Anti-war yesterday, solidarity today, equality tomorrow

One of the first pieces I ever had published was about Baby Bush's War in Iraq, and the corresponding mass mobilisation of solidarity in the global anti-war protest of February 2003. And just as it was promised at the time, over fifteen years later the dead are still mounting in Afghanistan and Iraq, democracy is nowhere to be seen, large sections of the Middle-East are at war, and of course the most aggressive regimes in…

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A political caste system ensures the entitlement of the absurd

One of the benefits of actual socialism being represented at the top of the UK Labour party is that, much like a lightning rod, it apparently draws fire from all directions. Helpfully, although not for the peace of mind of the socialists within the Labour Party, by putting actual socialists at the top of the party all the various people in positions of power that are anti-socialist, even if they had previously been pretending otherwise…

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The war on drugs was nothing more than a war on democracy and equality

The third essay in the War on Drugs series is the one that I found most upsetting to write and still find difficult to read. Even though, in terms of the Pax Americana, the 1960s was the decade that many of the calls for equality came together, I would argue that it was during the 1970's when the establishment strategy of presenting authoritarianism as democracy really began to unravel at pace, in the public arena…

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A society riven with hierarchy facilitates sociopaths and gives psychopaths free rein

I have shared my life with many people of many doctrines, beliefs and faiths, some religious and some political. One of the things that has never ceased to amaze me is the moral dissonance that affects so many people, regardless of whether their purported 'ideological core' is based on faith in scripture, or faith in science. Society, as it is structured today, seems to have a tendency to nudge people together into groups, and then…

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The Anti-Trump march last Friday sits comfortably alongside the 15M movement in Spain and the 2003 Anti-War march

I was at the Anti-Trump march and rally in central London on Friday. For me at least, there was definitely something of the 15th February 2003 anti-war march about it. That is not to say that there was anywhere near as many people there, but the make up of those attending was very similar. Many protests and rallies can end up feeling like the same old faces and banners, but every once in a while…

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When the shadows masking the deep state retreat, what is left?

This week the US President will be visiting the UK at the behest of the administration department of our own ruling class. And of course, the usual chorus of sycophants have started singing their usual song across the internet, television, radio and newspapers; “don't protest, don't complain, do as you are told, show deference to the masters, respect your leaders”. There is something inherently nasty when the rich tell everyone else to passively respect their…

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Me, the state and the drugs trade; the mathematical perfection of a power-inequality triangle

At a time when questions about the legalisation of cannabis are once again high on the news agenda, I think it is worth remembering the historical relationship between the state and the drugs trade. Although, it is only right that I first explain my personal history with the drugs trade. The British summer has in recent years become synonymous with large scale for-profit festivals. When I was younger, festivals where the time and place to…

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Anarchists, Nazis and the People’s Olympics

In 2012 several things came together in my life at the same time, the essay Gold or Freedom is the first manifestation of that direction. I had been toying with the idea of writing a novel set during the Spanish civil war for several years. During the research stage I came across several historians that were writing in a way that went beyond the standard history texts. Professor Helen Graham's short introduction and Chris Ealham's…

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May Day, McStrikes and my review of McLibel

In the mid 1980s London Greenpeace wrote a fact sheet and started handing it out in front of McDonalds in North London. In 1990 the McDonalds corporation issued libel writs against 5 of the activists. The ploy nearly worked. 3 of the five backed down, apologised and retracted their claims. Two of them didn't. Helen Steel and David Morris refused. What ensued was, at the time, the longest trial in English history. It soon became…

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Attention seekers, progressives and the ruling class – that same old song

Back in 2004 I attended the London European Social Forum. I had been writing and involved in activism and campaigning for a few years by then, and was beginning to struggle with notions of party politics. At the time the Green party was positioning itself as the egalitarian and progressive voice in the UK but with little electoral success, while the Labour party was still firmly in the clutches of the neoliberals, and the socialists…

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