Stop making diesel cars and pedestrianise town centres

My letter published in the Observer, 24th Jan 2016.

Investing in clean air will save us money – both now and in the future. The Conservative austerity programme starves local councils of funds while we continue expanding our roads, thus wasting millions on increasing air pollution. New investment should cut air pollution instead through backing pedestrian and cycle schemes. This will save the government money three times over. First, it will cut air pollution, a major killer in the UK. Second, it will lead to healthier lives in general, reducing costs to the NHS – and help us shift to more sustainable living into the bargain. But third, the savings will also be seen in the initial investment made, as there is typically a far better return on investment in walking, cycling and local public transport in the first place than on the new road schemes and HS2 that dominate our transport investment.
Dr Rupert Read
Chair, Green House thinktank

Green Politics and the Left

Launch event: Aston University, Birmingham, 16 February

Jeremy Corbyn has changed the political landscape prompting Green House think tank to publish an e-pamphlet exploring the relationship between green politics and the left: Green Politics and the Left . The publication will be launched at the event Progressive Politics in Britain to be held at the Adrian Cadbury Lecture Theatre between 18.00 and 20.00, Aston University in Birmingham, on Tuesday 16 February 2016.

The Conservative Government is about to undertake significant alterations to the boundaries of Parliamentary constituencies which with proposed changes in the process of voter registration is likely to seriously disadvantage Labour in future general elections and so secure its dominance in England for decades to come.

For Greens, the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party offers an opportunity to articulate a progressive politics that is distinctly different from that of the Labour Party, and one which is capable of successfully addressing the complex problems of the 21st century. Itʼs brightest star, Caroline Lucas, is calling for an anti Tory progressive alliance jointly campaigning on key issues and even perhaps an electoral pact. Chair of Green House and main speaker on 16 Feb, Rupert Read, says,

There needs to be a strong Green voice in British politics backing policies such as monetary reform, PR, Citizen Income and a Land Value Tax that offers a joined-up ecologist vision, not a business as usual vision based on economic growth, consumerism and debt.

Green Politics and the Left brings together in one downloadable pdf seven short essays by Green House members to explore and debate the new dynamics of Ecologism, Socialism, Democracy and Republicanism. Not everyone will agree with the authors but democracy, and especially a Green democracy, is about deliberation, participation and informed debate.

Let the debate begin.


Green Pol & Left flyer