Monthly Archives: December 2010

Happy New Year !!!

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,

Andy

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.

Caroline Lucas MP

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:

  • January 20th
  • February 17th (AGM)
  • March 17th
  • April 21st
  • May 19th
  • June 16th

Don’t forget to put the Green Party Conference in your diary too – The Angel Hotel, Cardiff
Friday 25th – Monday 28th February

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.

Warm regards,

Andy

AVAAZ – the world in action

http://avaaz.org/en/people_power_in_2010/?aboutus_new

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.
It also raises other issues we should be thinking about, such as the role of the media and the possible impact of video games on modern warfare.

The impact of modern warfare on civilian populations is appalling

% of total casualties that were civilians

  • Word War 1 = 10%
  • World War 2 = 50%
  • Vietnam War = 70%
  • Iraq War = 90%