4 Comments

The big media portals like The Guardian, The BBC, The Daily Mail & The Sun all tried to destroy Corbyn and his platform of moderate social democracy – they failed. Their new mission is to bury the electoral success of socialism as …

The Facts Proving Corbyn’s Election Triumph | Counterpunch

June 9, 2017 – 2:48 pm | Comments Off on The Facts Proving Corbyn’s Election Triumph | Counterpunch

Watching the BBC’s coverage of the election, you could be excused for taking away two main impressions of last night’s results. First, that Theresa May had a terrible, self-sabotaging campaign; and second that, while Jeremy …

Genuine progressives can celebrate Corbyn falling just short – here’s why

June 9, 2017 – 11:00 am | 6 Comments

While it is deeply sad that we will not see Jeremy Corbyn on the steps at Downing Street, this short-term pain will surely prove to be a massive medium term gain for the resurgent politics of …

Secret NHS cost-cutting plans sound ‘death knell’ for British healthcare, warn campaigners | Independent

June 6, 2017 – 2:20 pm | Comments Off on Secret NHS cost-cutting plans sound ‘death knell’ for British healthcare, warn campaigners | Independent

Senior NHS managers are discussing secret cost-cutting plans to be announced after the General Election – measures that one chief executive described as the most extreme and difficult to hit the health service they had …

‘The BBC Has Betrayed Its Own Rules Of Impartiality’: Yemen, Saudi Arabia And The General Election | Media Lens

June 5, 2017 – 7:09 pm | Comments Off on ‘The BBC Has Betrayed Its Own Rules Of Impartiality’: Yemen, Saudi Arabia And The General Election | Media Lens

A key function of BBC propaganda is to present the perspective of ‘the West’ on the wars and conflicts of the world. Thus, in a recent online report, BBC News once again gave prominence to …

Spare a thought for those who aren’t defiant or marvellously chipper after terrorist attacks

June 5, 2017 – 5:01 pm | One Comment

Most times scanning the ‘coverage’ pumped out by the mainstream media feels pointless, like watching a model train on an oval track. The train comes along, we look at the little wheels going around and for reasons nobody …

May doesn’t pause for breath in her rush to exploit the London attacks for political gain – what an utter disgrace

June 4, 2017 – 1:44 pm | Comments Off on May doesn’t pause for breath in her rush to exploit the London attacks for political gain – what an utter disgrace

What a vulgar and morally  bankrupt display from Theresa May this morning as she responded to the attacks in London with a tub-thumping speech straight out of the Daily Mail’s big book of rabble rousing. No time to offer a prayer or wait …

The Guardian’s sudden love for Corbyn is cynical self-interest – don’t fall for it

June 3, 2017 – 11:42 am | 6 Comments

“If there were a conflict of interests which side would the civil service really be on?”
Jim Hacker
” The winning side, Prime Minister”
Bernard Woolley
So The Guardian has had a Road To Damascus moment and …

Is the Tory Dementia Tax a mug of urine too far for British voters?

May 31, 2017 – 11:42 am | Comments Off on Is the Tory Dementia Tax a mug of urine too far for British voters?

I wonder what it would take for the older generation of this country to consider voting against swallowing mouthfuls of piss? I can’t imagine a scenario where the overall rump of our nation’s grey voters wouldn’t vote for …

Raging against the bad guys is insufficient – we have to be better than terrorists to beat them

May 23, 2017 – 3:54 pm | One Comment

The Facebook posts, ministers dashing to COBRA meetings, the condemnations, the praise for the emergency services, the prayers of world leaders…. it has become a grisly ritual hasn’t it? A terrorist murders  innocent people in …

Can Anybody Find Any Significant Difference Between May’s Policies and the British National Party Manifesto of 2005? : Craig Murray

April 21, 2017 – 11:55 am | Comments Off on Can Anybody Find Any Significant Difference Between May’s Policies and the British National Party Manifesto of 2005? : Craig Murray

I was struck by how entirely similar Theresa May’s discourse is to that of the British National Party candidate I fought in Blackburn in 2005. That led me to turn to the BNP 2005 Manifesto, …

Don’t trust the Lib Dems – insist they rule out being Tory enablers before you give them your vote

April 21, 2017 – 11:01 am | Comments Off on Don’t trust the Lib Dems – insist they rule out being Tory enablers before you give them your vote

Are we seriously going to get hoodwinked by the Lib Dems all over again? Have we forgotten that they propped up a Tory government for five years with votes cast as a protest AGAINST the …