Category Archives: #BlogNor09

The ‘Green Snowball’ Event!

“Green Snowball” – low carbon campaigning in action – Monday 20th

Green Party European election candidates and supporters took trains to London on Monday 20th April to campaign right across the six counties of Eastern Region.

Starting at first from Norwich, Clacton and Peterborough, the Greens headed for London, taking the train to key stations on the network and stopping for an hour or so to deliver leaflets and canvass local residents. 

Along the way, candidates and supporters joined at many more towns including Luton, St. Albans, Bedford, Stowmarket, Ipswich, Witham and Chelmsford. The plan was to visit up to 50 stations on 7 routes, with supporters joining up along the way – a “snowball” effect as more and more supporters joined in the fun on the way to London.

Launch of our Euro campaign! [Media release]

GREENS’ EURO ELECTION CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF!
 
Two of the country’s best known green campaigners will help to launch the Green Party’s Eastern Region Euro Election campaign in Cambridge on Thursday 23rd April at 7pm outside the Senate House in central Cambridge.
 
Sir Jonathan Porritt, Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission and Tony Juniper (1), recent Executive Director of Friends of the Earth will be heading up the endorsement of Dr. Rupert Read and the six other candidates on the Green Party’s list for the Euro Elections on June 4th.
 
Rupert Read said
 
“All the parties seem to be trying to paint themselves with a green gloss, but its a thin veneer to try and cover their unsustainable business-as-usual policies. The Green Party has consistently put forward a vision of a genuinely sustainable future over many decades. It is welcome, and significant, that two of the most respected green spokespersons in the country see in the Greens a party that has both the vision and the policies to deliver a green economy, to actually improve the environment and the quality of life for people.”
 
Tony Juniper added
 
“I have been heavily involved in putting together the Green New Deal programme. If we are to have a vibrant, fair and environmentally economy to take the country forward we have to have politicians, in Brussels, in Westminster, in local councils who look beyond the next opinion poll, think of more than their own personal prospects and see that public office makes one responsible for the future of our children and our childrens’ children. That’s why Jonathon and I are here today.”
 
The launch and associated activity starts at 7pm outside the Senate House in central Cambridge on Thursday 23rd April. There will be an important announcement made about the nature of the Green Party’s campaign in Eastern Region, at this time.

Greens vow to step up campaign against new nuclear plants in East Anglia [News release]

As expected, list of sites for possible deployment by 2025 includes Bradwell and Sizewell

 
The list of potential sites for new nuclear power stations announced recently (1) includes both Bradwell in Essex and Sizewell in Suffolk, as was widely expected.
 
Public consultation lasts just 1 month, and there is bound to be widespread concern as to whether any level of public response will change any decisions, compounded by the new national planning regime which will take decision making away from local communities and hand it over to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC)  (2).
 
Following the assessment period, sites that are “found to be suitable for the development of new nuclear power stations” will be listed in a draft Nuclear National Policy statement.

The Green Party has long campaigned against nuclear power due to its high cost and the unsolved problems with radioactive waste and risks of radioactive discharges. There also remains a small, but real risk of a catastrophic accident or terrorist attack, which could cause huge loss of life and result in large areas of East Anglia becoming uninhabitable.
 
Only recently, the operators of the Bradwell nuclear power station were found guilty of having allowed discharges of radioactive material over long periods into the estuary of the River Blackwater. Coastal nuclear sites are more vulnerable to flooding as sea-levels rise faster than IPCC predictions, combined with an increase in extreme weather conditions.

The Greens are also dismayed that concentration on nuclear power by the Labour Government will take available investment and infrastructure away from renewables. A new generation of nuclear power stations would use valuable coastal high-capacity connectors to the grid, connectors which would otherwise be used for offshore wind, wave and tidal, making it more likely that the UK will miss legal commitments on renewables for 2020. Eastern Region Green Party is dismayed that the huge opportunity for jobs in renewables in this Region, especially in coastal areas, will be squandered, if the money goes to nuclear instead and the party will be writing to object to the proposed sites and encouraging many others to do the same.

The full list of nominated sites is:

 

1. Bradwell, Essex, NDA
2. Braystones, Cumbria, RWE Npower
3. Dungeness, Kent, EDF Energy
4. Hartlepool, EDF Energy
5. Heysham, Lancashire, EDF Energy
6. Hinkley Point, Somerset, EDF Energy
7. Kirksanton, Cumbria, RWE Npower
8. Oldbury, Gloucestershire, the NDA and Eon
9. Sellafield, Cumbria, NDA
10. Sizewell, Suffolk, EDF Energy
11. Wylfa, North Wales, RWE Npower and the NDA

ENDS 
Notes:

Prospective MEP visits Beccles – PRESS RELEASE





Dr. Rupert Read, the lead Green Party candidate for the Eastern Region in the forthcoming European elections, visited Beccles on Saturday as part of a tour of Suffolk to see the work of Green Party Councillors within the County.


Rupert, who arrived in Beccles by train, was particularly interested in the promotion of rail travel in eastern Suffolk by the provision of a passing loop at Beccles.  Rupert said “It is excellent to see local Green Party Councillor, Graham Elliott, making progress on this important infrastructure project.  It will make a real difference to Beccles and will promote more sustainable travel across the whole of eastern Suffolk.”

 

Rupert then went on to visit the open air swimming pool in Beccles to offer support to the newly formed Beccles Lido Limited which is hoping to take over ownership and management of the pool in the very near future.  Rupert Read adds “This is an ambitious community project that will have a real impact on the town and the surrounding area.  It was very encouraging to hear the enthusiasm and vision of Beccles Lido Limited and to see what local Green Councillor, Graham Elliott, has been actively supporting over the last two years.”

 

The future of Beccles Lido will be debated at an Extraordinary meeting of the “Community Safety, Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny Sub-Committee” of Waveney District Council in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Lowestoft on Monday, 27 April 2009 at 2.00pm

Greens attack Tory ‘sub-green’ policies: MEDIA RELEASE

The Greens have scrupulously analysed the Conservatives’ green paper number 8 on de-carbonising Britain, which was published in January and which forms the basis of current thinking at the top of the Conservative Party (as emphasised in George Osborne’s speech this week), if not necessarily amongst many actual Tory MPs and councillors.
 
C’llr Rupert Read, prospective Green Party MEP for Eastern England, said:
“They call themselves the ‘Conservative’ Party. But what their proposals add up to would be a degradation of our shared environment. They would not conserve for us all a decent future.
“If you are actually interested in conserving things, and if you want a future in which we as a nation are energy-independent, the only way is Green.”

A communique from the Green Party nationally said:

“A few of the Tories’ new ideas closely mirror pre-existing Green Party policies – except that despite all experience, the Tories have preserved their somewhat naive faith in the market – while some of their ideas are frankly stupid, like building more nuclear power stations.

“Nuclear power is not and never will be green. It can’t deliver CO2 reductions as fast as we need them. It does nothing to help the green recovery we urgently need to tackle the recession. Nuclear sustains far fewer jobs per megawatt than renewables, so it will create too few jobs far too late.”

The communique continued:

“But the more closely you examine the Tory green paper, the more flaws and shortcomings appear.”

“They wholeheartedly back so-called ‘clean coal,’ even while they admit the technology isn’t yet proven and might not even be economical. But anyway, unlike renewables, carbon capture isn’t low-carbon; and it can’t deliver emissions reductions fast enough, because it doesn’t yet work. Also it will create far fewer jobs per megawatt than renewables.”

“They want high-speed rail links to replace some internal flights, but they won’t end the massive tax-breaks that make flying artificially cheap and attractive to consumers.”

“They misunderstand the issue of biofuels.”

“They speak warmly of offshore wind energy, but references to onshore wind in their green paper are few and potentially hostile.”

“They talk about ‘internalising externalities,’ the hidden costs including the bill for climate damage, but they haven’t even begun to 
understand what that means.”

Flaws and inconsistencies

A forthcoming Green Party review of Tory policy will say the Conservatives’ tenuous grasp of manmade-climate-change policy and of green economics has resulted in some blatant inconsistencies in the Conservative approach. For example:

The Tories say: “Our gas dependency is particularly worrying. Gas represents more than a third of our energy mix today, up from 10 per cent in 1970.” Yet elsewhere in the same document they congratulate themselves on bringing about the “dash for gas” in the 1990s. So they themselves, through the privatisation and liberalisation of the UK’s energy industry, helped bring about the situation they now call “worrying.”

The Tories say:  “This new dependence on foreign fossil fuels means that the UK is now more exposed to … major national security risks” (1) Yet they would have the UK rely to a large extent on imported coal, and of course they’ll also rely on imported uranium for the nuclear industry, the Green critique will say.

More information available from Dr Spencer Fitz-Gibbon, who can be contacted on 0161 225 4863, 07973 736351, or via 020 7561 0282.

Contact Rupert Read on 01603 219294 / 07946 459066.

Note

1. The reasons they give are: (a) “exposure to terrorist attack on a small number of import facilities” – ironic in view of their 
complacency over the much more serious terrorist threat to nuclear installations, say the Greens; and (b) “vulnerability to geo-political rivalry and Russian interruption of supply” – though imported coal and uranium may be subject to similar considerations in future; and (c) “exposure to the effect of international conflict on the supply and price of oil” – although again, similar factors may well affect coal and uranium imports.

URL: http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/17-04-2009-critique-of-tory-environmental-plans.html

Published and promoted by Tracy Dighton-Brown for the Green Party of England & Wales, both at 1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.

I get a top GP job…

Rupert Read gets Green Party “shadow” public services portfolio –
and calls for major re-nationalisation programme

Norwich City Councillor Rupert Read has been appointed to an important national post in the Green Party.

The Green Party of England & Wales will announce on Thursday April 9 that Dr Read, a Norwich Green Party councillor and lecturer at the University of East Anglia is the party’s new national spokesperson on public services – a key area of policy for the Greens.

Councillor Read has greeted his appointment by immediately stressing the party’s determination “to fight for accountable public services, and to keep pushing the radical and ethical agenda on public services that separates the Green Party from the big three parties.”

Speaking from his home in Merton Road Norwich today, Rupert Read condemned the government’s plans to continue privatising public services. He said:

“The Green Party wants public services which do what it says on the tin: serve the public, not simply oil the wheels of a business.”

Threat of privatisation

He said: “The most immediate threat to public services is the plan to part-privatise the Royal Mail, which would mean reductions in both jobs and standards of service.

“That’s why the Green Party wholeheartedly supports the campaign of the Communication Workers Union to keep the Royal Mail in public hands.”

He said the Greens were urging the public to remember this is a political issue, driven by the decisions of politicians and parties, and privatisation should not be regarded as inevitable: “If you want to keep the Post public, then put the matter into the hands of the Green Party. Sadly, none of the other three parties are committed to running the Royal Mail and the Post Office as public services, and so the universal ‘one price’ postal service across the nation is now at risk.”

Promise of re-nationalisation
But there’s much more at stake than that, he continued: “If nationalisation is good enough for the banks, then why isn’t it good enough for the railways? Everyone knows that you can’t have a proper railway system without having it run as one combined service, for the public good. Labour talk about joined-up government; but they haven’t even got a joined-up railway system!”

The Green Party also favours bringing the utilities (water, gas and electricity) back into public ownership and public control. Said Cllr Read: “It’s mad to have essential services that form a ‘natural monopoly’ in private hands.”

Need to defend British public services in the European Parliament
Rupert Read is standing for the upcoming European Parliament elections. If just one in ten voters in the Eastern region vote Green on 4th June, Rupert will join the three dozen existing Green Party MEPs who have already done a great deal to fight for public services across Britain and Europe.

Cllr. Read concluded: “Were it not for Green Party MEPs such as Britain’s own Jean Lambert, the European Parliament would have forced through a bill that would have made it impossible to stop health services being privatised. Here in Britain, we all love the NHS. If you want to keep the NHS public, there is only one choice on June 4th: vote Green.”