Eastern Green candidates’ clean campaign pledge:

Despite the refusal of the candidates of the other main Parties to do so, the Green Party European Parliament candidates here in the East of England have signed a ‘Clean Campaign Pledge’. That means no lies, no dodgy graphs, no fraudulent behaviour (obviously). Just plain speaking, and plain dealing. We campaign as we mean to go on: cleanly. Letting voters know the facts; urging a real alternative to the old parties and to the old politics, but one that is not mired in falsehood or fraud. 
We have pledged that we will show by our actions and our words that politics need not be a dirty game, but can be a clean and positive activity, engaged in genuinely for the good of all.
We will tell the truth about what we stand for and have achieved, and
about what others stand for and have achieved.
We will state only facts concerning other candidates.
We will not mislead the public about who is or is not doing well and about who is likely to win in these elections.
We will make only honest and reasonable promises.
We will fight a clean, positive and honest campaign around issues that
concern the people of Eastern England.
We urge voters to hold us to this pledge – and to ask other parties' candidates why they weren't willing to sign it.

Rupert Read
Green Party MEP lead candidate for Eastern England.
WHY NOT FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER?: twitter.com/GreenRupertRead (my ‘politician’ account) AND on
twitter.com/RupertRead (my ‘personal’ account).

Hope vs fear: Natalie Bennett

Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett at the national launch I took part in yesterday highlighted to attendees how the Greens'  Manifesto provides a “roadmap for real change” and a departure from the established political order’s tired and destructive business-as-usual approach:

“This election is about choice. Denial and despair or hope and opportunity. We can build a brighter future. We can find solutions to the challenges that we face.  

“When people hear about our policies – bringing the railways back into public hands, turning the  minimum wage into a living wage, scrapping tuition fees and insulating every home – they vote Green.  

“When they vote Green they get Green. We don’t just highlight problems, we build lasting solutions."

Rupert Read
Green Party MEP lead candidate for Eastern England.
WHY NOT FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER?: twitter.com/GreenRupertRead (my ‘politician’ account) AND on
twitter.com/RupertRead (my ‘personal’ account).

Rupert Read HS2 q on Guardian’s Politics Live blog

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Rupert Read HS2 q on Guardian's Politics Live blog
From: Archie Thomas <Archie.Thomas@greenparty.org.uk>
To: gpmedianet@lists.greenparty.org.uk
CC: Chris Luffingham <Chris.Luffingham@greenparty.org.uk>,Zoe Hall <zoe.hall@greenparty.org.uk>,"pennyanne.kemp@btinternet.com " <pennyanne.kemp@btinternet.com>,"rupertread@fastmail.co.uk " <rupertread@fastmail.co.uk>

3.53pm BST Here’s Rupert Read, the Green party‘s transport spokesman, on HS2.

All credit to the Tory MPs who are voting against HS2 today, but unfortunately such nimbyism alone will never defeat this white elephant scheme. There is one party standing firm on principle against HS2: the Green party. As more and more think-tanks, businesses and columnists turn against HS2, it’s time to start thinking concretely about how that money should be better spent.


Launchday: Pledge Fund launched :-)

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: New Pledge Fund
From: pauljeater@btinternet.com
To: adrianramsay@greenparty.org.uk,rupertread@fastmail.co.uk

This afternoon I’ve launched a new pledge fund that if successful will raise £1000 for the Eastern Region  Euro Election Fund. It’s called ‘Vote Green 4 Hope’. We need to get 40 members & supporters to donate £25, the deadline set is Sunday 11th May. Please spread the word far and wide, and encourage members and supporters to contribute. Thanks for your help.
Paul Jeater

Unfettered consumerism & blind pursuit of economic growth…a threat to our One Planet & God’s Creation?

Please do join us for the launch of Suffolk Greenhouse with two key speakers:

Right Rev’d Dean of St Edmundsbury, Dr Frances Ward & Dr Rupert Read (lead Green MEP-candidate in the East of England)
Chair: Councillor Mark Ereira-Guyer
 This is an open meeting – all those with an interest in debating our planet having a future are very welcome 
Thursday 8th May 18.00, for 18.30 start
7 St John’ Street
Bury St Edmunds
Entry by Donation (£10 suggested: Tapas style food & Refreshment from this independent restaurant in heart of town, served from 6pm onwards)

Below is a summary of Clive Hamilton’s ‘Growth Fetish’ proposition:
No issue more preoccupies the modern political process than economic growth. As never before, economic growth is the touchstone of policy success. Countries rate their progress against others by their income per person, which can only rise through faster growth.

Every newspaper, every day, quotes a political leader or a commentator arguing that we need more economic growth to improve the level of national well-being and build a better society.

In the thrall of growth fetishism, all of the major political parties in the West have made themselves the captives of the national accounts. While they may differ on social policy, there is an unchallengeable consensus that the over-riding objective of government must  be growth of the economy.

The answer to almost every problem is ‘more economic growth’.

-The problem is unemployment; only growth can create the jobs.

-Schools and hospitals are underfunded; faster growth will improve the budget.

-We can’t afford to protect the environment; the solution is more growth.

-Poverty is entrenched; growth will rescue the poor.

-Income distribution is unequal; more growth will make everyone better off.

But despite high and sustained levels of economic growth in the West over a period of fifty years growth that has seen average real incomes increase several times over  the mass of people are no more satisfied with their lives now than they were then.

If the purpose of growth has been to give us better lives and there can be no other purpose then it has manifestly failed. The reader can simply ask this question: Do I believe that on the whole people are happier now than they were forty or fifty years ago? When asked this question, almost everyone says ‘no’.

The more we examine the role of growth in modern society, the more our preoccupation with it appears to be a fetish, that is, the worship of an inanimate object for its apparent magical powers.

The product of growth, money income, represents of course much more than a greater ability to consume. increasing income has  become pivotal to the creation and reproduction of self in modern society.  Thus growth takes on significance because of the excitation it produces in people, the promise it holds to attain bliss.

There can be little doubt that in recent decades the most evangelical promoters of growth fetishism have been the economists. One particular school of economists has achieved uncontested control, the neoclassical, neo-liberal or free market school.

Open any university text and the subject is immediately defined as the study of how to use scarce resources to best satisfy unlimited wants. These ‘wants’ are assumed to be those that consumption satisfies.

By subtle fusion, human beings have become ‘consumers’ and human desire has been defined in terms of goods; it follows that the only way to make people happier is to provide more goods. In other words, the objective is growth.

Governments of all persuasions are now mesmerised by economic growth and find it awkward to think about national progress more broadly.

In the last twenty-five years politics in the West have been marked by the ideological convergence of the main parties. Social democratic parties abandoned their traditional commitments and converged on the free market policies of the conservatives.

The more the parties converge in substance, the more they must attempt to differentiate themselves through spin. The politics of spin are the politics of falsity, and there is a popular belief that the democratic process has become an elaborate charade. The major parties, now dominated by careerists who stand for nothing, whip themselves into frenzies over matters that are trivial, while tacitly agreeing not to break the neo-liberal consensus on the things that really matter. No wonder people are alienated, and political space is created for the emergence of parties of the far right.

Growth fetishism and its neo-liberal handmaiden therefore assail democracy itself. Social democracy is being superceded by a sort of market totalitarianism. When older people speak bitterly of the corruption of modern politics, they nevertheless feel that it is a historical aberration on the constancy of democratic rights, and that in the end the people can still have their say.

Disturbingly, younger people hear only the accusation that the system is incurably corrupt, and they believe it.