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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Questions facing The People’s Assembly; austerity or neo-liberalism and hierarchy or democracy?

Last Saturday I was at the People's Assembly conference sub-titled 'How can we achieve an anti-austerity government?'. I have two problems with this phrase. Firstly, I believe the word austerity has been hijacked by the ruling class to act as a euphemism for 'bankers' bailout'. And secondly, covering up for and bailing out the ruling class when they break stuff is pretty much what government in the UK, and Europe, and much of the world…

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Cultural Imperialism and the mass-production of racism, sexism and violence

When I sat down to write the post that would accompany archiving my 2005 review of Ben Dickenson's Hollywood's New Radicalism, I got caught up in a couple of issues. Primarily steel tariffs, Weinstein, the new Avengers movie and cultural imperialism. After rereading the review a couple of times a lot of the feelings that had accompanied writing it clearly came flooding back. When you have been standing in the middle of the woods for…

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If we want to stop being sheared, we need to stop being sheep.

In the lead up to the 15th anniversary of the 15th February 2003 global anti-war protest it struck me that much of the cross-campaign solidarity, that we had achieved at that time has since seemed to disappear and our movements fragment back to their original single-campaign focuses. There was a moment fifteen years ago, that seemed like we may really be able to start addressing inequality and exploitation at it's source. As all the various…

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You say tax avoidance, I say sociopaths

Between the Panama Papers in 2016 and the Paradise Papers in 2017, and against the fallout of the great 'bankers bailout scam' called austerity, there was a brief period when informed debates around the role of tax and tax avoidance where momentarily occurring in even the mainstream press. After years of justifying cutting public spending in order to bail out the criminally inept bankers, the corporate news media did an about turn and started laying…

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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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