Greens advise against “panic” over nuclear power
|Green Party leader Caroline Lucas says it will take “many years” to build new nuclear plants, during which time renewable energy and efficiency projects could be established|
On Tuesday I joined hundreds of postal workers at a rally in Westminster opposing any sell-off of this important British institution. They were especially angry about the fact that the Government is refusing to fund the pension fund deficit estimated to be around £9 billion – unless the privatisation goes ahead. This amounts to the blackmail of 450,000 workers by the Government.
The privatisation is strongly opposed by the Communication Workers’ Union and more than 140 Labour MPs who have signed a motion opposing it, and for good reason. Putting essential public services in the hands of the private sector will lead to job cuts, cherry picking of parts of the service for profit, and potentially breaking up the service to be sold off. The postal service should not be exposed to the risks that private operators are more likely to take – surely we have learnt that much, at least, from the collapse of our nation’s banks?
If it is commercial expertise that Royal Mail needs, then experts can be hired to ensure that such advice is available. The Royal Mail was brought under public ownership by Oliver Cromwell and even Margaret Thatcher thought it should remain publicly owned. Peter Mandelson thinks differently, which says much about how far New Labour has strayed from its roots.
Peter Mandelson asks us to trust him with the future of the Royal Mail. I would sooner trust a hungry lion, frankly…
If in June I am elected to the European Parliament I pledge to continue to fight hard to keep this vital British institution, the Royal Mail, public. The Green Party is now the only major political party opposed to privatisation.
The INDEPENDENT has played a key role in the greenwashing of nuclear power over the last five years, from its trumpeting in 2004 of James Lovelock’s support for nuclear (omitting to mention that he had been a virtually life-long nuclearphile) to its forlorn attempt now to pretend that ‘the Green movement’ is backing nuclear. What evidence does the INDY produce for that extraordinary assertion? The backing for nuclear, allegedly, of the following four individuals:
nuclear power stations – nearly all of which are built right beside the sea…
2) Chris Smith, Labour peer. When I last looked, Labour were strongly pro-nuclear – so no great surprise there. Smith is not a green, merely a Labour appointee.
3) Stephen Tindale, formely of Greenpeace. Sadly, Mr. Tindale has leant towards the Labour line politically in recent years, and (unlike some other major figures in green pressure groups) has been notably unsympathetic to the Green Party. His defection to the nuclear lobby is therefore again little surprise.
4) Chris Goodall, one lone Green Party parliamentary candidate. If Chris had actually come out strongly and unequivocally in favour of nuclear power, that would have been a bit of a blow. But he didn’t. His nuanced words have it seems been twisted by the INDY to imply stronger support for nuclear than he actually feels.
All this is a shame, because it will seriously tarnish the credibility of your (generally excellent) environmental-news team, and the (richly-deserved) strong reputation of Geoffrey Lean and Michael McCarthy.
I urge the INDY to come back to reality. Nuclear could never be a responsible choice for anyone who takes the future seriouly, as Greens by definition do. For gifting our descendants with vast piles of toxic waste is nothing less than a mortal crime against our children, and
their children, and their children…
Cllr. Rupert Read, Green Party Prospective MEP for Eastern Region
Do you want to help us make history and get the first-ever Green Party MEP elected in Eastern Region?
This is an opportunity to work as a volunteer [reasonable expenses can be reimbursed] and gain invaluable experience in a target Euro-Region. The posts are open between between March 4 and June 4 ’09. You will be joining a number of other organisers in an Obama-style on-the-ground campaign [‘field’ operation]!
Minimum: half day per week or equivalent;
Minimum period: one month.
The position would ideally be taken by someone living in or near Eastern Region, but if you live elsewhere in Britain and can come and stay here for a month or more to help us out on this full-time, then you are also eligible (we will in that case work to provide you with accommodation).
Job involves [some or all, depending on your preferences and your availability, of] the following: Doing leafleting, mobilising members and potential supporters, writing letters to the local press, helping to create events for visiting Euro-candidates, watching for hustings opportunities…
If you would like to take on this task, then please get in touch. By doing so, you could really help extend the ‘reach’ of the Green Euro-campaign-team, and increase the chances of us breaking through in Eastern Region. You would have the opportunity to join like-minded individuals who are passionate about our cause, while also working alongside already-elected Green politicians and the media. We are very pleased to announce that we have received a lot of support so far, and really hope you can join us on this hugely significant campaign!
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for a full job-spec, including a full list of the areas where we are looking for help of this kind. [Please indicate where you would like to organise, especially if it is where you live. Please note: we are looking for field organisers only to cover parts of the region where we are not already strong. We are looking for people to step up our campaign where as yet there are gaps in it.] Bear in mind finally that hands-on experience of a European Election campaign could greatly enhance your CV… Do get in touch!
Greens Mobilize for 100-day Countdown to Elections