green party

Heading to the European Elections

We are on the run up to the European Elections and it’s fascinating to see how little media coverage the Green Party receive. Others, who are more controversial and more extreme seem to get the attention. I guess this is in the interests of the broadcasters, who are after controversy to sell their stories, but it would be nice to think that the Green Party, with ever increasing local, national and EU representation would get the opportunity to put opinion forward.

I guess though this debate goes back to the state and privately owned media. A more transparent process, would certainly help to unlock our democracy and perhaps even make it a little more honest and accountable.

Food banks fill an essential gap in our welfare system

Frustrating to see that yet another Conservative is so insensitive to the people in this country – this time it’s about poverty and food banks. Chris Steward a councillor for York shows just how out of touch these people are. In their own little private well funded world. I don’t wish ill on anyone, but it would be good for Chris Steward and other Conservatives to live in poverty, not just for days, but for years. This would give them a little perspective and an understanding of how their view’s mismatch the needs of the people in this country.

Just to be clear though, in West Berkshire the Green Party do not agree with his words. He is at best an uninformed fool and worst a publicity seeking Toff. Food banks provide an amazing service in one of the great gaps in our welfare system. We should be praising the people and companies that provide food and people for their time helping others. If I had my magic wand I would change the welfare system and our working system – a move to a living wage, training, etc. A caring, cooperative and inclusive Green society would provide everyone with opportunities to do valuable work, pursue their interests, interact with their community, keep learning and enjoy nature.

 

‘Dear Richard Benyon,

A few days ago, Conservative councillor for York Chris Steward told the York Press: “The fact some give food to food banks, merely enables people who can’t budget (an issue where schools should do much more and I have said the council should) or don’t want to, to have more money to spend on alcohol, cigarettes etc.

“There is certainly no need for food banks; no-one in the UK is starving and I think food banks insult the one billion in the world that go to bed hungry every day.”

In my opinion this shows a lack of empathy and a serious gap in the Conservative Parties understanding of poverty and the causes of poverty.

Do you share his option, agree with his membership of the Conservative Party and will you be sharing your opinion with the Prime Minister?

Yours sincerely,

Adrian Hollister.’

 

Picture from ‘The Food Bankers’ WordPress site which can be found here.

Lower Tax does not equal better income

Interesting that the perception on Tax is driven by head line rates.

There is a media created impression that Tories generally reduce tax, but this is for the richest and for big business and they rely upon people aspiring to be like them to create the idea that lower tax = greater income. No idea what Lib Dem's stand for, depends on the direction of power I guess. Labour seem to have taken the stance that by increasing the wealth of everyone, there would be bigger tax income and a generally lower burden.

Labour failed by only going half-way, by gambling with the riches they created and by forgetting to create a fair and sustainable economy. Sustainable has to be one we can afford, removes the casino effect and allows everyone to prosper. Fair is just that – honestly doing the best for the country as a whole, not political donors or social/geographical stereotypes. There is only one political party in the UK offering fair and honest tax, the Green Party.

I wonder how many middle class tories and lib dems feel richer at the moment despite tax cuts for the richest?

John Bercow should publish the list of landlords

Dear Richard Benyon MP,

It is with great concern that I read about continued problems with MP's

expenses – the latest of which appears to indicate that MP's are

renting out a property they own (often one purchased under the old

expenses regime that was abolished following public outrage over the

system in 2009) while using the expenses system to rent out another

property in central London, and making a profit in the process.

It has been suggested that some MPs may even be renting their

properties out to each other to milk the system.

Could I seek your assurance that you are not party to this and could I

ask you to petition John Bercow to publish the list of MP's landlords.

I fear that anything less would further continue to undermine the

integrity of our democratic system.

I appreciate you time on this issue.

Yours sincerely,

Adrian Hollister.

Osborne backs Fracking

What the fracking hell is going on in the Conservative Party? Osborne says that he will "open up newly discovered shale gas reserves beneath our land" – fracking to the rest of us. This is the same fracking that caused earth quakes when first tested in this country and the same fracking that has caused gas and hideous pollutants to enter the water course throughout north America.

Green MP Caroline Lucas, tabled an Early Day Motion calling for a moratorium on the onshore and offshore exploration of shale gas.

Adrian Hollister, Green Activist for West Berks Green Party said, "With shale gas areas licensed by DECC as close to Newbury as Andover we are not immune to this – this is not someone else's problem. I cannot see how the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats can honesty cover up the evidence for the significant environmental damage caused by fracking. This just stinks of financial lobbying. It's not sustainable, sensible or ethical – but since when could these labels be attributed to the Tories?"

Clear Drop in English students

Green Party's Jenny Hicks from Reading has some insightful words on her blog today about the drop in the number of students at Reading University.

Jenny says that "…the rise in tuition fees up to a maximum of £9,000 a year has led to a "clear drop" in the number of English students applying for university places this autumn, an independent analysis of the impact of the coalition's controversial reform has found.

"There are 15,000 missing applicants who might have been expected to have sought a place on a degree course this academic year but did not, according to the Independent Commission on Fees.

The raising of fees prompted violent protests on the streets of London and inflicted deep damage on the reputation of the Liberal Democrats, who went into the election pledging to vote against a fee rise. Published a week before A-level results come out, the report says that the number of university applicants in England dropped by 8.8% this year compared with the tally for 2010."