One of the selling points of ID cards is 'fighting crime'. In fact the 'creation of crime' is more apt. ID cards will be accompanied by a plethora of new laws forbidding forgery of ID cards, and mis-use or even loss of existing cards. In some countries with an ID card culture, ID cards are routinely given to traders as a form of security. An ID card or passport is accepted as security for hire of a motorbike, or prostitutes leave their ID cards with hotel receptionists to ensure their good behaviour with their guests.
The ID card issue has been taken up by the Labour Party in response to concerted lobbying by the large IT companies looking for cost plus public sector projects. There is little evidence that 'biometric' ID cards will be much different from the 1980s Thai ID card which showed a mugshot of the citizen with a calibration scale in the background.
American anti-terrorist screening is said to require new types of ID documents, but to be sure carriers also like records of passengers previous movements and financial transactions in order be sure. File sharing could take care of these requirements.
A Green Party Government would put current ID card work on hold and tell the big companies involved to seek work elsewhere. New work on file sharing would be put out to universities and IT companies to get projects done as cheaply as possible with open source software and a complete ban on proprietry data formats. There needs to be much new work on fault tolerant systems.
Travel is either elective or compulsory. In the UK a combination of labour market flexibilty and property market inflexibilty leads to a tidal flow of cars to and from city centers every day. Government policy exacerbates the problem.
A Green Party government would undertake radical reforms in both transport and housing. Private car ownership would be replaced with leasing. Parking would be included in rental costs.
Unify hate-speech laws into 'reckless speech' laws.
Apply 'reckless action' laws to politicians and business magnates when they implement unsafe policies.
With the growth of digital photography and the internet it is easier to circulate evidence of crimes such as paedophilia, police brutality and some war crimes. One of the main difficulties of law enforcement is labour involved in sorting and filing evidence.
His economic insight made him so popular that the East India company seized upon his talents employing him at their business school for trainee imperialists. Malthus was one of the first political economists. Many of his ideas were condemned by Marx and until recent times many in the 'British Left' parties saw population limitation as a neo-con form of race war. China's One Child Policy seems a shotgun marriage between Marx and Malthus. The impact has been global and paradoxical. Falling birthrates have lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, but have also lead to higher levels of consumption to such an extent that China's construction boom sets world prices for many commodities. Not only is lead disappearing from English church roofs, but copper cable is being stolen from UK railway systems.
Discussion of demography or government imposed population targets are a taboo subject in many Western democracies. In America the debate is mixed up with the abortion issue and the religious fundamentalist vote. With the exception of the Philippines, East Asia seems rather different. Even India had its flirtation with a government sponsored sterilisation policy under the Gandhi dynasty.
Before taking holy orders Malthus became a Cambridge wrangler, obtaining a first in the mathematics tripos.
This is a technology which enables the rich to drive around in gas guzzling vehicles while putting up food prices for the poor. Biofuel is not a new idea. The UK made extensive use of biotechnology to make explosives during the first world war. Wood-gas was used as fuel for London taxis during this period.
-- Carbon trading.
Casino capitalists love this. It is simply a method to create new trades and up-front comission for a financial elite. The accounting will often be replaced by wishful thinking rather than relation to the facts.
-- Carbon sequestration.
The idea of putting CO2 (See-Oh-Two) underground involves heavy infrastructure costs. It has been welcomed by energy companies operating where power stations are situated near to depleted oil reserves. The UK and Manchuria are such regions. Pumping CO2 underground will enable old oil fields to yield new oil.
-- Green taxes.
Taxation is always unpopular. Green taxes are merely consumption taxes. These usually hit the poor more than the rich.
-- Sustainable X.
Because something is sustainable it is not necessarily good. Closing all the schools would be a good strategy for sustainable ignorance.
-- Nuclear power.
Nuclear power was a panacea of the 1950s. It was claimed that nuclear electricity would be too cheap to meter. The reality was that the radioactive cores of Soviet nuclear power stations were hand assembled by plentiful slave labour, and the US and UK nuclear power stations were essential components of atom bomb factories.
Nuclear power has justifiably got a bad reputation.
-- Hydrogen economy.
2H2+O2 = 2H20
Cars run on hydrogen. There are no CO2 emissions. Basic chemistry.
Where do we get the hydrogen? Electrolysis is the classical method. Burn hydrocarbons to generate electricity. Electrolyse water or a salt, and get hydrogen and something else. Collect the hydrogen and store it in a porous solid such as expensive palladium and you can burn it on demand. The hydrogen economy requires a distribution system just like electric power. The infrastructure investments may require considerable fossil fuel energy inputs. So we wait for Craig Ventner to engineer an organism which produces hydrogen. Alternatively we ask chemists to devise a process to give is real cheap hydrogen from solar power. This could solve energy problems much more quickly than the development of nuclear fusion power.
'Greenwash' is a public relations act by big corporations to disguise their ethical bankruptcy. The policy of these large organisations is very insideous because they have so much money that they can buy people. There are many people who moved from high profile ecological campaigning positions to merceneries working for the Fortune 500 corporations. It's also a revolving door: many great campaigners have made their first steps working for the multinationals.
'Greenwash' also deludes some people in various green movements. Campaigns against G.M. or concrete windmills or nuclear power stations etc. give various forces the ability to get people onto the streets. In fact many of these are 'middle class' campaigns which will just make things worse for the majority of the human race. Japan has had a history of really strong environmental protest. Back in the 1970s mobs trashed the newly built Narita airport just outside Tokyo in pitched battles that outdid any subsequent UK airport protest. The Japanese activists smashed up the terminal buildings with iron bars. It's also easy to mobilise opposition against clear felling Japanese forests. The rumour goes that the Narita airport protest was supported by farmers who wanted a better cut in the airport parking monopoly. Protecting nature is a sort of privilege of the rich Japanese with their artistic culture and tree revering Shinto ways. They can just get their timber from Indonesia, Brazil, and Africa.
Japanese Environmentalists -> Exploitation of Phillipines, Indonesia
The Japanese have learned the hard way. The industrial age gave them mass radiation injuries from American atom bombs and mass poisoning from mercury via their own metal processing industry. It is also true that the Japanese invented sustainable pearl culture and changed a whole industry.
The sort of 'Single Issue Campaigns' against polluting industries seen in rich countries usually relocate the problems to poor regions. The industrialised world sees many such temporary mobilisations against the inherent evils of industrialisation, but the problems are more inherent in human organisation itself. Charismatic leaders may exploit mass movements for unstated ends.
Forget Greenpeace and friends of the Earth, but vote Green when possible.
Opposition to genetically modified crops seems to be a key principal for many environmentalists. There is good reason for opposition to any attempts to reduce diversity in a world where people are seeking new crops to solve the new problems associated with short population doubling times. Monsanto's efforts to introduce crops resistant to their weedkiller and create a 100% Monsanto ecology with predators. prey and customers all served by a single corporation with shareholders and investors and pension funds seem very ambitious but this is the nature of capitalism rather than science. Much environmental protest has been directed against one single corporation but there is little evidence that this corporation is inflicting a new form of damage on people. It is the nature of large organisations to attempt to monopolise the stuff of life whether it be food or energy, or the means of delivering education and training.
The large corporations seek to maximise their profits. Mobsters can go to the meetings of these corporations and get pay offs just like the Japanese Yakuza. The revolving door between positions of environmental campaigners and corporate spokesmen has to raise questions about the motivation of some environmental camaigners. In the UK the Guardian regularly advertises positions as fundraisers for environmental charities and the salaries offered put these fundraisers into the ruling class which can employ nannies from third world countries to look after their kids.
In the UK environmental protesters take part in showpiece demonstrations where they tear up G.M. crops. These protests are part of a worldwide movement. Farming is changing (and has been changing for several hundred years) as a result of the introduction of new hybrid species, or finding new profitable markets for previously sidelined species.
Genetic engineering holds the prospect of creating new species very quickly. Measurement of the behaviour of any new species can take years or decades of patient observation. The nature of human politics requires quick answers. Many of these answers are badly thought out or just paid for. Protests against G.M. crops have been going on for at least a decade. In the meantime biofuels give a potentially profitable market for sidelined species. Rather than being weeds, biofuels kill off food crops by pure commercial competition. Maybe the next lot of pesticides will target lawyers and accountants ?
Fri Sep 28 13:39:27 BST 2007
Larry Elliot quotes professor Danny Blanchflower, in The Guardian.
Increasing the supply of rented homes is a better way to bring down unemplyoment than labour market reforms designed to weaken unions or weaken employment protection. Countries with the highest level of home ownership had the longest dole queues and there was no evidence that deregulating labour markets was a cure to unemployment.
Economy: The UK has been kept out of the European currency union because no politician wants to affect the 'sacred cow' of the 'Property Market'. Failure to integrate economic policy with the rest of the EU make the UK an attractive base for major organised crime such as cigarette smuggling, carousel fraud, and suchlike.
Retardation of sustainable technology: A common idea of sustainable technology is a middle class couple feathering their own nest with gee-whiz energy saving devices. In the meantime fruit pickers are 'hot-bedding' (night shift sleeps in beds of day workers) in rented accomodation paying exorbitant prices to working class landlords who made their money in the Middle East.(aka White Trash Sheikhs).
Transport: People change jobs and commute by car, because of the difficulty of living near to work. The cash economy looks good because commuting supports the twin pillars of the economy: Oil and Auto Industry.
Demolitions: In the UK, urban regeneration is seen as in terms of increasing property prices. One plank of this stratagy is 'stock reduction' of the council rented sector. This is really 'class war' waged by the middle classes against the 25% or so in the rented sector.
For the underclass life is extremely competitive and brutalizing. In such circumstances the marginalised groups will often provide their own rough and ready justice in the form of vigilantism, shooting and stabbings, while other dispossessed people will demand a drastic and punitive clampdown on delinquant behaviour, thus playing into the hands of the ruling class. This sort of behaviour was documented by Primo Levi in Auschwitz, but it applies to the slums of Los Angeles or to the Gaza strip.
The concentration of wealth needs a longer heirarchy from billionaire to cleaner, so there is a growth of middle manager positions, and these kapos usually have to retain their position in the heirarchy by bullying.
Moreover his capacity for hatred, unfulfilled in the direction of the oppressors, will double back beyond all reason, on the oppressed; and he will only be satisfied when he has unloaded on to his underlings the injury received from above. We are aware that this is very distant from the picture that is usually given of the oppressed who unite, if not in resistance, at least in suffering. We do not deny this may be possible when oppression does not pass a certain limit, or perhaps when the oppressor, through inexperience or magnanimity, tolerates or favors it. But we state that in our days, in all countries in which a foreign people have set foot as invadors an analogous position of rivalry and hatred among the subjected has been brought about; and this like many other human characteristics, could be experienced in the Lager in the light of particularly cruel evidence.
The 75% mainstream are expected to conform to employer dresscodes, accept inefficient ways of doing things, buy houses and cars, marry and have children. They are certainly not meant to question the billionaires who run the world, and it seems few of the mainstream do. They all can be billionaires themselves if they keep their noses clean and follow the rules.
In fact the effects 'work' are often independent of the workers efforts. Whole industries shut down because of changing market conditions rather than because the workers are lazy. New service industries can spring up (call centers) because billion dollar corporations want to centralize their customer interfaces rather than renting high street offices.
Much of what passes for 'work' is futile and pointless, and is better not done at all. In a world of labour saving machines steel factories and car plants can employ bery few people compared with the numbers of the earlier twentieth century. In 2007 there are still mines in places like Brazil, Africa or Asia where plentiful manual labour takes the place of machinary. Most of the ultimate profits are still realised by a very small elite with good communications infrastructure.
During 2007 the UK saw much celebration of the repeal of slavery laws two hundred years ago, but it is only necessary to stay at a luxury hotel near a big international airport to realise that working conditions for the chambermaids are very debilitating. Population increase means intense competition for very low paying jobs. Child labour is still common in much of the world.
A total reform of the labour market should central to Green party policy. A social wage should be paid to people if they avoid some forms of consumption (paid avoidance society).
Ecologists tend to study the relationships between different systems including humans and natural phenomena. Understanding takes time and effort, but most higher education institutions offer courses where ecology is covered: maths, social sciences, biology, geography, anthropology etc. For most people this knowledge is not economically useful, so it is not as attractive as law or accountancy. Ecologists have been politically active since the late 1960s. In mainland Europe they have enjoyed some success, where some leading figures of the Paris demonstrations of 1968 went on to Green Party activism.
Andre Gorz  (1923-2007) was one of the first political ecologists. As the son of a Viennese Jew, Gorz had escape the Nazis and complete his education in Switzerland where he achieved a diploma in chemical engineering. He wrote several books explaining how the working class would lose out if they did not pressure employers for basic changes in working conditions, rather than mere pay rises. These included 'Farewell to the working class' (1982), Paths to Paradise (1985), and 'Critique of Economic Reason' (1988).
He was more influential in Europe, although almost unheard of in England. A socialist French government did adopt some of his ideas, including a shorter working week, but the 2007 French election saw the voters turn their backs on progressive such ideas, chosing a president who promised a clamp down on immigration and economic refugees.
Creen parties are generally composed of those who see the present system as dangerously wrong, but they do not necessarily have any particular program to take power. The problems involved in changing the way of thinking of rich in leading industrial countries are frequently so demoralising that it is difficult to maintain any real group solidarity.
It is necessary to examine what passes for leftist thinking. In America the sort of people who try to get migrant workers into trade unions tend to see the Democrats as just another capitalist party. Before Ralph Nader (Green) they could have voted for Angela Davis (Communist), A Sorbonne educated woman who had also survived life as a fugitive, and a spell in American jail.
In the USA people can buy 'The Nation', or 'Mother Jones' and post videos of police brutality on U-tube. None of these activities imply that someone will vote.
General voter apathy loses elections. Only the Thai seem to have tackled this problem. Taksin Shinawatr started to look shaky when the Thais allowed a 'Non of these' option on the ballot forms, and the different opposition groups were able to unite in opposing all candidates.
The truth is that apathy splits the left. In the UK people always say that Labour needs good weather on election day to win. Preferably election day should closely follow a football triumph. These are hardly issues about the liberation of the working class. In fact leftist parties have lost their links to the working class, and many supposed leftist parties, once in power, behave just like conservative parties.
If you wish to vote Green, and avoid splitting the leftist vote, then you should try to persuade people who would not normally vote at all to support the Green Party.
||European Greens - http://www.europeangreens.org/
Information, latest news, links and election results for Green parties through out Europe.
||Green Parties Worldwide - http://www.greens.org/
A list of Green Parties and associated groups from across the world, divided by continent.
||The Green Party of England and Wales - http://www.greenparty.org.uk/
Detailed, up-to-date website, including in depth news and articles about national and international green issues, past election results and current campaigns.
||European Green Party links - http://firstname.lastname@example.org
List of green parties throughout Europe.
||The Greens of Benin - http://www.greensbenin.org/
site in French with some information in English. Includes Party structure, news and press releases.
||Greens of Turkey - http://www.yesiller.org
Some information in English about this Turkish Green Party including meeting dates and contact information.
||Latvian Green Party - http://www.zp.lv/
Information about the Butinge Oil Terminal campaign.
||Green Party of South Africa - http://www.greenparty.org.za/
Formerly known as the People's Green Party of South Africa. Describes beliefs and goals, and provides an online membership form.
||The Green Democrats of Hungary - http://www.zd.hu
Some information about the party and its policies in English.
||Green Party of Iran - http://www.iran-e-sabz.org/eindex.html
Working for democracy and human rights in Iran.
||Green Philippines - http://www.geocities.com/chrisjsimon/greenphil/
Alliance's principles, policies, and platforms available, as well as environmental news and legislation.
||Greens of the Republic of Poland (Zieloni RP) - http://www.zielonirp.org.pl/en/
Policy aims and contact information.
||Green balkan net - http://www.geocities.com/greenbalkannet/
A network between the green parties and groups across the Balkan region. Including news, agenda, documents and links.
||Green Power - http://www.greenpower.org.hk/index_e.html
Green Party based in Hong Kong. Includes articles and studies, details of activities and a green school.
||Reform Party of Gibraltar - http://www.gibnet.gi/~emery/reform/
Green Party campaigning in Gibraltar. Website includes news, policies and links.
|Green Party of Ukraine - http://www.greenparty.org.ua/ua/index.php
Up-to-date information about the party including latest news, their charter, policies and photos. Includes a guestbook, polls and feedback area. Some content in English
|Die Grunen - http://www.gruene.de/
The Green Party for Germany. Contains an English language version of the site.
|Green League of Finland - http://www.vihreat.fi/en
A selection of information in English include a history of the party, contact details and policies.
[<<<] [ list ] [???] [ join ] [>>>]