Demagogue sweeps to victory

Many on the left in the UK and elsewhere are celebrating George Galloway's resounding victory in the last Thursday's Bradford West by-election. With a turnout of just over 50%, the former labour stronghold saw a massive swing away from New Labour and the other mainstream parties to the left-leaning Respect coalition. Just ten years ago I would have been over the moon about such a spectacular win for the superficially radical left.

Forerunners of Modern Globalisation


Our species, homo sapiens sapiens, is now thought to have evolved at least 120,000 years ago with some recent finds in the Middle East dated to as long ago as 200,000 years ago. On that time scale, the Neolithic agrarian revolution, occurring in most parts of the more densely populated world between 15,000 and 5,000 years ago and only reaching some locales such as Australia, in the era of European colonisation.

570,000 could join housing waiting lists

If we had kept a stable population, not encouraged immigration for short-term market expediency, not subsidised irresponsible procreation and not transferred council houses to housing associations, we would not be in this mess. I pay £100 a week for a single room. My landlords, like most property owners in this part of London, were not born in this country (big surprise) and let three upstairs rooms to help subsidise their interest-only mortgage on a £400,000 property. As a contractor, I am not ...

570,000 could join housing waiting lists

So presumably you call Vietnamese sweatshops and shanty towns progress too because they are consequences of the same global system you admire. Basically, you're saying "tough luck". I don't call destroying communities, cultural annihilation and ethnic cleansing progress, I call it regress. As said this housing crisis has been engineered. We didn't have a housing crisis 30 years ago. We simply needed to replenish old stock and build some affordable quality social housing on brownfield sites near to people's ...

'I can get my family back': immigrants driven out of Arizona return home

As an anti-imperialism, I think Arizona should have remained Mexican anyway. However, immigration to richer countries encourages both greater per capita consumption (the first thing many newcomers want is a car, and in the US that's likely to be a gas-guzzling SUV) and procreation, as newcomers take advantage of social welfare handouts. I suspect this is part of the Independent's pro-Cornucopia season. No, unlimited immigration and population growth are not sustainable on a finite planet and will lead to...

Reality Denial

When do we let our political judgements be swayed not by a rational analysis of the facts, but by self-interest, wishful thinking, superstition or just plain irrational prejudices? Whether rapid climate change is taking place and is caused by human activity is surely a matter of scientific analysis, on which I suppose one may hold different perspectives, e.g. one may return from an unusually mild southern Greenland only to witness subzero temperatures in Madrid. One’s objective analysis during a...

Breeding Hatred

One of the biggest dilemmas for environmental realists is striking the right balance between the potential infringement of human rights required to power down to a more sustainable society on one hand, and the inevitable threat to human rights if we don't take action now. Let's call this the human rights dilemma. One solution is simply to deny the relevance of the coming environmental collapse by idealising a variant form of cornucopia, believing everything would be okay if we just wrested power from the...

Something's Changed

Thoughts on Michael Bywater's Big Babies or Why Can't We Just Grow Up ... Originally prepared for a talk and discussion at the South Place Ethical Society Book Club. ... Why do people seem to behave differently these days? Why do young girls appear to be more interested in sex? Why do young boys appear to be more restless and inattentive? Why do so many adults comport themselves like overgrown children, always eager to indulge in new high-tech toys or score with members of the opposite or indeed of...

Two add Two equals Five because Four is a Racist Number

Racism, or more correctly in most cases xenophobia , is matter of ethics. It seems fair to conclude that racism has no place in any caring society because nobody benefits from being victims of prejudice based on arbitrary ethnic distinctions. In the real world prejudice is a natural by-product of extreme variations in wealth, rampant materialism, heightened social competition and growing duplicity (namely the contrast between our anti-racist rhetoric and selfish behaviour). I doubt the Hotel Ritz has a...


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