Thursday, 29 December 2011

Oil's not well on the Wolds

Letter to Beverley Guardian:  

We wrote  to object in the strongest possible terms to East Riding Council regarding proposals for oil prospecting on the Yorkshire Wolds. The Green Party, alongwith Friends of the Earth (FOE) and other well-respected organisations, campaign, on the basis of careful research,  for development and use of renewable energy and fuel conservation instead of the further exploitation of fossil fuels. We have had a century’s addiction to oil  - and we must now wean ourselves off this addiction, as oil becomes harder and harder to find and to extract. There are excellent alternatives which must be embraced instead of resisted.


Shan Oakes
Green Party
Hull and East Riding

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Letter to Ugandan President Museveni

Shan Oakes, Beverley, writes,

I am joining Friends of the Earth Uganda (NAPE) in their campaign to protect Uganda's unique heritage.

 We lived in Uganda for a few years (2001-4) and saw how beautiful it is  - although we were aware of how much of it had already been deforested. Please don't be tricked into ruining your wonderful country for another short term commercial modernist 'solution'.

We visited the Ssesse Islands and know that they are a fantastic tourism resource - but not if they are turned into monoculture plantations (the products of which are boycotted by growing numbers of people). Please support permaculture instead. (more)

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Last winter: 25,000 premature deaths

Caroline Lucas, Letter to Guardian, 2nd Dec

Dear Sir,

You rightly identify the failure of successive governments to tackle the national shame of ever more households struggling to heat their homes (Quarter of home now in fuel poverty - 02 December). This looks set to continue as fuel prices go up and government support for energy efficiency measures for the most vulnerable goes down.

Next year will be the first time in three decades that there has been no Treasury funded scheme for those in fuel poverty. Instead, the government is introducing a new energy company obligation (ECO) as part of its flagship Green Deal programme.

Earlier this year, Ministers assured me that this new Obligation would provide a "far greater level of resource" to tackle fuel poverty when it replaces the existing schemes, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and Warm Front. But just this week, those same Ministers were unable to answer my direct question on how the ECO's pitiful £325m a year for fuel poor homes is "far greater" the 2010-11 Warm Front spending of £370m, or CERT's spending of around £600m a year on vulnerable households.

This is not just a question of pounds and pence. Last winter, according the Office of National Statistics, there were over 25,000 premature deaths in this country because people could not keep warm in their homes. Government inaction to control the oligopoly of the big, profit hungry energy companies, or to help households to cut their bills, means that yet more lives could be lost unnecessarily this winter.

The Government is currently consulting on the Green Deal and its ECO proposals. I would urge anyone concerned about the fuel poor to respond to this consultation, to ensure that all homes are properly insulated and the scourge of fuel poverty is eradicated once and for all.

Yours sincerely,

Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion and Co-Chair of the Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency All Party Parliamentary Group

*Time for economic democracy*

*Britain is an economic dictatorship*

*We expect political democracy. Why not economic democracy too?*

Peter Tatchell, Green Party

Huffington Post - London - 29 November 2011

Up to two million trade union members went on strike on Wednesday, in
protest against the government's attack on pensions and cuts in public
services. Their grievances are real. But their solutions don't go far
enough. Pressing the government for fairness isn't the answer. Staging a
protest is second best. These are reactive, defensive responses to
fundamental flaws and failings in the way our economy is organised and run.

The perennial failing of most trade unions is that their horizons are so
limited. They seek a better deal for their members within the economic
status quo, when the real solution is to reform the system of economy that,
by its very nature, leaves the vast majority of working people powerless,
disenfranchised and marginalised. When it comes to the economy, the average
person has no meaningful say in the decisions that affect their jobs,
wages, pensions and working conditions.

We expect political democracy. Why not economic democracy too?

Behind the cosy democratic facade, Britain is a cut-throat economic
dictatorship. A rich and powerful economic elite makes all the key economic
decisions, excluding millions of employees and consumers.

Our country's democratic political transformation - pushed forward by the
Levellers, Chartists and Suffragettes - has never been matched by a
corresponding economic democratisation.

'One person, one vote' has been won in the political sphere (albeit
imperfectly) but not in the realm of economics. Britain's democratic
revolution, begun four centuries ago, remains unfinished.

It is time to put economic democracy on the political agenda; to bring the
economy into democratic alignment with the political system.

Extending the economic franchise is about democracy and justice. It can
help create a greater plurality and diversity of economic power, and also
lay the foundations for a more equitable and productive economic
partnership between all those who contribute to wealth creation and to the
provision of public services, from local councils to the NHS.

Whatever people think of the current economic system, one thing is
indisputable: it is characterised by an absence of democracy,
participation, transparency and accountability. Employees and their
representative bodies - the trade unions - are frozen out of economic
influence and decision-making.

Big business rules. The captains of industry, commerce and finance have
almost total power. They run their enterprises on totalitarian lines. All
decision-making is concentrated in the hands of a tiny, privileged cabal of
major shareholders, directors and managers. They alone determine how the
company operates. Employees - without whom no wealth would be created and
no institution could function - are powerless and disenfranchised. They are
little more than glorified serfs of the moneyed classes and their

Not much has changed in two centuries of capitalism. There have been no
major democratic reforms of the economy. Although millions of people bought
shares in privatised public enterprises like BT, their individual holdings
are minuscule and marginal. They have no real influence. Big corporate
interests retain the decisive economic power. This power is as centralised
and autocratic as ever. A few determine the fate of the many.

The advent of nationalised public industries, utilities and services
changed nothing. They have been run in much the same centralised,
dictatorial manner as their privately-owned counterparts. There was never
any economic democracy in the state-run railways or coal mines. The system
of ownership changed but not the system of management. The bosses of public
utilities and nationalised industries were almost as powerful as the
captains of private enterprise. Their employees remained locked out of the
decision-making process. It was state capitalism, not socialism. The Labour
Party and the trade unions have made a huge mistake in over-emphasising
public ownership, to the neglect of public control.

The same applies today in the NHS and other public services. They are
administered according to the classic capitalist model of top-down command
and control. NHS big-wigs have almost as much power as private medical
bosses. Doctors, nurses and ancillary staff are excluded from policy-making
in both public and private medicine.

Their years of accumulated hands-on, frontline service knowledge is
disregarded when it comes to policy-making. This is a huge waste of human

Wherever we look, in all sectors of the economy, the democratic deficit is
universal. Power is concentrated and wielded in ways that is contrary to
the democratic, egalitarian spirit of modern, twenty-first century Britain.
The time for economic democracy is now.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Trade Unions and the fight against the 1%

In my N30 Strike speech today, I talked about this graph:

It shows union membership over the last 100 years. AND it shows the wealth of the top 1%.  The lines of those graphs are diametrically opposed!

100 years the unions were young as the labour movement began to catch on and fight the gross injustices around work. The rich were powerful; their wealth, stratospheric. But as the unions grew, so did the gains of the people as a whole, and the wealth of the 1% diminished.

Union membership reached its height in 1978. And the wealth of the 1% reached its lowest point in the last 100 years.

When the people are strong, the unions are strong and the rich can’t take as much from us.

In 1979 that all changed with the election of Thatcher. As she attacked the unions, the NUM especially, she brought in anti-union legislation and union membership fell.  Since 1979, almost every year,  it has continued falling, including through the Labour years.

Interestingly, now in 2011, union membership is about where it was in 1940! There's a long way to go! So join a union!

If you're in one become active in it. If you know workers who aren't in a union show them this. Explain THIS is how we take on the bankers and win! For our future and for generations to come.

AND - if you don't like the way the unions support the Labour Party - which did *NOT* support this strike -  then join the Greens and bring that voice into the labour movement too.

There's a future to fight for.

Together we can win.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Hull Green Party to welcome Deputy Leader to Hull on Friday

ImageGreen Party Deputy Leader, Adrian Ramsay, will speak in Beverley and Hull on 1st and 2nd December.

In a momentous week, where Wednesday may see the biggest strike since 1926, Hull Green Party will hear Deputy Leader Adrian Ramsay on how cuts to jobs and attacks on pensions are the wrong way to go.

“Government has responded to the recession by making sweeping cuts to public services. The Green Party has said from the outset that this is the wrong approach,” says Adrian Ramsay.

“The cuts are punishing the most vulnerable in our society while failing to address the reckless behaviour of parts of the banking industry that caused the recession in the first place.”

Adrian Ramsay will speak about the Green vision for the economy as the way out of inequality and debt.

"Cutting jobs and public services is a false economy as it leads to more people claiming benefits and greater burdens on the NHS, police and social services, “Adrian Ramsay comments.

Recently, the difference between Tory and Labour spending policies was shown as $5bn (0.3% of GDP) (Newsnight, 25 Nov). Osborne is just more zealously pursuing many cuts which Labour also planned.

Adrian counters, “The best way to build a stable economy is to create jobs in areas where they are most needed. Producing more of the foods and manufactured goods we need in the UK would boost jobs and cut carbon emissions. Investing in home insulation schemes, rail and bus services and renewable energy could create a million new jobs while cutting people's bills."

Adrian Ramsay will be available for interviews.
Adrian will speak at:

Beverley, Norwood Methodist Church on Thursday 1st Dec at 7.30
Hull University Larkin Building on Friday 2nd at 2-4pm,
and at Relax Café, Newland Ave, 5pm.

Adrian Ramsay was Norwich City councillor for many years. He received the second biggest Green vote in the country in the General Election. Adrian built up Norwich Green Party over 10 years to second on the Council (14 councillors to Labour’s 16).

Hull Green Party to welcome Deputy Leader to Hull on Friday

ImageGreen Party Deputy Leader, Adrian Ramsay, will speak in Beverley and Hull on 1st and 2nd December.

In a momentous week, where Wednesday may see the biggest strike since 1926, Hull Green Party will hear Deputy Leader Adrian Ramsay on how cuts to jobs and attacks on pensions are the wrong way to go.

“Government has responded to the recession by making sweeping cuts to public services. The Green Party has said from the outset that this is the wrong approach,” says Adrian Ramsay.

“The cuts are punishing the most vulnerable in our society while failing to address the reckless behaviour of parts of the banking industry that caused the recession in the first place.”

Adrian Ramsay will speak about the Green vision for the economy as the way out of inequality and debt.

"Cutting jobs and public services is a false economy as it leads to more people claiming benefits and greater burdens on the NHS, police and social services, “Adrian Ramsay comments.

Recently, the difference between Tory and Labour spending policies was shown as $5bn (0.3% of GDP) (Newsnight, 25 Nov). Osborne is just more zealously pursuing many cuts which Labour also planned.

Adrian counters, “The best way to build a stable economy is to create jobs in areas where they are most needed. Producing more of the foods and manufactured goods we need in the UK would boost jobs and cut carbon emissions. Investing in home insulation schemes, rail and bus services and renewable energy could create a million new jobs while cutting people's bills."

Adrian Ramsay will be available for interviews.
Adrian will speak at:

    Beverley, Norwood Methodist Church on Thursday 1st Dec at 7.30
    Hull University Larkin Building on Friday 2nd at 2-4pm,
    and at Relax Café, Newland Ave, 5pm.

Adrian Ramsay was Norwich City councillor for many years. He received the second biggest Green vote in the country in the General Election. Adrian built up Norwich Green Party over 10 years to second on the Council (14 councillors to Labour’s 16).

Contact: Martin Deane, Hull Green Party
01482 471467
07812 838701

Friday, 25 November 2011

Adrian Ramsay to visit Hull, Dec 2nd

The Green Party Deputy Leader, Adrian Ramsay, will be in Hull next Friday.
There's an open meeting at Hull Uni (Larkin, Lecture Rm F) from 2pm.
Come along and listen!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Nov 30th - Protect Public Pensions.

Hull, 11am, Queen Victoria Square, Wed Nov 30th.

The proposed sweeping changes by government to pensions will mean all public sector workers:

  • having to work up to 3 years longer,
  • having to pay more pension money (hundreds of pounds per year), and,
  • receive less pension when they retire.

Union members, across the country, representing millions of workers, have voted overwhelmingly for strike action. The following rallies are taking place in our region -

  • Leeds, 12 noon, Art Gallery
  • Bradford, 11 am, Centenary Square
  • Sheffield, 12 noon, Barker's Pool, City Hall
  • York, 12 noon, Clifford's Tower, for march to York Minster, for 1pm rally. (facebook)
  • Hull, 11am, Queen Victoria Square

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Letter to Beverley Guardian - hypocrisy

Dear Sir,

A meeting has been called in Beverley  this Friday 25thNov at 2pm  about increasing homelessness and  lack of jobs in thearea (for detail call  874096).  Considering the ConDem policies ofblaming/punishing the poor (by cutting public services and pensions)  forthe sins and greed of the banks  and corporations ,  it’s a bit richthat our MP has expressed concern about the issues and may attend thismeeting.  Unfortunately we can’t be there,  but if we were, we wouldbe asking him exactly how he thinks that his turbo-capitalist policies aregoing to help.   It’s the government’s job to understand the bigpicture and act accordingly….but all it is doing is promoting business asusual.  It’s repeating the mistakes of the 1930s.   It’s so tiedin with the toxic financial, commercial, energy and military ‘establishment’ that it can’t accept that things have to change radicallynow (in light of the crises in oil, most other resources, climate,  economy,ecology and society)  to promote  local economies and localsustainability – as in the Transition Towns initiative ( and there is now alocal group) and explained by the Green Party deputy leader  next ThursdayDec 1st at Norwood Methodist Church, 7.30pm.   

The Government will say it is trying to promote ‘growth’ (iesupporting the CITY of London,  big business and more globalisation - the very things responsible for global physical and economic overheating, wars for resources, arms proliferation,  etc.)  It isblinkered,  to say the least.     Einsteinsaid:     ‘We can’t solve problems by using the same kindof thinking we used when we created them’.  We are overdue for a big(positive and exciting) change in our thinking.

We do hope that others will make these points at the meeting   (as well as trying to find ways to patch up the expandingholes in the local economy and services)

Shan Oakes
East Riding  Green Party

Friday, 11 November 2011

Lest We Forget 2

How do we even move towards ending war?

When we respond to whatever news like so many puppets on the ends of strings? News that the Libyan air force was attacking its own people. False news that helped lead us to destroy Libya's peace.

News of Iraq's terrible weapons of mass destruction. False news which even Blair could not convince the people of. But yet enough to convince his army, not ours, surely, to go and kill and maim, and die.

And if, God forbid, we should visit the same terror upon Iran, killing millions more upon the millions we already share responsibility for, who shall we wear a poppy for then?

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Lest We Forget

Targeting Afghanistan

... Thanks for this link, much appreciated. It is true, but it leaves out the involvement of Unocal, Haliburton, CENT and many others. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan became their own nations.

In 1993 US oil companies wanted to get at the estimated 200 billion barrels of oil in the Caspian sea.

In 1995 Unocal signed an agreement with Turkmenistan for the trans-Afghan pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan.

In 1996 the Taliban gained control of Kabul but the civil war still raged between the Taliban, the Northern Alliance and various other militias.

In 1997 the CentGas consortium was formed including Unocal (US), Delta (Saudi), Crescent (Pakistan) and Turkmenrusgas (Turkmenistan). Also in 1997 the US passed a resolution declaring the Caspian and Caucasus region to be a “zone of vital American interests”. Also in 1997 the Taliban were invited to the headquarters of Unocal to discuss the pipeline.

In 1998 Unocal signed a deal between Pakistan, Turkmenistan and the Taliban. In 1998 Dick Cheney was CEO of Halliburton and constantly talked about the Caspian region. Edit: forgot to mention Also in 1998 Two US embassies were attacked, these attacks were said to be orchestrated by bin Laden. Also in 1998 the Vice President of Unocal John Maresca said while addressing the House of Representatives that the Taliban government should be removed, because of the continuing civil war, and replaced by a government which would "cooperate with his company", he told them that creation of a oil pipeline across Afghanistan increase western oil production by 500% in 15 years, this was removed from the HoR website in 2003 but can still be found on the internet archive here (remove the < sign to get it).

Also in 1998 Unocal withdrew from the pipeline project. In 1998 the US linked the bombings of two US embassies to bin Laden. In 1998 Clinton bombed Afghanistan with up to 80 Cruise Missiles. Also in 1998 Enron was commissioned to perform a feasibility study on alternative pipeline routes avoiding Afghanistan.

In 1999 Clinton froze all US owned Taliban assets. Also in 1999 the UNSC imposed resolution 1267 imposing sanctions on the Taliban demanding they handed over Osama bin Laden.

In 2000 the UNSC imposed further sanctions in resolution 1333 on the Taliban demanding they comply with resolution 1267. Also in 2000 the Bush administration took office, it included Dick Cheney as Vice President, he was the CEO of Haliburton; Condoleeza Rice as National Security Advisor, she was the manager of Chevron; Donald Evans as Secretary of commerce he was CEO of Tom Brown Inc. now the Non-Executive Chairman of TXU; and Thomas White as Secretary of the Army, he was the Vice Chairman of Enron.

In 2001 the US negotiated with the Taliban in DC, Berlin and Islamabad, before delivering an ultimatum of accepting the pipeline or facing war. Also in 2001 just before the WTC bombings Niaz Naik was told by US diplomats that they were planning an invasion of Afghanistan Edit: this is not to say that the US government orchestrated the attack, merely used it as an excuse to gain popular support for the war. The attacks are in keeping with Islamist thought at the time and I believe the reason Bush asked Dashcle to limit the investigation into the attacks was because it would reveal that the perpetrators were not linked to Afghanistan. I would like to add that this is not particularly horrible either, as the attackers were dead and acted independently of any kind of organisation, thus there was no one to go after. On September the 11th, the WTC is attacked, all but 4 bombers were Saudi Edit: Trained in Afghanistan, but they also learned to fly in the US and Bosnia. I'd also like to add that the training camps were intended for training a vanguard in order to re-establish the Caliphate and had little to do with attacking the west. October 7th, the US goes to war with Afghanistan. December 31st former Unocal consultant Zalmay Khalilzad is appointed special envoy to Afghanistan.

2002 trans-Afghan pipeline negotiations are reopened.

I can provide links but the WBM on the internet archive is taking a long time, but I will come back in the morning and do it.

From PatSmith at -

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

St Pauls and the protest

Dear St Paul’s ,

Congratulations on coming to thedecision  not to invoke legal means against the protesters. 

Anyone who thinks at all aboutwhat’s going wrong (worldwide) can see that the protesters are right and arespeaking up for people and planet against the destructive and overweening power of the banks and their ilk - which have squatted for too long in theCity,  silently manipulating the policy of this country - with enormousand terrible global impact.  

This is a critical moment inthis planet’s history,  and St Paul’s is centre stage.  I’m not aChristian (because I think religions divide people),  but  I admireJesus the man for standing up for the weak, the poor and for justice.  Ithink it’s very clear which side Jesus would be on in the current conflict...

Surely now is the time forreligions to stand together, be brave and clear,  and tell the world offinance with its parasitical pawn politicians  what they think ofit.  For a start, David Cameron should do a U turn and, against the City’swishes,  support the ‘Robin Hood ‘  tax on financialtransactions.  How can this country hold its head up when our primeminister won’t even climb onto the moral high ground in Europe?


Shan Oakes
Beverley, East Yorkshire

Saturday, 15 October 2011

September 11th 2011, Israeli style

Rich Wiles, from Hull,  has lived and worked in Palestine for some years.  He has published several books of his photographs and writing.

Desert Displacement and other updates -

On September 11th 2011, the Israeli Knesset approved plans for the forced displacement of 30,000 Palestinian Bedouin from al-Naqab (known as 'the Negev desert' in Israel). The displacement of these communities has now been ongoing for more than 60 years.

Since the beginning of 2010, one of these villages - al-Araqib, has been destroyed either in part or entirely more than 20 times. On each occasion after Israel's heavy

machines of destruction roll out of the village the community collectively respond and begins the reconstruction. After more than 6 decades of collective resistance,

al-Naqab's Bedouin communities are not about to give up now...


On the PORTFOLIOS section of, the beginnings of a new photographic project - 'Desert Displacement', pays homage to the Palestinian Bedouin of

al-Naqab showing something of the conditions the village of al-Araqib is attempting to survive under and showing glimpses of the villagers themselves - their smiles, their anguish, their beauty and their spirit.

A new selection of images have also been added to 'A Celebration of Us' - the ongoing project celebrating Dabka, the traditional folkloric dance of Palestine.

Full of light, colour, movement and energy, a collection of this work is still touring Belgium nearly one year after the successful inaugural Belgian showing at the renowned  'Foto Museum' (FoMu) in Antwerp


Copies of all my books are still available through the website in the lead up to Christmas and there is also exciting news about new books coming soon.

My 2010 book 'Behind the Wall: Life, Love & Struggle in Palestine' is now available at the discounted rate of £15.50 (plus £2 p+p in UK), and all other books are also discounted. To order copies, please email:

Before the end of this year, the new Lajee Center photographic book will be published celebrating the work of four young artists that I have had the pleasure of working

with over the last few years. From children working on collaborative youth arts projects a few years ago they have now matured in young photographic artists working on

long-term solo projects. The forthcoming book will showcase a selection of work from these long-term projects reduced over the last 2 years within Lajee Center Arts & Media Unit.

For further info, please email:

Early 2012 will also see the release of my new personal book project. Publicity is not going to press as yet, but please watch this space for details of this exciting new book that will

bring together voices from around the world - from grassroots activists and internationally renowned figures from many walks of life. Through global collaboration, a powerful voice

will emerge in the name of justice and freedom...

In friendship and solidarity,


Sunday, 1 May 2011

Royal Wedding: winners and losers

Martin Deane, standing for Avenue Ward, gives a Green take on the Royal Wedding

Great to be in the park on Friday with so many others escaping the Royal Wedding day pomp.

Now you royalists! Don't get me wrong! I wish them as much happiness as any other couple getting married - whom I don't know.

But there's lots about the RW, and many people's reaction to it, which is troubling - precisely because of what it stands for.

If you're a fully paid up Tory, this is so not going to make any sense to you! But from a global perspective (which is the Green Party one) Britain continues to have a lot to answer for, and the royals, as a symbol of what the whole country stands for, are part of a problem not part of a solution.

The royals stand for massive, inherited, wealth, privilege and power, built up and reinforced over centuries with the might of great navies and armies and the slaughter of millions of "the enemy", and no small amount of our own, in one way or another.

Great spectacles like Coronations or Funerals or Royal Weddings, help foster national pride and a sense of unity, for "we subjects", under Her Majesty and Her Government so they do no harm - to the elite.

Events play on people's emotions who suddenly and inexplicably feel caught up in the excitement, or tragedy, of what befalls people whom they don't know except through telly and the papers. For many it's much more emotional than it is rational!

The use of the massive spectacle for political purposes is ancient, made famous in the Roman tradition of "bread and circuses" as the main policy to keep people happy while Empire continued to expand and kill those who got in the way of the divine right to rule the Known World.

It's no great surprise that countries, like Britain, who elite still crave a modern empire, put on such shows. They may be called a Royal Wedding, or funeral, or an American Election, or the 2012 Olympics...

They serve as a huge distraction while government simply disempowers people while they watch telly. At the same time Kate was going up the aisle, government announced swingeing cuts to the NHS (Plan to starve NHS of funds) of up to 37% over 5 years. Tens of thousands of jobs will be lost (as some of us have been saying for months).

The NHS is the people's single greatest gain after World War II. Now after many assaults, including Labour ones, the Con-Dems set to with the knife and we wonder how long before the NHS, as we knew it, folds and just becomes some pale version of an American system where health costs huge amounts of money to individuals - and no money means next to no healthcare.

Countries less set on empire, like Holland and Sweden, don't quite have these events despite having royal families too. Do their royals mean less to their citizens? Or are they not looked up to as superheroes because their societies are more equal? Right now Britain is suffering from record inequality since the Second World War. Perhaps the social setups of other countries have something to teach Britain.

Certainly we should care about people, even random people, who may have lost someone or who may be going to get wed. But how many weddings are their in the UK a day? (730 on average!) And how many of those do we care about? Emotion is a core part of empathy and compassion. But emotion is also a human effort and we can only do so much.

We need to be more careful about what we care about.

Maybe next time we get caught up in colours and flags and pretty, pretty things, we may take a few moments to look at how much we could be losing from society - even as the magic words go on.

And learn to be more focused - and active - about those things within society which are worth the effort and which are more than just a spectacle.

Vote Green on May 5th.
Vote YES to AV.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Vote. It's no joke!

It's no joke!

Vote Green to keep the real jokers at bay.

To help - contact

Voting CAN change society

Letter to the Hull Daily Mail


Dear Editor,

A lot of people in Hull don't vote, especially in local elections - but that vote was hard fought for: so is the sort of society we really want.

It was in 1918, after the huge loss of life of the First World War, that all men over 21 could vote (over 19 if you'd been on active service). Men.

Some women campaigned through the 1920s, for suffrage, the right to vote - for all women, not just those with property. After a decade campaigning, being slammed in the press, and tough campaigning too - they destroyed art exhibits, even burned down buildings and churches - women won the vote with a bill through Parliament in 1928.
After the slaughter, this time the Second World War, came the major achievements in society of a National Health Service, of housing, of social security, of free education for all.

Voting - and especially becoming more involved - offers you the opportunity to change society. Yes, we need representatives who won't let us down - but WE also need to hold them to account.

Who knows? Maybe in the end we can create a fairer society. Maybe we can even stop the slaughtering too.
Yours sincerely,

Martin Deane

Hull Green Party

Monday, 18 April 2011

10 Reasons to vote Green in Avenue

#1. Youth unemployment

Hull is among the highest for youth unemployment in the country. The Lib-Dem Council is making the problem worse by making Council workers redundant and cutting young people's services. A Green Councillor would do their utmost to challenge the government, the present Council response, and work with all committed parties to protect jobs and services. Young people should not be let down.

#2. Local Planning

The Con-Lib Coalition is unpicking the Planning system which has protected our environment since 1945. The tool for this is the 'Localism Bill' currently in Parliament. This gives more power to big businesses and volume housebuilders. As usual with governments, they are focussed on the supposed housing shortages in the South East. Hull doesn't so much have a shortage of houses, rather too many of its houses and flats are in poor condition.

Greens will work for a programme of repairing and refurbishing houses and improving insulation would:
- Improve living conditions for Hull people
- Reduce energy use and fuel poverty
- Make the best use of resources such as building materials
- Create work for small local building firms
- Create job and training opportunities in building trades.
- Improve the appearance of our city.

#3. What would a Hull Green Councillor do?

The Localism Bill currently allows developers to avoid legal agreements which require housebuilders to provide funding for public facilities for the people who will live in their houses (Section 106 Agreements). Hull City Council depends on such payments to provide and maintain parks, open spaces and children's playgrounds. Your Green Councillor will do their best to ensure that developers pay their fair share towards the maintenance of Pearson Park and other open spaces.

#4.What would a Hull Green Councillor do?

Hull Green Party welcomes the ending of the waste contract with WRG which would have involved building a waste incinerator. Your Green Councillor will promote alternatives such as the repair and reuse of furniture and household goods, more local recycling, and anaerobic digestion, while at national level seeking to reduce wasteful packaging.

#5. Allotments

Hull has a significant waiting list for allotments. On Newland Allotments there are disused and underused plots which are too big. It should be relatively easy to sub-divide plots to make them more manageable. (Technically this is Newland area but some of the occupiers are Avenue residents. By comparison, Richmond Street Allotments are full).

#6. Make unused land productive

Green Party Councillors will help and support community groups who want to take over the maintenance of areas of land, especially derelict or under-used land, eg for growing fruit or vegetables.

#7. Grow your own!

Greens will encourage and help home growers to set to and grow their own, for greater ownership, self-sufficiency and to combat increasing food prices.

#8. Green spaces

A Green councillor will work to maintain and improve parks, gardens and public utilities. They will work to stop the erosion of green space. Pearson Park: Your Green Councillor will work to bring together all interested parties to seek funding for improvements to Pearson Park. The park is a central green hub for the area and could benefit from a serious bid for Heritage Lottery Funding.

#9 What would a Hull Green Councillor do?

Your green Councillor will look to gain Council support for applications for funding for the preservation of Britain's last remaining civilian bomb site on Beverley Road and its interpretation to remind people of the effect of wars on civilians.

#10. Bike it!

Green councillors will fight to make city roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists (cycling is booming in Hull), work on providing more facilities and better, safer, integrated cycle lanes. Public transport is good in the city but still needs improvement to make it increasingly attractive, easy and affordable. Greens will work with providers on this.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

10 Reasons to vote Green

1. Fight the cuts.

The Green Party stands full-square in opposition to the cuts. They're totally unnecessary. This is ideological bias by the Con-Dem government for the banks, for bailouts, for corporate tax avoidance - and against the rest of us.

2. Tax fairly.

After 13 years of "Labour", inequality is greater in Britain now than any time since World War II. This will worsen with 20% VAT, as young people lose many existing options through cut youth services (especially in Hull with its high youth unemployment), and as up to 1 million lose their jobs.

The changes we fight for are for banks and corporations to pay their way: a Robin Hood Tax on banks, the closure of tax loopholes, the collection of high-earner tax (many high earners on £150,000 and over, have not been taxed for over a year!), and ultimately for the 50% rate to apply to those on £100,000 and over. Our taxes will be fairer and redistributive, not with the heavy bias to the rich that we see now.

3. Free University Eduction.
No to tuition fees. The LibDem u-turn on this was stunning - as is their complete sell-out, so far, to a highly right-wing Tory agenda. This is NOT what people voted for last year, especially with the Lib Dems' centre-left policy then.

4. Renewable energy for Hull.
Kirklees has lots of it - solar panels, ground source heating, why not us? Energy prices are no joke. Oil decline is about to become a reality. Hull City Council should use its power now to promote wind capability WITHIN the city and/or CHP (Combined Heat and Power) plants - for the people.

5. Anti-capitalist.
One we thing we can be certain of: the 3 leading parties are as pro-capitalist as they come! The Green Party doesn't promote itself as anti-capitalist, or pro-socialist, because the terms get in the way. But essentially we put people - and planet - before profit. Politics is for people, families and society; it's about the Earth we live on, about equality and the sustainability of the way we live now, and the coming generations.

6. Hull needs the best.
A vote for the usual suspects means yet another voice for Labour or the Lib Dems - and, in Hull, all the bigotry that's associated with it. A Green councillor will work equally with both sides for the best outcomes regardless of party camps.

7. To help protect the NHS and other health provisions, from creeping privatisation, from mass redundancies and from the plans to make all surgeries into consortiums with doctors as managers.

8. An increase in the Green vote will make the other parties stop and take note that people are responding to the pro-people policies we are fighting for, and help decrease their increasing right-wing stance.

9. So little is being done to really protect our local environment. A green voice will make a big difference when it comes to planning applications, for example, and other initiatives to promote nature over unthinking human destruction.

10. Greens are promoting a YES vote to AV. It's not PR, true, but it's a step in the right direction. By ordering your preferred candidates, it favours the most widely acceptable candidates and so excludes extremists. AV will create 44 new marginal constituencies.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Vote AV - for a game changer

Letter to the Hull Daily Mail, 12th April 2011

Dear Sir,
In addition to voting for the usual suspects, this year, for the first time ever, people have a chance to vote for a game changer, an actual, favourable, change in the system.
Voting the AV system in will mean we can vote for the parties we prefer, in order, on the ballot paper. This gives you more power as a voter. The AV system is already in use in most political parties and in trade unions too.
It's not rocket science, but what it does allow is a voter to express your real preferences - rather than vote x to keep out y or "It's only a two-horse race" etc. AV opens the system up a bit. And if your top preference doesn't win enough votes, then your second preference will then count too.
Ok it's not the system we really want, because we believe the people's votes should actually be represented in proportion. However it is a step in the right direction.
AV keeps extremists out (contrary to some lies), gives voters a bit more power and will help end the "safe seat" culture more quickly.
So after Iraq, PFI, the creeping privatisation of health, the hundreds of billions given to the banks, the deficit being used to bash us over the head, record inequality under the last government, and increasing under this one, the rich becoming richer and being taxed less, the decimation of jobs and services in Hull, wouldn't you like a little more say?
So vote AV on May 5th.
Best wishes,
Martin Deane
Hull Green Party

It’s time to vote Yes to fairer votes.

(I’ve stolen and hijacked this from Rupert Read of Norwich Greens and given it a shine :) )

Our electoral system is unfit for purpose. It was designed for a two-party system and it can’t cope with a multi-party system. We need to fix it and it’s time for electoral reform. It’s time to vote Yes to fairer votes. It’s time to vote Yes2AV, since the Alternative Vote is the change we need.

How is our current system broken? Being able only to crudely put an ‘X’ in one box just doesn’t work when you have three or more serious candidates standing for election.

In the 1950’s, 97% of people voted Labour or Conservative. That figure keeps dropping and dropping every year, not with just the Lib Dems but the dramatic rise of new political parties such as the Green Party and UKIP. We need a system that allows you to list your candidates by preferences, from 1 all the way down, so that you can vote for those who you support and against those who you oppose. AV is voting for who you really want to vote for – and being able to stop those you really don’t.

Our current system, called “first past the post,” (FPTP) means that you have to try to guess who is best-placed to win, and who you should vote for if you want to keep someone else out. The new proposed system, the “Alternative Vote” (AV) means that you simply list candidates in descending order of preference. AV really is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

That’s the core case for voting Yes and joining the countries that use AV in their national elections, such as Australia, India, and Ireland. AV is a modern system, an improvement on the antiquated, outdated First Past The Post system we currently have.

Think about it this way: If you go into a pub, and your first choice drink isn’t available, do you just walk out again? Of course not – you ask for an alternative, your second choice. But under First Past The Post, you don’t get a second choice!

FPTP means no second choice in the pub! But AV means a second choice if your favourite drink isn’t available – or even if it is but you fancy something different! Thank God that we don’t use FPTP when ordering at the bar!

For the same reason, we should stop using it for elections, too! FPTP is far too crude. But AV means greater democracy – it reflects your choices – plural - in the actual vote.

So: The case for voting YES is clear. What’s the case for voting NO? These are the two main lines I hear:

1) “AV is good for extremists”

This is simply a lie that right-wing newspapers and the Prime Minister, to their shame, are spreading in their desperation to stop electoral reform from winning the day. The truth is the opposite:

AV is a far worse deal for extremists such as the BNP, than FPTP. Which is presumably why the BNP are vigorously opposing it. That’s right: Nick Griffin and his dreadful little-Englander party of racists are campaigning for a NO vote on May 5.

Voting YES to AV – a system in which voters can in effect work together to make life harder for unpopular, hated parties – will help ensure that the BNP never gets elected to Westminster. Moreover, if AV were introduced in local government elections, it would lead to the defeat of virtually all BNP councillors anywhere.

Under AV, you need to get 50% of voters onside to win. The BNP hardly ever achieve that because a majority of voters hate them. The BNP have only ever got one Councillor elected with 50% plus of the vote. Under AV, most people wouldn’t even include the BNP in their list. AV would shut the door on the electoral prospects of the BNP.

The other argument that I hear is:

2) “To hurt the LibDems, vote NO”

The NO campaign, understandably (given that they seem to have no constructive arguments at all) are trying to turn the AV referendum into a referendum on Nick Clegg. This is an unacceptably cynical way to treat a hugely important constitutional question.

But it’s also wrong. The Lib Dems will not necessarily benefit from AV. Under AV, you can give your first preference to whoever you want to win. The Lib Dems might gain under AV in areas where they are weak, as they will no longer be perceived as a “wasted vote” in those areas. But AV will also make it possible if you want to to put the Lib Dems bottom of your voting-order!

Moreover, under AV, the Lib Dems will lose some first preference votes in areas where they are currently strong, as people will no longer be compelled to vote for them ‘tactically’ in order to cast a vote that is not “wasted.” Losing votes where you are strong loses you seats, but gaining votes where you are weak does not. Ironically, AV won’t actually be particularly good for Nick Clegg’s party! AV is good news for democracy – but not good news for Nick Clegg!

To sum up: AV won’t heal everything about our political system. But it is a positive step and it represents real progress. This electoral reform offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help revive British politics.

Are you totally happy with British politics as it is? Do you think everything is going just great? If so, maybe you should vote NO to change on May 5.

AV is fairer. AV allows you to express your preferences and to vote for who you really want to. That will help small parties such as the Greens. But at the same time, AV helps stop extremists (such as the BNP), by allowing you to place them bottom of your preferences. AV is the natural next step forward for British democracy.

The Hull Lib Dem Cuts

1400 Hull jobs are expected to go. The unions warn this could rise to over 2000. Cuts include museum services where hours will be cut as well as opening times.

But the headline cut in Hull is surely the massive attack on Youth and Children’s Services. 1 in 5 young people in Hull live in poverty. 1 in 5 adults are unemployed. School attainment is amongst the lowest in the UK.

The Council cuts mean young people in Hull will be affected by:

  • 32% cut in Children and Young People’s services.
  • SureStart: funding slashed by 50% (1). Lib Dems technically not “closing” the 14 of 21 centres, but staffing and provision are set to be minimal, the unions claim “a receptionist and a caretaker”! (1)
  • Unison estimates only 46 of 244 workers will remain. (1)
  • Connexions: 100% cut in careers guidance for young people. (2)
  • Young People’s Support Service cut 50%. Used by 1500-2000 young people every month, for help in finding a place to live, a job, education grants, etc. (2)
  • Youth Worker Training cut. No further provision to train youth workers. (2)
  • Looked-After Children’s Services cut — only two learning mentors to remain for the city. (2)
  • Family Group Conferencing cut. Help for families to stay together when crisis hits, and preventing youngsters being taken into care. (2)
  • Disability Respite cut—did provide short term breaks for disabled children and young people. (2)

Day Care Centres: NINE still threatened with closure …

Teaching Assistants cut: the Council has already made hundreds of TAs redundant and will cut back classroom support further.

It’s not as if Hull can afford more redundancies at this time, or that Hull doesn’t have enough unemployment! But this attack on communities and services cannot go unanswered which is why 5 Green Party members have put themselves forward as candidates:

Avenue Ward: Martin Deane

Newland Ward: Mike Lammiman

Myton Ward: TJ White

King’s Park Ward: Mark Gretton

University Ward: James Russell

- If you can help, please get in touch.

Hull candidates in full.


1. Guardian

2. Hull College SU

The Violence in Society...

I was speaking to a friend recently about last Saturday’s march. She may not have known precisely what the marchers were marching for – despite being a very able professional - beyond it being the unions “anticuts”. She may not have known how large it was as a demonstration, maybe second only to the Iraq one in size.

She may, also, not have heard of the Robin Hood Tax: she may not know there is NO tax on international finance deals despite these wrecking the global economy in 2008. Despite being really proud to pay taxes herself, she may not know that those on £150,000 and over have not paid their 50% tax for a year, or of the 13,000 jobs to be lost at HMRC, nor that most of this money won’t be recovered. But she certainly knew about the violence, the attacks on property and the thugs.

But there’s lies in all this. From the highest levels. And they will be repeated ad nauseam by people who should know better – or who choose not to. But we ALL should know better because we’re all targets of current government policies and hyping violence at a demo really aimed at them is their way out of having to answer for their own social violence.

In this Newsnight report, according to the nice female police Asst. Commissioner, there were arrests at this demo beating a record of 5 years for a public order event. She talks about the fear of customers as Fortnum & Mason was invaded by over 100 protesters from the group UKuncut.

The trouble is – there wasn’t any trouble!

The Guardian has video of a nice female police inspector, on the scene, saying they were “non-violent” and “sensible” (as confirmed by other independent reports like Green Party Adam Ramsay or this 15 year old girl’s account, and other video). The inspector even says on camera “that’s why people were kept in here” implying the police were dealing with actual violence outside and so prevented peaceful demonstrators leaving the shop!

Yet there were 149 charged with 138 arrested at F&M. - Just watch these charges disappear when it gets to court in a few months time! This is purely for headlines now! It’s propaganda. This was a peaceful sit-in that not even the shop has protested, nor were customers harassed or even prevented from shopping!

Only a few days ago MPs voted to support the No Fly Zone over Libya. Supposedly to defend the rebels there, only 13 of the 670 MPs voted against this. Really it was a rubber-stamping of the decision already taken by Cameron to back it. This despite polls showing the public very ambivalent about getting involved in Libya.

But where’s the No Fly Zone over Gaza? There isn’t one. And there never will be one while Israel remains backed by America – no matter how many Palestinians suffer or die – or rebel.

Choosing to back the banks, choosing to cut public jobs, welfare, DLA, EMA, housing benefit, youth organisations, day care centres, essentially protects the rich and the powerful who will become richer and more powerful through these policies. They will get the money that is being “saved” – not some deficit balance!

The estimated total of one million jobs beginning to be lost by these policies (500,000 public sector jobs and another 500,000 estimated to be lost from knock-on effects) will have effects to last for years – not a few days of clearing up mess or replacing windows.

We must be aware of violence in all its forms – not just what the media, or the powerful who control them, choose to show us.

Or else we are the manipulated ones merely bowing to thought control in a democratic society.

Miliband’s new campaigns!

In the wake of yesterday’s historic march, Labour’s Edward Milibland announces his new campaigns:

  • NO taxes on the banks!
  • NO taxes for the wealthy! (these haven’t been collected for over a year anyway…)!
  • NO closing of tax loopholes!
  • DON’T chase major tax avoiders!
  • DON’T re-regulate the financial sector!
  • CUT all the services anyway! (just spread them out a bit more).

The Labour Party leader, Ed Milibland, was very poor yesterday! His was the total hypocrisy of equating the 500,000 marchers (figure via police announced by Len McCluskey from stage) with apartheid and the civil rights movement, etc – WHILE he fails to share the ACTUAL policies the march was about!

A Real Alternative? Unbelievable, isn’t it? And major Unions think this is where hope lies?!?

Hull, on the other hand, was rather splendid. Somewhere around 17 coaches went, including the (Fire Brigade) FBU’s 3 from the area. (Twice the number of coaches that went for Iraq in 2003).

We had a great time. The demonstration was massive, very good-natured and determined. But we all know the battle goes on.

The message must get through: tax the banks, tax the ultra-rich, make the cuts history.


Update: After rumours of attack on Fortnum and Mason’s, a mob of tweed-clad old Etonians retaliate and vandalise Lidl in Slough. #mar26

Tw: Best placard so far: ‘there are two things I don’t like about nick clegg: his face’ #26march #march26

Tw: The march was a total success – 500k. Pity the ‘alternative’ is cuts over 72 months instead of 54 months. Ed is not the alternative.

Workers may March but Labour isn’t the alternative!

The biggest march this decade, to be held on Saturday, will have only one political party speaker: Ed Miliband.

Is Saturday’s huge demonstration really going to be a March for an Alternative? Or a march for more failed policies from a favoured party?

The TUC March for the Alternative on the 26th, calls for a Robin Hood Tax on banks, for closing tax loopholes and for policies for jobs and green growth.

Caroline Lucas MP, the one Green MP in Parliament, has been calling for these policies for over a year! And more: for an end to tax avoidance and evasion, for increased taxation of the rich, for closing tax loopholes for banks and big business, and not for destroying a million jobs through cuts but for creating one million jobs in green industries instead!

The policies the TUC March is calling for are from her manifesto!

But they’re not in Ed’s! Ed Miliband wrote Labour’s manifesto which called for these same cuts over 6 years, just not 4 1/2! How much history are people expected to forget to think that Labour are the answer?

Greens today call on the TUC and trade unionists to really fight the cuts, to put real pressure on politics and invite a greater representation of anti-cuts parties and politicians.

Martin Deane
Letter to TUC,,

Dear TUC,

As a teacher, an active anti-cuts campaigner and a member of a political party, I am utterly dismayed to hear today that Ed Miliband MP is to be the only party political speaker from on 26th March.

I am ashamed and disgusted by this sectarian move to allow a platform to a leader of a political party who has been advocating almost the same cuts as well as supporting the privatization of our beloved public services for over a decade.

Caroline Lucas MP is a sane voice in Parliament who has been calling for the policies this March is promoting for over a year! For an end to tax avoidance and evasion, for increased taxation of the rich, for closing tax loopholes for banks and big business, for creating one million green jobs instead of destroying a million. The policies the TUC March is calling for could be from her manifesto! But they’re not in Ed’s!

Is this really going to be a March for an Alternative? Or a march for more failed policies from a favoured neoliberal party?

I write to urge you to reconsider your decision. The March is important but if it’s simply pro-Labour then it will then be the TUC which is selling out the people. The trade unions monopolising the anti-cuts movement for the Labour Party line would be a failure of pluralistic politics, and bowing to the conservative ideology of present Labour policies. It will be truly and simply un-trade unionist.

It will be a shame if the TUC acts in this manner. Please act immediately to provide a range of political representation for people who will really fight these cuts.


Martin Deane


Create jobs not destroy them

The Green Party doesn’t accept the current propaganda that it’s necessary to have cuts to pay off the deficit.

The deficit has been at higher levels in history without being used as an excuse to launch an attack on ordinary people across the country. This attack is the most blatant, at this time, after just paying up to a trillion pounds to the banks to bail them out.

In the General Election last year we attacked the parties and their plans for cuts. Since then after people arguably voted for a hung Parliament, we have seen the Lib Dems unashamedly sell out the voting population (and the others!), jump into bed with the Tories and prepared to destroy a million jobs.

Our platform last year, the Green New Deal, showed how we can raise billions of pounds by taxing simply where the wealth is in society. Instead we see a rise in VAT which taxes everyone and taxes the poorest disproportionately. Our plans create a million jobs in vital green industries like energy conservation and renewable production, instead of destroying tens of thousands of jobs in the health service and more in council services across the country.

The cuts are “Disaster Capitalism” as Naomi Klein might call it. The disaster is the deficit, and big business has spotted a way to make money from it. It doesn’t matter that maybe a trillion quid has been given to the banks. Nor that the deficit has been higher with no great problems. All that matters is that they convince us the cuts are necessary. It’s propaganda. Once the cuts are in then they can move in companies to take over parts of the NHS or social services roles. And make another killing…

Connaught workers protest

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Where is the official party of opposition?

TJ White, Hull, writes from a piece first posted on the Labour fb page.

Here is my post where they(Labour!) can't delete it!

I have joined this page to support John McArdle and all the other people at Black Triangle: You are our official party of opposition. Start OPPOSING!!!!!!

We as disabled people are being told that ... if we can push our own wheelchairs 30 yards on a flat surface we have no mobility problems, how many places in reality fit that description?... We will be trapped in our homes, sanctioned by the DWP on income based benefits because we can no longer leave the house to get to work OR go to work focused interviews.

ATOS is stealing taxpayers' money in their disability denial factories; they have been given a blank cheque and the consent to harass and persecute those who are too sick to work. What did you think would happen when you told them if they wanted to they could reassess people every three months and you would pay them to do so? Appeals have rocketed and as soon as people have won their appeal they are being reassessed again!

It's money for old rope, it's persecution. And you couldn't give a damn because all you care about really is the Daily Mail readers that you have been partially responsible for whipping into a frenzy to win votes from them.

STOP the lies, make a fair test, and yes test us, test us in a fair evenhanded manner, remove profit from the testing or you will always skew the figures.


Friday, 4 March 2011

Rock Against the Cuts, Fri 11th

Rock Against the Cuts

Friday 11th, Pearson Park Hotel, 7.30pm.
Tickets £10 / £8 from Martin on 471467 and Bill on 862085.

Food Music Raffle!!! Dyslexic Kid playing, and guests.
Reserve your place now!!! A Green Party event.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

March Events

Free Film: Low Impact Man
Saturday 5 March, Boulevard Village Hall, doors open 2pm, all welcome
- follows a Manhattan-based family as they abandon their high consumption 5th Avenue lifestyle and try to live a year while making no net environmental impact.
With refreshments and opportunity for discussion after the film.

Rock Against the Cuts
Friday 11th, Pearson Park Hotel, 7.30pm.
Tickets £10 / £8 from me (471467).
Food Music Raffle!!! Dyslexic Kid playing, and guests.
Reserve your place now!!! A Green Party event.

Film: Zeitgeist: Moving Forward
£1 donation. Sat 12 March, 1pm, @ Fruit, Humber Street, Hull
Very interesting film on the world's imminent future!
With discussion space.

March 26 - Massive TUC Anti-cuts Demo
Hull Coach = 5AM, Hull centre and Uni!!
Returns 10pm -ish. Subsidised so £5 a seat!!
Contact 471467.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Hull Anti-Cuts Protests, Feb 24

Today the LibDem run Hull City Council attempted to set its cuts budget.

At midday a crowd of many hundreds protested around the city and at 4.30 gathered again outside the Guildhall. A locally donated PA system kept the crowd entertained. Maybe a dozen speeches were heard. A crowd of 40 at a time were allowed into the gallery of the council chamber.

Occasional raised voices challenged the councillors and eventually they adjourned and called for the Gallery to be cleared. A mini invasion of the Guildhall took place.

Picture from a protester looking out from the Guildhall balcony to the demonstration below.

Hull is facing around £80 million worth of cuts this year entailing some 2000 jobs all told.

It will be the worst hit authority in the region.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Support the Guildhall Anti-Cuts Protests, Feb 24th.

We would like everyone who can possibly make it to come to the Guildhall at 4.30pm on Thursday 24th. This will be a major protest against the cuts.

Hull City Council is losing 1700 jobs, 1400 of these are compulsory redundancies. 7/10 day care centres are to close. Children's services and youth services are receiving huge slashes in funding. Museum services are being run down and staff forced to work fewer hours.

Thursday 24th Feb: Guildhall Anti-Cuts Protest 4.30pm

See you there!

Hull Jobs Protest

Sunday, 13 February 2011


Shan Oakes
Swift Conservation - - Keeping the Skies Alive! I've been very worried about the drop in numbers of swifts and delighted to find this site. They advise on things like how to make your roof better for swifts to nest in.
Swift Conservation Homepage

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Greens welcome Hull Lib Dems attack on cuts

I’m really pleased to learn that Council Leader Carl Minns and the Lib Dem councillors in Hull are doing the right thing and speaking up against the government led cuts.

They speak against the “scale and pace” of the cuts even though it involves their own party leadership because they realise how profoundly these cuts will affect frontline services and vulnerable people across Hull.

In the Green Party we’ve consistently stood against all these cuts. We fought all the cuts promised by the other parties in the General Election. They’re vicious and they’re not needed. The deficit can be wound down simply by taxing more fairly – which this government refuses to do.

In fact, to add further insult to injury, there’s now a major government plan to change tax law to favour international banks and big business to the tune of tens of billion of pounds more! – something that George Monbiot has called the tax heist of the century.

Guess who will be paying for that?


Martin Deane stood for Parliament in Hull last year and will stand for Council in May.


I'm feeling highly frustrated. Why can't everyone see the appalling mess the world is in due to unleashed corporations and greed? Its no good saying 'Oh well its always been the same'. Humans ARE capable of change, and the need is so blatant we should be working together for change.

'More for Less' - this was the title of last Tuesday's conference at Bishop Burton Agricultural College. The presentations ranged from the excellent(how farming can contribute to the general good) to the grotesque (the proposed Nocton cow factory). The college should be congratulated on running this public conference to showcase these varying points of view.

Graham Stuart, Tory MP for Beverley and Holderness, spoke first and demonstrated his complete lack of understanding of the need to develop a vibrant local economy in the face of peak oil. His vision is severely limited - to yet more corporate power, 'competition', and 'growth': more of the very things which are leading to war, job loss, disease, species extinction, empty seas, poverty, climate change and so on. I was not the only one aghast at his myopic view. He repeats the mantra of 'less government' without seeing the need for a review of our collective values. He has a background in running a small business, but he needs now, as does his party, to get to grips with the bigger picture. The two 'slick and dirty' presentations were promotions for genetic modification and animal concentration camps, but the others were about how to diversify, think differently and add value and were fascinating.

At the end I met a student whose family has farmed in East Yorkshire for 4 generations - and it was his enthusiasm and the local connection which will remain with me the longest.