|BRIDGEND GREEN PARTY Local elections May 2012
Bridgend Green Party are pleased to announce that many of the electorate of the Bridgend area now have a fresh, new, radical alternative at the Local Elections in May.
Only 18 months after re-launching the Bridgend Green Party, we are pleased to say that we will be contesting 8 wards (7 in Bridgend county + one in the Vale) in the County Borough Elections (BETTWS/ BRYNTIRION, LALESTON & MERTHYRMAWR/ COITY/ HENDRE/ MAESTEG EAST/ MORFA/ YNYSAWDRE / St BRIDES MAJOR) and 6 seats on Community/Town Councils (Brackla, Bridgend Town, Garw Valley and Laleston) . I would like to acknowledge the support and encouragement we have received from members of other parties, including some councillors, who recognise that we can offer a much needed injection of new ideas, enthusiasm and passion. We will help push an agenda of sustainable development, a fairer society and of providing a legacy we can be proud to leave future generations instead of the current embarrassing and soul destroying mess.
Let us be clear. The Green Party is a left of centre party. The three mainstream parties have long offered just slightly different brands of right wing politics. As much as we respect many of our councillors, especially Labour and Lib Dem ones, many of them (and many of their supporters) cling to the forlorn hope of being able drag their parties back to the political ground that they know their traditional support, including most of the people of Bridgend and the Valleys, still need. But now we offer them, not a way back, but a way forward to a new brand of Eco-socialism. Eco-socialists are united in the belief that if we are to have a worthwhile future, the whole world needs to come together to drive capitalism from centre stage and create an alternative society based on principles of social and environmental justice as well as popular participation.
We know we have a long way to go before we can emulate the success of the Green Party in other parts of the country in gaining control of councils. We are realistic about what we can achieve this time around in Bridgend, but whatever the outcome, we will campaign and lobby for the things that will make a difference to peoples lives and provide a future fit to bequeath to our children and future generations. Among other things, we will be promoting the following initiatives:
Another system that desperately needs changing is the Council Tax system. This is not something that Bridgend CBC can do much about on its own, but we will campaign to at least restructure Council Tax bands to make them a progressive tax rather than the regressive tax we have at the moment. Looking through the Property News this week, you can find a property in Pontycymmer for sale for £27,000. Whoever buys this will face a Council tax bill of £861; which is 3.2% of the property value. There is a property for sale in Porthcawl for £1,750,000. Whoever buys this will face a Council tax bill of £3022; which is 0.2% of the property value! This is patently inequitable and unfair. Green Party policy is to ultimately replace Council Tax and Business Rates with a much fairer, simpler and environmentally beneficial Land Value Tax.
Nothing we propose is especially original. All these ideas have been tried and tested and can be seen to work in other parts of the world (Scandinavia, Australia and Germany among them). They are associated with progressive values, innovative thinking and a willingness to grapple with the challenges of the future while we still have a little scope to experiment with and refine the ideas and technologies that we will need to cope. The big challenges we face include the consequences of climate change, an aging population and the need to restructure our supply and demand for energy. In all these cases it is the poor and the vulnerable that are likely to suffer the adverse consequences the most. This is why environmental issues are social issues too; and why Eco-socialism is the way forward.
We are here to ensure that our environment is not sacrificed in the pursuit of the short-sighted capitalist growth agenda, and to ensure that the poor and the vulnerable do not suffer from the cuts and austerity measures demanded by the staggering mismanagement of the economy by successive Conservative and Labour administrations led by millionaire public school boys. We all instinctively know what is fair and it is not for nothing that we in the Green Party use the following rallying call: Fair is Worth Fighting For. Wherever you can, vote Green on May 3rd.
|Caroline appeared on BBC Radio 4 Today this morning to talk about the local elections and the benefits of a greener economy you can read about the interview and listen again here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9716000/9716078.stm. Some of the facts and figures she mentions about green industries are useful.
From the BBC website:
Green Party leader Caroline Lucas has acknowledged that it is can be hard to get the the environmental message across in times of austerity.
But she told the Today programme’s Justin Webb that overlooking green issues at a time like this was a “tragedy”.
“There is no contradiction in promoting a green economy and dealing with jobs and the environment,” she said.
“It is through investing in green technologies that we can get the economy stabilised”.
Listen to the full 4 minute interview here:
|The following campaign is completely consistent with Green Party policy on Public administration and government ( http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/pa )
The Governments proposals to reform the House of Lords will preserve and entrench the influence of unaccountable representatives of the Church of England in our Parliament.
At present, the Church of England is granted privileged access to our Parliament. Anglican Bishops sit alongside Peers in the House of Lords, they have the right to vote and debate, they influence our national way of life. They acquired this right solely by virtue of their religion, their gender and their position in the hierarchy of one particular denomination of one particular Church. They are unaccountable to the public.
We want fair reform of the House of Lords which does not afford privilege to any special interest group.
We urge the Government to remove the automatic right of Bishops to sit there.
None of the arguments for keeping Bishops makes sense, and keeping them is unpopular with the public. At a time of general reform, we possess a once in a generation opportunity to remove this archaic and unjust aspect of our political system.
Visit the link above for information about the campaign and how you can assist.
The key messages of the campaign (that the current situation is unfair, unjustified and unpopular) can be seen in more detail here:
Just 2% backed more gas power in the latest UK opinion poll to show overwhelming support for clean energy
Almost nine in 10 people want to see the government ramp up the UK’s use of clean domestic energy and reduce the country’s reliance on imported gas, a new YouGov poll reveals.
The survey is the latest to signal strong public backing for renewable energy, following Sunday’s YouGov poll for Scottish Renewables that found 71% of Scots supported wind power, and a separate Ipsos MORI survey last week that reported 67% of respondents were in favour of using more wind power.
Currently, only 9.5% of UK electricity comes from renewable energy sources. Friends of the Earth is concerned the government is encouraging a new “dash for gas” by exempting gas-fired power plants from emissions restrictions that will effectively ban new coal power stations.
The wind energy sector is also facing an increasingly vocal campaign against new wind farms, while concerns are mounting that renewable energy investments are being put on hold as a result of investor concerns over the degree of political backing for clean energy.
Today Friends of the Earth is using St George’s Day to launch a new Clean British Energy campaign that calls on the prime minister to use his speech at the Clean Energy Ministerial on Thursday to demonstrate his backing for low-carbon energy.
The group claims that increasing the UK’s reliance on domestic renewable sources would not only help decarbonise the energy sector, but would also enhance energy security and create new green jobs. Government figures show just under £4bn of investment in renewables over the last year yielded nearly 14,000 new jobs.
“The public has given a clear vote of confidence to clean British energy from our wind, sun and sea it makes no sense for the government to pursue an unwanted, costly dash for gas that’s causing our fuel bills to rocket,” said Craig Bennett, Friends of the Earth’s director of policy and campaigns. “Ministers have a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our electricity market to help smaller businesses, schools and communities plug into clean and affordable power.
Source: Guardian 23/04/12
|Apologies to regular followers for the lack of postings in the last week or so.
We are in full electioneering mode and busy canvassing and leafleting in target wards.
We are getting a generally warm reception – although the prevailing mood among the electorate seems to be that of apathy and utter disenchantment with the whole political process. I predict very low turnouts – and this could actually prove beneficial to us as the disaffection is primarily with the parties in power. It could be very close indeed in one or two seats for us – so all to play for!
Our mini manifesto seems to be striking chords in many places – which is encouraging.
The recent flurry of national publicity on fracking has led to a few enquiries on what we know and have been doing about the issue. Our prominence in the national campaigning on this particular issue gives us added credibility.
So in these times of increasing despair and exasperation, the message has got be:
|Bridgend Green Party Meeting
Thursday 19th April 2012 at the COITY CASTLE INN Lounge.
Bottom of Tremains Road, (by big railway bridge) Bridgend, CF31 1HA . 7.00pm
NOTE – Venue is 2 minutes walk from both the Bus and Train stations in Bridgend.
PLEASE NOTE EARLIER TIME THAN USUAL –
It has taken a while for this to surface, as it was shot last summer in the run up to the Co-operative event we helped organise at Bridgend College.
I think the credits should mention the wonderful Sarah Woods rather than Saul Woods (or at least as well as).
Mark does an excellent job, I hope you all agree. A career change beckons methinks.