Hull NO2ID launches on Monday

We had a good meeting yesterday planning the launch for Monday.  Leader of the Council Carl Minns and Councillors Fareham and Walker are also expected on Monday. It would be nice to have Labour in the city represented too…

We had a pretty busy stall in town and spoke to 30 or 40 people and many signed up to our petition to put an end to ID cards. Quite a few people still only had the barest idea…

But the campaign as a whole is against the database state and the many ways government authorities make demands of us – from demanding a chipped passport, to possible fines of £1000 on us for any mistake that may be on their ID card.

Despite the cost, despite that cards can be cloned, despite the admission they will not reduce crime or terrorism, despite the large amounts of data already lost, the real question is: how much do we trust our governments?

We hope lots of people will make our launch on Monday, 11am in Queen Victoria Square, Hull.

So! Two months to go!

So! Two months to go! (Take no notice of rumours of early elections!)

Most of our Green areas across the region are working hard getting leaflets out, knocking on doors, talking to people about their issues and doing press releases.

Conference was great last week. A highlight for me was our deputy leader Adrian Ramsay’s “Speech of a Lifetime” –  http://bit.ly/cF22oN

Less of a highlight – the same day – was Labour announcing its slogan. But it didn’t last long. It soon got re-christened:  A Future Fair for all Bankers!

I did make the comment: what do we need a fair for? This is Hull. We have one of the biggest fairs in Europe! 🙂

Newcomers to political activism, Winkball.com were also there interviewing candidates; some of ours got collared too! See them here – http://bit.ly/cM3fSj

Last night, Caroline Lucas had a piece on Channel 4. We watched it, live from Cottingham where we were having a debate on “Food and Farming” then a meeting.  Her video is up here now. Why not join me by making a comment and wishing her the best from Hull – or wherever you are!?
http://bit.ly/dqegOf

As ever, all our lead areas, especially York, Sheffield, Huddersfield will be looking to make the biggest splash they can, so if you can help, give them a shout. http://www.y-hgreenparty.org.uk/contacts.shtml

Meanwhile, we’re ready in Hull and hope to get our leaflet out next week across the area. All help well received!

And finally a petition, below, as a reminder of what we’re fighting for (and against!).

Best wishes, Martin Deane

Say No to Shell’s Brazilian sugar cane biofuel plans

Shell is planning to make the largest ever investment in biofuels by joining
with Brazilian company Cosan to take a large share of the sugar cane market.
Sugar cane production is linked to the destruction of cerrado and forest,
including Amazonian, and Cosan is embroiled in a debate with the Brazilian
government over the use of slave labour.

Please email Shell today asking them to pull out of this proposed venture
and to invest in true renewables instead:

http://www.rainforest-rescue.org

Many thanks.

Best regards,

Reinhard Behrend
Rainforest Rescue

What should we cut to pay the bankers and pay for wars?

The 3 biggest parties are all promising us cuts. But don’t buy the lie! No way was it necessary to pay off the banks to the extent that government did – and now use it as an excuse to make all of us fill the gap. We, along with a large number of economists, are calling it rewarding bad behaviour.

Meanwhile, the new party of fairness, (that’s the government by the way…), have undertaken to slash UK higher education by £2.5 billion. There is no threat, however, to the 2 aircraft carriers on order, who’s price has risen steadily to £5 billion so far this year. And no, it’s not a buy one get one free offer either.

Iraq was costing us a billion pounds a year (2007) as time went on. You’d think you’d get a discount per decade or something… and Afghanistan last year was the deadliest year so far for the invaders.

Whatever American plans for Iraq and Afghanistan, whatever the bleak prospects for a workable Afghan future, the UK government doesn’t seem to have a problem paying for it – that is, making us pay for it through draconian cuts in education, welfare, health.

What would you like to see cut to pay for the bankers and pay for the wars?

——————————————————————————————

Guardian (Feb,2009)

2008/9:  Iraq and Afghanistan to cost £4.5 bn over year.

2008/9:  Afghanistan cost s UK £2.6bn.

2007/8:  Afghanistan costs UK £1.5 bn

2001-9:   cost to UK military has been over £14 for both theatres (excl. Civil aid money, also in billions).

2009:   8000 UK troops in Afghanistan.

Green Economy, Green Migration

My snippet on the Politics Show filmed well enough today. The BBC team were delayed so that cut  down the options. Len Tingle presided and had a good idea of what he wanted. Here’s what came up – plus some stuff I’d have like to added!

We started with me talking to a Hull man who works as an interpreter. He turns out to have come over here, years ago now, from Afghanistan, fleeing the Taliban. He studied English at Hull College went on for a degree and now works on various things as a journalist, interpreter as well as translating documentaries for Afghan schools. Very interesting, thoughtful, intelligent.

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Under an infamous Tingle grilling, I then defended our policy on immigration. Firstly, we are a party of human rights and a party of equality. For example, no-one’s bothered about the large numbers of Britons who live and work abroad. So why get – precisely – bothered about others working here? Historically there has always been migration, people move looking for a better life.

We do have an extended policy on Migration, but you have to track it down. And with 30 years of policy you have to simplify it for any given campaign.

Yes people may be worried about ‘others’ taking their jobs but if you want to blame someone, blame the system which likes cheap labour, keeps wages low and helps bosses challenge unions.  After 30 years of Thatch-Blair, Greens want stronger unions – and we want a somewhat higher minimum wage – given the greatest income disparity since the second world war. As for cheap labour, if the wealth of nations were better distributed, Britain would be less of an attraction, and so on.

I did admit that Greens would be concerned about total population and how
that may play out over real sustainability (not too bad right no, re food, as I’ve written elsewhere – but what about oil decline, environmental decline, etc?).

Education came up: I made the comment that the big parties are cutting £2.5 billion from the budget; that this goes back to the economic crash and the bankers’ bailouts – which Greens wouldn’t have done – talk about rewarding bad behaviour!

The Green New Deal got an airing. We have plans for 1 million jobs, serious energy conservation, renewable energy production for energy security. etc. Creates jobs, saves fuel bills, makes for energy independence. What’s not to like?

“Aren’t we just a pressure group?” No, we’re definitely a political party! I was also able to plug Caroline (Isn’t it shameful with 10% of the vote that we’re still waiting for our first MP!?!).

We walked Newland Ave next. I wanted to promote it from our policy POV – lots of small businesses, you can buy almost everything on one street, it’s a community, it’s convenient. A big part of our idea of local economics. Quite a lot covered. We’ll see how it edits down.

Cheers, M.

What to do with bankers bonuses?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got difficulty with the bankers – who’ve just  wrecked the world economy – getting bonuses! A lot of people would like them sent to Haiti. The bonuses that is – what good’s a banker to an earthquake? Billy Bragg’s idea is a start:  limit the (huge) bonuses to the national wage…

Greens want a top-rate Bankers’ Bonuses Tax AND a bid to break up the big banks.

I  support Billy Bragg’s call for bankers’ bonuses to be limited to a maximum of £25,000. This is  the average national wage, and we’re paying their bonuses! And this should be a first step, and we will propose to the next government that state-owned banks don’t pay bonuses at all.

These banks are being propped up by the taxpayer. Limit the bonuses that are paid to employees of any wholly or partly state-owned banks to a maximum of £25,000.

Let’s remember that we’re talking about a bonus on top of their wages, and they’re actually very well paid. £25,000 is almost the national average wage, and a lot of people work very hard for a whole year for £25,000 – or less.  No banker should claim they deserve such a bonus on top of their wages.

If I’m elected to parliament in the coming general election, I shall fight hard for a fairer economy and to reduce inequality in Britain.  I will fight against the culture of big bonuses for bankers.

The treasury would take a slice of the total bonuses to be paid out. It should also be taken at source, so the bank itself pays the tax. Of course the recipient of the bonus would then pay tax on the bonus as income as well.

And this Bankers’ Bonus Tax should be set at the top rate.

Greens also have proposals to break-up big banks into smaller enterprises so they are more responsive and accountable to the communities they serve.

We also support the campaign for a Robin Hood Tax – where all financial transactions between banks and financial institutions are subject to a small tax. Ideally the tax could help stop the excesses of casino-type dealing. But even at a very low rate (0.05%) it would help claw back for the people significant amounts. At the moment there is no such tax.

Web:  No Bonus 4 RBS

FB: Support the Robin Hood Tax

FB:Bankers Bonuses to Haiti

FB:  Give all the bank bonuses to Haiti!

FB: RBS Board Resign NOW!

Green groups formally complain over Godfrey Bloom

Martin Deane speaks out against UKIP ideas

We handed in the complaint on Bloom letter to the police on Sunday. Myself and Shan Oakes, of the Green Party and Friends of the Earth in Beverley, spoke to BBC news.  I made the point on why we were there – to counter UKIP MEP’s vicious attack on Greenpeace and all greens – as he made clear in other interviews last week.

Under existing UK law, it is illegal to make remarks “glorifying  terrorism” yet  last month there was Bloom clearly relishing – to my mind – the blowing up of Rainbow Warrior.  (If you combine this with subsequent Look North pieces you get the distinct impression that he is saying it’s ok to treat all green-minded people in this fashion).  So under the law, there seems to be a case to answer. It would be ironic if a case were to result in a conviction, go through the courts, and end up with Bloom appealing to the EU!

EU law, is more progressive in this matter, and we favour it. Bloom, of course, is dead against it being an anti-EU party.  As Greens we fight against a lot of EU initiatives, but we’re basically pro-EU. We want an EU on our terms – to be in  it and fighting, rather than outside throwing rocks.