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Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Menwith Hill Exposed

On Thursday 1st March, 7.30pm at the Harrogate Friends Meeting House, there will be the launch of a new report about the secretive US base just to the North of Bradford. 'Lifting the lid on Menwith Hill' is a compelling read, and we have reason to thank its author Dr Steve Schofield.

The main thrust of the report is a withering rebuttal of the idea that the base brings in significant money into the region. In fact, the top secret base brings in very little, and as it turns out, actually costs the UK taxpayer.

One of the more surprising findings was that all the US personnel live tax free, whilst benefiting from state schools and hospitals. Tens of millions are lost to contractors and workers in what is effectively a little tax haven on the Yorkshire Moors. The economic case for the base is carefully deconstructed by Dr Schofield, but it is not just the cost to the British government that is under scrutiny.

Menwith Hill is an illegal site, performing military and industrial espionage for the US government. It is totally undemocratic and the British Government has no oversight of the project at all. It is simply part of the US empires deep penetration of the global arena to help further its own ends.

Menwith Hill has got to close, and this report highlights that this could well be a benefit to the region's economy, as well as curtailing the ability of US industry to gain competitive advantage over British and other European companies. The British Government is crazy to diminish its own sovereignty by allowing its citizens and businesses to be spyed on from within our own borders.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Occupy London Stock Exchange Evicted! Show Solidarity!

I've just had the text from one of those camped by St Pauls - the eviction has begun on the steps of the Cathedral. For those nearby, I urge you to go down and show solidarity. The Occupy movement has been at the heart of challenging the widespread inequalities of global power and wealth, and they need us now.

It is vital that the eviction takes place as non-violently as possible - but there inevitably will be those who might provoke violence from both sides - that is why witnesses are needed urgently. If you live in London, and can get over, there is no time to delay. For the rest of us, we can pray, and we can rededicate ourselves to the cause of the Occupy movement where ever we are.

The Occupy movement is not just outside St Pauls, it is where ever any of us stand with the oppressed and stand up to the powerful. It is where communities stand against corruption and against the tyranny of the wealthy. Occupy is anywhere we resist attempts to destroy our welfare state, it is where ever we build alternative ways of being community. Places where equality, creation and neighbour are at the heart of all we do. Places where people and planet come before profit.

You cannot evict an idea whose time has come. Revolution is as inevitable as resurrection. You just have to believe in it.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

A Greek Tragedy

The bankers have won. They can completely destroy an economy, then become the ones who impose the 'rescue' package. In Greece tonight, we see the unabated power of modern capitalism. It doesn't matter what the people think; it doesn't matter what the politicians think; it doesn't even matter what the following Greek elections might produce; everyone will be forced to sit down and eat an enormous excrement sandwich, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

When I think of the suffering of the Greek people it makes my heart sink. The majority of the population are facing horrific changes, loss of savings, loss of security and earnings.

The government were already making huge cuts to the public sector when they were forced to find another chunk of money, meaning cuts to pensions and the minimum wage. The problem stems from an inability to tax the rich in Greece itself, so making the poor poorer will not make things better. The economy will be bled dry and the government will be even less likely to collect the tax revenue it needs.

Maybe the rioting on the streets of Athens will be a warning to the rich and powerful of Europe; you cannot keep making the people suffer and not expect a backlash. Eventually, there will be no gated community that will be able to protect the elite from the anger of the oppressed. God save us from this economic madness.