Andrew Stone

Ecology against Capitalism: Nuclear Reaction

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Mary Black and Andrew Stone attack New Labour's desire for a nuclear renaissance.

It was looking increasingly ominous. 'Government sources' were leaking that New Labour, having pursued a 'rule nothing out' policy on nuclear power for its first two terms, was intent on initiating a new reactor building programme immediately after the election. These rumours were strengthened when a confidential briefing note from Joan MacNaughton, the director general of energy policy at the Department of Trade and Industry, counselled urgent new nuclear build.

Boys in the Hoodies

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New Labour and the fashion police should have more respect for the young.

It's remarkable how full of ideas New Labour suddenly is immediately after an election. Just imagine, if only they'd come up with these popular progressive policies to dump nuclear waste throughout the country and vastly extend PFI profiteering in April how well it would have gone down with the electorate.

Pope Idol

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John Paul II's social conservatism should not be taken as gospel.

John Paul II was, according to that impeccable news source Yahoo!, 'the people's pope'. Other than a huge ego, it's hard to say what he had in common with 'the people's princess' Diana, and the headline probably had more to do with the ease of alliterating the 'p' than anything else. If there is an afterlife, Pontius Pilate must be kicking himself that he wasn't born 20 centuries later.

We've also heard endlessly about 'spontaneous outpourings of emotion', the way he 'touched people's lives' and all the other mawkish sentiments rolled out whenever someone famous cops it.

Journey's End... and Beginning

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Review of 'In the Colonie', Michael Rosen, Penguin £7.99

Why do our holidays - and especially our childhood holidays - often leave such vivid memories? Is it solely because we are confronted by the unfamiliar? Or is it also because, in removing ourselves from routine, from the unconscious assumptions about our lives and relationships, we clear the mental clutter and look at ourselves anew? That in separation we realise how we belong?

No Doubt About It

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Back to the dark ages with the right-wing think tanks

Scepticism has been developing a bad name of late. Whereas once it suggested Enlightenment thinkers questioning the stale assumptions of feudal theology, the mantle has now been seized by an unholy alliance of 'intelligent design' proponents and climate change deniers. They may have different motivations for their anti-science, but they are equally pernicious to our understanding of the world around us.

Half a World Away

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The latest royal doings provoke our columnist.

I'm sorry, but I can't resist it any longer. The royal family might be an embarrassingly easy target, but with home secretary Charles Clarke's suggestion for 'citizenship ceremonies' to swear allegiance to them, I can't hold back my treasonous thoughts any longer.

Let's swiftly pass over the small detail that you can't be a citizen and a subject simultaneously. Either we're all equal, or some are more equal than others. Retaining a monarchy clearly ensures the latter, and means that constitutional guarantees are little more than a gentlemen's agreement.

Environment: Trading in Destruction

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Andrew Stone speaks to acclaimed environmentalist and Guardian columnist George Monbiot about the threat posed by global warming.

There have been a number of reports in recent weeks on the effects of global warming, including the report from the international conference in Exeter on climate change. What do they add to our knowledge about the scale of the problem?

Well, they reinforce what we were already aware of - that there's an urgent existential problem, in other words, one that threatens the continued existence of human beings on the planet. They have provided some quite specific predictions of what might happen by particular dates, and what the scale of the crisis is that we need to avoid.

A Tale of Two Chiles

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Chile still has lessons for us today.

'Working class scum... ignorant peasants... children of whores...' So we were greeted by the snarling mob of rich Chileans as we arrived at the court in September 1999. Dodging their spit, we were told how our families had deserved to die. I've never felt such vitriolic class hatred before or since.

A decade after the end of his brutal dictatorship, Augusto Pinochet was finally facing legal sanction. In what was to prove an uncharacteristic moment of principle, home secretary Jack Straw had concluded that he was fit to stand trial on murder charges filed by a Spanish judge.

Interview: Hell No, We Won't Go

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Carl Webb from the US and George Solomou from Britain explain to Andrew Stone and Simon Assaf why they refuse to go and fight in Iraq.

Socialist Review: Why are you accusing the US army of drafting you?

Carl Webb: I'm refusing to go to war because I do not believe the US is on the right track. I think this war is not about liberating people, it's about oppressing them. It's a war that's being fought for profit.

So what's your history with the army?

Here Comes the Fear

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Please don't panic, but we're in the middle of an emergency.

Actually, we may be (to paraphrase Winston Churchill) at the beginning of the end of an emergency; or more likely the end of the beginning. The point is we don't know - because the state of emergency declared by the British government more than three years ago is indefinite and ongoing.

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