socialism

With Labour in open revolt against Corbyn, I’m sticking with the Greens

Originally published on the Norwich Radical

It’s now three months since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party. For Greens, it’s posed some interesting questions.

For a start, Greens didn’t really know how to respond to the new political context. The party positioned itself as the left party for so long (and rightly), but few had thought about what might happen if the Labour Party actually turned left. Suddenly, the political space for the Greens appeared to shrink dramatically. And for a while, there was silence.

But when the time came, Greens welcomed the election of Corbyn – albeit in varying terms. Both Natalie Bennett and Caroline Lucas praised his election as a boost for progressive politics. Members were cautiously pleased.

There remain, though, some crucial distinctions. While membership fell back slightly, most Green Party members have thus far stuck around. Why?

  1. Greens are in it for the long game. It says something that it’s a truism, but few in the Labour Party think Corbyn will last the full five years. Even many in Corbyn’s camp think he’ll be out before 2020. The Greens are pretty solid on their feet – it’s serious business being in a party, and it’s a choice people don’t make lightly. Many in the Greens are adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach to ostensibly left-wing Labour. It seems like a wise move. Years of the Greens being socialist won’t be undermined by a few trembling months of a progressive Labour Party under Corbyn.
  2. Only the Greens are pushing hard on issues like democratic reform and environmental action. Labour has thus far remained silent on policies such as reforming the House of Lords, introducing proportional representation or keeping 80% of fossil fuels in the ground, as is effectively mandated by the science if we are to keep below catastrophic levels of global warming. Given these are policies that few in Labour – including Corbyn – appear to feel strongly about – and that they are policies Greens feel very strongly about – the lack of overlap is clear.
  3. The Labour Party machine appears un-reformable. Any attempts to deselect right-wing MPs will be struck down before they get off the ground. The 91% non-/anti-Corbynite Parliamentary Labour Party remains the most influential part of the Labour machine – after all, it is they who vote on our laws. So a shift there looks unlikely anytime soon. Just last week, the Labour right triumphed in the influential backbench committees of the PLP. They are not going anywhere. Talks of a coup are not even behind the scenes – Labour are in open revolt against their own left flank – and the potential upcoming vote on Syria will bring the crisis to the fore.
  4. Westminster Labour is not Labour in Brighton, Glasgow, Manchester or Cardiff – council chambers are, needless to say, not echoing with Corbynite speeches across the country. Politics, for most people, is not party conferences. It is the local. And at the local level, Labour has a lot of answer for, if you’re services are being outsourced in Hull or your housing estate is being sold off in Lambeth.
  5. Political traditions matter a lot in politics. And the Greens have a fundamentally different approach to politics. In next May’s devolved (and proportional!) elections in London, Wales and Scotland, it will be the Greens pushing for radical grassroots democracy, for real public engagement, for direct action against housing evictions and climate change, and for a new way of doing things.

The Greens aren’t blowing in all directions like a weathervane – and they certainly aren’t going anywhere.

The Labour Party is in a period of flux, and the Greens are still navigating a new and confusing political terrain. But there remains a place in British politics to praise the good and challenge the bad from outside the Labour Party. The Greens aren’t blowing in all directions like a weathervane – and they certainly aren’t going anywhere.

What it comes down to one is thing: Labour is far too broad a church to remain a consistently left-wing party. Under First Past the Post, it is a party of both neoliberals and Marxists – a contradiction that can’t be reconciled.

All the best to socialists in Labour, but my place is in a party that’s comfortable with being radical.

Steady gains through shifting left – the future of the Greens?

Reposted from Chat Politics

It’s been a strong few years for the Greens. Membership has surged past 18,000 – up from around half that figure before Caroline Lucas’ success in Brighton. There are more Green councillors than ever, 170, and this May’s European elections brought an extra MEP in the South West’s Molly Scott-Cato, bringing the number of Green European Parliamentarians to three.

Leader Natalie Bennett, a surprise victor back in 2012, has proved more radical than some would have expected. Prioritising the renationalisation of the railways and energy companies, as well as joining picket lines across the country for a Living Wage and workers’ rights; she has arguably entrenched the leftward pull on the party that has grown since the election of Lucas as an MP.

The growth figures – both in terms of electoral success and members – suggests this strategy has worked, picking up disenchanted ex-Lib Dem and Labour voters and becoming the third party of students and ‘the youth’ through the Young Greens.

All this has led to the highest polling figures for the Greens since the historic 1989 European election, where the party polled 15%. Greens are currently level-pegging with the Lib Dems for the General Election. That’s both new, and very exciting.

What does this mean for the next year? It could bring an extra couple of MPs. Natalie Bennett is pouring plenty of work into her Holborn and St Pancras constituency, while activists are dedicated to re-electing Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion. Although many expect the party will lose the council there, it seems likely that Lucas, a popular and hard-working MP, will retain her seat. However, Labour, targeting the constituency, are determined a Green alternative isn’t heard in Parliament which could threaten their position as ‘the’ ostensibly progressive party.

At the same time, Bristol is rapidly becoming a hive of Green activity, tripling the number of Green councillors at the recent local elections and becoming the first party by popular vote across Bristol West wards. The ramifications of this could be enormous, potentially securing a Green Parliamentary seat in local environmental campaigner Darren Hall. Alongside Scott-Cato, the South West could become a future stronghold for the party. Meanwhile, Greens expect to pick up further council seats in the Midlands, alongside Cambridge, London, Oxford, Liverpool, Leeds and elsewhere.

But there are ideological differences bubbling underneath these steady gains. Although you probably don’t know about it, there’s a leadership election going at the moment. The Greens are picking their team for the next two years. Well, sort of. The leadership position is uncontested, effectively guaranteeing Natalie Bennett another two years in her post. But the two deputy posts are contested among five candidates. Three come from broadly the centre and centre-right of the party – admittedly still on the left of the so-called ‘political spectrum’.

But the other two; incumbent Will Duckworth and Young Green Amelia Womack, are proud ecosocialists who intend for the Greens to stress a radically different vision for Britain compared to the neoliberal consensus. One which proposes systemic change, not just cautious reforms.

We don’t know who will win yet, but it seems likely that Duckworth, with the incumbency advantage of recognition and popularity as a working-class non-Londoner, will keep his post. And Womack, so far the only self-declared female candidate, is effectively guaranteed a seat through the gender ‘balance’ rules, although she is pushing for a strong first preference vote nonetheless.

What this means for the future of the Greens is that, for the first time in the history of Britain, a de facto ecosocialist party could be – if it isn’t already – the third or fourth national party. And that is something that gives hope to those on the left, whichever political tribe they come from.

Another hero has fallen

It was possibly the worst bit of news for the left in Britain to wake up to. Not just the left though – millions of others who respected Tony Benn’s rare commitment, passion and principle. It’s been a week of huge blows to all those who seek a fairer society this week, with the passing of Bob Crow too.

I was lucky enough to hear Tony speak, again like millions of others, at a host of political events over the past few years. He was the man whose Diaries convinced me of the need for a radical politics when I was 17 – a politics that was unreservedly socialist. And what is socialism but democracy extended into the economic sphere? It was his drive for an unapologetically ideological politics in a supposedly non-ideological world (though one dominated by neoliberalism) that inspired many. The need for us all to ask ourselves – ‘which side are we on?’.

The speech I will remember most was in the crowded Central Wall of Westminster at the launch of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity last year. Here he recounted how he had stood in that same hall in 1945 next to newly-elected Clement Attlee amid a wave of support for progressive values – universal health care, homes and jobs for all, a decent outcome in the workplace through collective bargaining.

Here’s the speechwww.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/rip_tony_benn

I can’t add anything else to the hundreds of articles and blogs that have already been written, but my own personal experience of being inspired, as a young person in a right-wing world, by someone who championed the cause of working class people. He was what the Labour Party should always have been but that never really was. One of my friends put it better than others: he was the ‘final ember of the soul of the Labour Party.’

Though always a Labour member, he was of course fiercely anti-Blairite. But Labour’s right-wing turn occurred way before 1997.

For Greens like me, here’s a snippet from him in 1989, following an NEC vote: “[Labour] have abandoned unilateralism [re. disarmament], and however we dress it up, we are going to keep the bomb. That is catastrophic, because lots of people are just not going to support Labour – they’ll vote Green or something. I think the Labour Party may be in a state of terminal decline.” In terms of principles, he couldn’t have been more prescient.

Because it’s not just Labour socialists mourning his passing. It’s Greens and progressives from across the movement and the world. And it’s also Young People, angry and poor but with no political figures to turn to in this modern age.

Here’s what I wrote for the Young Greens’ site: “Tony Benn was a man of immense courage, conviction and honesty. He was an inspiration to millions of people throughout his lifetime, including thousands of young people today who were introduced to ideas of social justice through his tireless campaigning, speaking across the country to those disenchanted with the legacy of Thatcherism that lives on today through austerity politics.

“His passion for a truly democratic society, not one dominated by corporate greed, is one that Young Greens share, and the progressive movement has lost a great figure today.

“The Young Greens send our deepest sympathies and condolences to Tony Benn’s family and friends.

“We can only hope that we as political young people today can carry on his vision for a fairer society.”

In 1990 Benn  said: “With the disappearance of socialism from the international agenda, we are getting back to great-power politics, to nationalism, to racism, to imperialism, and to all sorts of other unattractive xenophobic characteristics.” With the rise of far-right parties across Europe, he couldn’t have been more right. It’s time to bring back radical progressive politics.

If we can live up to 1000th of the principle and hope that Tony Benn stood for, we should be proud. There’s no one left like Tony.

Rest in Peace, comrade. I raise my pipe to you.

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9 Thoughts on Left Unity and its Founding Conference

Saturday saw the launch of a new left-wing political party in Britain – Left Unity. I won’t attempt to report on it, as I wasn’t there (nor did I want especially want to be). I just want to lay down a few thoughts on its implications for the wider left, particularly the Greens – speaking as someone who was initially positive (I signed up to the launch appeal) but who is growing increasingly sceptical.

Just under 500 officially attended* the inaugural conference of Left Unity, the project set up by socialist film maker Ken Loach and backed by leading left figures such as Kate Hudson, Richard Seymour and others.

Here’s 9 points from a loyal-but-concerned Green Party activist on the founding gathering of the initiative.

  1. There is clearly demand for Left Unity – more than 10,000 people have registered as supporters, and over 1200 people have formally joined since membership launched just a few months ago. A third of those attended last weekend’s conference. Explaining the demand for a new project is partly down to disillusionment with Labour, and the many sects to its left (not to mention their behaviour – the SWP’s Comrade Delta scandal e.g.). But it also has to be put down to something the Greens are doing, or not doing. The party’s actions in Brighton – i.e. passing austerity budgets – is obviously a major factor. We only have to look to the stream of Greens who have joined Left Unity in recent months – most/all of whom put their defection down to Brighton Council.
  2. At the same time however, there are arguably already more than enough left-wing parties in the UK (of which Labour is clearly not one). Of them, the Greens are the largest and have the most representation at all elected levels (and unelected levels, if our first peer for some years, Jenny Jones, is included). TUSC, Respect, the Greens and now Left Unity reflect the electoral mish-mash of British leftist politics now – not to mention the vast array of tiny groups which don’t generally contest elections.
  3. The party already seems to have overcome some of the stereotypes of the far-left. Far from resembling the misogyny of the SWP, it adopted a 50%+ female-leadership quota. It also saw its dogmatic communist arm routed in a conference vote on which platform to back – the more mainstream Left Party Platform easily winning over the Socialist and Communist Platforms. This comes with caveats, however. The conference provided no crèche, was mostly white male-dominated and refused to allow extra time for safe spaces policy to be discussed. A mixed start, then.
  4. If Left Unity is to mean anything, it has to mean genuine unity. Partly that means there has to be a serious reduction in the number of random socialist parties – something that is only marginally currently happening (with the mooted merger of the ex-SWP International Socialist Network, the ex-Workers’ Power Anti-Capitalist Network and the [eco-]Socialist Resistance).
  5. The whole project puts Greens in a dilemma. For a start, the party is almost certain to contest the next bunch of elections – definitely in 2015, at any rate. This means they will in many cases be standing against Greens. Do the Greens simply try to shrug them off, or do we attempt to engage? Clearly we can no longer do that from within Left Unity, as it is now a separate membership organisation and an electoral party. Instead, there have to be serious talks at local and national levels about pacts – lest the Greens be wiped out under our already-hostile electoral system as another group joins the fray. It doesn’t look like Left Unity is planning to start such a debate – a large number of its members are actively hostile to the Green Party (Loach himself is sympathetic to the Greens but argues we can never become a mass party of the un/organised working-class). We thus need to make the first move.
  6. If Caroline Lucas loses her seat in 2015, many Greens are, sadly, likely to leave the party – possibly towards Left Unity. Already, a number of left-wing Green councillors in Brighton are thinking of defecting. If Caroline loses, this number will undoubtedly rise – both in Brighton and across the country. I’ve spoken to a large number of Greens – many of them young and active – for whom this is the case. Such an outpouring of elected councillors and members will be a huge boost to Left Unity after its first electoral showing – potentially pitching it as the second ‘major’ left-wing party of England (if not Britain).
  7. At this time, many on the independent left are adopting a ‘wait and see’ policy about Left Unity – if it doesn’t quickly descend into factional bickering (as I’ve heard it has in some branches already), they will jump aboard.
  8. However, for the Greens there are few genuinely good potential outcomes of Left Unity – if it succeeds, the Greens may be decimated and replaced by a less ecologically-focused old-school left project. If it fails, a massive swathe of the left will likely drift (again, in many cases) into inaction and despair – as in the past with the Socialist Alliance.
  9. The best outcome is for a decent working relationship with the Green Party – some form of electoral pact, as I’ve argued elsewhere. This will require hard work and mutual engagement. At the moment, such a prospect seems unlikely. But if Left Unity isn’t to become a slightly-bigger version of TUSC, it’s essential. What’s more, it’s also important for the survival of the Greens: without cooperation, Greens will face a choice. With an insurgent socialist force emerging as a serious left-challenge to our party and the political system, many will be asking themselves – ‘should I stay or should I go?’ Some have already made their mind up. After the next elections, which offer uncertain chances for the Greens in Brighton and nationally, many more may follow.

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*Most observers put attendance at 400, out of nearly 700 who registered to come, but that’s neither here nor there.

Left Unity is an Opportunity Greens Can’t Afford to Ignore

This article was originally written for the website Bright Green

It’s a question many Greens are asking themselves – whether to put their names to the Left Unity project, the nascent party which has thus far seen nearly 10,000 people sign up in its first few months, a figure not all that far off Green Party 11,000 membership. It’s a choice that’s becoming all the more urgent given that Left Unity’s founding conference is coming up this November – and the Greens’ Autumn Conference in just a couple of weeks.

Although ‘it’s much easier to fill out a short form than it is to hit the streets week in week out campaigning’, as Salman Shaheen from the National Coordinating Group told me, the project’s rapid growth (with around 100 local groups set up already) is nonetheless both impressive and unprecedented in recent years. Yet so far it doesn’t seem like the Green Party has been too keen on engaging with the initiative, bar a few honourable exceptions like Sean Thompson’s and David Smith’s pieces on the Left Unity site here and here. Both are Green Left activists. So where’s the rest of the party?

Some Green responses to the project have been understandably annoyed at the emergence of a new force on the left, adding to the already frustrating alphabet soup that is Britain’s radical smorgasbord. ‘There’s no need for another party of the left. The most pressing need is instead to strengthen the largest left party – the Greens’, writes my University of York Green Party friend and comrade Nick Devlin. The Green Party ‘are showing in words and action that there already is a vibrant, radical force in Britain’. Deputy Leader Will Duckworth made similar remarks commenting on the Left Unity website.

The points are valid. And yet we’ve obviously failed to win the whole left over, as LU’s surprising rise, and the Greens’ still rather small size demonstrate. We don’t have a monopoly on the political truth, and though the largest ‘sect’ (in Thompson’s words) on the left, we have to face the fact that there are 57 other varieties of radical party, many of which are explicitly socialist, who haven’t joined the Greens en masse, and obviously for important reasons of their own – the betrayals of pro-austerity Green Parties in Europe, the perceived failure of the Greens to overtly define as socialist – and most of all perhaps, the Brighton debacle.

Yes, Brighton. The refuse worker dispute earlier this year, and the shambles that was the Green administration’s handling of it, had a fair few considering jumping ship to LU, including at least two members of national Green committees (others such as a Young Green executive member had already flown the nest for Ken Loach’s project before the dispute broke out).

One of the founders of Left Unity itself is ex-Green James Youd, who quit the party in February 2012 over Brighton & Hove council voting for cuts. Brighton, therefore, is an issue that cannot be ignored, not just to stem the periodic flow of resignations, but because no one else on the left is ignoring it – indeed, the former Socialist Worker journalist Tom Walker chooses it as the core of his article ‘Just How Left Wing is the Green Party’.

But on the whole, within both the Greens and Left Unity, there seems to be growing support for mutual critical engagement. Such cooperation could prevent the ‘rightwards drift’ Green Parties in other countries have seen ‘when the whiff of government entry filled their noses’, one straw-poll respondent noted. ‘I don’t see what we have to lose’ writes Bright Green’s own Adam Ramsay. There’s widespread demand for a Portuguese or French-style electoral bloc, provided the party is firmly environmentalist. ‘Let them contest a few elections and see if they can match our vote in seats’. If they can, and they are willing to work on a friendly basis with the Greens, ‘we can give them valuable election organising help’. Otherwise, ‘I don’t want to risk activism time building a movement that will collapse in a few years when that time could be spent solidifying a local party’, a Young Greens national committee member wrote.

Though paid-up membership figures aren’t yet publicly known, it’s obvious that Left Unity already has ‘a significant number of activists building the soon-to-be party from the bottom up’, including several high-profile figures such as RMT President Peter Pinkney. ‘We are committed to founding ourselves as a democratic one member one vote organisation’, says Salman Shaheen. As well as preventing any partisan takeovers, this offers a fresh start for a divided left. Shaheen himself is a former Green, and says there are ‘quite a few’ others like him in Left Unity. ‘For the most part I have only seen friendly words exchanged between Greens and Left Unity people. The Greens and Left Unity have a lot in common’ he tells me.

Let’s be clear. I think the Greens are the best chance those who oppose the current economic system have, and the best chance for the planet. But with the serious possibly of a sizeable and pluralist eco-socialist party (environmentalism, alongside feminism in the wake of the SWP’s Comrade Delta scandal, has been stressed at every point) breaking through, we have to be a part of it, or at least cooperating with it, not least if we want to avoid having three or four radical candidates – TUSC, Respect, LU, Green and so on – standing against each other in every election. An electoral pact has to be on the cards, with the appropriate safeguards, and Greens need to be talking about this with (and within) Left Unity at both grassroots and executive levels. At the moment this isn’t happening, except for a few in Green Left turning up to the odd meeting.

With the ‘end of the beginning’ on the horizon – the 1,000-strong founding conference in November – it is not yet too late for Greens to engage with Left Unity. And although the party is already in talks with TUSC, no decisions about elections and pacts will be taken until after the November launch. Speaking personally however, Shaheen says he ‘sincerely hopes’ Left Unity and the Greens will be able to come to an electoral arrangement, along the lines of past Green/Respect cooperation – ‘I would not like to see Left Unity standing against Caroline Lucas’ and ‘would be strongly pushing for mutually beneficial electoral pacts as I think the Greens are our natural ally’ he says.

Greens need to engage with Left Unity, sooner rather than later, if we take coherently tackling austerity and free-market capitalism (or indeed capitalism more generally) seriously. This is a rare moment for unity that the left – including and especially the Greens if we are indeed the party of social justice – can’t afford to ignore. Natalie Bennett has spoken a lot about the need for a UK-version of Syriza, Greece’s anti-austerity coalition. Now’s our chance.

I’ll be signing up today, as a Green Party member hoping for a united eco-socialist movement in Britain. Go on. Join me.

@josiahmortimer is a student, writer and activist based in York.

Autumn Conference could solidify the Greens’ place on the left

[Cross-posted from my article at Bright Green]

The 13th-16th September will see hundreds of Greens from across the country descend on Brighton for the party’s Autumn Conference. And from the look of what’s made the final agenda, it’s shaping up to be an interesting and radical one, further entrenching the party’s position as a significant force for progress in British politics.

For those who aren’t involved with the Green Party of England and Wales, the party’s holds its conferences every six months, a necessity given that members make the entirety of policy from the conference floor – one member, one vote – and any member can turn up.

Members also vote on what makes the conference floor itself, unlike the usual mainstream-party stitch-up with executives deciding what will be given time (and what won’t). For this conference, nearly 200 people voted in the ‘prioritisation ballot’, almost double the usual average of just over 100. A small proportion of the overall party perhaps, but a sizable chunk of those who will actually be there in Brighton.

And in a city with some of the highest train fares in the country, the motion which came out on top may prove to be very popular. In time for Caroline Lucas MP’s new Private Members Bill on rail renationalisation, the item which tops the agenda, ‘C01 – Rail and Public Ownership’, reiterates the party’s ‘long-standing commitment to bringing our rail system, including track and operators, back into public ownership’ and ‘recognises the need to ensure our rail services are more democratically accountable at local and regional levels’. Proposed by London Assembly members Darren Johnson and Jenny Jones, the motion focuses on London’s local commuter services and calls on them to be handed over to Transport for London (which already runs much of the London Overground network).

Hot on its heels after being voted second on the agenda  is ‘C02 – Keep the East Coast rail franchise in the public sector’. No prizes for guessing what it might be. The policy puts it simply – ‘The government proposes to re-privatise this franchise before the next general election. The Green Party opposes this and believes that the East Coast rail franchise should be kept in the public sector’, noting that the publicly-owned East Coast service has contributed £640m to the exchequer over the past three years. Pretty uncontroversial stuff.

Not everything to hit the conference floor will be entirely uncontroversial however. Monetary policy, as dull as it sounds, has for some time been an ideological pivot-point within the party (along with population and, more recently, immigration), with one side associated with the monetary-reform campaign group Positive Money arguing that ‘the power to create money must be removed from private banks’ and calling for ‘a programme of banking reform’ based around reigning in banks’ lending power, and those on the more explicitly socialist side of the party arguing the problem is more systemic and requires more radical change,  insisting banks’ ‘lending power should be socialised’ alongside ‘social control [of] the financial sector’. The former group have proposed ‘C03 – Monetary and Banking Reform Composite’, amended by those on the left to state ‘a Green government would seek to bring all banking institutions into social control’, beginning with the transformation of one of the existing nationalised banks into a genuine ‘People’s Bank’. Watch out for which side comes out on top.

But in the wake of the ramped-up seizure of common land by multinational corporations across the globe, International Coordinator Derek Wall’s motion opposing Land Grabs may prove more immediately pressing. The policy asks that the Green Party ‘affirms its support for indigenous peoples, peasants and their social movement allies in opposing land seizures’ and back collective ownership of land. It states that in the case of land, ‘free market mechanisms should always be overruled by the principles of sustainability and social justice’ and demands the UK government act to prevent the destruction of common land ownership by multinationals. All calls that should go down well in the world’s first One Planet City.

There are plenty more fascinating and worthy policies to be debated, from the Green-led national campaign to ban advertising aimed at children, anonymisation of CVs to prevent discrimination, an elected head of state, the de facto reversal of last conference’s Philosophical Basis change (don’t get me started …), and proposals for a locally-implemented Progressive Council Tax to stop the cuts – made more urgent by the recent refuse-worker pay dispute.

Yet perhaps most important and most telling after Labour’s Falkirk scandal will be the presence of trade union figures at the conference, with National Union of Teachers leader Christine Blower speaking on education, rail union figures discussing Britain’s privatised transport system and the PCS having a stall – encouraging signs of a growing realisation in the union movement of Labour’s failure to challenge neoliberalism.

All this alongside speeches from Reinhard Butikofer (Co-Chair, European Green Party), GPEW leader Natalie Bennett, the freshly-released Caroline Lucas MP, council leader Jason Kitcat, Will Duckworth and others, in the home of the first Green-run council, Brighton and Hove. See you there, folks.

The final agenda for Autumn Conference is available here: http://my.greenparty.org.uk/news/final-agenda-autumn-conference-2013-brighton, and you can book your place here.

@josiahmortimer is a student, blogger and activist based in York, and will be hosting a Young Greens Skype debate on the 9th September for next month’s conference – https://www.facebook.com/events/698458290170926/.

‘Live and Overcome’ – An Acoustic Tribute to Chavez

I’ve just recorded and uploaded my latest song (written tonight!), ‘Live and Overcome’. It’s an acoustic tribute to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who tragically passed away on Tuesday. He was, and is, an inspiration to millions world-wide seeking an alternative to the destructive free-market capitalism which has landed us in all this mess.

You can listen and download it for free (along with all my other stuff) from soundcloud.com/josiah-mortimer. Feel free to share around – it’s all on a copy-left license (Creative Commons), so I won’t sue 🙂 You can listen to it below too, using Soundcloud’s fancy embedding stuff. Recorded rather quickly on my phone, but I hope it comes across OK.

If you’re around York, I’ll be playing on Saturday at York Social’s ‘The Gathering’, a night of radical acoustic music and poetry, at York’s only co-operative pub, the Golden Ball. It’s a great pub and it should be a fantastic night. It’s free (as far as I know!) and will start from about 8pm. See you there!

I’m also playing the University of York Amnesty International fundraiser ‘Jamnesty’ next Wednesday at Tramways Working Men’s Club from 8pm, billed as a night of decent local acoustic music, ‘because we give a folk’. Good stuff. Should raise a lot of money for a great (on the whole) organisation.

Anyway, hope you like the track. And maybe see you at a radical gig at some point in the future!