Windpower provides 90,000 jobs – in Germany.

This Telegraph article has a lot to say on wind.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/windpower/9319551/Britain-blows-hot-and-cold-on-wind-farms.html

Interesting that Germany has more individual, group and local ownership of turbines, compared to ours almost exclusively being major companies. It notes that it produces more wind power than us, albeit with less wind
resource.

Germany is the world’s third largest user of wind power, behind China and
the United States. Germany produces 29GW (2011). In 2011 we passed 5GW. The UK is the seventh country in the world to reach this capacity, so maybe we’re not such an Old Man of Europe on this issue. Germany’s population is 82 million compared to our 62 m. Wind power in Germany provides over 90,000
jobs… In the UK it’s 9,000 jobs. Denmark and particularly Spain are doing astoundingly well.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_the_European_Union

Despite various attacks about blights on countryside and health scares, the
Telegraph points out that a recent ComRes poll states that a very healthy 68% of people support windfarms.

Greens support J30 Pensions Strike

The East Riding Green Party banner departed Hull Station today for Thursday’s major London demonstration.

In Hull, a meeting of the teachers, public sector workers and trade unionists concerned, will be held at the Quality Royal Hotel on Thursday. The meeting will decide on a demonstration.

Teachers and other public sector workers strike, Thursday, firstly to secure pension arrangements promised to them for years.

Major and unnecessary government changes being proposed will make workers poorer now – and in the future.

Government tells us pensions are unaffordable and unsustainable; we’re living longer; there are more pensioners, etc, etc.  But that’s not what the National Audit Office said as of last December (1).  It said pension arrangements already in place would stabilise costs in the long-term relative to Britain’s wealth or GDP.

The truth is pensions have already been reformed and made sustainable. This pre-dates the ConDem government proposals and comes before the Hutton Pensions Report. (2)

Under the new proposals, lifelong teachers, for example – would pay much more to government each month in contributions – and then future governments can give them about £200,000 less, each, over the course of their retirement!

The government here – like the government in Greece – is using the notion of a large deficit to beat the people into submission and accept austerity.

So, how DO we lower the deficit??

The first thing the  government should do is to begin a low level micro tax on banking – the single biggest industry whose failure is responsible for the current pressure on state finances. It should also close the major tax loopholes that let big corporations off billions in taxes.

Not only are these Green Party policies – they are the policies all the national unions called for at the biggest demonstration on March 26th this year .

We must assume Government is taking this path for ideological reasons. It should not be attacking hard-working public sector professionals.

Martin Deane

Chair, Hull and East Riding Green Party

Notes.

1. The National Audit Office concluded: “In addition to saving significant sums of money, the changes are projected to stabilise costs in the long-term around their current level as a proportion of GDP.”

2. http://falseeconomy.org.uk/blog/this-is-not-a-pension-reform-it-is-simply-a-pay-cut

3. The ConDems have already replaced the pensions-RPI link with the lower CPI link so taking 15% off the value of pensions.

Connaught workers protest

Martin Deane, Hull and East Riding Green Party,  supporting Hull workers when Connaught workers – many who used to work for Hull City Council before privatisation and “outsourcing” – were threatened with all  losing their jobs.

The god that must be satisfied.

After the recent announcement that:  “… UK unemployment rose by 49,000 to almost 2.5 million in the three months to the end of November 2010, according to the latest Office for National Statistics figures.” – we are starkly reminded that the prospects are a million job losses over the next few years.

The ConDem cuts are estimated to cost 500,000 jobs in the public sector and a knock-on effect of 500,000 jobs in the private sector. Some commentators estimate 1.2 million jobs lost.

But the cuts are unnecessary. The Greens have been saying this for some time –  we all stood against them in 2010.

If we tax fairly we can halve the deficit by 2014 and even create a million jobs and training places.

In the last year the 1000 richest people in Britain INCREASED their wealth by £77 billion but yet the deficit is only £85 billion. Will they be taxed at a greater rate? No.

Adding insult to injury, over vthe past year, HMRC have failed to collect the 50% income tax due to the Treasury from those on £150,000 OR OVER! Due to being unable to process tax codes in time or some such feeble-minded excuse. This is scandalous.

Now, instead of a Robin Hood Tax, where a micro 0.1% tax on international finance trades would WIPE OUT the deficit, we get the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The ConDem millonaire-bankers plan will be the “tax heist of the century” where profits made abroad will no longer be subject to tax here.  This favours the banks in particular. This will cost tens of billions to the state and guess who will make up the shortfall?

This major attack on British civil society has been contrived by propagandising the deficit as a god that must be satisfied at all costs. By our sacrifice.

The high priests of all the major religions – Conservative,  Labour and Liberal Democrat all agree on this. They just disagree on the “scale and pace”.

Of course, as usual, the élite are exempt.

Belief in “mammon” isn’t a new religion. Today’s gods are the banks and “the bottom line”. Profit clearly comes before people. Wealth comes before “the wealth of the nation”, goods come before the Common Good.

Cast out are pagans and heretics such as the Greens and socialists, who dare to question these clearly self-evident truths.

But as Egypt shows us, if you exploit and sacrifice people mercilessly for years and decades, they will “rise up like lions” and your days of selling pyramids will be over.

The point of life is not to enrich the banks! Or to make the rich and powerful more rich and more powerful! Nor to believe in these self-serving religions of money, banks and power, nor their priests, acolytes and altar boys.

It is to live in harmony with others, with other states, with the physical world and its limited resources. And the chief enemy of this is selfishness.

But the days of believing in money for the sake of money are over.

“I have never seen such visceral anger in Hull”

Lobby of Hull City Council, Guildhall, 20 Jan.

– by a Hull Trade Unionist

For years a lobby of the council in Hull has been a sedate affair with a good crowd a few slogans and then going off home.

Tonight a protest took place involving 350-400 people.

Workers decided to march round the Guildhall and then went into the building. They marched up to the council chamber finding the doors locked.

As people pondered what to do the doors to the public gallery were forced open and people poured in.

Initially people kept quiet as the councillors continued their business. Then a Labour councillor spoke to oppose a motion put forward by the Liberal Democrats who run the council. He had barely finished his first sentence when the workers erupted into applause and chants of shame on you to the Lib Dems.

The meeting was brought to a halt and the ashen faced Lib Dems finally got to know what anger is there. The vast majority of them slunk out of the chamber to the chants of  “The Workers United Will Never Be Defeated!”

I have never seen such visceral anger in Hull and people came out confident and bouyed up by the protest. We must use this to build for strike action and the maximum possible attendance at the TUC demo on March 26th.

– Hull Trade Unionist

This is Class War!

Speech to Coalition of Resistance, Scunthorpe, 20th January.

This is Class War!

What’s happening right now is class warfare.

The Con-Dem coalition is using the excuse of the deficit to wage war on ordinary people in this country using just about every means at their disposal.

This class war will cost lives. The question is how many. And as for quality of life, the cuts will mark a downturn for countless millions across the country.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies says the biggest losers from these cuts are the poorest 10% of families with children…

Last month we saw the horrendous u-turn on tuition fees by the Lib Dems. This means many fees will go up threefold, many to £9000 a year. For students now, by the time they pay it off, the total debt could be £50,000! – A mortgage for going to university!

While Osborne, Cameron and Clegg slash the NHS, abolish EMA and impoverish the poorer – the rich fat cats get fatter and greedier.

And then there’s the NHS reform bill… This will mean 24,500 jobs lost in a so-called “patient-centred” shake-up. This Bill is a disaster of “Titanic proportions” that will “destabilise the NHS… ”

If you analyse the 367 page Health and Social Care Bill using a word search: Consultant is mentioned 0 times, Nurse 0, Accountability 3, GP 2, Patient 79, Privatization 0, and Consortium 623 times!

Meanwhile the chief executive of the NHS is warning of the dangers of allowing hospitals to compete on price!! (not realizing it’s government policy, by the way) AND admits the UK is short of 4,500 midwives.

This Bill “threatens to sink the NHS  – and the only survivors will be the private health companies circling like sharks, waiting to move in and make a killing.”

But what precisely should we expect from a cabinet of millionaires – led by millionaire PR man Cameron, and millionaire Clegg, the son of a banker?

And we must really ask, is Labour the answer? How can they convince us, when Labour brought in tuition fees, privatized whatever healthcare they could, crafted PFI schemes and PPPs, pioneered academies, the privatisation of the Royal Mail, continued the deregulation of the banks and presided over the greatest inequality in Britain since the second world war.

One Million Jobs

The harm to the economy we can already see in the 3.7% inflation rate (CPI)(4.8% for RPI), let alone the impact of the likely one million job losses – half a million from the public sector and half a million more in knock-on effects on private firms.

In HULL we face a 8.9% budget cut – the worst hit authority in Yorkshire & the Humber. Hull Unison is telling us that Hull will suffer,  not just the council’s claimed £50M cuts, but in reality the effect of £80M cuts this year – by the end of March – with another £25M, minimum, in the next financial year. But Hull’s libraries are safe – according to LibDem Council Leader Carl Minns.

Hull City Council will definitely lose 1400 jobs as compulsory redundancies – this Carl Minns admits to – plus another 300 he doesn’t, and possibly up to 500 more to come. This means Hull Council is likely to lose 1 in 4 jobs – and possibly as many as 1 in 3 when we see next year’s cuts take their toll.

The cuts that Humberside Fire Service are forced to make will literally mean cutting one fire fighter from every engine. – Were those firefighters there for fun??? How many lives will this cost?

One Month Before Heartbreak

For disabled people across the country we are now “One Month Before Heartbreak”. The cuts to DLA will affect 80,000 disabled people and their mobility and independence. These cuts are “really nasty” and are “a blow against social inclusion” – and they are likely to drive some over the brink.

Incapacity Benefit claimants are NOT to blame for the deficit!

This targeting of the disabled in residential homes by the attack on DLA benefit will be devastating. It will mean virtual house arrest for people in residential homes and for all those disabled with high rate DLA mobility.

All this to save George Osborne a mere £135 million a year!

False Economies

These are False Economies that will harm the economy itself as well as society. They talk about bringing benefit costs down but when they lay thousands upon thousands off – making them poorer and requiring benefits –  this will not work, even in their own terms!

The Capitalist Model has proved itself not fit for purpose. We should be investing for the future so we don’t go back to business as usual – or banking “as usual”. Our ideas on economy must change to move on to an ecologically sustainable society.

These cuts are totally ideological. So what could we do differently?

You could put Britain onto a sound footing without ANY of these cuts – but with a few simple, effective measures:

  • Crack down on tax havens and tax loopholes.  –  Raising £10 bn.
  • Abolish the upper limit for NI contributions. – Raising £9 bn.
  • Reform inheritance tax to reflect the wealth of the recipient. – Raising £3 bn.
  • Tax those on £100,000 at a rate of 50%. – Raising £2.3bn a year.

I fought for all of these last May – because they were all in the Green Party manifesto – along with the same commitment as Labour to halve the deficit by 2013-14! We are a rich country! If you honestly want a fairer society then you go where the money is.

But meanwhile – as if to add insult to injury – over the last year, Revenue and Customs has failed to collect the 50% tax  on people on £150,000 or more and a large amount of this will be uncollected or written off! How many of OUR taxes are written off ?!?

And then there’s the tax dodgers:

  • Like Vodafone and Top Shop
  • Like Barclays and Boots
  • Like Google and George Osborne

And STILL we have many millions  given in bonuses to City bankers – essentially for having just helped bankrupt the world – and essentially rewarding bad behaviour!

And so we are making common cause like never before with unions and like-minded people across the country to stand up for jobs, against these cuts, and for a fairer Britain.

On March 26th, the TUC demo is calling for 3 main  policies :

  • A Robin Hood Tax – because the international financial transactions of banks are not taxed! A tiny tax – even 0.05% or £1 in every 2000 would raise some £20 billion for Britain alone.
  • the closure of tax loopholes – again simple measures can be taken to make more tax collectible and make huge corporations live up to their responsibility to give back to the state they make so much profit from.
  • and for jobs and green growth. The current attack is first and foremost an attack on jobs.

As a Con-Dem nation, we are, right now, climbing back down the ladder of history.

And I’m not here to let Labour off the hook either! After 13 years in power they presided over the most unfair Britain since the end of the last world war! In so many ways Labour has paved the way for the havoc that the Conservative and Lib Dem allies are wreaking now.

So the fight now is for a fairer Britain – and for politicians who will loyally and committedly represent ordinary people.

Because if this doesn’t happen there will be a meaning to the phrase “poverty in Britain” that we haven’t seen in a generation.

Thank you.

Hull Against the Cuts!

“It’s your lot who are voting with her now!”

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The 3rd July Rally was a response by labour, and Labour, to the promised cuts by the Con-Dem government.  The banners were out in full. The main reason given was a NUT call to defend jobs after a number of teaching assistants were made redundant at Sidney Smith school. Many speeches were made against the cuts policy. General unions Unison, PCS, GMB, and the teachers’ unions  NUT, NASUWT and  and NATFHE were represented. Union reps spoke as did Labour MPs Diana Johnson and Karl Turner. I made a number of contacts and hope the Green Party will be represented next time, not least as we have fought the cuts all the way through – even when Labour was looking to introduce them!

Afterwards, Karl Turner suggested Green leader Caroline Lucas join Labour since she was voting with them all the time! “No mate, you’ve got it wrong,” I said, “It’s your lot who are voting with her now!”

It’s at least helpful to see Labour try to lurch to the left, at least until they elect Miliband, D.  But they have a LONG way to go before they can win back people’s trust.