Dead Men Left

Saturday, May 21, 2005

On Make Poverty History and the G8 protests

With the flahsy Make Poverty History white band added at the top of the site, now seems also a good time to plug the upcoming Globalise Resistance conference. It'll be good:

SATURDAY MAY 28th 2005
South Camden Community School
Charrington Street London NW1 Click here for Map
10am - 5pm

£10 / £7 members-concessions

Charles Abugre, Head of Policy and Advocacy at Christian Aid. Patrick Bond, South Africa, writer and activist. Sue Brandford, author of 'Cutting the Wire'. Jan Burgess, editor Review of African Political Economy. Alex Callinicos, Globalise Resistance and author of 'The New Mandarins of American Power'. Nick Dearden, campaigns officer at War on Want Nadine Finch, Statewatch. Richard Gott, author and journalist. Billy Hayes, General Secertary CWU. Sarjoh Kamara, Newham Refugee Forum. Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP for SE England. Emily Madamombe, Zimbabwe Community Campaign to Defend Asylum Seekers. David Miller, editor 'Tell Me Lies'. Jonathan Neale, Globalise Resistance and author 'You are G8, We Are 6 Billion'. Chris Nineham, Globalise Resistance and chief steward for the Stop the War Coalition. Sami Ramadani, Iraqi, Guardian columist. David Shayler, former MI5 agent. Phil Thornhill, Campaign Against Climate change. Guy Taylor, Globalise Resistance Eric Toussaint, Belgium, Anti Debt campaigner and author. More info and speakers biographies here

A Third Way for the Global South? • Debt and Africa • Labour's Attacks on our Civil Liberties • Is the US Winning in the Middle East? • The G8 - An Activists Guide • Can We Stop Climate Change? • Refugees - At the Sharp End of Globalisation

Plenary sessions
An Alternative commission for Africa • To Gleneagles!

If you're not going to Gleneagles for the G8 yet, you need to get yourselves up there. Brown, with Blair in tow, wants to present himself as a saviour of the world's poor. There's a crude electoral calculation involved in this, a blatant attempt to woo left-leaning Labour voters with an ostentatious display of the government's deeply-held social-democratic values; but, more importantly, the drive to further market liberalisation lurks not far behind New Labour's pieties and the fatally flawed International Financial Facility scheme.

This is happy-face neoliberalism, as gently offered by Jeffrey Sachs in his new book, The End of Poverty. It's a more subtle creature than neoliberalism in its muscular glory days of Structural Adjustment Programmes and "shock therapy"; it has learned to dress itself in the civil society's finest garments, and speak with the sweetest of voices about the plight of the starving millions. Significant numbers of NGOs have bought into the new settlement, hoping to trail the great mobilisations of the global justice movement behind the new project.

This delicate balance creates an enormous risk, of course; those outside the G8 summit may just prove to be rather more committed to the fight for poverty reduction than those inside. New Labour has had eight years - including repeated promises from Brown - to deliver on international development. The patience of those in the global justice movement is wearing thin. The possibility of striking a well-directed blow against the free-market consensus, comparable to that delivered in Seattle in late 1999, is there. Whether it is delivered depends on our numbers in July.