Bush is going all socialist by providing around $1tn to bail out three financial institutions, or else the economy will go bust. Wall Street are loving this nationalisation, it's all they've got left. The traders are already thinking about how they can capitalise on this mess and the CEOs have already got their fat bonuses secured whatever happens. In the end, everyone's a winner right?

Well in the real world, the "have nots" have just realised that we've been taking over the responsibility of the risks of the "have yachts". Why can Bush and Wall Street implement measures that we were ridiculed for proposing them before it got any worse?

When we warned that the financial sectors' ability to avoid taxation probably affects social cohesion more than a teenager spraying graffiti on your wall? Would we have been more credible if it had been the "too big to fail" City saying this rather than the social democratic left?

But let's move beyond the "we told you so" (we did..he did even earlier) and the "I believed this all along" (but didn't act on it?) and look at proposals to get us out of this mess. Don't look at me, I'm no economist, but my friend Henning Meyer's proposition merits attention.

"If the taxpayer's money is used to secure the risks financial industries produced, financial institutions should vice versa contribute more than previously to the provision of public goods and welfare systems, which are there to insure individual citizens against life risks."

OK but how do we this in practice given how complex and different tax structures are in each country? Henning proposes the introduction of a transaction tax, like for example the Tobin Tax.

What's the Tobin Tax? It taxes currency conversions in foreign exchange markets which reduces the incentives to speculate in the short term. How does this add up? Henning works out that given the turnover in these markets is around $3.2tn, even if you went for a very cautious 0.05% tax, you would create a revenue of at least $400bn a year. But won't the financial sector complain about this new tax? Are they complaining about the money the taxpayer is bailing them out with?

What do we do with that money? We could start by using it to help insure our residents from life risks. And then we could making the system more transparent. We could stop the "double shuffle" strategy of humanising the market with one hand and deregulating it with the other. "Whatever it takes".

Now that doesn't sound too radical does it?

PS. Just don't tell the "coalition within the party" that the alterglobalisation movement Attac was founded to campaign on the Tobin tax...


After our amazing mini-festival in London and Northampton, we're now going to Bristol!

Come and join us for a free festival running throughout the afternoon at the Council House, and into the night at the Trinity Centre.


Bristol Council House, College Green (12.30pm - 6pm)
The Trinity Centre, Trinity Road (8pm - 12pm)


12.30pm: Opening address, Andy Klom, Head of European Commission Representation in Cardiff

1pm - 2.30PM Equality and Diversity in Europe

Roundtable discussion including

Cllr Helen Holland, Leader of Bristol City Council (Labour)

Andy Klom, Head of European Commission Representation in Cardiff

Greg Thompson, National Development Manager for Migrant Workers, UNISON

Glyn Ford MEP (tbc)

2.45 - 3.30:
Madge Dresser, Reflections on Bristol’s Diverse Past

Historian Madge Dresser is an authority on Bristol’s multicultural past from as early as 1100ad

5pm-6pm Film Screening: Christian Mungiu’s Occident

At the Trinity Centre

Free concert 8.30pm onwards with

PPE Slovakia and The Blessing


Pin the Pits is a campaign to mark coal mining on Ordnance Survey Maps. Included as a feature of the U.K's landscape, coalmines will be given the same status as Roman Forts and Stately Homes. The campaign is a tribute to the communities the served this heroic industry and propelled the U.K from being a small rural kingdom into an empire that stretched out across the globe.

Pin the Pits will show 3 short films at Conisbrough Library before going off to the Houses of parliament the following month. There we will lobby MP’s to put the mines on the maps in memory of our families and our history.

Ok, so it might sound a bit boring and you might think why bother it’s not an erotic party and why’s she’s banging on about coal again? But if you wanna see something a bit different, that's about Conisbrough and the people who fought against the police and the government, for us their future, then come down, it will be a laugh honest.

If you fancy it just bring some friends, some booze and even an old relative that might want to talk dirty (I mean talk about) coal with me. Anyway, just come hangout for a bit, otherwise it could just be the librarians and me, that wouldn’t be very cool or fun.

Come down at Conisborough Library, Old Road, Conisborough from 7-9pm. Check here for more info.

Hope very much to see you there.


After our amazing mini-festival in London on Sunday, we're now going to take LoveDifference to Northampton.

We are delighted to collaborate with the Northampton Arts Collective and European Alternatives. We have a fantastic range of activities taking place throughout the day from midday to midnight. This will take place at the Northampton Fishmarket, Bradshaw Street, Northampton, NN1 2HL


Throughout the day video art by acclaimed French-Hungarian video artist Judit Kurtag will be screened in The Fishmarket Gallery.

12:30-3pm: Migration, Immigration and Equal Rights in the European Union

Featuring Annie Bruzzone from the Policy Network thinktank, Judit Kurtag, David Shamma of the GMB trade union and Noel Hatch from Compass Youth.

3pm-4pm: Poetry

Featuring readings by East Anglian-based, Hungarian poet George Szirtes to be followed by a Q&A and discussion with Warsaw-based international curator Kuba Szreder.

4pm-4.30pm: The Migrators

In partnership with the International Community Film Festival, LoveDifference is delighted to be screening 'The Migrators', a short film about migrant communities in different EU countries.

4.30-8pm: Occident Film

(At the Arena Cinema)
Only a few minutes from The Fishmarket Gallery the Arena Cinema will be screening 2007 Palme d'Or winning director Christian Mungiu's early work 'Occident'. The Arena is part of The University of Northampton.

8pm–Midnight: Party!

LoveDifference Northampton's exciting crescendo is a celebration of our cultural diversity through music, featuring Budapest's eastern folk electronic cut n paste outfit The DJ Bootsie Quartet, playing alongside the UK's Christopher D Ashley from Sunday Best, organisers of Bestival, who will be entrancing the crowd with his unique brand of broody and melodic electronica.

If you would like to find out more about what we do or you'd like to organise an event, click here, fill in our survey to join the network or contact Add Compass Youth on Facebook


On Thursday 2 October we have the chance to be amongst the first to see Lorae Parry's new play "Kate and Mrs Jones" at the Pacific Playhouse.

Kate and Mrs Jones tells the story of Francesca Jones, a first-time candidate for parliament, contesting a seat held by an arch conservative. She's the wife of a former All-Black and the mother of a dope-smoking teenager. Kate Lawrence is a high-profile TV journalist, single and sexy, with a private past. She's angling for a top new current affairs job, with an ambitious young man as her rival. Set in the run-up to the 2008 elections in New Zealand, "Kate & Mrs Jones" is a comedy, a love-story, and a reflection on the problems women face on the path to power.
For £18 you'll receive a ticket to this fantastic show, a complimentary glass of wine, and the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from contributing to our campaign! We'll also have a very special guest. You'll find more details about the play here. To reserve your spot at this event, please contact Jacinda at

Volunteers needed: Toast New Zealand, 27 September

Toast New Zealand (a day of home grown food, drink and entertainment) will take place on 27 September from 12.00- 8.00pm at Kensignton Olympia. We'll have a team of people enroling expats outside the venue, but we need more helpers! If you're heading to this event, or available to lend a hand for a couple of hours, please contact Priya at

Wanted: Volunteers for election leafleting

In the 17 days before the election (date yet to be announced) we'll be distributing leaflets at train stations in the most popular Kiwi residential areas. We're looking for someone to help co-ordinate this work, as well as volunteers to assist with distribution. If you're interested or want to find out more, please contact


At Compass Youth, we may organise fun and exciting events like LoveDifference and support those by groups we work up such as celebrating Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday, but at the heart of everything we do tries to affect the burning issues that we and our comrades face whether in Barking in East London or Kwanga in Zimbabwe.

We recently took part in a youth & student leader delegation to Southern Africa organised by ACTSA. After campaigning to free Zimbabweans in the UK and in Zimbabwe itself, such as our comrades from ZCTU, we are now supporting ACTSA in one of the most inspiring campaigns - Dignity! Period

A pack of sanitary towels in Zimbabwe can cost more than double the average monthly wage. As a result, many women are forced to use newspapers and dirty rags, a practice which leads to infections, for which there is little available medication. Worse still, these infections are often misconstrued as STIs, leading to social embarrassment and domestic violence.

This about real lives, real people. Beauty Mujulama is 19 years old and lives with her father and her 3 sisters in a small village called Kwanga. This is her story:

"When my period started my mother got me sanitary products from the shop in the city of Gweru. It was normal and I didn’t think anything of using this method. Then things started to get very expensive and my mother got very sick. She died 2 years ago from AIDS and my father was left to care for me and my younger sisters. He couldn’t afford to buy us sanitary pads and didn’t think that it was important that we had them.

When my mother died I started to use the bark of trees. We put the bark in an organ to grind, and then used that instead of pads. There is very soft grass called Magudya and I also used that instead of pads as well. The bark or grass burns inside of the thighs so that it can be very hard for a person to walk. The two thighs will have some wounds every month when you receive your menstruation. It was very hard to maintain good cleanliness. When it got very bad I told my father than I thought I was infected and he presumed that I had had sex with one of my school friends who is a boy. He said that it was an STI and that I should be ashamed because my religion says that I cannot have sex with someone before I am married. My father hit me and he told me I was not allowed to see my friends.

I was very upset and I wanted my father to understand. Now I can access the products again things are ok and my father said sorry since he now believes me that it wasn’t an STI because another girl in the village was suffering from the same infections. I hope that we will be able to get products for ourselves very soon. It is so great that people are supporting us abroad and having these pads has really changed my life."

Through lack of affordable sanitary protection, women in Zimbabwe are losing their dignity with every period. But now you can help them to get it back. Get involved!

compass youth launches speaker list and toolkit

Compass Youth is a launching its university and school rep programme to promote social democratic action and ideas. If we are to build the progressive consensus we need people to champion social democracy in their communities; as a rep you can be at the forefront of that challenge.

Reps will be able to draw on a range of speakers to give talks on their campuses on different topics, and campaigning materials which will help you to put together campaigns for social democratic policies and practices.

Details for contacting Campus reps can be found here.

We have just produced our first major campaign publication, a 31 page toolkit on living wage campaigning, also launched today. We hope to add more on trade, women's issues and any other topic that you, our members, feel is important.

We are also releasing a freebie in the shape of a Compass Youth desktop background to celebrate this launch. You can find these materials by visiting this link, they will also be available from our downloads section (see left) in the coming days.

For more information email Dan.

Materials to download include:

Compass Youth Living Wage Toolkit
Compass Youth Speaker List
Compass Youth Desktop Background

Dan Elton, Secretary, Compass Youth


Who's wearing what? Care a bit or a lot? Anything in the news? Is it changing you views? Who's snogging who? Do you wish it was you? What are you reading? Is it misleading? Who's on the a-list? Do they really exist? Do you like a free read? Has the future been agreed? Who's next to be evicted? Is your thinking restricted? What's happening in the world? Can a rat be smelled? Is zoo best or nuts? Are women all sluts? Who's making our news? Do you share their views? Has Britain got talent? Is independence redudant?

Instigate Debate is a competition. It's simple. If you have a mobile phone, it most likely has a camera.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, if you spot a public figure, any of the wonderful people who regularly appear in our fantastic magazines, newspapers or even on our tellies, try not to gush, or faint.

Instead, ask them a question. There is a list of suggested questions in the questions section of the site. What do you want to know? How can we find out? Be polite, don't get in their faces. But ask them a question and film the response. Tell them you're from

Every couple of months, Instigate will judge the best question and the best answer. Whoever produces the best post, they make you a promise.
A group of some of the UK's best musicians will perform a free gig in your living room, or if the weather is nice, what the hell, your garden, for you and your friends. And that is a promise.

Post at:
Questions at:


Compass Youth campus and school representatives promote ideas and action for a better world in their communities and networks. Utilising our toolkits, focusing on a range of campaigns and by hosting meetings with Compass Youth Speakers, they help build the Social Democratic society and progressive majority we seek. So can you.

If you would like to be a Campus Representative for Compass Youth in any of the following areas, please contact the appropriate representative:

Regional representatives

London: Tom Copley
West Midlands: Tom Marley
North West: Tom Miller
South West: Gus Baker
Yorkshire and Humber: Joe Riches
Scotland: Andy Morton

You can find out which region you fall into here.

If you would like to be a University or regional representative in the South, South West, Wales, east Midlands or East Anglia, Please contact

Campus reps:

Campus reps in place as yet can be contacted using the following email addresses:

George Ward - UCL:
Kaveh Azarhoosh - Hull:
Danny Coyne - Leeds:
Owain Gardner -York:
Benoit Du Cannes - Manchester:
Danny Beales - LSE:
Jonathan Greenhow - KCL:
Gus Baker - Bristol:
Bilbo Murphy - London Metropolitan:


The average annual spend on domestic energy per household has now breached £1,200. Since 2000, consumers in Streatham and beyond have faced gas price rises of 100% and electricity price rises of 61%. At the same time, the main energy providers have seen their profits rise from £557 million in 2003 to over £3 billion now.

In an article on The Guardian newspaper’s website on 7 August 2008, Chuka Umunna, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Streatham, wrote:

“Shell, BP and Centrica (which owns British Gas) reportedly made £1,000 every second of the day for the first six months of this year. To put this in context, what BP presently makes in profit every month is roughly equivalent to what my local council, Lambeth, spends on running local services every year.”

Every 10% increase in energy prices leads to an extra 400,000 people joining the 2.5 million already living in fuel poverty in Britain today. In the piece, Umunna wrote:

“People living in communities like mine in Streatham, containing some of the most deprived wards in the country, are struggling to cope in the face of these price hikes - they are being clobbered.”

In addition, there is a lack of investment in securing renewable energy to help Britain become energy independent and more carbon neutral. By 2020 the UK wants 15% of all energy to be from renewable sources - this is currently only 2%.

Umunna has therefore called on the government to levy a windfall tax on the energy companies. Commenting on the move today, Umunna said:

“I am in the business of politics because I want to build a fairer, more equal, democratic and sustainable world for people here - I think this necessitates, amongst other things, government intervention where appropriate, which is I am calling for this measure.”

“The point is not to punish the energy companies – the winners in this situation - for their unearned fruits, or even that the increase in global fuel prices is their fault; the point is that those fruits should be spread more widely to relieve the burden on the many residents in Streatham, Brixton, Clapham, Tulse Hill and beyond who, faced with these huge price rises, are the loosers here.”

“Revenues from this tax should, in the short term, be ring-fenced to immediately help those struggling with rising fuel bills and to ensure every home is insulated and energy efficient to the highest standards; long term, the proceeds could also be invested in renewable energy production.”

Umunna is a signatory to a statement published in The Guardian on 6 August 2008 calling on the government to introduce such a windfall tax. The number of signatories continues to increase and includes fellow London Labour politicians, Jon Cruddas MP, the former Labour deputy leadership candidate, Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and former deputy mayor of London, Nicky Gavron AM.

Umunna’s call for the windfall tax has won support from local residents. Charlene Smith, a resident of Streatham Hill, said: “It’s affecting my family because it’s adding to the rise in prices with inflation. Companies with lots of money can help. It’s a good idea to give some back to people.”

Janet Chambers, a resident of Clapham Common, said: “I think the companies who make mega profits should be part of helping people who are struggling.”

Keith Lillis, another resident of Streatham Hill, said: “Shareholders and managing directors need to be prepared to see some of their extra profits come back to people who need it. A windfall tax is a good thing if this happens.”

Chuka Umunna


As the event is on Sunday, we thought we'd give you the chance to wake up late, so come down to Cargo at 1pm when we kick off the day. To get there, check this map. The nearest tubes are Old Street & Liverpool Street or you can call 02077393440 for enquiries on how to get there.

The LoveDifference event has received amazing coverage by the media. Not only have we been featured by the Evening Standard, London Paper, Metro, Total Politics and Timeout but a range of blogs and magazines. Around 100 people have confirmed so far which is far more than we expected, but we say the more the merrier so invite your friends down and join us for a fantastic event.

It's may be raining tomorrow, so what better way than to take refuge in one of the coolest venues in London and check out the politics, videos and live music and you can even grab some grub and drink there. We will also be launching our first ever toolkit to help you campaign for the issues that matter to you.

See you there!

Noel Hatch
- Development & International Officer - Compass Youth

If you would like to find out more about what we do click here, fill in our survey to join the network or contact Add Compass Youth on Facebook

Join the event, Join the group, Pledge your support, Print out customised flyers, Promote on your site or blog, Put a poster up in the canteen or on your noticeboard

Text 'pledge lovedifference' to 60022 (in the UK only)

Media coverage also includes Angel & North, Bulgarian Parties, Cargo, Congoo, Emito, Ethnic Multicultural Media Academy, Ethnic Now, Europe in the UK, Everyday Social Democracy, Global Music Culture, Intercultural Dialogue, Labour Home, Last FM, Liberal Conspiracy, Live Music, London Net, Macadam, Move Avenue, MyVillage, Music Unsigned, Newer Labour, One World, Pohby, Polish Culture, Subba Cultcha, Total Politics, Virtual Festivals, Visit London, Wiadomosci and Youth & Migration.


The last article published on our site was about the upcoming Love Difference festival at Cargo London. In a minor amendment, the Compass Youth Organising Committee have decided to launch two of our very first publications at the event. I'm sure this will be massively persuasive in getting the huddled masses among us to turn out!

The first of our publications will be the first in a series of Campaign Toolkits which we aim to produce for young people both within the Labour Party and other progressive movements. This toolkit will be aimed primarily at members of Labour Students, other progressive youth organisations such as People and Planet, and friendly political societies in universities across the country, and will provide over 30 pages of tips and tactics for running successful living wage campaigns for employees in and around universities, largely building on the previous successes of independent campaigns.

The second publication we will be launching will be a list of publicly respected speakers who will speak on behalf of Compass/Compass Youth at Young Labour groups and University Labour Clubs: watch this space to find out about what our panel can offer.

There will also be a couple of extras involved, to be revealed at the time. You will be able to get hold of this stuff through the website, alongside corresponding guidance from Compass Youth regional reps. All a great reason firstly to get down to Cargo, and secondly to watch this space!

Anyone interested in working on further publications with us is invited to contact us using the tabs at the side of the page.