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.

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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