Of Plastics and Brexit – the struggle against the new lords of oil & gas

Of Plastics and Brexit – the struggle against the new lords of oil & gas

On 16th January 2019 news was leaked through the German paper Handelsblatt of The Alliance to End Plastic Waste. A new industrial coalition that will invest $1billion over the next five years in a campaign to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the world. Here was a powerful body of major corporations determining to...
Silence in the Storm – Business and No Deal Brexit

Silence in the Storm – Business and No Deal Brexit

  The storm in Westminster rages so ferociously that at times it’s hard to hear ourselves think. There is second by second coverage of the House of Commons and Downing Street from every conceivable angle. Backbenchers so obscure that we’ve never heard of them before are dragged through the TV studios and closely cross-questioned. Others...
Of Climate and Memory – Extinction Rebellion and Doreen Massey

Of Climate and Memory – Extinction Rebellion and Doreen Massey

We drive slowly down the winding lane that leads across the flat landscape on the northern flank of the Solway Firth in the county of Dumfries & Galloway. As we move onto the farmland of Preston Merse, we are distracted by the red stone ruin of Wreaths Tower. All that remains of the craggy weathered...
‘The Knowledge Quarter’ – resistance to capture and divestment from capital

‘The Knowledge Quarter’ – resistance to capture and divestment from capital

In the Autumn I attended an utterly inspiring Shake! & Stuart Hall Foundation event – the launch of the Black Cultural Activism Map. It was held at the Platform theatre space in the Central Saint Martin’s art school – CSM – part of University of the Arts London. This new premises is a vast warehouse of...
The Invisible Machine – a gas pipeline in the Caucasus and a handshake in No10

The Invisible Machine – a gas pipeline in the Caucasus and a handshake in No10

On the evening of Thursday 26th April 2018, it was warm and sunny in London. President Ilham Aliyev strode down Downing Street and was met by Prime Minister Theresa May with smile and a handshake. They posed for the cameras on the red carpet outside No 10 and then retired inside. A short formal chat...
Aliyev re-elected as President for another 7 years – the chain of oil autocracy that binds Azerbaijan

Aliyev re-elected as President for another 7 years – the chain of oil autocracy that binds Azerbaijan

On 18th April Ilham Aliyev will be inaugurated for the fourth time as President of Azerbaijan. His re-election comes as no surprise. It is so predictable that it barely counted as ‘news’ and consequently got next to no coverage in the international media. Originally the election was scheduled for 17th October, but at nine weeks...
La Zad puts down roots – sensing the future

La Zad puts down roots – sensing the future

We’re in the middle of the crowd. Standing some way back from the stage, watching transfixed and elated at the performance of Orchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp. Two trombones, two drummers, two marimbas, two electric guitars, two cellos and five other musicians blast out such a blissful riot of sound that our souls sail above...

Gulfsands ends payments to Assad’s cousin – but continues supporting Syrian regime with $8 million every week

Documents revealed by the FT amid concerns raised by Avaaz show that Gulfsands Petroleum, the London-listed oil and gas company, agreed to give a share of profits from its production activities in Syria to a company controlled by Rami Makhlouf, the first cousin of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The company has also paid more than...

Geoengineering and synthetic life – BP’s “solutions” to climate change and the energy crisis

While drilling holes in the Atlantic seafloor and mining tar sands, BP has also been working with Craig Venter’s Synthetic Genomics to geoengineer microbes that could be injected into tar sands to release methane and create algae-based biofuels, according to Jim Thomas of etc group writing for The Ecologist yesterday. He also investigates BP’s role in driving science-fiction schemes to re-engineer atmospheric...

BP violated human rights rules, says UK government

Company failed to respond to alleged intimidation by Turkish security forces along its UK-backed Caspian oil pipeline Ruling places BP in breach of loan agreements, say campaigners A BP-led consortium is breaking international rules governing the human rights responsibilities of multinational companies in its operations on the controversial Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the UK Government ruled...

Royal Dutch Shell profiting from Sultan’s absolute rule in Oman

Unrest has reached Oman, the usually “sedate” and “tranquil” Sultanate on the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. Inspired by uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain, Omani youth took to the streets to challenge government corruption, cronyism, unemployment and a lack of democracy. Protests spread across the desert country, with police firing bullets and teargas from...

BP support for Mubarak dictatorship revealed

The millions on the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez are furious at Mubarak for upholding his own interests and those of Western powers and foreign companies at the expense of the Egyptian people. For decades, British and American oil companies worked hand in glove with the Egyptian dictatorship, enjoying its “stability” (lack of democratic...