Up to 200 people attended a meeting on Thursday night in central Cambridge, with two of the country’s best known green campaigners, who helped to launch the Green Party’s Eastern Region Euro Election campaign.

Sir Jonathan Porritt, Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission and Tony Juniper (1), recent Executive Director of Friends of the Earth were speaking in Cambridge and joined Lead Eastern Region candidate Dr. Rupert Read and local members and supporters for the launch (attached images – please use with copyright credited to Ronald Eva).

Jonathon Porritt and Tony Juniper talked about the need to change the whole way we operate and look at the world. Both backed Rupert Read for the European elections on June 4th and encouraged people to get actively involved with Green politics whatever their background.

Tony Juniper stressed the need for those who are involved with NGO’s or communities groups to take the batton to the polling stations and VOTE GREEN. Juniper stressed that social justice was a key part of the policy towards a Greener economy. He gave the example of the the Green breakthrough in Cambridge in 2008 in Abbey ward, when Margaret Wright was elected and where voters turned to the Greens for change and improvement, both social and environmental.

Jonathon Porritt described his view that western society was trapped in an unending cycle of work and consummerism. He went on to comment on the Budget, doubting the economy would grow again in 2010. He urged voters to break this trap, and said that by Voting Green people could vote for a happier and cleaner world.

Nominations for the European elections open on 28th April. The Green Party will be fielding a full slate of seven candidates. Full details can be found at

Green Party Prospective MEP to speak at Sizewell Saturday 25th April


Eastern Region Green Party
Friday 24th April 2009
Green Prospective MEP to speak at Sizewell Saturday 25th April against new nuclear and for renewables
Green Party Prospective MEP for Eastern England Rupert Read will be joining campaigners at the Sizewell nuclear power site tomorrow (25th April) to call for investment in renewable energy and to oppose £ billions being sunk into more nuclear stations in East Anglia.
The Green Party has consistently opposed nuclear power due to its cost, the unsolved issues of how to deal with radioactive wastes and the risks of catastrophic releases of radiation, due to accidents or terrorism.
More recently, concerns have grown about flooding risks to coastal nuclear power stations as sea levels rise due to climate change. Scientists believe that sea level rise could exceed previous forecasts.
Two sites have been earmarked for possible new nuclear stations in East Anglia – Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex.
Campaigners will gather at Sizewell A and B on Saturday 25th April at 12 noon. Rupert Read is one of the speakers on the day.
There will also be a camp overnight, in preparation for a vigil on the morning of 26th April, Chernobyl Day, to remember all those who have been affected by the 1986 disaster.


The Budget – more missed opportunities say Greens

The Labour government today missed a golden opportunity to create huge numbers of jobs in emerging industries, says the Green Party.
Dr Caroline Lucas MEP, the Green Party’s leader, told Radio 4’s The World at One today that the government is throwing away the potential to create hundreds of thousands of extra jobs by failing to invest adequately in insulating buildings, in solar energy and other renewables, in upgrading the electricity grid, in public transport and in new skills training.
Britain is lagging behind other countries in the “greenness” of its so-called “green stimulus” plan, she said – against the advice of its own advisors. Dr Lucas pointed out that the government’s own watchdog, the Sustainable Development Commission, (SDC) had proposed a £30bn package very similar to the Green Party’s Budget proposals – and which SDC calculated would create 800,000 jobs.
She described the chancellor’s “green stimulus” as “one-tenth or less of what it should be” if the UK were to meet serious emissions targets and maximise the job-creation potential of sectors like energy, where renewables sustain far more jobs per megawatt than either nuclear or coal.
On scrappage, Caroline Lucas disagreed that this would create significant numbers of jobs, but proposed a better way forward. She said the way to go was to build cars to last, and refit and improve them over time – which would reduce the associated energy while significantly increasing the amount of labour involved, by comparison with new manufacture.
Rupert Read, Prospective MEP for Eastern Region said
“The Chancellor talked bravely about low carbon technologies, but as usual, the detail of his proposals dont square up. More money for “clean coal” means less money for renewable energy investment here in Eastern England. The money allocated for offshore wind is welcome, but totally insufficient. This budget therefore involves another mis-allocation of resources, missing the huge open goal that the Greens keep pointing to: the chance to generate lots of sustainable jobs – and particularly right here in our part of the country.

James Abbott, Green Party Eastern Region European Election candidate said
“The breath-taking levels of borrowing and debt announced by the Chancellor come about of course as a direct result of the abject faulure to regulate the financial industry which for many years binged on dodgy deals and encouraged unrestrained credit. The danger in the next few years is that the level of government debt and borrowing is so high, that economic policies become focussed only on tackling that debt, leading to swinging cuts in essential public servcies and cuts in much needed green investment. 
“On June 4th, voters have an opportunity to send a strong message to the politicians who have got us into this mess, and we would encourage them to exercise this by voting Green.”  

Notes: Budget proposals and Green Party response



Green Party response

£1bn on climate change including £435m energy efficiency, £525m offshore wind

Far too little, needs to be 10 to 15 times as much.

A year ago borrowing this year would be £38 billion, by the autumn it was £118 billion, and today £175 billion is needed

Shows folly of building public finances to rely on growth. Need to get to a stable economy.

£9bn to come from Gershon type public sector efficiency savings by 2014.

NAO has cast considerable doubt on how real previous attempts have been.  Actually a way to hide real cuts in services.

£500m on new homes.

Not enough.  And only £100m on council houses.

£2000 subsidy for a new car if car over ten years old is scrapped.

Doesn’t help environment, much of carbon cost of car is in manufacture.  We need cars to last longer. 

Relatively few jobs.

Far cheaper and more effective way to cut carbon and help everyone is public transport.

Cut public sector pensions.

Average public sector pension is only £3000, reflecting poor pay. We want to see better pensions for all, and the foundation is a better state pension which the Green Party would set at £165 a week.

Budgeting carbon emissions.

Greens did this in 2007!  And we need 10% annual cuts, not 1-2%.

Money for Carbon Capture and Storage demonstration projects.

Untried technology, will arrive too late. We need things that work now like insulation, wind, solar.

Higher rate tax relief on pensions removed for those above £150,000.

Welcome – this is existing Green Party policy.

50% tax rate for incomes above £150,000.

Welcome, but only a start.

£1.7bn extra help for jobseekers.

But only £250m for training. Help with finding a job no good if there are no jobs to find. Training though is a useful way for unemployed people to spend time when jobs are short.

Incentives to get more oil from the North Sea.

Bizarre when we want to cut carbon.


Green New Deal vs. Brown

A Green New Deal means that you can pay off a big government debt, because in years to come you are systematically saving money as well as carbon emissions, as you reap the rewards of your investments in public transport, energy efficiency, renewable energy, etc…
How on Earth does this government intend to pay off its debt, given that it has now missed its chance to implement a real Green New Deal??

Yes to Leighton Buzzard’s cycling schemes [News release]

Rupert Read, the lead Green Party for MEP in the Eastern Region in the 4 June 2009 Euro-elections, undertook a tour of Bedfordshire earlier this month, and will be doing the same early next month. Having visited Leighton Buzzard as part of this tour, Read has praised the efforts of Bedfordshire County Council and the Town Council in their successful bid to secure over £1 million of funding for Leighton Linslade to become Bedfordshire’s first cycling town.

The Leighton-Linslade Cycling Team will focus on the challenging target of an overall doubling of cycling.  They plan to increase the number of children regularly cycling to school from 1.2% to 3.5%, increase the number of commuters regularly cycling to the train station from 50 to 150, double the number of people who cycle to the town centre and double the number of cyclists using key routes, measured across eight key locations.

Read said;


“This project really is a fine example of good transport policy.  Cycling is good not only for the environment, but for our health too.  If this scheme achieves its target of doubling cycling in the area, the quality of people’s lives in the area will improve.  We know that the health benefits outweigh the dangers of cycling tenfold, and that cycling regularly reduces the risk of heart disease, strokes and increases the length of people’s lives.  And schemes like this will dramatically reduce the dangers of cycling so everyone’s a winner!”


Read, an avid cyclist himself, is a transport expert.  He continued;


“If elected as MEP for the Eastern Region, I will promote policies that will create more localised schemes like the Leighton-Linslade model here.  I would oppose new road building schemes and mass-continent crossing proposals, and instead push for massive investment in walking and cycling (nad public transport) schemes that can be maintained over the long-term”.  

My visit to a care home, tomorrow [News release]

Rupert Read, the lead Green Party candidate for MEP in the Eastern Region in
the 4 June 2009 Euro-elections, is visiting Burgh House Residential Home, in
Burgh Castle (near Great Yarmouth) on the morning of Thursday 23 April.

Read is interested in hearing the ideas and views of the home’s manager
Joseph Greiner regarding care for the elderly in the UK today.  Read said;

 “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to see first-hand how Mr Greiner
runs his home, and to understand what ethical considerations he feels should
be taken into account when someone considers placing a relative or loved one
into his care.  I am very much looking forward to meeting him and his

 Mr Greiner is working closely with Yarmouth College on their ‘enrichment
programme’, which provides his residents with the opportunity to work with
students from the college doing different activities like art classes.
Another recent initiative under this programme will enabled residents to
help build and plant up six large raised flower beds with students of Great
Yarmouth College.  Mr Greiner said:

“Burgh Castle Residential Home is about providing the elderly not only with
a good quality of life, but also about offering them a wide range of
creative and fun activities in which they can engage.  The Yarmouth College
initiative is an excellent scheme where my residents can realise their
artistic potentials, and get involved in good outdoor activities, such as
building the raised flower beds. There has also been a circus in Burgh Castle this last
week and some of my residents attended and had a wonderful time.  One 82
year old even had a camel ride and I have the photographs to prove it!  She
was perfectly safe with support all around her and it really did uplift
everyone’s spirits, including my own! Thus proving you’re never to old to ride
a camel.”

 Mr Greiner will show Rupert Read an exhibition of his residents’ artwork and
Read has been asked to judge the winning picture.  Read will then present a
prize to the winner. 

“Voters losing faith in UKIP”

Rupert Read, the Lead European Election candidate for the Green Party in Eastern Region has today raised his concerns about the performance and behaviour of UKIP since the election of their MEPs in the region in 2004.
Former Bedfordshire based UKIP MEP Tom Wise and a researcher have both been charged with one count of false accounting and one count of money laundering (1) from the period when Wise was a UKIP MEP. He now sits as an Independent MEP.
Rupert Read has also raised questions as to the effectiveness of UKIP since the last elections in 2004 in representing their constituents.
Rupert Read said
“UKIP got two MEPs elected in 2004 here in Eastern Region on a platform that included preventing abuses of taxpayers’ money in the E.U.
The matter for which Mr. Wise has now being charged is abusing E.U. taxpayers’ money while a UKIP MEP.
According to an article in THE TIMES newspaper (2), Mr. Wise has already admitted embezzling money and using it to buy himself a new car”.
Rupert Read continued
“I have been touring the region now for several months as part of the campaign for this year’s elections and the message I am hearing from voters is that they have lost faith in UKIP.
The Green Party offers a much more positive alternative to voters in this region who dont want to vote for the establishment parties. Green MEPs have been shown to be consistently hard working and committed to the policies they were elected on. If elected I am determined to uphold high standards in office and to be effective as a representative.”