Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The rule of money

Today’s march is a challenge the rule of money | John Holloway on CommentIsFree

Capitalism is still our enemy. The move of left-wing politics away from an ideological opposition to this is why it continues to fail.

Stallman on copyright law

Very interesting background on how the Free Software movement’s arguments can be transferred at the theoretical level of ethics to copyright law.

On YouTube | Download as an OGG

US breaking the law outside of their borders again

US military spies on social media | The Guardian

It’s okay to torture outside of US borders, folks, and it’s also perfectly okay to spread propaganda in the style of an oppressive regime too. So long as it’s not in English.

Oxford debates fee levels

Oxford heads towards maximum fee | BBC News

This debate is where the academics of Oxford sit down and talk; it doesn’t have any actual power, which lies with the various bureaucratic committees. But these are made up of academics so this meeting is an important step in the wrong direction (though that’s the spin of the BBC article – I haven’t listened to the full meeting).

Most Balliol tutors think we shouldn’t be paying any fees at all.

A Living Wage for all Oxford University employees

A Living Wage is the minimum level of pay required to maintain a decent standard of living. Unlike the minimum wage, it takes into account many factors including the actual costs of housing, council tax, transport, food and childcare in that area.

The Living Wage is calculated by a formula from the National Income Standard, which is authorised by the Rowntree Trust.

Oxford City Council pays a Living Wage. The Greater London Authority promotes and pays a Living Wage. Universities, such as UCL and LSE, pay a Living Wage.

It is time Oxford University pays a Living Wage.

This petition demonstrates the wealth of student support for the Living Wage Campaign and will force the university and colleges to recognise that this is an important student and community issue.

How you can get involved:

1. You can come along to weekly meetings and get involved in helping to run the campaign. If you are interested in becoming a regular member please email:

2. You can be someone who we call on when we need to show the university that our campaign has support across the wider student community. This involves showing up to demonstrations and signing this petition! See ”What’s on in OUSU” in the OxStu for updates.


Currently Oxford University, and its constitutive colleges, do not pay a Living Wage. Some employees are paid as little as £5.93 per hour. This is not enough. A Living Wage for Oxford has been calculated to be £7.01 per hour (2010). We, the undersigned, believe that all employees of Oxford University and its Colleges should be paid a Living Wage.

Sign the petition now

Da, Comrade Stallman

Vladimir Putin Orders Russian Government to Switch to Free Software by 2015 | mashable

This is really cool, but it puts the UK to such shame when you consider the lack of knowledge on the part of schools and teachers. About Windows.

Kettling finally challenged

Student fees protest: lawyers launch legal challenge to kettling

Finally some response from those who are in a position to do something. The response by the public to the growing obsession with kettling on the part of British Police has been shocking – shocking for hardly being present at all. I have some stuff to say; will try to write more on this.

The Future of Reading

The Future of Reading

The Balliol contingent on Wednesday

Distressingly small. Still the biggest turnout from any college. Here’s a fair press description of the protest.

Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2010 23:00:02 +0100
From: Sean Whitton <>
To: Balliol JCR members <>
Subject: Notice of Extraordinary General Meeting, Monday 7:30pm to discuss
        the Browne Review
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)
Message-ID: <>



A petition of over twenty signatures has been received by the JCR
Committee and so in accordance with the constitution there is to be an
EGM on Monday night at 7:30pm in the JCR.

An EGM differs a little from a normal GM: only the specific motion in
the petition of signatures may be discussed.  EGMs can be called by
petition, or because the JCR Committee decides it has an emergency
matter that has to be raised before the next GM.

You will find the motion attached to this e-mail - it concerns the
Browne Review and implicitly the Comprehensive Spending Review in
general.  The motion's substantive content is to formally oppose the
cuts to education as a JCR, and to donate £150 towards the buses that
OUSU is putting on to send students to the NUS protests in London on the
[10th] November.


Now less officially and more personally:

The Browne Review is going to be immensely significant in the history of
university education in the UK.  We're right in the thick of it.  Most
of us have friends and/or family members who are going to be hit by
hiked tuition fees - I personally have one very bright friend who was
almost put off going to university by the current fees, let alone those
that are three times higher.

Remember: this is a 100% cut to the government contribution to the
teaching of humanities subjects.  History, English, Philosophy,
Classics, two thirds of PPE.  That's huge.  And plenty more cuts to
Maths and sciences.

But it goes both ways - there are plenty of people in College who think
that these cuts are, sadly, necessary.  What this meeting decides is
where Balliol stands.  By filling the JCR with voices from across the
spectrum of opinions in Balliol, we give this motion strength and we
show the strength that makes Balliol JCR famous.

Come to the meeting - help strengthen our democracy, whatever your view
on university education.  I have a feeling that we are going to remember
this for longer than we might think we're going to.


Sean Whitton / <>
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