“They Destroy, We Create: The Anti-Austerity UK Alliance” in Planet Magazine: The Welsh Internationalist
February 23, 2015 at 4:49 pm (Adorno, Anti-Austerity, Banks, Bataille, BBC Leaders Debates, Cameron, Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament, Chomsky, Coalition Government, Creativity, Cultural Sustainability, deconstruction, Democratic Community, Diversity, Equality, Equality Act 2010, Europe, European Union, General Election 2015, Greece, Hung Parliament, Inclusion, philosophy, Scotland, Syriza, Wales, Wales and the European Union)
Tags: alt ctrl delete, Anti-Austerity UK Alliance, James Luchte, Planet Magazine
February 19, 2015 at 7:04 pm (BBC Leaders Debates, Equality, Equality Act 2010, Europe, European Union, Inclusion, UK General Elections 2015)
Tags: Leanne Wood, Natalie Bennett, Nicola Sturgeon, Ofcom, UK Leader's Debates
Freedom of Information: Right to know request
Dear Dr Luchte
Thank you for your request for information concerning the Equality Act and Ofcom’s Election Guidelines which Ofcom received on 22 January 2015 and has considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act). I have set out your questions and our answers in turn below, but first I would like to just clarify Ofcom’s position and powers regarding elections. Ofcom has no role in determining the structure, format and style of any broadcast general election debates that might take place. This is up to broadcasters. Ofcom’s role is to set rules governing the minimum allocation of party election broadcasts, a duty places on Ofcom by parliament. The broadcasters are able to allocate additional party election broadcasts, to major parties and others, and have a duty to ensure all coverage is fair, impartial and gives due weight to a range of voices.
1 – In my first request, I ask you to provide copies of the all communications and documents whether electronic or otherwise which pertain to OFCOM’s steps to comply with the Equality Act 2010 and its 2011 Supplements for Broadcasters: 2011 Statutory Instruments (No. 2260), Special Duties, and Regulations of the Act.
Ofcom is committed to treating all people as equitably and fairly as possible. In 2014 we published our Single Equality Scheme. This sets out the measures we have and intend to put in place, to ensure that we are a responsible and diverse employer and regulator.
A considerable amount of time would be needed to locate, retrieve, identify and extract any relevant information. Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides that a public authority is not obliged to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the “appropriate limit”. The appropriate limit is set out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, and is, for Ofcom, £450. That sum is intended to cover the estimated costs involved in determining whether Ofcom holds the information requested, identifying, locating, retrieving and extracting the information from any document containing it. The Regulations provide that costs are to be estimated at a rate of £25 per person per hour.
Ofcom estimates that it would take more than 18 hours to identify, locate and extract the information you require and as such the cost of complying with your request will exceed the appropriate limit. We will therefore not be able to provide any information in connection to your request.
2 – In my second request, I ask you to provide a list of meetings, participants, and minutes thereof which related, in any manner, to the Equality Act 2010 and its 2011 Supplements for Broadcasters: 2011 Statutory Instruments (No. 2260), Special Duties, and Regulations of the Act.
Please see my response to question1.
3 – In my third request, I ask you to provide copies of whatever notes or minutes were taken of any occasions in which OFCOM discussed and made efforts to bring the Election Guidelines of 2010 into compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and its 2011 Supplements for Broadcasters: 2011 Statutory Instruments (No. 2260), Special Duties, and Regulations of the Act.
No such meetings took place.
4 – In my fourth request, I ask you to provide me with all documentation, communications, whether electronic or otherwise, which pertain to Election Guidelines per se, the Election Guidelines of 2010 as such and details of the Consultation process and all meetings and communications pertaining to the 2015 Election Guidelines.
Detailed information regarding the 2015 major parties list is available in the consultation, published on 8 January 2015. To ‘provide all documentation, communications…..’ would take a considerable amount of time and therefore Section 12 the Act applies.
Please see my answer to question 1. With regards the 2010 general election, no additional guidance was issued, over and above that contained in the Broadcasting Code.
5 – In my fifth request, I ask you to provide copies, whether electronic or otherwise, of any and all communications that OFCOM has had with the Coalition government, or agents thereof, or with members of the Civil Service, political parties (or their representatives), and broadcasters, regarding the Equality Act 2010 and its 2011 Supplements for Broadcasters: 2011 Statutory Instruments (No. 2260), Special Duties, and Regulations of the Act or with respect to the topic Election Guidelines per se.
I am writing to confirm that Ofcom has now completed its search.
No such communications exist.
February 19, 2015 at 2:54 am (Anti-Austerity, Banks, Bataille, BBC Leaders Debates, Cameron, Creativity, Cultural Sustainability, Death, deconstruction, Deleuze, Democratic Community, Europe, European Central Bank, European Commission, European Union, Finance Capitalism, freedom, Greece, Greek philosophy, IMF, NATO, Occupy Democracy, Occupy London, Occupy Wall Street, Open Rights, philosophy, Poetry, Scotland, Syriza, Thrasymachus, Troika, Uncategorized, Wales, Wales and the European Union)
Tags: democracy, Drop the Debt, ECB, European Commision, Greece, IMF, Let Greece Breathe, NATO, Syriza, Troika
February 18, 2015 at 3:38 am (Uncategorized)
February 8, 2015 at 5:16 am (Adorno, Aesthetics, Anti-Austerity, Banks, Bataille, BBC Leaders Debates, Being and Time, Brixton, Cameron, Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament, Captivation, China, Coalition Government, Creativity, Cultural Sustainability, Death, deconstruction, Deleuze, Democratic Community, Diogenes, Diversity, Dylan Thomas, Equality, European Union, Financial Crisis, General Election 2015, Greece, Greek philosophy, Green Politics, Hung Parliament, Inclusion, Innovation, New Left, Nietzsche, Occupy Britain, Open Rights, Poetry, Scotland, Squatting, Sustainability, Thrasymachus, UK General Elections 2015, Wales, Wales and the European Union)
Tags: Greece Solidarity Campaign, Mass Demonstration in Support of Syria and the Greek People 15 February 2015, Syriza, Syriza London
‘First We Take Manhattan, Then We Take Berlin’ – Leonard Cohen
‘First We Take Athens, Then We Take Madrid’ – Syriza with Podemos
‘First We Take Athens, Then We Take London’ – Anti-Austerity UK
‘A Spectre is Haunting Europe…’ – Karl Marx
A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of Greek democracy.
We have been here before in Greece, of course… at least four times.
First, there is the celebrated original emergence of democracy millennia ago; second, the Greek War of Liberation from the Turks (1821-1832), immortalised by the poet Bryron; third, the attempt by Leftist partisan organisations (EAM, KKE, ELAS) to form a Provisional Government in 1946 (in the stead of the Right-Monarchist government, returned from exile, and elected in 1946 in elections which the Left had boycotted), but defeated by the intervention of the United States and the United Kingdom, thus beginning the Greek Civil War (1946-1949), which ended with thousands of deaths and Greek membership of NATO; and fourth, the re-emergence of democracy in 1974 after the fall of the US backed military junta installed in the 1967 pre-elections coup d’etat, the so-called ‘General’s Coup’, eventually replaced by the government of exiled Constantine Karamanlis, which put the monarchy up for a referendum, and with its rejection by the people, negotiated a new presidential constitution, and inaugurated the Greek Republic in 1975.
And, now, fifth, with the people’s mandate, Syriza, the Coalition of the Radical Left, has taken power in Athens – not ironically with the help or participation of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), who were re-legalised in 1974 – promising the people of Greece not only the ‘end of austerity’, privatisation, unfair strike laws, among other transformations, but also, and more fundamentally, the end to the system of oligarchy, propped up by seventy years of external intervention and centrist-conservative governance (New Democracy or PASOK).
Indeed, as we have repeatedly seen in recent modern and contemporary histories, democracy, the vote, the pebble (psḗphos) of the people does not often seem sufficient to challenge the hegemonic narrative of the victor of the war of Europe, the United States.