Hull NO2ID in 2010

Today we had our first No2ID meeting in Hull for 2010. After an interesting a and wide-ranging meeting at The Mission –  very fitting –  we set up a stall near Queen Victoria Square. People were largely very receptive, taking leaflets, chatting *despite the significant* cold and a few signing up for more info.  Great to meet Northern Coordinator James who’d come over especially. Sterling work!

There’s still huge numbers of CCTV cameras around Hull, with very little value to them.  But the prospects for full-on ID cards are another level again, to add to the huge and still-existing databases.

Group launch to come, and hopefully a public meeting and maybe some hustings (debates among the candidates). I’ll be there!

You can join Hull NO2ID on Facebook .

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Truth, the first, second and last casualty of war.

Today Tony Blair faces the Chilcot Inquiry on Iraq.

There’s an impression that Chilcot is a kind of war crimes trial, or that could lead to one, were evidence of major wrongdoing uncovered. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It is an establishment inquiry – in a long line of establishment inquiries, designed to obscure the truth, only allowing it to come out in dribs and drabs.

Yet devotees of resistance to these immoral and illegal wars will be watching closely for any fresh nugget of the already clear wrongdoing and constructed measures to actually get a war and manipulate, even fabricate, intelligence to that end. It was clear even in 2003; that’s why millions marched on the streets.

People forget truth is the first casualty of war – because you need to lie in order to convince people that the wholly unnatural act of killing is somehow justified.

Consider the David Kelly affair. An honourable man, given his profession (as a top biowarfare expert), speaks out anonymously over the claim Iraq could attack us within 45 minutes of the order, AFTER the war had started. For questioning this claim, in the background, he was found and hounded, and lost his life, which sent shockwaves through the MOD, and through intelligence. (Now the precise details of his death are subject to a 70-year gag order by Hutton, and largely under-reported by the media).

Then the BBC was vilified, had to sack the reporter and lost its boss.

And they were all to be proved completely correct in their questioning. So truth is also the second casualty of war.

Today truth will be the last casualty of war as Blair walks on the water of an establishment enquiry, something he’s more than qualified to do. Chilcot should be careful of his reputation or his name will become a byword for how to get away with being a war criminal.

Of course there are other casualties of war. Our soldiers, their fighters, and above all, their civilians. But then, if they really counted, to people like Blair, or Campbell, Straw or Hoon, then there wouldn’t have been a war.

Blair lied. A million died.

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Martin Deane

Hull and East Riding Green Party
Hull Stop the War

Good Obama, Bad Obama.

I kept a list last year, until August, of what Obama was doing well at and at what he was doing badly. Good Obama and Bad Obama.

I stopped after getting the impression that it was one step forward and two steps back, a pattern which has only continued. Since then we’ve had the major failures, imho, of the massive bailouts to the banks, in reality a regressive tax or even the demanding of money with menaces, the non-closure of Guantanamo while doubling Bagram, and the fracas of the non-healthcare law.

The latest news in the league tables, for those still nurturing the flickering flame of hope for Obama, took shape in the news that there will be no funding of health services for the 9/11 responders, many of whom are seriously ill, and whose likely death toll may be greater than the 2995 who died on that fateful day.

Obama opposes 9/11 health funding.

But there’s enough money for war and ‘anti-terrorism’ measures.

Our peoples demand better than the promised cuts, while wars are continually funded, and while we develop further weapons of mass destruction as at Aldermaston, and while renewing our existing capability to kill about 200 cities with the leading parties’ commitment to Trident.

Instead, can’t we almost guarantee from here, that politics will continue on this path, where the elite, the bankers, the corporations, the defence industries, the warmongers,  get their way and the people get thrown some crumbs?

Like walking through a desert just to find the odd flower.

The death of Howard Zinn, RIP.

Probably not many people have heard of Howard Zinn. He may have made it to the odd secondary school history syllabus, but I’d wager not. I’ve only read the one book myself, A People’s History of the United States, although there is plenty of video content around now.

But Howard Zinn was a teacher’s teacher. He writes with a depth of research and knowledge and with a clear and universal compassion. He tells you things you may not want to hear about your ancestry, your country, your politics.  He’s American and wrote for an American audience, but the principles remain the same.

He was staunchly antiwar so had no compunction about speaking out over Iraq and all the contrivances to get that war: an immoral, illegal war conducted by the pre-eminent superpower, and its lackeys, on an impoverished and disarmed country already under the heel for 13 years.

But he’ll be remembered especially for making history come alive, with his accounts from American Indians suffering from the invasions and conquests following 1492, or from black slaves and their oppression, and any number of soldiers in any number of wars.

To finish, here is a moving tribute from friend Daniel Ellsberg –

http://www.countercurrents.org/ellsberg280110.htm

Policies by facebook groups

Here are some of the groups I’ve been supporting!

Why the Cadbury’s buyout is bad news

The proposed £11.5 billion buyout of Cadbury’s by American food giant Kraft is provoking a nationwide response.  A lot of the reaction – including my own! – is probably due to our lifelong addiction to chocolate which Cadbury’s represents! People are outraged precisely because Cadbury’s is such a well-loved brand.

But the buyout of Cadbury’s is yet more bad news for British industry. National union Unite are ‘extremely concerned’ especially since Kraft has borrowed £7 billion to fund the takeover – that thousands of people are likely to lose their jobs, and sites get closed, as Kraft has done elsewhere. Much of Cadbury’s could be asset-stripped and sold off. (1)

But Greens have a dilemma. The dilemma is related firstly to what Cadbury’s has been involved in all its life and, then, with what it’s a victim of now.  We don’t particularly want to fight Cadbury’s corner – but note that the Government doesn’t want to fight for them at all! – Nor for almost an other company that’s been bought out by overseas interests, with only a few exceptions.

The problem with Cadbury’s is that only a fraction of its chocolate is fairtrade.  Global cocoa is hugely exploitative – even to the extent of child slavery.  Cocoa produced is then sold on the world market to whichever manufacturer.

But, of course, none of those *primary* (ie, moral and human rights) issues are going to be solved by Kraft’s buyout!

In addition, transnational corporations (TNCs) and so-called ‘world trade agreements’ effectively prevent producer nations from processing it themselves, so keeping them poor.

But surely, Greens say, the principle is valuable that any nation – and maybe even a locality, like Hull, or a region like Yorkshire – should be able and seek to protect its companies from buyouts by mega-corporations, especially those which are likely to asset-strip, sell-off and create mass unemployment?

Greens seriously disagree with global trade agreements –  whether it’s the lack of rights foreign workers suffer to produce our chocolate –  or whether it’s smaller, local companies, being gobbled up and spat out by the ‘big boys’.

Globally, Green economic policy calls for a “new order of cooperation between nations”. Put simply, we don’t want to see well-functioning businesses, with thousands of talented people and skilled workers, fall victim to huge, unaccountable overseas companies, leading to mass unemployment and the social dismay it causes.

But Greens do want to influence and incentivise companies towards ever more ‘worthwhile’ ways of doing trade – and that this should be necessarily measured in social and political terms – and not just monetary ones.

Now after decades of deregulation, we are now in a position where giant corporations and global capital are both apparently unassailable  – while also at the same time being completely unsustainable!

As the banking crisis shows, as well as the predatory nature of most transnational corporations, we desperately need a different type of politician to champion trade policies which will protect valuable businesses, local trade, real jobs and people’s livelihoods.

The Green Party has those policies.

Martin Deane
Hull Green Party.
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1. Unite video statement on –
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8467007.stm

2. See policy.greenparty.org.uk

Economics:  EC900 “new order”,  EC902 power of TNCs; EC921 protection against domination, EC942 replace WTO, more accountable, decentralised, EC943 increase local democracy and control over economics.

STOP TESCO – another giant store planned for Hull

To protest this planning application , write to  – Hull Planning Development: dev.control@hullcc.gov.uk

TESCOs plan giant store for Anlaby Road.

Although they have had to scale it back from 100,000 sq foot to 75,000sq ft, it will be huge.

Many residents are worried it will destroy what is left on Hessle Road. Many local small shops are likely to be among the first to go.

Tesco’s idea of 300 new jobs is an illusion. It will just replace existing shop workers jobs and wipe out other small scale competition. This has happened in city after city, town after town.

For people who want to shop at Tescos there’s already too much “CHOICE”. There’s 10 stores in Hull and already one on Anlaby Road: 400 yards away from the planned superstore!

Already Tesco gets £1 in every 7 spent. Last year it made £3 billion in profit – or nearly £50 per man, woman and child in Britain!

We need opposition from local people to support the traders who are already feeling threatened.

Please do your bit. People standing together can make a difference against corporate greed, and it is time to be counted.