The Secret Fundraiser: Tis The Season To Be Begging

Tis the season to be jolly, tra la la la la la la la laa. Bah, humbug. Spare a thought for us front line charity workers and volunteers in the Christmas period. It may be the supposed season of kindness and giving for you but for us it’s the season of begging. We’ve got a smile on our face while we’re doing it, but don’t think we’re enjoying it. As Christmas approaches, and in turn the end of the fundraising...

Some Hope For Our Living Planet

Conservationists, scientists, farmers and psychologists met yesterday at London Zoo to discuss the future of our planet and its capacity for sustaining life. Despite grim forecasts of a Mad-Max-style landscape, those speaking at the event offered some hope as they outlined our potential survival strategies. The one day symposium revolved around findings of the 2016 Living Planet Report, a planetary health check carried out every two years by the WWF, ZSL and others. Published just last month, the most recent...

How Reverse Advent Calendars Can Counter The Corporate Decay of Christmas

If you ever need an example of the capitalist decay of our society then look no further than the pagan come Christian come corporate festival that is Christmas. This weekend, buffered by Black Friday and Cyber Monday, households up and down the country erected their Christmas tree in fervent anticipation of a single day so skewed by corporate trife that it's lost any semblance of meaning. Where religion adopted a pagan festival consmerism has since wiped the floor with sparkling...

Richmond Park by Election, and the Futility of Campaigning on Resolved Issues

Anyone still listening to the bookmakers, papers or polls might think the Richmond by election is a shoe-in for former Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith. Unchallenged by the Tories he only has Lib Dem newcomer Sarah Olney and Labour's Christian Wolmar to defeat. But nothing has the capability to disrupt political certainties like Britain's shock departure from the EU, and Brexiter Goldsmith is now fighting a war on two fronts. Take a walk through the leafy streets of the south West...

Financing Terror: Islamic State and the Price of Empire

By Simon Bartram Terrorists strike fear into the hearts of their fellow citizens by bombing and brutalising their homeland, but it is the contents of their wallet that should give us more cause for concern. Whether it’s a company like BHS or a state fighting for survival like the Soviet Union, success or failure depends on having a winning financial strategy. So how does ISIS fare? Firstly, ISIS has been able to accrue a vast amount of wealth. In 2014,...

Jam on Burnt Toast: The Autumn Statement is a Classic Cover Up

In the wake of Brexit and a sweeping victory for the Republicans in America the Conservatives appear to be about to release one of the most centre-left Autumn Statements in recent history. Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to announce a ban on letting agent fees, which can cost renters hundreds of pounds a year in England and Wales, and implement change to the Universal Credit taper rate - the pace at which benefits are withdrawn after a claimant finds work...

Peddle Shit, Get Slammed: Political Campaigning in the 21st Century

When the Barack Obama Hope poster was released by artist Shepard Fairey in 2008 the president elect became part of a select club of politicians who portrayed a message of such poignancy that he immediately became a national icon. Jim Fitzpatrick's Che Guevara poster preceded it and is perhaps the only political artwork that is equal to it in reach and scope, namely because they projected very similar, simple messages of change and hope. As bad and as barmy as...

The Era Of Compromise With Xenophobic Agendas Has To End

By Tom Colclough Trump's victory is a disaster for too many people to list. The stories coming out of America already, of Muslim girls attacked in the streets, swastikas emblazoned in cities up and down the country and the sight of a Venezuelan cleaner breaking down in tears at work remind many of a Britain post-Brexit where race-hate began to ooze out of the cracks in its walls. Forever a reminder that these grand elections have direct consequences on people's lives, they...

The Democrats And Labour Are Facing The Same Problem

It has often been argued that people in the world of politics live in their own bubble, guided by partisan ideology that is regularly disconnected from reality. Nothing is more indicative of that than the inability of Democrats to see that pushing through, or as many have accused them, engineering the nomination of a critically flawed and divisive candidate such as Hillary Clinton could spectacularly backfire on them. Bernie Sanders’ surge in politics was one of the more inspiring stories...

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