The UK’s Sustainable Development Commission (disbanded by the present Conservative Government) produced a report called Prosperity without Growth in 2009. I do not know, if they used any of the material from the earlier Die Grünen economic programmes (link below) from the eighties? But it is a pity that the German Green Party, that recognised that continued growth, could not continue, broke up. And that we just seem to be recycling old ideas, without them materialising into actions.
Back in 2011, at the UK’s Green Party conference in Cardiff. At a fringe meeting, Equality without Growth, the author of the Prosperity without Growth, Tim Jackson. Spoke about the need for the Green Party to show real leadership, by pushing forward an agenda for Degrowth. Something that was needed as the Global North was suffering from the financial melt-down. Unfortunately, the UK’s Green Party promotes the continued pursuit of economic growth!
In his 2006 landmark report on how we should respond to the climate crisis, Nicholas Stern characterised global warming as an ‘externality’, a damage to others due to market activity whose cost is not met by those who cause it.
Indeed, Stern characterised climate change as ‘the largest ever market failure’. In other words, the problem of global warming arises because the market system is not working well enough, and if we could find a way to correct the fault then the problem would be solved. It was a geophysicist, Brad Werner, who in 2012 argued precisely the opposite case – that we are in this mess not because the market system is not working well enough but because it is working too well. Werner’s startling presentation to the annual conference of the American Geophysical Union was titled ‘Is the Earth F**ked?’ and he posed in public the question climate…
Manchester City Council (100% Labour) constantly complains about Central Government, whilst it is happy to unlawfully enact the bedroom tax. Putting many Manchester residents into deeper poverty and even homelessness. Manchester is one of the most deprived cities in the UK, with the lowest life-expectancy for males. And all Manchester City Council is concerned about, is throwing money at the usual property developers, like Urban Splash and Ask Development
The New York Times and New York Review of Books have published big important pieces describing Jewish terrorism in Israel and its occupied territories, but both pieces are romantic, and propose to save Zionism and Israel from this inherent element.
Nestlé is guilty, like so many multi-national corporations of many crimes, especially in selling foodstuffs that are actualy totally unhealthy. But one of its’ worse crimes is its’ continued support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Back in January I wrote about how my transition from DLA to PIP lost me £140 per month, and in March I posted about the saga I had with my Mandatory Reconsideration; both of these pieces demonstrated precisely what this loss meant to me in real terms. Since then I have found myself so behind with bill payments, I now am past ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ and am at the bailiffs knocking on the door stage.
The reason for raising this is, today a FOI request asking ‘The percentage of current DLA claimants, who, on conversion to PiP, were reduced in their claims’…was answered by the DWP. Unsurprisingly their response was “I can confirm that the Department holds the information you are seeking. However, Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act exempts this information from disclosure. This is because the information is intended for publication at a future date.
Unfortunately, the use of percentages (%) instead of hard figures is used within all Government departments including the NHS (National Health Service). Even the Health Protection Agency HPA), in their reply to a planning application for a biomass incinerator in Davyhulme, Trafford. Stated it was acceptable because it would only increase the local death rates by 0.06 per year.
application predicts that the particulate emissions from the plant would result in a 0.011% increase in deaths brought forward (paragraph 12.180). This is also expressed as 0.06 deaths brought forward per annum for this population. The applicant considers this impact “would not be noticeable”.
Of course, any increase in the local death rate is totally unacceptable. And, yet we have a Government department, the HPA, supposedly responsible for the protection of human health finding it acceptable. Though they put it as, ‘would not be noticable’!
We also have the use of percentages, when they talk about ‘fracking fluid’. The highly toxic cocktail of water, sand and chemicals they use in high-pressure hydraulic fracturing of shale gas. Hydraulic fracturing for shale gas is likely to involve the use of large quantities of clean water, typically 10,000 to 30,000 m3 water per well (10,000,000 to 30,000,000 litres). Which is mixed with sand, around 5% and other fluids at around 2%. Which makes it sound as miniscule amount, until you do the maths and 2% = 300,000 to 600,000 litres of highly toxic and carcenigenic fluidsbeing added. Which has the potentail to seep into aquifers and pollute drinking water.
As the blog below ststaes, it is time the Government stopped hiding behind percentages, and gave clear figures that people can clearly understand.
I had only been in the Algarve for a week, when I found out about Faro’s first beer festival. It was during the weekend of Friday 3rd July till 0200hrs, Monday 6th July with the temperature in the high 30s. It was opposite the police station and entry was free. It was €2.50 for a festival glass (copo), and beer and food was purchased by vouchers. They had a number of kiosk, where money could be exchanged for vouchers. There were individual stalls for the different artisan breweries and food outlets, with plenty of space to sit down.
On the first day, I tried a pork dish and like festival in the UK, it was short on vegetables. But it could be described as a square meal, 250mm x 250mm (10 sq ins), bread was included.
The food outlets, were all selling bottles of Samual Adams and the Faro Motorcycle club selling, Trooper! There were a large number of Portuguese and Spanish artisan brewers represented:
Sovina, Cabbeer (Spanish), Moura, Octava Colina, Praxis, Rolls Beer, Ballut, La Cibeles, Rapada, Maldita, Deck Beer Lab, Post Scriptum, Letra, Mammooth (Spanish), Amphora, Zézé Blond, Marafada, Seleccáo 1927, Boheme and Vadia. Unfortunately, the weekist beer was 4.8% with most in the 7 and 8%. They were especially keen on stouts and porters, with some only selling the dark beers. Because of the heat, I stayed with the IPAs and wheat beers. The Spanish Mammooth’s wheat beer, was ‘interesting’, a very orange colour. One brewery, Deck Beer Lab, had a badge a bit like Brew Dog with Bath Ale’s hare in it. I was informed, it was an adaption of their restraunts sign, but instead of a pig, they have a rabbit. They also mentioned, the restraunt had being a around a lot longer than Brew Dog.
Also available in the park was a gym and puddings for people to really comfortable in. Though I would imagine, most CAMRA members would not be able to get to their feet again. There were also scenes of mothers openly breast-feeding the children, which might have brought about an early demise for some CAMRA members. Musical entertainment and cookery lesson went on throughout the day. It was very much a carnival atmosphere, with families very much in evidence.
Since privatisation of the buses and railways, the servvices they provide are wholefully poor. When it once took a bus from Benchill, Wythenshawe to Manchester City Centre, twenty minutes. It now takes an hour and the service has been reduced to a half-hourly service during the day, from a three-hourly service. And there used to be an additional limited service during peak-hours, which took 10 minutes.
Then we have the railways, who terminate trains, if they are running late. It has happened on several occasions, when a train has by=passed Sheffield. And when it arrived in Manchester Piccadilly, passengers for Liverpool are informed, the train will terminate at Manchester Oxford Road. Is it any wonder, our streets are congested with private motor vehicles and air pollution killing people. Private compaanies running public transport, does not work for the public good. The East Coast Mainline Railway was a prime example. Where a failing private company lost its franchise and the line was run under public ownership. It was a successful and ‘profitable’ business, an example on how to run a public transport business. Blair promised to re-nationalise the railways when he got into power, but never did. It was one of his many failings and yet the media, think the man is some sort of hero? Unfortunately, with the undemocratic electoral system we have in the UK, I doubt we will have any real change.
The latest explosion of ridicule and indignation finds its target in Jeremy Corbyn daring to speak about ‘public ownership of some necessary things‘. Media is abuzz with ideologues, lexical hair-splitters and supercilious interpreters making great effort to draw attention away from any constructive debate. If public ownership of natural monopolies had been advocated as a vehicle of Cameron’s Big Society I wonder whether the response would be this inane.
Clause Four! Clause Four! Oh, my good gods but the hysteria and vitriol, from both political wings, is woeful and tedious in its predictability. The capacity to focus in on the least relevant aspect of a message is remarkable. Clause IV (commitment to the “common ownership of the means of production”), re-nationalisation, pre-distribution, mutualism, socialism… Really, I don’t give a rat’s arse for the semantic games and the expedient framing they afford. The concept matters more than a loaded label…