Piece/poll put me in possible pole position, for this May…:

Are Greens in line to win in Eastern in the Euros?: http://stevehynd.com/2014/01/16/the-east-of-england-will-they-elect-the-regions-first-green-mep/  Fascinating piece here about our Region by sympathetic observer Steve Hynd.

Meanwhile: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/01/labour-remain-ahead-european-election-poll-wholl-triumph-may  – The New Statesman suggests that Clegg may resign if, as a new poll suggests is possible, LibDems come behind Greens in May… now, wouldn’t that be a result…
The new Euro-poll shows Greens only 1% behind LibDems among those certain to vote this May…

Green Party to hold Day of Action this Saturday, January 18th, in Colchester

Colchester Green Party takes its message to the residents of Colchester’s Christ Church Ward

Members and supporters of Colchester Green Party will be holding a Day of Action on Saturday 18th January, delivering copies of the Winter 2013/14 Essex Green View to the residents of Colchester’s Christ Church ward.

Produced by Eastern Green Party, the publication includes commentary and reports relating to various local and national issues. Items include:

– Details of the Green Party’s opposition to a number of countryside and greenbelt developments across parts of Essex


– A call for wide-ranging reforms of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy


– Commentary from Green Party Transport Spokesperson, Rupert Read on what should be done to tackle the increasing alienation of children within modern society.


The Day of Action also coincides with a talk at Colchester firstsite entitled ‘East Anglia on the Edge’ given by Asher Minns from the Tyndall Centre at UEA, which will highlight the issues caused by climate change throughout East Anglia. 

The hour-long talk will commence at 2pm, and among those attending will be Dr. Rupert Read, lead Green Party MEP candidate in the East of England in the European elections and national Green Party Transport Spokesperson.

Dr. Read commented: “East Anglia is on the edge of a cliff, in terms of climate and low-lying ground, as we saw in the recent severe storms in the Region. I’m delighted to be in Colchester this Saturday, to take our message on this and other key issues of the day to the local area and to listen to local people about what they think most important to our collective future well-being.”

A copy of the Winter 2013/14 Essex Green View can be downloaded from tinyurl.com/greenview-13-14


ENDS

Plebgate? No: #Policegate

So, it was the police, and not the Cabinet Minister, who were most at fault in relation to so-called ‘Plebgate’.
This brings to mind the case I made a few months back, about the malaise indicated — in the police force in this country — by such events. Have a read:
The bottom line is: if policemen can do this kind of thing to a Cabinet Minister, imagine how the likes of you and I can suffer at their hands. That is what my post http://rupertread.org/rupertread.org/wordpress/?p=158 concerns…

My stance on animal-welfare

Having a sound Green outlook on animals is a central priority of mine.

 

The central ethos behind our policy in this connection, in the Green Party, is to call for nothing less than a complete re-framing of the way in which all of us relate to the animal world. No longer to be perceived as mere things that can be manipulated and mistreated as commodities in a mainly profit-orientated world, animals should rather be seen as sentient beings worthy of our respect. We all know that this is true of our own dogs and cats; it is just a question of extending that respect to animals who are exploited in factory-farms, in sport, etc. .

 

The Green Party is also very aware of how animal rights and human rights go hand in hand. The amount of land and water needed to sustain animals destined for slaughter is entirely disproportionate to that needed to grow vegetables. As resources begin to dwindle, and with land-use under great pressure, this is not an issue we can continue to take lightly. Worldwide, the amount of grain sent to feed animals could be redirected to prevent more than a billion people from going hungry, not to mention the high rates of heart disease, cancer and diabetes that are associated with the meat industry.

 

Existing Green MEPs have been strong advocates for animal welfare in the European Parliament, for example by backing a campaign to reduce the time that it is legal to transport animals as ‘live exports’. If I am elected on May 22nd – and I was just 1% short, last time – then I will be a similarly strong voice for our animal kin.
 

Overall, we in the Greens would like to move towards a more humane system where animal welfare is seen as beneficial not only to the animals themselves, but also to the environment, human health and in eradicating global poverty and famine. This is about a win-win: caring better for animals, and helping to produce a happier world for humans in the process.

THREAT TO ANCIENT WOODLAND: Greens say ‘NO, Minister!’

GREENS OPPOSE THREAT TO ANCIENT WOODLAND

 

Ancient woodland in East Anglia could be sacrificed to building under proposals which open a new front in the battle to protect our environment.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has suggested that developers could encroach upon ancient woodland if that was “offset” by the planting of new trees elsewhere.

But this is about more than numbers. Ancient woodland, by definition, has been in existence since at least 1600. New planting could not replicate the rich biodiversity which has grown up over centuries in places such as Epping Forest and Hatfield Forest in Essex, Foxley Wood in Norfolk, Bradfield Woods in Suffolk, King’s Wood in Bedfordshire, Brampton Wood in Cambridgeshire and Whippendell Wood in Hertfordshire.

Tony Juniper, a former director of Friends of the Earth and Green Party Parliamentary candidate in Cambridge at the last election, commented, in the Independent newspaper:

“Our Government’s obsession with growth at any cost cannot be permitted to destroy nature’s final surviving crown jewels. Ministers are working in Brussels to weaken EU conservation laws; at home, they have slashed the budgets of official conservation bodies and are now looking for ways to smooth the path for development, even in special areas.”

Rupert Read, lead candidate for the Green Party in the east of England at this year’s Euro elections said:

“The Conservatives have lost their one-time calling as conservers of our natural and cultural heritage.  If I become a Green MEP I will be doing everything I can to make sure that the powers of the EU are a force for good in nature conservation. That means preserving, not destroying, our remaining ancient woodlands.”

The Government sees biodiversity offsetting as a means to make the planning system more efficient. The Greens see ancient woodland as being like a person: it isn’t replaceable, it’s a unique organism and old ones contain a depth and complexity that only long undisturbed stretches of time can create.

500 say ‘No’ to Norfolk Care Cuts

500 say ‘No’ to Norfolk Care Cuts

Members of Norwich Green Party  and anti-cuts campaigners will submit a petition of over 500 signatures to Norfolk County Council on Tuesday this week.

The petition opposes proposed cuts by the Labour-led Council to personal budgets, care packages, and preventative services; and calls on the County Council to make social care a ‘top priority’.

 Labour-led Norfolk County Council is proposing £56m of cuts to social services. These cuts have caused concern to local charities:

  • Age Concern is running a ‘Cut Cake Not Care‘ campaign against several of the proposals.

  • Norwich Older Peoples’ Forum expressed concerns that Adult Social Services could suffer similar problems to Childrens’ Services at the County Council, which were severely cut in 2011 and were recently criticised by OFSTED.

  • Disability charity Equal Lives claim that the proposed cuts “violate the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”.

 

Councillor Richard Bearman, Leader of the Green Party group on Norfolk County Council, said:

“The coalition Government’s austerity reductions are making devastingly cruel cuts to social care inevitable at the time people need it most. The County Council will have little choice but to cut back on essential services that the most vulnerable in society rely on. To add insult to injury, the Labour-led administration have neglected to make social care a top priority. Greens will oppose these cuts in this and future years budgets, and this petition shows the public are on our side.”

108 people, most of whom had signed the petition, also took part in a mini-survey which asked the following questions:

Would you be prepared to see a small rise in Council Tax (about 33p per week for a Band B property) to help secure the future of social care?

The results were: Yes 89%, No 4.5%, Don’t know 6.5%.

Do you think that funding social care is more important than building new roads?

The results were: Yes 93.5%, No 5.5%, Don’t know 1%.

Councillor Stephen Little, Green Party City Councillor for Town Close Ward, said:

“As a party, we understand why, in these difficult times, the County Council should want to freeze Council

Tax and we did also point out in the petition’s online preamble that this has made the Council eligible for one-off grant funding. However, we feel it important to make clear that this continual freezing of council tax has meant that each year, the real value of revenues from council tax and the council’s ability to raise finance in future years are both reduced.”

Quotes from signatories were left on the website www.stopcarecrisisnorfolk.co.uk and included:

Rachel Keetley: I work in social care and am already struggling to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our society due to major staff reductions in the last cuts. We have had a severe squeeze on resources available for service users already – this cannot continue if we care about the welfare and dignity of the most vulnerable in our community.”

Ashley Williams: “As a carer for a vulnerable adult I consider the proposed potential cuts and restrictions to the scope of personal budgets to be shameful. A civilised society should put those who have become dependent on support high on its list of priorities.”

Torah Dye: “I am a support worker and I have witnessed the fear and anxiety that the proposed cuts have instilled in many people. I for one would agree that it would make much better sense for people to pay slightly more council tax if it would mean that social services could continue as they are (if not improve) so that the people who access them can remain as independent and healthy as possible for as long as possible thereby actually reducing their dependence on services in the long term.”

Molly Barrett: “The fear alone of this has a devastating effect on people’s lives. I challenge councillors who will be voting on this to first shadow for 48 hours someone who will be affected by the cuts.”

Malcolm Birtwell: “Having been a social worker I understand just how inportant preventative care services are. “

Georgina Moles: “Social care is in crisis from the cuts imposed by the austerity programme of the Condems to be carried out by the Labour led administration. Stop the cuts NOW.”

David Peel, publicity officer for Norfolk People’s Assembly said:

“Instead of standing up to the Government on behalf of Norfolk people, the county council is implementing cuts and is causing a care crisis. The price of dealing with the deficit cannot be the sacrifice of the vulnerable. It is unfair, unjust and unnecessary. Heed this petition and stop the cuts now.” 

Imagine the political transformation that this glorious poem might wreak, if it were widely read and acted on…:

Keeping Quiet      By Pablo Neruda

 

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

This one time upon the earth,
let’s not speak any language,
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be a delicious moment,
without hurry, without locomotives,
all of us would be together
in a sudden uneasiness.

The fishermen in the cold sea
would do no harm to the whales
and the peasant gathering salt
would look at his torn hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars of gas, wars of fire,
victories without survivors,
would put on clean clothing
and would walk alongside their brothers
in the shade, without doing a thing.

What I want shouldn’t be confused
with final inactivity:
life alone is what matters,
I want nothing to do with death.

If we weren’t unanimous
about keeping our lives so much in motion,

if we could do nothing for once,
perhaps a great silence would
interrupt this sadness,
this never understanding ourselves
and threatening ourselves with death,
perhaps the earth is teaching us
when everything seems to be dead
and then everything is alive.

Now I will count to twelve
and you keep quiet and I’ll go.

Dr. Rupert Read, Reader in the UEA School of Philosophy, Vice-Chair of the Green House thinktank, lead Green Party MEP candidate in the East of England in the 2014 European elections, and national Green Party Transport Spokesperson.
 
End the scandal of advertisers colonising kids minds… #BanKiddieAds! …Goto www.leaveourkidsalone.org , and sign our petition.
 
Do you micro-blog? I do! ‘Follow’ me, on both:
http://twitter.com/GreenRupertRead [my ‘politician’ account] &
http://twitter.com/RupertRead [my ‘personal’ account].
 
www.rupertread.net

‘Vote For Policies’ Survey

 
If you haven’t done so before, the New Year is a great to find out if, like many people, you are a Green without knowing it:

http://voteforpolicies.org.uk/

Vote For Policies is a social enterprise which aims to get people thinking seriously about the policies of political parties (the clue’s in the title!) rather than voting because of assumptions about what we stand for.

The national survey results are amazing/encouraging, and it’s possible to even see a breakdown for Norwich South, which is possibly even more heartening!

 
Do share this…