Thursday, March 17, 2005
"all progress comes from below"
- ".... many people are wondering how it is that a leadership which presented itself as being so moderate could have launched us into four wars, abolished Magna Carta, and banned demonstrations in Parliament Square under the banner of modernisation. .."
Tony Benn writes in today's Guardian about the fact that for many who cannot bring themselves to vote, it is not apathy but anger. He goes on to warn that the big peace demonstration planned for this Saturday in Trafalgar Square will - as usual - receive no media coverage unless there are scuffles or arrests.
- "Meanwhile, even those who voted against detention without trial have been denounced as soft on terrorism. This is despite the fact that one of them was Lord Irvine, whom the prime minister had appointed as lord chancellor, suggesting that New Labour's election campaign is to be based on fear."
Real politics, as Tony Benn says in the Guardian article today,
- " ... focuses on the issues of peace, the environment, civil liberties, pensions, student debt, and the rights of women and trade unions..."
And - hearteningly - for Tony Benn at nearly 80 is an optimist - he reminds us that
- "...historically all progress comes from below, as the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the Chartists and the Suffragettes came to realise. So too did the "terrorists" we imprisoned for their role in the colonial liberation struggle, who ended up having tea with the Queen .."
17 March 2005 ~"......it is a scientific conclusion of the best-paid, most widely respected geologists, physicists and investment bankers in the world. These are rational, professional, conservative individuals who are absolutely terrified by the phenomenon known as global peak oil..... " See transcript of the peak oil presentation in the US Congress (House of Representatives - March 14, 2005 given by Conservative Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, Chairman of the Projection Forces Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee
16 March 2005 ~ "Voters want MPs who know their own minds. New Labour doesn't..." writes
Mark Seddon in the Guardian - " Due process and fair play take second place when the task of the party apparatus is to deliver a parliamentary party in the image of its leader and so save him the embarrassment of having to argue and negotiate..." Read in full
16 March 2005 ~ Jon Snow: "....a very safe Brownlike budget. We are crunching the numbers as I speak and trying to see whether his £200 relief for pensions paying council tax beats the Tory one off pledge of £500. Fags are up 7p and tempers are up at seven along with some strange device for taxing the oil companies out of an extra £1.2 billion... "
16 March 2005 ~ OPEC ministers, meeting behind closed doors , have finally agreed to Saudi Arabia's proposal to raise oil production. The proposal to raise oil output by 500,000 bpd from the current 27 million bpd is due to "the need to calm oil markets down all over the world" Oil is at $56.60 today. OPEC's president said he saw prices remaining high. See alsoReuters
16 March 2005 ~ £6 million from the EU parliament’s "contingency fund" (8 million euros) has been approved for use in an "information campaign" on the EU constitution. The EUreferendum Blog comments
"... our experience is that the more Europhile MEPs open their mouths about the constitution, the less likely people will be to vote for it. " and certainly, anyone who was listening to Woman's Hour this morning may well have been impressed by the calm, intelligent language of Petrina Holdsworth of UKIP as she crossed verbal swords with Lucy Powell (Campaign Director for Britain in Europe)