Palin’s incoherence on dangerous climate change

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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

Those who perpetrated this violent act are of course to be condemned thoroughly and the police to be encouraged in their ongoing work of bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Mr. McGarahan’s murder is symptomatic of a society which has in some cases grown selfish and materialistic in its prosperity.  The greatest honour we could pay the courageous Mr. McGarahan is to prevent similar tragedies ever happening again. 
To prevent incidents like this re-occurring we need to examine just why a group of adults in a reasonably wealthy society should feel the need to quasi-randomly beat another man to death.  This awful event makes plain how strong is the need for a change from a selfish, materialistic, Thatcherite society to one that is more caring, compassionate and peaceful, and where we treat each other as neighbours and not as a competitive threat. We surely need to look at how to change our society itself so that events like this no longer blight the towns and streets of East Anglia.

The roots of the B&B fiasco…

I can’t get over the fact that Bradford and Bingley were still this week parading the bowler-hatted advertising icons around on TV, even while it was obvious to all that they had quite shamefully shredded their supposed reputation for sobriety and reliability…
 
 How about this conversation ‘from the archives’…:
“Let’s demutualise, Mr. Bradford.”
“A capital idea, Mr. Bingley. It will deliver us lots of cash and an exciting new business-plan…”
“And with our solid and bankable reputation, how can it possibly go wrong, Mr. Bradford…”

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:

 

 http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/d-j-taylor-all-roads-lead-to-the-a11-944647.html

 

INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY    28 SEPTEMBER 2008

D J Taylor: ‘All roads lead to the A11’

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

 * The pageant of vested interests, pundits and ginger-group spokesmen that habitually comes together to promote social or economic change is particularly noticeable at a local level, where the levers of power are more accessible and the policy forums more direct. Here in the Norfolk boondocks, the newspapers have been in a tremendous lather about the long-standing campaign to dual-carriage the A11, the principal conduit between East Anglia and the Home Counties. Politicians have signed up, a hundred businessmen had their names printed in the ‘Eastern Daily Press’, and the general implication was that anyone not keen on the inevitable “economic benefits” the scheme would bring was a sort of futile half-wit. Doubtless at some point – a very remote point, you imagine – and at vast public and environmental expense, the A11 will be dualled, but it will not be because anyone asked the local people if they wanted it done.

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 Oldham constituencies and seeing the expression of horror on the face of Michael Meacher MP when it was revealed that 10,000 people had voted for the BNP candidates. It was a scandal, Meacher declared. The real scandal was that 10,000 people had so little confidence in the democratic system that they ended up voting for some fascist goblin.

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!

This is quite interesting:
http://blog.bbcgreen.com/2008/09/29/will-the-green-party-ever-be-taken-seriously
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
government.
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
group.
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
us.
Next stop (for the Party): Westminster!

Another reflection on last night’s Council meeting

Anyone interested in the realities of what being a LibDem, Labour or Conservative tends to boil down to in contemporary Britain should have sat in Norwich City Council Chamber last night, as Councillors from these Parties formed a mutual admiration society and wallowed in negative rhetoric against us for daring to oppose one of their pet road-building projects. See my previous post on this, here:
http://rupertread.org/rupertread.org/wordpress/?p=1254
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…

Last night’s sad debate at Norwich City Council between the Dinosaur Party
(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,
living amidst more noise and pollution, less healthy, with fewer vibrant small businesses and more
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!

 
I will be among a substantial group presenting a petition of about 14,000 signatures to officials at County Hall, this Friday afternoon, to save Fritton Woods:
 
Time and Place:
Date:
Friday, October 3, 2008
Time:
2:45pm – 3:15pm
Location:
Entrance to COUNTY HALL,
Street:
Martineau Lane,
Norwich, United Kingdom.
 
 Fritton Wood is far too precious to lose to quarrying for aggregates, which is what the County is potentially planning for it. This is a superb landscape in the Broads area — there is no way that Fritton should be used up and thrown away in this way. I am proud to be one of the huge number of petitioners who are standing firm against this plan.
 
Come and join me!

Green Euro Candidate says, ‘keep Hinchingbrooke public!’

‘Keep Hinchingbrooke Hospital public,’ was the message from the Green Party’s prospective MEP for this region on a visit to Huntingdon.

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.