Solidarity with the shoe-thrower!

So: I have just been down to the local Post Office, and sent my old shoes in the mail to Bush and Brown…

I am now going to email Bush and Brown, and let them know WHY they are getting old shoes through the post from me (also so that their postal staff know to expect them… and maybe a lot more besides just mine, if the idea picks up steam!).


Green Councillors across Eastern Region are calling for a package of measures to help people beat the economic crunch, widely expected to be hitting hard in 2009.

Councils can take steps to help householders and businesses both directly, and indirectly through better advice on energy saving. Greens are proposing a ten point plan for 2009.

Cllr. Rupert Read, Prospective Green MEP for Eastern Region said

“The Green New Deal, which Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas helped to develop, offers a substantial and realistic way of helping people through hard times whilst at the same time helping to tackle the big environmental issue of our day – climate change. The incoming new US President is proposing a similar approach.

Yet the UK Government’s focus appears to be a short term spend-now-pay-later policy which will take the UK’s finances into even more dangerous territory. Trying to get people to spend more in the shops on the back of a VAT cut will result in more imports due to the UK’s manufacturing base now being so small.

The Greens want to see real long term investment in our communities, to help local shops and businesses, lower people’s energy bills and make public transport better and cheaper. These are sound, substantial measures to help build a more sustainable future – good for the environment and the economy.”

The Green 10 point plan for 2009

  • Councils to broaden their assistance to households to secure better insultation and to help generate their own green energy with the aim of curbing fossil fuel emissions and lowering bills.
  • Councils to provide more allotments so that more people can grow their own low cost healthy local food.
  • Councils to use planning powers to help secure more affordable housing and develop premises for local manufacturing, particularly in redeveloping vacant previously used sites – this will boost local jobs.
  • Transport authorities to work with bus companies to improve services and lower fares, giving people more choices to using cars – this will lower pollution and cut fuel bills.
  • Councils to review their own energy use and invest to save by using timers and sensors to switch off lights and appliances when not in use – this will help to lower Council Tax.
  • Councils to expand recycling facilities to allow more people to recycle more things. Better recycling will cut landfill tax costs and stave off ill-conceived plans for highly expensive, polluting waste incinerators.
  • Better advice to householders to help them save quickly and simply on electricity bills, such as by fitting low cost sensors on outside lights so they are only on when needed.
  • Highways authorities to invest more in walking and cycling schemes so that people do not need to use their cars so much on short journeys – this will also help people save on fuel bills.
  • Education authorities to make it much easier for school children and college students to access public transport, wherever they live. This will cut the school run, curb congestion and lower fuel costs for motorists.
  • Councils to do whatever they can, including working with holding companies, to keep rentals on local shops, pubs and post offices as low as possible.

We can win at the Euro elections!

As the year comes to an end, thoughts turn to politics in 2009. The next big electoral test for the Green Party is in less than six months – the European Elections. Proportional representation at this election means that every vote counts. 

To get our region’s first Green MEP we need only win over a few thousand voters from each of the LibDems, Labour and UKIP. In total we should only need 10% of the vote. It is that simple.
We are looking to gain votes from all sides. We expect to win a lot of votes that the LibDems got in 2004 – we have come a long way in this region since then, and they have slipped back. But we also expect to take Labour votes, with the government unpopular and partly responsible for a dreadful recession. Conservative-leaning voters who actually want to CONSERVE things — rather than to rip up the countryside and pollute the wholoe country, as Conservatives do when they are in power — would be well-advised to support us…and UKIP won two seats last time! We are aiming to take at least one of those. 
The key issue for me is the need for a ‘Green new deal’ – a green jobs revolution to stabilise the economy, stop the spectre of mass unemployment, generate long term savings (on fuel, for example), and help our environment in the process. We will also be talking quite a lot in the campaign about British Green Party MEPs’ strong record on ethics and integrity, how to end the wasting of time and money in Strasbourg, and the scandalous amount of corporate lobbying in Brussels.

Visit to Chelmsford

I will be visiting Chelmsford tomorrow, on Saturday, 20th December.

I will arrive at Anchor Street, Old Moulsham, at 2.30 pm and will be canvassing along roads in that area. I will be pleased to explain the Green Party’s policies on Europe and on much more besides, and answer any questions.

Rupert Read Green Party Councillor, Norwich, and Lead Candidate for Eastern Region for the Greens in the 2009 Euro-elections. DID YOU KNOW: A vote of about 10% across Eastern Region on June 4 2009 would be enough to get me elected to the European Parliament…

Stansted: a reflection

The key question, in relation to protsts like that at Stansted last week, is:

which side are you on? Are you on the side of big corporations profiteering from completely unsustainable climate-destructive behaviour? Or are you on the side of people with no vested interests just making a non-violent stand, at considerable cost to their own time and money, for the sake of all our futures?

It doesn’t seem to me a hard judgement to make…

Rupert Read
Green Party Councillor, Norwich, and Lead Candidate for Eastern Region for the Greens in the 2009 Euro-elections.

DID YOU KNOW: A vote of about 10% across Eastern Region on June 4 2009 would be enough to get me elected to the European Parliament…

Fair Trade now!

The economic crisis is starting to hit people all over the East of England, and all over the world. But those in the ‘developing ‘ world are especially vulnerable. With developing countries refusing to sign up to the World Trade Organisation’s ‘neo-liberal’ agenda, that would see their future unfairly sold off for the profit of European businesses, the EU is now bypassing multilateral trade talks and instead is bullying poor countries and regions into trading with it directly. The EU forces unfair conditions on developing world farmers and suppliers that will ensure they stay in poverty just so that the West can have cheap goods, even they are low quality and produced on the back of misery.

However, the current evidence is clear: Neo-liberalism has failed. The world fashioned from the unscrupulous depths of Thatcher and Reagan economics has come crashing down. People around the world, from Nairobi to Norwich, are realising that another world is possible. Free trade has made the poor poorer, concentrated the global wealth into fewer hands and made made sure perpetual poverty shrouds developing world farmers and producers.

We in the Green Party support Fair Trade over ‘Free’ Trade. With ‘Fair Trade’, producers in developing countries are guaranteed a fair wage for their produce and decent conditions in which to work. It offers those that work hard the chance to lift themselves out of poverty. This is right, and that is fair. It is inspiring to see how we can make a difference in an everyday way for people in the global community. 

Through Fair Trade, we can all make a difference and guarantee a better deal for third world producers which, ultimately, benefits us all.  As a Green Party MEP I will support Fair Trade against aggressive multinational supermarkets and unfair trade deals in the European Union.

In this season of goodwill, we need above all to show goodwill toward those over whom we have economic power, and who we can therefore help the most, by treating them fairly.