UKIP scandals: present and past, nationally and here in the East

Very reminiscent of the scandal from soon after the last Euro-elections in 2009, when our local UKIP MEP Stuart Agnew was caught on camera by an undercover reporter advocating illegal donations to UKIP:
It’s extraordinary that Agnew got away with this; perhaps he won’t get away with it at the polls, now that more and more people are realising that UKIP and dodgy financial activity seem to be linked at the hip.

TIME TEAM HELEN IN BURY AS GREENS LOOK TO FUTURE

Green proposals for democratic reform build on Magna Carta  

Past meets future in Bury St Edmunds tomorrow (Tuesday March 11th) when Time Team archaeologist Dr Helen Geake joins east region lead Green Party candidate Rupert Read as part of his Euro election campaign.

The tv archaeologist, who’s also a Green Party member, will be meeting Dr Read at the Abbey Gate, close to where the Magna Carta was drafted eight hundred years ago.

Helen Geake said:

“The people who met that day in Bury St Edmunds were determined to make the king obey English law and to make justice available to all. Juries were to decide guilt or innocence, so for the first time in medieval England, ordinary people – not just the nobles – got involved.

 

“Improvements in rights and democracy are often slow. It took over 700 years after Magna Carta for women to get the right to vote or to sit on juries.  Remembering and celebrating these anniversaries will inspire us today to keep working to make all voices heard equally.”

 

Tomorrow, Rupert and Helen will be talking about the kind of 21st century democratic reform the Greens would like to see now, bringing a proportional representation voting system to all elections. Rupert Read said:

“For the European elections we do have a proper proportional voting system but most other elections in England are held using the first-past-the-post system which often produces lopsided results bearing little resemblance to voters’ intentions.

“There has been progress in bringing in fairer systems for the London Mayoral and Assembly elections, and for the Scottish parliament and local elections as well as in Northern Ireland. It is long overdue that proportional representation is extended to the English local councils and the UK parliament, the two most influential layers of government in our country. “

Rupert Read, a writer and lecturer on philosophy, believes the rights of future generations should be taken into account in present day decisions. He says a ‘super-jury’ of citizens chosen at random should act as guardians of future people. His work revisits the surviving strand of Magna Carta identified by Dr Geake,that of trial by jury. It also draws out the core principle of sustainability at the heart of much Green Party policy.

 Greens also oppose the political influence exerted by big business and very wealthy individuals. David Cameron made much of corporate lobbying abuses in the run up to the 2010 general election, but has since done nothing effective to reform how this subverts political decision making. In Westminster and Whitehall, and further afield in Brussels, corporate lobbying bypasses the interests of ordinary voters and small businesses.

Closely allied to this is the excessive national spending by big political parties, funded by wealthy individuals, trades unions and big business. Dr Read will be working in line with Green Party values to achieve a fairer society, where all voices are heard equally, regardless of financial status.

 

NOTES:

“Guardians for Future Generations”, the report by Rupert Read’s Greenhouse thinktank, may be found here: http://greenhousethinktank.org/files/greenhouse/home/Guardians_inside_final.pdf

BENEFITS REFUSALS DRIVING FOODBANK USE IN THE EAST

Shocking increase in “adverse decisions” under coalition 

The number of people in the east of England having their applications for benefits rejected has soared under the coalition government.

 

The Green Party believes this is one of the primary causes of the increased use of foodbanks. A Parliamentary select committee came to the same conclusion in January and called for an enquiry into inappropriate sanctions being imposed on claimants by Jobcentre Plus staff. They said staff should be incentivised to get people into work and not simply off benefits.

 

Lord Freud, the welfare reform minister, caused controversy when he recently told peers that more people were using the banks because more of them existed, and denied they were even part of the welfare system.

 

Green Party analysis of figures compiled by the Department for Work and Pensions reveal that “adverse decisions” against claimants for Job Seekers Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance in the east of England leapt from 19,000 to almost thirty thousand between 2008 and 2009. According to figures published on February 19th, by last year that number had doubled again to nearly sixty two thousand.

 

Rupert Read, Green Party lead candidate in the east at the May Euro-elections said:

 

“The Conservatives’ reputation as the nasty party is underlined by the way in which they seem to be forcing people off social security in order to save petty sums of money and thus sending them into the arms of a network of charitable foodbanks that are struggling to cope.

 

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Government could instead target the tens of billions that are being ripped off us all by a tiny minority of bankers and tax-evaders? That’s what the Greens will focus on, when we come to power.”

 

 

DWP figures for JSA/ESA “sanctions” in the East of England:

Year

Sanctions

2000

13060

2001

17000

2002

19200

2003

17300

2004

15070

2005

16280

2006

14950

2007

16720

2008

19080

2009

29960

2010

53650

2011

52170

2012

53970

(to Oct 2012)

2013

61797

(Oct 2012 – September 2013)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My call at Green Conference for a green Transport Revolution!

Why we need a public transport revolution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oW9kpt_B4U
Check out my (3 minute) Conference speech, calling for a transport revolution. I think you are going to like it! The audience at Conference certainly did!

Then please SHARE it… This needs a wide audience!
[This was btw as you can see part of Natalie Bennett’s Leader’s Speech at Conference – she generously gave part of her time to me and my fellow target region lead candidates.]

Talk from me in London on global over-heat and its philosophical and political meanings:

Global Warming – Where Do We Go From Here?

 

CFI UK and Conway Hall present

Radical suggestions and solutions on how to respond to the threat of global warming from some of the UK’s leading experts and campaigners.

 

April 12th, 2014

 

Conway Hall

Red Lion Square

London WC1R 4RL

Near Holborn Tube

 

£10 (£5 students) free to friends of CFI UK.

 

Tickets available online at:

 

10.30 Registration

 

11am Dr Mayer Hillman. Senior Fellow Emeritus, Policy Studies Institute, London. What do we do now that society is demonstrating all too clearly its strong preference for downplaying the significance and implications of climate change?

 

12.00 Dr Rupert Read. Philosopher and Green activist. Rupert will speak about global over-heat, the end of denialism, and the self-destruction of libertarianism in relation to this issue – and a possible way forward, in terms of guardians for future people.

 

(lunch)

 

1.45 Dr Vicky Pope. The Met Office. Vicky was a founding member of the Met Office Hadley Centre and is a member of the Advisory Board on the UNEP early warning project on climate related hazards. She will present an overview of the latest science from the IPCC report and talk about its relevance for the UK. Vicky will give some idea of weather extremes we might expect.

 

2.45 Saci Lloyd is an Ecological activist and internationally-acclaimed writer. She is the author of Carbon Diaries.

 

3.45 End

 

CFI UK reserves the right to change the programme.

Caroline Lucas, from Parliamentary debate on managing flood risks

Some edited extracts below from the UK’s leading politician speaking for the environment, Caroline Lucas. Her speech, which the Minister [The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Dan Rogerson)] and the Shadow Minister [Barry Gardiner], strongly acknowledged in their concluding speeches, follows:
 
From the official Hansard report:
 
“The lessons that we need to learn from the recent floods are that our spending on flood protection is shockingly inadequate, and that we must not have Ministers who deny the link between the burning of fossil fuels, man-made climate change, extreme weather and enormous threats to our society – threats that the Government are exacerbating through their inequitable and unscientific climate targets, and their obsession with helping big   energy companies to extract every last drop of oil and gas that is out there.
“Crucially, there must be a fundamental shift towards seeking to work with nature, rather than against it. Not only would such an approach benefit wildlife and nature, but it is the best way to reduce our vulnerability to flooding and extreme weather events, and to increase our resilience. We know that allowing development on floodplains puts more people at risk. We also know that climate change is making extreme rainfall events more frequent and intense. We need solutions that work with nature, rather than against it.
“The Government’s ongoing attacks on the planning system are a real problem. Sensible, long-term development control in the public interest is being sacrificed at the altar of mindless, short-term GDP growth at any cost. Development on floodplains and in areas of high flood risk, not just now but for the lifetime of a housing development, needs a stronger, more accountable planning system.
“I object to the Secretary of State’s (for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles) view that the climate debate is polarised, as he claimed, between sceptics and zealots. Organisations such as the World Bank, the International Energy Agency, insurance industry bodies, the World Economic Forum and PwC have clearly paid a lot more attention to the science than he has. These organisations, which are not in any way environmentalist, are all warning that if we continue with business as usual and fail to make radical cuts to emissions, we are on course to seeing 4°, if not 6°, of climate change within our children’s lifetimes.
“If this Government want credibility as regards protecting the UK from the increased risk of flooding and other climate risks, we need radical action to cut emissions in line with both science and equity. That means leaving about 80% of known fossil fuels in the ground, not handing out tax breaks to companies to find and exploit yet more reserves of oil and gas that we cannot afford to burn. 
“It means not just accepting but strengthening the fourth carbon budget in line with the science, to secure the economic and employment benefits of leading the transition to a zero-carbon economy. It means leadership to ensure that action on climate change is not just an issue for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, but a top priority for all the Government.”

Green national conference unanimously votes in my motion on the floods and transport


——– Original Message ——–
Subject: EM
From: Zoe Hall <zoe.hall@greenparty.org.uk>
To: “Rupert Read (rupertread@fastmail.co.uk)” <rupertread@fastmail.co.uk>,”john@johnfrancismedia.co.uk” <john@johnfrancismedia.co.uk>
CC:

Greens vote for a transport revolution in response to floods

 

Green Party members have voted in favour of a ‘transport revolution’ to improve the UK’s flood resilience.

 

In an emergency motion presented by the Party’s lead candidate for the European Election in the Eastern Region

 

Full text of motion

A CALL FOR A TRANSPORT REVOLUTION,

in response to February’s floods

 EMERGENCY MOTION FROM RUPERT READ

 

 

__________________________________________________________

 

 

Conference notes the highly-damaging nature of this February’s unprecedented floods in southern England and believes that this heightens the need for a de-carbonising ‘transport revolution’ in the UK in order that the transport system reduces its contribution to climate chaos, and that it shows starkly the need to build greater resilience into our transport system (as shown dramatically by the washing away of the main rail line to the southwest peninsula of England, by the sea, in these storms, at Dawlish). We need a proper, joined-up railway system. With more resilience (as would be provided for by having alternative possible routes to most destinations).

Conference welcomes the call this month by North West and Eastern Region Green party for such a transport revolution and welcomes the specific call by SouthWest Green Party for an inland rail route to complement the route via Dawlish.

Conference therefore resolves :

·        To call for a transport revolution across Britain embodying the ideals outlined and mentioned above, and detailed in the recent reports produced by North West and Eastern Green Parties, and instructs the Press Office and GPEX to convey to the wider public and the media the content of this resolution.

·        To instruct the Party’s Transport two national Spokespeople to write to the Department of Transport suggesting that the events of the past month have shown the need for investment in a more diverse (multi-route) and resilient railway, and specifically suggesting the need for an inland route to Cornwall to complement that via Dawlish.

 

 

 

Proposed by

Rupert Read,   Norwich.

 

Supported by:

NAME:                                                                        LOCAL PARTY: