ICM poll: Greens on cusp of historic victory in Euro-election

The latest ICM/Guardian poll

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/12/support-labour-drops-tories-lead-guardian-icm-poll?CMP=twt_gu makes some very encouraging reading for the Green Party:"ICM…asked…about voting intentions for nextweek's European elections. With only 37% of electors suggesting they arecertain to cast their ballot, such projections inescapably depend on fewerrespondents than those for Westminster."The Tories are up two on April, which puts them on 27%, and in a virtual dead heat with Ukip, which has bounced up four in the European stakes to stand at 26%. Labour sinks by 12 points on April, to 24%, with appreciable proportions of the party's 2010 votes moving to Ukip and the GREENS. "Together with Lib Dem defectors – Clegg's party languishes on 7% – this helps push the GREENS up four and into a clear fourth place, on 10%." Overall there has been a gradual upward movement in most polls (seelink, showing that we have momentum: pic.twitter.com/zX9vSNxWlB ) and if we reach the 10% thre

shold, then we'llbe seeing the first Green MEP being elected next Thursday on May 22nd! And that would be me…Caroline Lucas was first elected in 1999 by a margin of 0.01%… Every vote counts…

Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation to Split into two following campaign by Green Party members

Lord Lawson’s ‘Global Warming Policy Foundation’ to split into two, following campaign by Green Party members
Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is to split into two following a campaign led by Green Party members in the East of England to expose breaches of its charity status. 
James Abbott, Essex Green Party County Councillor and former Science Spokesperson for the Green Party, provided the Charity Commission with regular reports on the activities of the GWPF.
The GWPF has enjoyed the status of an “educational charity”, which brings tax advantages.
However research by Greens revealed that the output of the organisation via its website was almost entirely anti-Green, pro-fossil fuel and ‘climate sceptic’. Not only that, but James Abbott revealed a repeating pattern of the GWPF taking published articles and papers from around the world and changing the titles to give them more of an anti-green flavour. When asking a number of authors and publications if the GWPF had their permission to do this, the answer was always “no”.
The GWPF today announced:

London, 9 May: The Global Warming Policy Foundation has decided to form a new non-charitable company which will be able to conduct campaigns and activities which do not fall squarely within the educational remit of the charity.

This arrangement reflects those used by other organisations with dual structures, such as Amnesty International UK and Greenpeace UK.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation will continue to advance its charitable objects by commissioning and publishing reports and papers and by organising lectures and debates on key matters relating to climate science and policy.

Some elements of its website, in particular its news articles and opinion pieces, will henceforth be covered by the new organisation.

The Trustees intend to establish this new organisation under the name “Global Warming Policy Forum”.

Subject to ongoing discussions with the Charity Commission, we expect the new structure to be up and running by the end of July.



Dr. Rupert Read, Lead Green candidate for the European Election in Eastern region said

“The campaign that James Abbott and I have been running for a while now to expose the GWPF as a dogmatic and politically-charged cliamte-deniallist organisation that is unfit for charitable status seems to have finally borne fruit. This is a happy day.”

Cllr. James Abbott said:

“The Global Warming Policy Foundation, is separating into two so that its anti-green, fossil-fuel-promoting campaigning activities are kept apart from its charity status.

It looks like after more than a year of requests from Green Party members to the Charity Commission to investigate the GWPF, they are now requiring the GWPF to cease using its charity status as a platform for its lobbying activities.

This will be an embarrassment for Lord Lawson and the climate sceptic community who have long held up the GWPF as a ‘credible’ vehicle for their views.”


[The Greens in] Europe – facts, not fiction


There is too much rubbish in the British media about the EU. So I’ve penned this straightforward account of the Greens in the EU:


MEPs in the European parliament are usually members of national political parties and may also be members of transnational European parties. The UK’s Green MEPs are members of the European Green Party. MEPs also join voting blocks or coalitions, known as parliamentary groups. MEPs from the Green Party of England and Wales (as well as MEPs from Plaid Cymru and the SNP) are members of the Greens/European Free Alliance. The group is largely made up of MEPs from the Green parties of various EU member states, as well as other parties with similar goals.


Greens/EFA is the forth-largest parliamentary group in Europe, with 58 MEPs sitting in the current parliament. It is larger than both the Tories’ group (ECR), and the UK Independence Party’s group (EFD).


The European Green Party candidates for Commission President are José Bové and Ska Keller. In an innovative move, it has nominated two people, a man and a woman, as our choice for the job. Greens have decided that, given the importance of gender diversity among the most senior EU positions, the candidates will share the role should the Greens come out on top in May.


José Bové, from Bordeaux in France, is best known for his work campaigning for a more positive vision of Globalisation. He made headlines in 1999 when he organised a direct-action initiative to halt the construction of a McDonalds restaurant in southwest France. He is a powerful voice for those who want to see the global economic system work in the interest of ordinary people, not just big business, through measures from immigrant rights to trade regulations that support local communities.


Ska Keller, from Guben on the German boarder with Poland, became an MEP in 2009 at the age of 27, and is a firm believer in the power of democracy to bring about real change. Her academic background is in Islamic Studies and she is currently heavily involved in debates on the democratic crisis in Turkey and Turkey’s relationship with the EU. She is also instrumental in orchestrating the Green’s opposition the TTIP trade agreement, which threatens environmental and social standards, and in speaking out for the interests of the developing world its relations with the EU.


Green campaigning and voting influence has achieved the successes in the European Parliament including:


·         A cap on bankers’ bonuses.

Bankers are now unable to earn a bonus of more than 100% of their annual salary, largely thanks to the work of Green MEP Philippe Lamberts.

·         Access for all young people to the European Social Fund.

Support for education, training and voluntary organisations, targeting areas with high unemployment.

·         Passing the Energy Efficiency Directive

Legal target to reduce carbon emissions by 20% by 2020

·         Consistent measuring of human rights progress across all EU countries

·         Ban on testing cosmetics on animals

·         Protection of the countryside

Including supporting farmers, banning bee-killing toxins and promoting seed biodiversity.

·         Groundwater monitoring to ensure companies can be held accountable for environmental damage caused by “Fracking”.

·         More efficient asylum processes

Fighting to ensuring equal access to human rights protections, and introducing protections for vulnerable persons and the victims of torture.


A key battleground for the Greens in the next parliament will be opposing the TTIP trade agreement (also known as TAFTA). This is an attempt to create a US-EU trade area in such a way that European trade laws and protections will be overwritten by a new agreement with the US. American multinationals trading in the EU will be given the power to bypass both national and European law if it is deemed to be impeding trade according to the terms of the agreement. Greens oppose the lack of transparency surrounding these negotiations; we feel the deal cuts at the very core of European democracy, and threatens to destroy all the environmental protections and consumer rights that we have won in Europe.


Another key policy area is the fight for digital rights. In this last parliament, Greens helped to block the ACTA treaty, which threatened to allow private companies the ability to track the activities of internet users with no due legal process. Now, Greens are supporting legislation on tough data protection, which would prevent the UK government from carrying out their planned sale of HMRC and NHS data to private companies. Ultimately, Greens support the introduction of a Digital Bill of Rights, so companies and governments can be held to account for online snooping and phone tapping.


In the longer term, Greens are fighting for a socially just Europe, including ensuring labour standards are enforced across Europe to prevent “social dumping”, an end to zero-hour contracts, a living wage, and legally binding social justice targets to raise standards in all member states. This will counteract “brain-drain” and unsustainable migration patterns to the benefit of every state. Most importantly, Greens will continue to work towards a Green New Deal, supporting investment in green technology to create thousands of new highly skilled jobs for a sustainable and resilient economy of the future.


Now former eastern England Labour MEP Hugh Kerr calls for a Green vote in the East!:

Hugh Kerr (Labour MEP for Essex West and Hertfordshire East 1994-99) commented this morning (on Facebook), on hearing the news about former MP Ian Gibson’s endorsement of me for the European Elections (http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/former_labour_mp_gives_his_backing_to_the_greens_in_the_east_1_3588157): 
“Ian Gibson is a good man sacrificed by Labour because he was a critic of New Labour. As a former Labour MEP for the Eastern Region I also call for a vote for the Green Party in the Eastern Region. Feel free to use that.”

My letter in the Guardian: ‘Caroline Lucas and I doubt Labour’s rail re-nationalisation claim’

So, a letter from 30 Labour prospective parliamentary candidates calls on Ed Miliband to make public ownership of the railways a key part of Labour policy. After many years of being in government, sitting and watching the privatised rail monopolies rake in huge profits, is Labour about to do something? Or at least to “consider” doing something? The British public have been down this road before with Labour and they have been let down time and again. Caroline Lucas has a bill in the Commons right now calling for exactly this policy. This is a flagship Green party policy, central to our agenda. Labour is simply stumbling falteringly toward something that voters can already plump for in unadulterated form by voting Green.
Rupert Read National Green party transport spokesperson Caroline Lucas MP

Read it here: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/may/05/labour-rail-nationalisation

Norfolk launch of ‘Hunger in the East’ report:

 Green Party lead MEP-candidate visits inspiring Yarmouth food bank.

Pictured: Rupert Read presenting his report outside the Yarmouth food bank; Rupert Read discussing with food bank situation in Yarmouth with Ben Selfe, corps leader of the Yarmouth Salvation Army who run the food bank.

Rupert Read visited the Salvation-Army-run food bank in Yarmouth yesterday, to mark the Norfolk launch of his Party’s report on foodbanks in East Anglia.

Commented Dr. Read:
“It was really inspiring and heartening to meet the hard-working team at the Salvation Army food bank in Yarmouth this lunchtime. Being shown around, I could see clearly the complexity – and the importance – of the task confronting them. And they were executing that task, as far as I could see, with unfailing good humour and expertise.
“In the longer term, we need also to do things that reduce the need of so many of our fellow human beings now for food banks. Solutions that I’m talking about in my report include reducing the level of benefit-sanctioning that is forcing so many to reach out for help from food banks, and making opportunities for food-growing more widely available to more people so that more of us can be less reliant on the mercy of others and more reliant on our own resources.”