Europe for the many conference yesterday

My positions are unchanged – I voted remain, I would vote remain again. The EU would better with stronger relationships (and membership if wanted on both sides) with Turkey and Russia. It was heartening to see German, French, Russian and Turkish leaders all in one room yesterday and I wish they could meetup more often.

Yesterday I went to Europe for the Many – a left strategy for transforming Europe. I am not a socialist or any ist (offline martial art-ist ha ha) but I do believe that some left policies produce a fairer world.

I joined European Alternatives a while ago and I have a friend who has spoken at one of their conferences. He has expertise in European history and spends time between Europe and UK with heart firmly in both. Yesterday’s event was centrist as in Guardian writers speaking but it was a lot better than I expected.

Some quick notes, links

Hilary Wainright suggested Brexit referendum choices should be leave, remain or transform.

The mayor of Cankaya in Ankara explaining the huge changes especially to include women, poorest and other socially disadvantaged groups – voted best district municipality last year. Sule Bulak also outlined a history of changes in Turkey politically over the last 20 years which was the most informed assessment I’ve ever heard in this country.

Barcelona En Comu – Gerardo Pisarello who is deputy mayor of Barcelona. He mentioned that neoliberalism unpopular and people looking for less dependence on private banks and a more redistributive policy. They link up at trans-European level on some municipal campaigns.

European presenters who have previously held national and international foreign policy roles reminded people of US pressure from George Bush senior on countries trying to stop them voting for Maastricht. Also the UK Conservatives refused to sign the social chapter and voted for specific countries to join the EU enlargement so they could avoid signing.

Eastern European speakers spoke of how populism is not the right word, still too much coverage on EE &Russian TV by the western European, UK, US far right. It’s not just far right mobilising angry working class but other areas of society. People are now pushing back and alternative views are becoming more visible and popular.

I went to eco-apocalypse session. We have 10 years to fix everything – fossil fuel energy has to go but no good just telling govts, work with them to produce plans. Related was a fossil fuel campaign that has workedwith huge multinationals to improve the rights and environmental conditions on the indigenous owned land and residents there. (indigenous ownership will cover in future when I’m further on with course).

Mentioned problems of smaller charities against larger charities and IP other issues wasting time and money to resolve.

I’m not a fan of Russophobic green party but Amelia Womack is doing some interesting research. All speakers highlighted need for govts to state what is economic growth and whether it’s necessary e.g. is the Arctic a development opportunity or bringing about total eco-collapse sooner.

LSE who organised event have researchers working on ‘Understanding Brexit – impacts at local level’ reports now out

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