2011 is set to be an exciting year for the Green Party, especially here in Bridgend, with Conference in Cardiff, WAG elections and the build up to BCBC elections to look forward to.
We have a big task on our hands to persuade people that, contrary to Tory spin, there are real and sensible alternatives. The stakes are high – we are fighting for a sustainable society as well a sustainable environment. After the mess created by my generation, I feel I owe to my kids. Motivation does not come much greater than that.
If the future is to be bright, the future has to be Green!! Let’s make it happen!
Warmest regards, and thanks for your support,
Monthly Archives: December 2010
Caroline Lucas’ letter to the Guardian, published 31/12/10
|While I share Seumas Milne’s analysis of the fragility of the coalition, I do not share any optimism that Labour can offer a credible alternative (Cameron and Clegg have shown they are for turning, 30 December). Having ditched their principles in government, Labour want to reclaim them now they are out of power. But politicians must take some responsibility for their actions, and show some consistency over their policies. How can a party that introduced student fees now oppose them on principle? Like the Liberal Democrats, Labour broke a manifesto pledge in doing so. But unlike the Lib Dems, they were not then the junior members of a coalition. Labour had a Commons majority when they ended the principle of free tuition. It was entirely their decision. Now Ed Miliband appears to believe he can airbrush that decision from the record.
Similarly, the ethos of the NHS as a public service, where patient needs come before profits, is taking another blow. Yet Labour is unable to mount a principled defence since, when they were in power, they welcomed in private healthcare providers, and saddled the NHS with huge debts through PFI.
Across the board, Labour simply cannot oppose coalition plans without laying themselves open to the charge of hypocrisy. Academies? A Labour idea. Selling off Royal Mail? A Labour idea. Even the programme of cuts in public services is something Labour admit they would have done, had they won in May.
But Labour’s leadership, with a typical lack of humility, assume that students and others will meekly return to the party that betrayed them. Ed Miliband wouldn’t be seen meeting students, let alone marching with them he said he thought about it, but was “doing something else” at the time. There lies the heart of Labour dilemma they want to win back the trust of voters, but also pander to the Daily Mail. Joining the protests or challenging heavy handed policing in parliament, as I have done, does not seem to fit with Labour’s obsession with the fabled middle ground of British politics.
Politics does not have to be a straight choice between power and principles. In our election campaign in May, the Greens did not drop any of our controversial policies. We stuck to what we believed in and, against all the odds, we won our first seat. It shows that if you tell the truth and offer people something better, the public will respond.
Leader, Green party
December Meeting Cancelled – due to bad weather
|Hi Members and Friends,
Due to the terrible weather conditions and treacherous roads, especially in the evenings, I have taken the decision to cancel the meeting scheduled for tomorrow night.
The scheduled meetings for the first half of 2011, following the third Thursday pattern, will be:
Don’t forget to put the Green Party Conference in your diary too – The Angel Hotel, Cardiff
N.B. Early Bird Conference discount: Fees for bookings made before 7th February 2011 are 25% lower than fees on the door!
May I take this opportunity to wish you all an enjoyable festive season and thank you for your support in getting Bridgend Green Party back on its feet.
AVAAZ – the world in action
Join now (it doesn’t cost a penny) and help campaign on the issues close to our hearts.
Each year, Avaaz sets overall priorities through all-member polls (See 2010 poll results here), and campaign ideas are polled and tested weekly to 10,000-member random samplesand only initiatives that find a strong response are taken to scale. Campaigns that do reach the full membership are then super-charged by, often, hundreds of thousands of Avaaz members taking part within days or even hours.
Take Climate Change as an example.Since Avaaz’s first climate campaign kicked off in 2007, Avaaz has delivered millions of climate petition signatures to key leaders including the environment ministers of all the G8 countries and leaders in Brazil, Germany and Japan.
Giant postcards inviting world leaders to attend the climate summit were handed over to the British Prime Minister and other delegations at the 2009 G8 summit in L’Aquila. And there were extraordinary scenes in Copenhagen as youth from around the world staged a sit-in to deliver a Avaaz petition — reading out loud the names of 15 million people who had signed demanding a fair, ambitious and binding climate deal.
Spring Conference – Cardiff
|The national party has a tradition of having two Conferences a year; Autumn Conference, during the main political conference season (Sept./Oct.) and Spring Conference (Feb./Mar.). We have the rare privilege of having Conference on our doorstep next February, in the Angel Hotel, adjacent to the Millennium Stadium, in Cardiff. This is a fantastic opportunity to get an overview of the Party as a whole. Delyth and I thoroughly enjoyed the last Conference in Birmingham (http://www.greenparty.org.UK/conference/autumn-conference-2010), and I would urge you all to endeavour to get to at least one of the 4 days in February. It runs from Friday 25th to Monday 28th February, 2011. More details here http://www.greenparty.org.uk/conference.html
January’s meeting, on Thursday 20th, is well placed to have a look at the final agenda for Conference, as it is not issued until that week.
The War You Don’t See
|John Pilger’s film ‘The War You Don’t See’ , screened on ITV late last night, confirmed all my very worst fears about British foreign policy and military involvement in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Everyone should be forced to watch every second of it before going anywhere near a ballot box again.
It is too easy for people that voted for Blair, and the Tories who supported his warmongering, to claim they were deceived. It is even more inexcusable for the warmongers themselves to claim the same thing. Since when did this become an acceptable excuse for murder, theft, vandalism and the vast litany of other crimes committed in our names?
The video is available here http://www.johnpilger.com/videos/the-war-you-dont-see-trailer
I have ordered a copy and you can borrow from me.
The impact of modern warfare on civilian populations is appalling
% of total casualties that were civilians
|EMA (Educational Maintenance Allowance) is mostly safe in Wales, but please sign this petition and support English teenagers campaigning to save it:
Greens offer free membership to students and young people
|In an unprecedented move, the Green Party today offered free membership to people under 30 or in full-time education.
Any student or young person who applies to join the Green Party before 1 January 2011 will pay no subscription for the coming year.
Green Party leader Caroline Lucas MP said today:
I want students and young people to know there is a political party that still cares about their future, and that will keep fighting for a fairer future and will not give up on doing the right thing.
We have to keep fighting, because we cant leave the future of our country and our planet to people who want to run things primarily in the interests of big business and the wealthiest people.
Politics is important and its time to reclaim it. I want to extend the warmest possible welcome to all new members, but not least to students and young people who are having such a difficult time at the hands of the other political parties.
Greens want a society which values mobility and inclusiveness
Caroline, who was elected as Britains first Green MP in this years general election and who has stood strongly by the Green Partys policy of universal free education said last night after the tuition fees vote:
This is a dark day for the future of higher education in this country. The huge hikes in tuition fees, together with the scrapping of Educational Maintenance Allowance and proposed cuts in college funding, amount to nothing less than a Government assault on our young people and an attack on the principles of universal education. Many people may be priced out of going to university as a result of todays vote and those who do go are likely to be saddled with massive debt. This is unacceptable for a society which values social mobility and inclusiveness.
1. Students and young people can join the Green Party free here.
2. Students can normally join the Green Party for £5, as opposed to the standard membership rate of £31. Many people, however, pay higher membership fees to help the party fund its campaigns. Donations are always welcome, as the Green Party receives no financial backing from unions or big businesses as Labour and the Conservatives do, but gets the bulk of its income from members and ordinary supporters.
Swansea Meeting guest speaker: “YES to Fairer Votes”
|Iestyn Davies, Wales Organiser for the “YES to Fairer Votes” campaign made a passionate appeal for support for a YES vote in favour of AV in the referendum next May.
The Green Party announced from its conference in Birmingham last September that the party would join the Yes campaign.
Many proponents of electoral reform have expressed doubts about supporting AV (the Additional Vote system), on the grounds that AV is not a proportional voting system and therefore its introduction would not be a thorough reform and may actually prolong the wait for a properly proportional system.
But Green Party conference agreed to take a firm line in favour of AV in the referendum, as an initial step in the right direction and to demonstrate an “appetite for change”.
The party’s deputy leader Adrian Ramsay commented: “We want everyone who favours electoral reform to put their full weight behind the Yes campaign.”
“A Yes vote would bring a step in the right direction and demonstrate an appetite for change. Greens and others who want a fair, inclusive proportional way of voting will then continue to campaign for further reform.”
Personally, I am not totally convinced that this is the best strategy. What do you think? (Please use the comments facility)
Britains first Green MP wins Red Hot Woman of the Year Award
|30 November 2010
Green Party leader and Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas has been awarded the Red Hot Woman of the Year Award in the ethical/Eco category by Red magazine in association with Calvin Klein.
The Red Hot Women of the Year Awards, which were held last night, aim to celebrate the success of women in all fields of work.
Sam Baker, judge and editor-in-chief of Red magazine, which is the UK’s highest-selling glossy monthly for 30-something women, said:
“Caroline has devoted her life to environmental issues and this year achieved something that nobody thought possible – and did it in a landmark way.”
Katharine Viner, also on the judging panel and deputy editor of The Guardian, said:
“Caroline did something incredibly groundbreaking this year and made a real breakthrough in the area of green politics.”
Judges for the awards also included Elisabeth Murdoch, CEO of TV production company Shine Limited, entrepreneur and Channel 4 board member Martha Lane Fox, and Karen Brady, a TV broadcaster who was also the first female managing director of a top English football club.
On receiving the award, Caroline Lucas said:
“I am delighted to receive this award from Red magazine – and feel honoured to have had my work and that of the Green Party recognised in this way.”