Tuesday, 25 May 2010
The emails with voice-international.net have temporarily disappeared.
We can be contacted on rigby"AT"voice.karoo.co.uk or shan"AT"voice.karoo.co.uk for the time being. The "AT" bit is to inhibit spammers, obviously one should use @
Friday, 7 May 2010
For my own part, 686 votes was a bit gutting. Better keep on with the day job.
Hearty thanks to all of you who bravely voted for us. There was a strong incentive to vote for an 'old' party, in order to keep out a worse one.
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Saturday, 24 April 2010
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
This will be the first of a few postings on the issue, 'cos it is a mite complicated. The Green Party manifesto devotes just over a page to the topic (pp 45,46).
In one sense we can say it's quite simple, really. In brief, Greens will
- be fair to all,
- meet our international obligations,
- sort out the issues which are causing people to want to move here, and therefore lessen the demand
- sort out the mess inherited from the existing system, and
- make sure children, particularly, are treated humanely.
The position in Beverley and Holderness is affected also by the particular 'character' of local society, where for many generations there have been quite small changes compared with the experience in other communities.
And finally, for this posting, I don't think we are very good at hammering out local solutions to knotty problems, and this certainly presents a basket of problems which will need a lot of knocking around before they are resolved. This is a place where leadership has been called for, and been lacking. Greens will offer leadership, if the voters make it possible.
This is a story about the implications of the pending prosecution against Goldman Sachs, 'the world's most famous investment bank'. The allegation is that they were selling a dodgy product, while at the same time supporting a hedge fund which was betting on the stock in that product collapsing. The question is, why have no allegations of bankers' misconduct emerged from the UK?
He makes the point, 'We have to live with the fiction that our banks and bankers are whiter than white, and any attempt to investigate them and their institutions will lead to a mass exodus to the mountains of Switzerland. The politicians of the Labour and Tory party alike are Bambis amid the wolves'.
Greens want to regulate this lot - with vigour.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
The Vote for Policies site shows (rounded up to whole numbers):
The sample size is 144,000, so these results are pretty robust.
Dear reader, can you please vote according to your reasoned judgement?
Caroline had a slot with David Vine on BBC R2 this lunch time. He was pretty rough, but C handled it with dignity.
We are, obviously, going for taxation and expenditure to protect and improve the environment (see pages 16, 17 of the manifesto), and that's because we think ahead, not just for the next three weeks.
Greens, the double issue party - for social AND environmental justice
Monday, 19 April 2010
The frequent failures come from irresponsible financial speculation (casino capitalism), forgetting that resources are finite, and not grasping the implications of increasing inequality.
The Green economy ties money to goods, resources and services. It promotes equality and fair shares, and balances the books honestly against the future.
This is not a doom and gloom scenario. It creates jobs - in abundance, promotes well being and good health and reduces the reasons for international disputes and conflict.
OK, sounds fine but what of the realities? The details are on pages 8 to 11 of the Manifesto , and include
- paying back the debts (50% by 2013)
- regulate the financial sector more stringently
- protect public services
- reverse the trend of falling taxation levels
Saturday, 17 April 2010
A lot of positive exchanges took place during our tour of the town today. Friendly discussions with young and old. But the fish man (top pic) engaged me in a taxation debate - who pays more tax (proportionately): the rich or the poor? I said, "the poor, of course" and he challenged me to find the source of that statement. I'll have to research it tonight. Watch this space
"Our vision is for a fairer society that meets everyone's needs" - a statement taken from the preamble. 'Motherhood and Apple Pie', you may say, 'Surely all the parties are saying this'.
What the others are NOT saying is that our economic, education and benefit systems are all functioning to make matters worse, and not better. They are not saying that our foreign policy is being conducted in a manner which enhances global inequalities - frustrating the pursuit of Millennium Development Goals which are supposed to reduce differences.
Friday, 16 April 2010
I must confess to making a 'slip'. Things were going extremely well, when I was asked a question and I should have known the answer, but didn't. So, can you guess what I did? I gave the answer to another question. Now, this is OK, and a well established ploy by media savvy operators. However, I compounded the problem by giving the wrong answer to the question that hadn't been put (if you see what I mean).
Memo to oneself: keep to the truth - don't answer if you don't know the answer. Blundering on makes the situation worse. The lesson is that pontificating in public is harder than it looks. There is no substitute for knowing the stuff through and through.
There: I've said it.
This morning (Friday) we registered three candidates with the Returning Officer: Michael Jackson for East Yorkshire, Shan Oakes for Haltemprice and Howden and Bill Rigby for Beverley and Holderness.
Thursday, 15 April 2010
You can see it live or later at your leisure.
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Monday, 12 April 2010
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
This particular race fo has certainly started when we all predicted, but (a) I can't find my kit, (b) feel unreasonably handicapped by the system, and (c) I am running several events at the same time!
Having said that - I'm glad to be here, offering a chance to Fight for Fairness!
Thursday, 1 April 2010
Today the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, acceded to worldwide demands and designated the Chagos as a marine reserve. This declaration will make it the largest marine protected area in the world, totalling more than 210,000 square miles - an area twice the size of the UK. He was responding to the demands of over 275,000 people who had written in support of the proposal to preserve this unique marine habitat from further exploitation by commercial fishing. Read a fuller version of the history at the Protect Chagos website. For the uninitiated, it may be helpful to be reminded that here in the UK only 30, yes thirty, square miles of our seas have the protection granted to the Chagos.
However, this campaign has been accompanied by the pleas of the indigenous Chagosians, forcibly removed a generation ago to make way for the building of a US Air base at Diego Garcia. Despite winning a High Court ruling to permit them to return, HM government remains intransigent and awaits an EU Court of Human Rights judgement as to whether the continued exile can stand. See the Channel 4 news report
One can only hope that a way can be found to respect the rights of the indigenous people in a manner which promotes the vital conservation objectives of the marine reserve.
The lessons of this exercise will prove valuable to conservationists and politicians struggling with the sustainability of our own local waters, and those of the NE Atlantic, over fished to a disastrous level through the workings of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). This Policy, in the process of reform needs radical revision as a matter of urgency. The world’s marine ecosystem needs a successful resolution of both dilemmas.
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
I have found it fascinating that, no matter how carefully a letter is drafted to try to conclude a debate with the clinching argument, there is always a come-back. Like a forest fire, the flames of debate flare up from unexpected places. In the latest case it was “the carnivore’s revenge”.
To be clear: Greens do NOT say ‘that we all should be vegetarians’. However, humans are eating increasing amounts of meat and dairy products and this is having serious consequences, not only on our health but also on forest cover – particularly in the Amazon. It’s not that the cows need the grazing, but that the land is commandeered for the soya they’re fed with. Oh, and there are local people to be cleared away before the soya is planted, with injustice and human rights implications. Friends of the Earth is running a campaign on this issue called ‘Fix the Food Chain’.
So, our increasing appetite for animal products leads to accelerating climate effects from the methane and reduced tree cover, human rights violations for many poor people, with consequent civil unrest, and extraordinary profit for the few.
Green policy in a nutshell – “You can’t get owt for nowt“
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
"Green Policy #9: Scrap Trident and British nuclear weapons.
40 years ago Britain undertook to halt, reduce and eliminate our nuclear capability when we signed the NPT or Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty.
The Labour-proposed renewal of Trident, after Blair’s vote in 2007, is hardly that. Labour apologists say renewing Trident is completely within the terms of the NPT and doesn’t count as an escalation. They argue that the actual number of warheads is decreased – and this may even be true! However, the NPT commission doesn’t see it that way and regards the proposed renewal as an escalation of capability and therefore may be in breach of the Treaty.
Scrapping Trident is part of our 8 point plan on Peace and Security as per latest draft manifesto.
No replacement of Trident . We cannot conceive of any circumstances in which we could or would use these expensive and immoral weapons, and would de-commission the existing system and not renew it.
There are various figures given for costs. The most frequent is a £76 bn lifetime cost. But the the total cost could be as high as £130 bn (Guardian). And we have plenty of plans for that level of expenditure!
The reasons the LibDems give (Nick Clegg, last June) are that it’s too expensive and not fit for our security needs. They still believe in and want a nuclear deterrent just not that one.
In 2007 when Blair put Trident renewal to a vote, some 72% of people polled against it and nearly 100 Lab MPs revolted over it.
In the Green Party we do not want these weapons. We do not want a replacement. Nor do we do not want a nuclear deterrent. A significant majority of the British people agree with us (58% to 35% in last September’s poll) . Nuclear deterrence is a highly dangerous outcome of the Cold War.
It is necessary and vital to think differently in the 21st century – especially on how we use dwindling resources, and how we foster international cooperation and development.We cannot conceive of any use these weapons have: they cannot be used, that would be the ultimate failure. Nor is Trident actually an independent but relies on American missiles, know-how and say-so – they don’t help our security, they keep us tied to US policy"
Monday, 29 March 2010
Hello Peter, I enjoyed your interview with my colleague,
Greens see the link between the oil and gas addiction of our society and embarking on futile war. This shows lack of concern for the needs of our children and grandchildren. Best wishes
Friday, 26 March 2010
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Again, a cracking range of issues, which gave no-one an easy time.
Saturday, 20 March 2010
The Market Weighton Chamber of Trade sent a member to share their experience of Post Tesco Shock Syndrome, followed by a business link adviser. He gave a presentation on strategies helpful for keeping your business on its toes.
Useful chat with a parich councillor, and with some of the shopkeepers, all pretty anxious about what might happen to their business.
Tesco economics is plain barmy.
Thursday, 18 March 2010
It's Wednesday - it must be Wilberforce. We are beginning to get into a rhythm. Yesterday's event was at one of Hull's sixth form colleges whose students come in large numbers from the Beverley and Holderness patch. So I was pleased to be able to share a platform with (L to R), Christine (Con), Stephan (the Principal), Jonathan (entrepreneur), Mike (Lib Dem), Ian (Lab).
Six scorching questions: Why bother to vote? Should we be in Afghanistan? Is global warming an issue? HE fees - should they continue? Are the BNP now 'mainstream'? and, finally, how do you eat a cream egg?
Half of the audience of 120 or so is old enough to vote. Asked at the beginning, how many intend to vote, only a minority responded. I hope we persuaded some to change their mind. One student afterwards gave Greens the victory in debate - maybe he was a voter!
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
The ASA has today ruled that two of the press ads, which used nursery rhymes to push the message of climate change, were in breach of the advertising code. In its ruling the ASA said that the language used to indicate how storms, flooding and heatwaves will increase "should have been phrased more tentatively". However, the ASA added that the images of the UK flooding and of a drought "were not in themselves ... exaggerated or misleading".
The above little piece in today's Guardian (the old Manchester Guardian, not the Beverley Guardian!) links with my experience last night at the Roos wind farm enquiry.
A company called RES has had its planning application turned down by the East Riding Planning Committee, and their appeal against the decision has gone to a public inquiry. The inquiry has been spread over eight days, but one of the hearings was not in County Hall, which is in Beverley, 30 odd miles from the site, but in Roos itself. I elected to give my views at this meeting. The parish hall was packed – 60-odd people at least. Objectors were heard first, and the leader of the objectors gave a careful and comprehensive case lasting about one hour and forty minutes. She was followed by seven or eight others. After two and a half hours, the three people prepared to speak in support were called. The first, Mike Jackson, a fellow Green, described the experience a Lisset, a village near to his home which has had a wind farm in place for nearly a year. I made my case as follows
* Government has failed to make clear to the nation as a whole the true extent of the energy security crisis, hence it is entirely understandable if communities bridle at the thought of a wind farm invasion whose case they don’t accept. The ad campaign shown above illustrates the hamfistedness of the current efforts by DECC
* Local authorities have been given no incentive to use their community connections to discuss a strategic approach to sustainable energy provision in their area, so the case for putting the installation has had to be made by the developer
* Local communities have had no incentives to become partners with the developers in a scheme. The only beneficiaries appear to be the landowner and the developer.
* This dogs dinner means that if the appeal is upheld, the community will be resentful, add their voice to the network of others under ‘threat’ and make subsequent applications more difficult. If the appeal is tuned down, government will come up with more draconian planning arrangements which make applications easier to succeed and breed more local unrest.
My support was therefore highly qualified – but support nevertheless. Which made me no friends at all!
Our dear government is making Greens a scapegoat for their incompetence
Sunday, 14 March 2010
I have sent this letter (below) to my MP, Graham Stuart, following a story in the Guardian (web version) on Saturday 13 March. There seems to be no sign of it in the Sunday version. If you have a local Tory MP, please consider sending your own version to him/her.
People have being buying third world debt (which was scheduled to be written off anyway) and successfully suing for their recovery in UK courts. This bill was supposed to extinguish the practice in our jurisdiction.
Dear Graham, As you will be aware, on last Friday evening members of your party killed a private members’ bill that would have put an end to the disgraceful practice of corporations buying up old debts of some of the world’s poorest countries the suing them for large sums.
The bill had enjoyed widespread support within parliament and from leading charities.
One would expect all Members of Parliament to have supported Mr Gwynne’s bill but Conservative MPs objected to it, knowing that this would mean it would run out of time and have no chance of becoming law.
It appears that your party, having pledged support for the bill, then objected to it and refused to admit who was responsible.
One can only conclude that this was a decision taken by your front bench in a direct breach of commitments given by David Cameron. Can you please
Make your view of this action clear in a reply to this letter, and
Pass on my concerns and seek a clarification from David Cameron
Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Beverley and Holderness
Saturday, 6 February 2010
Foot(Lib Dem) - 165
McGrath(Labour) - 149
Dominic Peacock(Cons) - 322
Our 22% would mean about 143 MPs if reflected in Parliament. - as if! And we lost to a self-confessed "Toff" in a deerstalker. Beverley! Sigh.
Anti-clockwise, from the top: two on our local MP's stance on foxhunting, one from Pete Dack, the Green Party candidate in the Town Council election last Thursday (more about this above), one on dog shit, one from a strong opponent to ERYC's approach to Norwood House, and one from me on greens and climate change.
By coincidence, a letter of mine got into the local free press today (see above). Richard's post was very confessional - exploring the accusation that the greens we just religious near-fanatics.
I'm mainly pissed off with the cheap logic chopping of much reporting about greens - using weird associations to undermine perfectly rational standpoints.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Since last November, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been running a consultation on a proposal to set up a marine reserve around the
The consultation is due to close on 12 February 2010.
Greenpeace and others are organising an on line petition to persuade the FCO to set up a reserve. This petition has an endorsement from Professor Callum Roberts.
Two recent news stories add background to the issues. The Guardian on 27 January gives a gallery of images, and includes a piece by Tony Juniper, where he says “Protecting the Chagos archipelago is a rare opportunity for the
However, The Times in an article on 22 January adds another twist, by pointing out that “ A company belonging to the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser is opposing plans to create the world’s biggest marine reserve. His company holds a government contract to manage fishing in the area, which would be banned if the reserve were created”
Murky waters - indeed. It appears that the CSA himself and a whole range of officials cannot see a vested interest, even if it slaps them in the face.
Please sign the petition NOW!
Saturday, 23 January 2010
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
My three minutes did not hit the button (note: learn more about simple rhetoric), and I wasted my breath. £12000 of our money has been voted to support this recruiting effort for the military!
I hear a campaign rumbling.
We arrived on Monday afternoon in good time to attend the planning meeting which was to determine the future of Norwood House. The doors were jammed with people from Leven, there to object to a development proposal in their village. Soon after this stern shot was taken, they were jubilant with the news that the application had been refused. We were not so sanguine, fearing an acceptance for the proposal to turn Norwood House into offices.
Our advocate, Prof John Wilton Ely, had three minutes to convince the committee to reject. And that is just what they did!
'Gob smacked' is the word
Friday, 15 January 2010
Earlier in the week we went in search of someone who would express support for some of the key Green slogans. A miserable, blustery day was enlivened by a series of encounters.
The first was a baby (sheltered in the pram), who let his mum pose for a shot.