Fresh from his eco-socialism fringe last night this morning it was Derek's turn to make his keynote speech as Male Principal Speaker.
He started with the economics. The worrying fact is that all the signs point towards the possibility of a recession and our system simply does not have the mechanisms to dig us out of the whole. Take Northern Rock who've recieved more government money than any private company in history from the British government and how, via the esoteric financial web that is woven across the globe its connected to weird and dodgy mortgages in Florida - that somehow we have ended up propping up.
Or take how a single trader was able to "lose" billions of pounds all in one go - could he have simply given it away to pay off all the credit card debts?
Derek compared capitalism to a drug addiction, where the solution to the pain today was to feed the addiction, getting us into deeper debt, building our house on sand. It may give us some temporary release but there will come a day when there simply is nothing that can be done. Their solutions are more privatisation, more free market globalisation and to make the interests of the city pre-eminent. That is not a solution to the current financial situation.
I include what he next said in the hope that someone might be able to clarify what on Earth he meant - I'm sure it's true (probably) - but it threw me, coming in the midst of some rather sensible remarks. "Every time you eat margarine you risk killing a monkey." Ummm.... do I? It has a ring to it and I'm considering adopting it as my unofficial slogan (you knowe printing it up on T-shirts and badges) but I should really seek clarification first. Anyway, that's an aside.
Derek rightly said that this increase spiral is increasingly no fun at all. Where is the push to have decently funded, ecologically friendly council homes? Why are we letting the arms industry constantly test its products out on live human beings?
Derek raised Venezuela and said that there they are trying to create a model where people control the economy. We need to be doing the same here, creating green plans for "people orientated production". It's no use doing what Thatcher did, making us "technically richer whilst simultaneously making us socially poorer."
In concluding Dr Derek Wall weild out a very big word. Socialism. In explaining what his socialism was about he said that we needed to shift a world that was there simply for the benefit of the super rich but not in the direction of centralised state planning but in human centred localised democracy. We have to tackle property rights which are the "long DNA of the system".
That means we need to work with the trade unions, with direct actionists like at climate camp and all those who want a real change in the way we organise society.
(Thoughts on Derek's 2007 keynote speech)