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THE POPE IS NOT GAY!

NEW TITLE:

THE POPE IS NOT GAY

By ANGELO QUATROCCHI

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LONDON LAUNCH EVENT:

THE POPE IS NOT GAY! By ANGELO QUATTROCCHI is launching at POLARI at the Southbank Centre on Tuesday 14th September, 6.30-9.00pm.

After June’s Polari Goes Pop, London ‘s peerless gay literary salon is back with Polari Goes Pope. Mark ing the pontiff’s hotly debated visit to the UK and the publication of Angelo Quattrocchi’s book THE POPE IS NOT GAY!, tonight’s line-up includes Gerry Potter, James Maker, Ste McCabe and David Hoyle.

Admission free, booking fee £1.45 / members £0.00. For more information on the event or to book tickets, call the Ticket Office: 0844 875 0073 or online here:  http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/find/literature-spoken-word/tickets/polari-goes-pope-54643

See the Protest the Pope! listing here http://www.protest-the-pope.org.uk/2010/08/polari-goes-pope-the-pope-is-not-gay-launch/

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The Pope Is Not Gay! is an irreverent history of homophobic and sexist obscurantism in the Holy Roman Church and an endoscopic examination of its greatest contemporary advocate, Pope Benedict XVI.

In his inimitable style, Angelo Quattrocchi traces the evolution of Joseph Ratzinger’s life, beginning with the Pope’s childhood in Nazi Germany, his membership in the Hitler Youth in Bavaria and his conscription into the German anti-aircraft corps. His has been a startling career, a story that helps explain his development as a reactionary theologian and culminates in his carefully planned election to the papacy in 2005. Quattrocchi contrasts the Pope’s doctrinal rigidity on issues such as birth control, abortion, and homosexuality to his extravagant attire and his controversial relationship with his private secretary, Cardinal Georg Gänswein. Rigidity on all fronts.

Illustrated throughout and including Ratzinger’s key writings on homosexuality as an appendix, The Pope Is Not Gay! sheds new light on the Catholic Church’s sustained interference in contemporary politics and society, and the hypocrisy of its pontiffs past and present.

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Anarchist and poet, ANGELO QUATTROCCHI (1945–2009) reported from London , Paris , and the US for Italian newspapers in the 1960s and 1970s and subsequently worked as a scriptwriter for the BBC, Channel 4, and Italian television. His books include The Beginning of the End with Tom Nairn.

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ISBN 978 1 84467 474 9 / $16.95 / £8.99 / $21.00CAN / Paperback / 192 pages

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To buy this book in the UK: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844674749/The-Pope-is-Not-Gay!

or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pope-Not-Gay-Angelo-Quattrocchi/dp/1844674746

To buy the book in the US: http://www.amazon.com/Pope-Not-Gay-Angelo-Quattrocchi/dp/1844674746/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1283274839&sr=8-1

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com/

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Uncertain Times

BEYOND RESISTANCE: THE COMMUNE SUMMER SCHOOL

A day of communist discussion and debate

From 11am-6pm on Saturday 19th June

At 96-100 Clifton Street, London EC2

To purchase tickets and download leaflets see: http://thecommune.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/19th-june-summer-school/

The last few years have seen a series of crises for our rulers. Millions of us are angry at the ongoing economic crisis, the scandalous behaviour of ‘our’ MPs and the endless wars in the Middle East.

All of these crises are part and parcel of capitalist rule, but rarely is this system itself challenged. We are constantly told there is no alternative to capitalism. Every day at work and in our communities we live out the same capitalist order, the same hierarchies, the same alienation.

But the spectre of communism has not gone away. The idea of a society fit for human beings lives on. It is an idea raised every time workers demand the living standards we need, not what our rulers are prepared to give us; whenever we reject the state’s oppression and interference in our lives; and whenever we stand up to sexism, homophobia and anti-immigrant hysteria.

We need to build on these acts of resistance. But that is not enough. Our movement needs ideas. We need a clear vision of a communist alternative to the capitalist order, and how we can make it happen.

That is why The Commune is hosting a summer school on Saturday 19th June to discuss what we should be fighting for and how we should fight for it. Join the debate.

Proposed sessions:

Britain after the general election;

What is capitalism?

Why capitalism is in crisis;

The changed shape of the working class;

Alienation and the critique of everyday life;

How migrant workers fight back;

Tenants’ struggles and community organisation;

Socialist feminist approach to organisation;

Breaking up the UK state;

Communism or representative democracy?

Recomposition of the communist movement.

Full agenda shortly

Please get in touch at uncaptiveminds@gmail.com if you have any questions about the event or have special requirements.

http://thecommune.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/19th-june-summer-school/

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

All that is Solid for Glenn Rikowski: https://rikowski.wordpress.com

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon Profile: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Dave Hill

STATEMENT AND EDUCATION POLICY MANIFESTO – BY DAVE HILL

Statement and Education Policy Manifesto by Dave Hill

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Kemptown

Details at: http://www.brightontusc.blogspot.com

I have spent my lifetime as a teacher in ‘challenging’ primary and secondary schools, in teacher ‘training’ and in universities trying to tackle inequalities in schooling: inequalities that result in millions of working class children having far less educational opportunities – and subsequently, usually lower paid jobs – than the children of richer parents; especially the 7% who go to private schools – and snap up most of the highest paid, elite, jobs.

The very choice of what and how it should be taught, how and what schooling should be organised, how it should be funded, and where and how the funding should be targeted, and a consideration of ‘who wins and who loses’ through all of the above, are all intensely political. And we want that politics to be in the interests of the millions not the millionaires!

I come from a working class family brought up in some poverty: for example on free School Meals (like a million others!) in St. Martins’ St., off the Lewes Rd., Brighton. I went to Westlain Grammar School, my brothers to under-funded secondary modern schools, such as Queens Park and Moulscoomb. Three times as much was spent on the education of grammar school students than on Secondary Modern students! My children went to local state schools. The inequalities I have witnessed – and lived – as a child, as a teacher and socialist political activist, have led me to spending my life fighting for greater equality in education and society, and against racism, sexism and against homophobia.

What an indictment of our divisive education system that students from private schools are 25 times more likely to get to one of the top British universities than those who come from a lower social class or live in a poor area! And that (in 2008) only 35% of pupils eligible for free school meals obtained five or more A* to C GCSE grades; compared with 63% of pupils from wealthier backgrounds.  This stark education inequality mirrors that in our grossly unequal society.

It is incredible, actually it is only too believable, in Britain today, that the richest section of society has 17 years of healthy life more than the least well-off in society. The minimum wage should be raised by 50%. How can people – decent hard working people like some in my own family, live on take-home pay of less than £200 a week! And there should be a maximum wage, too! Nobody, banker, boss, or buy-out bully, should be on more than £250,000 a year. This figure should reduce progressively so that within 10 years no-one is taking more than four times the average wage, nobody should be creaming off £27 million or £67 million a year for example! Certainly not when there are 4 million children living in poverty! I was once one of them. I was helped by the welfare state. We need our public services.  We need to improve them, not cut them; not attack them.

All three parties, New Labour, Lib Dem, and Tory, dance to the music of big business. All are promising cuts. Whatever they say, those cuts will hit schools, children, and the quality of education in our state schools. Already we are seeing staff cuts and course closures in universities up and down the country. In Brighton, for example, both Brighton and Sussex Universities are promising to cut out the nurseries, and Sussex to chop over 100 jobs. Brighton University is proposing to cut its Adult Ed art courses. Vandalism! Cutting popular and widely used public services!

And don’t believe cuts are necessary. They’re not! Cutting the Trident nuclear submarine replacement programme, bringing troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq, stopping the Identity Card programme, and collecting even some even of the £120 billion in taxes unpaid by the rich… yes, £120 billion!…would mean cuts are not necessary at all!

But you won’t hear that from the other parties, just from Socialists, like the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, and from Respect.

A Socialist Manifesto for Education is:

[1] Cut class sizes (they are currently some of the largest in the rich world- much larger than in private schools for example). According to OECD research Britain is 23rd out of 30 developed countries in terms of large class size. Other countries such as Finland have a maximum class size of 20. Finland is widely seen as providing an extremely high quality of education. For a maximum class size of 20 by 2020 in both primary and secondary schools!

[2] Abolish league tables and abolish SATS (some external testing is necessary, but SATS so very often restricts teaching to ‘teaching to the test’, and results in undue stress (and an increase in bedwetting, compared to the pre-SATS era, for example).

[3] Restore local democratic control of ‘Academies’. They should be run by the democratically elected local councils, and keep to national pay and conditions agreements. Why should rich businessmen and women take control of any of our schools? Let’s keep the added investment- but it’s the government that pays for that added investment anyhow! Let’s keep and enhance the added investment, but distribute it fairly between all schools. Our schools and the children in them are not for sale! Nor, through uneven funding for different types of school (e.g. Academies) should some schools be set up for success at the expense of others being set up (and under-funded) for relative failure.

[4] Private profiteering out of our schools! Bring the education services hived off to private profiteers back into either national or local private ownership! These include Ofsted, Student grants, school meals, cleaning and caretaking.

[5] Free, nutritious, balanced school meals for every child to combat poor diets, obesity, and… yes… for some children… hunger!

[6] Restore free adult education classes in pastime and leisure studies as well as in vocational training/ studies

[7] Restore free, state-funded residential centres and Youth Centres/Youth clubs for our children so they can widen their experiences of life in safe circumstances and enhance their education beyond the confines of the home or city.

[8] For a fully Comprehensive Secondary School system; so that each school has a broad social class mix and mix of ability and attainment levels. 

[9] For the integration of Private schools into the state education system – so that the goodies of the private school system are shared amongst all pupils/ students. All schools to be under democratic locally elected local council control. No to Private Schools. No to religious groups running schools. No to big business / private capital running our schools and children! 

[10] Free up the curriculum so there can be more creativity and cross-subject/ disciplinary work.

[11] Get Ofsted and their flawed tick-box system off the back of teachers. The results of Ofsted are to penalise even the best schools (outstanding in every aspect- other than in SATS attainments) in the poorest areas.

[12] Encourage Critical Thinking across the curriculum. Teach children not ‘what to think’, but ‘how to think’: including how to think critically about the media and politicians.

[13] Teach in schools for ecological literacy and a readiness to act for environmental justice as well as economic and social justice. Encourage children to ‘reach for the stars’ – and to work for a society that lets that happen – a fairer society with much more equal chances, pay packets and power, and about environmental and sustainability issues.  

[14] Proper recognition of all school workers, and no compulsory redundancies. For teachers, secretarial and support staff, teaching assistants, school meals supervisory assistants, caretaking staff, there should be workplace democratic regular school forums in every school. Regarding jobs (for example the threatened job cuts at Sussex University – and the ‘inevitable’ job cuts in every? school after the election – and no compulsory redundancies – any restructuring to be conditional on agreement with the trade unions.

[15] Setting up of school councils – to encourage democratic understanding, citizenship, social responsibility, and a welcoming and valuing of ‘student/pupil voice’.

[16] Ensuring that schools are anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-homophobic – making sure schools encourage equality, welcoming different home and group cultures. As part of this, anti-bullying practices in every school must be fully implemented, to combat bullying of all sorts, including racism, sexism, homophobia, and bullying based on disabilities. And this should be not just in anti-bullying policies, but also be part of the curriculum too!

[17] An honest sex education curriculum in schools that teaches children not just ‘when to say no’, but also when to say ‘yes’; a programme that is focused on positives and pleasure and personal worth, not on stigmatising sex and sexualities.

[18] No to ‘Faith Schools’ and get organised religion out of schools. If Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians, or whichever religion wishes to teach religion, let them do it in their own time, places of worship (Saturday/Sunday schools) or in their supplementary or complementary schools. Teach ethics and spirituality by all means, and teach about religions. But no brainwashing. Teach a critical approach to religions.

[19] Broaden teacher education and training so that the negative effects of the ‘technicisation and de-theorising’ of teacher training (that were the result of the 1992/1993 Conservative re-organisation of what was then called teacher education- subsequently retitled teacher training). Bring back the study and awareness of the social and political and psychological contexts of teaching, including an understanding of and commitment to challenge and overturn racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of underexpectation and discrimination – such as discrimination against working class pupils.

[20] A good, local school for every child. No school closures! “Surplus places” should actually mean lower class sizes! And increased community use of school facilities.

[21] A completely fully funded, publicly owned and democratic education system from pre-school right through to university. Education is a right not a commodity to be bought and sold. So: no fees, like in Scandinavia, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, where education up to PhD level is free. No to university or further education/vocational training fees! And bring in a living grant for students from less well-off backgrounds/ income.

In my jobs, firstly as a teacher, and now as a Professor of Education (and writer/editor of 17 books on education and equality) I have been round hundreds of schools. Many of them are brilliant. Schools in the poorest areas, schools in better off areas! Brilliant. But, with better funding, smaller class sizes, an end to the destructive competition between schools (if every school is a good local school) and with more professional judgement being allowed for teachers- then I look forward to a time when all state schools match the class sizes and results of the currently more lavishly funded private schools’. And working class kids – black, brown, white – get the fair deal currently trumpeted – but in actuality denied – by all three major parties.  

Professor Dave Hill, The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) parliamentary candidate for Brighton Kemptown

Professor Dave Hill teaches at Middlesex University and is Visiting Professor of Critical Education Policy and Equality Studies at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

The Brighton Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition blogspot is at: http://www.brightontusc.blogspot.com

Dave’s Wiki and Publications are at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Hill_(professor)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Pink Curtain

Pink Curtain

BEYOND THE PINK CURTAIN?

 

Winter Colloquium: Beyond the Pink Curtain? Eastern European Sexualities, Homophobia and Western Eyes

22nd January 2010

Birkbeck Institute for Social Research

Sexualities, as aspects of identity and as part of the public language of nation, are a controversial feature of post-communist transition in Central and Eastern Europe. Radical political changes have led to the emergence of new social actors, such as the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) movement, the airing of new discourses about sexuality, as well as the eruption of new social conflicts and divisions.

This interdisciplinary Colloquium will  bring together scholars in the social sciences, history, Slavic and other area studies, as well as activists from LGBT communities, to examine the relationships between gender, nation and sexuality. How, for example, did the emergence of revised national identities after 1989 relate to new conceptions of non-normative gender and sexuality? What were the local dimensions of the ‘lesbian and gay question’, and why did they develop? How did queer sexualities in this region evolve historically? And what influence does that historical legacy have today? What are the specificities and particularities of Central and Eastern European sexual identities, within the region and compared with Western and other non-Western formations?

There will be a screening of the film “Beyond the Pink Curtain” (2009) and a discussion with Director Matthew Charles at 3pm on Thursday 21st January in the Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square.

Numbers are strictly limited, so please register early.

Cost, includes vegetarian lunch:  £25 Standard, £10 Birkbeck staff and all students.
Payment is by credit/debit card – Standard Booking Form   Birkbeck Staff & all Students
Friday 22nd  January 2010, Room 541, Birkbeck College Main Building, 9.30am – 5pm (Registration 9.30 in Room 538)

Film screening – Thursday 21st  January 2010  Registration for the free film screening – email Julia Eisner j.eisner@bbk.ac.uk

Detailed program and abstracts:
http://robertkulpa.com/index.php?/projects/BISR-Colloquium.html

Info: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bisr/news/pinkcurtain

Organiser: Robert Kulpa (roberto@kulpa.org.uk)

All the best,
Robert Kulpa
0044.785.999.5074
http://robertkulpa.com

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski