Green Party unanimously passes Hull area Fukushima motion.

Shan Oakes presents the motion on Fukushima

Shan Oakes presents the motion on Fukushima

Fukushima – this global crisis requires a global response. Fukushima is the worst nuclear accident in history. It’s an ongoing crisis and far from being dealt with. International efforts are needed now – especially with upcoming efforts in November to make the fuel pool safe. In March 2011, a tsunami hit the Japanese coast and  triggered the world’s worst industrial disaster leading to THREE MELTDOWNS at three nuclear reactors at the power station in Fukushima prefecture.

Green Party Conference notes that –

– In August, the news broke of 300 tons of highly irradiated water leaking from one water tank into the Pacific Ocean when a rubber seal failed.

– Coming out at the same time was information that 300 tons of highly irradiated water enters the Pacific EVERY DAY from the site and very probably has been since the incident.

– Facts have regularly turned out to be worse than advertised by either Tepco or the Japanese government.

– Japan has limited its funds to Tepco for cleanup. The company is now trying to solve the industry’s biggest radiation leak on a budget.

– Astonishingly, citizens have been abandoned to their fate in Fukushima and are living in areas where levels of radioactivity are far higher than the evacuation limits set at Chernobyl.

– Living in areas as contaminated as this will lead to the same levels of illness and premature death that have been experienced in the contaminated territories of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.

– Regarding Chernobyl, the health effects from the accident in 1986 are at a peak NOW – 27 years later, so we have to think long-term.

– The plan in November is to move 1300 (‘spent’) fuel rods from an unsafe pool on top of crumbling Building 4. High radiation means usual computer controls will not work so this will be done manually. This has the potential to be an even greater disaster than the first one.

– Tepco, and Japan, are clearly having grave difficulty controlling further radiation leaks.

– A proper and complete cleanup is likely to be achieved only with a full international effort.

Conference, therefore, calls upon the Green Party Executive to pursue, via our elected representatives, with the UK government, and through the media, a call for a global response to Fukushima and for all required support and intervention to be pressed for as soon as possible.



Regional views on fracking

Here are the replies of the Yorkshire and Humber MEPs on fracking:
Tim Kirkhope MEP, Rebecca Taylor MEP, Godfrey Bloom MEP, and Andrew Brons MEP,

I haven’t analysed them yet, so feel free! Regards, Martin.


Dear Mr Deane,

Thank you for your email.

As you are probably aware the vote that was due in Parliament yesterday was postponed until the plenary session to be held w/c 07-10-13. MEPs want to hold a plenary debate with representatives of the European Commission and the Council Presidency before holding a vote.

The Environment Committee of the European Parliament, of which I am a substitute member, voted overwhelmingly in favour of including unconventional methods of fossil fuel extraction in the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, thus making them mandatory throughout the EU . The report was tabled by my ALDE colleague Andrea Zanoni MEP and was in line with a resolution of the Parliament in November 2012 in which MEPs backed tough rules on shale gas drilling.

I am clear that wherever shale gas ‘fracking’ is conducted it must be done in a safe and environmentally sound way. There are regulations in place to ensure on-site safety, prevent water contamination, air pollution and mitigate seismic activity. Before any actual drilling could occur in the UK there would need to be planning applications to the relevant local authority as well as permissions from the Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive and, in the case of fracking, the Department for Energy and Climate Change as well.

I look forward to the debate in October. The EU Commission has previously indicated that it would bring forward specific legislation to deal with shale gas extraction. However any future legislation is framed I am confident that the Parliament will uphold its commitment to ensuring the highest possible environmental standards are in place wherever shale gas extraction takes place.

Kind regards,

Rebecca Taylor MEP


Dear Mr Deane,

Thank you for your email about the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive. My position and that of my colleagues in the UK Conservative Delegation is as follows.

In principle, the Conservatives accept the inclusion of ‘shale gas production operations’ in Annex I of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive, thereby creating the provision for mandatory impact assessments on all shale gas/unconventional gas projects. However, the current wording of the amendment is problematic in that it would also make low-impact activities, such as exploration, subject to mandatory environmental impact assessment.

Put simply, this would mean that exploration and evaluation, which are mostly conducted in offices and laboratories with no ‘fracking’ and absolutely no impact on the environment, would be subject to a full impact assessment. Not only would such regulation be disproportionate but it would lead to many safe, environmentally sound activities being blocked.

Consequently, the Conservatives voted against amendments 31 and 79 but proposed new amendments which stipulated that the extraction of shale gas/unconventional fuels should undergo full EIA regardless of the amount extracted. However, the amendments made it clear that the exploration stage should be covered by the detailed screening procedure laid out in the existing Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Yours Sincerely,

Timothy Kirkhope MEP


Dear Mr Deane

Thank you for your email to Godfrey Bloom of 9 September 2013, outlining your concerns with fracking and Environmental Impact Assessments, September Strasbourg plenary vote. I prepare voting lists for both the Environment committee the Industry & Energy committee, covering both committee and plenary sessions for all UKIP MEPs.

We have long supported fracking for natural gas, the industry knows its job well, drills gas-tight steel-jacketed bore-holes safely, knows exactly where the acquifers are to avoid them, handles risks responsibly, and there are safe, long-established procedures for handling industrial quantities of waste water, which does not contain dangerous fracking chemicals, contra to the lies put about by the eco-watchdog industry who make a good living out of funding from governments and anti-western power blocs (such as Russia), to lobby against a clean and safe energy source.

We do not support government subsidies for fracking, we prefer to let the industry take all the risks and profits. It is pointless to talk about the risks, real or imagined, in the fracking process without comparison to existing real world situations. The coal industry goes from strength to strength in Europe (Poland and Germany to name but two large countries), China, and even America. For further comparison, Estonia is lucky in having the cheapest energy in the EU, it open cast mines oil shale to get it.

The environmental impact of coal mining is generally far larger than any form of fracking, and no-one imagines that coal is going to stop any time soon. EU and even world energy reliance on real power stations such as coal-fired plants is all too great – unless you actually want to send Europe back to the Dark Ages, which is what reliance on electricity windmills and solar PV would achieve. Ordinary householders and energy-intensive businesses alike want cheap gas and do not want to be beholden to Gazprom in Russia, with whom the UK has a current deal for winter fuel. How much more sense in economic and environmental terms would it make to use our own resources? Gas from Russia has to come through enormous pipelines or be shipped as LNG, as it is from Qatar. Simply banning fracking, in the UK or anywhere else, is folly.

Supposed reports of contamination of the drinking water supply by fracking do not trouble to rule out well-known alternative sources of pollution such as naturally occurring biogenesis (eg, decomposition by bacteria of organic matter), of methane, thermogenesis, or other chemical processes. Many mischief-making stories are spread about fracking for many and varied reasons, I have barely touched the motives and methods of these nefarious groups in this short letter. But fortunately, UKIP is in the forefront of a new era in cheap clean gas energy, and fracking goes forward, albeit less quickly than it should.

Yours sincerely

Michael Jose
Parliamentary Researcher
On behalf of Godfrey Bloom
+32 228 47404
+33 38 81 73019


Dear Mr Deane

Thank you for your email regarding Shale Gas extraction.

Mr Brons has asked me to reply to you on his behalf.

The controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – offers the chance to extract the significant quantities of shale gas that are present in England. Given that Britain faces the prospect of serious power shortages in the coming years, accessing a new home based energy source – rather than having to import foreign gas – would be beneficial in terms of national energy self-sufficiency, security of supply and reduced costs for consumers.

Unfortunately, while this innovative drilling technique could produce significant quantities of shale gas from a British natural resource, and thus provide Britain with some degree of self-sufficiency in terms of energy provision, the facts indicate that the risk to land and people is just too high.

As you point out, the method of extraction, known as fracking could have serious safety implications. Shale gas is extracted by drilling down into the ground and then hydraulically fracturing the shale using high-pressure liquid to release the gas. The process has proved controversial in the US because the drilling process involves chemicals, including carcinogenic compounds, which can pollute water supplies. Drilling companies claim that chemical additives make up less than one per cent of the liquid poured into the gas field. However, the quantities involved are so large that a typical well is likely to pump about 34,000 gallons of chemicals into the ground. One of the chemicals used is diesel, which contains toxic substances. Other chemicals used can include hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde and arsenic.

Fracking has already been banned in many countries. In light of the significant safety concerns associated with this drilling technique, there should be a moratorium on any further exploitation of shale gas until the wider environmental concerns have been addressed.

Kind regards

Tina Wingfield
Assistant to Andrew Brons MEP

A City of Culture doesn’t happen by accident!

Hull is making a bid for City of Culture 2017. But what is culture?

C – is for Commitment… Culture, of any value, rarely happens by accident! Take music in Hull. A HUGE number of people are committed to it. Look at the Humber Street Sesh, the Freedom Festival, the Trinity Festival coming up: musicians – writers – venue and gig organisers – sound engineers – fans –  to practice, rehearse, record, produce CDs, MP3s, get to gigs, play at their best… Music is one of the greatest aspects of culture that Hull can be proud of. There are many other areas too. So praise and support the commitment and achievement of others… Now… how would you describe your commitment…?

  • “Had I been a man, I might have explored the Poles or climbed Mount Everest, but as it was, my spirit found outlet in the air.” – Amy Johnson, Hull, first woman aircraft engineer, first woman pilot licence, and the first person to fly solo to Australia.
  • “Commitment is an act, not a word.” – Jean-Paul Sartre, French, philosopher (existentialist).
  • Former Hull FC and Hull KR winger, Clive Sullivan, played for the city from the age of 17. He scored 100 tries for each team and was a British captain.
  • “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi, USA football player, coach, and executive.

U – is for Understanding… Understanding something worth understanding! … How to play an instrument… How to inspire a team, a sportsman, a sportswoman… How to paint… How to do ‘art’… How to READ a poem … How to write one…  How to design something, build something, repair something … Writing a play … performing it … how to tell a joke! How to understand others… Knowing where we are in history, in politics, in the progress of our society. Understanding the part we can play…

  • “Had we but world enough, and time, This coyness, Lady, were no crime” – Andrew Marvell, Hull, poet, “To his coy mistress”.
  • “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.” – Marilyn Monroe 🙂
  • “Age shouldn’t affect you. It’s just like the size of your shoes – they don’t determine how you live your life! You’re either marvellous or you’re boring, regardless of your age.” – Steven Morrissey

L – Learning to love LIFE... How shall we maximise our living, our life, our potential? What can you do, or learn to do? How can we live more cleverly, live more absolutely? …

  • “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin, president, USA.
  • “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde
  • “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde, Dublin, Oxford, writer.

T – is for Tradition… YOUR HISTORY, HERSTORY… your town’s, your country’s, your world’s… Lampada ferens… we’re carrying a light… Tradition is what we HAND ON to the next generation… SO, what shall we hand on? … In Hull, we’re Vikings, we’re Tigers, we’re Robins. We invade, we strive, we fly. At the North Yorkshire Galtres festival, we are the #hullinvasion! But what should we really seek to invade the rest of the country with?!?!

  • “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” – William Shakespeare
  • “For time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
  • “Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.” – W. Somerset Maugham

U – is for Understanding… Ha! You’d thought you’d done that one! This is understanding others, walking in another’s shoes. Compassion, empathy, concern, going beyond just oneself. Beyond our family, into society, beyond that, into other countries, other cultures, and who knows, one day, other worlds. Patience. Tolerance. For example, there’s no place for racism in Hull. Two words. Clive. Sullivan.

  • “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” – Carl Jung.
  • “I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.” – Denis Waitley
  • “People understand me so poorly that they don’t even understand my complaint about them not understanding me.” – Soren Kierkegaard 🙂 Danish theologian, philosopher (existentialist).
  • “Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes.” (That way, if he gets angry, you’re a mile away, and you have his shoes.)” 🙂

R – is for Reading… What do you read? Where does your info come from? What books? what sources? Who are you listening to, learning from? Are you being challenged in some way? To go beyond yourself, to be better than you thought you could be?

  • “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” – Ray Bradbury, author.
  • “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers 🙂

E – is for Education… How are you growing? Are you still learning things? Where do you want your life to lead you? What are you building on?

  •  “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela. Mandela was given the freedom of the City of Hull. I was there. I shook his hand.
  • “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” – William Butler Yeats

C – U – L – T – U – R – E

“I hope everyone that is reading this is having a really good day. And if you are not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that.” – Gillian Anderson




“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”  ― Oscar Wilde

Hull City Council considers closing Ennerdale Swimming Pool

Hull City Council is under orders from government to cut £80m from its budget. After slashing 600 jobs earlier this year, among other things, it is now considering closing Ennerdale Swimming Pool and Leisure complex …
So I visited Ennerdale on Gala night (the only swimming galas in the city…) and wrote to the paper :
I visited Ennerdale on Friday. Youngsters were being put through their paces by a number of volunteer coaches in a well-run set up that has been going on for years.
Ennerdale is a life saver for the Kingston upon Hull Swimming Club. It’s Hull’s only 6 lane competition standard pool especially after the loss of the pool at Sydney Smith school last year, meaning extra pressure to fit training into Hull’s remaining pools.
This is a national performance swimming club – and it’s in Hull. It boasts two national medallists – from this year alone – a European medallist, an international disability swimmer, some 25 North East Country qualifiers, and Yorkshire qualifiers ‘too numerous to mention’.
It’s predominantly for Hull youngsters but it’s valued by people for miles around for the quality of facility and coaching. One girl has been coming over to swim from Cleethorpes for 8 years.
While I was there a young girl called Jessica approached councillors with a poem she had written about the joy she gets from the swimming galas and an ending reflecting the threat to Ennerdale: ‘OUR DREAMS DYING’…
Frequently, committed swimmers get up at 4 and 5am in the morning to practise. Life is already demanding enough. For a city to really value sport we have to practically support it, otherwise we’re just spectators.
When I left, I was walking through a large, still-packed car park!
Save Ennerdale.
Martin Deane
Green Party, Hull and East Riding
PHOTOS from Ennerdale, 6th Sept 2013.
Jessica Brodie, poet and swimmer, pictured with Clr Terry Keal, Sutton ward.
Jessica Brodie with Clr Joyce Irene Korczak Fields, University ward.
Jessica Brodie’s poem.

Our attitude to Syria is a betrayal of justice

Another prowar BBC article…

The vast majority of people in Britain are not for attacking Syria, so every article ought to include a quote from the peace-seeking majority, say the Stop the War  Coalition, or the Green Party, or an antiwar union leader. there is no balance in this article! Like when the Ten O’Clock News went on for 25 minutes on the night of the Aug 30 vote, completely prowar, and then in the last 5 minutes had to break that the vote had been defeated. What balance!?

These articles and this approach is such an insult to most people, yet just another incentive to call their bluff.

So-called new evidence, of chemical weapons used in ‘that’ Damascus suburb, NOTE they don’t EVEN NAME Ghouta … a real forensic article…

Big deal. Very few people are denying that chemical weapons were used in that area. NOW which chemical ?? – It’s NOT EVEN named!! How ridiculous!! How facile!! There are chemical weapons which are not banned… but which many countries have tried to get banned, like depleted uranium and white phosphorous… (but certain states act to prevent this, yes, you guessed it) so it MATTERS WHICH CHEMICAL was used!! Surprise!! … And then: WHO used CW?? There’s enough evidence to make a case for the rebels using sarin in MAY!!  Very little was made of this – where was the outcry then??? The threat to surgically strike the rebels???

Taking CW seriously should have meant an immediate investigation, and an immediate halt to any outside supplying and funding to the rebels…. What did we get?? Next to nothing, just odd reports… Another outbreak and suddenly the (Western, ie America) ‘world’ is up in arms, clearly hoping they can blame it on Assad. Although no-one has adequately explained how foolish he must be to have used CW DURING A UN inspection visit!! No-one is accusing Assad of being a fool…

The article introduces the meme of Cameron having ‘no hand to play’ – we will see what this really means shortly.

It airs his ‘only regret’ being Labour choosing to wait for evidence (!!) rather than launch airstrikes (ie start a war). And that America HAS to take action (ie an act of war) because it had described a ‘red line’. America does NOT lay down international  law!! Bush and Obama, and Cameron think it does. Clearly.

It quotes Putin warning that military action without UN approval would be “an aggression”…. this is 100% correct! America does NOT HAVE a free pass from the world to be world policeman! And neither does it’s police dog!…

The BBC quotes the ‘no hand’ meme again – as if the threat of bombing another country was the only hand worth having!! It continues the quote, with a completely straight face, that this ‘undermines any future PM’s promises’ – as if we’ve EVER promised to go to war with America (or have we)!! How UTTERLY ridiculous!  The views are idiotic and incendiary.

Then even LD Campbell implies the G20 (economic summit!) ought to ‘unite’ on a strike!! Have these elder states men gone mad??  Is this all we can expect of them – the next WAR??

Finally, please note that Syria ISN’T EVEN A SIGNATORY to the CW Convention!!! In other words they’re not breaking ANY agreement even if they did use CW!! This MATTERS in international law!  … Although, I suspect,  we will find no international law matters to our media or Prime Minister or MPs unless it helps oust Assad.

Our attitude to Syria is a betrayal of justice…


Points glossed over on Syria

  • The US and UK (and key allies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel and Turkey) are working very hard to topple Assad.
  • The USA has wanted regime change there since 2000 under Bush.
  • Although there is a civil war in Syria, there are many thousands of foreign (‘Islamist’) fighters there.
  • The intelligence services of certain countries are busy arming and funding these ‘rebels’ , the goal being to remove Assad.
  • Yes, Assad is a dictator; yes, he has chemical weapons (and a well-functioning military), and yes, he MAY have used some.
  • This is not yet proven and he has consistently denied it calling for a UN investigation of what did happen (especially in August).
  • Obama claims to acting on behalf of the world (global policeman), but doesn’t have the world’s consent.
  • A USA strike on Syria could easily escalate but is something Obama has not addressed.
  • There is NO provision in any chemical weapons treaty for any armed response by the USA or anyone else on any country that might use them.
  • Beginning military action taken against another state is defined as making war.
  • The proper course is to bring a grievance to the Security Council or to the General Assembly. Obama will not because he will lose.
  • Obama, the arch-lawyer, is acting outside the law.  
  • Another reason Obama has no ‘credibility’ on this issue is that USA administrations have avoided signing certain protocols and also consistently worked to keep other chemical weapons out of the treaty framework, such as depleted uranium, white phosphorous,etc.
  • Striking Syria has no real credibility outside the ‘elites’ of USA, France, Britain, Israel and maybe some other states (and overwhelmingly rejected by their populations) or others who would benefit, like certain opposition groups in Syria.

Top Ten Articles on Syria

This is work in progress – till I reach ten anyway!

1. Carla del Ponte stupefied

In this brief clip, del Ponte, a seasoned UN prosecutor, visited Syria, and recounts being stunned the the rebels used chemical weapons. An unimpeachable source… giving testimony that those opposed to the Assad government used banned weapons… for which Assad is being held responsible by America. This information should be entered into a court record at the Hague.

2. Saudi and British intelligence meeting reported

Britain and America have recently been debating whether to get involved in Syria, due to Assad’s alleged chemical weapons attacks on rebel held areas. This article describes a high level meeting between intelligence chiefs Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia (the ‘Bandar-Bush ‘ of Fahrenheit 9/11 fame) and the UK head of MI6.  Bandar and MI6 worked together to deliver 400 tons of weapons to the rebels. Bandar claims to be in control of the rebels including the most fanatical ones.  Bandar and or MI6 will be working with USA approval.

3.  Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin set for collision over Syria at G20 summit.

An attack on Syria will initiate an international response. Obama is claiming to be acting on behalf of the world, but blatantly doesn’t have the world’s backing.  He pretends he is acting to bolster the world’s ‘crediblity’, however this is a word Washington uses with specific meanings, and which the world community does not. Obama describes the wider goal of toppling Assad – also illegal under international law – but something the law lecturer himself leaves out.

4.  Despite Kerry’s assurances that this intelligence was nothing like the fiasco of Iraq’s,

5.   High chance Obama will NOT receive Congress’ approval. However, such concerns will not stop a  USA President. Neither will popular outrage that Obama is about to start a new Middle East war.

“Arizona congressman Matt Salmon’s constituents have called his office 500 times about Syria, he tells National Review Online in an interview, but only two callers have expressed support for intervening there. “This is not hyperbole!” he says emphatically.”
It now has to be voted on by congress. It’s NOT a done deal.


7. (May)



(May 2013)  – U.N. has testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas: investigator

And also for background :-

syria/ Gen Wesley Clark, 5 countries in 7 years…