Green Left Weekly; “Solomons an  exercise in Australian colonialism”

13th July 2003

Corporate Conquistadors in Cancun - the EU offensive for WTO-Investment negotiations

The ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Cancun, Mexico (September 10th-14th) will decide whether to start negotiations on a multilateral investment agreement. The European Commission (EC) is leading the push for a WTO-Investment agreement, determined to consolidate the expansion of EU-based multinational corporations. Despite heavy doses of political spin, and assurances that it foresees only a "basic", supposedly "flexible" agreement, there are strong indications that the EC aims for a much more far-reaching corporate-friendly agreement in the longer-term. While civil society remains vehemently opposed, European corporate lobby groups, with a key role in shaping the EC's negotiating goals, are increasingly eager for investment talks to get off the ground.

Read the rest of this InvestmentWatch info brief: "Corporate Conquistadors in Cancun - the EU offensive for WTO-Investment negotiations" here

Blair looks for short cut to the euro

Speaking to the Liaison Committee of the House of Commons this week, the UK Prime Minister said that the economic reforms the government has said are necessary for euro membership only have to be "in place", rather than fully implemented. Asked by a Committee member if there could be significant changes to the structure of the British housing market by the time the Government looks at the euro again in next year's budget, Blair said, "The important thing is to put in place the measures we want" (FT, 9 July).

Blair's comments show that the credibility of the Government's euro policy is in shreds and that it no longer takes the tests or the economics seriously. The Government made a mistake when it said that it would look at the euro again in less than a year. People can see that it is ridiculous to conclude after a two year assessment that we have not structurally converged now, but that things might suddenly change in a few months. Blair thinks that the only way out is to say that they never meant that everything would have to be changed, only that change was underway.

All that matters to the Government now is whether they can shift the polls ahead of another assessment. That is highly unlikely by next spring, and the Government will probably have to give the third negative assessment since 1997, although obviously it will claim once again that even more progress has been made.

Thanks to the UK “No” campaign for this report.  

Blair: Tense about tenses

 “Backtracking like crazy, the UK government is in a real dilemma. The US which, as we all know, lives on another planet, has let the cat out of the bag and left Blair swinging in the wind with its acknowledgement that the infamous ‘Niger’ fakes were long known to be fakes, indeed well before the UK’s September 2002 document.” Read the rest of William Bowles’ transatlantic glimpse at the wacky world of British politics at here

Interview with Phyllis Bennis

"There has never been a moment when there has been such unified public opposition to a US war. And that movement is still in formation, it is still growing. If the political operatives in the Bush administration start getting nervous about what the polls say, and they will if we do our job right as the Peace and Justice Movement in the US and globally, then there will be the change in policy because they will be afraid of losing the elections. So I think we have enormous possibility." Read the rest of the interview at here

The Crisis of the Globalist Project and the New Economics of George W. Bush


“When the World trade Organisation was born in 1995, it was hailed as the gem of global economic governance in the era of globalisation, the organisation that would eliminate power and coercion from trade relations by subjecting both the powerful and the weak to a common set of rules. Now, as the fifth Ministerial of the WTO in Cancun approaches, the organisation is in gridlock, announcing the crisis of the globalist project.” Read the rest of Waldon Bello’s latest take on international trade at here

Where criminals sit in judgement on defenders of the people

Chirac has cut José Bové’s sentence from 10 months to 8. We will try to remember this if real justice ever kicks in and the unspeakable little crook who won France’s preposterous presidential election (between a corrupt elitist and a ludicrous old Nazi) has to face the music. For more information about José’s case, go to here

Left publishers launch Gateway Trust

London-based left publishers Pluto Press have been instrumental in launching a new charity, The Gateway Trust, which supports critical voices around the world in shaping new approaches to leading social issues. Gateway has established a scholarship fund to support writers, activists and researchers working in innovative areas, and a translation fund to build cross-cultural dialogue. The two focus areas are: understanding Islam and innovative approaches to global social and environmental problems. As well as providing a small grant, Gateway assists award holders in identifying the best channels to disseminate their work to an international audience. To find out more and to join the mailing list, please visit

Green Left Weekly, Australia's socialist newspaper provides news, information, opinion and debate from an environmental and left perspective. Featured this week: “Solomons intervention: John Howard's new colonialism”.  The Howard government decision to send 1500 Australian troops and 150 armed federal police to the Solomon Islands is being presented in the corporate media as aimed at helping a Pacific island neighbour to end

massive lawlessness. Green Left Weekly explains why it is actually an  exercise in Australian colonialism. Plus extensive coverage of Australian and international affairs.  Read it at

Thanks to all readers who joined the protest against Rainbow Warrior’s seizure by the nasty little buch of cosmetically-reconstructed fascists masquerading as the government of “Spain”. For the full story visit here

Azadi! A Benefit compilation for the Revolutionary Association of the Women of

Afghanistan (RAWA)

This extraordinary new 2 CD set featuring dozens of independent musicians has been produced by long-time supporter of RAWA, Steve Tobin. According to an article in the San Francisco Weekly, Azadi! is "is hands-down the most compelling collection of music activism to come along in years." The CD cover features the women of RAWA demonstrating for democracy and women'srights in Afghanistan.

"Tahmeena Faryal, a RAWA foreign affairs representative ... is deeply appreciative. "It means a lot to us," she says. "Increased awareness and even a little bit of financial support can help a lot; there is no peace or security or democracy in Afghanistan. The struggle continues.""

Azadi! is available for just US $13 and 100% of proceeds benefit RAWA. For more information and to order the CD, please visit


Richard to be released early September at latest.

Victor Wallis writes “I spoke by phone today with Richard Flood's lawyer, Michael Deutsch. At the June 30 hearing, Richard's sentence was reduced to "time served" (839 days). The same Judge Rozak who presided over the original trial was apparently much more accommodating this time, in that he recommended against subjecting Richard to further supervision after his release (the final decision on this, however, is up to the Dept. of Corrections). Still pending is a decision from the Parole Board on whether Richard can also be credited with "time served" for the "parole-violation." If not, he has to stay in prison until Sept. 3; if so, he could be released quickly. Attorney Deutsch is working on this. Meanwhile, Richard is currently in the Stateville prison but is asking to be sent back to Menard so that he can recover his belongings. I will update when I learn of any important new development.”

We don’t know whether to laugh or spend the summer building an underground shelter

More George W. Bushisms: More of Slate's Accidental Wit and Wisdom of Our 43rd President We're laying the groundwork for a national campaign -- a national campaign that I believe will result in a great victory in November

2002. -- Tampa, Florida, June 30, 2003

Wait for us to succeed peace. Wait for us to have two states, side by side -- is for everybody coming together to deny the killers the opportunity to destroy. -- Kennebunkport, Maine, June 15, 2003

I'm also not very analytical. You know I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things.

-- aboard AirForce One, June 4 2003

I recently met with the finance minister of the Palestinian Authority, was very impressed by his grasp of finances.

-- Washington, DC, May 29, 2003

First, let me make it very clear, poor people aren't necessarily killers. Just because you happen to be not rich doesn't mean you're willing to kill. -- Washington, DC, May 19, 2003

Read the rest of  “Dubya Talk - George W. Bushisms : The Slate Book of The Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President” at