Tag Archives: politics

Walden Bello on the Rise of the Global Far Right

22 Sep

1200px-Walden_Bello_-_WSF2003

The world renowed sociologist, environmentalist and political activist Walden Bello will be discussing the global rise of the far right in the context of the climate emergency, globalization, imperialism, dependency and world capitalism. A veteran of movements protesting the Vietnam War, the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines and the US campaign against Chile’s Salvador Allende, Prof Bello has been described as “one of the most articulate and prolific voices on the international left” who “has devoted most of his life to fighting imperialism and corporate globalization.” His latest book is Paper Dragons: China and the Next Crash (Zed Books).

Prof Bello will be hosted by the Culture and Conflict research group at the University of Portsmouth and introduced by Dr Tom Sykes, Senior Lecturer at UoP and author of The Realm of the Punisher, a ‘political travelogue’ of the contemporary Philippines.

Admission free but please book a ticket through Eventbrite here.

Realm of the Punisher Now Available as Kindle Ebook

29 Jul

P1050897

Signal have released a Kindle ebook version of The Realm of the Punisher. Here is what some of the reviewers on Amazon have said about the book so far:

‘Sykes as writer is about total experience – how does the sum total of this place – the geography, the history, the urban rural divide, the economics, the social fabric, the individuals, the politics, the eventual President – how does it all come together?’

Paul Valentine

‘Sykes is an entertaining and illuminating writer. As well as serious analysis there are laugh out loud moments. I’d recommend The Realm of the Punisher to anyone who wants to understand what is going on in the world today.’

M. S. Manson

‘Read this not knowing a thing about the Philippines, and not planning to visit. I was expecting to last a few chapters, but it’s written in such a way that it’s engaging and relevant and very readable.’

Anonymous reviewer.

You can buy it here.

Free Portsmouth Power Mapping Workshop

7 Jul

P1000018

What do we really know about our elected representatives in Portsmouth? What are their interests, activities, attitudes and intentions? How are they accountable to voters? What connections do they have to external organisations? What connections do they have to each other?

In this eye-opening free workshop, you’ll learn power mapping to answer such questions and help you analyse/visualise data in fascinating new ways. An expert team, including a trainer with the Centre for Investigative journalism, locally-based journalists, academics and researchers, will teach you relevant investigative procedures and tutor you in specialist software.

There are only limited places so you’ll need to book one fast here.

Date and Time

Thu, Jul 18, 2019, 12:30 PM –

Thu, Jul 18, 2019, 5:00 PM BS

Location

University Library

Cambridge Road

Portsmouth, United Kingdom

PO1 2ST

 

Good review of Realm of the Punisher in TLS

1 Jul

P1050900

Michael Vatikiotis has reviewed Realm of the Punisher positively in the current TLS (Times Literary Supplement). It’s always reassuring when you try to do something ambitious in writing and an informed reader ‘gets it’.

The article is here behind a paywall, here are some quotes:

‘Tom Sykes’s account of his rambling road trip through the country, The Realm of the Punisher, offers a serious and at times tragic corrective. He conveys in an affectionate, unpatronizing tone the many layers of injustice that run through the Philippines, and uses interviews and site visits to try to explain the eccentric ways and popular appeal of its more muscular leaders.’

‘Sykes cuts through these contradictions with a mixture of casual English aplomb and raw socialist idealism.’

‘Sykes stumbles on one of the more fascinating ironies of the modern Philippines: the appeal of rich strongmen using guns and goons to poor people living desperate and deprived lives. ‘

Realm of the Punisher Review in The London Magazine

2 Apr

Pleased that Georgina Monk’s review of The Realm of the Punisher in The London Magazine appreciates my aim to infuse a travel narrative with reflections on nationalism, populism, imperialism, Orientalism and some other ‘isms’ as they relate to the Philippines. Read it by clicking on these words here.

Cover picture by Louis Netter.

Bristol Festival of Literature Appearance 22nd Oct

12 Sep

61EF5GVMiYL._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_

I’ll be discussing my new travelogue of the contemporary Philippines, Realm of the Punisher, at the Bristol Festival of Literature on 22nd October. My good friend Mike Manson will be present too, riffing on his new novel Down in Demerara. Click here for tickets and further details.

New Philippines Story in Private Eye

30 Jul

If you go down the newsagent today you’ll find my latest reporting on the Philippines in Private Eye (under the pseudonym ‘Dr Grim’). The story deals with Duterte’s new war on narcopoliticians and public protests against him, and includes an interview with an activist for indigenous people’s rights who has just been put on his death list. (Picture by Louis Netter).

#ReclaimTheNews: Apply for Our Free Local Journalism Course

19 Feb

Star & Crescent has partnered up with the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) to offer 12 local residents a FREE place on a 10-week local journalism course worth £100s and based here in Portsmouth.

Are you ever disappointed by local news coverage? Do you feel like there’s more to a story than a few hundred words in the local paper? Have you ever wished there was something you could DO about it?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then we’ve got some great news for you and it’s called #ReclaimTheNews, a new training course coming to Portsmouth in April 2018.

What is the #ReclaimTheNews course?

This spring, the Star & Crescent team are joining forces with the Centre for Community Journalism to teach 12 Portsmouth residents the fundamental skills needed to deliver high quality, investigative local journalism that makes a real difference to our communities.

From April, the S&C team will be joined by national experts and journalists over 10 weeks to train participants in a range of areas relating to investigative and community journalism. Alongside their training each week, participants will be supported and mentored to write at least one story for publication on S&C from July 2018.

Participants will be invited to remain with S&C after their training as part of our new Community Reporting Team.

Find out more here.

‘Letter from Manila’ now in Private Eye magazine

22 Jul

P1020019.JPG

My story about the siege crisis in Marawi, the Philippines is in the current issue of Private Eye magazine, available only in the print edition.

Hurrah for the DUP! An Election Reflection with Sir Eugene Nicks

20 Jun

unnamed

Many Conservatives are concerned about their parliamentary party’s new deal with a hard right-wing, terrorism-linked outfit from Northern Ireland. Not so our regular pundit Sir Eugene Nicks, QC, KBE. 

Good Lord that election was a close shave, wasn’t it? We almost had for PM that buffoon who looks like he’s just staggered out of a folk music festival from 1967. And I know how much Star & Crescent readers hate him and his Monster Raving Stalinoid Labour Camp Party!

Alright, Mrs M’s campaign had about as much style as a solicitor has moral scruples or my old mate Peter Griffiths had cultural awareness, but I for one am very very very optimistic about our new collaboration with those lovely ladies and gentlemen of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). We are, at last, returning to our roots as true reactionaries. If only Mrs T* were still here to giggle about it as much as I am right now.

Read more here.