What do Aborigines & people in a former mining community in NE England have in common?

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor Drawing on culture to promote well-being: communities united by their precarious circumstances Leading academic Matthew Johnson, Aboriginal community leader Mary Graham and Ashington community researcher Tony Bennett, examine how so-called ‘good culture’ can unite communities on opposite sides of the world. The Northumberland pit village of Ashington and Aboriginal settlements around Brisbane are communities united by their experience of relatively stable and long-established social systems being dismantled and replaced by apparently ‘precarious’ ‘circumstances’ including unemployment,...

FRACKING: Government faces public rejection despite U-turn “victory”

By Elsa Buchanan, International Politics Correspondent  A Tories U-turn vote on fast-track fracking is being dubbed a ‘huge victory’, but campaigners say now is not the time to celebrate. The government made a major U-turn on plans to fast-track UK fracking after accepting Labour proposals to tighten environmental regulations on Monday (26 January). Campaigners welcomed the changes, describing the vote as “mark a huge loss for the fracking industry”. “This is a win for the people-powered anti-fracking campaign,” said Martin...

Free? Why Electric Cars may soon be even more Cost Effective

By Michael Boxwell Eco-friendly cars have long been a good investment for Londoners. Driving an electric vehicle means you are exempt from both congestion charges and VED (road tax) both pet hates of the average motorist. There are an abundance of charging points around the City and local government offer a grant that will give you up to 75 per cent off the cost of installing a domestic charge point. With no fuel charges and the majority of car journeys...

Are We Sleepwalking Into The Next Election? (Part 2 of 6) Democracy Surveillance and the Internet

By J T Coombes    www.globalmagnacarta.com     @GMagnaCarta In this new millennium 21st century Society is saddled with systems way past their sell by date. . . . A 15th century democratic system, complete with glass ceiling . . . An 11th century monetary system that increasingly holds the world to ransom . . . A 2000 year old surveillance system being replaced by modern technology Voting with what we now have will never solve the problems we now face  In this...

Ask not what your country can do for you

By Andy Irwin Andy Irwin argues that social change isn’t going to come from Westminster, we (the people) have to drive it. He talks to an activist in Staffordshire about a new environmentally responsible social enterprise designed to alleviate fuel poverty and reliance of fossil fuels in the area. The steamroller of unrest ignited by austerity and widening social inequality that some predicted would come chugging through the streets of England in the midst of the London riots in 2011...

There are huge dangers in thinking the UK can replicate US fracking success

  By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor Ministers will give the go-ahead for an expansion of fracking across Britain; allowing drilling in national parks and other protected areas in "exceptional circumstances,” however ministers retain power to veto plans. Fracking involves blasting water, chemicals and sand at high pressure into shale rock formations to release the gas and oil held inside. Environmentalists argue that the process can cause contamination of the water supply and earth tremors. The government will invite firms to...

Delivering Energy Savings

  By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor Print and mailing specialists, CFH Docmail, recently announced energy savings of 20% at its main facilities in Radstock, Somerset, and is now busy rolling-out the most energy efficient postal service in the UK. Through Velopost – a local bicycle mail collection and delivery service – CFH Docmail has achieved the UK’s first carbon-neutral postal service, operating in three cities currently, with further expansion planned. The journey to energy-saving has been a long one, but...

Lessons from Biosphere 2

  By Guy Dorrell @GuyDorrellEsq Many of us dream of stripping away the complications of modern life, its hectic pace, its technologies, the dependency upon a steady income, and returning to how our distant ancestors must have lived. Of course there are complications and contradictions; few of us want to step back from the availability and efficiency of the NHS or the police, law and judicial system. Fewer still have the resources to step back, while retaining what is good...

Fracking is Here – Now We Must Control It!

By J T Coombes The Queens Speech on 4th June is the worst case scenario for the people of this country. Our Prime Minister has sided with big business, over the electorate, by allowing vast volumes of chemicals to be injected into the ground under our homes without our permission. With over 70% of people against this invasion, how could he simply change established trespass laws by driving a coach and horses through the democratic process? In his desperate attempt to...

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