Daily Mail: My readers’ letter

My letter on GM, joint with @phil_hutchinson, in the Mail!
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2014 12:07 PM
Subject: Daily Mail: Readers’ letters


Thank you kindly for the letter that you sent to us,


your letter has been published in today’s Daily Mail on the Readers’ letters page.


Attached is a copy of readers’ letters page with this letter included.


Your interest in the Daily Mail is greatly appreciated.


Kindest regards,




Natasha Warne

Readers’ Letters Editors Secretary

Daily Mail

Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5TT


Rochford/Hockley: come join me, on Sat 8 Feb.


Join the Greens




Join the Green Party for a discussion on local issues, focusing on:


Overdevelopment and Planning Policies


Saturday 8th February 2014

11.45 to 13.00


Greensward Academy, Hockley (Lifelong Learning Centre)*



Michael Hoy: District councillor for Hullbridge, and County councillor for Hockley and Hullbridge 

Dr Rupert Read: Green lead candidate in this year’s European election

David Eagar: Retired government countryside planner



Michael and Rupert will outline the Green Party’s views on planning and overdevelopment, giving a local, national and European perspective.


Then it’s your turn for questions and comments!

Michael and Rupert will also take questions on other topics.


* At front of school. Parking in lower playground, accessed from turnaround at school front.

Local Government Chronicle: Brighton Greens lead the way

great article on the Brighton referendum from the LGC Editor:

Brighton: the battle for localism

23 January 2014 | By Emma Maier
Brighton has a well established reputation for being ‘alternative’. The city returned the country’s first Green MP and the first green-led council, and it was among the first councils to reinstate the committee system. Now the minority administration is vying to become the first to put a council tax rise decision to the electorate.
Whether by design or not, the party that has traditionally shunned leadership is at the forefront of a debate that has wide-ranging implications. This is a battle for localism – for the right and the ability of local councils to set local tax to fund local services according to the priorities of local people.
It is a classic David and Goliath battle: the minority council, painted in the media as somewhat oddball, dares to take on the commonly held assumption that the public wants Scandinavian services for American taxes. It is a high stakes game.
The bar is almost impossibly high. As if asking people to vote for higher taxes were not enough, there is the unpalatable question of the cost of running the referendum, the lack of flexibility in the wording of the referendum question, the need to spend more money campaigning, and the obligation to poll the whole electoral roll, not only council tax payers.
Yet Brighton’s Greens, who unlike other councils are not tied by national party conventions, are the first to to be brave – or insert another adjective if you prefer – enough to put their convictions to the test.
They face two major hurdles. First is to get the plan through the council. The Greens hold 21 seats but Labour (14) and the Conservatives (18) do not support it. As Green leader Jason Kitcat says, it is technically possible if some dissenters abstain.
In the unlikely event the plan is passed, the public will be an even greater test. A ComRes opinion poll in Octobersuggested the Greens would come third if an election was called, and Brighton’s own consultation on support for a rise was far from conclusive. Only 6% of the 659 respondents supported a rise outright and half said they would support a rise under some circumstances at some point in the future.
A referendum in Brighton would truly be democracy in action. Whatever the outcome, this is a historic case. The local and national news stories will go some way to disabusing people of the common perception that council services are funded entirely from council tax, and will ensure that more people are aware of cuts to central funding.
If a referendum were to be held a ‘no’ vote would probably finish off Britain’s first Green administration. But it could also open up a conversation about publicly sanctioned services cuts – and a debate about the role of local government in future.
A ‘yes’ vote, meanwhile, could change the whole dynamic between central and local government, and between voters and the council. The implication would ripple much further than Brighton’s beaches.
The latter scenario is unlikely. But if it can happen anywhere, it would be Brighton.
Emma Maier, editor, LGC
We hope you enjoyed the above article. To get unlimited access to all articles on LGCplus.com you will need to have a paid subscription. Subscribe now to save yourself £100 off the standard subscription rate.


  • patrick newman | 23-Jan-2014 9:54 am
    The trouble for the Greens and indeed any radical party is the and Hove bit. Perhaps the position is impossible and they should consider resigning the administration and campaign for protecting local services and allow those who have been responsible for the impasse to deal with the issues. A Lab-Con coalition is not unheard of.
  • davy jones | 23-Jan-2014 11:59 am
    The Greens are to be congratulated for their brave stand. Shameful really that Labour & Tories are conspiring to prevent local people having a say on such an important issue – what are they afraid of ?

gpmedianet mailing list, subscribed as rupertread@fastmail.co.uk
unsubscribe: gpmedianet-unsubscribe@lists.greenparty.org.uk

HS2: Despite Supreme Court Setback:

The Green Party will continue to support the anti-HS2-protesters in their ongoing battle.

Following their legal victory in the Supreme Court today (22 January), the Government has vowed to “press ahead” with HS2.

The Court dismissed accusations (1) by objectors that the Government was “cutting corners”, by failing to carry out an environmental assessment and in breach of European environmental laws, so as to push the estimated £50 billion project through Parliament. 

The campaigners now plan to take their case to the European Court.

Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, said:

“The issue considered by the judges was a narrow legal one and the political questions, of whether the environmental and financial costs of HS2 can be justified, are yet to be answered.

“This case has focused on critically important environmental issues. But there’s also an important question, which research has indicated must be answered in positive: even on purely financial grounds, can this money be spent better?”

Green Party Transport Spokesperson, Rupert Read, added:

 “We earnestly hope that Europe will help to stop this wasteful scheme from devastating large chunks of lovely British countryside. You can count on Green MEPs to stand by the anti-HS2 campaign, which unfortunately is being cold-shouldered by every other political party.

“The Green Party is THE party of public transport” he said, adding that “The huge sum of money that the government is proposing to throw away on HS2, for the sake of shaving minutes off rich people’s commute from Birmingham to London, could be far better spent on revolutionizing our transport systems in this country.”





Under Electoral Commission rules to regulate election spending, the campaign period starts officially tomorrow (Jan 23rd). The Greens are planning to kick off their campaigning in a big way just a week later. 

Activists from all over the region will gather in Norwich for the rally and it will be one of the few occasions on which all seven candidates on the Green Party east region list for the proportional representation election will be on a platform together in one place. 

The keynote speech will come
from Rupert Read, the lead candidate, who came within 1% of winning a
seat at the last Euro election. His speech will focus on the campaign
priorities for the Greens, including supporting public transport and
renewable energy here in the East. Dr Read said: 

“People are
increasingly frustrated with the old Parties. It’s UKIP and the Greens
that are on the rise, especially here in the East. But people are now
starting to realise that UKIP is full of people with unpleasant views
about women’s rights and gay rights and who are scientifically
illiterate about climate change and much more besides. Those looking to
vote for the future, for their kids, for the common good, can look
instead toward the Green Party. 

“This is an exciting time for Greens.
I intend for my speech to leave the many party supporters who will turn
up next Saturday morning with fire in the belly.” 

present at the rally will be a number of Green Party candidates for
target seats on local councils in areas where elections are also being
held in May. Greens are hoping to hold or gain Council seats in Watford, St. Albans, Rochford, South Cambridgeshire, Mid-Suffolk, and Norwich, on May 22nd. 

If you are a Green supporter (or a journalist), come and join us for the rally – 11a.m., Saturday Feb.1st. AT THE UNITED REFORMED CHURCH ROOMS, PRINCE’S STREET,

Green verges for a better environment

Lead Green Party Candidate for the European Elections, Rupert Read, will be joining members of Epping Forest Green Party on Saturday 25th January, as they seek the views of people in Buckhurst Hill East. One main concern for locals in Loughton Way is people parking on grass verges. Rupert Read, age 47, said ‘It is a great pleasure to join with Epping Forest Green Party members who, I know, are — like me — keen to preserve our green spaces, which make for a better living-environment for us all. I know they will be asking the residents of Loughton Way what they think should be done, and I will be joining with them in this. They and I are keen to show that we are a listening party who actively seek residents’ views.’ The Green Party came with 26 votes of getting a Councillor, Steven Neville, elected in Buckhurst Hill East in 2012 and did well here in the County Elections in 2013. Buckhurst East Candidate Steven Neville said ‘We welcome Rupert’s visit, as it shows we could do well here in May and possibly get a Green councillor elected, as well as a first Green MEP. People like what we do and the effort we put in for residents in Buckhurst Hill East.’

EU Elections Youth Question Time event at Epic Studios on Friday 7th February at 13.00

I will be speaking at this: do come!:

European Youth Question Time


Friday 7 February 2014


1-3pm, EPIC Studios, Norwich


Free to attend, all welcome!


The Politics department, SeaMedia, The Centre for Research in European Studies (CREST), see and the UEA students Union have teamed up to raise awareness for and create a bit of a buzz about the upcoming EU elections in May. As part of this campaign, they are organising this EU Youth Question Time event which is for (mainly young) people to come, meet and question current and prospective EU Candidates.


This event will be filmed and broadcast on our SeaMe.tv site.


The filming will be done by UEA Broadcast Journalism and Howest University College journalism students from Belgium!


As places are limited and filling up quickly, please register on Eventbrite – http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/european-youth-question-time-tickets-8813987875










UKIP want to ban climate science from schools!

I’ve just learned something truly disturbing, even heartrending. UKIP Education spokesman, MEP Derek Clark, has just said this, on the record:

We will still ban Al Gore’s video for use in schools if I’ve got anything to do with it. I will not have much opposition within the party. It is, of course, not just this video which needs banning; all teaching of global warming being caused in any way by carbon dioxide emissions must also be banned

This is truly shocking. A wake-up call: Ukip are not just a populist fringe group led by a charismatic joker; they are a dangerous threat to our children and our very future.
Please share this news widely. UKIP want to BAN the teaching of climate science! They want to BAN our kids from learning about the greatest threat currently posed to our very survival, let alone our flourishing, as a species.
This is a wake-up call; we cannot let UKIP get away with growing popularity any longer. They are a dangerous anti-science and anti-truth cult. They need to be stopped.
And they can be stopped. To protest effectively against the old parties this May, to vote in scientifically-literate politicians who care about the future, one need only vote Green.