Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Campaigning in Cottingham in the rain

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.

fungus on apple tree

Beautiful fungus on an old apple tree - an example of awesome biodiversity!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Revisiting an old stamping ground in this piece the Beverley Guardian published on Friday. Tread carefully, though!

Norwood House Campaign takes a new twist

Our long running campaign to keep Norwood House as a community resource was helped by the Planning Committee refusing a change of use to offices last Monday, 18 January. The Yorkshire Post followed up the story and latched on to the fact that we have referred the whole matter of the sale to the Ombudsman. The story above was published on Friday 22.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

I sent this to the BBC 'send us a story' site today:

The Greens take issue with the Tories’ elitist approach to teaching and learning. Tories, typically, would assume that a good teacher is a commodity: they can be ‘made’ and ‘bought’.

The Greens have a different view. We would say that a good teacher is someone who likes and can communicate with children, and this quality cannot be measured by academic means. A good teacher is not necessarily someone who is ‘academic’.

The assumption that more pay will attract ‘the best’ teachers is also at fault - but this is the attitude we would expect from the Tories. A committed teacher will not be ‘bought’.

What the Tories, and the other ‘grey’ parties fail to understand, is that the aims of ‘education’ need a fundamental rethink. It’s not ‘bad’ or ‘good’ teachers that are the issue, but outdated assumptions underpinning our education system. The Greens advocate education which develops the whole child: learning to be, to do, to know and to live together (as recommended by UNESCO), rather than the ‘jumping through hoops’ style of education which we have all become used to and which causes such havoc.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Don't be misled by a few weeks of cold weather

Bill Rigby, Beverley & Holderness candidate, writes on climate change:

In reply to Simon Fearnley's letter last week in which he said 'this CO2 rubbish is just a way of governments controlling its population and keeping people in poverty':

Certainly, governments are not usually the benevolent outfits they are supposed to be and things are often not what they seem, but, a few weeks of cold weather doesn't mean global warming isn't happening. On the contrary, a long predicted symptom of climate change is more and more extreme weather, both hot and cold, droughts and floods, as the planet's systems come under increasing strain.

For thousands of years, Britain has enjoyed a temperate climate owing to the warming effects of the Gulf Stream coming across the Atlantic. Now, the fresh water from melting polar icecaps is flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.

This meltwater will cool the Gulf Stream waters and reduce its warming effect on the UK. In which case, our winters will become much colder, and our summers much warmer. Therefore the expressions 'climate change' and 'global warming' are both appropriate.

I would defend Simon's right to debate the issue without being treated as a subversive. A serious effect of governments' behaviour has been to polarise a whole range of issues with the effect of concealing truth and understanding rather than promoting it. Greens welcome debate, have
organised local discussions in the past and will keep doing so - watch this space!


Bill Rigby
Green Party
Parliamentary Candidate for Beverley and Holderness

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Ice and no action from council

I sent this letter to the Beverley Guardian today....

East Riding residents say the icy roads and pavements are a disgrace. Driffield, for example, has been even worse than Beverley. I've spoken to officers of East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) and they say they treat 38% of the road network on a precautionary basis and an additional 12% on a ‘responsive’ basis, but little or no funding is allocated for cul-de-sacs or pavements. Meanwhile the injuries are mounting - along with all their pain, cost and inconvenience. A&E in Hull has had ‘unprecedented’ numbers of injuries and has been forced to send people on elsewhere for surgery.

The ice issue is yet another example of ERYC’s poor record in deciding on sensible and humane priorities. ERYC seems to have priorities other than residents' welfare and safety - or surely there would be plans in place for emergency situations such as this? It should be a priority to enable people to get out of their houses. There's job potential too. Plenty of people would have been pleased with some seasonal paid work clearing smaller footpaths. Maybe there is a lack of ‘special vehicles’, or maybe health and safety regulation is being allowed to get in the way of common sense? Whatever the reason, there’s no excuse for leaving residents trapped at home or risking serious injury by going out. It’s the Council’s job to sort this.

But it’s a political decision - and ERYC is Tory-dominated. Do we want to see more neglect of public service and cost-cutting in the future? It’s ironic in this context that Graham Stuart (Tory MP for Beverley and Holderness) talks of care of those who are ‘elderly, frail or lonely’ – the very people who have been frozen into their homes. Green politicians, whether on local councils, in Westminster, or in Europe, prioritise safety and welfare. For example, there are 7 Green City Councillors in Oxford, where ‘all the main roads and pavements are gritted’ (quoted from your article last week).

Let’s have more sense and fairness instead of hidebound political thinking in pursuit of ‘targets’…and empty rhetoric.

Sincerely, Shan Oakes Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Haltemprice and Howden

Monday, 4 January 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from Hull and East Riding Greens!
Next up : "Imagine" - Sat 23 Jan, Pearson Park Hotel, 7.30pm.

Come celebrate the music of John Lennon, the new year, various green prospects and other things! Sat 23 Jan, at the Pearson Park Hotel, 7.30pm. A Green Party fundraiser

With great food and music from KNU, and their friends.
Tickets £8.50 in advance (£10 otd).
From Martin on 471467 and