• Sutton for Peace and Justice is a local voluntary group that promotes and campaigns on local, national and global issues of peace and justice.
  • Please visit our partners at Sutton 4 Sanctuary

  • Join 127 other followers

  • Follow S4P&J on Twitter

  • Creative Commons License
    The contents of this website are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
  • The views expressed are those of the individual authors and not necessarily those of Sutton for Peace and Justice or its members.
  • Advertisements

Iraq Solidarity Month

Iraq Solidarity Month seeks to be a reminder of the crimes committed in dismantling a state, society and culture so that they are not repeated; to be a celebration of Iraq’s history, resistance and aspiration for peace based on equality and justice; and to reclaim the basic principles of peace and respect between nations that is the foundation of our shared humanity and guarantee we can all live in a future devoid of the scourge of war.
15 years on from the invasion of Iraq, Iraqi women organisation Tadhamn launched Iraq Solidarity Month on 26 April at a public meeting at SOAS, University of London.
Remembering Iraq is not only important to the millions of victims who deserve justice, it is necessary.
Find out more here.

TADHAMUN تـضـامـن

Tadhamun (solidarity) is an Iraqi women organization, standing by Iraqi women’s struggle against sectarian politics in Iraq. Fighting for equal citizenship across ethnicities and religions, for human rights, and gender equality.

Find out more here.


The Divide by Jason Hickel

Book review by Mike McLoughin 

The Divide – A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions by Jason Hickel challenges the orthodox beliefs about the roots of global inequality.

Hickel was very close to the inequality he writes about as he grew up in Swaziland and carried out fieldwork with NGOs across the developing world. What he saw and experienced led him to try to change things through academic research and teaching development studies. The book is accessible to anyone but also stimulating for a more aware audience. It questions the received wisdom on development economics and provides new ideas on the causes behind success and failure in development. It gives an historical analysis of the causes of poverty in many of today’s poor nations and shows how almost all those involved have made inequality worse.

He exposes the failure of multinational organizations to reduce inequality while attempting to make people think otherwise. He also describes the structural nature of poverty, how poor countries remain poor through the actions of rich countries and how global GDP growth can never be the solution to global poverty and demonstrates how the international agencies like the World Bank and IMF, set up to bring about the end of poverty, have achieved the opposite through the domination of neo-liberal thinking in these rich-world dominated agencies.

The text dismantles the neo-liberal arguments that favour structural adjustment with a rigorous analysis and shows how most enduring gains against poverty have happened in East Asia. In particular he uses China to show how nations should carve out their own path in order to develop in a meaningful way, rejecting the guidance of so-called development experts by nurturing and supporting their industries with a range of government assistance.

The text draws on the work of many developmental economics experts such as Thomas Pogge, Lant Pritchett, Ha-Joon Chang and Sudhir Anand but retains his own unique approach.

The Divide is a very easily read book that draws on extensive research and It is one of the best on the subject that I have read and should be top of the list for anyone interested in structural inequality, developmental politics, and challenging the economic orthodoxy.


The Divide – A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions, by Jason Hickel, published by William Heinemann, 4th May 2017, 368 Pages.



Towards an Economics Reformation

The World faces poverty, inequality, ecological crisis and financial instability.

But we do not need to accept that it has to be this way.

By Mike McLoughlin

31st of October 1517 was the start of the Reformation when Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenburg, changing Christianity for all time. On the 12th December 2017, a few days after the 500th anniversary, a group of economists nailed (blu-tacked in this case) 33 theses to the doors of the London School of Economics. These show what issues in economics should be open to discussion if we are ever going to change the creed of neo-liberalism which is destroying the lives of people here and the world over, by sweeping up the world’s wealth into the control of the richest 1% of the world’s population.

In their introduction the two organisations, Rethinking Economics and The New Weather Institute, are concerned that economics is doing much less than it could to provide insights that would help resolve the world’s problems. They say that an unhealthy intellectual monopoly has developed within economics. The neoclassical (neo-liberal) perspective overwhelmingly dominates teaching, research, advice to policy and public debate. They believe that the argument is not about one theory being better than another but that advance only happens with a debate, and today within economics this debate has died. Mainstream economics appears to have become incapable of self-correction, developing more as a faith than as a science. Often, if theory and evidence are in conflict, it is the theory that has been upheld and the evidence discarded. These theses challenge the unhealthy intellectual monopoly of mainstream economics.

The theses are organised under nine headings. Below is a short summary of the main points under each heading.

THE PURPOSE OF THE ECONOMY: The purpose of the economy is for society to decide. Economic goals cannot be separated from politics. Economics is not value-free. We need more discussion of what sort of economy we want and how to get there.

THE NATURAL WORLD: The economy is a subset of nature and of the societies within which it emerges. It does not exist as an independent entity. Social institutions and ecological systems are not external to its functioning. An economic theory that treats the natural world as external to its model cannot understand the degradation of the natural world – it must recognise that the availability of non-renewable energy and resources is not infinite. The global economy already operates well outside the viable thresholds of ecology, yet requires further growth to function. 

INSTITUTIONS AND MARKETS: All markets are created and shaped by laws, customs and culture, and are influenced by what governments do and don’t do. Markets are outcomes of the interactions between different types of public and private organisations, the voluntary sector and civil society. Markets are more complex and less predictable than implied by just relationships of supply and demand. It is unhelpful to propose a universally applicable set of economic policies based solely on abstract economic theory. 

LABOUR AND CAPITAL: Wages, profits and returns on assets can be shown to depend on a wide range of factors, including the relative power of workers, firms and owners of assets. Economics needs a broader understanding of these factors so as to better inform choices that affect the share of income received by different groups in society. 

THE NATURE OF DECISION-MAKING: Error, bias, pattern-recognition, learning, social interaction and context are all important influences on behaviour that are not recognised in economic theory, so mainstream economic theory and practice must recognise the role of uncertainty. 

INEQUALITY: Markets often show a tendency towards increasing inequality. In turn, unequal societies fare worse across a range of social welfare indicators. Importantly the proposition that as a country gets richer, inequality must inevitably rise before it falls, has been shown to be false. 

GDP GROWTH AND DEBT: Growth is a political as much as an economic choice. If we choose to pursue ‘growth’ then we must decide growth of what, why, for whom, for how long and how much is enough. Private debt profoundly influences the rate at which the economy grows and yet is excluded from mainstream economic theory. Finance and economics cannot be separated. 

MONEY, BANKS AND CRISES: The majority of new money circulating in the economy is created by commercial banks every time they make a new loan. The way in which money is created affects the distribution of wealth within society so the method of money creation should be understood to be a political issue, not a technical one. Economics needs a better understanding of how instability and crises are created internally, rather than treating them as ‘shocks’ from outside. 

THE TEACHING OF ECONOMICS: A good economics education must offer a plurality of theoretical approaches to its students, including the history and philosophy of economic thought. Interdisciplinary courses are key to understanding the economic realities of financial crises, poverty and climate change. The present overwhelming focus on statistics and quantitative models can leave economists blinded to other ways of thinking. Economics must do more to encourage critical thinking, and not simply reward memorisation of theories.

The full text of the introduction and theses can be found here.


Palestine – 100 years after Balfour

Public meeting hosted by Sutton for Peace and Justice

Wednesday 29 November 7.30–9.30pm, doors open at 7.00
At Sutton Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Road, Sutton, SM2 5DA


The legacy of Balfour – the broken promises, the suffering and conflict.

Human rights abuses and the plight of Palestinians today – occupation, checkpoints, illegal settlements, house demolitions.

The hopes for a peaceful future with justice and equal rights for everyone living in Israel and Palestine.



Salim Alam – Executive Committee Member, Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Hannah Griffiths – human rights monitor and ‘accompanier’ of children in Hebron

Linda Ramsden – UK director of Israeli Committee Against House Demolition (ICAHD)

Doris Richards – who has visited East Jerusalem twice as an Ecumenical Accompanier


100 years ago the Balfour Declaration pledged Britain’s support for a ‘national home’ in Palestine for the Jewish people, on the understanding that the rights of ‘existing non-jewish communities in Palestine’ would not be prejudiced. But Britain reneged on its pledge, leaving Palestinians disposessed and living as refugees or under occupation.

Come and hear from speakers with first-hand knowledge of the plight of Palestinians today.

And join the debate.


There is no entry charge, donations will be taken on the night

Please reserve your place by email to sutton4peace@yahoo.co.uk
or by text message to 07740 594496

Prominent Israelis call for recognition of state of Palestine

Prominent Israelis have sent a message of support to the organisors of the ‘Balfour Project’ and called for recognition of state of Palestine’.

They say that ‘the seeds of the ongoing dispute between the Palestinians and Israelis were, to a large extent, sown in 1917’ by the Balfour Declaration. And they call on the British Government to recognise Palestine as a state.

Read more here.

Palestine – 100 years after Balfour

Sutton for Peace and Justice will host a meeting to mark 100 years since the Balfour Declaration:

Wednesday 29 November, 7.30–9.30pm, doors open at 7.00.
Sutton Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Road, Sutton, SM2 5DA.

100 years ago the Balfour Declaration pledged Britain’s support for a ‘national home’ in Palestine for the Jewish people, on the understanding that the rights of ‘existing non-jewish communities in Palestine’ would not be prejudiced.

The first part of this pledge led to the establishment of the state of Israel. But Britain reneged on the the second part, leaving Palestinians dispossessed and living as refugees or under occupation.

The resulting suffering and conflict has gone on far too long.
It is time to acknowledge Britain’s broken promises, and bring justice
and equal rights to everyone living in Israel and Palestine.

Come and hear first-hand accounts of the plight of Palestinians today,
and join the discussion of how we can support Palestinians and Israelis
to build a peaceful future based on equal rights for all.

Please reserve your place by email to sutton4peace@yahoo.co.uk
or by text message to 07740 594496.

There is no entry charge, donations will be taken on the night.

You can download or flyer/poster here.


Open Bethlehem – A Big Film About a Small Town

Sutton for Peace and Justice is pleased to present a screening of ‘Open Bethlehem’.

On Wednesday 25 October 2017, doors open 7.00 for 7.30 start.

At Sutton Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Road, Sutton SM2 5DA.

Open Bethlehem is a deeply personal film – the story of a homecoming that spans seven momentous years in the life of Bethlehem – the world’s most famous little town.

A critically-acclaimed documentary film by Leila Sansour. Both a portrait of a city of astonishing beauty and political strife under occupation, and the story of the creation of a campaign to compel international action to bring peace to the Middle East.

“One of the most remarkable and moving documentaries I have seen. The tragedy of Palestinians encapsulated in the life of one town – Bethlehem..” Jon Snow – Channel 4

“Open Bethlehem is a fierce and poignant plea against the incarceration of a city”
Film of the Week – The Guardian

For more information about Open Bethlehem see www.openbethlehem.org

There is no advance entry charge, donations will be taken on the night.

Please reserve your place by email to sutton4peace@yahoo.co.uk
or by text message to 07740 594496.

You can download the  flyer for Open Bethlehem.