Thursday, 11 November 2010
Thursday, 4 November 2010
This new regime proposed by the Con Dems, puts UK education amongst the most expensive in the world whereas the Green Party wants to see education free including at university level, and to fund it by tax changes for those on 100k and over, among other changes.
At least £20K for fees over 3 years, plus a similar amount for accommodation and living expenses, will be hanging over most graduates for a good deal of their working lives, and may have to be paid back at the rate of £2,000 plus over 30 years - much like a mortgage. Many young people would feel intimidated by this prospect and the total number of students is likely to fall. If a graduate who was in employment later lost his/her job, the debt would remain on the books and actually increase as there is an interest charge, so that if the graduate returns to employment in a job earning more than £21,000 pa, s/ he will stand to pay back the added charge in the long run.
The position of the very poorest students was better covered, but the implication for those just above the bread line would be serious . Nick Clegg and Vince Cable have made the economic argument that these changes are necessary and "progressive", but the changes are going to hurt and there will be political repercussions, if not on the scale of the derided poll tax, but widely and permanently. The shift from state responsibility for the costs of higher education on to the shoulders of the individual is going to be profound. with thanks for commentary from Peter Reeve.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Martin Deane, Chair of Hull and East Riding Green Party, says,
“People are completely fed up with this ConDem government, after only 5 months in power.
“We are disgusted by the cuts - the huge job losses, the attack on the public sector, on students and tuition fees - on top of the previous bailouts to the banks and the refusal to tax the wealthy in this country in an appropriate way.
On Thursday there were about 70 people gathered at the Guildhall to lobby the council to protect jobs in the city. A dozen Hull unions were represented.
“George Osborne has promised half a million people in the public sector will be put out of work. With the knock-on effect this will have in the private sector, this could be the budget that destroyed a million jobs.
“This budget is socially devastating and economically illiterate - this will probably increase the deficit as we throw people out of work, pay their benefits, pay their redundancies and so on.
“There is a better way! Why not look at tackling tax evasion and tax avoidance? There are billions of pounds lost through that every single year. Why not look at National Insurance? Changes here could raise many billions with very little pain.
“Find money like that and actually invest it in jobs. The way out of this deficit is through jobs.”
Workers, unionists and campaigners will be protesting in cities around the region tomorrow (23 Oct). A major demonstration will be held in Sheffield city centre at noon.
The next Hull demonstration will be by the National Union of Students (NUS) on Wednesday 3rd November, at noon in Queen Victoria Square.
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
The Conservatives plan to callously cut to the bone the UK’s vital social infrastructure. Once again - we’re being told – by Tories – that There is No Alternative.
Cameron, Clegg and Osborne are wedded to the ideological choice of devastating cuts – but they helped bail out their banker friends and their fellow millionaires - and they fail to look at much better alternatives.
Cameron says he wished “there was another way... an easier way” but that “there is no other responsible way.”
But we say: “There is an easier way - and a better way – and a way that will avoid hurting millions of innocent bystanders through your savage cuts: - Increase taxes on the highest incomes - Scrap expensive and irrelevant projects like Trident - Transfer money from roadbuilding to public transport – And get tough on tax avoidance and tax evasion!
If you do this - you could then SPEND money on a major public investment programme that would CREATE 100s of 1000s of jobs –not destroy them - and transform the economy to help tackle energy consumption, tackle carbon emissions and tackle rising energy costs.
But instead – they will create a wasteland and call it peace... If we let them!
The Tories accused Labour of being in denial about the debt they caused - but let’s look at Tory denials:-
- Tories talk about how irresponsible it would be to leave our children to pay our debts – but that’s exactly what the next generation will pay for - paying for the continual using up of ever-decreasing resources – paying for wars for oil – paying for aircraft carriers to project UK power – even with no planes to fly from them!!!
- Helping pay bailouts to bankers while half a million workers lose their jobs.
Listening to Osborne and Cameron, you’d think the only drain on the country was workers! The firemen, the nurses, the teachers, the benefits staff – the workers who keep this country going, workers who give this society REAL VALUE in most people’s eyes - and not just measured in pound signs!
Tories say the NHS is ‘protected’ - but in fact it’s still under threat of privatisation! NHS staff have already got their “Frontline” campaign to save jobs up and running right now. They say,“We’re all frontline!” – so don’t cut ANY of our jobs!
Tories talk about more university and apprenticeship places - but we’re now expecting tuition costs to soar and we will see education become the haves versus the have-nots. This is totally unacceptable in 21st century Britain!
Tories say they will give people, power, such as to choose what school their kids will go to. But the issue isn’t choice! It’s making sure every child has a place at a good local school.
Tories attack treating heroin addiction on the NHS – but we could cut crime significantly if we STOP treating heroin addiction as a CRIMINAL problem and treat it properly as a MEDICAL problem.
Tories say those on higher incomes must contribute more - but their changes to child benefit do so in a way that is clearly unfair.
Tories want us to have ‘elected police commissioners you can elect and kick out’ – basically, this means making the UK more like the USA. But who on earth would want to follow America’s appalling record of imprisoning a full one per cent of its population?
Thursday, 7 October 2010
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Friday, 28 May 2010
It became quite clear as we approached polling day that people were going to vote tactically. Many people said to us, apologetically, that although they wanted to vote Green, they would in fact be voting Lib Dem or Labour because they wanted rid of the Tories and they wanted proportional representation. Even the far right wing parties did better than the Greens because those voters are typically less reflective and so tend not to vote tactically.
Knowing that we could not win this time in this very conservative area, a lot of the energies of the local party were focussed on supporting the Greens' campaign in Brighton Pavilion – where, at 6am on May 7th, Caroline Lucas was elected Britain's first Green MP . She is the first Green MP worldwide to have been elected under a first-past-the-post system: a spectacular achievement. There are of course, many Greens in government in other countries, as well as in the European Parliament. In the UK, Greens are in the Scottish Parliament, London Assembly, on many councils – and, at last, in Westminster!
So thank you to all those who voted for a fairer world (whichever box you put your cross in). The next job for us all is to push for a fairer electoral system which will make every vote count, so that people can vote from the heart, and the real issues can come to the fore and be addressed in the interests of people and planet instead of in the interests of corporations and the very rich.
comments welcome to email@example.com
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
and 'ERYC leads where Cameron will follow' (referring to the grotesque discretionary early retirement pension fund payment for a senior officer of East Riding of Yorks Council)
Saturday, 1 May 2010
'Call for apology follows market confrontation
A ROW has broken out between a clergyman and former Shadow Home Secretary David Davis after a confrontation at a market place.
Father Oliver Coss has called for an apology after a confrontation with Mr Davis in Cottingham market as he tried to persuade him to take part in a hustings event he was organising.
But Mr Davis, who is campaigning to regain his Haltemprice and Howden seat, insists that during the exchange he was "firm but polite" and dismissed the incident as a "storm in a teacup".
Mr Coss, assistant curate of St Mary's Church, Cottingham, approached Mr Davis at the market along with Father Paul Smith, the Rector, after being told the politician was unable to attend Sunday's event, and said they were "astonished" by his response.
Mr Coss, who said he was a Tory voter but would be rethinking, said the meeting turned into "a deeply confrontational episode in front of our parishioners".
Now Mr Coss has written about it on social networking site Facebook where he said: "I want nothing more than an apology and this hustings to take place without any further unpleasantness".
But Mr Davis denied allegations he was rude. He said he already had campaign commitments when he received a written invitation the day before the encounter, and said a call received by a secretary several days earlier had not been passed on to him.
"I had no intention to be rude to anyone," he said.'
This has become a pattern. In the 2008 byelection the Tory campaign team used the same excuse (communications mix-up) to explain Mr Davis's refusal to engage with me on the civil liberties issue. What is he worried about?
Sunday, 25 April 2010
Saturday, 24 April 2010
Saturday, 17 April 2010
Great day today - Beverley, Saturday Market, Butter Cross. We thought how little this spot is used when it could be a wonderful stage for street theatre etc. Just shows how much our community needs enlivening. More trading of locally grown food needed too.
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
What is politics? Is it about letting vested interests have it all their own way or is it about striving for fairness?
And what's fairness? Is it about everyone getting the same or is it about promoting the common good so that everyone benefits?
The Greens would say that politics should be about promoting fairness and the good of all.... and that can't be done by just a bit of fiddling. At this point in history it needs a real shift in thinking. We can't any longer let the banks and corporations get away with murder. We can't any longer sit and watch the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. We cant keep making and selling weapons and waging war, and we cant any longer keep exporting and importing jobs and food. We can't keep building more roads and runways. We have to move away from oil-dependent farming and factory fishing - catching every last fish... Look at the state of the bees and the seas.
Instead we must bring the people back into politics. Banks and business must not be allowed to exploit people and the environment. Community must be able to flourish and support individuals. Technology must be the servant of wholesome needs such as renewable energy. People need satisfying jobs - and this country desperately needs skilled people to improve our decrepit housing stock - and to work in farming- working with nature instead of against it – growing healthy seasonal food for the local market.. We need better public transport and public services (health, care and education) . People need a living wage and decent pensions.
It's this joined-up fairness that the Greens fight for.
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
THU 29 APR - Hull University hustings, 6pm, with Hull North candidates.
THU 29 APR - 2pm Age Concern hustings, Hodgsons, Beverley, with Beverley candidates.
MON 26 APR - Beverley Minster hustings 7.30pm, with Beverley candidates.
SUN 25 APR - 7.30pm, Hull North hustings - Cottingham Road, Baptist Church (corner of Chants. Ave). With the Hull North candidates.
THU 22 APR - York, Green regional launch with Martin Deane, Shan Oakes, Bill Rigby....
- Green Party Naff Do, Kings Head, Nafferton 7.30pm, with food. An enjoyable night out.
TUE 20 APR - 9-10am BBC Radio Humberside, Hull North candidates' debate
- last day for voter registration forms.
SAT 17 APR - MAMMOTH Jumble Sale, 12.30-2.30 Spring Bank Community Centre. Come and support! Grab a bargain!
Friday, 2 April 2010
Thursday, 1 April 2010
The Tory MP, Graham Stuart, on the other hand, said that if the Tories get into government at the coming election, he hopes the anti-hunting law will be repealed - so that this bloodthirsty 'sport' can resume. Mr Stuart spoke of retaining the 'freedom' to indulge in hunting foxes. The Greens' view is that we certainly want to retain our freedoms, but that archaic customs such as hunting and killing animals with dogs should no longer be seen as acceptable behaviour. Barbarity towards animals supports and encourages barbarity towards human beings.
Friday, 19 March 2010
Nearing town, the first thing I noticed was the huge carpark in a field. I later discovered it's for the Press Association. As its quite a step back to the station, I decided I'd better first find out train times and was told Shire Hall was my best bet for tourist information - but - Shire Hall is closed on mondays and tuesdays. So where could I get information? This search gave me insight into the kindliness of people in Howden: the owners of the Minster View Hotel found me a train timetable, the landlord of the Wellington Hotel let me use his computer to try to check current train times (not easy!), and one of the post office staff found me an up to date timetable. I bought a meaty little magazine - Howden Matters - and chatted with the owners of various hostelries and shops. Some were angry about East Riding Council drawing yellow lines on the road and fining people for parking...but, to be fair (and I'm no admirer of ERYC), others felt it wasn't such an issue. Cars! It was nice to be free of one.
Having spent monday evening at a meeting in Hornsea of small traders trying to develop survival strategies for the arrival of Tesco, I do feel Howden is very lucky to have the ethical Co-operative and not to be dominated by the big-bully supermarkets. There are some great little shops in Howden - including butchers, deli, homecare - long may they thrive.
I spent a really pleasant afternoon in historic Howden and hope to return soon - thanks for the friendly welcome!
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Rich Wiles from Hull has spent many years, in total, working with Palestinian refugees in Aida Camp near Bethlehem. Come and hear his stories, watch his presentation and buy his book Behind the Wall.
Weds. 10 March, 7pm, Friends Meeting House, Bean Street, Hull. HU3 2PR (Rich will also speak on Friday at 7pm at Friends Meeting House, Quaker Lane, Beverley)
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
Friday, 26 February 2010
The afternoon proved how caring young people can be, so it’s worrying that, in my experience, many young people don’t vote at all, often saying they know nothing about it. This allows the ‘grey’ parties (and the far right parties) to win seats because many older people seem to vote out of habit - or protest. It’s often younger people who want sensible fair Green politics, but who don’t vote…so its easy to see why we don’t get the positive change we so desperately need.
So, I’m inviting colleges and schools to please hold hustings (a meeting with questions to a panel of politicians) in the run-up to the general election. There was a Green landslide vote at Wolfreton School hustings (see below) : when people hear Green policies they like them. If you know a school or college (or, for that matter, any group at all) which is looking for a Green speaker, or a Green panellist for a hustings, do please get in touch with us.
I was delighted to be invited to Wolfreton School recently to participate in a political hustings in the run-up to the General Election. The audience was the whole of Year 10 and some sixth form politics students. The venue was the lecture theatre with adult politicians stage left and student politicians stage right. The adults represented Labour, Lib Dems, Conservatives, and myself for the Greens. The students represented Labour, UKIP, Green, BNP, Tory and Lib Dem. Tom (aged 13) also spoke as a member of the UK Youth Parliament. The politicians, young and old, described their policies, and questions followed.
Natalie and I gave the message that Green is the only way out of the recession. We can afford our policies because we would cut out the massive UK spending on ‘defence’. We would create hundreds of thousands of green jobs in agriculture, house refurbishment, insulation, public transport, and new energy technologies.
The audience voted and the result was a LANDSLIDE vote for the Greens!
Young people invariably believe in Green policies, but if they don’t vote (when they can), the older voters put in the OLD outdated parties and we get old outdated policies to keep us in the same old mess.
Many thanks for the event, Mr Richardson – if only more schools would do this….well done Wolfreton!
Monday, 15 February 2010
Martin Deane speaks out against UKIP ideas
We handed in the complaint on Bloom letter to the police on Sunday. Myself and Shan Oakes, of the Green Party and Friends of the Earth in Beverley, spoke to BBC news. I made the point on why we were there – to counter the UKIP MEP’s vicious attack on Greenpeace and all greens – as he made clear in other interviews last week.
Under existing UK law, it is illegal to make remarks “glorifying terrorism” yet last month there was Bloom clearly relishing – to my mind – the blowing up of Rainbow Warrior. (If you combine this with subsequent Look North pieces you get the distinct impression that he is saying it’s ok to treat all green-minded people in this fashion). So under the law, there seems to be a case to answer. It would be ironic if a case were to result in a conviction, go through the courts, and end up with Bloom appealing to the EU!
EU law, is more progressive in this matter, and we favour it. Bloom, of course, is dead against it being an anti-EU party. As Greens we fight against a lot of EU initiatives, but we’re basically pro-EU. We want an EU on our terms – to be in it and fighting, rather than outside throwing rocks.
Friday, 12 February 2010
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
A bit of multi-tasking here: we wanted to do some campaigning, and needed to take some pics for our General Election Freepost leaflet, so invited passers by to join us and choose a poster to be seen with - we really enjoyed it despite the rain. The dogs were camera-shy.
Imagine the old parties doing this - would they get people to stand by them with posters saying, 'Let's buy a new Trident missile' or 'Privatise the NHS' or 'Support Big Corporations' or 'Send more soldiers to war'?!!!
It's good being Green because our policies make sense.