Wednesday, 30 April 2014
Monday, 28 April 2014
Saturday, 26 April 2014
April 26 – Hull People's Assembly
Wealth for all
There's a Facebook picture of a dolphin saying: Humans are the only animals that seek happiness with wealth! We often define wealth in terms of money! Only after most of us are reminded do we define it in terms of love – family – health - good food - clean water – a nice area – clean streets – decent pensions – a free health service – ease of travel – a society we can be proud of.
For money is an illusion. Every note contains a worthless promise... "I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of ten pounds." Once, long ago, you could claim your ten POUNDS of gold. But the link to the Gold Standard was broken many years ago. Modern money bears no relation to the promise. It's now FIAT money – not the Italian car – but the Latin for "Let it be made". It is created – by banks.
A bank clerk types £5000 into a computer. The bank doesn't HAVE the £5000! The bank has PERMISSION to create £5000 - out of nothing! They create MANY TIMES the entire bank's total value in assets. (When Lehman Brothers went down it was leveraged at 81 times its assets!) We make it REAL! We pay IN the money earned by the sweat of our brow. It's a con. It's the never-ending creation of money, it's eternal inflation. It requires every union and every worker to campaign endlessly for ever-higher wages – or lose out. We're so used to it we barely question it. Our economy is the same – endless growth, based on endless resources – presumably on some infinite planet!
Siemens is a great deal to have for the Hull area. The factory provides 700 jobs – which we hope will be local. But the joy expressed over Siemens is tempered by anger over the lost 2000 jobs from Hull City Council. ALL local jobs – in this the city with the country's highest youth unemployment. Council jobs are jobs in service to the community. Siemens jobs are there to make money for the company. Service jobs in a needy city are there for the long term; Siemens jobs are there while the work lasts. Wind giant Vestas closed its factory on the Isle of Wight in 2009 losing 425 jobs. 220 jobs were rescued by Vestas agreeing to a research facility after a 2-week worker sit-in by workers - and no doubt some government help.
NOW - the fact that Britain - with the greatest wind resources in Europe - doesn't have its own major wind turbine manufacturer – is a matter for ridicule!
Nevertheless, the Siemens deal is a win, as will be the major North Sea windfarms if they take place. At the same time, the ConDem government is ending the onshore wind subsidy in 2015, and making windfarms a local council planning matter alone, thus undermining one of the greenest industries we have. But it's election time…
Cllr Andrew Cooper
Imagine thousands of council homes in Hull being solar powered! Ending fuel poverty there! Ending the worry of ever- rising bills from the Big 6! Imagine no charge to tenants and they get the power for free! - You won't have heard ANYTHING about this, but in February, Cllr Andrew Cooper got Kirklees to agree to install solar panels on 2000 council homes! The excess power means the council gets paid back in 12 years! But what coverage did this get?? NONE – save the Huddersfield Examiner. For months the BBC has blocked coverage of the Green Party regional campaign. Next Wednesday they've deigned to do a piece – other than on Ukip! Andrew Cooper will be in Hull on Wednesday. Years ago, he started the Kirklees Warm Zone scheme – now copied by councils round the country. Nowadays he's our Green Party energy expert. And this year he's the lead Green Party candidate for our region.
Martin Deane is Green Party candidate for Avenue Ward, Hull, in May 22nd.
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Bill Rigby of Beverley Friends of the Earth and a local Green Party member writes:
There have now been at least eight meetings locally, sponsored by both 'sides' in the debate, with a lot of coverage on local radio and TV. A few firm details are beginning to emerge.
People's concerns extend beyond fracking and include extraction of oil and gas by any means. The local exploration company, Rathlin, says it is not going to 'frack'. Like John the Baptist, it is preparing the way for another to come in to dig a network of wells, less than half a mile apart, across the whole of the County. If Rathlin's initial exploration tells them it is possible, they will frack.
The MP for Beverley and Holderness has taken the unprecedented step of asking his constituents via email what their views are. This is good in principle but the questions themselves reveal the bias of the MP.
Beverley Friends of the Earth organised a brief public consultation at the beginning of the year, where many people queued up to say how worried they were. So we wrote to the Council, giving our findings and 160 signatures, collected in just over an hour.
The reply, from the Environment portfolio holder, Cllr Symon Fraser made no commitment to do anything, but concluded, "I can assure you that Members and Planners are aware of, and sensitive to, the anxieties of the community on this difficult matter."
Beverley Friends of the Earth find this assurance totally unsatisfactory. To meet the full expectations of this promise, we call upon the Council to
conduct a survey of the local community on the issue (but omit questions as to their political affiliation, and skewed items which commit the respondents subtly to agreeing with fracking)
organise a public consultation and debate with all 'sides' present (the drilling company have so far refused to share a platform with opponents of their activities)
publish articles in their own publications from scientists and economists on the broader issue of why this activity is necessary at all, and invite robust responses
Coordinator, Beverley FoE
Monday, 7 April 2014
Talk and film from both local and national campaigners against the Fracking Industry. Residents can find out how to stop the threat to the East Riding's water, air, soil and homes.
Monday 14th April, 7pm - Walkington Village Hall
Tuesday 15th April, 7pm - Hornsea Floral Hall
Thursday 17th April 7.15pm - Driffield - Cass Hall
Sunday, 6 April 2014
"A government minister was recently asked, How much money has the Bedroom Tax saved? She said, It wasn't all about saving money...