EU enabling violent repression in Egypt - NGOs call for moratorium on lending

EU enabling violent repression in Egypt – NGOs call for moratorium on lending

As the new Egyptian regime run by the Muslim Brotherhood is attempting an aggressive power grab and launching street violence on revolutionaries and opposition groups across the country, a coalition of Egyptian and European organisations are questioning European public banks’ political and financial backing of a constitutional coup and crackdown. In an open letter to...
Reflections on my first few weeks at Platform

Reflections on my first few weeks at Platform

“What’s it like at Platform?” Since I started work here a few weeks ago this is the first question friends ask me when they see me. So far, I have failed to answer this question, offering a combination of mumbling, smiles and pregnant pauses. Where do you start? I spent the last 10 years working...
The true story behind Channel 4's 'Secret State' - RBS's dirty deals

The true story behind Channel 4’s ‘Secret State’ – RBS’s dirty deals

Sometimes Platform is really late off the mark, but luckily a friend in Liverpool gave us a nudge.  Thanks Lena. WARNING – this blog post contains spoilers. Channel 4’s recent 4-part political thriller ‘Secret State’ has an oil and finance storyline, elements of which uncannily mirror some of Platform’s current and recent campaigns. The plot...
Tate Members intervene at Tate AGM over BP sponsorship

Tate Members intervene at Tate AGM over BP sponsorship

A group of 15 fee-paying Tate members have sent a letter (see below) to the Tate Member’s council in advance of tonight’s Members’ AGM at Tate Modern asking questions about the controversial relationship between Tate and BP. At last year’s AGM, members of Liberate Tate handed over a petition of more than 8,000 people calling...
Experiencing 'The Panaudicon' - An audio tour of Tate Britain and BP sponsorship

Experiencing ‘The Panaudicon’ – An audio tour of Tate Britain and BP sponsorship

 In August 2012 a dissertation for an MSc in Sustainable Development was submitted at Exeter University that was titled TATE-Á-TATE: An exploration of Soundwalks and their potential for achieving sustainability (download here). Written by Robert Black, it featured a three part auto-ethnographic response to participation in the Tate à Tate audio tour, a three part sound...
'No more money for arms deals' - but what about fossil fuels?

‘No more money for arms deals’ – but what about fossil fuels?

Last week, a cross-party inquiry called for Parliament to review the use of public money to support arms exports. The all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on international corporate responsibility said Parliament should debate introducing a ‘prohibition list’ of projects that the Government refuses to underwrite. They suggested arms sales should be at the top of it....
Just how 'criminal' does BP need to get for it to violate Tate's ethics policy?

Just how ‘criminal’ does BP need to get for it to violate Tate’s ethics policy?

Point 4.1b of Tate’s Ethics Policy (that you can download here) states that Tate will not accept funds in circumstances when: The donor has acted, or is believed to have acted, illegally in the acquisition of funds, for example when funds are tainted through being the proceeds of criminal conduct. I’m not from any sort...
New film 'Chasing Ice' comes to the UK

New film ‘Chasing Ice’ comes to the UK

A guest post by Dogwoof Films. Climate change is getting closer. Natural disasters are no longer apparently restricted to distant third world countries that we in west can sympathise with in the abstract. The recent experiences of Hurricane Sandy on the east coast of the United States and the devastating flooding around the UK act...
RBS finances Tullow's drilling in Ghana

RBS finances Tullow’s drilling in Ghana

  Tullow Oil Plc has secured a finance deal with a number of banks including the publicly owned Royal Bank of Scotland. The company says the $3.5m debt refinancing will in part be used for its operations in Ghana. Platform has watched the developments in Ghana closely. Amongst other concerns, Tullow has continued to flare...
Yoko Ono, fracking and the Southbank Centre

Yoko Ono, fracking and the Southbank Centre

I ♥ Yoko Ono. I ♥ her effortless blurring of the boundaries between pop music and conceptual and visual art. I ♥ her constant stream of leftfield creativity in all sorts of projects. I ♥ her ‘disco not disco’ opus Walking on Thin Ice. I ♥ her strength and dignity in the face of the...
Contradictory docs for Cairo refinery reveal disdain for transparency by European Bank officials in first major IFI-financed project since revolution started

Contradictory docs for Cairo refinery reveal disdain for transparency by European Bank officials in first major IFI-financed project since revolution started

A $3.7 billion PPP oil refinery expansion in Cairo is accompanied by contradictory project documents, making a mockery of claims by the public banks involved to be committed to “good governance” or democracy. Despite being presented as merely translations of one document, the Arabic and English “versions” are entirely different – with the Arabic markedly...
The Russian roulette: Rosneft, BP, and the unknowns of Russian politics

The Russian roulette: Rosneft, BP, and the unknowns of Russian politics

TNK-BP, the British giant’s 50% joint venture with a group of Russian oligarchs, was bringing in about quarter of the firm’s production, and a lot of its political problems. BP’s solution: swap its shares in TNK-BP for cash and a near 20% stake in Rosneft, Russian state-owned company run by Igor Sechin, one of Vladimir...