Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Conservative Candidate: “All you have to do is dance to save the world”.

October 4, 2009

The Tories have selected their candidate for the North London constituency of Edmonton. He appears to be quite a character.

Andrew Charalambous is the owner of a nightclub and a property empire. The Evening Standard looked up his website and found him describing himself as a “tantric master” who has “dated some of the most beautiful women in the world”. No wonder Edmonton Conservative Association were impressed.

Charalambous seems to have since edited his website to remove these claims. Perhaps Tory HQ are worried that their candidate – who is apparently a fruitarian – may come across as a bit too fruity for the voters? Or as a bit of a fruitcake?

His nightclub can be found on Pentonville Road, Islington. It has a dance floor that generates electricity or something as people dance on it. Hence Charalambous’ views on the link between dancing and saving the planet. I’ve never been inside the club but I’ve walked by many times. It looks a tad rubbish. Its website is, however, very entertaining. Charalambous likes to go by the alias of ‘Dr Earth’, which is an unfortunate choice of name considering Charalambous’ striking resemblance to ‘Dr Evil’.  In the Contact section it is stated that Charalambous’ Club4Climate is “the worlds [sic] biggest environmental organisation on the planet”. Had you heard of it before? No, me neither.

The Evening Standard profile quotes Charalambous as saying that he was “the first male feminist”. He is such a good feminist that he recently sponsored the UK selection round of the ‘Miss Earth’ beauty contest and was himself the Chief Judge. All feminists should now note that sleazing over women wearing not many clothes is ok if it’s being done in an environmentally sustainable way.

I’ve got a feeling that Charalambous’ candidacy is going to prove a source of much merriment. I only wish we were facing him in Islington S&F. As someone commented on the Evening Standard article: “Mad as a box of frogs”.

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Despite their feudalistic social structure, bees deserve a Bee Solidarity Campaign.

September 25, 2009

Bees are very clever. Did you know that they can communicate through a waggle dance? By dancing around in a certain way, bees are able to tell each other the direction and quality of nectar and pollen up to 5 kms away!

But even with their impressive dancing skills, bees are in big trouble. Around a third of British honeybee hives were lost between 2007 and 2008. The situation is even worse in the United States. Apparently every third bite of food we consume depends on pollination by bees, so the spread of colony collapse disorder and death of millions of bees across the world is seriously bad news.

The Co-op has launched Plan Bee which calls for further research into the mysterious decline of the bees. Sign their petition here.

Immediate action can also be taken by each of us:

  • Stop spraying chemicals on flowers! Insecticides are (obviously) not bee-friendly, so find another way to ‘cultivate yo garden’.
  • In-fact, if you have space outside, why not let it go wild? Bees love horticultural anarchy.
  • City-folk can carry around packs of wildflowers seeds and drop them into patches of urban wasteland. More greenery around the place = happier buzzing from our black and yellow comrades.
  • Find a shallow bowl or dish, fill it with water, drop some pebbles in it, and leave it outside. Bees get thirsty and appreciate somewhere to cool off, have a drink, and go for a swim (the pebbles are to give them easier access in and out of the water)! I’ve done this at Jako Towers already.
  • And without wanting to get too organico-bourgeois on y’all, if you can buy honey from a local beekeeper who uses low-tech farming methods that’s seemingly better for the bees as well.

So there we go. Give just a bit of simple solidarity to the bees and hopefully they’ll stop dying in their millions.

Tolpuddle Thoughts Part 2: The Politics

July 23, 2009

wobbliesThe marquee at Tolpuddle is a veritable hotbed of sedition. For example, on one side of the tent you will be presented with the banner of the British branch of the Wobblies – the ‘Industrial Workers of the World’ – who are surely little more than an anarcho-syndicalist historical reenactment society. On the other side you will find the stall for the ‘Troops Out Movement – Self-Determination for the Irish People’.

I’m not going to link to the ‘Troops Out Movement’ website. At the top of the site is the suspect claim that “everything posted here is 100% factual”. I could find no condemnations of Republican violence and terrorism and no acknoweldgement that the majority of people in Northern Ireland wish to remain part of the UK.

Other unpleasant politico-mentalism was to be found in the July edition of Workers, the journal of the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), which was being handed out for free in the marquee. Here is a list of things that anger all six members of the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist):

  • When people confuse them with the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist).
  • When people confuse them with the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist).
  • When asylum seekers come to the UK.

I’m being serious. Those other far-left sects also exist. Presumably when these sorts of people watch the famous Life of Brian splitters scene they do not find it all amusing but nod seriously in agreement with the People’s Front of Judea expressing their distaste for the Popular Front of Judea. The CPB(M-L) is distinguished by its initial ideological love of Maoism in the 1960s, then an infatuation with Albanian communism in the ’70s, and finally infuriation at Gorbachev’s reforms in the USSR in the ’80s.

Since they don’t have so many communist regimes to get excited about these days they weirdly seem to have focused their attention on criticising international migration. Their hatred of asylum seekers can be found within the pages of  Workers. In an article on refugees, the CPB(M-L) writes:

“The increase of migration and asylum seeking has made this a recurring theme in the pages of Workers, where we have argued that workers should fight where they are. Instead of claiming persecution in their own country and finding a way to travel half way around the world to get to Europe, or specifically Britain, they should stay and fight their own class enemy or rebuild their country”.

Elsewhere in the rag the CPB(M-L) expresses disgust at the proposal to grant amnesty to illegal migrants working in London, as this will just encourage more to come to the UK. Lovely stuff. If it wasn’t for their occasional references to Marxism being a good thing, I’m not sure it would always be easy to tell their views apart from those of the BNP.

Another publication being distributed at the festival was a print-out of the Workers’ Daily Internet Edition – the Daily On Line Newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist). REMEMBER NOT TO MIX THEM UP WITH THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF BRITAIN (MARXIST-LENINIST)!!

The Workers’ Daily was pretty dull, to be honest. It was simply two sides of A4 filled up with the author’s thoughts on how capitalism is nasty and how communism will be nice. I hardly had the patience to read through it once, so I can barely imagine any human being wanting to read the Workers’ Daily every day, and yet the paper confidently announces to readers that a year’s subscription would cost them only £36.95!

The Workers’ Daily I was given ends with the following not especially rousing statements:

No to Monopoloy Dictate!

No to the Wrecking of the Social Economy!

There is a Way Out of the Crisis!

Stop Paying the Rich! Increase Investments in Social Programmes!

For a Pro-Social Programme for the National Economy!

To be fair it was not only minor commie parties and moonbat political campaigns that could be found at Tolpuddle. Workers from the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight were asking people to sign a petition opposing its planned closure. 

One of the workers told me that they were planning to occupy the factory this week if they weren’t given assurances that it would stay open, and they have indeed organised a sit-in that has hit the headlines in recent days. Here is their blog.

It seems ridiculous that this factory should be allowed to close due to lack of demand for wind turbines when the government has committed itself to providing green jobs and investing in renewable energy sources. A bit of state intervention here would not go amiss, as far as I can see.

Yes to Ed Miliband going to speak to the Vestas workers!

Yes to maintaining much-needed skilled jobs by building wind turbines all over Tory constituencies!

Yes to using all the hot air generated in the Tolpuddle marquee to power some wind turbines and thus save the Vestas jobs!

Seriously though, good luck to them.

Where’s the beef?

June 22, 2009

I went to have dinner with two of the meatiest Paintbrush comrades tonight and completely forgot to remind them that we are signed up to the Meat Free Monday campaign. Sorry Sir Paul and Planet Earth – we will try harder next week.

Meat free Mondays

June 18, 2009
Dont have a cow, man

Don't have a cow, man

Earlier this week (Monday, appropriately enough) Paul McCartney and some other groovy celebrities launched the ‘Meat Free Monday’ campaign.

The aim is to encourage people to help cut carbon emissions by eating less meat. A United Nations report last year argued that reducing meat consumption will be a necessary part of global efforts to tackle climate change.

Now I know that many members of the Paintbrush collective like their meat. However, I also think that they like their planet as well. I am therefore proposing that Frank Owen’s Paintbrush commits itself to the Meat Free Monday campaign.

(To other Paintbrushers: this is what happens when you leave all the blog-writing to me)