My new piece at liberalconspiracy.org – please check it out!
Regular readers of my articles will no doubt have noticed that I sometimes use words like ‘epochal’ and ‘history-making’ when describing Green Party achievements. I use these ‘hyperbolic’ phrases to reflect reality. They are a reflection of the massive steps the Green Party has taken in recent years, and in anticipation of future milestones to be passed not too far further down the road.
For example: In the last decade we’ve had our first MEPs elected and re- elected, and our first MSPs. This year we finally returned our first MP to Westminster. Now we stand on the threshold of an occasion every bit as historic as those achievements, if not more so:
In the local elections on Sept 9th (See here for why these elections are happening), the Green Party can capitalise on years of hard work by becoming the largest party on Norwich City Council (we are at present just 2 seats behind Labour) and potentially then forming the first-ever UK Green Principal Authority administration (We may well emerge on Sept. 10th with more seats than anyone else in Norwich and form a minority adminstration. Though in theory the other Parties could still stop us from forming an administration, by coalescing together). This could be therefore a real watershed moment… click here to read the full article at brightgreenscotland.org
We reject these cuts as simply malicious ideological vandalism, hitting the most vulnerable the hardest.
It is time to organise a broad movement of active resistance to the Con-Dem government’s budget
intentions. They plan the most savage spending cuts since the 1930s, which will wreck the lives of millions
by devastating our jobs, pay, pensions, NHS, education, transport, postal and other services. The government claims the cuts are unavoidable because the welfare state has been too generous.
The £11bn welfare cuts, rise in VATto 20%, and 25% reductions across government departments target
the most vulnerable – disabled people, single parents, those on housing benefit, black and other ethnic
minority communities, students, migrant workers, LGBTpeople and pensioners. Women are expected to bear 75% of the burden. The poorest will be hit six times harder than the richest.
We reject this malicious vandalism and resolve to campaign for a radical alternative, with the level of
determination shown by trade unionists and social movements in Greece and other European countries.
An alternative budget would place the banks under democratic control, and raise revenue by increasing
tax for the rich, plugging tax loopholes, withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, abolishing the nuclear
hospitals; and foster a green approach to public spending – investing in renewable energy and public
transport, thereby creating a million jobs.
We commit ourselves to:
> Oppose cuts and privatisation in our workplaces, community and welfare services.
> Fight rising unemployment and support organisations of unemployed people.
> Develop and support an alternative programme for economic and social recovery.
> Oppose all proposals to “solve” the crisis through racism and other forms of scapegoating.
> Work closely with similar opposition movements in other countries.
> Organise information, meetings, conferences, marches and demonstrations.
> Support the development of a national co-ordinating coalition of resistance.
There is an interesting blog today by Steve Keen, which I think explains
quite a lot about our current predicament. Go to
www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/ to read it, as well as www.nakedcapitalism.com/
to see it reproduced on another very good, and wider, blog.
Keen refers to the situation in Australia, where he says government debt is
5.5% of GDP and private debt is over 150% of GDP. Of course both figures
are very different in the UK and the US, but I think his argument still
[Hat-tip: Tom Lines]
The Green Party in Norwich is ready to form Britain’s
first Green council, by taking over from Labour, to
run Norwich City Council in a new way. Our aim will
be to create a fairer and healthier low carbon city
where every voice counts.
Addressing social and environmental injustice lies at
the heart of our agenda and, if residents in Norwich
elect more Green councillors than councillors from
any other political party on 9th September, we can
begin to work towards a more just and secure future
for the city. The changes we want to make will not
happen overnight, and our immediate focus will be
on minimising the impact of the cuts being
demanded by the Conservative / Liberal Democrat
Government. We will prioritise saving services that
will affect residents’ everyday lives in Norwich while
creating a more open and efficient council which
enables local residents to enjoy a high quality of life.
1. Open Council
Green councillors will make decisions in public, after
finding out and considering the views of as many
local residents as possible. We will treat members of
other political parties with respect and make councilfunded
partnerships less secretive. We will make as
much information about the council as we can
available to everyone and find ways for some
decisions to be made within neighbourhoods.
2. Renewable Energy
for Local Homes
Green councillors will provide opportunities for
people who live in Norwich to fully insulate their
homes and install photo voltaic solar panels. We will
do this either by investing in partnership with energy
companies, or by setting up a council-run Energy
Services Company. This renewable energy will cut the
carbon emissions produced in Norwich and enable
residents to heat their homes more cheaply. We will
also relax planning guidelines to enable residents of
the city to add renewable energy systems to their
homes more easily.
If you want more, the whole thing will soon be up on the NorwichGreenParty.org website
- The vast floods in Pakistan (No mention of manmade climate change, which will make such events progressively more common – until the glaciers in the Himalaya have melted away, after which the sub-continent will be in permanent drought).
- The growing forest fire menace in Russia (No mention of manmade climate change, despite the all-time record temperatures of the first half of this year which will have contributed strongly to these fires. See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703309704575413244052775582.html)
- Humungous iceberg breaking off from Greenland, two thirds the size of the Isle of White. At last, a mention of manmade climate change – the reporter reminds us of the record-breaking temperatures of 2010 – but tells us that a leading oceanographer remarked that “It isn’t clear that global warming is to blame” for the iceberg breaking off…