Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Greens reject war with Russia

The recent announcement by Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon that Nato 'is waking up to the challenge of Kremlin aggression' and could confront Vladimir Putin's forces in a showdown, is both dissembling and either theatre or a worrying escalation in a new cold war.
 
there are a number of moves which could mean we are being set up for war with Russia like we were set up for war with Iraq.
 
Fallon is pretending when he says Nato is waking up to Russian aggression. Nato has been busily encroaching on eastern Europe for years and areas in the former Russian sphere of influence. What we see now is Russia beginning to stand up to Nato's aggressive stance.
 
This comes in a long list of anti-Russian positions and propaganda which may lead to something other than a cold war. If you look at the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 60s, you know putting missiles near a nation's border is asking for trouble. And Nato has been doing precisely that with so-called Missile Defence for a number of years now.
 
Add to that the US' success in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya – as they regard them – as well as its unparalleled military spending and you have a recipe for a new major war.
 
Fallon noted that Britain would be able to fight a war against Russia within two years.
 
Fallon may talk tough on a British war with Russia, but everyone knows we rely on America power – even for Trident. But the message is clear – our warmongers are getting ready  for war with Russia.
 
"We need to be prepared for a constant media presentation (as if it wasn't constant enough) of Russia as the bad guy, the threat, the clear and present danger, about which something must be done.
 
And we need to reject this now.

------------------------------
 
 
 

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Teeth are improving everywhere, fluoride is incidental, poverty is involved

National 2012 child dental health study -
 
Regarding the threat of fluoridation for Hull (and the East Riding), Martin Deane of the Green Party says:
 
"Teeth are improving everywhere. This study shows that by 2012 Yorkshire and Humber had caught up with London in dental health.
 
"In the 4 years to the 2012 study, our region made one of the biggest improvements in the country.
INFO: graph relates to data in 2012 dental survey [attached]
 
"In our region, five authorities perform worse than Hull: Barnsley, Wakefield, Kirklees, Calderdale and Bradford.
 
 
INFO: graph shows relative dental health of 21 LAs in Yorkshire and Humber region, from data tables in the 2012 study.
 
"Clearly any effect of fluoride is highly arguable. Only North Lincs is fluoridated and it's not the best in the region.
 
"Hull comes 16th in the league, or 6th from bottom. Worse dental health can be found in: Barnsley, Wakefield, Kirklees, Calderdale and Bradford. Hull councillors might consider what methods were successful nationally and what authorities worse than us intend doing."
 
Ryedale has got the best teeth in Y&H (0.30) on a negligible 0.05 mg/l of fluoride in the water supply.
Harrogate is next (0.55) with similar low natural fluoride in the water.
North Lincs is next (0.60) and is fluoridated at 1mg/l (or 1ppm).
Selby is 4th (0.62) with 0.07 mg/l in its water supply.
Craven is 5th (0.64).
East Yorkshire is 6th with 0.74 and, like Hull, has 0.12 mg/l natural fluoride.
You can check your fluoride level by entering your postcode here.
 
"However, there's a high correlation between well–off authorities and areas which have high index of multiple deprivation – and health decay.  Generally speaking, the worse off an authority, the higher the level of tooth decay."
 
 

--------------------------------------------
Martin Deane
Hull and East Riding Green Party
07935 036211
 

Wearing a White Poppy

The White Poppy and the Red Poppy are two sides of the same coin. But how will we use it?
 
Both poppies have a great history.
 
The White Poppy began to be sold in 1933. It was to stand for all war deaths, an end to wars, and for peace. This came after the 1928 international Kellogg Briand Pact where leading nations agreed to renounce and outlaw war.
 
A 100 years ago, 90% of the deaths in war were of soldiers. Now, the case for the white poppy is stronger than ever, as 90% of deaths in modern wars, are deaths of civilians. Of those 'dying for their country' now, only 1 in 10 are soldiers.
 
A lot of people don't know the backstory to the Red Poppy.
 
In 1918 when the men came back from war, they were furious. They had watched so many of their friends die - in slaughter - in murder as the last veteran told us a few years ago - in the 'war to end all wars' - and which didn't. They had seen so many of their brave comrades cut down, lions led by donkeys.
 
Officials recognised that something had to be done to help defuse the anger of the hundreds of thousands of men, all trained in arms, who were returning to their country – and to be forgotten by the ruling system.
 
General Haig was very aware of this anger and wished to support ex-soldiers but also to protect the status quo. So the British Legion was born.
 
The British Legion soaked up the other ex-servicemen's organisations - except, notably, the NUX, the National Union of Ex-servicemen, which survived until 1922.
 
Soon Haig and the British Legion adopted the red poppy - via America and France - and this was first sold around the country in 1921, in memory of the military dead.
 
In 1922 the hundreds of thousands of NUX members were encouraged to join the Labour Party, and others, to work for a fairer country.
 
In 1923, the Labour Party helped form the government for the first time, and former servicemen became part of the first attempt to create a 'land fit for heroes'.
 
The question now is: in a country at war for most of this century, so far, and daily taught to hate enemy countries, and many groups of people, what do we know about peace?

------------------------------------------
Martin Deane

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Syrian refugees - we need to see your teeth

The BBC, DM, S*n etc, want us to feel outraged today at Syrian refugees who dare to come to this country and dare to lie about their ages. The sooner we see the corporate media as tools of the state like some Machiavellian Dick Dastardly tempting us like lemmings over a cliff, the better.
 
There are clues in the headlines: Syria and refugees. The first thing we should think when we hear Syria is the Middle East, the pre-eminent centre of oil energy in the world. The second thing we should think is The List. Syria is on America's list going back to the 90s. This is basic modern history with one proviso - it has to get beyond the propaganda.
 
If the corporate mainstream media were doing their job, there wouldn't have been an Iraq war. Nor a million deaths on our collective conscience. Instead, we have dark actors like Tony Blair trotted out to say he'd do it all over again, as if the amount of death his view of the world depends on were remotely acceptable.
 
The US DOD List means almost certainly that the Syrian 'civil war' was no accident. Were the media committed to anything like the truth, there would be no war in Syria. By media now I mean not only our mainstream media, which is craven, but America's, even more a basket case, and probably France's (since they're joining our hegemonic foreign policy). The List, post-9/11, was aimed at destroying 7 countries in 5 years. They're behind schedule. 
 
The second clue is 'refugee'. The word goes back to one of our most gloried times: postwar Britain. The surge of national pride carried on for years and included the 1951 Refugee Convention where we would take in people fleeing war.
 
Now we want to know how old they are! Or examine their teeth! Or leave it to Ealing Council to take some in! But even this probably reflects the pressure of ordinary people across the country wanting us to do our bit, and not leave it to Germany - or Greece. So keep the pressure up. WE should clear the Calais camp, not the French bulldozers. Why? Because we can and 5000 won't kill us.
 

Martin Deane

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Cameron's actions destroyed Libya and promoted ISIL


Cameron's actions destroyed Libya and promoted ISIL
"Cameron's actions destroyed Libya and promoted ISIL" says Martin Deane of the Green Party.
"These aren't my words but the words of MPs in Parliament studying what we did to Libya in 2011 and what's happened since.
"This is Libya's Chilcot. Like Blair over Iraq, the MPs blame Cameron's haste for war, intelligence that was flawed, and lack of political engagement to reach a diplomatic solution.
"Instead violence was pursued,  in this case seeking a UN resolution to provide cover, and then NATO airstrikes estimated to have killed 30,000 people.
"British and French actions quickly became a push for regime change – something America has wanted in Libya for a long time – surely no coincidence.
"Now one of the best functioning countries in Africa, and its oil richest one, is reduced to chaos and ruins.
"This is Cameron's legacy and, like Iraq and Blair before him, part of Britain's footprint on the 21st century."
------------------------------------------

Amnesty: FREE NAZANIN JAILED IN IRAN - she has been jailed for 5 years on secret charges.

14 Sep – Mirror
David Cameron 's intervention in Libya left the country in ruin and spurred the growth of ISIS , MPs say today.
The Foreign Affairs committee says the 2011 military operation to oust Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was based on 'erroneous assumptions' and flawed intelligence.
In a scathing report they slam an 'opportunist' Mr Cameron for taking the country to war without a clear strategy to support post-Gaddafi Libya.
Britain and France were the ringleaders behind the air strikes launched in 2011 to protect Libyan civilians.
But the committee says the operation turned from a limited intervention into an 'opportunist policy of regime change'.
Britain failed to 'identify that the threat to civilians was overstated and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element', the report says.
The committee concludes: "The consequence was political and economic collapse, inter-militia and inter-tribal warfare, humanitarian and migrant crises, widespread human rights violations and the growth of ISIL in North Africa."
The MPs said weapons from the Gaddafi regime were seized by terrorist groups in Algeria, Egypt, Mali and Tunisia as well as Boko Harem in Nigeria.
The UK Government 'could not verify the threat posed to civilians by the Gaddafi regime'
The report says: "The international community's inability to secure weapons abandoned by the Gaddafi regime fuelled instability in Libya and enabled and increased terrorism across North and West Africa and the Middle East .
"The UK Government correctly identified the need to secure weapons immediately after the 2011 Libyan civil war, but it and its international partners took insufficient action to achieve that objective."
It adds: "We have seen no evidence that the UK Government carried out a proper analysis of the nature of the rebellion in Libya.
"It could not verify the actual threat to civilians posed by the Gaddafi regime; it selectively took elements of Muammar Gaddafi's rhetoric at face value; and it failed to identify the militant Islamist extremist element in the rebellion.
"UK strategy was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the evidence."
The MPs say the UK and France, having led the military action, are responsible for failing to help rebuild post-Gaddafi Libya.
Committee chair, the Tory MP Crispin Blunt, said: "This report determines that UK policy in Libya before and since the intervention of March 2011 was founded on erroneous assumptions and an incomplete understanding of the country and the situation.
"Other political options were available. Political engagement might have delivered civilian protection, regime change and reform at a lesser cost to the UK and Libya.
The UK would have lost nothing by trying these instead of focusing exclusively on regime change by military means.
"The UK's actions in Libya were part of an ill-conceived intervention, the results of which are still playing out today.
"The United Nations has brokered an inclusive Government of National Accord. If it fails, the danger is that Libya will sink into a full scale civil war to control territory and oil resources."
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "The decision to intervene was an international one, called for by the Arab League and authorised by the United Nations Security Council .
"Muammar Gaddafi was unpredictable, and he had the means and motivation to carry out his threats. His actions could not be ignored, and required decisive and collective international action.
"Throughout the campaign we stayed within the United Nations mandate to protect civilians. After four decades of Gaddafi misrule, Libya undoubtedly faces huge challenges.
"The UK will continue to play a leading role within the international community to support the internationally recognised Libyan Government of National Accord."

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Cameron's positive legacy: gay marriage

Cameron's positive legacy: gay marriage

There is almost nothing I can think of that I approved of among Cameron's policies, writes Martin Deane

"In almost every arena, education, health, welfare, economy, defence, foreign relations, he has failed by most people's reckoning.

"Apart from allowing gay marriage, Cameron has left the majority of the country more insecure, poorer, slashing survivability for those on welfare, more medically insecure, a higher national debt, lost the nation's top credit rating and promoted crises of staff among major like teachers, nurses and doctors. In addition, he made a deadly gamble to tackle the Ukip attack on the Conservatives by holding a simplistic binary referendum – which he lost.

"Some might praise his win of the Scottish referendum. But even making the Queen purr won't deter a new referendum post-Brexit.

"His is a toxic legacy. Good riddance."

David Cameron leaves a Britain with -
Water charges up 20%
Loses UK AAA economic rating (first time since 1978)

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

MPs voting for Trident fail UK international commitments


Martin Deane put himself forward for arrest twice over the Trident issue at national protests in 2006 at Faslane near Glasgow where the Vanguard submarines are based. Here he comments on the Trident vote:

The UK is committed by international treaty to a world without nuclear weapons, but you wouldn't know it from last night's vote.

The 80% of MPs voting for Trident have failed to honour the UK's international commitments since 1970 and signing the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty.

The renewal of Trident is the second UK scandal this century. Instead of developing Britain's stance towards peace in the world, MPs have chosen to promote fear and war, in preparing for probably the worst war we will ever see.

Britain's second ever female Prime Minister underscored this in stark terms, when she confirmed she is prepared to launch Trident and "kill hundreds of thousands of people". I don't think any Prime Minister has gone that far before. Honest, staggering and frightening.

But that's the logic of these weapons. And it is WHY they should be banned. And it is WHY we promised in 1970 to eliminate them. There has been some progress. But look at what happened last century! And tell me what we've learned!

Behind the fake fear is a really stark point. We have committed to keep the worst weapons ever invented knowing that, in all human history, if these terrible weapons were NOT used, then that would be the first time! At some stage, we use them, and that should scare everybody and make us all disarmament nuts.

Trident is a theft! £205 billion could be spent in any number of ways, in the Britain of overstretched hospital wards, chronically underfunded NHS, foodbank Britain, the recent 5% cuts demanded of all schools. Trident is therefore a choice. A choice of war over peace.

As the late great Tony Benn often said:  If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people.

--------------------------------------------
NOTES
472 MPs voted to renew Trident. 117 against (20%), but including very few Labour MPs.
138 Labour MPs (60% of the PLP) voted with Theresa May to spend £205 billion on weapons of mass destruction.
One solitary Tory voted no to Trident: Crispin Blunt MP
In 1970 we signed the NPT, Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty, committing Britain to ridding the world of nuclear weapons.Proliferation - has happened, notably after Iraq, with India, Pakistan, etc, acquiring nuclear weapons. There's two good states to give nukes to: at war for decades over Kashmir!
Trident is aimed at becoming a first strike weapon - and it's American! UK defence documents confirm that Trident is essentially an American weapon and almost certainly would require their permission to launch. The document spells out that, like Iraq, the UK use of Trident would be on the basis of Britain joining in an American-led war.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Chilcot - will it make any difference to how we've treated Iraq?


What can make it better? 

What can possibly make up for a million Iraqi war-related deaths? For 2 million sanctions deaths before that? Sanctions kept in place by Britain and the US at the UN. Deaths, deformities and cancers caused by depleted uranium bombs and shells? 600,000 child deaths related to sanctions by 1996?

Truth is a first step. We won't get that from Bush or Blair, from Jack Straw or Alastair Campbell, men committed to joining in a war that America was going to lead no matter what.

So what of the latest establishment inquiry?

Overall, Chilcot has surprised many by doing a reasonable job describing the matters surrounding the legality and so the morality of war on Iraq. In addition, there are his comments about other issues such as the lack of planning for the aftermath – one reason Iraq is still in flames now.
The Report is much harder hitting than many people feared, including myself. This is good. Blair should consider himself at least in hot water - if not Iraq as his 'epitaph' – a word he used himself to George W Bush in 2002.
Except for the pass regarding blaming the intelligence, this could be the first time ever that an inquiry by the UK establishment into the UK establishment concluded that UK establishment got it all wrong.

But there is no mention of sanctions deaths, for example - this still remains hidden from the establishment worldview. Nor any mention of the poisoning of the people through depleted uranium weapons the first time around and its legacy there (let alone 'Gulf War Syndrome' here), nor the second time round from 2003. Nor the use of illegal weapons such as white phosphorous as used at Fallujah (by the Americans). 

But Chilcot contains more thoroughness and honesty than the other inquiries to date. So that's progress. But at what stage will it make a difference to Iraqis? At what stage should it be the UK which begins to pay reparations to a country it deliberately and unprovokedly destroyed?

Legal basis for war
The Chilcot Report: "We have, however, concluded that the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for UK military action were far from satisfactory."
This is the closest he comes to saying it was an illegal war! - Go on. Say it! You know you want to! However, what it definitely is is a 'blistering' attack from a Lord. He doesn't quite say it was illegal but he allows question marks over the legality. In other words there is good reason to suspect it was illegal. There is plenty more to say on this: a large number of international lawyers have little hesitation condemning Bush and Blair and their supposed interpretation of 1441 and other UN resolutions they (alone) claimed were relevant, or not.
Chilcot says: "the judgements about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction - WMD - were presented with a certainty that was not justified."
Ie, they were WRONG to say Saddam had WMD! But Bush and Blair had to claim (or feign) certainty in order to remotely be justified in their pre-planned war.
Chilcot :"Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were underestimated. The planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam Hussein were wholly inadequate."
Indeed! There were next to none. They made it up as they went along. Apart from tanks around the Oil Ministry... one of the very first places to be secured!
One thing being overlooked in the entire presentation is that Iraq had ALREADY suffered grievously after 13 years of medieval sanctions (which killed an estimated TWO million children, women and men). The country was already destroyed, everything didn't work or was threadbare. Whatever useful was left was destroyed in shock and awe bombing. It ALL needed reconstruction.
Chilcot: "The government failed to achieve its stated objectives."
This was presumably to disarm a country of WMD when it didn't even have ONE! Moreover, the country, through sanctions, and effective disarmament inspections, was already defenceless.
Chilcot: "It is now clear that policy on Iraq was made on the basis of flawed intelligence and assessments. They were not challenged, and they should have been."
- This is where he lets Blair off – claiming policy on Iraq was made on 'flawed intelligence'. Fine, but what if this intelligence was deliberately flawed, some of it going back years (the Niger uranium forgery), or cherry-picked to fit the case? But Chilcot does quote the Downing Street Memo of July 23 2002: "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy". – This underscores UK awareness that the US was indeed cherry-picking intelligence. The policy of going to war on Iraq was driven by America, however with Blair, readily, joining in and thus exposing the UK to whatever illegality, consequences and responsibility.
Chilcot: "The Joint Intelligence Committee should have made clear to Mr Blair that the assessed intelligence had NOT established 'beyond doubt' either that Iraq had continued to produce chemical and biological weapons or that efforts to develop nuclear weapons continued."
Here Chilcot is giving Blair a bye. He's blaming the intelligence when in actuality all Blair was interested in was content that worked to show he was right and that war was inevitable – Saddam – weapons – dangerous – a mantra readily repeated by an unquestioning mainstream media.
Chilcot has more on the "inadequacy" of the invasion plans.
"The failures in the planning and preparations continued to have an effect after the invasion."
"More than 200 British citizens died as a result of the conflict in Iraq, Many more were injured. This has meant deep anguish for many families, including those who are here today.
"The invasion and subsequent instability in Iraq had, by July 2009, also resulted in the deaths of at least 150,000 Iraqis - and probably many more - most of them civilians. More than a million people were displaced. The people of Iraq have suffered greatly."
"and probably many more" - This won't play so well with the antiwar movement which has kept a close eye on the studies over the years of estimated deaths in Iraq. Empires will always downplay their massacres. Why has Chilcot revised downwards even the early study showing a likely 600,000 deaths? And a later one showing more? The antiwar movement's claim of over 1 million deaths due to war and its effects is well-founded.
Does Chilcot even mention sanctions? Yes he does, but only from the legalistic UN point of view. He doesn't mention these had a likely death toll of TWO million, half of them being children! Nor Denis Halliday, the UN Assistant Secretary General tasked with Iraq, resigning, calling sanctions "genocide" (1998). Nor his successor Hans von Sponeck, doing the same (2000) and using the same wording!
Action "may have been necessary at some point, but in March 2003, there was no imminent threat from Saddam"
- Good. This debunks the imminent threat - and the 45-minute claim (that Dr David Kelly died for). I remember being asked outside John Prescott's house in Hull, at a protest, what will I do when Iraqi missiles start landing here! I replied, How will he (Saddam) get them here? Post them!?
Chilcot: "Mr Blair said the difficulty encountered in Iraq after the invasion could not have been known in advance. We do not agree that hindsight is needed."
- Good. Immense difficulties, especially of a civil war, were predicted by various agencies, especially the antiwar movement. Blair is avoiding responsibility on that one. Bush, of course, had never any intention of taking any.
"Military action in Iraq might have been necessary at some point. But in March 2003 there was no imminent threat from Saddam Hussein, the strategy of containment could have been adapted and continued for some time, the majority of the Security Council supported continuing UN inspections and monitoring."
- The UN inspection route was working – and it was also shooting down Bush and Blair's claims on a regular and timely basis. You see, the reason they went to war - and why they didn't give the inspections any more time - is because the inspections had worked! Disarmament had worked! In fact, years previously! – This is what the 'peace movement' – ie in this case, the general UK population, maybe 80% of us, knew. And we were proved right. Even by 2004! Not one WMD was ever found.
- Finally Chilcot does include this quote -
'I will be with you, whatever' – from July 2002, from Blair to Bush in a memo, a letter which apparently went missing from the US presidential archive in 2014...
In other words, war was happening, whatever pretext is used, and even if it falls apart.  This intentionality is what makes it wrong and which should necessitate a trial here, somewhere, of Tony Blair for the war crime of aggressive war, which was the supreme crime of Nuremburg.
Martin Deane
Hull Green Party
Hull Stop the war Coalition

Top Ten Questions for Chilcot

Appearing on BBC Radio Humberside this morning, Martin Deane, chair of Hull and East Riding Green Party, and former 8-year secretary of Hull Stop the War Coalition, hoped the Chilcot report would be forensic and honest in its conclusions. He hopes it would show what the vast majority of Britain knew at the time – that war on Iraq was going to happen, that WMD was a pretext, that Blair had decided many months previously that Britain would fight alongside the USA, no matter what the justification.
 
Top Ten Questions for Chilcot
 
1. Will the Chilcot Report be a £10m whitewash? – Will it let Blair off the hook, and blame, say, the intelligence instead?
 
2. Why did Blair choose dodgy intelligence over the clear wishes of the people?
 
3. Was Blair going to go to war on Iraq anyway, justification or not? - When and on what grounds did Tony Blair decide to follow Bush to war on Iraq?
 
4. Was the Downing Street Memo of July 23rd 2002 correct in saying "the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy"?
 
5. What earlier evidence is there showing Blair's likely intentions?
 
6. Will Chilcot reveal Blair as disingenuous in trying to justify the invasion of Iraq under the UN Charter?
 
7. Will Chilcot conclude the WMD argument was unjustified?
 
8. Will Chilcot conclude that the WMD argument was ultimately irrelevant to the determined pursuit of war? Ie, that it was a ruse, a pretext, an attempt at a casus belli?
 
9. Will Chilcot conclude that it was an illegal war that the UK military should never have been asked to fight?
 
10. Will Chilcot conclude that it was an immoral war, that the Iraqi people had suffered incredibly already (an estimated 2 million dead from sanctions, half of them children)?
 
"What was Iraq ultimately?" asks Martin Deane. "An aggressive war on our part, a power play for imperialism, for oil, for territory and control of the ME. It was illegal, it was immoral and it was a failure. The man who executed the UK's role
 
For the military families of the 179 British soldiers who died, their questions will be similar. Why, precisely, was this war fought? How was it that the safety of many soldiers was compromised through a lack of the right equipment? What were they fighting for, now that the Middle East is in flames ever since?
 
"Our role in Iraq has been an ignominious one. There have been millions of deaths -  the 1 million who died in the invasion and conquest, and the 2 million who had already died under sanctions.
 
Chilcot is a battle for the soul of Britain
 
"Chilcot is a battle for the soul of Britain. Has Britain in the 21st century committed the supreme crime of Nuremburg and committed the act of aggressive war?
 
"Will the truth come out? Will we clearly see in this official, establishment report what the British people have known all along – that Blair was going to go along with Bush's intention to make war on Iraq, and that therefore the then Prime Minister Tony Blair should be held to account as a war criminal.
 
"Or, like so many official inquiries before it, the inquiry into Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland – only recently exonerating victims from 1972 – or the Hutton report rubber stamping the intelligence used for war – or the Hillsborough report – only this year exonerating victimised fans from 27 years ago – will Chilcot be another whitewash?"
 
Martin Deane
Hull and East Riding Green Party
Hull Stop the War Coalition

Iraq report must not be a £10m whitewash

I'm on Radio Humberside at 7.20am.
 
I'll be talking about the Chilcot Report – you know, that little report on whether we went to war under false pretences.
This £10 million inquiry of 2.6 million words and running to 13 volumes. We hope it's not a £10 million whitewash... but instead goes some way to honour peace and justice, the million plus lives lost in Iraq, the 179 UK soldiers dead, the thousands of US troops.
 
Here's one starting point that Chilcot could have used...
The 36 Lies that led to war – Glen Rangwala
 
And then there's the infamous Downing Street Memo ...
This site lists the contents of the memo – from July 2002 – nearly a year before war – and compares it with various public statements by officials
 
Chilcot should at least show a case to answer that Blair knowingly over emphasised any threat that Iraq posed in order to get a war – a war he knew America was gong to pursue anyway, whatever the facts.
 
Martin Deane

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Hull Green Party: Voting Recommendations 2016

 
Hull and East Riding Green Party: Voting Recommendations
 
 
Avenue Ward:   ROBINSON, John, Liberal Democrats   
 
Beverley Ward: Karen Mathieson, Lib Dem
 
Boothferry Ward:  COWARD, Maria, Liberal Democrats               
 
Bricknell Ward:  MCMURRAY, Shane, Labour Party                  
 
Derringham Ward:  PICKERING, Simon Bruce, Labour Party          
 
Drypool Ward:  Adam Williams, Lib Dem
 
Holderness Ward: Linda Tock, Lib Dem
 
Ings Ward:  THOMPSON, Denise, Labour Party               
 
Kings Park Ward: Charles Quinn, Lib Dem;  VAUGHAN, Theresa, Labour and Co-operative Party
 
Longhill Ward:  John Hewitt, Lab
 
Marfleet Ward:  BELCHER, Sharon Valerie, Labour Party     
 
Myton Ward:  SPOONER, Paul, TUSC
 
Newington Ward:  Helena Spencer, Lab
 
Newland Ward:  POCKNEE, Phil, Labour;   Mike Ross, Lib Dem
 
Orchard Park & Greenwood Ward:   Steven Bayes, Lab
 
Pickering Ward:   Claire Thomas, Liberal Democrats           
 
Southcoates East Ward:  Hester Bridges, Labour Party                 
 
Southcoates West Ward:  Mary Elizabeth Glew, Labour Party           
 
St. Andrews Ward:  Tracey Henry, Liberal Democrats   
 
Sutton Ward:  Ken Turner, Labour
 
-------------------
In the absence of a Green Party electoral stand in Hull this year, the party is taking the unprecedented step of making voting recommendations to members and supporters across the city.
The party's deliberations included a number of criteria:
  • Gender balance is regarded as important by the Greens. We note Hull City Council has done well in that respect this past year with near parity, and we seek to recommend similar.
  • Political differences are paramount - not only who is in power, but how that power is used. Those closest to our positions we hope will benefit.
  • Some strong candidates are omitted as they would strengthen a given party too much in the light of what that party is pursuing
  • Similarly, portfolio holders who have been instrumental in pushing through any number of cuts, including attempting to cut trade union convenor time, have largely been omitted
  • Some candidates, mostly sitting councillors, have a good track record in key fields, eg homelessness, NHS campaigns
  • Certain candidates have approached us and we have been minded to recommend these for this election, all other things being equal
  • Some candidates have particularly strong union links or anti-austerity platforms (Greens will be helping TUSC leaflet in Myton ward)
  • Some considerations are confidential
  • Certain areas have more than one recommendation
We particularly respect those candidates likely to resist mandatory city-wide fluoridation (threatened early last year) , as once this begins it is very difficult to undo. (We note that 60 schemes in the UK over the last 20 years have been beaten back by public resistance).
 
Some candidates have no readily available email which makes communicating with them, and between them and the electorate, more difficult.
 
These recommendation are merely an indication to supporters. They remain, as always, free to make up their own minds.
------------------------------

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

One month til local elections!

PHOTO: Martin Deane at April's Spring Fete in aid of refugees, Princes Ave, Hull.
 
1. One month til local elections
 
2. Greens greenlight Labour in Bricknell
 
3. Greens brand as truly anti-austerity party
 
4. Tax evasion – "an endemic problem for Britain"
 
5. Scrap Hinckley C – spend £40 bn less and go renewable instead!
 
6. Teachers rebel over SATs – government revision booklets full of mistakes!
 
7. Brexit will attack UK workers
 
Martin Deane, chair of Hull and East riding Green Party, and candidate for Avenue ward, writes:
 
1. One month to go – Sign up to vote!
 
"With one month go till local elections around the country – it's essential that everyone who wants to vote is signed up.  Millions were thrown off electoral rolls last year by changes brought in by government. This particularly applies to young people and how universities and colleges were told to change their practices."
 
"But it's easy to sign up - just search "voter reg uk" and you will get the sign-up page."
 
This is good for people who have changed address recently too.
 
DEADLINE - 18th April.
 
2. Green light for Labour in Bricknell
 
"Locally Greens will be standing across Hull for the second year in a row. Candidates will be announced shortly on the website.
 
"One exception is Bricknell ward where Greens are standing aside to give Labour the opportunity to take out one of the two Conservative councillors in the city.
 
"It is only right that Tory councillors across the country pay the price for what their government is doing to councils across the country.
 
"In almost every case, cuts have fallen disproportionately on less well-off areas, like ours."
 
3. Greens brand as truly anti-austerity party
 
"The Greens have always been a truly anti-austerity party. We will be leading on this in our campaign in Hull – one of the worst affected local authorities in the country.
 
"It's great that Corbyn is trying hard to change Labour policy on this – but they simply don't have the track record, like Labour in Hull cutting 600 council jobs, following vicious Lib Dem cuts of 1400 jobs before them.
 
"Across the region, year after year after year, Labour councils have knee-jerk voted down Green proposals to fight austerity."
 
"The Green Party is the people's choice."
 
4. Tax evasion – "an endemic problem for Britain"
 
In May Cameron will lead world leaders to London to tackle tax evasion globally. Allegedly.
 
"This will achieve as much as a wet flannel in the face of global tax evasion. The Panama Papers show Cameron's father, Ian Cameron, is a named tax haven user – one place David Cameron himself has got his fortune from!
 
"The Papers name British politicians, party donors and a dozen world leaders in the leaked files. There's a raft  of UK territories around the world which are still offshore tax havens. "
 
"We have an endemic problem! We're not leading in tackling tax evasion - we're leaders in providing it!"
 
5. Scrap Hinckley C – spend £40 bn less and go renewable instead!
 
A thinktank report out today outlines how the inordinate cost of proposed nuclear power station, Hinckley C, could be spent instead – for far greater energy at better value – on renewables.
 
"We've the opportunity to save tens of billions of pounds – simply by going into renewables and not into nuclear. It's a no-brainer! All we're left with is the stubborn Conservative commitment to nuclear.
 
"And at the same time as blowing billions on expensive nuclear power, government won't even contemplate a billion or two to save tens of thousands of jobs connected to Port Talbot steel! A vital industry."
 
6. Teachers rebel over SATs – government revision booklets full of mistakes!
 
As the NUT prepares to boycott the government's even more demanding SATs tests, they issue a Easter revision booklets full of mistakes!
 
"The Tories are testing Britain to destruction! Neither teachers, nor parents, nor children, deserve, or will benefit from these tests, especially this year. Greens, however, would scrap all SAT testing and reverse the insidious move to force all schools to become academies."
 
7. Brexit will attack workers
 
"The Green position is that the EU is far from perfect but without it, employers would be given free rein to ride roughshod over workers."
 
"Brexit plays into the hands of the most vicious rightwing government in Europe. Our own!"
 
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Martin Deane