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CONCENTRATIONS OF WEALTH &  POWER AND BIG DATA

CONCENTRATIONS OF WEALTH & POWER AND BIG DATA

February 7, 2020

This podcast is structured around a review of Peter Phillips' book, Giants: The Global Power Elite. I elucidate and assess the main points of the book, [1] that seventeen globally active asset management corporations each administer over $1 trillion, together totalling $41.1 trillion, [2] that these corporations are managed by 199 directors who Phillips gives brief biographies of; [3] that there are deep connections between these personnel and the three main propaganda and public relations global conglomerates, various 'think tanks' and policy bodies, and governments.  I further relate this connectivity to the role of big data as it is extracted and exploited by the tech giants Google and Facebook. I rely on Shoshana Ruboff's The Age of Surveillance Capitalism to make the latter connection. In the light of Phillips' and Ruboff's rigorous scholarship, I consider the vilification of the UK left by the billionaire-owned media and the prospect of a radical, progressive turn in world politics and what is needed to ensure it. [Free. 29 minutes.]

RESILIENCE: INTERVIEW WITH GODFREY DEVEREUX

RESILIENCE: INTERVIEW WITH GODFREY DEVEREUX

January 25, 2020

In this interview renowned Yoga Teacher Godfrey Devereux about a recent turn his work has taken. Godfrey has dropped the language surrounding contemporary Yoga to talk instead about resilience and how it is a consequence of a certain meditative self-enquiry. I ask Godfrey to elucidate this and particularly in the context of impending ecological catastrophe. I give my own take on these matters which is more inclined to speak up for activism. Listen to the following podcast, The Yogi and the Commissar, in which I explore some of the themes that emerged and in the light of Simone de Beauvoir's existentialism. [Free. 32 minutes.]

GE 2019 - WHAT HAPPENED & WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

GE 2019 - WHAT HAPPENED & WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

December 30, 2019

In this podcast, I try to discern the reasons behind Labour's defeat in the UK general election held on 12 December, 2019. I consider Labour's move from honouring the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum to backing a second referendum and look at how this relates to voting patterns in contrast to those of the 2017 general election. I go on to examine the relentless propaganda assault on Labour and its leadership mounted by the billionaire owned press and the BBC. In the second part of the podcast, I look at possible strategies that the preceding analysis suggests. These include the development of alternative, independent media, the more effective use of the grass roots, the possibilities of networking and more effective use of social media, including the development of new platforms. And more! [Free. 68 minutes.]

THE MAIN-STREAM MEDIA, THE BBC & PROPAGANDA - GE 19

THE MAIN-STREAM MEDIA, THE BBC & PROPAGANDA - GE 19

November 30, 2019

In this podcast, we cast an eye over the UK main-stream media and the parasitic relationship the state broadcaster, the BBC, has with them. As illustrative example, we consider the furore over leaked trade deal discussions between the UK and the US. [These talks are predicated on a no-deal Brexit transpiring.] The UK government only released these documents as a result of a freedom of information request, and then in almost completely redacted form. Jeremy Corbyn and Barry Gardiner for Labour have the unredacted documents and have implied that they contain evidence of plans to 'sell off' the NHS to US corporations. Right wing ideologue and BBC rottweiler, Andrew Neil, describes this latter as 'scaremongering' and the Tory Party continue to insist that 'the NHS is not for sale'. And more! [Free. 47 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.]

OPERATION YELLOWHAMMER - WHAT IT SAYS AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE

OPERATION YELLOWHAMMER - WHAT IT SAYS AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE

September 22, 2019

This is another current affairs podcast in which we go through the UK Government's plans for the eventuality of a no deal Brexit as outlined in the Operation Yellowhammer document. We include all items discussed in the document but expand particularly on items relating to possible social unrest (item 13), the impact of probable price rises on 'low income groups' (item 13) and the impact on adult social care which is deemed already threatened by 'market fragility'. We note that the government had to be pressured by Parliament to release this document and that a leaked, earlier but very similar version was considered a base scenario rather than a worst case scenario. The document can be downloaded here. (Opens in new window/tab.) [Free. 23 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.]

THE CASE FOR JEREMY CORBYN

THE CASE FOR JEREMY CORBYN

July 22, 2019

This engagement with current affairs has already been over-taken by events. However, it may contain some enduring points. I consider the billionaire-owned media attacks on Jeremy Corbyn and his socialist project, including but not exclusively, the charges of anti-semitism. I note the presence of neo-liberal apologists within the UK Labour Party. In the light of my contention that 'business as usual is not an option', given economic, ecological and cultural instability on a global scale, I elucidate and evaluate the idea of a 'Green New Deal' as is being considered by Labour as well as Justice Democrats in the USA, particularly Bernie Sanders. I argue that a glimmer of hope is contained by this movement. [Free. 42 minutes.]

THATCHERISM REVISITED

THATCHERISM REVISITED

March 24, 2019

In this podcast, I read a short essay I wrote in 1989 describing and analysing the previous ten years of Thatcherism. [Margaret Thatcher became PM of the UK in 1979.] I offer it here to illustrate how the Thatcher electoral victory of 1979 gave rise to ideological and practical dominance by neoliberalism which still has momentum, though now running down. [Free. 13 minutes.]

IS SMALL BEAUTIFUL?

IS SMALL BEAUTIFUL?

August 12, 2018

This meander was stimulated by a recent repudiation by Zizek of the possible role of small communities in any future human flourishing. In this context, I revisit E. F. Schumacher's Small is Beautiful (1973). I discuss some of the core ideas from that seminal work. In particular, I focus on the treatement of raw materials as [inexhaustible]  income and the treatement of the environment as a free dump by capitalism and the economic theories that act as its ideological justification. I touch upon intermediate technology, the role of 'spirituality' in the good life, the way in which economic theories and political practice often treat people as numbers on a spreadsheet, the 1984-5 UK Miners' Strike and the persistence of alienation in nationalised industries. I do this by discerning Zizek's 'inner Schumacher' and Schumacher's 'inner Zizek' and recounting instances of their expression. In both cases these inner others are mostly repressed, but vigorous enough to surface now and then in brilliant insight. [Free. 47 minutes.]