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IS THE PANDEMIC POLITICAL? HELL, YES.

IS THE PANDEMIC POLITICAL? HELL, YES.

April 15, 2020

In this podcast we argue that pleas not to 'play politics' with the COVID19 pandemic play into the hands of the far right. We identify and sketch out several political dimensions to the pandemic, amongst them the antecedents too the current responses, the ideological character of the current responses, and the possibilities that present themselves for the future as this crisis amongst many subsides. [Free. 35 minutes.]

NATURALLY OCCURRING COMMUNISM

NATURALLY OCCURRING COMMUNISM

March 22, 2020

In this short podcast, we revisit the theme of naturally occurring communism, this time as it appears as a response to the COV19 pandemic and comes to be more widely valued. We consider whether it can further develop when the pandemic finally subsides and conclude that it might, but it will have to fought for. [Free. 14 minutes.]

LEAST VALUED, MOST VALUABLE

LEAST VALUED, MOST VALUABLE

March 21, 2020

In this short podcast, I examine the role of the UK's 'key workers' in the midst of the current global COVID19 pandemic. With a few examples I show how the nature of these workers is brought out of ideologically produced obscurity into the light by the crisis. Often low-status, poorly paid, and traduced and poorly treated by the conservative government, these workers, I argue, are both more necessary and more public spirited than, say, hedge-fund managers. [Free. 9 minutes.] 

VIRUS POLITICS

VIRUS POLITICS

March 17, 2020

In this podcast I sketch out the features of the COVID-19 pandemic as it stands at the time of recording [15/3/20] before considering its political aspects. I argue that one feature of the catastrophe is that it is a black swan event further destabilising already unstable global capitalism. The inability of markets, neo-liberal ideologies and corporate profit fetishism to address the consequent, dire public health and economic crises is exposed very vividly, I claim. I then describe how the right will inevitably attempt to weaponise the resulting chaos, placing the human enterprise itself in jeopardy and how the broadly progressive wing of humanity must seize the initiative, both in terms of mutual aid organisation and on the ideological plane. Claiming the pandemic should not be politicised plays right into the hands of the malignant right. [Free. 24 minutes.]

THE CASE FOR LABOUR - GE 2019

THE CASE FOR LABOUR - GE 2019

November 6, 2019

This podcast is the first of several we will be doing in the run up to the general election to be held in the UK on December 12th 2019. It makes the general case for Labour as being the only party addressing the stark fact that 'business as usual is not an option'. It ranges quite far and wide, but with some focus on 'The Green Industrial Revolution'. [Free. 58 minutes.]

THE WORLD BURNS

THE WORLD BURNS

August 25, 2019

This podcast briefly outlines the political, economic and ecological contexts and ramifications of the unprecedented  fires in the Amazon rain forest that have hit the news this week. [Free. 32 minutes.]

FREE SPEECH

FREE SPEECH

August 27, 2018

In this podcast, I take it that free speech, as an instance of freedom per se, is a very great good. However, this stance is not unproblematic in that free speech and freedom can subvert themselves as well as eroding other goods, e.g. equality. The obvious and often proposed notion that this can be overcome by policing or regulation raises the problem that any claim to the right to do the policing is impossible to legitimate and will therefore ultimately be authoritarian in nature. There is some hope in the possibility of general eduction based on ecouraging questioning rather than on inculcating dogma but this project also encounters a legitimation problem in that curricula are likely to be determined by some authority. [Free. 33 minutes.]

LAO TZU: PART FOUR

LAO TZU: PART FOUR

May 31, 2017

This podcast deals with Chapters 6, 7 and 8 of the Tao Te Ching. Themes covered include breath and the pulsation of the universe, poetry and the attempt to eff the ineffable, up and down mysticisms and letting be, water and flow, the sage, confucianism, politics, desires and political manipulation, maternal nurturing, compassion and strategies for living, etc. [Free. 40 minutes.]

CONTRA NOS: TALK GIVEN IN LONDON AGAINST THE NATIONAL OCCUPATION STANDARD FOR A YOGA TEACHER

CONTRA NOS: TALK GIVEN IN LONDON AGAINST THE NATIONAL OCCUPATION STANDARD FOR A YOGA TEACHER

January 23, 2017

This is my contribution to a public meeting put on by the Independent Yoga Network [IYN] to clarify the attempt being made by BWY and Skillsactive to institute a National Occupational Standard for a Yoga Teacher in the face of concerted and reasoned opposition from key players in the UK Yoga Community.  The meeting was held on the 14th January 2017. I am introduce by Ellen Lee, Chair of the IYN. Other presenters were Swami Ambikananda Saraswati [Traditional Yoga Association], Jim Gough [IYN Treasurer], Nick Elwell [BGi Insurance], and Satish K Sharma [General Secretary, National Council of Hindu Temple (UK)]. The complete proceedings, which run to over 3 hours, will be available from the IYN online magazine, namaskaram, shortly. [Free. 22 minutes.]