Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Friday, 4 November 2011


Bristol's LibDem contortionists are getting plenty of practice as they try to deal with the embarrassment of the Occupy Bristol encampment on College Green. Barbara Janke has had to retreat into an embarrassingly patronising "understanding" of their cause, while seizing on the excuse of marking Remembrance Sunday as an emotive reason to 'geroff my land'. Characteristically, Gary Hopkins is, as always, much more bellicose, with his aggressive dismissal of the Green Party's open approval of what the occupiers stand for.

Labour seems to follow broadly along the Janke line, while the Tories lean heavily to the Hopkins approach. None of them are talking seriously about the underlying issues though.

The Evening Post is playing a predictable part in its own reporting of the encampment. Next to nothing about the reasons it's there, but with negative headlines that belie the nature of the occupation, and draw a disproportionate number of ill-informed comments on the website.

There's been a much more thoughtful and adult approach on Bristol24/7

Yesterday, College Green and the tents had suffered from the heavy rain; and the occupiers were busy laying new temporary boardwalks to protect the grass.
Meanwhile, over in Cannes, the G20 were also busy attempting to patch up the increasingly slippery foundations of their own very temporary looking structure - the economic system.

Of course, everyone wants the College Green 'occupation' to be temporary. On the other hand we also want an economic system that's fair and just, that won't come crashing down around us. That will take more than a few pallets.

One thing that could give that international house of cards a little more stability, damping down some of the market tremors that could bring it down, is the so-called Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions - those deals that have no substance in terms of real goods or services, they're merely abstract and often incomprehensible 'products' dreamed up by the financial establishment to produce a quick profit for some and the illusion of economic growth for others.

Originally known as a Tobin Tax, this always seemed a very obvious way of tackling some of the world's most serious inequalities and injustices, while at the same time slowing down the dangerously erratic tides of the money markets. And at last it's gained very respectable and influential support from those who really can do something to make it happen. Sarkozy, Merkel, Soros, Buffet, Gates, the Vatican, and now our own Archbishop of Canterbury, writing in the Financial Times on Wednesday.

There's the opportunity to do it at Cannes - if they're not too distracted by the debacle of the failures of the Greek economy. Lets hope.

1 comment:

The Bristol Blogger said...

I suppose it's no surprise that a politician thinks that taxation is the solution.

It's more money for them to spend on their hobby horses and obsessions.

Of course, without radical political and institutional reform, these tax revenues will just be squandered by elites on themselves like all tax revenues are.

The idea that the state doesn't have enough money and needs more is risible.

The problem is that all the money is being stolen from us. The same will happen with a Robin Hood tax.