Friday, 26 February 2010

Politics Show Sunday 21st Feb

The Green Party was featured on the BBC Politics Show last Sunday with film of Hull North candidate Martin Deane, Huddersfield's Andrew Cooper, and myself doing a live bit from the London studio. Trouble is they asked me about climate change, and that's just not our main issue. I had about five points I wanted to make - but no time!

Young people and political debate

I spent a very interesting afternoon last week observing an East Riding Youth Assembly meeting in Beverley where young people were putting themselves forward as potential members of the Youth Parliament for the UK. 30 secondary school students spoke about what mattered to them - and it was all about justice. Issues included lowering the voting age, divorce and its effect on kids, bullying, the need to listen to young people’s views and to talk about disability in schools, unfair attitudes towards young people, and lack of things for young people to do. It was very impressive – and all these issues are championed by the Green Party whose slogan is ‘Fair is worth fighting for’.

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.

Greens Landslide Win at Wolfreton School

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

Green groups formally complain over Godfrey Bloom

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

Young Hull vote Green! Here's why!

© MMX Hull and East Riding Green Party

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