NOVEMBER NETWORK NEWS

Helena Norberg-Hodge kick-started the local food movement in this country by establishing the Food Links programme which was then taken on by the Soil Association. She also helped to set up farmers’ markets in Europe, North America and Australia.

 With Steven Gorelick and other colleagues, Helena and John have spoken at seminars and workshops in many countries, including Spain, Mongolia, Thailand, Bhutan, Mexico, China, France, Canada, South Korea, Japan and India.. 

They founded the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) which promotes locally based alternatives to the global consumer culture by writing, filming and practical action. Helena has sent news about a forthcoming film, the Economics of Happiness: 

“We’re finally nearing completion. We’re planning launches in the US, Europe and Asia in January and February. We’re also finalising promo materials; We’ll send details as soon as possible. In the meantime, there is quite a lot of information on the website: www.theeconomicsofhappiness.org.”

‘Going local’ is a powerful strategy to help repair our fractured world – our ecosystems, our societies and our selves. Far from the old institutions of power, people are starting to forge a very different future…

The Economics of Happiness describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, government and big business continue to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, all around the world people are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance—and, far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – an economics of localization.

Featuring

Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, David Korten, Michael Shuman, Juliet Schor, Richard Heinberg, Rob Hopkins, Andrew Simms, Zac Goldsmith, Samdhong Rinpoche

Read more: http://www.theeconomicsofhappiness.org/about-the-film

A promising introduction can be seen on: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkdnFYDbiBE

Today it was announced that The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been asked to devise measures of progress and will lead a public debate about what matters most to people. Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/2010/11/25/cameron-to-propose-wellbeing-test-91466-27713314/#ixzz16GkeAgMY

So the film will be ‘knocking at an open door’ – to some extent.

*

18.11.10

The Politics Show – West

See footage of Stroud food co-op members and input from Jim Pettipher, Co-operative Futures, followed by an interview featuring New Era colleague Molly Scott Cato, Reader in Green Economics, Cardiff School of Management & Director of Cardiff Institute for Co-operative Studies [UMIC] and Ben Yearsley an investment manager from Hargreaves Lansdown. 

Molly looks far more business-like and ‘together’ than Ben. Suspect both dressed to destroy preconceptions . . . 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00vtp4b/The_Politics_Show_West_07_11_2010/ 

(about 29minutes in) 

Selected highlights: 

Amanda Godber [food growing co-op] deplores unnecessary trade in food:

“we export food and then import the same [type of] food back” 

Molly:

We are looking for economic activity  not economic growth. The long food chain will become less secure [citing climate change effects, but could also have cited oil prices].

Jim:

If more businesses organised on a co-operative basis they would be more grounded, there would be a genuine return on capital employed, and [the economy would be] less fuelled by stockmarket speculation. 

*

18.11.10

News from Richard Douthwaite, FEASTA ‘s co-founder  

Feasta’s new book, Fleeing Vesuvius: Overcoming the Risks of economic and environmental collapse, will be launched at 3pm on Saturday, 20th November in European Union House, 18 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. 

The book is to be launched by Feasta member Fr. Sean McDonagh, who – in recent times – has been the central coordinator for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation for the Columbans, the chairperson of Greenpeace in Ireland and then a founding board member of Voice, the successor organisation to Greenpeace when the latter left Ireland. 

Fleeing Vesuvius brings together many of the ideas which Feasta members and others in its network have been developing over the past few years and attempts to assemble them into a coherent approach which would enable humanity to avoid a catastrophic financial, environmental and social collapse. 

A North American edition will be published by New Society Publishers after Christmas.

You can find out more about the book at http://www.feasta.org/documents/vesuvius/index.php

*

18.11.10

From Sabine McNeill: 

First the good news: together with Chairman Austin Mitchell MP, I’m preparing a meeting in Westminster for the end of January. Stay tuned! 

There is a very important European Charter for Fundamental Rights. In the cases of all our victims of financial and legal exploitation, Article 47 – Right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial  is being violated by UK authorities.  I’ve sent five cases to the Fundamental Rights Agency in Vienna, asking them for guidance. 

I’ve also written to the Vice President of the EU Commission for Justice and the Directorate General. As soon as I know about the correct procedure/approach, I will go public – as a template for others to follow. 

I’m EXTREMELY conscious of the need for 

  • victims to network amongst each other
  • McKenzie Friends to come forward and be promoted as ‘lay legal
  • advisors’
  • McKenzie Angels to support victims morally by physical presence but also by writing emails
  • all of them wanting to be heard by MPs.

I’ve begun to nurture the MP-victim connection with varying success. See Supportive MPs

She reflects:
Wars used to be fought by “the people” on behalf of governments. Now we need to ask government to protect us from the ‘national authorities’ of our own: the NHS, the Police and HM Court Services, while the only people benefitting are… solicitors running up bills, whether victims are in court or not…

*

11.11.10

Alison Williams is the Co-ordinator of UNGA Link UK, the UK Network for Civil Society Link with UN General Assembly.   

Since September 2007 UNGA Link has functioned as a voluntary network within the United Nations Association, UNA-UK.  

UNGA Link: 

  • represents members at UN-related events 
  • convenes meetings – to look forward or to report back 
  • makes policy recommendations  
  • jointly represents UNGA-Link UK and UNA-UK on the Steering Committee for the World Civil Society Forum. 

 UNGA-Link is also represented on the management group of the Network for Peace. 

 

Ahmad Fawzi was the last Director of the UN Information Centre in London. Since 2005, Europe has had a Regional UN Information Centre.

Read more on the Networkers page opposite and on the website: http://ungalink.org.uk/

*

6.11.10

From Molly Scott Cato’s latest blog:

My recent visit to Plymouth University to give the staff research seminar made me realise how I had misjudged where most people are in their thinking about the state we’re in . . .

I was asked about the fractional reserve banking system, and my answer, during which I pulled no punches ideologically or politically, was clearly understood by a significant minority of the audience and received a smattering of applause.

I left feeling encouraged, and that the thinking people of this country are on the move.

We are struggling with a monopolistic information system dominated by one hegemonic idea: that the market system is supreme. But out in the country this is not believed, the information is not trusted, and its purveyors are losing credibility.

*

2.11.10

Steve Schofield continues his work on arms conversion and is finishing his research on the West Yorkshire economy for the LessNet project.

In an article ominously named The Age of Permanent War, he sees the defence spending review as representing a total victory for the military-industrial complex and its campaign of fear – the perverse outcome of democracies being captured and corrupted by powerful corporate interests:

“In truly Orwellian fashion, they have perfected the manipulation of fear. It is axiomatic that we live in a dangerous world and that only permanent war preparation can protect us. The red menace can be replaced by rogue states, and rogue states by terrorist attacks, and terrorist attacks by… Well, who knows? Cyber warfare seems to be the new threat on the block. All this to ensure that Western corporations can fly the stars-and-stripes over foreign oil fields.”

Read on . . .

*

2.11.10

Diana Schumacher writes:

“The date of the EF Schumacher Festival next year will be Saturday 8th October in the Colston Hall, Bristol.

There will be presentations by all members of the Schumacher Circle and others. 

She reflects that it seems extraordinary that everything which E.F. Schumacher predicted is now coming full circle and feels that it is time to pass the baton on to a new generation.  

Readers are invited to add thoughts, information, or news of associated events via  the website: www.ef-schumacher.org .   

All contributions will be gratefully received.

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