Friday, 31 October 2008
Caroline Lucas on growth, capitalism & manmade climate change
Planet programme yesterday
alongside psychologist Oliver James and US economist Peter Morici. The
debate centred on capitalism and dangerous climate change, and looked in
steady state economics.
You can listen again to the programme online at BBC iPlayer at
The credit crunch and the climate crunch
Road deaths scandal: Greens back Parliamentary Report that calls for an end to the "Scandal of Complacency" on road deaths [Media Release]
The Report calls for a much bolder strategy to address road safety calling it the "major public health problem of our age."
As well as the human tragedies involved, the Committee found that the total cost of road crashes in the UK was a staggering £18 billion a year.
Green Party Councillors in Eastern Region and across the country have been active in calling for much better road safety to cut the annual toll of death and injury on the roads and to make roads and pavements much safer for walking and cycling. Greens believe that a safer road environment will encourage and enable people to walk and cycle more who are currently intimidated by traffic volumes and speeds.
The Transport Committee recommended that local authorities be given more powers to introduce 20mph speed limits, increased enforcement to tackle drink-driving and the creation of a road safety commission.
The MPs are absolutely right to refer to this ongoing car-nage as a scandal. The number of deaths and injuries on our roads far outweighs those in all other transport modes or in other work-related accidents put together. It is not just a failure of transport policy that this continues, but the major public health problem of our age.
"Road crashes affect the poor and the young most and are the largest single cause of death for people between the ages of 5 and 35 in Britain. Not only do we need much higher standards of road safety, we need the Green Party policy of integrated public transport to encourage people to make more use of safer means of transport, including trains and buses."
A Democratic landslide?
I wish Obama luck. In a choice between him and McCain (e.g. in 'swing states'), I would now strongly be tempted to vote for him -- and, between the two, I very much hope he wins.
p.s. The fact that I still like McKinney doesn't of course mean that I am keen on her dalliance with the September 11th conspiracy-theory people. The '9-11 truth movement' has always struck me as a strange and profoundly disappointing phenomenon: its (in my experience generally aggressive and impossible-to-talk-with) advocates think of themselves as radicals and subversives: but what is radical about believing that no group of Arab non-state terrorists could possibly bring off a stunt as extraordinary as the destruction of the World Trade Centre? Sorry to have to say it, but there seems to be not just an embarrassing paranoid belief in the absolute power and competence of states, but also more than a whiff of covert anti-Arab racism about the denial that September 11th was anything other than what it appeared to be: an audacious and terrible coup de theatre pulled off by al-Qaida.
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Herman Daly Points The Way Beyond The Credit Crunch...
Do spread this word!
Climate Skeptics at large in Parliament
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
GREENS POINT OUT OBVIOUS FLAWS TO SHORTSIGHTED REGIONAL PLANNING AUTHORITY, EERA [Media release]
Green Party councillors in the Eastern region have challenged the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA), as it extended its key planning strategy review to 2031. The Green Party are challenging the assumptions and objectives put forward by the EERA that astonishingly ignore the critical advent of diminishing oil reserves, the dramatic loss of current economic confidence, and the onset of dangerous climate change, when forming their forecasts for the region.
"Regional planning has for too long conformed with wholly unrealistic assumptions handed down by central Government and its agencies. The dramatic economic changes and heightened awareness of the imminence of dangerous climate change afford an opportunity for a radically different perspective on the possible futures for our region", said Suffolk Green Party Councillor John Matthissen, a member of EERA's Housing and Sustainable Communities Panel.
Cllr. Matthissen continued: "The oil does not exist to fuel everlasting growth in road traffic, which the Highways Agency still assumes, nor to power vessels bringing ever more containers into the Haven Ports. Who now believes that house-building projections for this region will be fulfilled, rather than regenerating the communities where houses are decaying as people move to
Cllr. Dr Rupert Read, the Eastern Region Green Party Lead Candidate for the 2009 European elections added:
"The Green Party fully supports the ambitious renewable energy assumptions of the 2021 Plan, and urges that higher percentages of renewable energy are projected for 2031. Recent climate change forecasts imply the loss of farmland and settlements in the region as the sea rises, and a review will need to take this contingency into account, while striving to cut our own emissions and contribution to the problem so as to minimise these losses. The Green New Deal proposed by Caroline Lucas, Green Party Leader, that puts forward a radical but achievable manifesto on how to tackle both the economic and ecological crisis together, can play an essential part in this."
Monday, 27 October 2008
New Green Councillor in Mid Beds District Council
On Saturday, (25th October) Councillor Ken Lynch (Sandy Pinnacle ward) went public with his decision to join the Green Party. He was joined by both local Greens and those from right across the eastern region. They spent the day helping Cllr Lynch let the people of Sandy be the first to hear that their local councillor had become a Green further increasing Green Party representation on Mid Beds District Council.
In the local Green Party's biggest day of campaigning for months thousands of leaflets were delivered to local residents explaining Kens change of party and hundreds of voters were given the chance to talk to Ken about it.
Dr Rupert Read, Lead Green Party Candidate for the Eastern Region European Elections said:
"Greens from across Eastern Region came to Sandy on Saturday, to welcome Ken to the Green Party and help him communicate his reasons for supporting the existing Green Councillor already on Mid-Beds District Council (Gareth Ellis, who became Bedfordshire's first Green Councillor in 2007), and build on the support for the Green Party in Bedfordshire. Greens will be visiting many other parts of the region as the Green Party builds up to the Euro Elections in June 2009, now only a little over 7 months away.
"Spreading the Green message is vital at a time when the society and the planet we live on faces so many threats; not only environmentally but also politically and economically. A bigger Green voice in Europe will be another step towards securing the radical Social and Environmental policies needed to help us navigate our way through the crisis in this century and beyond.
New Green councillor Ken Lynch said:
“Seeing the excellent work of councillor Gareth Ellis, I realise that for the Greens, politics isn't about petty point scoring, it's seeing what's needed and working the political system to get it done.”
“Despite the change it will business as usual delivering a personal service to the people of Sandy.”
Ken is the voluntary community project worker for both the Biggleswade Monday Youth Club and the Sandy Tuesday Youth Club, he's work on the Skate School has made it a reality. He is chair of the Biggleswade and District Pensioners Association.
Green Cllr Gareth Ellis commented:
“Ken is a very welcome addition to our team, he's not afraid to loudly speak up for those that need it, a persistent fighter who won't ever give up until he's won.”
Saturday, 25 October 2008
RR on THE POLITICS SHOW on BBC1 after noon on Sunday (tomorrow)
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
Safeguarding future generations: a tentative suggestion
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
A more radical and political environmentalism
Victory in Spa Common struggle!
Tackling Climate Change is Route to Creating Jobs in Economic Downturn [Press release]
"This is the wrong time to be watering down climate change agreements"
Rupert Read, Prospective Green Party MEP for Eastern Region, has hit out at European Council attempts to use the financial crisis to water down climate agreements and jeopardise thousands of potential jobs in East Anglia as well as potentially denying people lower fuel bills and cleaner air.
Dr. Read, who is a Norwich City Councillor said
"Efforts by Member States to deliberately dilute proposed EU climate legislation, in terms of both targets and mechanisms, are utterly unacceptable and could harm the future prosperity and energy security of East Anglia.
In March 2007 Ministers agreed that the EU must unilaterally reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% on 1990 levels if a future global climate agreement is reached. They are now calling this commitment into question, as well as trying to undermine EU emissions reductions still further by allowing for a maximum of whatever targets they do agree to be met by offsetting abroad. The British Government is one of the most active on this - further evidence of its double standards on climate change.
As for the precise policies, among many other worrying moves it seems the Council is rowing back on the "polluter pays" principle that's supposed to underpin and incentivise emissions reductions via the Emissions Trading System; and to oppose the idea of ringfencing money raised through emissions trading for climate related purposes both at home and abroad.
This is the wrong time to be watering down climate change agreements. Attempting to use the financial crisis as an excuse to avoid tougher action on climate change is completely misguided.
The Stern report showed clearly the price of not taking action on climate change. The climate crisis is potentially more devastating than even the economic crisis - and ironically, the measures needed to address it are precisely those which could also help avoid a global recession. Strong policies which incentivise wind power, for example, could result in an avoided fuel cost of €20.5 billion across the EU alone by 2020, and provide over 500,000 jobs. East Anglia could be a leading region within Europe on developing renewable energy."
The Green Party is proposing a "Green New Deal", following in the footsteps of Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930s. The Green New Deal would re-regulate international finance and bring an end to subsidies for polluting energy sources such as coal and nuclear. It would herald a major programme of public and private investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, generating thousands of green-collar jobs in the process. The Green New Deal is a route to make the transition away from declining fossil fuels and avoid a huge economic downturn at the same time.
Worst EU Lobbying Awards 2008 -- Vote now!
The Green Party is proud of our MEPs' absolutely solid record on exposing dubious lobbying practices. I plan to follow in their footsteps. So, we strongly welcome the chance to vote in the '2008 Worst EU Lobbying Awards' the annual award for deceptive, manipulative or unethical lobbying.
This year you can vote in two categories:
1. The 'Worst EU Lobbying' Award for the lobbyist, company or lobby group that in 2008 has employed the most deceptive, misleading, or otherwise problematic lobbying tactics in their attempts to influence EU decision-making.
2. The special 'Worst Conflict of Interest' Award for the MEP, Commissioner or Commission official whose background, side-jobs or other liaisons with special interests raise the most serious concerns about their ability to act in public interest.
Select your winners now in both categories and cast your vote at http://www.worstlobby.eu/2008
The nominees for the 2008 Worst EU Lobbying Award are:
* the Agrofuels lobby (MPOC, Unica and Abengoa) for greenwashing agrofuels;
* European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicine for hiding the involvement of big pharma;
* European Business and Parliament Scheme for EP indoors lobbying;
* Gplus and Aspect Consulting for spreading war propaganda;
* the airline lobby IATA for deceptions to avoid CO2 reduction obligations.
The nominees for the Worst Conflict of Interest Award are:
* Dr Caroline Jackson MEP appointed advisor to a waste company;
* Piia-Noora Kauppi MEP lobbies for her future employer;
* Klaus-Heiner Lehne MEP doubles as a lawyer;
* Ex-Commission officials Petite, Klotz and Kjølbye now lobbying for industry;
* DG Trade Director Wenig slips inside informations to lobbyists.
The candidates were selected out of 54 nominations by citizens and groups from around
Help us expose the worst lobbying in
Please spread the news about the awards! Tell your friends via our website or put banners on your websites. Banners can be found here: http://www.foeeurope.org/corporates/banner/wla.html
Online voting closes November 30. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in
Monday, 20 October 2008
Earlham families save trees from the axe
Concerned people who live near a new housing development in Earlham have been victorious in safeguarding trees.
Persimmon Homes is currently building a development of 42 three-storey houses on land between Gipsy Lane and Earlham Road.
But the work has already caused controversy after the housing developer felled about 17 trees, angering people living nearby.
Neighbouring families have since been keeping a close eye on progression at the site and recently discovered workers were building what they believed to be a garage close to trees that were subject to a tree preservation order.
Their concerns were initially put to one side but following a series of emails and a meeting with the site manager, the housing developer has vowed it will not do anything to harm these trees.
Gerard Crook, 52, who lives with his partner Denise Denis on Gipsy Lane, said: “I was being a nosy neighbour on the behalf of other residents and what we discovered was that a structure was being set out what appeared to be rather close to our boundary and very close to the trees.
“The site manager said the structure was set out according to the plans but there were no trees on the plans.
“The Green Party then drew my attention to a document that was in the planning agreement that storage of materials was not permitted and that building structure should be at least one metre away from the tree canopies.
“Anyway, the site manager has since told us that there are considering alternative plans for this structure and I'm very pleased that the company is not doing anything that might be harmful to the trees.
“Trees are attractive, natural feature that of looked after and for, can be part of our daily lives. Trees make a contribution to our world and environment and shouldn't be removed unnecessarily.”
Rupert Read, Green Party city councillor, said: “I am really glad that I was able to help Gerry and Denise in their successful effort to safeguard these trees, but the real credit must go to them: without their vigilance, I fear that we would have lost these trees.”
The property developer got the go ahead to build the houses at the end of July 2007.
Last October, residents claimed that 17 out of the 20 trees that had tree preservation orders (TPOs) on them were chopped down to make way for the development.
However, Persimmon Homes argued that the trees removed from the site had been agreed with city council officers and the city council confirmed that the trees were not protected.
The housing developer was contacted by the Evening News on the latest matter but no one was available to comment.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Bank nationalisation now!
As shares drop further today, and (despite the bail-outs and buy-outs) the banks still won't lend to each other ('LIBOR remains 2% above central bank rates, an unprecedented 'spread') isn't it becoming clearer that, as I've said before on this blog, there is only one real answer: the commercial banks have to be NATIONALISED and/or remutualised (Roughly, my suggestion would be: permanent nationalisations of the 'big four' etc., and permanent remutualisations of the former building-societies). This combined with a new strict and long-term regulatory regime to be introduced soon, might actually do the trick (of preventing a vast financial and economic meltdown). Banks need to be forced to lend, for the public good. There should be more inter-bank lending; more lending to small businesses etc.; and we need to fund a 'Green New Deal' to 'pump-prime' to escape a depression while saving rather than trashing our ecosystems.
At present, by contrast, money is being destroyed by bank 'hoarding' of bail-out etc. money; there is still, therefore, and incredibly, a liquidity crisis; there is still therefore risk of good sound institutions in both the real and the money economies being taken down. And there is ongoing pressure to trash our ecosystems look for instance at the looser rules that E.U. member-state governments have this week pressed for on emissions reductions, specifically citing the economic downturn as their reason/justification for this.
The amount we are investing in the banks requires them to be owned by us, as a matter of natural justice and fairness. The amount that they have profiteered by over recent years (vast dividends, bonuses, etc) must never be repeated. The need to have them work in the public good, for the good of the real economy, requires them to be controlled by us.
How long will it be before the world's Governments realise that they need to abandon the remnants of laissez-faire ideology and the fantasy that finance can continue be run on a globalised, privatised, virtually rule-free basis, and actually grab this problem by the scruff of its neck, and take ownership and control of it? This needs to happen soon, or we may never know the answer because the entire system may collapse completely.
Leading banker explains how the private banks create and destroy money
The top-of-the-hour interview on TODAY this morning is essential listening for anyone wishing to understand why the current crisis requires monetary reform (http://www.jamesrobertson.com/book/monetaryreform.pdf ), in order to be truly solved. One of the world's leading bankers tells us how banks create money through lending -- and destroy it (as is happening at present) through not lending. Listen again, and goto just under 5 minutes in.
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
UNANSWERED QUESTIONS OVER COUNTY'S PLANS FOR 'GENOME ANALYSIS CENTRE'
UNANSWERED QUESTIONS REMAIN SURROUNDING COUNTY'S PLANS FOR 'GENOME ANALYSIS CENTRE'
After the Norfolk County Council Cabinet's decision on Monday of this week to go ahead with giving £1million to help create a 'Genome Analysis Centre' at the edge of Norwich (although the actual provision of the money is to be delayed, because of the County Council having £32million tied up in shut-down Icelandic banks ), Norfolk Green Party Councillors are asking a whole series of probing questions about the project.
Councillor Rupert Read, 2009 Green Party Euro candidate for the East, questioned whether the scheme represented good value for money for Norfolk Norfolk Council Tax payers:
"Has anyone asked Council Taxpayers whether they want their
council to spend £1 million to support this initiative? Has the Council looked seriously into what other good uses there could be for that money? Has the Council's Economic Development Unit ever consulted with
"Furthermore, the proposed location is far from most of the new housing that is being built in
Green Party County Councillor Andrew Boswell was at the County Council Cabinet meeting yesterday. The following were among the questions that he asked yesterday, to which he did not receive satisfactory replies:
"Other industry sectors and other regions of the County will rightly want to see how this £1million capital expenditure by the Council has been evaluated and prioritised before coming to this meeting today for final sign-off. They will ask 'does this really deliver jobs?', and 'are they the jobs that
For instance, if Norfolk County Council are funding this, why are they not also funding research into sustainable agriculture, local food supply, organic production, and green jobs in marine/solar/wind sectors which
"Our information suggests that the record of similar enterprises elsewhere is poor. Has Norfolk County Council researched whether centres like this have actually worked to attract new business and new employment, when they have been created elsewhere?
Green Party Councillors are also asking questions about the Genetic Modification science involved with the GAC project. Cllr. Read asked: "How much of the likely 'spin-off' companies that the Council hopes that this will attract will be doing G.M. science? Has the Council checked with the citizens of Norfolk to see if we are willing to, let along keen on, funding research that may involve the creation of genetically-modified food, 'synthetic biology', crop trials, and so on?"
Norfolk Green Party will be continuing to press for answers to these questions.
Monday, 13 October 2008
The return of state regulation for the public good:My latest piece on Open Democracy
The end of the age of 'conservatism'
Vindication for those of us who called for nationalisation and taxpayer-representation on bank Boards -- at last, the Government follows our lead
Check out the sub-head to this piece: "October 13, 2008 will go down in history as the day the capitalist system in the
I would have preferred a bigger, fuller, more pro-active, earlier nationalisation. As detailed here http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/at-dawn-the-banks-were-back-from-the-brink-958346.html, the 'preference shares' move last week was totally inadequate. If we are to put our money into banks, then we need to be able to exert real control over banks. That is the path that the Government, albeit too tentatively, too piecemeal, and much later than they should have done, has at last embarked upon. I hope that the Government (i.e. us taxpayers) are not over-paying even now for the shares of HBoS and RBS; we may yet rue that a more dramatic total nationalisation has not yet been countenanced.
But what is clear today is: The Thatcherite experiment of finance deregulation has utterly failed. When the _Daily Telegraph_ says, as above, that it is the dawn of a new era of state regulation and control, then you know that something profound has changed in our world...
Sunday, 12 October 2008
Face to faith
'Green new deal' goes global!
Sunday, 12 October 2008
The ambitious plan the start of which will be formally launched in London next week - will call on world leaders, including the new US President, to promote a massive redirection of investment away from the speculation that has caused the bursting "financial and housing bubbles" and into job-creating programmes to restore the natural systems that underpin the world economy.
It aims to convince them that, far from restricting growth, healing the global environment will be a desperately -needed driving force behind it.
The Green Economy Initiative - which will be spearheaded by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), headquartered here, and is already being backed by governments draws its inspiration from Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, which ended the 1930s depression and helped set up the world economy for the unprecedented growth of the second half of the 20th century.
It, too, envisages basing recovery on providing work for the poor, as well as reform of financial practices, after a crash brought on by unregulated excesses of the free market and the banking system.
The new multimillion dollar initiative which is being already funded by the German and Norwegian Governments and the European Commission arises out of a study commissioned by world leaders at the 2006 G8 summit into the economic value of ecosystems. It argues that the world is caught up in not one, but three interlinked crises, with the food and fuel crunches accompanying and intensifying the financial one.
Soaring prices of grain and oil, it stresses, have stemmed from outdated economic priorities that have concentrated on short term exploitation of the world's resources, without considering how they can be used to sustain prosperity in the long term. Over the last quarter of a century, says UNEP, world growth has doubled, but 60 per cent of the natural resources that provide food, water, energy and clean air have been seriously degraded.
Achim Steiner, UNEP's Executive Director, adds that new research shows that every year, for example the felling of forests deprives the world of over $2.5 trillion worth of such services in supplying water, generating rainfall, stopping soil erosion, cleaning the air and reducing global warming . By comparison, he points out, the global financial crisis is so far estimated to have cost the world the smaller one-off sum of $1.5 trillion.
"We are pushing, if not pushing past, the limits of what the planet can sustain," he says. "If we go on as we are today's crisis will seem mild indeed compared to the crises of tomorrow".
Switching direction and concentrating on 'green growth', he says, will not only prevent such catastrophes, but rescue the world's finances. "The new, green economy would provide a new engine of growth, putting the world on the road to prosperity again. This is about growing the world economy in a more intelligent, sustainable way.
"The 20th century economy, now in such crisis, was driven by financial capital. The 21st century one is going to have to be based on developing the world's natural capital to provide the lasting jobs and wealth that are needed, particularly for the poorest people on the planet"
He says for example, that it makes more sense to invest in preserving forests, peatlands and soils, which naturally absorb carbon dioxide, than destroying them and then developing expensive technology to do the job.
He points out that the world market for environmental goods and service already stands at $1.3 trillion and is expected to double over the next 12 years even on present trends, and adds. "There is an enormous opportunity to ride on this increasing global demand for environmental improvement and turn it into the driver of economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction that is now so desperately needed. And in some places it is already beginning to happen."
Mr Steiner will launch the initiative in London a week on Wednesday, October 22nd, with the announcement of three projects, concentrating on how investing in the world's natural systems, in renewable energy and in other green technologies would stimulate growth and provide jobs, and giving examples of where it is already taking place.
He will describe, for example, how Mexico is now employing 1.5 million people to plant and manage forests, how China has created the world's biggest solar energy industries from scratch in just a few years, and how Germany has leapt from being a laggard to a leader in renewable energy by giving people attractive incentives to install it in their home.
Pavan Sukhdev, the chair of Deutschbank's Global Market Centre, who is leading the initiative, says: "Hundreds of millions of jobs can be created, there is no question that traditional industries like steel and cars cannot provide them. But this is a really huge business opportunity."
I MICRO-BLOG at: http://twitter.com/RupertRead
Saturday, 11 October 2008
The Rooseveltian moment
The Darling rescue plan is a half-baked start, probably better than nothing, although not a lot. Its proposal of an option of part-nationalisation of any and all commercial banks is an attempt by the Government to step in the right direction, although it is absurd that vast amounts more of taxpayers' money should be potentially going into the banks without giving us any control over them. Without such control, there is absolutely no guarantee that they will start lending to businesses or to each other.
And so this begs the further crucial question: Why should such a nationalisation be only temporary? Why should we allow commercial banks to profit rampantly in the good times, and sooner or later start speculating again, pushing the envelope, ramping up the risks and precipitating fresh bubbles or crises?
We need fundamental reform of the banking system, to stop crises like this from ever re-occuring. The current proposals alone will never be long-term safe, because after a while a privatised banking system will start agitating and pushing to strip away and circumvent the protections and regulations.
So isn't what we really need to seize the moment to permanently eliminate the spectre of private banking profiteering and excessive risk-taking? The only sustainable banking system is a banking system that strips out the private commercial profit motive. We should, it now seems to me, have a banking system consisting of a huge public sector that is democratically directed toward a sustainable economy, with low interest-rates, plus a network of co-ops, mutuals and credit unions, to ensure diversity in the banking system.
Truly, it is time for a new Rooseveltian moment, and more. Or else the prognosis will be grim. I am angry about the casino-mentality which has got us into this hole; and the massive scale and truly fundamental nature of the shift needed to get us out of it is clear... This is the new era of strong government regulation and of public ownership and control. The New Labour and Tory light-touch deregulatory neoliberal approaches are, by contrast, LITERALLY bankrupt...
The U.S. conservatives get desperate
Thursday, 9 October 2008
Caroline Lucas on the Darling Plan
BAILOUT: TAXPAYERS' MONEY SHOULD MEAN TAXPAYERS' CONTROL
The Green Party has criticised Alistair Darling's £50bn bailout for offering public funds to banking giants without demanding any public control in return. The preference shares the Treasury will receive in the deal confer no voting rights, and the Green leader, Caroline Lucas MEP, argues that taxpayers should not be expected to provide a cash bailout without receiving in return the voting power to alter those banking practices that are the cause of the crisis......(continues)
Monday, 6 October 2008
GREEN EURO CANDIDATE EXTENDS LOCAL BUSINESS SUPPORT AT 'FEDERATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES' DINNER IN CAMBRIDGE
Green Party letters in yesterday's IoS
Start off with Jenny Jones's, and then scroll down a few for mine...
24 Hours to green Europe's future...
It is crucial that this vote goes the right way -- I want to be an MEP in a Europe that is leading on the prevention of manmade climate change, not lagging behind!...
...Far from the eyes of the media, elected representatives in the European Parliament are writing a climate and energy plan for our continent. As citizens, we've campaigned hard for a global deal to stop catastrophic global warming, and Europe's negotiators have driven progress in international talks -- but if big polluters succeed in watering down Europe's own climate action plan, all our momentum will be lost. And that's just what's happening right now.
This Tuesday afternoon -- that's tomorrow! --, European parliamentarians are gathering to finalise their proposals -- but the whole plan is being undermined by industry lobbyists demanding they lock in massive "permits to pollute", which would put emissions targets completely out of reach for 2020 and beyond. Before it's too late, in the next 24 hours, let's deluge representatives from our own countries with emails and phone calls -- urging them not to give in to the lobbyists, and instead to put forward strong plans to build a sustainable future for our societies, showing the world the way forward.
Just click the link below to see the names and phone numbers of the representatives from your own country -- we've added a few "talking points" you can use in your emails and phone calls.
Friday, 3 October 2008
Palin's incoherence on dangerous climate change
Sarah Palin's answer here is terrifying in its ineptitude and in its mumbo-jumbo quasi-denial of anthropogenic climate change. Biden's answer is of course better, but hardly inspirational: note his backing for 'clean' coal, 'safe' nuclear and 'renewable' biofuels -- pass the sick-bag, please...
Palin's come-back line is perhaps even more terrifying: "Drill baby drill", she says. If only she could see the future children whose faces she stamps on, in gleefully saying this...
The McGarahan murder - a reflection
Thursday, 2 October 2008
The roots of the B&B fiasco...
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Green Politics and Green Philosophy
D J Taylor in the _Indy_: 'All roads lead to the A11'
A nice piece here by the Sage of Norwich on the A11 lobby and on Norwich 'Growth Area' housing:
: 'All roads lead to the A11' Taylor
The Bottom Line: Our commentator scours the world of news, entertainment and sport to answer the question: what was that all about? His conclusion we're all being used
It is the same with the Norfolk Development Plan, the subtext of whose literature might be interpreted as: we are going to build a lot of houses, but we are obliged to pretend to consult with you first. The houses will be built, of course, for there is no box to tick for those who don't want them.
Just occasionally, the public strikes back. I remember watching the results of the general election of 2001 come through in the two
But the expression of a genuinely popular opinion whether from electors, football fans or American taxpayers tends to scare those in authority stiff, to the point where you begin to question how the authority came to be there in the first place, and how it might be taken away.
BBC Blog: Will the Green Party ever be taken seriously? Of course!
Remember that once upon a time the Labour Party were a single-issue Party
(they were only 'for the workers'; they had 'nothing to say' about foreign
issues, about the land, about the family; etc.); and it took just one
generation for them to go from having no MPs to forming their first
We are already taken very seriously in the Brussels Parliament, where I aim
to represent Eastern Region next year; for there, we are a major political
And we are taken dead seriously in places like Norwich City Council, where
we will soon be the largest Party (if they don't abolish it...). When people
get the chance to vote for a Green Party that is going places, they go with
Next stop (for the Party): Westminster!
Another reflection on last night's Council meeting
All the three grey Parties are tacitly committed to the same ideology, of endless industrial growth, of worshipping at the shrine of big business and big money -- of neoliberal globalisation. I wish they understood that this was / is an ideology, rather than being under the silly illusion that they are 'pragmatic', 'sensible', etc.
I feel sadness that these dinosaurs are leading the world into perdition and oblivion. But I hope and believe that the people will have the good sense to move their allegiance away from them, in time.
Don't be a dinosaur: beyond the 'main 3' Parties...
(the 'Conservatives'), the Sub-Dinosaur Party (the 'Liberal Democrats') and
the New-Dinosaurs Party ('New Labour') on the one side and the Green Party
on the other, over the dualling of the A11, brought home to me how very far
the various out-of-date grey Parties, dinosaurs that they are to a person, have
to go before they realise that sustainability and being green is more than a
fad or a coat of paint or a minor add-on. None of these Parties understand
the _big_ changes that need to be made if we are to have a liveable planet
for our grandchildren. None of them realise either how the things that they
are championing are actively making things worse in terms of quality of
life, now: making us hyper-mobile and more stressed, less rooted in a real community,
Tesco-isation and 'clone towns'...
The dualling of the A11 is being pushed by big business interests. By
various varieties of dinosaurs. And most tragically of all (and this is
directly relevant to the Party Conference that, as I write, is preparing to
wind down): 'Conservatism' is simply incoherent. One must choose between
conserving good things as they are and simply letting the 'free market' rip.
One must choose between conservation and road-building. One must choose
between spending one's money on good planning and localisation and public
transport on the one hand and creating a virtual motorway between London and
Norwich on the other.
It is the height of immaturity to pretend otherwise. Kids love dinosaurs,
but eventually they grow out of it...
Green Party lead candidate helps hand in 14k petition this Friday, to save Fritton Wood!
Friday, October 3, 2008
2:45pm - 3:15pm
Entrance to COUNTY HALL,
Norwich, United Kingdom.
Green Euro Candidate says, ‘keep Hinchingbrooke public!’
Rupert Read backed calls to stop the hospital being made into a Foundation Trust as he joined local party members leafleting homes in Hartford on Sunday (28.9.08).
He said: “Foundation Trusts are simply privatisation under a prettier name. ’New Labour' has continued and accelerated the Conservative betrayal of our National Health Service, privatising it bit by bit while pretending to support it.
“Only the Green Party can be trusted to stop this. If I am elected to the European Parliament next June, to represent this area, you can be confident that I will do all in my powers to keep our hospitals in public hands, free and open to all.
“The Greens say: Keep public services public!”
Members of the Hunts Green Party will be joining a Keep Our NHS Public, rally and march on October 4th, called to protest against the possible privatisation of Hinchingbrooke Hospital.