30 Dec 2006

Green Party Principal Speaker condemns execution

The execution of Saddam continues the brutality rather than ending it. The West has supported dictators including Saddam when it suits them. Look at the massive arms sales to the Saudi Arabian government whose human rights record is appalling.

29 Dec 2006

Last chance to mail competition commission on Tescos

Philip Booth reminds me in his blog to mail the cc to demand they take action against Tesco, so take a minute and do so!

The policy tools exist, lets hope the competition commission use them.

Last chance to mail competition commission on Tescos

Philip Booth reminds me in his blog to mail the cc to demand they take action against Tesco, so take a minute and do so!

The policy tools exist, lets hope the competition commission use them.

Another encouraging poll

has us on 5 percent

Green Party defends council housing


Council housing is important, you can sign a petition here, glad to see an excellent press release here giving Brighton and Hove Green Party their support to a vote against an ALMO.

There will be a motion going to party conference to make explicit our opposition to ALMOs.

affordable and quality housing is essential, house prices are rising at something like £42 a day at present in Britain, housing has become a speculative commodity...wrong, wrong, wrong.

The economy grows but first time buyers find it tougher

27 Dec 2006

Wanniyala-Aetto

T.W. Punchi Banda and T.W Muttu Banda were arrested along with eight others earlier this year. They were part of a group of 19 Wanniyala-Aetto who had returned to the forest from which they were evicted more than 20 years ago. The group, from government rehabilitation village Hennanigala, had returned to their former village, Kandeganville, in what is now the national park. The remainder of the group fled the forest when park guards came to arrest them.

Ecological crisis is an excuse for raising tax, controlling population and extending neo-liberalism, no surprise, what isn't an excuse. So while Tony Blair jets off on holiday with yet another third rate pop star, pushing up his carbon budget, there is constant pressure on the communities on this planet who actually live ecologically.

The paragraph above is from a Survival International report on rainforest dwelling people in Sri Lanka, kicked out of their land and in this case arrested for returning.

I guess somewhere you can buy a carbon offset, so you can fly and in return some more rainforest gets enclosed from the people who have lived in it for centuries.

This kind of stuff is totally off the map for Blair and other mainstream politicians.

You can write and protest, although I guess boycott threats would be in order as well

Please write to the President of Sri Lanka urging his government to immediately allow all those Wanniyala-Aetto who so wish to return to their land, to hunt for their own consumption and to gather forest produce inside the park, without fear of further eviction, harassment or violence.

His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka
Mr Mahinda Rajapakse
Presidential Office
Colombo 1
Sri Lanka
Fax: +94 112 433346




There is an interesting account of the Veddhas to which the Wanniyla-Aetto belong on the wiki oracle

Sri Lanka's indigenous inhabitants, the Veddas -- or Wanniya-laeto ('forest-dwellers') as they call themselves -- preserve a direct line of descent from the island's original Neolithic community dating from at least 18,000 BC and probably far earlier according to current scientific opinion. Even today, the surviving Wanniya-laeto community retains much of its own distinctive cyclic worldview, prehistoric cultural memory, and time-tested knowledge of their semi-evergreen dry monsoon forest habitat that has enabled their ancestor-revering culture to meet the diverse challenges to their collective identity and survival. With the impending extinction of Wanniya-laeto culture, however, Sri Lanka and the world stand to lose a rich body of indigenous lore and living ecological wisdom.

There is also a detailed and rather more referenced account here

24 Dec 2006

Bono the case against

Graham Norton, not always the first person I look to for an opinion, got it right when he said "He goes to hell and back to avoid paying tax. He has a special accountant. He works out Irish tax loopholes. And then he's asking me to buy a well for an African village. "Tarmac the road outside your house, you tight-wad! Or pay for a school in Ireland." The scounging sycophant shifted a big portion of his assets to the Netherlands to benefit from that country's lower rate of tax folllowing in that fine Irish tradition of moralising tax evaders like Charles Haughey and then drones on

This is from Liam Macuid's excellent blog...his account of the problems of anarcho squatter organisation, at a difficult meeting on Mexico he went to, is worth redading about, anarcho anti-capitalism certainly has a track record in delivering some radical opposition but forms of organisation used can be frustrating and undemocratic but then so can more formal political meetings. Certainly the anarchos at their best are better than the traditional far left.

23 Dec 2006

Another rare mammal is extinct



His 1970s Guardian column on beer played an important role in sustaining small real-ale brewers and shaming the large drinks corporations - notably Watneys - which were trying to impose keg beer on a nation.


Sorry to hear that Richard Boston has died, amongst other achievements, he edited the VOLE, a green politics mag which ran from 1977 to 1980, I dimly remember it Shame we didn't act on green politics with more energy in the early 1980s.

22 Dec 2006

Carry on polluting, says Blairite minister

OF ALL the schemes under discussion to stop or limit catastrophic climate change, one of those getting most attention is pollution trading. This popular but little-tried idea lies at the heart of some of the most prominent international approaches to the problem, including the Kyoto protocol and the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS). The trouble is, it won't work.writes Larry Lohman from Cornerhouse

Minister Douglas Alexander is attacking George Monbiot in todays guardian, he misses the point and simply argues that expanding air flights in the UK is no big deal, we need international agreements and air flights don't matter. Usual aggressive Blairite nonsense. It certainly avoids responding to the kind of critique that Corner House offers.

21 Dec 2006

Greens enjoy poll increase

Well difficult waters to be navigated in a non proportional representation system in a world dedicated to capitalist greed but at least our poll ratings are rising and we seem to be making a stronger effect media wise and electorally.

Read here for more

17 Dec 2006

Did Blair help kill the Gajar Fish in Hazrat Shah Jalal?


In West Bengal and Bangladesh, sufi islam and enlightened Hinduism fused in the Baul tradition, this is now under threat.

Think of the money poured into the world by the Saudi's to promote fundamentalist, austere and intolerant forms of Islam....Blair's allies that he would not involve in a corruption hearing.

An excellent Madeleine Bunting article in the Guardian is worth reading and you can visit the exhibition at the British Museum on this.

Amartya Sen is good on this peaceful tradition of coexistence in Bengal/Bangladesh too.

Madeleine mentions how the Gajar Fish in a sufi mosque were posioned, presumably by those who consider them a blemish on Islamic orthadoxy.

Who killed the Gajar Fish, well those who defend intolerant forms of Islam and this includes Blair, greedy for oil and weapons cash who defends the Saudi regime with their appalling record on human rights and fundamentalism.


This is from an article on extremist Islam in Bangladesh
Growing fanaticism & extremism in Bangladesh : Shades of the Taliban
MINDLESS CRUELTY AT URS
AT HAZRAT SHAH JALAL (SM) DARGAH
On night of 12th January 2004, a bomb blast killed two people on the spot and
injured hundreds who gathered for the annual Urs of Hazrat Shah Jalal (Sm) at the
Dargah premises.
52 of the injured were hospitalized, 3 of whom are struggling for their life.
The bomb was carefully buried in the ground obviously escaping attention of security
arrangements enforced in the area after the fish-poisoning incident about a month
ago.
For almost 700 years this festival takes
place and it is a part of the local culture
in which people of all religions and
vocations participate.
Dargah Shah Jalal is host to several
other harmless traditions, not exactly
symbolizing religious ceremonies but
revered by common people.
About a month ago vandalism was committed in the tank of the Dargah when a
particular species of fishes (“Gajar Mach”) were poisoned by some miscreants.
Despite the call for serious investigation of the crime and obvious proof of poisoning
the administration almost intentionally neglected the issue.
On the contrary religious bigots such as Jamaat MP Delwar Hussain Sayeedi started
well-orchestrated propaganda against these traditions and in a gathering at Sylhet
Madrasha Maidan, on 2nd January 2004, urged innocent people to resist these
traditions considered by them to be “Haraam” and anti-Islam.
Despite public outrage, such provocation, certainly by no means an isolated incident,
was carried out with blessings of the Ruling BNP /Jamaat Alliance.

16 Dec 2006

Christmas pudding

well made two christmas puddings, soaked the misc dried fruit in guiness and brandy, mixed up veg suet (is this palm oil based?), brown sugar, breadcrumbs...plenty of recipes on the net!

late this year, they really need a month or two to be fed with brandy or whisky but principal speaker has reduced my commitment to cooking, alas.

15 Dec 2006

Oral sex is the answer to climate change

Well, i don't think so...however Alice Walker argues today that non procreative sex is the answer, or part of it to ecocrisis, i tend to think rampant consumerism fuelled by advertising to maintain capitalist accumulation is a more immediate danger. Even from some one as right on as Alice, there are dangers from malthusian population talk.

She calls for a moratorium on childbirth for the sake of the environment ('not one more child should be born on this planet until certain conditions are met ... the most important of these is that several missing pounds of plutonium are found") and celebrates oral sex.But there are also sections that seem to derive from the far, far, left-field. claims Alice.

lets have a moratorium on nuclear weapons, 4 by 4 ads, etc....population is not driving the destructive beast and banning people from having kids is authoritarian nonsense (sorry Alice!)

14 Dec 2006

secret state, death of Diana, D noticed.

dave osler's blog is consistently good, today we have the police investigation of Blair and D notices, we are a very secret state are we not.

Must bang some heads together over incinerators as well, busy busy busy. Economist out today, no letters yet on their ethical food being unethical editorial of last week.

13 Dec 2006

busy

well BBC online interview today, red pepper party yesterday (our team the Murray Bookchin fan club) won the quizz, talking to jounralists about Brown's pension plans which would put them into the private sector and the stock market, so busy busy busy. Great to have so much interest in the Green Party and ofcourse fun to do the London Federation of Green Parties speech on Stern on saturday...so normal service when less hectic!

11 Dec 2006

Green Party Principal Speaker attacks "energy apartheid"

Here is todays story, also been working on a response to the economist editorial on why ethical food is unethical, i will argue that while we need radical change, ethical food is in fact ethical...especially the organic leeks I grow in my garden!

NEWS: Green Party in England & Wales

Green Party Principal Speaker attacks "energy apartheid"

In a major speech to the London Federation of Green Parties at the University of London Union on Monday 11th December, Dr Wall will call for an end to 'energy apartheid' along with demands for a carbon neutral future.

Dr. Wall, speaking after the recent pre-budget report, commented: "We have to offer positive low cost alternatives to prevent global warming, otherwise the emerging consensus over green taxes will lead to energy apartheid. Those on lower incomes will see their cost of living fall as their tax burden rises, while those on higher incomes will continue to consume carbon as if there was no tomorrow.

"It is shocking that while road pricing is likely to be introduced across Britain, rail fares including those regulated by the government are rising sharply above inflation. Bus and rail prices are 60% higher in real terms than they were in 1975, we cannot and should not price people out of their cars and off of public transport at the same time. (1)

"We need to use the money from green taxes and from scrapping new motorways and Trident to build crossrail and other vital projects, we need to be slashing fares for bus and rail. The Green Partys' plans to phase out VAT and replace it with ecotaxes would be one way of reducing our collective environmental impact without making the poor pay more.

"Globally we must defend those with the most ecological lifestyles from enclosure, while making sure that carbon off set schemes do not lead to injustice and ecological damage.

"We need to promote diverse, ecologically sustainable, localised economies. We can meet the needs of future generations without making the poor pay, but this will demand imaginative policies and practical solidarity.

"Market-based instruments, essentially involving carbon taxes and global emissions trading, are blunt as a means to achieve environmental sustainability. This is because they do not address the need for deeper social changes, let alone offer a framework for social justice.


ENDS

Notes for Editors

Dr Wall will be speaking at 6.30 at ULU, for further information please contact London Fed Co-ordinator Noel Lynch on 07961 441722

(1) After Stern: Towards a Climate Change Budget Pre-Budget Report 2006, FOE, p 6





Green Party Press Office
020 7561 0282
http://www.greenparty.org.uk

Published and promoted by Jim Killock for the Green Party, both at
1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.

10 Dec 2006

PARTY FOR VENEZUELA

VIC Post-election Update

Dear Friend,

Please find below an update following Hugo Chavez's re-election last Sunday.

All the best,
Gordon Hutchison
------------------------------------------------------------------------

1) HUGO CHAVEZ WINS WITH MASSIVE VOTE IN VENEZUELA'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
Hugo Chávez has been re-elected as president of Venezuela, receiving 63% of the vote - and winning a million more votes than at the recall referendum in 2004.

- More information on the election here: http://www.vicuk.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=162&Itemid=29

- Leading campaigners call re-election a victory for democracy and social progress. Read their statements here:
http://www.vicuk.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=159&Itemid=30

2) LOBBY YOUR MP TO SHOW SUPPORT IN SOLIDARITY WITH VENEZUELA
Colin Burgon MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP have put down Early Day Motions in Parliament in solidarity with Venezuela following President Chavez's landslide re-election.
Venezuela Information Centre encourages you to write to your MP asking them to add their name.

More information at:
http://www.vicuk.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=160&Itemid=30

3) PARTY FOR VENEZUELA - CELEBRATE CHAVEZ'S VICTORY
Come and celebrate the re-election of Hugo Chavez as Venezuelan president with sounds from Latin America and an eyewitness account of the election!

Get details of the VIC fundraising party at:
http://www.vicuk.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=161&Itemid=30

4) JOIN THE VENEZUELA INFORMATION CENTRE
Support VIC’s solidarity activities by becoming a member. Read the membership appeal from Tony Benn, Harold Pinter, Bruce Kent, Caroline Lucas MEP, Rodney Bickerstaffe and Ann Pettifor at
http://www.left-click.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=155&Itemid=30

Green activist in Palestine blog

Many Palestinians who I talk to ask what people in England think of them and almost beg me to make sure you all know that they are an intelligent, articulte group who feels their labnd has been taken and feel they have the right to resist. But they are not monsters, whatthey want is justice and peace

Greg sent me this from Palestine, read it and judge for yourself...he is a Green activist with a blog on his experience with the International Solidarity Movement.


hey there

sorry for spam email just went through my address book and clicked a few peoplewho might be internested about Palestine, am curently out here with ISM basically protecting the human rights of the palestinians

Yesterday went to a demo, the wall has been built across these peoples land and so they have little access so every friday they demonstrate and ask for internationals to go and document any Israeli Occupation force abuse. The march went up to the top of the hill with no problem and at the fence we were told we were here illegally, stating this was a controled military zone - something which an officer can decare at anyrime. we did not leae but protestd by trying to remove barbed wire at various points of the wall. Israeli soldiers roughed up one paesintian man who had not done much - they dont bother arresting internationl and israelis as these people come up under Israeli law and it takes an age to prosecute.Eventually they arrestd this man, a few people including myself tried to hold on to this man to stop them taking him away (they can be detained for 8 days without seeing a judge and then held for 6 months in order toprevet them committing crimes, although they haev a right to a defence they are not tod what cries they allegedly might have comttd so its obviously a little difficult - 2,000 people are held like this). they pulled people off often by the neck or hair and then held the man blindfolded him and took him away. Aftera while the demonstration finished but there were running battles between youths throwing stones and soldiers firing tear gas and rubber bullets. We followed the sodiers and kept asking them what ehy were doing, which means we narrowly missed the odd stone.

I travelled from there t Tel Rumeia where there is an Israeli settlement, these settlers are nutcases, there are no other words for it. Very few of them work but they are funded by Israeli Jews who basically believe that they are reclaiming the holy land and they constantly attack Palestinians. two weeks ago they bottled one of my colleagues and almost blinded her, her vision is still not perfect. ( http://www.telrumeidaproject.org/Proposal_Background.html for info about another group working here). Our job is to make sure that they let the children get to shcool and back and generally be a presence to make the Palestinians feel safe. the street iam on was deserted but was once the main street, a checkpoint and the forced shutting of al shops (for security obviously). Many shops have been grafittied by pro Israel support. Although there was litle trouble today when the children left school, one settler got a ittle close, I was threatened by Israeli soldiers.
They were on a patrol and opne of them walked towards me but was caled off, he then proceeded to kick stones and make remarks, he then came over to me and asked waht i was doing. i said i was loking around, he then said thatsa lie, we went on and he searched my bag of oranges (3 times!) and asked what was in my pcoket (a video camera) - he then said it is dangerous here for you, you leave tomorrow. i had ben intending on doing that but now im going to bloody stay. he kept repeating this while getting clsoer and closer to me and repeating this saying look into his eyes, its not safe. he then asked whatithought of jews, whatmy jewish friends thought of me and then kept repeating its not safe. its very threatening and with 4 soldiers with guns its not particulary nice.

Settlers continued to spit and shout a little but there were lots of foreign ones (come to see how their millions are spent) who would say hello to us and were quickly told nt to - obviopusly we dont look like the devil we are made ot to be! The settlers hate us and i feel little compassion for them, i sdaw one bittenby a dog and thought it was great. i can see how easiy the Palestinians can see these people as subhuman, most ofthe soldiers dislike then. this settement is guarded by 400 soldiers, there are 100 settlers! One soldier we\hen questiond b a friend said he idn't want to pull out of te west bank as een though they should neer have invaded it would destroy the fabric of Israel. when questioned a bit more essentially his views are: if we pull out these nutters mve back to Israel!

Many Palestinians who I talk to ask what people in England think of them and almost beg me to make sure you all know that they are an intelligent, articulte group who feels their labnd has been taken and feel they have the right to resist. But they are not monsters, whatthey want is justice and peace

Anyway, hpe eeryone is well , if you dont want to recieve these emails let me know as might send a few more (am here for about 4 weeks in total)

Sorry forthe spelling, the computer is not very good!

Greg

9 Dec 2006

Greens demonstrate against Putin tommorrow

GREEN MEP CALLS FOR PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN RUSSIA AT EMBASSY DEMO

The death of Alexander Litvinenko and Anna Politovskaya has left many
fearing that human rights violations in Russia have reached a crisis point.

On Human Rights Day this Sunday (10th December 2006) Green Euro MP, Jean
Lambert, will call for a common strategy across the EU to protect Human
Rights in Russia when she joins the London branch of the Green’s series
of protests outside Russian Embassies across Europe.

Jean, who has been awarded for her work on justice and human rights,
today said that, along with the European Green Party, the protest would
be making a number of demands from the Russian Government.

Jean commented; “Human rights violations by the Government, justice
system, police and military in Russia are of grave concern. Europe’s
Greens find this intolerable and on Sunday we will demand that the
President and the Government of the Russian Federation change their
approach.

“We demand the investigations of human rights violations committed by
state organs and punish the perpetrators; clarify politically motivated
assignations; guarantee freedom of the media and the freedom to hold
public assemblies and make it possible for organisations of civil
society to do their work – even if they are critical towards government.
That is democracy.”

The demonstration, taking place outside the Russian Embassy in London
between 11am and 12 noon, will run simultaneously with other
demonstrations in Brussels, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, London, Dublin,
Ljubljana, Kiev, Luxemburg and Chisinau.

ENDS

For more information please contact:
Media Officer
tel: 020 7407 6280
email: media@jeanlambertmep.org.uk
www.jeanlambertmep.org.uk

Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and
Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European
Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected
in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK
Green representatives in the European Parliament.

--
Office of Jean Lambert MEP - London's Green MEP
Suite 58, The Hop Exchange
24 Southwark Street
London, SE1 1TY

8 Dec 2006

Environmental leadership for free

You and I have less need to fly than say a working class mother who has promised her kids a holiday in the sun.

We must strive to solve the crisis on this planet with clear thinking and practical action but if you want my advice I am online like all good greens who don't fly.



Dear Larissa,

Anyone sincere environmentalist would discourage you from flying around the world, it is wrong for greens to fly around the global emitting greenhouse gases and driving demand for runways that slice through wildlife habitats, while telling the rest of humanity to fly less!

I have decided not to fly while I am a Green Party speaker and I hope you will do the same, somewhere someone will need to fly to visit an elderly mother in Marrakesh or to help refugees after a tornado.

You and I have less need to fly than say a working class mother who has promised her kids a holiday in the sun.

We must strive to solve the crisis on this planet with clear thinking and practical action but if you want my advice I am online like all good greens who don't fly.

best wishes,

Derek Wall,
Green Party of England and Wales male principal speaker

>
> Dear Derek Wall
>
>I am writing to ask if I may interview you so that you can be featured in a book I am writing on environmental leadership.
>
>I am the founder and director of Australia’s top environmental leadership program, Future Sustainability Leaders. I have recently received a scholarship to conduct a world study tour of environmental leadership. Through this study tour I aim to inspire and improve the quality of leadership amongst the next generation of environmental leaders.
>
>I am young, passionate and knowledgeable about environmental solutions, but like so many of my peers, I am struggling with the question of how to enact these solutions in our current world. This is an example of one of the many questions I aim to answer by interviewing the world’s greatest environmental leaders. I will subsequently be writing a book and a producing a documentary aimed at paving the way for young people who have a vision for a sustainable world, but who don’t know how to enact the vision in our current social, economic and political reality. I believe this book will be the first of its kind and is desperately needed.
>
>I have identified you as one of the world’s greatest environmental leaders and it would be a great honor if you would allow me to interview you. I know your stories and experience will inspire, empower and build the capacity of all those who want to make the world a more sustainable place.
>
>Next year my organisation will be creating a free online comprehensive sustainability leadership training program for young people across the globe. As well as training in specific leadership skills it will give trainees access to video interviews with the world’s best sustainability leaders. If you would allow me to, I would also like to record my interview with you on video for this purpose. If you prefer, the interview will not taped.
>
>My research is taking me to 30 cities across five continents and my full schedule can be found here . Below is my schedule for the Europe leg of my trip.
>
>Geneva, Switzerland 4th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th January 2007
>Paris, France 12th, 15th, 16th January 2007
>Amsterdam, Holland 17th, 18th January 2007
>Stockholm, Sweden 22nd, 23rd January 2007
>Moscow, Russia 25th, 26th, 29th, 30th January 2007
>Budapest, Hungary 1st, 2nd February, 2007
>Istanbul, Turkey 5th, 6th, February 2007
>London, UK 9th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th February
>
>
>
>
>I hope that our paths with cross and we can make a time to meet. The interview would take around one and a half hours. The opportunity to speak with you would have a substantial impact on my work of improving environmental leadership.
>
>Also I would love to know who you think are the greatest environmental leaders driving sustainability in your city and any other cities I am visiting.
>
>I look forward to meeting you in person.
>
>Regards,
>
>Larissa Brown
>
>
>
>--
>-------------------------------------
>Larissa Brown
>Executive Director
>Center for Sustainbility Leadership
>PO BOX 316, Torquay 3228, Australia


>
>Please consider the environment before printing this email.

7 Dec 2006

Stern: a critique


here is my take online in Red Pepper

Thinking like a mountain?

Thinking Mountain is an interesting blog with a good detailed account of Brown's budget plans, a bit of red green crossover with lots of good reports.

GORDON BROWN'S LAST BUDGET: "MORE GREENWASH"

this from eastern region green party is worth reading, I was wondering too like James Abbot, what is a zero carbon house...a high carbon house which you off set by buying some rainforest and getting the Indonesian army to guard against papuans, before it is burnt and planted with fast growing palm oil crops?

GORDON BROWN'S LAST BUDGET: "MORE GREENWASH"
ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS TOO URGENT FOR "GESTURE POLITICS", SAY GREENS

Much heralded 'green' taxation measures in Gordon Brown's pre-Budget report are predictably disappointing and just another attempt to 'greenwash' the Labour Government. Whats worse, they will fail to make any real impact on tackling climate change, according to Green MEP Caroline Lucas.

Dr Lucas, who was recently voted in to the list of the top 100 green campaigners of all time said

"As the Stern report argued, protecting the environment and preventing the worst impacts of climate change are the most urgent problems we face - and the measures announced today won't make any real difference to either.

This pre-Budget report is little more than an attempt to 'greenwash' the Government and outflank the Tories' own bid to present itself as the 'party of the environment'.

Measures such as marginally increasing fuel duty and doubling Air Passenger Duty may well raise millions for Gordon Brown to spend on replacing Trident - but they aren't nearly enough to make a real difference to climate change.

Dr Lucas, Green Party MEP for South-East England, member of the European Parliament's influential Environment Committee and the parliament's spokesperson on aviation and climate change, added

"Research by the Civil Aviation Authority has revealed the average income of passengers passing through Stansted Airport last year topped £50,000 per annum. An increase of £5 on flights leaving the airport represents just one ten thousandth of their income."


Cllr. James Abbott, Eastern Region Green Party Spokesperson on Climate Change and Transport said

"It is clear that Gordon Brown and this very un-green Labour Government don't understand the sustainability agenda and are deliberately trying to fool people. Under Labour, UK CO2 emissions have risen. Road traffic and jets flights have risen and the Government is actually wanting more of the same with plans for major new roads and runways.

They commissioned Stern to produce a report which clearly warned of the huge economic costs of not tackling climate change, swiftly followed by the Barker report calling for planning controls to be weakened so that roads and airports and other major unsustainable developments can be fast-tracked to sprawl over more of our dwindling countryside, generating yet more CO2.

The Green Party would increase taxes on aviation and the most polluting cars to a far greater extent than Gordon Brown would ever dare do. But we would also cut rail fares and invest heavily in public transport to give people real choices - making more sustainable forms of travel the best financial, as well as the best environmental choice.

Its not clear what Gordon Brown intends when he says he wants to move to zero carbon housing. The Green Party enthusiastically supports low and zero emissions developments, but local authorities often struggle to get major developers to agree to sustainable design such as solar panels and wind turbines and unless the Government gives councils the planning powers to ensure new housing is genuinly zero carbon, it simply will not happen.With the dreadful Braker report just off the presses and both Labour and the Tories clamouring to weaken the planning system its looks like another case of green rhetoric thwarted by grey reality - in this case the fact that Labour and the Tories dont want to upset their pals in the construction industry who are far more concerned about todays profits than tomorrows climate meltdown."


ENDS

6 Dec 2006

England's Brown and unpleasant land

Do the British people really want to move ever faster, to be the biggest and the best with the highest GDP, the most bombs, the speediest roads, with a government screwing as much “productivity” out of each of us as it can muster in order to spend it on grandiose macho projects? We have no time to stand and stare . . . and where would be the poetry in that?

this from the Times is a good place to start thinking about Brown as PM, I predict we will all look back with pleasure to Blair, Brown is the economist's economist, a man who is going to put accountants in charge of everything!

5 Dec 2006

Green Party speaker banned from Tesco

Britain's biggest retailer, Tesco, today reported "strong growth" in its third quarter, with underlying sales in its core UK chain up by 5.6% in the 13 weeks to November 25 (1)

New Green Party Principal Speaker Derek Wall has called for the Competition Commission to restrict the growth of what he calls ‘Tescopoly’, revealing that the company has banned him for life from all of its stores. The Competition Commission is due this month to reveal it's 'emerging thinking' about its investigation into the market for the supply of groceries by retailers in the UK. (2)

Dr Wall commented "In 1993 I was an active member of the campaign to stop Tesco building a new store at Golden Hill, Bristol. Local people had worked hard to preserve their greenspace in Henleaze, and the city council had rejected Tesos planning application. This was undemocratically over-turned by then Environment Minister Nicholas Ridley.

"We camped on the site, I climbed and sat in a tree the day that workers came to start building. While the store was being built, we undertook direct action in neighboring stores in Bristol, as a result I was photographed and told that I was banned from every Tescos for life.

"The last fifty years have seen major changes in the way that people buy their food. People used to shop in food markets or specialist food shops, such as greengrocers, butchers and fishmongers. Now, more than 80 per cent of our grocery market goes to supermarkets - turning us into clone town Britain.

"The contribution of the UK food chain to climate change is large – one study estimates that it could account for more than one fifth of total UK greenhouse gas emissions. (3)

"Tesco now controls 30% of the grocery market in the UK. In 2006, the supermarket chain announced over £2.2 billion in profits. Growing evidence indicates that Tesco's success is partly based on trading practices that are having serious consequences for suppliers, farmers and workers worldwide, local shops and the environment. (4)

"I have written to the competition commission who are currently putting together a report on Tescos, supporting the demands of Tescopoloy, the anti-monopoly campaign for:

- A block on any new take-overs by Tesco or other major supermarkets
- Stronger planning policies to protect local shops and High Streets
- A legally binding supermarket code of practice to ensure that all farmers, at home and overseas, are treated fairly.
- An independent watchdog with teeth to protect the interests of consumers, farmers and small retailers
- Rules to protect workers' rights at home and overseas.


ENDS

Notes for Editors:

(1) http://www.tescocorporate.com/page.aspx? pointerid=F7B92942593341F38F8E564425F45EA3

(2) http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/inquiries/ref2006/ grocery/index.htm

(3) Checking out the Environment, Friends of the Earth Briefing, June 2005

(4) http://www.tescopoly.org/index.php? option=com_content&task=view&id=42&Itemid=68


Green Party Press Office
020 7561 0282
http://www.greenparty.org.uk

Published and promoted by Jim Killock for the Green Party, both at
1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.

4 Dec 2006

Dirty, dangerous, expensive - say no to Trident!

NEWS RELEASE
>From the office of the South-East England’s Green MEP Caroline Lucas


December 4th,
2006


‘REPLACING TRIDENT WILL BREAK LAW, THREATEN SECURITY AND COST BILLIONS’ -
MEP

PLANS to replace Trident with a ‘scaled down’ nuclear arsenal will still
place the UK in breach of international law, cost billions – and threaten
British security, Green Party Euro-MP Caroline Lucas has warned.

“Blair’s proposal to replace Trident but cut the number of warheads from 200
to 160 will still break international law, threaten security and cost
billions,” said Dr Lucas, co-founder and co-president of the European
Parliament’s cross-party Peace Initiatives Intergroup and a member of the
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s decision-making national council.

“It indicates the strength of opposition he faces – both in parliament and
with the public – but it will make little practical difference,” she added.

“Having three nuclear submarines instead of four will leave us with a
capacity 1280 times that which devastated Hiroshima instead of 1600, and it
will still put the UK in breach of international law, exacerbate the risk of
the global spread of nuclear weapons – and offer no useful protection
against the top two security threats we face: international terrorism and
climate change.

“There is simply no legal, moral, military or economic case for the
Government to replace Trident. If the Government has billions to spend on
protecting security, it shouldn’t gamble it on chasing Cold War shadows but
listen to its own advisors and instead use the cash to tackle the real
security threats we face today: terrorism and climate change.”

Tony Blair is today expected to announce that the government will replace
Britain's nuclear weapons arsenal – but reduce its size by 20 per cent.
Publishing the long-awaited white paper on nuclear defence, the prime
minister will say that Trident submarines will carry closer to 160 warheads
than the current 200.

A legal opinion from Matrix Chambers – Cherie Booth’s legal firm – reasoned
any replacement of Trident would put the UK in breach of the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires nuclear states to disarm and not
build new nuclear weapons, and at odds with an International Court of
Justice ruling in 1996 which judged the use of nuclear weapons to be
contrary to the United Nations Charter.

Dr Lucas, who represents the South-East England region which houses the
Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire – Britain’s nuclear weapons
factory – has also signed a petition hosted by Tony Blair’s own website
calling for Trident to be scrapped.

A demonstration of anti-nuclear campaigners and Green Party members will
take place outside the House of Commons at 4.30pm today (Monday), when Tony
Blair is expected to be explaining his position to MPs inside.

ENDS
Notes to Editors:

1. More details on the Matrix Chambers legal opinion (published last month
and commissioned by Greenpeace) can be found at:
http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/contentlookup.cfm?&ucidparam=20061123170805&CFI
D=4713382&CFTOKEN=17459695

2. The petition calling on the Government not to renew trident can be
accessed at the 10 Downing Street website:
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/trident/


For more information please contact Ben on 01273 671946, 07973 823358 or
ben@greenmeps.org.uk

www.carolinelucasmep.org.uk



Ben Duncan
Media Officer to Caroline Lucas MEP
benduncan@greenmeps.org.uk
01273 671946 (office)
07973 823358 (mobile)

2 Dec 2006

Animals count


AR100 The expansion and development of human society has inevitably affected the lives of many other species. Disruption to their lifestyles has been both accidental and deliberate and has resulted in suffering, death or even extinction. The prevailing assumption that animals can be used for any purpose that benefits humankind is not acceptable in a Green society.Manifesto for a Sustainable Society


Animal issues are essential, this is one of the things that makes Green politics unique, I think animals count and so do my party see here for policies.

This is from Peter Tatchell, incidentally elections this year could see Greens in the Welsh Assembly, Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly...lets work hard and get Greens elected and working for animal welfare in all these institutions.

A scandalous waste - World AIDS Disaster

Millions have been spent on animal-based Aids research. The result?
HIV vaccines for monkeys. For humans, nothing.

By Peter Tatchell

The Guardian - Comment Is Free – 1 December 2006

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/peter_tatchell/2006/12/world_aids_disaster.html

1 Dec 2006

Week one of Principal Speaker

West Papua Liberation Army

It was good to see William Morris at no.8 in your list. But he was a bit more than a craftsman and writer. Founder of the Britain's first socialist party, the SDF, in the 1880s with Engels and Eleanor Marx, he argued that capitalism not only dehumanises workers but degraded nature. His practical inspiration has help lead to, national parks and ecological design, but as our first ecopolitician he is even more important. The fact that socialism in the 20th century moved away from Morris to embrace Stalinist and Fabian versions of central planning and industrialisation at any cost is the key reason that Green parties were created in the 70s and 80s.

Dr Derek Wall
Green party

letter in the Guardian

apologies to my readers, I have been rather busy for blogging but week one of Green Party Principal Speaker has been enjoyable for me and hopefully useful politically.

Friday saw a bit of press interest, saturday I debated with the Socialist Party, monday night Zen which is essential hope I can keep it up, I am cutting my tuesday Economics of Modern Britain course at Goldsmiths to give more time to campaigning, wednesday I had the headline of the London paper the Metro on the 'insanity' of rail fare rises...we are being priced off the road and priced off the rail.

Nice also on wed to get a letter in the Guardian on the very strange environmental agency list of top greens, Lord Browne of BP is at 85!

Today I have just spoken on behalf of Caroline Lucas to the Free West Papua movement who celebrate their flag the Morning Star which it is illegal to raise in their land which is controlled by Indonesia who have killed many thousands. They are the real ecologists not green politicians like me. BP have gas interests in West Papua.

Socialist Resistance conference tomorrow plus some press action I will tell you about later plus my Stern critique in Red Pepper...busy busy busy

had this from the photographer...took the photo from EF! or Do or Die, who are very anti-copyright!

Hi Derek,

Great to see the Greens getting in on this West Papua thing and I have just visited your blog and notice one of our best West Papaun photos at the top of the page, which is no problem and perfectly fine, just I would like to draw your attention to our Media Licence, which you can see here:
http://www.fpcn-global.org/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=7

You are welcome to use or link to any of our material, but credit to us & a link back to us as source is required, as explained in the Media Licence,
i.e. source:
fPcN interCultural:
www.fPcN-global.org

You can see the original photo here in our Gallery from 2001, here:
http://www.fpcn-global.org/modules/gallery/view_photo.php?full=1&set_albumName=West-Papua-highlands-2000&id=pasukan_curve1

I was actually the photographer and film maker, on covert location through 2000/1. Please also see our films:
http://www.fpcn-global.org/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=1

Many thanks for your efforts and best wishes,

rains

Eddington? I prefer opera.

NEW OPERA CREATES 'SOUNDTRACK FOR THE ERA OF CLIMATE CHANGE'


Today sees the launch of And While London Burns - a compelling collision of thriller, opera and guided walk that dramatically explores London's Square Mile and its role in climate change.


An 'opera for one', it takes the audience equipped with an mp3-player on a walking audio adventure through the skyscrapers, streets and alleyways of the City.


This unusual work catapults the climate crisis from the cold realms of science and economics into the emotional world of culture.


And While London Burns leads the headphone-wearing participants on a mystery tour, experiencing the City through the eyes of a tormented financial worker, who encounters Roman ruins, real life City characters, bank trading rooms, buried rivers, and relics from the Great Fire. The audio tour explores the role of companies including BP, Royal Bank of Scotland and Swiss Re in fueling climate change.


Starring recent Olivier Award nominee Douglas Hodge[1], and produced by award -winning arts company PLATFORM,[2] the track is downloadable for free from http://www.andwhilelondonburns.com and can be experienced at any time of the week.


Pre-viewing theatre critic Robert Butler writes [3]: "The journey becomes a magical mystery tour, a London walk, a political essay, a short story and a requiem"


James Marriott [4], co-writer, says: "The theme of this opera is not fiction, and this is emphasised by it being staged in real space, among real characters. This is a soundtrack for the era of climate change".


John Jordan [5], fellow librettist, continued: "We know the numbers, graphs, models and terrifying predictions of the climate catastrophe that faces us, but until we are truly moved to feel the scale of the crisis, then there is little hope that our society will go beyond the cataclysmic scenario of business as usual."


Composer Isa Suarez's [6] stirring score evokes London's fiery past, oil drenched present and a dark unknowable future and is performed by some of the UK's best contemporary musicians including BBC Jazz award winning clarinettist Alan Barnes and acclaimed cellist Robin Michael. She describes And While London Burns as a "requiem for the warming world."


Press Contacts:
James Marriott: 0207 403 3738
Greg Muttitt (till Sunday 3rd Dec): 07970 589 611
Dan Gretton (after Monday 4th Dec): 07749 422 953


A press photograph is available for use in print media


Notes to editors


1. One of the UK's most versatile actors, Douglas Hodge has recently starred in Titus Andronicus for The Globe and the West End run of Guys and Dolls. He has just finished playing Ewan Mc Gregor's lover in the hit British film Scenes of a Sexual Nature.


2. PLATFORM works across disciplines for social and ecological justice. It combines the transformatory power of art with the tangible goals of campaigning, the rigour of in-depth research with the vision to promote alternative futures. http://www.platformlondon.org


3. Robert Butler, author and theatre critic, was drama critic of the Independent on Sunday from 1995-2000. His most recent book is 'The Art of Darkness - Staging the Philip Pullman Trilogy' (Oberon 2004). The review appears on http://www.ashdendirectory.org.uk/featuresView.asp?pageIdentifier=20061130_63053531&view=


4. James Marriott, Co-Director of PLATFORM, has been researching London's oil & gas sector since 1995. He is the author of 'The Next Gulf - London, Washington & the Oil Conflict in Nigeria' (Constable 2005) and is an AHRC Research Fellow at the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths College, University of London.


5. Artist activist John Jordan was co-founder of the infamous anti-globalisation collective Reclaim the Streets. He is co-editor of 'We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anticapitalism'(Verso 2003). He worked on the film "The Take" about the economic crisis in Argentina with Naomi Klein and set up the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army in 2003.


6. Trained classically as a musician, Isa Suarez is a composer, sound artist and songwriter working since 1988 on film and TV, contemporary art, songs and multimedia productions. She has released albums internationally and exhibited at Tate Britain London and Whitechapel Art Gallery. She was recently awarded an artist residency in Southwark, London and is currently preparing a multimedia piece about human rights. http://www.isasuarez.com
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Our book - WE ARE EVERYWHERE: THE IRRESISTIBLE RISE OF GLOBAL ANTICAPITALISM
edited by : Notes from Nowhere - published by VERSO and soon in 6 languages.
http://www.weareeverywhere.org

Catastrophic Climate Chaos requires radical action, not market techno fixes and greenwash.
http://climatecamp.org.uk