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Posts Tagged ‘Roger Hallam

Founder of Extinction Rebellion and Burning Pink, Roger Hallam: Warns of Doomsday without a “Spiritual Revolution” .

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Warning of “War played out in every city, every neighbourhood, every street..”

With COP and Climate Change dominating the news we hear a fair amount about Extinction Rebellion and their latest protests. But what are their wider politics, what is the kind of strategy their activists advance, and what what is their relationship to the left and any kind of progressive politics?

Here are some clues from a founding figures.

In 2021 only a Spiritual Revolution can bring us together. Only when we remember that we are all connected, only when we remember we are not separate from nature but part of it, only then can we come together on the basis of the one human value on which we all can unite: that life is good and we must preserve it at all cost. Whatever it takes.


Allowing this to happen violates all our traditions, destroys families and communities, destroys our nations.


We face the destruction of all the progress towards freedom and prosperity built up over hundreds of years.


Corporate capitalism doesn’t just create vile inequality, it now creates global mass death. It has to be stopped.

From ROG,Website of Roger Hallam.

Julian Roger Hallam, a Welsh environmental activist, a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, cooperative federation organisation Radical Routes  and the political party Burning Pink (which stood candidates in local elections last May, including in Ipswich).

The idea that Green Politics is neither Right nor Left but ‘Beyond’ or ‘Above’ political divisions is an old one. Hallam goes one stage further. He wants to abolish ballot boxes and elections and replace them with Citizens’ Assemblies, “I started Burning Pink in 2019 to create a direct action movement which would stand in elections to create a political revolution: legally binding citizens assemblies to take over from politicians. We have painted the buildings of NGOs and political parties that refuse to tell the truth and act upon it.”

This politics is based on a universal call to human kind. It has echoes of the 1980s anti-Nuclear movement’s fight against the potential global catastrophe of Exterminism (“Exterminism designates those characteristics of a society — expressed, in differing degrees, within its economy, its polity and its ideology — which thrust it in a direction whose outcome must be the extermination of multitudes.  “Exterminism and Cold War” E. P. Thompson 1987). For Hallam and his co-thinkers the answer to the present climate change threat is, transcendant yearnings aside, grounded on a ‘revolutionary’ proposal to replace elected democracy with institutions of decision-making selected by lot and statistics.

What are these Assemblies?

Permanent citizens’ assemblies need to become the new legislative arm of the state. This is the precise constitutional definition of a democratic revolution in the twenty-first century. They are legally binding so they cannot be ignored by parliaments and are organised by independent civil society groups and social movements rather than by the government and elites. When they announce their decisions, the carbon elites and their political administrators will break the rules and use lies and violence to try to take back power. This happens in all revolutionary episodes. We have to be prepared for this. As soon as citizens’ decisions are made millions will have to come back onto the streets to ensure the people’s will is done. That we demand life not death. And nothing will stop us.

Hold on. Who gets in these powerful bodies?

Extinction Rebellion has a sketch:

“The Citizens’ Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice will bring together ordinary people to investigate, discuss and make recommendations on how to respond to the climate emergency. Similar to jury service, members will be randomly selected from across the country. The process will be designed to ensure that the Assembly reflects the whole country in terms of characteristics such as gender, age, ethnicity, education level and geography. Assembly members will hear balanced information from experts and those most affected by the emergency. Members will speak openly and honestly in small groups with the aid of professional facilitators. Together they will work through their differences and draft and vote on recommendations.”

Burning Pink sees them as a “representative group of people” “chosen at random like a jury”, to “reflect the wider population ” – age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, social class – and “sometimes relevant social attitudes (political left or right)”.

They have, Burning Pink asserts, a three step procedure, learning, deliberation, and decision-making. All good members of the aleatorily chosen ones will, there is little doubt, be united in a quest for knowledge, and follow these guidelines to the deliberate letter.

One is recommended to see the Sortation Foundation for the background (“sortition (also known as selection by lottery, selection by lot, allotment, demarchy, stochocracy, aleatoric democracy and lottocracy“). 

The idea of abolishing democracy, representative or direct, based on election in which different programmes, ideas, and people stand in front of the electorate, the result to be decided by ballot, is a good idea is pretty off the wall. Most people would not wish important public decisions to be made by people chosen on the basis that they are a statistical reflection of the make-up of the population.

Furthermore unlike elections, where members of the elected body may stand for re-election, sortition does not offer a mechanism by which the population expresses satisfaction or dissatisfaction with individual members of the allotted body. Thus, under sortition there is no formal feedback, or accountability, mechanism for the performance of officials, other than the law.

It comes as no surprise that Hallam has plenty of other ideas on bringing together all kinds of different politics.

Roger Hallam: the conservative case for Extinction Rebellion

The environmental campaigner tells Freddie Sayers his movement is not just for the radical Left.

(from the right-wing site Unherd)

In an eye-opening interview, he tells Freddie Sayers about the importance of the nation-state, social conservatism, local community, and how he wants church leaders and ex-police officers in his movement. His pitch, in short, is that philosophical conservatives should not be afraid to embrace radical environmentalism:

On why nationalism is the best approach: National identity at the end of the day trumps internationalism when you’re faced with annihilation. Now, I want to make clear that that does not mean the chauvinistic nationalism that a lot of left wing people associate nationalism with, for good reason, of course. But as we all know, there’s many different shades of patriotism and nationalism. And it’s silly really to weaponise it. What we’re looking at is a nationalism or patriotism which is rooted in a love of one’s country, a love of one’s tradition, and a love of one’s political traditions. – ROGER HALLAM, LOCKDOWNTV

Yet even so, this today is quite an eye-opener.

Then there is this…

He’s still at it:

That analogy leaves you with a sick taste in the mouth.

Written by Andrew Coates

November 3, 2021 at 12:45 pm