Friday, 30 September 2011

The Euro collapse should be making us sceptical - not of European integration but of neo-classical economics

As Greek default looms ever more likely, and Governments around the world desperately print more money to shore an economic system that was designed to further the interests of bankers and financiers at the expense of everyone else, I think it's time to get more sceptical than ever.

But it's not the idea of closer integration with people who find themselves living in other nation states that should be in the dock - it's the illogical, growth-based, economic system itself.

Starting from the principle that the best way to overturn a dangerous economic system is to prevent it becoming hegemonic among students - the power-brokers of tomorrow - here's a manifesto aimed at economics students from kickitover.org. It says it far better than I could! Please feel free to print off and stick on the wall of a university economics department near you. (oops, I'll probably get in trouble now for inciting criminal damage!)


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Is time running out for Brighton Police Station?

UPDATE... This story has now been picked up by The Argus here... UPDATE

Today a meeting of the Sussex Police Authority's Resources Scrutiny Committee considered a report into the dire state of some of the county's police stations.

Since the Government and the Tory majority on the SPA teamed up to impose about £50m of cuts on the force last year routine maintenance has found itself somewhat out of the window.

Things look particularly bad for Brighton Police's John Street HQ: it was reported that steel cladding designed to protect the building from the elements has been taking something of a battering - and the necessary repairs could now cost more than £2m.

Rather than just patch things up, we all agreed it would make sense to investigate whether a more sustainable solution might be found - even if that meant thinking the unthinkable and moving out. Awful as that may seem, the alternative might just be an annual repair bill of hundreds of thousands of pounds, money that would surely be better spent on preventing crime.

So it looks as though the Tory cuts programme might not just have cost over 1,000 jobs in Sussex (half of whom have, we also learned today, already gone) - they might also have cost Brighton Police their home and created yet another development nightmare for the people of Tarner, whose lives have already been blighted by the construction of the American Express HQ (work that will be going on in some form or other for years). Good work.

I hope closer partnership working with Brighton and Hove City Council can help make sure that, whatever happens, Brighton Police can stay in the city centre, and that the impact of this latest local twist in the police cuts saga is minimised.