Tuesday, 6 October 2015

We Shall Overcome: Megan Greenwood's speech

This weekend saw Hull host our second great We Shall Overcome events. Here, the youngest contributor of the evening, sums up where many of us are in terms of finding our voice - and encouraging others. 

Our thanks to Megan Greenwood:

"We are powerful and we will no longer be silenced."

 "I'm absolutely thrilled to be taking part in such an iconic political movement like We Shall Overcome.

Now onto something a little less than controversial - age. At 15 years old, politics and social movements were the last things that interested me. All I knew on the subject was that my parents hated the government!

Fast forward to 5 months before the General Election, and now politics has become a main focus of my life and, dare I say,  potential career path!

This drastic change was caused by one stranger - one stranger and his faith in me, faith in my strength, faith in my generation.

Joe Solo. The man responsible for this weekend.

This man believes! And isn't that what this weekend is fundamentally about? Faith? The faith in ourselves, the faith in each other, the faith to know that we are powerful and we will no longer be silenced.

PHOTO: Joe Solo played Queens Gardens, Hull, earlier this year.

Time after time I'm told I'm no good. I cannot be taken seriously during family debates or in public forums - because somehow society believes my intelligence is devalued by the lesser amount of time I've spent on this earth.

This was particularly apparent to me shortly after the General Election. There was a popular anecdote floating around social media about the Tory election being reflected in a U2 album every iTunes user got, when the majority didn't really want it.

A family friend stated that due to my youth, I was wrong. Due to my youth, I was an irrational extremist. Due to my youth I was manipulated by the 'dream-like' ideologies of the left wing.

To this day, and every day hereafter, I will fight for the voices of young men and women in politics.
Young people care about their future. Young people care about the future of our country. Young people care about the future of their parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren. Young people refuse a world of poverty.

As a collective we have an overwhelming sense of strength to change - and with like-minded elders, we are even stronger. The strength we gain together can move mountains and our opinions will no longer be silenced in a supposedly democratic society.

We have a voice. Every person standing in front of me has a voice. So let's use it for the common good; and let's use it for the greater good.

So, I ask of you... Encourage your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends to have a voice in politics. Ensure them that there will be people who will try to silence them but they can shout louder. We all can.

We can live in a world of equality, tolerance and peace.

We can, and we will overcome."


Saturday, 30 May 2015

Hull Anti-austerity protest, May 30th 2015

PHOTO CREDITS: Martin Upfold, Hull
Ellie and Hannah spoke about their inspiration to hold a June 20th demonstration in Hull.
For all those who can't make it to London, the demonstration will be in Queens Gardens, Hull, from 11 am, Sat June 20th 2015. All welcome, bring stalls, placards, banners. Go viral!

And one of Hull's greatest open secrets, live music. 
No More Zero Hours contracts! Green Party's Martin Deane joining in with the chorus. 

Former councillor, Dean Kirk, spoke representing Hull Red Labour.

The campaign goes on. Lots of different campaign groups were represented at today's protest - HEY Frack Off, Hull Homeless Outreach, NUT (National Union of Teachers), Hull Trades Council (representing Hull's unions).

Tuesday 2nd June - 12.30, Anti-Fluoridation Protest, back at Queen Victoria Square, on the day Hull City Council will debate the next round of trying to force fluoridation of the city through.

Saturday 20th June - National Anti-austerity Protest, London AND Hull Protest, from 11 AM in Queens Gardens.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

No nuclear or fracking waste dumps in the East Riding!

On the last day of Parliament a change was rushed through to bypass local planning procedures. Future decisions about the location of nuclear waste disposal facilities are to be taken by government ministers. (1)

Richard Howarth, Green Party Candidate for Beverley and Holderness, exposes the risk of nuclear and fracking waste disposal in the East Riding. 

Richard Howarth asks, 

“Will East Yorkshire be next?”

“ This is a shocking and deeply undemocratic move. In its final throes this government has sneaked through changes with no publicity or proper debate.

“People in the area will remember the attempt by NIREX to force a radioactive waste disposal facility on Killingholme, in North East Lincolnshire."

"It is essential for residents of Hull and the East Riding to ask candidates where they stand on dealing with radioactive waste, and waste from oil and gas wells, especially from fracking."

Last year in North Yorkshire, the Environment Agency granted permission for the disposal of 6 million cubic meters of low level radioactive waste by injection into wells.

In this area, Rathlin Energy UK Ltd have Radioactive Substances Activity permits for both West Newton and Crawberry Hill.

While government pushed the amendment through, the Labour Party abstained.

Martin Deane (Hull North Candidate) pointed out,

“Any East Riding nuclear or fracking disposal site is likely to use the road network through Hull.

"This vote means the port facilities could be used for importing nuclear waste from the rest of the world – especially now that the only nuclear waste facility, in New Mexico, has been closed for safety reasons."

The Green Party is long opposed to the nuclear industry because of the risk of accidents but also because safe waste disposal is prohibitively expensive.


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Martin Deane supports the Mencap election campaign

Peace on a knife-edge - time to scrap Trident

Green Party policy is to bin Trident.

As well as saving the country £100 billion over its lifetime, this also saves a potential 200 cities from destruction.

Saying it hasn't happened yet is no argument that it won't.

Trident is the UK's own 'nuclear deterrent' - our own WMD, Weapons of Mass Destruction, the nuclear missiles on board 4 Trident submarines - all supplied by the USA and all thought to be under their control, ultimately, whatever Westminster's blandishments.

It will be interesting to see in the coming SNP challenge to Labour in Scotland, if their commitment to ridding Scotland of these terrible weapons lasts beyond the election. That’s one thing Greens would be particularly keen to hold them to, myself especially having been arrested twice at Faslane on the Clyde where Trident is based.
Nuclear disarmament was abandoned by Labour back in the 80s, caving to pressure from the Thatcher government and their media. Interestingly, the arms industry has always done better under Labour than the Tories.

Having external enemies is a great way to bolster unity at home, especially backing your own government when it's at war. One example is the Lib Dems being against war on Iraq but then falling into line when the war started. The more deadly the enemy - as in Russia or China's nukes, number 2 and 3 respectively, - the better.

But with nuclear weapons, we make the world, deliberately, an exceedingly dangerous place. Unlike climate change which has crept up on us, and which may possibly claim more lives in the end, stockpiles of nuclear weapons, ready for use, are the single greatest threat to life.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has been saying this for a long time. Here's their latest -
Guardian - Doomsday Clock near midnight

For decades already, we've learned 'to live with the bomb'. But the Green Party stands for the movement in politics and humanity that says, let's do something sensible about this before there's either a terrible mistake or a deliberate catastrophe.

The weapons exist and have proliferated, a massive arms race with America leading the way while pretending that the Soviet Union was far in advance.

There have been initiatives and successes, the Start treaties, the Fispan treaties. Instead of having tens of thousands of nukes per major state, we're now about 10k, 8k, 6k, for USA, CIS, China. That's serious disarmament. Most states are also signatories to the NPT 1970, the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty, committing our countries to disarmament. However, creating deadly enemies (even literally, as with Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Russia) is great for keeping politicians in power at home.

It's been understood for a long time, that the next world war could be the last. Hence smaller wars, skirmishes between proxies, standing in for the leading powers.

When there's little or no moves towards disarmament, the current 'pragmatism' not only allows us to accept the single most dangerous threat to most life, but has encouraged the proliferation of nuclear weapons to other states, North Korea, India, Pakistan. At what stage do we call proliferation the most foolhardy thing we've done?

It's all very well for the writers and readers of The Sun or the Daily Mail, but as a world we must move beyond the politics of confrontation. Peace cannot be allowed to depend on the ability to destroy most life on the planet.

Mostly what's behind it, putting aside the nuclear-military industry, is the fear agenda. 'Let's keep people focused on official enemies, grow support for war and distract them from the growth of the wealth of the 1%.

Humans aren't designed to live in fear. But that's what these weapons represent. Our calling is for real peace, not peace on a knife-edge.

Martin Deane
Green Party
Candidate for Hull North
Candidate for Avenue ward

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Green target constituencies.

What's missing is not the ideas - nor the costings!

What's missing is the political will - among the other parties. 

And that's where the Greens come in - but only with your help.

And especially in our target areas. 

They are these - IF you live in one of these 12 constituencies vote Green and support their local campaign. This goes for friends, relatives, mild acquaintances, pets who can leaflet, etc:

1.Top of the target list:
Norwich South - currently Lib Dem.
2. Bristol West - Lib Dem Stephen Williams under pressure from Student vote.
3. St Ives, Cornwall - Tory and Lib Dem enclave: incredibly low wages and seasonal casual employment. In county elections, Greens AVERAGE a healthy 18% of the vote.

4-12 Others: Sheffield Central - big local party, candidate:time-served councillor and former GP; 4 serving councillors, score 31% across seat. Liverpool Riverside, Oxford East, Solihull (Lib Dem), Reading East (Tory), York Central (another big LP, 2 sitting councillors). Holborn and St Pancras (Labour) – Where Natalie Bennett herself is standing as the candidate. Cambridge (LD).

This has never happened before!

Martin Deane, centre, Green Party candidate for Hull North, pictured with members of Hull University Green Party.

This has never happened before!

It was a real pleasure to make the Hull University Green Party social earlier this week.

One effect of the Green Surge - Greens have grown by 40000 members in the last year - is that Hull University - for the first time - has a functioning Green Party society.

Green politics hasn't gone entirely unrepresented. For many years now there has been HUGS, Hull Uni Green Society which has covered a number of issues, especially the environmental.

But an actual Green Party is a great coming of age for the local party in Hull and East Riding.

We talked about any number of topics, from electoral politics in Hull for May 7th this year, to Fukushima and its 4 years of poisoning the Pacific.

Members are keen to get involved in campaigns, and there may even be a student candidate on Hull slate. 

Watch this space! We look forward to meeting again. 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

We've got to act on these issues.

A few years ago, we'd never heard of fracking. Now they're even trying to get oil from under Yorkshire. And Yorkshire, frankly, isn't Texas!

You name it, humanity is driving a steamroller through it: rainforests, topsoil,  fisheries, fresh water, species diversity, the integrity of DNA after GMOs, the depletion of resources.

We've got to act on these issues.

We need leaders who know the score on resource decline and the effects of degradation. We need people to take on Parliament and the banks and giant corporations. And then what do they do?? Give a trillion pounds to the banks and make us pay for it in jobs, services, and cost of living!

We really do need serious investment in equality, and in a greener and more sustainable future. For all our futures.

Martin Deane first joined the Green Party in 2005 to stand for Parliament and has stood in every election since, national and local. Martin Deane first came to Hull in 1988 for university. He has a degree in Theology and a MSc in Psychology. Martin went into teaching and now teaches part-time regularly working in schools across the area.

Martin Deane has been active in Hull's Stop the War coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Hull Against the Cuts, Transition Hull and Hull People's Assembly, and this year, Hull Against Fluoridation. Martin Deane is Chair of Hull and East Riding Green Party. He plays bass guitar and has visited both India and China.

2015 will be Martin’s 10th election. Last year in Avenue Ward, Hull, Greens won 22%, putting it in play this year.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Green Surge meeting Saturday

Hull and East Riding Green Party members joined over 200 from parties across the region in the Arts @ Trinity building in Leeds city centre on Saturday. The meeting took place after the last few months' dramatic growth of the Green Party nicknamed the Green Surge. The surge has taken the party from 13,000 last year to an impressive 52,500 members last weekend (53,000 now!)

Also present were about 20 of the General Election candidates. The Green Party is standing a record 37 candidates so far (PPCs, Prospective Parliamentary Candidates) for the 54 seats in the region – and expects more to announce shortly.

Cllr Andrew Cooper again, the lead euro candidate in 2014, is now Regional Campaigns Coordinator. He introduced the campaign for Sheffield Central.  Cllr Dr Jillian Creasy was warmly welcomed. She is candidate for Sheffield Central,  the region's target,  and spoke to the meeting on the hows and whys of campaigning hard and trying to return the region's first Green Party MP.

At the start of the meeting, we asked those who had joined in the last year to stand up – and three-quarters of the room did!

Natalie Hurst (PPC, Brigg & Goole), John Allison-Walsh (Hull), Martin Deane (PPC, Hull North), Richard Howarth (PPC, Beverley & Holderness), and Mark Maloney (PPC, East Riding)

Members split into groups to get to grips with different policy areas that the Green Party has. Discussion groups covered Employment, Education, Foreign Affairs, Climate Change and more.

Later, further discussions took place on how to talk to people who come at politics in a different way or supporters of other parties. 

A great day building on people's commitment, developing understanding and skills.

Martin Deane