Saturday, September 27, 2008

Cuba Libre

No, B21 has not gone all revolutionary, yet anyway! We are teaming up with the Redbridge Green Fair people with a showing of the film -

“The power of community -
How Cuba survived peak oil”.
an empty fuel gauge superimposed on a desolate scene with a hungry child I posted on this back in April with an extract from the New Scientist. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, Cuba found itself with serious fuel and food shortages. This is the story of how they dealt with it and the unexpected benefits they gained as a result.

The evening is entitled:
Can Redbridge move beyond oil dependency?!
Join a "proper" Redbridge conversation and film evening on being a real local community
Thursday 23 October from 7.15 – 9.00
Ley Street Business Centre, Corner of Ley Street/Perth Road, Ilford

7.15 - Welcome and Fair trade refreshments
7.30 – FILM (approx 45 mins)
8:15 - CONVERSATION: reactions... solutions?... actions ...
9.00 - REDBRIDGE GREEN FAIR AGM (for those who want to join in)
9.00 - Refreshments and more conversation (for those who don’t)
9.30 - Pub

Wear a red beret!


  1. It's a great film. The TT group starting up in Coventry showed it last week.

  2. For my less familiar visitors, TT = "Transition Town" and has nothing to do with Motorbike racing.

    Scott, looking forward to it.

  3. I go to a Cuban hairdresser locally who has family 'back home' - she is very politically savvy, and you should hear her views of Castro's Cuba: it's ok if you know the right people, but otherwise you can go to hell in a handcart.

  4. Much the same as here then? re: allotment holders?

    I've not seen the film yet and am not prepared to prejudge. But I expect it not to be about "Castro's Cuba" but about how ordinary people raised their game and dealt with a crisis.
    If there is a lesson there I want to know what it is, but neither, I hope, will I be hoodwinked by political spin.

    Funnily enough I used this quote from Carl Sagan earlier today in a different context.

    “It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas … If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you … On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful ideas from the worthless ones.”

  5. I am old enough to remember when "Cuba Libre" was bacardi and coke.......

  6. Speaking of age, it is rumoured that Morris planted the original Fairlop Oak.

  7. No, that was John Sharrock.
    But I did hear that Bram Stoker based his novel upon Morris.

  8. I wish to deny categorically any connections with the original Fairlop Oak, but admit to using the present one.

  9. Didn't Morris build the first car?


  10. A Minor acheivement


  11. Dear B21

    I entirely agree with Sagan's elegant expression of the need for balance - however, as someone with a lifelong interest in both history and politics, I have always found it useful and enlightening to question the background and the 'apparent' facts, when being presented with heartwarming stories of the eventual triumph of the peasantry over the Government.

    Since you yourself are a judicious mix of the cynic and the idealist, I am sure you will understand.

  12. B21 has generously permitted this discussion to stray a little, here and there, from the advertsied theme of "Can Redbridge move beyond oil dependency?!" [Redimanager would have banned half these comments for that reason alone!].

    Until August 1959, almost 6 years before Redbridge began ("Ah, happy days" I hear some of your cry) Ilford was served by non-polluting trolleybuses. Ironically perhaps, 43 of the vehicles serving Ilford had their depot in the building where the 23 October meeting is due to take place.

    Those vehicles were propelled by electricity (provided prior to nationalisation in 1948 by Ilford Borough Council's own electricity generating works where Ley Street House now stands). Each carried either 70 or 72 passengers, and were sadly replaced by 56-seater buses burning diesel oil and emitting exhaust fumes. It required 10 buses to replace 8 trolleybuses in order to provide the same seating capacity.

    Progress? I think not. Time to turn back the clock. Or would it be turning back? Many European cities have fast, efficient high capacity trams - many of them similar to those operating around Croydon. Others have trolleybuses. Some even have both. There is no reason GIVEN THE WILL TO CHANGE why London and other UK cities should not do so too.


  13. ........ or, for Spurs supporters, the penalty box.