Tuesday, 29 April 2014

BBC suggests a Green win in the East

Last Euro election we lost by just 1%. Now see why the Greens can win on 22 May, from the BBC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddJFH3IlaHQ

Eastern Green candidates' clean campaign pledge:

Despite the refusal of the candidates of the other main Parties to do so, the Green Party European Parliament candidates here in the East of England have signed a ‘Clean Campaign Pledge’. That means no lies, no dodgy graphs, no fraudulent behaviour (obviously). Just plain speaking, and plain dealing. We campaign as we mean to go on: cleanly. Letting voters know the facts; urging a real alternative to the old parties and to the old politics, but one that is not mired in falsehood or fraud. 
We have pledged that we will show by our actions and our words that politics need not be a dirty game, but can be a clean and positive activity, engaged in genuinely for the good of all.
We will tell the truth about what we stand for and have achieved, and
about what others stand for and have achieved.
We will state only facts concerning other candidates.
We will not mislead the public about who is or is not doing well and about who is likely to win in these elections.
We will make only honest and reasonable promises.
We will fight a clean, positive and honest campaign around issues that
concern the people of Eastern England.
We urge voters to hold us to this pledge - and to ask other parties' candidates why they weren't willing to sign it.
Rupert Read
Green Party MEP lead candidate for Eastern England.
WHY NOT FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER?: twitter.com/GreenRupertRead (my 'politician' account) AND on
twitter.com/RupertRead (my 'personal' account).

Hope vs fear: Natalie Bennett

Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett at the national launch I took part in yesterday highlighted to attendees how the Greens'  Manifesto provides a “roadmap for real change” and a departure from the established political order’s tired and destructive business-as-usual approach:

“This election is about choice. Denial and despair or hope and opportunity. We can build a brighter future. We can find solutions to the challenges that we face.  

“When people hear about our policies – bringing the railways back into public hands, turning the  minimum wage into a living wage, scrapping tuition fees and insulating every home – they vote Green.  

“When they vote Green they get Green. We don’t just highlight problems, we build lasting solutions."

Rupert Read
Green Party MEP lead candidate for Eastern England.
WHY NOT FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER?: twitter.com/GreenRupertRead (my 'politician' account) AND on
twitter.com/RupertRead (my 'personal' account).

Monday, 28 April 2014

Rupert Read HS2 q on Guardian's Politics Live blog

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Rupert Read HS2 q on Guardian's Politics Live blog
From: Archie Thomas <Archie.Thomas@greenparty.org.uk>
To: gpmedianet@lists.greenparty.org.uk
CC: Chris Luffingham <Chris.Luffingham@greenparty.org.uk>,Zoe Hall <zoe.hall@greenparty.org.uk>,"pennyanne.kemp@btinternet.com " <pennyanne.kemp@btinternet.com>,"rupertread@fastmail.co.uk " <rupertread@fastmail.co.uk>

3.53pm BST Here's Rupert Read, the Green party's transport spokesman, on HS2.

All credit to the Tory MPs who are voting against HS2 today, but unfortunately such nimbyism alone will never defeat this white elephant scheme. There is one party standing firm on principle against HS2: the Green party. As more and more think-tanks, businesses and columnists turn against HS2, it's time to start thinking concretely about how that money should be better spent.


Launchday: Pledge Fund launched :-)

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: New Pledge Fund
From: pauljeater@btinternet.com
To: adrianramsay@greenparty.org.uk,rupertread@fastmail.co.uk

This afternoon I've launched a new pledge fund that if successful will raise £1000 for the Eastern Region  Euro Election Fund. It's called 'Vote Green 4 Hope'. We need to get 40 members & supporters to donate £25, the deadline set is Sunday 11th May. Please spread the word far and wide, and encourage members and supporters to contribute. Thanks for your help.

Paul Jeater

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Top Tory Commentator predicts Green win here

Radio Journalist of the Year and local man Iain Dale predicts a Green victory in the East on May 2: http://www.iaindale.com/posts/2014/04/26/european-election-result-predictions-east-anglia

Friday, 25 April 2014

Unfettered consumerism & blind pursuit of economic growth...a threat to our One Planet & God's Creation?

Please do join us for the launch of Suffolk Greenhouse with two key speakers:

Right Rev'd Dean of St Edmundsbury, Dr Frances Ward & Dr Rupert Read (lead Green MEP-candidate in the East of England)
Chair: Councillor Mark Ereira-Guyer
 This is an open meeting – all those with an interest in debating our planet having a future are very welcome 
Thursday 8th May 18.00, for 18.30 start
7 St John' Street
Bury St Edmunds
Entry by Donation (£10 suggested: Tapas style food & Refreshment from this independent restaurant in heart of town, served from 6pm onwards)

Below is a summary of Clive Hamilton's 'Growth Fetish' proposition:

No issue more preoccupies the modern political process than economic growth. As never before, economic growth is the touchstone of policy success. Countries rate their progress against others by their income per person, which can only rise through faster growth.

Every newspaper, every day, quotes a political leader or a commentator arguing that we need more economic growth to improve the level of national well-being and build a better society.

In the thrall of growth fetishism, all of the major political parties in the West have made themselves the captives of the national accounts. While they may differ on social policy, there is an unchallengeable consensus that the over-riding objective of government must  be growth of the economy.

The answer to almost every problem is 'more economic growth'.

-The problem is unemployment; only growth can create the jobs.

-Schools and hospitals are underfunded; faster growth will improve the budget.

-We can't afford to protect the environment; the solution is more growth.

-Poverty is entrenched; growth will rescue the poor.

-Income distribution is unequal; more growth will make everyone better off.

But despite high and sustained levels of economic growth in the West over a period of fifty years - growth that has seen average real incomes increase several times over  - the mass of people are no more satisfied with their lives now than they were then.

If the purpose of growth has been to give us better lives - and there can be no other purpose - then it has manifestly failed. The reader can simply ask this question: Do I believe that on the whole people are happier now than they were forty or fifty years ago? When asked this question, almost everyone says 'no'.

The more we examine the role of growth in modern society, the more our preoccupation with it appears to be a fetish, that is, the worship of an inanimate object for its apparent magical powers.

The product of growth, money income, represents of course much more than a greater ability to consume. increasing income has  become pivotal to the creation and reproduction of self in modern society.  Thus growth takes on significance because of the excitation it produces in people, the promise it holds to attain bliss.

There can be little doubt that in recent decades the most evangelical promoters of growth fetishism have been the economists. One particular school of economists has achieved uncontested control, the neoclassical, neo-liberal or free market school.

Open any university text and the subject is immediately defined as the study of how to use scarce resources to best satisfy unlimited wants. These 'wants' are assumed to be those that consumption satisfies.

By subtle fusion, human beings have become 'consumers' and human desire has been defined in terms of goods; it follows that the only way to make people happier is to provide more goods. In other words, the objective is growth.

Governments of all persuasions are now mesmerised by economic growth and find it awkward to think about national progress more broadly.

In the last twenty-five years politics in the West have been marked by the ideological convergence of the main parties. Social democratic parties abandoned their traditional commitments and converged on the free market policies of the conservatives.

The more the parties converge in substance, the more they must attempt to differentiate themselves through spin. The politics of spin are the politics of falsity, and there is a popular belief that the democratic process has become an elaborate charade. The major parties, now dominated by careerists who stand for nothing, whip themselves into frenzies over matters that are trivial, while tacitly agreeing not to break the neo-liberal consensus on the things that really matter. No wonder people are alienated, and political space is created for the emergence of parties of the far right.

Growth fetishism and its neo-liberal handmaiden therefore assail democracy itself. Social democracy is being superceded by a sort of market totalitarianism. When older people speak bitterly of the corruption of modern politics, they nevertheless feel that it is a historical aberration on the constancy of democratic rights, and that in the end the people can still have their say.

Disturbingly, younger people hear only the accusation that the system is incurably corrupt, and they believe it.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Greens hope to snatch Euro Seat: EAST ANGLIAN DAILY TIMES

Exposing UKIP's terrible record on expenses

Friday, 18 April 2014

Caroline Lucas vs the frackers:

My article responding to Caroline's remarkable acquittal: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/archives/41351

Anthropogenic Climate change: evidence

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Euro-MPs agree to close loopholes on rights for 'posted' foreign workers in London

MEMBERS of the European Parliament have called on national governments to enforce rules designed to protect foreign workers posted overseas from ruthless employers.

The decision should give so-called 'Posted Workers' – those temporarily sent by an employer to work in a different country – the same rights as anyone else at work.

It will protect them from tax scams, ensure they are paid at least the minimum wage, given holidays and so on.

London's Green MEP Jean Lambert said there were a large but ever-changing number of 'Posted Workers' in the capital, and that many had suffered exploitation.

Ms Lambert, a member of the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee, said: "This new legislation is an important step forward for the rights of those posted to work temporarily in other EU member states.

"Proper enforcement of EU rules on posted workers will help prevent the exploitation of posted workers and ensure they are granted their rights.

"With countless examples of exploitation, some here in London – most undocumented but particularly in the thriving construction and food processing sectors, it was essential for the EU to take action."

She added: "The responsibility for ensuring 'Posted Workers' get the protection at work to which they are entitled rests very firmly with national governments – and they really need to co-operate better and ensure the rules are enforced."

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Citizens will suffer under rules aimed to boost flights from European airports, says South East MEP

The European Parliament today voted on revisions to EU rules dealing with airport noise. Green MEPs hit out at the agreement, which will enable the European Commission to overrule flight restrictions – such as night bans - at airports.

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, said:

"This review is a blow for all those European citizens living near airports. It will leave many more people being subjected to the noise, pollution and all other miseries caused by planes.

"Instead of working to ensure stronger EU rules, to reduce the nuisance, pollution, health problems and safety risks posed by airports, the European Commission gave in to heavy lobbying from the aviation industry and the US administration.  Now MEPs and EU governments have cleared these wrong-headed plans for take-off."

Commenting on the UK context, where the Airports Commission is considering increased aviation capacity, Mr Taylor added:

"This vote today in Brussels takes on an added significance in the context of the UK Government's desire to cater for ever-increasing numbers of flights. A new runway at either Gatwick or Heathrow would leave more people affected by noise and air pollution and more climate-damaging pollution.

"This is exactly what European laws should be aiming to prevent, and today's vote is a source of regret to this end. We can't just keep catering for rising growth in flying. Instead, we need to reduce demand and explore how aviation could function within environmental limits."


Food bank surge an 'indictment' of British economy, say Greens

New figures from the Trussel Trust, released today, show a surge in the number of people using food banks in the UK.


Over 900,000 adults and children have received three days' emergency food and support from Trussell Trust food banks in the last 12 months, a shocking 163 percent rise on numbers helped in the previous financial year. [1]


Keith Taylor, the Green Party's MEP for South East England and author of the 'Food Bank Britain' report released earlier this year [2], said:


"These shocking new figures are an indictment of the British economy. Whilst Ministers pat themselves on the back this so-called economic 'recovery' is clearly leaving millions behind.


Across the UK we're seeing people facing benefits cuts, tougher sanctions and wage stagnation. At the same time bills are going up every month. It's no wonder that so many people are struggling to feed their families.


It is clear that the British economy is failing to work for the common good. While some people at the top continue to thrive many millions are suffering the lingering effects of an financial crisis they didn't cause."


Mr Taylor, who will publish details of food bank use in South East England next week [3], went on to say:


"With every major political party except the Greens signed up to cutting away at the welfare state it's clearly time to change direction. We need to build an economy that works for everyone, and provides people with a decent quality of life. That means making the minimum wage a Living Wage, providing decent social security for those who need it and taking action to cut people's bills."




1)      http://www.trusselltrust.org/foodbank-figures-top-900000

2)      http://issuu.com/greenkeithmep/docs/food_bank_britain_final

Greens vote to protect cyclists: successfully

MEPs in the European Parliament have voted to support measures which will improve the design of lorries to make them safer for cyclists.

The new legislation, on the dimensions of trucks in Europe, will force manufactures to improve windows and mirrors to heighten cyclists' visibility – which in turn could save hundreds of lives across Europe.

MEPs also voted to improve the efficiency of trucks and lorries, and vitally, voted to hold back measures which could pave the way for 25-meter long 'mega-trucks' to hit European roads.

Keith Taylor, Green Party member of the European Parliament's Transport Committee, said:

"MEPs have voted today to introduce EU measures which will make cyclists more visible to lorry drivers. These improvements will reduce the number of accidents which sadly occur on our roads. 

In the UK alone, thousands of cyclists are seriously injured on our roads each year. It's, therefore, good news that measures which will improve visibility for lorry drivers have been passed. It's clear that we must make our streets safer and cleaner, and this can begin by making roads safer for cyclists. 

The Parliament also voted to postpone measures which would give the go-ahead to the cross-border movement of huge mega-trucks. Greens have been fighting hard to ensure that such measures were rejected, which would have put the HGV lobby before the interests of wider road-users."

The European Parliament has required that an impact assessment is carried out before proposals on mega-trucks can be taken any further.

Mr Taylor, the Green Party MEP for South East England, added:

"The measures voted on today will make our streets safer for cyclists and, for the time being, halt moves to bring megatrucks to European roads. It's clearly time for vulnerable road users to be protected and today's vote is a first step in the right direction to making our streets safe for everyone."


Sunday, 13 April 2014

IPCC calls today for an energy revolution - in other words

So, the big news is in from the IPCC, and is top of the media today: the world needs to treble its renewable energy output, so that it can decommission fossil fuels: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/apr/12/ipcc-report-world-must-switch-clean-sources-energy
You might call this a green energy revolution...
   Funny, that: I already did:
Have a read of my 'An energy revolution in the East' report, foreworded by Jonathon Porritt:

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Air Pollution Death-figures out today: Eastern Greens Respond

Government must take responsibility for air pollution, says Green MEP-candidate
- MEP-lead-candidate Rupert Read says David Cameron should be 'ashamed of himself' for his flippant response to last week's smog.
Public Health England has released statistics today on the number of people dying because of air pollution. 
Across the UK it is estimated that 25,002 people died because of air pollution in 2010. [1]
That includes 2844 people, here in the East.
Rupert Read, the Green Party's lead MEP-candidate for Eastern England and a clean air campaigner, said:
"These new statistics, which show that thousands of people are dying because of air pollution, make it clear that urgent action is needed to clean up our air. 
"The fact that thousands are dying because of air pollution should be a source of shame for Ministers. Yet, despite the mounting evidence of this major public health threat, the Government is doing far too little to reduce air pollution. 
"David Cameron, who last week flippantly blamed the smog entirely on Saharan Dust, should be ashamed of himself. The Government know that the smog last week was in part caused by the high levels of pollution we have in this country, yet, shamefully, Ministers refuse to accept responsibility. Now that these stats reveal thousands of deaths are caused by air pollution, it is time for Ministers to take this issue seriously and take urgent action to protect people's health."
In Mr Read's constituency 2844 deaths in 2010 [the most recent year for which stats are available - the figures for this year are likely to be higher, because of recent air pollution events here in the East] were associated directly with air pollution. Public Health England's report estimates that 5.6% of deaths in Eastern England were attributable to air pollution. That's a total of 29,096 life-years lost.

Mr Read went on to say:
"With well over one in twenty deaths in my constituency caused by air pollution it is abundantly clear that action is needed. Many of our towns and cities need to radically rethink the way they are dealing with air pollution. To protect people's health we need both the UK Government and local authorities to be bold in tackling air pollution.
"We need clean public transport options, plus a huge improvement in the numbers of people cycling and walking. We need what I have been calling for consistently: a green public transport revolution.
"It's time we recognise that air pollution is a political issue. We can clean up our air, but we need to force politicians to take the issue seriously. Which only Greens do."
1) http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1317141074607 : Figures are available for each local authority in the East, at pp.19-20.

For high quality (non copyright) photographs of Rupert please feel free to use any from his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rupertread/

Taxpayer subsidy for new nuclearpowerstations 'illegal' under EU law, says Green MEP


A proposed taxpayer subsidy of more than a billion pounds to two new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point in Somerset would be illegal under EU law, according to London Green MEP Jean Lambert.

Adding her name to a submission made by scientists from University College London, Ms Lambert said the payment would distort the European energy sector and make it harder to invest in cleaner, safer, renewable energy in future.

"The proposed subsidy would breach EU law," she said, "and, as governments around the world are realising in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, would be promoting a dirty, unsafe energy technology at the expense of the renewable and community-level solutions we need to combat climate change and keep the lights on."

Ms Lambert made her comments as more than 100 academics and politicians of all parties – including a number of Greens - responded to a European Commission consultation on the proposed funding of new nuclear power stations in the UK.


Notes to Editors

The full consultation response is available here: http://jeanlambertmep.org.uk/document_detail.php?id=121

Jean Lambert is one of eight MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections and was re-elected in 2004 and 2009.

For an interview with Jean, a print-quality picture of Jean, or for further information please contact: Ben Duncan, Media & PR Officer to Jean Lambert MEP: 020 7250 8417 / 07917 881648 / media@jeanlambertmep.org.uk



Ben Duncan

Media Officer to Jean Lambert MEP

Green Member of the European Parliament for London

Can Mezzanine

49-51 East Road


N1 6AH


Office: 020 7250 8417

Mobile: 07917 881648


Email: media@jeanlambertmep.org.uk

Website: http://www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk  

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreenJeanMEP

Twitter: @GreenJeanMEP

P Think of the environment, please don't print this email unless you really need to.

gpmedianet mailing list, subscribed as rupertread@fastmail.co.uk
unsubscribe: gpmedianet-unsubscribe@lists.greenparty.org.uk

On Lars von Trier's MELANCHOLIA

Tuesday, 8 April 2014




It would be
based on what is known as Zero Waste principles, to be developed in
co-operation with District Councils. It would involve a shift away from
a single industrial-scale solution such as incineration towards a
mixture of more localised facilities for boosting recycling and
reclamation, and mechanical biological solutions while, crucially,
helping householders produce less waste.

Green Party county councillor
Andrew Boswell said:

"The Greens have been consistent in their
opposition to incineration for ten years. Naturally, we are pleased that
the saga has finally come to an end with no incinerator built. However,
there's no disguising the scale of the financial penalty the Council,
and Council tax payers, must pay. This was avoidable and a full Inquiry
is now needed.

"What I think we need now is a reformed team at the
council to work on an entirely new approach. Norfolk's "Plan B" for
waste management could offer some imaginative new options that are both
environmentally friendly and profitable to local companies."

It would

MOVING the treatment of Norfolk's rubbish up the waste hierarchy
and meeting County targets for reducing and eliminating landfill;

ABANDONING single, industrial scale solutions, such as incineration;

ADOPTING a range of smaller, more localised solutions and contracts,
with local contractors and entrepreneurs. This means dealing with
rubbish closer to where it is generated. It also reduces the risk of
huge financial penalties as suffered with bloated projects such as the
incinerator with multi-national companies;

EXPANDING building on the
success of small to medium scale anaerobic digestion waste plants,
already happening in Norfolk, and on the food waste schemes happening in
Norwich and elsewhere;

EVALUATING the framework contract negotiated by
Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk with 'Material Works' as
a contractual model for implementing processing plants for green waste
across Norfolk's districts;

DEVELOPING plans with providers who have
been 'raring to go' for years on creating reclamation and re-use schemes
- we should create several of these "Recovery Park" sites across

INCREASING the recycling rate of 70% towards at least 80% by
the end of the decade;

WORKING with District Councils to reduce
residual household waste, building on the new strategy at Norwich City
Council that seeks to help householders generate less waste in first

ESTABLISHING green sector business incubators, and encouraging
local entrepreneurs to work with the Local Enterprise Partnership and
others to deliver the new ways of working.;

AVOIDING incineration
technologies, such as those in Amsterdam or Suffolk, wherever possible,
where short-term interim solutions are required for Norfolk's waste
whilst the new policy is developed.

Rupert Read, lead Green
MEP-candidate for the East of England, commented: "Alongside Andrew
Boswell, Adrian Ramsay, Michael De Whalley and a host of other Greens, I
have been working for this day for over a decade. Congratulations to all
the anti-incinerator campaigners in greater Norwich, in West Norfolk,
and elsewhere, who have worked tirelessly to stop this absurd outdated
technology from hungrily burning up all the resources that should
instead be re-used or re-cycled.
"But today is a day of humiliation
for the Labour Leader of the County Council, George Nobbs, and for the
Conservative ex-Leader, Bill Borrett. Their judgement has been shown to
be appallingly bad; it has cost the taxpayers of Norfolk millions of
pounds. It is time for them to move aside in this matter and let those
who judgement has been vindicated lead the way forward to a 21st century
zero-waste solution for Norfolk. I commend the Green 10-point-plan to
the people of Norfolk."

Lead Green Euro candidate visits Witham Monday 7th April

Dr. Rupert Read, the Lead Green candidate for the European elections, visited Witham on Monday 7th April
Lead Green Euro election candidate in Eastern Region Rupert Read (1) visited Witham on 7th April to look at issues with local Green Councillors James Abbott and Bob Wright.

Essex County Council is currently consulting on Recycling Centres. Cuts to opening hours
are likely and the number of Centres across Essex could be reduced. Witham has already had its opening hours reduced at an earlier "review". There are concerns that further cuts will harm recycling and lead to more fly-tipping which will cost local taxpayers to clear as this is a district council responsibility. Picture - Rupert Read with James Abbott and Bob Wright at Witham Recycling Centre.

The County Council is also "consulting" on School Crossing Patrols. The current ECC plans are to make schools pay for the 54 patrols sited on zebra crossings if they want to keep them. But ECC has made it clear in a letter to schools that the WHOLE service could be at risk. The price tag to schools is nearly £6,000 a year per crossing patrol. Rupert Read is strongly backing Essex Green Councillors in their campaign to retain School Crossing Patrols in his role as Transport Spokesperson for the national Green Party.

Greens are continuing to press for rail improvements. A long-discussed passing loop on the Braintree Branch line could double capacity and lead to reduced commuter parking pressure at Witham. Picture - Rupert Read with James Abbott at the branch line just north of Witham station.
At the 2009 European elections Rupert Read was just 1% short of winning the 7th seat in Eastern Region under the proportional representation system used.  

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Don't cut the tube staff!

London Assembly Member Darren Johnson and Eastern Region MEP lead-candidate Rupert Read come to Epping Forest to campaign against tube office closures.


For photo opportunities join us at Epping Station at 10am, or in Epping High Street outside St Johns Church at 10.30am.


Darren Johnson and Rupert Read are to join Epping Forest Green Party members to campaign against London Underground Ticket Office Closures next Monday 7th April at 10am. They will meet with residents with a petition to save our ticket offices. Dr Read said says 'the London Mayor's, Boris Johnsons, plans to close all London Underground ticket offices and cut 950 staff are a big mistake. His broken pledge to keep ticket offices open has led to strikes and if Boris Johnson gets his way, passengers face disruption and a poorer service for years to come.'

 Closing ticket offices which are only used by 3 per cent of passengers does not sound much of a problem, but this translates to over 100,000 people a day needing assistance to sort out issues which machines can't solve. Ticket offices provide a reassuring focus point where you know you can find someone – somebody to help disabled or elderly passengers down to the platform, to take charge in an emergency, to offer directions or help victims of crime. 


District candidate for Buckhurst Hill East, Steven Neville, says 'No other party locally seems to be the slightest bit concerned about this. Only the Greens are standing up to the London Mayor's plans. This will affect 5 out of 6 stations in our area. Yes there is some merit in the idea of using technology to make staff more accessible but this has not been properly thought through.'  Darren adds 'With record numbers using the tube and a massive predicted increase in passenger numbers these cuts to staffing are unnecessary, unsafe and unworkable. I know that Rupert Read will make an excellent MEP who will stand up for the people of Essex on issues like this that really matter to them."

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Lead Green Euro candidate to visit Essex Monday 7th April:

This coming Monday, I am visiting Essex. I'll start in Epping Forest in the morning; campaigning on cuts to tube office staff numbers alongside Darren Johnson A.M., who has commented today: "I know that Rupert Read will make an excellent MEP who will stand up for the people of Essex on issues like this that really matter to them."
...I'll then head to Witham:
I will visit Witham during the afternoon and will accompany Cllr. James Abbott, Leader of the Green Group on Essex County Council and County Member for Witham Northern, to view public facilities facing potential service cuts, including Witham Recycling Centre.
Conservative run Essex County Council has already made funding cuts to Youth Services and Children's Centres and now is "consulting" on cuts to school crossing patrols and Recycling Centres.
The Greens have strongly opposed these cuts which are increasingly affecting Essex residents.
The Green Party has had 2 MEPs since 1999 and is working hard to increase its numbers at the European elections on May 22nd, which are held using a form of PR. Eastern Region is a key area for a potential Green gain, with me having been just 1% short of being elected in 2009, the last time the elections were held.
Since then the number of Green councillors and the number of councils the Greens are represented on has increased. In Suffolk and Essex a notable trend has been for Greens to win seats from sitting Conservatives.
...Finally in the evening I will address a public meeting on Europe hosted by Colchester Green Party.

Cameron's flippant and ignorant response to smog is disgraceful says Green MEP

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has sought to avoid taking any blame for the smog currently hitting the UK.


In an interview BBC1 Mr Cameron said:


"I didn't go for my morning run this morning. I chose to do some work instead. You can feel it.

But it's a naturally occurring weather phenomenon. It sounds extraordinary, Saharan dust, but that is what it is."


Mr Cameron's comments come despite officials from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs saying that the UK's pollution problem was partly to blame. Yesterday a Defra spokesperson said:


"The high level of air pollution this week is due to a combination of local emissions, light winds, pollution from the continent and dust blown over from the Sahara."


Keith Taylor, a Green Party Member of the European Parliament and Clean Air Campaigner, responded to David Cameron's comments. He said:


"In the last 10 years nearly 300,000 people have died because of air pollution in the UK, that's the equivalent of a city the size of Newcastle.


Yet, despite the ongoing threat of air pollution and the fact that the EU is taking legal proceedings against the UK on this issue, the Prime Minister has the audacity to lay the entire blame for the smog on Saharan dust.


We know that the dust was a contributing factor, and one which we have no control over. But the Government also know that 80 people die every day in the UK because of air pollution, and that we simply aren't doing enough to tackle the smog coming from our cars and factories.


The Prime Minister's flippant response to this invisible killer is utterly disgraceful. Officials from his own Government are saying that local air pollution is part of the reason for the smog we're breathing in, yet he's blaming it all on Saharan Dust.


The reason the EU is taking legal action against the UK is that the government simply isn't doing enough to tackle the problem. We need urgent action on air pollution. That means cutting down the diesel fumes in our towns and cities, and investing in clean, affordable public transport options.


David Cameron needs to stop shirking responsibility and start taking action now on air pollution. To wilfully ignore this threat to our health is unforgivable."


1) 29,000 people die every year because of air pollution: http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1317137020357

Wednesday, 2 April 2014




It's organised by End Hunger Fast, a campaign
supported by the Trussell Trust, Church Action Poverty, the Quakers and
Just Fair.

Green Party Euro-election candidate Rupert Read will
undertake a dawn-to-dusk fast. For much of that time he'll sit at a café
table at Rainbow Wholefoods in Norwich city centre. But he won't be
eating any of the delicious food. Instead he'll be speaking to
passers-by about hunger as he drinks only water.

Dr Read is soon to
publish a report on the use of foodbanks in the east region. It will

    * There are now 39 food banks in the East operated by the
Trussell Trust, plus a further 16 non-Trussell food banks.

    * The growth of Food Banks is linked to welfare reform and to rising food

    * In the East, there are 33,622 people who are affected by
the Bedroom Tax, and 1,759 by the Housing Benefit cap. Of the 690,410
families who receive child benefit and are therefore affected by its
capping, 104,000 have three or more children to support.

    * Benefits sanctions have been issued in the East against 61,797 claimants between
October 2012 and September 2013 under the new regime, compared to just
under 19,080 for the region in the whole of 2008.

    * The average cost of welfare reform to a household has been estimated at £1615 a year (£31 a week).

    * Food prices have doubled in the past 10 years, according
to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). A survey by _Which?_
magazine in September found that 41% of people were experiencing
increased stress levels due to rising food prices. 29% of people were
struggling to buy enough food for themselves or their household. A
survey in 2012 by 'Netmums' found one in five mothers regularly skip
meals to provide food for their children.

    * Shockingly, the number of
people in the East treated for malnutrition has risen from 209 in 2008
to 331 in 2012.

Rupert Read said:

"By joining the End Hunger Fast
campaign on Friday I'll be calling on the government to make sure that
the welfare system actually does its job of providing a robust last line
of defence against hunger in this country, that work pays enough for
people to properly provide for their families and that food is marketed
in a way which allows people to afford a healthy diet.

"The notion
which the government seems to have, that welfare recipients can mitigate
the reductions they've seen in benefits payments by finding work or
moving to a smaller home is true for only a very small proportion of
people. It is shameful that the consequence has been that more people in
this country are facing hunger."

Details about the
fast campaign may be found here: http://endhungerfast.co.uk/

Government shares the blame for the smog, says MEP-candidate

The smog just Saharan dust, it's from our cars and factories too, says MEP
- Green MEP lambasts Government record on air pollution

As Eastern England is hit by a wave of smog today the Green Party's lead-MEP-candidate is calling on the Government to do more to tackle air pollution.

The smog is caused by a combination of local air pollution, particles being blown from Europe and Saharan dust.

A Defra spokeswoman said: "The high level of air pollution this week is due to a combination of local emissions, light winds, pollution from the continent and dust blown over from the Sahara."

Rupert Read, lead Green MEP-candidate here in the East, said:

"We must not let the Government or local authorities hide behind the 'saharan dust' as they try to escape blame for a pollution problem that they're failing to take seriously. 29,000 people die in this country every year because of air pollution, it's high time politicians start taking responsibility."

Keith Taylor, the Green Party's MEP for the neighbouring region of South East England said:

"When pollution levels are this high it is vital that people with health problems take it easy and follow government guidelines.

But, it's also important that at times like this we focus our attention on those responsible for air pollution episodes. We know that part of the problem is caused by Saharan dust but we also know that the UK has an abysmal record in tackling air pollution in our towns and cities. The smog isn't just from the Sahara, it's from our cars and factories too.

The reason that the EU is taking legal proceedings against our Government over air pollution is that we simply aren't doing enough to protect people from this public health threat."

According to forecasts from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) the levels of pollutants in the air in some parts of our Region will be at the highest level possible on the measuring scale.

Forecasts, available on the Defra website, show that pollution is set to be at 'level 10'. At this level of pollution the Government advise people to reduce strenuous exercise and those with medical conditions to avoid activity wherever possible.

Last month Keith Taylor MEP suggested that free public transport should be made available on days with high pollution to cut the number of vehicles on the road. He made the proposal after the city of Paris provided free public transport to cut smog levels.

Mr Taylor also highlighted the international nature of the air pollution threat. He said:
"This smog, which is affecting Northern France as well as Southern Britain, shows just how important it is that we work with out European neighbours in creating laws that protect our environment and our health.

Here in the UK we need to take urgent action to reduce pollution levels. That means cutting the number of vehicles in our town centres, especially those with diesel engines and it means seriously investing in alternatives to travelling by car."


1)      The pollution forecast is available here: http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/forecasting/
2)      Health warnings for air pollution episodes: http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/air-pollution/daqi

1. 2. 3. Rupert's Read: April 2014 4. 12. 15. 18. 19. 20. 21.

Rupert's Read

22. 23. 31. 32.