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We cover a wide range of topics by all ages for all ages:
- Eco issues, human rights and in-depth news (both local and global)
- Science, history, arts and poetry
- Stories, weekend live performances by Brighton musicians.
For more information, please see the About Us page.
Debate held by 38 Degrees with local Brighton & Hove MP candidates on the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Caroline Lucas MP launches her new book, “Honourable Friends?” at the Round Georges pub, 14/15 Sutherland Road, Queens Park on Wednesday 15th April 2015. Radio Free Brighton went along to record…
|India’s food crops are currently GMO-free – but that’s about to change very soon, if we don’t act now and stop Monsanto’s latest attack.Monsanto wants to introduce its genetically engineered food crops, starting with its pesticide-resistant corn, despite facing local opposition.
Monsanto’s pesticide-soaked, monoculture corporate agriculture is awful for farmers and the environment. And once Monsanto gets control of a country’s food system, it’svirtually impossible for farmers to get free.
Monsanto’s business model is simple: Get farmers hooked on its genetically engineered, pesticide-resistant seeds. Force those farmers to buy new seeds every year — or get sued. And sell them massive amounts of pesticides to spray on those seeds.
That’s why, once Monsanto gets its foot in the door, it’s able to almost completely take over a country’s agricultural system.
We’ve seen it all happen before in India. A decade ago, Monsanto managed to get its cotton seeds approved in India. Now over 95% of the cotton crop is owned by Monsanto.
And Monsanto has the same plan for India’s food crops.
Wrecking ecosystems, selling toxic chemicals, and driving small farmers out of business are all in a day’s work for Monsanto. But it’s not too late for India, if we act now.
SumOfUs was created to support people’s struggles against corporate greed around the world. And we are already fighting back against Monsanto — we helped the tiny state of Vermont raise almost a quarter of a million dollars to defend themselves against Monsanto’s bullying. If we can raise enough pressure on the Indian government to refuse Monsanto’s GMO crops, we can stop it from exploiting a market of 1.25 billion people.
Monsanto says GM corn trial in final stage in India, Reuters, 27 February 2015
An interview with Jeff Faux about the American’s Economy
This week John Weeks discusses further the issue of Cuba with Elizabeth Dore talking about “Voices from the Cuban Street”
The photograph is of Elizabeth Dore and Regla Hernandez Gomez, one of the people she interviewed for her 10 year study of at
Attitudes of Cubans toward the revolution.
First of a new series of commentary on economic conditions and policy in the UK and beyond from John Weeks.John Weeks is a professor emeritus of the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and author of The Economics of the 1%: How Mainstream Economics Serves the Rich, Obscures Reality and Distorts Policy. His recent policy work includes a supplemental unemployment program for the European Union and advising the central banks of Argentina and Zambia. More info on John at http://jweeks.org/
The Future of Our Planet – Which party do you trust?
Make your voice heard….
Brighton Pavilion’s prospective Parliamentary Candidates will be put in the hot seat on Tuesday April 14th in a pre-election debate that is expected to attract hundreds of local people. The event, to be held at the Brighthelm Centre, will probe the parties’ policies on climate change and the environment, issues that are close to the heart of many Brighton voters. What do the 2015 candidates have to offer in what is likely to be a closely-contended local seat?
The debate, modelled on the BBC ‘Question Time’ format, will bring together the five main candidates in the Brighton Pavilion constituency. “It will provide local people with an opportunity to grill the candidates,” says Geoff Barnard, a Brighthelm Trustee. “Which party do you trust to come up with effective policies on climate change and lead the UK delegation to the crucial climate talks in Paris in December? For example: what is their position on fracking, nuclear power and wind farms? Here’s a chance to hear the arguments first hand and make up your mind where to place your vote on election day.”
Panel members include:
- Chris Bowers : Lib Dem candidate,
- Nigel Carter : UKIP candidate,
- Caroline Lucas : sitting MP and Green Party candidate,
- Clarence Mitchell : Conservative Party candidate,
- Purna Sen : Labour candidate.
Having elected Caroline Lucas as the first ever Green Party MP in 2010, Brighton Pavilion voters have shown they care about environment issues. The city is home to an impressive array of voluntary groups, not-for-profit organisations, and green businesses, working in the sector. The Brighton Peace and Environment Centre has released a hundred page long directory of such organisations and confirm “The environment is now firmly on the agenda.”
In November 2014 an Ashcroft opinion poll indicated that the Green Party, had opened up a 10% lead on Labour in the Brighton Pavilion seat, with the Conservatives close behind. But in what is being billed as the most unpredictable election for years, voters will want to hear what candidates have to say before finally making up their minds.
This event will give constituents the chance to get their green issue addressed. Ollie Pendered, from co-sponsors of the event, Community Energy South, is keen to hear candidates’ views on energy policy. “I want to know how far the parties are prepared to go to stimulate and empower our local communities to produce and manage our energy needs locally and to loosen the grip of the ‘Big 6′ energy suppliers.”
Younger voters will be especially welcome on the night. Barbara Lambert, a Brighthelm intern and recent University of Sussex graduate, said, “I hope this event will help encourage first time voters to engage in the political process and gain a better understanding of the local candidates’ stance on environmental issues.”
It will be a ticket only event, with tickets available online and at the Brighthelm reception. They will also be available at the door on the night. Participants will be able to pick up a slip from the “Ask a question” desk on the night to be considered for the final shortlist. Local voters are encouraged to join the debate on facebook or twitter using the hashtag #electionQT.
The ukulele player who shot to stardom this week with a swear-filled serenade for David Cameron has called for political change.
East Londoner Robin Grey, who grew up in Gosforth, spoke out a day after expressing his dissatisfaction for the Prime Minister with an adhoc song in Alnwick, Northumberland.
The 34-year-old folk singer, maths tutor and charity worker was in Alnwick as part of a cycling holiday.
“I was cycling down the hill into Alnwick, having spent a while in Northumberland National Park, and I was cut up by a big blue Conservative Party coach – I couldn’t believe it.
“Then a lot of people got off with balloons and David Cameron was among them. It was so strange because it was just them, and no ordinary people.
“I was gobsmacked and took my bike over to the other side of the road. I thought, ‘what can I do?’ I didn’t have any eggs and didn’t want to get arrested. I could have shouted but that is boring.
“So I grabbed my ukulele and played the first thing that came to me.”
He proceeded to tell the Tory leader, who was attempting to drum up support for the party’s Berwick election candidate Anne-Marie Trevelyan with a 15-minute walkabout, to “fuck off back to Eton”.
“I consider myself to be an activist. The more I travel round the country the more I see what people have in common – they want to see change happen.
“I hadn’t rehearsed the song. I am used to picking up by ukulele in primary school and playing, and I have worked at the Edinburgh Festival too so it comes easily.
“A security guard told me not to swear because there were children around so I did a cleaner second verse.”
“Change is needed and as more people start to get their information from less obvious routes and media sources, the ruling elites are losing control and cannot keep telling us what to do.
“After Alnwick, I headed up to Seahouses to my nanna. She was supportive of me making mischief and she knows it comes from a good place.”
With the help of his ukulele, Robin’s causes include the closure of tax breaks for corporations and the super rich, the re-nationalisation of the railways and utility companies, the provision of singing and music lessons for all schoolchildren, scrapping of bedroom tax, and a ban on fracking in the UK.
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 14 Apr 2015
Interview with the excellent Shooze who performed last week at the Concorde 2 in Brighton, opening for Adam Ant. Danny and Lewis from the RFB went along to interview them, stayed for the show and were well impressed! Well done and thanks Shooze
Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, is calling for public transport across South East England to be made free within cities and towns today to combat the very extreme levels of air pollution that is expected across the region.
This follows Paris’s example where the authorities made public transport free during a smog episode last year.
In previous pollution alerts France also imposed a reduced speed limit for traffic.
Alongside this the Mayor reduced city centre access for vehicles alternating with odd and even registration numbers. Similarly the Mayor is also talking about removing diesel vehicles (which are responsible for particulate emissions and NO2) completely.
Experts have recently suggested that the death toll from air pollution, usually put at around 29,000 a year in the UK, could be substantially higher because of the effect of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), emitted during fossil fuel burning, which up until now has not been taken into account.
Next Thursday 16th April the Government are being taken to court by Environmental group Client Earth over consistently high levels of air pollution that break EU rules.
Keith Taylor Green MEP for South East England said:
“Measures such as making public transport free for the day should be considered during serious smog episodes in Britain such as the one we’re experiencing today. Previous actions taken in Paris shows they recognise the unrest caused by air pollution and that they are prepared to take action.
The Green Party has been warning everyone for years about the serious health problems that are associated with air pollution.
How many deaths does it have to take before the Government will properly act?”
Notes to Editors
The Green Party election broadcast for 2015 has just been released.
‘Change the Tune’, gives voice to the Green Party as the only true alternative to the Establishment parties who offer more of the same stale politics.
In the daring spoof comedians playing Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg, Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband and UKIP Leader Nigel Farage, form one-time boyband, Coalition. The quartet sing in harmony about their shared love of austerity and fondness for fracking.
Greens believe politics is something you should do rather than have done to you and we are determined to deliver a peaceful political revolution at the ballot boxes on May 7th 2015.
Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said: “The Westminster consensus – which sees all other parties sign up to austerity economics, privatisation of our public services and inaction on climate change – is coming to an end. The Green Party is offering a real alternative to business-as-usual politics.”
She has worked on a chicken farm, in hospitals and old people’s homes and as JJ The Clown, children’s entertainer and puppeteer. After gaining a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling, she worked in a College and as a Police Welfare Officer. Now, she is publishing her first novel — The Mark on 17th April. “A story of guilt, loss and redemptive love, The Mark walks a tightrope, balancing humour, sentiment, and truth.“
“Liam O’Connell is a man haunted by his past, who lives by stealing, scavenging and tricking those he meets. He takes shelter in a derelict cottage belonging to the recently widowed Laura West, and the unlikely pair begin a relationship. After a visit from Liam’s estranged wife, Peggy, they are left with Danny, the child she claims is Liam’s, currently living in care. The pressure on all sides leads to a complete breakdown between Liam and Laura and he leaves. On his return a year later Liam discovers that Danny is living at Laura’s house and has sworn to kill him. Now Liam has to find a way to survive Danny without losing Laura.“
On writing ‘The Mark’, by J. L. Fontaine:
“Sitting in a room at the Probation Services, I watch the young man next to me lighting matches and burning the fuzz from his jumper. On my other side someone is passing round photos of his baby son. This is his eighth child and all of them are by different women. The meeting of the Offenders Group is about to start.
The men in the room are aged between eighteen and forty. All of them have been in prison, have reoffended and have been sent to this group to see if their behaviour can be addressed. This is done by teaching Life Skills such as budgetting and finding somewhere to live. But there is also an opportunity to look at why they offend and to hear their side of things.
A latecomer wanders in, sits down, yawns and casually tells one of the Probation Officers running the meeting that her car is being broken into. She rushes out to investigate, accompanied by one or two of the group members who are keen for a bit of action. The youth in the jumper leans towards me. ‘Never worry about your car,’ he whispers. ‘No one would ever bother to steal such a piece of crap.’ I thank him for his reassuring words.
The meeting eventually gets under way with a general discussion on finding accommodation and keeping it. The list of places where they have slept includes beside the heating outlet at the swimming pool, under fishing boats on the beach and in coffins at an undertakers. Two of the men once slept on the floor of an off licence having broken in and got so drunk they were still there the next morning when the owner arrived and called the police.
It is time for a coffee break which lasts fifteen minutes. The music system is locked in a cupboard and we can’t find the key. On hearing this, the group suggests that we go and make the coffee. We hesitate. Leaving the group alone is against the rules but we go out briefly, stand just outside the door and return to find the cupboard open and the music system playing.
During the break one older man complains that his flat was burgled that afternoon. This is met with loud laughter as he is a recidivist burglar. ‘You probably did it yourself,’ jeers one of the group members.
Whether this group with its carefully structured programme and its atmosphere of positive regard leads to great reforms is doubtful but there are small victories. One week I organise a treasure hunt in the town. This is a little risky as the men are to be sent out two by two and might just go home and not return. I have prepared clues for six places in town and a question about each which can only be learned by going there. The winners, who complete the task extremely swiftly, are awarded some very nice ballpoint pens. The following week they come to find me washing up in the kitchen. They want to return the pens. They have cheated. At some point they had read my notes giving the clues and the places. They had copied these, left the building, sat in a pub for an hour and then returned having ‘solved’ the clues. I am astonished that they have owned up. They say it’s because they know that I have put a lot a work into it and that, as they consider me a ‘diamond’, they have decided to confess.
From my time spent with these men and others like them over a period of three years, emerged the character of Danny with his refusal to back down or lose face, his need to shock, his apparently non-caring attitude and his sense of humour.”
Brighton shoppers are flocking to an award-winning retailer offering a novel way to reduce shopping costs and save on waste.
The London Road shop hiSbe “How It Should Be” now offers a clever new multi-purpose carrier bag at the till which can convert into a 60 litre bin liner or recycling sack when shoppers get home, or be re-used many times at the checkout till. Customers are being encouraged to try the bag and fill in a short survey to help refine the design.
The bag, another Brighton innovation, will also enable shoppers to avoid the 5 pence tax on every single use bag coming to all stores across England in September.
Bag Re:Born inventor, Richard Simmonite, said: “Single use carrier bags are an environmental disaster, but reusable carriers need to be used a lot of times to be any better. Research has found that people typically use their single use carrier bags as bin liners, so it made sense to try and create a product that would do both things while reducing the environmental impact of bags.”
HISBE founders, Ruth and Amy Anslow, added: “Todays shoppers are active supporters of social enterprise and sustainability. Bag Re:Born is a great fit with our customers values as well as saving them money and reducing waste”.
Both companies have won industry awards for their innovations.
Eager shoppers have already grabbed 300 of these new bags in their first week at hiSbe. Bag Re:Born is forecasting to save families hundreds of pounds and prevent millions of single use bags being thrown away every year.
The United Nations Association held an Election Hustings with parliamentary candidates: Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour (Lewes & Seahaven); Clarence Mitchel, Conservative (Pavilion); Davy Jones, Greens (Kemp Town) and Paul Chandler, Lib Dem (Kemp Town).
Alex Mabbs came to the United Nations Association (UNA) meeting to give a talk on climate change.
Alex Mabbs is a United Reformed Church minister based at the Brighthelm centre, in Brighton in Sussex, England.
Alex Mabb’s blog = https://mabbsonsea.wordpress.com
Tom Lines came to the United Nations Association (UNA) meeting to give a talk of the city of London as a centre of financial power in Britain.
Tom Lines is a Writer, Economics, trade and development consultant.
You can learn more about Tom Lines and his work at
and follow him on Twitter @TomLINESorguk
Title: Honest Economics
“Updates on Bernanke’s new big-bucks finance job, GM avoids billions in victims’ claims for faulty ignitions, Seattle capitalist raises all workers to minimum $70k/yr, Americans’ self-delusion on inequality, private profit trumps public policy, and anti-student-debt activism. Responses to listeners: impact on China if capitalism’s relocation stopped. Major discussions of economics of wages and prices, narrowness of economics education, and basic global economic development issue.”
Economic Change and Personal Life Crises
Updates on car parts industry, German courts cut Über, Russia’s economy grows despite sanctions, no recovery in declining teaching positions for new US PhDs in humanities, and huge Mexican strikes against Driscoll berries produced for US. Responses to listeners on (1) countries’ currency manipulations and (2) role of unions in workers’ coops. Interview Dr. Harriet Fraad, mental health counsellor, on how capitalism’s changes since 1970s have disrupted the personal lives of US men and women and creative solutions.
System Change: Then and Now
Updates on Trans-Pacific Partnership secrets, the Heinz-Kraft merger, the overly costly, underperforming US medical care system, fines for Graco selling faulty child car-seats, China’s real-estate bubble, and estate tax repeal by Republican House. Response to listener on property: private versus public. Major discussion of how system change happened in the past and and how in capitalism today.
“Economics of Corruption”
Updates on Yellen press conference,“Blockupy” protests in Europe against ECB and austerity, New York mayor DiBlasio signs bill for worker coops, and important fight over closing Sweet Briar college. Interview with veteran reporter Bob Hennelly on economics of US political corruption with special focus on his native New Jersey.
“Housing, Cities, Suburbs”
Updates on pizza politics, changing currency values, and tax-cutting politicians’ wild claims. Responses on workers coops’ competitiveness and on ‘unfree’ agricultural markets. Interview Walter South on economics of housing and dangerous economics of US cities and suburbs.
“Economic Decline and Growing Resistance”
Updates on taxis vs Über vs driver coops, an apology on Detroit, International Womens Day, and cutting workers’ compensation. Response to listeners on the economics of debts, past and present. Major discussions of (1) resisting economic decline: Minnesota governor, Emma Thompson and Pope Francis, (2) Wisconsin governor presides over economic decline, and (3) extremes of economic inequality.
Updates on Europeans’ struggles against austerity policies. Response to questions on how workers’ self-directed enterprises solve various problems (especially financing and different skill levels). In depth critical discussion of ‘free enterprise’ and the free enterprise system.
Last week we were delighted to welcome to Radio Free Brighton a group from Kenya including Willice Onyango who were here as guests of the University of Brighton.
Willice Onyango is an international youth advocate. His work centers on global advocacy work that puts young people at the heart of development policy and practice, prioritizing the post-2015 agenda.
Willice Onyango is Chairperson of the International Youth Council Chapter in Kenya, a Children and Youth Working Group nominee to the Beyond 2015 Drafting Committee and Africa Youth Ambassador for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
Willice has served as Youth Mobilizer for Rio+20 Dialogues, Africa Youth Representative to the Africa We Want, Youth nominee to Beyond 2015 Drafting Committee and Youth Representative at the Post 2015 High Level Panel Meetings of Imminent Persons meetings in Bali, London and Monrovia.He has convened, spoke at, participated in major national, regional and international conferences.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Diplomacy and Disaster Management