The economy stupid, Mark II

Prof Paul Rogers queries the government’s approach to Covid-19

This half hour exchange with Prof Paul Rogers and Kate Hudson is one of the best and most challenging things out there on the UK government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It takes a look behind the headlines about hard working NHS and other essential workers… and ask why they’re still unprotected, untested and undervalued three months in to the crisis

Missed it live on Zoom? Still time to catch It’s the economy, stupid on Facebook

Expensive MoD projects vs NHS spending

Extravagant military projets mean driving a tank through NHS spending

Co-Founder of Declassified UK Mark Curtis takes a look at how the Mininstry of Defence is planning to spend hundreds of billions on expensive military projects while our under-funded health service struggles to address the coronavirus.

Read Mark Curtis article in full
Take a quick look at what MoD money’s going on

THE PLAN that came from the bottom up – film + panel Q&A

In these cinemas 1st March

Birmingham, Midlands Art Centre / Cambridge, Arts Picturehouse Liverpool, Picturehouse at FACT / London, Bertha Dochouse, Bloomsbury Curzon Norwich, Cinema City / Sheffield, Showroom                                                         

Part film essay, part documentary THE PLAN tells the untold story of how a group of British weapons engineers switched to designing hybrid engines and wind turbines and were nominated for the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. At a time when climate injustice is fanning the flames of inequality THE PLAN looks at how this group of eco-pioneering aerospace engineers took control for the sake of the planet. Their heroism has been forgotten but as constant wars and climate crisis proliferate there’s vital lessons to be learnt from their story.

Premiered at the London Film Festival and nominated for the Grierson Award THE PLAN is being screened at launch events in 6 cities on 1st March followed by a UK wide tour.

Watch the trailer:       

“This film captures a unique moment in our history – highly skilled workers showing how to turn swords into ploughshares. If we want to transform society, this is a good place to start.” 
Ken Loach 

“The Lucas Plan holds out hope that production can be transformed to create a fairer, greener world. This will be a must-see film for every trade unionist.” 
Frances O’Grady, Gen Sec TUC

Corbyn’s leadership: ‘turning the promise of a nuclear-free world from an impossible dream to a concrete goal’

‘The world order has been turned into a global free-for-all,’ Emily Thornberry, Shadow Foreign Secretary said in her speech to conference. Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, however:

‘we will never as a party go back to supporting illegal, aggressive wars of intervention with no plans for the aftermath, and no thought for the consequences, whether in terms of the innocent lives lost or the ungoverned spaces created within which terrorist groups can thrive’

‘we must and will lead the world in promoting human rights, in reforming the arms trade, in pursuing an end to conflict, in supporting not demonising refugees, and in turning the promise of a nuclear-free world from an impossible dream to a concrete goal’

‘turning the promise of a nuclear-free world from an impossible dream to a concrete goal’.

Read the full speech here.

Alan Bennett on Walter Wolfgang

In one of his diary entries in Keeping On Keeping On, Alan Bennett’s third prose collection, he writes:

2005, 29 September.
Among several things that the ejection and charging of Mr Walter Wolfgang from the Labour Party Conference demonstrates is the danger of endowing the police with any more powers than they have already. For shouting out ‘Liar’ he is charged under the Terrorism Act. The silencing of hecklers was hardly the act’s original purpose but it is just the handiest blunt instrument available. This should be remembered in the next session of Parliament, when the  police are asking for yet more powers – three months’ detention for instance – which at the same time solemnly assuring the public that they will only use such powers when the occasion demands it. This is a promise soon forgotten. If they have the powers they will use them – young Muslim or Jewish old-age pension it makes no difference. ‘You’re nicked.’

Keeping On Keeping On, Profile Books, 2016, £9.99 paperback

Trump and Iran nuclear deal

The Iran nuclear agreement agreed some verifiable limits on Iranian nuclear development in return for lifting some economic sanctions. That’s exactly how deals between parties who don’t trust each other are negotiated. Hasn’t Trump’s withdrawal just proved Iran right to be suspicious of the US?
– Carol Turner, Vice Chair

“We need to avoid a nuclear apocalypse” – Corbyn statement on Nobel peace prize

This is the full statement published by Jeremy Corbyn on LabourList after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a coalition of hundreds of NGOs based in Geneva.

Congratulations to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) on its well-deserved award of the Nobel Peace Prize.

I’m proud to have worked with ICAN for the goal of a nuclear free world for many years and the Nobel Committee’s call for serious global nuclear disarmament talks demands an urgent response.

The need to avoid a nuclear apocalypse, killing millions upon millions of innocents and wrecking our planet. is becoming ever more pressing. Sadly, Theresa May and the Conservatives have tried to turn the issue into a party political game.

They are deeply irresponsible. Acting to prevent war, especially nuclear war, should be the starting point of any serious and sensible defence and foreign policy.

The tensions on the Korean Peninsula underline the urgency of the nuclear powers’ obligation under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to bring about nuclear disarmament.

We have to wind down the rhetoric now. As a member of the [United Nations] Security Council, Britain has an important responsibility and role to play. The next Labour government will ensure Britain takes a lead in strengthening global peace and security.

Reproduced from LabourList