Z Nightly Commentaries
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Recent Z Nightly Commentaries
Oct 01, 2008
They baled out of the bail-out, but the money will still have to come from us. It always has.
Monbiot: Manufactured Famine
Sep 10, 2008
A new wave of food colonialism is snatching food from the mouths of the poor.
Monbiot: Hypocrites Unite
Aug 26, 2008
In her new book, Not In My Name, Julie Burchill reserves her grandest fury about hypocrites for environmentalists. We are, she says, pious, sexless and contemptuous of humankind. All of us are posh and rich, and have found in environmentalism a new excuse for lecturing the poor. We tell other people to live by rules we don't apply to ourselves.
Monbiot: Climate Change Hell
Aug 24, 2008
If you want a glimpse of how the movement against climate change could crumble faster than a summer snowflake, read Ewa Jasiewicz's article, published yesterday on the Guardian's Comment is Free site(1). It is a fine example of the identity politics that plagued direct action movexments during the 1990s, and from which the new generation of activists has so far been mercifully free.
Monbiot: Magic Pudding
Aug 21, 2008
It's a novel way to commit suicide. Just as Russia demonstrates what happens to former minions which annoy it, Poland agrees to host a US missile defence base. The Russians, as Poland expected, respond to this proposal by kindly offering to turn the country into a parking lot. This proves that the missile defence system is necessary after all: it will stop the missiles Russia will now aim at Poland, the Czech Republic and the UK in response to, er, their involvement in the missile defence system.
Majavu: Decolonising the Mind
Aug 18, 2008
In his book 'Decolonising the Mind', Ngugi wa Thiong'o (2006) gives the false impression that decolonising one's mind is simply a matter of proudly speaking and writing in indigenous African languages. Given Africa's history of colonisation, it is understandable why Ngugi would argue along these lines. However, Africa's history of colonisation does not make Ngugi's argument valid. Ngugi argues that he wrote the book to criticise the 'Afro-European or Euroafrican' choice of linguistic praxis - that is, to critique black Africans who choose to express themselves in any of the colonial languages (e.g. English and French). The rationale behind such a criticism is to lament a neo-colonial situation which has meant that the Western World once again steals Africa's talents; only this time with Africans themselves voluntarily and willingly facilitating the thieving, writes Ngugi. To prove that he takes his project seriously, Ngugi explains that Decolonising the Mind "is my farewell to English as a vehicle for any of my writings. From now on it is Gikuyu and Kiswahili all the way."
Monbiot: Self-Justifying Myths
Jul 29, 2008
There is just one party which doesn't seem to care about the controversy created by The Great Global Warming Swindle. That is the company which broadcast it: Channel 4. In fact it seems rather proud of the fuss, and I suspect that Ofcom's damning verdict won't cause its executives a moment's lost sleep. The channel boasts that the programme generated a huge response, and that favourable comments outweighed hostile remarks by six to one.
Monbiot: Censored by Money
Jul 23, 2008
After every test case, the media assume the worst is over: that Britain's libel laws, designed to protect the powerful from public scrutiny, have been fanged, and freedom of speech will no longer be treated like a crime. And then it gets worse.
Monbiot: Tide of Money
Jul 21, 2008
All over the world, protesters are engaged in a heroic battle with reality. They block roads, picket fuel depots, throw missiles and turn over cars in an effort to hold it at bay. The oil is running out and governments, they insist, must do something about it. When they've sorted it out, what about the fact that the days are getting shorter? What do we pay our taxes for?
Majavu: Bemba Arrest Pt. 3
Jul 09, 2008
Vilwar (2003) argues that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is possibly the most mineral rich place on earth. The DRC holds millions of tons of diamonds, copper, cobalt, zinc, manganese, and uranium. It is reported that the uranium used to make the atomic bombs dropped by the U.S. in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were built using Congolese uranium.
Monbiot: Green Lifeline
Jul 04, 2008
A radical new idea could save the world's ecosystems. But what will it do to the economy?
Majavu: Bemba Arrest Pt. 2
Jul 01, 2008
In 1997, Mobutu Sese Seko, who had been the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for 32 years, was toppled by Laurent Kabila, the leader of the Allied Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (AFDL). The AFDL was supported by the Ugandan army and the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) in their struggle against Mobutu.
Majavu: Bemba Arrest Pt. 1
Jun 27, 2008
On May, 25, 2008, the New York Times reported that Jean-Pierre Bemba, the rebel leader of the Movement for Liberation of Congo (MLC) and the former vice president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was arrested near Brussels at the request of the International Criminal Court. The paper explains that in 2002, the MLC was 'asked' by Ange-Felix Patasse, former President of the Central African Republic (CAR), to come into his country and put down a coup attempt. While there, the group was accused of widespread human rights violations.
Majavu: African Cadres
Jun 16, 2008
Times have changed. The colonial project in Africa is no longer carried out with a gun and a boot and a baton. Structural adjustment programmes inform the neo-colonial agenda; and that agenda requires that a new coordinator class among the natives be trained in a slightly different way to the coordinator class of the old days.
Monbiot: Justice Undone
Jun 06, 2008
I didn't get my man, but I helped to remind people what he's done.
Monbiot: We Have Gone Mad
May 31, 2008
In common with the leaders of most western nations, our prime minister is urging you to increase your production of oil. I am writing to ask you to ignore him. Like the other leaders he is delusional, and is no longer competent to make his own decisions.
Monbiot: Nothing Left to Fight For
May 23, 2008
The most rightwing government Britain has had since the Second World War does not deserve to be re-elected.
Monbiot: A Human Bomb
May 17, 2008
When we learnt last week that Abdallah Salih al-Ajmi had blown himself up in Mosul in northern Iraq, the US government presented this as a vindication of its policies. Al-Ajmi was a former inmate of the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. The Pentagon says that his attack on Iraqi soldiers shows both that it was right to have detained him and that it is dangerous ever to release the camp's prisoners(1). On the contrary, it shows how dangerous it was to put them there in the first place.
Monbiot: Anticipatory Compliance
May 12, 2008
If you want to know how powerful Rupert Murdoch is, read the reviews of Bruce Dover's book, Rupert's Adventures in China. Well, go on, read them. You can't find any? I rest my case.
Monbiot: The Great Consolidation
Apr 30, 2008
Everything is getting bigger and further away. Hospitals, post offices, schools and prisons are being "rationalised" and "consolidated". The government says that this process improves efficiency. Instead, it outsources inefficiency: we must travel further to use public services. This is bad for the environment, bad for community life, bad for universal provision. But we haven't seen anything yet. We are about to be confronted with the biggest shutdown of all: the government has started the process of closing England's network of doctors' surgeries.