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Showing posts from May, 2012

Common Sense about Greece

For Europe’s sake Greece must renege on its bailout commitments – my op-ed in Le Monde by Yannis Varoufakis

25 May 2012

Le Monde commissioned me to write an op-ed explaining my view that it is in Europe’s interest that Greece resists the ‘terms and conditions’ of its bailout package while staying within the eurozone. In effect, to explain why there is no contradiction between (a) the Greek people’s determination to stay in the eurozone, and (b) their tendency to vote overwhelmingly for parties that reject the terms of the ‘bailout’. For the french version, as published in Le Monde, click: Le prochain gouvernement doit refuser les termes de l’accord de “sauvetage”

For the english (original) version, read on … For Europe’s sake Greece must renege on its bailout commitments

Conventional wisdom has it that, if Greece wants to stay in the Eurozone, it must abide by the terms and conditions of its ‘bailout’ deal.

It is my considered opinion that the conventional wisdom is, once more, profoundly…

Working Class Book Fair

Sunderland Working Class Bookfair
Sat June 16th

The next working class bookfair will be on Saturday June 16th 11 till 5pm in the Museum Vaults, Sunderland; 33 Silksworth Row Sunderland Tyne And Wear SR1 3QJ.

A broad range of literature, mags, books and ephemera, and different groups will be represented, and this mixture will hopefully strengthen the progressive movement and its politics. We aim to have an open and tolerant atmosphere, where discussion is encouraged.

This bookfair is organised at a time of economic crisis and political crisis. What passes for democracy is in desperate need of serious change. The Politicians lie and the media spread it in collusion with the police to form what passes for the news of everyday life. Power and money corrupt, and cause wars, its time to think our way beyond these limitations and do something about it.

The developing economic crisis, unemployment, Metro Cleaners dispute, struggles against cuts, the large demonstration in London on Oct 20th, …

The Answer to Cameron and the Attack on the State

Mariana Mazzucato, The Entrepreneurial State, 146 pages, Demos 2011, ISBN 20119781906693732, £10, free download at

This is a really important little pamphlet from the Professor in the Economics of Innovation at the Open University and Economics Director of the Centre for Social and Economic Research and Innovation in Genomonics (Innogen). Mazzucato shows convincingly that the major innovations in our modern world -- the Internet, bio-technology, the new nano-technology -- which we tend to attribute to clever individuals at Apple, Google, Microsoft, companies such as GlaxoSmithKlein and venture capitalists, all in fact emerged from state financed networks, institutions and public enterprise, as in Silicon Valley. The first risk-taking investment was always from the state, and it was the state, she demonstrates, that not only fixed and regulated markets but created them. Capitalists took over what the state had launched with fundamental, long-term research, and capitalist…

The Greek people choose

The Greek people choose
By Tony Simpson

The clean lines of the Parthenon, high up on the Acropolis, stood out clearly in the early March sunshine. Down below, outside the Greek Parliament, a man pushed his supermarket shopping trolley down the hill towards Syntagma Square, where much of the public drama of Greece’s contemporary tragedy has played out prior to the recent general election. Balanced across the trolley was a discarded metal bath, on its way to be sold for a few euros. So it is that some residents of Athens eke out their existence in 2012.

Inside the Parliament, I met with Alexis Tsipras, the 38-year-old leader of SYNASPISMOS, part of the SYRIZA Coalition of the Left, which is attracting support from increasing numbers of Greek voters, as the general election on 6 May clearly showed. SYRIZA won almost 17% of the vote, up more than 12 percentage points since 2009 when it polled 4.6%. Now it has 52 MPs, four times more than previously. This vote put SYRIZA within just …

Free Shaker Aamer

There are serious concerns about Shaker Aamer's health, after more than ten year's confinement in Guantanamo Bay. He suffers constant pain caused by various medical conditions. His lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, who visted him in November 2011, says that Shaker is slowly dying in Guantanamo. Shaker was cleared for release more than five years ago and faces no charge or trial. There now appear to be attempts to remove him to Saudi Arabia, from where he fled 28 years ago. Shaker resided in Britain before his unlawful detention in Guantanamo, and his wife and family live here. The children haven't seen their father for more than ten years.

An epetition to return Shaker Aamer to the UK is available to sign:


“There have been numerous historical epochs where something massive and “new” sweeps the globe, moments such as the revolutions and revolts of the mid 1800s, the massive working class struggles of the early 1900s, and the massive political and cultural shifts and anticolonial struggles of the 1960s, to name only three. We believe we are in another significant historic epoch. This one is marked by an ever increasing global rejection of representative democracy, and simultaneously a massive coming together of people, not previously organized, using directly democratic forms to begin to reinvent ways of being together...” — Marina Sitrin and Dario Azzellini
May Day: The Secret Rendezvous with History and the Present
Occupied Media Pamphlet Series

"It was September 19, 2011, a group of twenty participants in Occupy Wall Street were standing in a circle in Liberty Plaza (formerly known as Zuccotti Park, named after John Zuccotti, CEO of the park’s owners Brookfield Office Properties, in…