As you (as a reader of Rupert’s read) probably know, the new Planning Bill is very bad news for taking away the rights of objecting to new nuclear proposals and such major projects as incinerators or airports, and needs to be amended.
This will result in a system that is undemocratic, and which makes it very hard for you to get involved in planning decisions about big projects like roads, airports and nuclear power stations being built where you live.
Write to Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local
Government, asking her to re-think the new Bill – see
Take foreign policy: Outflanking Bush on Afghanistan is a pretty worrying sign. Never forget the very dangerous thing about Democrats: they generally spend ages (and money and lives) trying to prove their virility. Biden is a likely case in point.
Having said all that: if I were in a swing state today I would definitely have voted for Obama. McKinney [the Green candidate] has performed poorly in the campaign.: she has disappointed. There is some chance that tonight is a new start, and not merely a false dawn. The hope that has been generated by Obama’s extraodinary and mostly very clever campaign might yet be its own salvation: if it can be leveraged into a movement that stops Obama from selling out more than he already has, and maybe even pull him back some.
[A lot of course will depend on the Senate — that is what one should really watch closely tonight! I predict that the Democrats will come amazingly close to 60 seats.]
Cllr. Dr. Rupert Read, 2009 Green Party prospective MEP for the East, is lending his support to students from Cambridge, Norwich and across the Region protesting against the £100 million cut in student grants, announced by the Universities Secretary John Denham (1) last week. The cuts will affect thousands of students from middle-income families in the East. Cllr. Read described the cuts as ‘penny-pinching our students’ futures’, and instead called for the return of free, universal higher education.
On Wednesday, November 5th students from the University where Dr. Read teaches, the University of East Anglia (Norwich) will be joining students from all over East Anglia to demonstrate in Cambridge over this important issue that affects the wallets of many families here. Dr. Read played a leading role in the (just-unsuccessful) campaign to stop top-up fees being introduced under Charles Clarke, then Education Secretary. Dr. Read will be travelling tomorrow with students from UEA by coach and has been invited to speak at the rally in Cambridge.
Cllr. Read said:
"The Green Party have long campaigned hard against the Government's gradual privatisation of higher and further education funding provision. We will continue to do so until higher education is treated as a human right and not as a privilege to be bought by the wealthiest at the expense of the poorest. Just as children of all parents should get medical treatment on the NHS, so children of all parents shouldn't be charged to continue education past 16.
"Higher and further education is central to the social mobility of a society. The Government makes great claims about giving people the opportunity to better themselves, but by introducing and retaining fees and abolishing student grants it has potentially put some of the brightest off, just because they can't afford to reach 21 and be saddled with thousands of pounds of debt.
"Is it any wonder that a recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report on Britain's stiflingly low levels of social mobility led to stinging criticism (2). The report stated that 'what your parents earned when you were a child has much more effect on your own earnings than in more mobile countries'; a damning verdict on our Government's insistence on charging for education.
"The Government is penny-pinching our children's futures."
Notes for editors
RR’s talk on ‘Green Politics and Green Philosophy’, 16 Oct. 08 – Enjoy!