Beyond Post-Politics and ‘Soft’ Urban Fixes: Developing A Politics of Space- with Neil Gray

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Beyond Post-Politics and ‘Soft’ Urban Fixes: Developing A Politics of Space- with Neil Gray
Wednesday 5th March 6.30pm The Pearce Institute, 840-860 Govan Rd, Glasgow G51 3UU (near Govan underground station)
Join us for our latest ‘library chat’, an informal roundtable conversation in the convivial surroundings of our library in the Pearce Institute.
There will be space and time for general discussion and input from all participants. Light refreshments provided.Please email info@che.ac.uk to confirm attendance. RSVP essential.
Neil Gray is a writer, researcher and filmmaker based in Govan, Glasgow. His work critically analyses the mobilisation of creativity and sustainability ‘fixes’ in development strategies via a focus on the urbanization of capital and the politics of space. He is currently developing the idea of ‘territorial inquiry’ as a means of militant co-research adapted for urban life. He is contributing editor for Variant, has written regularly for Mute, and is part of The Strickland Distribution, ‘an artist-run group supporting the development of independent research in art-related and non-institutional practices’. He is currently completing a PhD at the University of Glasgow.

Library chat 26th Feb: A Thousand Huts: the campaign for huts and hutting

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A Thousand Huts: the campaign for huts and hutting with Karen Grant 

Feb 26th 6.30pm The Pearce Institute, 840-860 Govan Rd, Glasgow G51 3UU

Join us for our latest ‘library chat’, an informal roundtable conversation in the convivial surroundings of our library in the Pearce Institute.

There will be space and time for general discussion and input from all participants. Light refreshments provided.

Please email info@che.ac.uk to confirm attendance.

Do you dream of a hut in the woods? Changes are afoot that could bring that dream a few steps closer. Karen Grant, from Reforesting Scotland’s campaign for A Thousand Huts, will introduce the world of hutting, discuss the recent campaign developments, explore the current barriers to hutting and celebrate the many causes of hope for a new hutting movement in Scotland.

The aim of Reforesting Scotland’s Thousand Huts Campaign is to promote huts and hutting – the building and enjoyment of simple structures (usually wooden) for living, working and recreation in the countryside. The campaign wants to achieve this by securing a change of culture and attitude and reform of the law so that those who wish to build huts and pursue hutting can do so freely and within the law.

About Karen Grant

After gaining an Ecology degree Karen Grant ran the Forest Campaign for A SEED Europe (Action for Solidarity, Equality, the Environment and Development), where she also co-ran international youth workshops about trade justice and climate change. She then worked with the Green Group in the Scottish Parliament, before becoming Director of Scottish Education and Action for Development. Taking the organisation from a dormant state, she helped make it a vibrant hub of community action and popular education, and founded Switch On to Climate Change – one of the first projects of its kind in Scotland, supporting the growth of new community-based climate action.

She has participated in a range of key international conferences (and in their parallel alternative summits) including the COP 15 UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen (and the accompanying CIFOR Forest Day 3), and in running grassroots events parallel to various EU Summits and G8 Summits.

She represents the voluntary sector on the panel of the Climate Challenge Fund and sits on the Board of Directors of LifeMosaic and Bespoke Organic Events. She recently gained Distinction from Glasgow School of Art for her dissertation on Creativity and Social Justice (as part of her First Class BA(Hons) in Painting). She is a practicing artist and has exhibited in Glasgow and London.

Facebook event here https://www.facebook.com/events/1449150255315186/?source=1

Talk 25th Feb: Burning the planet at both ends: how can we cool it? The struggle for the global commons- with Justin Kenrick

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CHE public talk: Burning the planet at both ends: how can we cool it? The struggle for the global commons- with Justin Kenrick


Feb 25th 6.30pm The Pearce Institute, 840-860 Govan Rd, Glasgow G51 3UU

What connects the torching of indigenous communities in Kenya and Osborne’s ‘Sermon on the Pound’?

The Kenyan government is currently torching thousands of homes of indigenous Sengwer communities in the name of conservation. The global clearances continue despite the fact that the poor in Kenya do have lawyers – for the courts are simply ignored. Can aligning communities struggles, national concern and international campaigns counteract local, national and international elites attempts to capture resources from those who have maintained their resources for centuries? Can the independence debate enable us to focus on, rather than distract us from, responding to the state of the world? How?

Justin Kenrick received a BA in Social Anthropology at Cambridge and his PhD in Social Anthropology at Edinburgh. He was a lecturer in social anthropology at Glasgow from 2001 to 2009. He left to work with the Forest Peoples Programme to support Central African Forest Peoples’ rights, and to work on parallel processes of community resilience in Scotland (www.pedal-porty.org.uk and www.holyrood350.org).

Facebook event here https://www.facebook.com/events/1388427271378042/?fref=ts

Audio Chatcast : Citizen’s Basic Income: time for Scotland to take a lead

basic-incomeFor our second event of the year, CHE’s Mike McCarron hosted a talk on Citizen’s Basic Income. The chatcast of this talk, and the lively discussion that followed, is available to listen below.

Mike qualified in social work in 1978 and worked in Glasgow statutory settings addressing offending, alcohol and drug problems, community care services and child protection, community development in disadvantaged areas and supporting the voluntary sector. A spell as full-time councillor, also active at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities during the late 1990’s, was followed by 10 years involvement in the development and implementation of Scotland’s Drug Strategy.

Click on the ‘play’ icon on the below player to play the chatcast in your browser:

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Right-click here to save the chatcast to your computer: CHE Chatcast 002: Citizen’s Basic Income

The following personal notes and links on the talk and discussion were made by participant Satya Dunning and are shared in the hope that they may be useful, but are not verified by the Centre.

 

I am just back from tonight’s talk at the Centre for Human Ecology, which was about  ‘Citizen’s Basic Income: time for Scotland to take a lead’. Mike McCarron was the speaker.Mike has been and is still involved in the development and implementation of Scotland’s Drug Strategy. I am coming away from the talk with a little more hope having learn things which give me understanding and acceptance of myself and the bigger picture.

I’d like to share some of the things I learnt.

The idea of a Basic Citizen’s Income is in fact not just an idea, it is in fact taking place in Norway, in Iceland and Iran is even looking into setting something similar up. Switzerland is currently in the process of voting for it. A Basic Citizen’s Income is universal, offered to every individual as opposed to household and is unconditional. It is a movement happening in Scotland, and if I got this right there is a campaign underway to make people in Scotland more aware of it and to make it a reality especially if, when Scotland becomes independent.

Guy Standing a founder member and co president of Basic Income Earth Network spoke to the Scottish Parliament in 2011 about a Basic Citizen’s Income and shared ideas from his new book The Precariat: The new dangerous class. Essentially, Standing says that at the top we have the plutocracy (1%) with huge wealth, then the salariat with secure jobs, followed by the proficients who work in IT and amass a huge sum of money and suffer from burn out, then the proletariat, the shrinking working class followed by a new burgeoning group he calls the burgeoning precariat, made up of people in short term work contracts, in insecure part time work, zero hour contracts etc. I recognised myself in that category.

So the benefits of a Basic Citizen’s Income would be:
the ending of poverty and unemployment traps especially in view of all the changes regarding benefits.
Freeing people up to take more control of their lives.
Freeing up people’s creativity and imagination as well as causing human flourishing.
For more benefits please visit this link: http://www.citizensincome.org/filelibrary/Citizen’s%20Income%20booklet.pdf

Guy Standing was invited to India to set up a Basic Citizen’s Income or cash transfer pilot over 1 year in 20 villages. There was an increase in quality of life and also a more democratic participatory involvement of the communities. You can find out more here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtYtwiG-uAM&feature=youtu.be

Ailsa McKay is a Scottish economist also talking about this, who is particularly interested in gender issues and who sees that a Basic Citizen’s Income would reduce the gap in gender income.
The Green party supports the introduction of a Basic Citizen’s Income.

Things to read to read are:
The Future Public Health by Philip Hanlon and Sandra Carlisle
Economics for People and Planet by Peter Merrit http://www.petermerry.org/blog/2011/economics-and-work-for-people-and-planet/
Welfare to Work or a Welfare System that works. Arguing for a new Basic Citizen’s Income for a new Scotland by Ailsa McKay http://www.scotlandfutureforum.org/assets/library/files/application/Research_Paper_5-McKay.pdf
Citizen’s financial rights by Ailsa McKay http://www.scotsman.com/news/ailsa-mckay-citizens-financial-rights-1-2799922
Annie Miller’s article: http://www.social-policy.org.uk/lincoln/Miller.pdf

Further links cited in the talk:
The Art of hosting meaningful conversations: http://www.artofhosting.org/
Guy Standing http://www.guystanding.com/
Ailsa McKay http://www.gcu.ac.uk/gsbs/staff/professorailsamckay/
Citizen’s Income Trust http://www.citizensincome.org/
Basic Income’s Earth Network (BIEN) http://www.basicincome.org/bien/