Monthly Archives: May 2014

MEP voting records on Fracking issues and trying to make sense of the EU polls.

Source: FoE Europe http://votetracker.eu/fracking.html#collapseOne

The only other UK MEPs with a 100/100 track record on fracking are:

Of course, this is 100% of the UK’s Green MEP’s , but only 1 out 13 Labour MEPs.

Opinion Polls

Polls suggest that the Greens are on track to possibly treble their MEP continent in England to SIX (4 or 5 perhaps being more likely), and Scottish Greens could secure one.
Despite misinformation to the contrary, the Wales Green Party has never been remotely in contention to secure an MEP this time around. If it had ever been a remote possibility, I wouldn’t have stood aside to support Jill Evans campaign.

A glance at the table above shows just how imperative it is that fractivists and ecosocialists rally behind Jill Evans.

The polls are all over the place for Wales. The national pollsters rarely survey more than 50 to 60 voters in the whole of Wales making the individual polls a nonsense. Looking for trends in all the recent polls could be more revealing.

They show Plaid Cymru ranging from 6% to 29% (no seat to two seats) but averaging around 13% and making Jill very marginal to retain her seat.
The Green Party in Wales range from 2% to 12% but averaging about 4%. If half of this were to vote for Jill, it could well make all the difference.

If Jill were to lose her seat, the polls suggest it could go to a second Labour candidate, but it looks slightly more likely to go to UKIP. Mind boggling!!! Scary!!!!

Of course, there is only one poll that matters – and that is at your local polling station next Thursday.

Get out and vote – and make sure it counts and makes a real difference!!

Misinformation

You may well have received the email below from, Ann Were, acting General Secretary of Wales Green Party, to all WGP members (although, to be honest, it does not read like something Ann would write – she is usually more careful with her facts).

It complains of misinformation by Plaid Cymru. I am not sure whether this is true or not – I have not seen them them claim that Wales Green Party has withdrawn candidates from the Euro elections (all I have seen them say is: “The lead Green candidate in Wales stood down in order to help Plaid win.” which is perfectly true) – but I can shed light on some misinformation contained within this Green Party communication.

Keeping things purely factual:

This whole business frustrates me intensely. The first priority of both Plaid Cymru and the Green Party has to be to overturn the prevailing neo-liberal, capitalist hegemony that we are saddled with through our current dysfunctional version of democracy. It must surely be incumbent on fellow eco-socialists to form alliances across party divides rather than obstruct and effectively defeat each other. It saddens me that I seem to get a lot more support for this vision from Plaid Cymru, and members of the Green Party in England, than I do from the narrow-minded clique that attempt to run Wales Green Party.

I am hoping that my call for Green Party supporters in Wales to back Plaid Cymru, on this occasion, will help return Jill Evans, our most experienced and best MEP, and a fellow ecosocialist. Bridgend Green Party already works closely and effectively with Bridgend Plaid Cymru, and hopefully we can see both parties be more mutually supportive and co-operative in the future.

Think for yourselves. Do as you see fit. But do so in possession of the facts of the matter.

Andy Chyba
Chair Bridgend Green Party

Begin forwarded message:

Green Party - for the common good.
Hello AndyIt saddens me to report that Plaid Cymru is not behaving fairly during the run up to the Euro elections. They are mis-informing the electorate regarding Wales Green Party’s position and are implying that we have withdrawn our candidates in order to support theirs. This is completely untrue. We are contesting these elections in the same way as we contest most other elections – to the best that our resources will allow.Unfortunately, it is now a race against time to get the correct information out there.

Below is a model letter which we are asking for Local Parties and individual members to send to their local newspapers, in the hope that we can salvage the situation. Please don’t wait for someone else to do this; do it yourself.

Many thanks for your help and support.

Ann Were

Acting General Secretary

Wales Green Party.

Sir,

It has come to my attention that there is currently some misinformation in circulation regarding Wales Green Party and our position with respect to the forthcoming Euro elections.
I would just like to clarify the situation. The Green Party will be standing a list of candidates in Wales, as usual. We are asking for all of our supporters, both old and new, to turn out and vote for us. We do not endorse any other Party. It is simply not true that “leading members” of the Green Party are asking you to vote for anyone else. Any statements to the contrary that you may have read or heard are deliberately designed to be misleading.
In a recent ICM poll, the Green Party in Wales polled 12%, a figure which would be close to winning a seat here in Wales.
Anyone who is concerned about environmental and social justice, tired of conventional politics, and not convinced by the “business as usual” model, should vote Green Party on 22nd May.

Yours,

xxxxxxxxx

Wales Green Party


Pending calamity for Wales in Euro Poll – Greens can help save the day!!

This is the catastrophic scenario that Wales Green Party are helping to precipitate for Wales through contesting the Euro elections:

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/poll-ukip-course-five-assembly-7029092

Some Plaid Cymru supporter perspectives on an ecosocialist alliance between the parties can be found here:

http://dailywales.net/2014/05/08/plaid-cymru-the-green-party-a-complicated-alliance/

We need to wake up and smell the coffee!!! Vote Plaid Cymru on May 22nd!!!

N.B. This is the personal view of Andy Chyba (BGP Chair)

Bridgend Green Party Meeting – Thursday 5th June

Dear Members and Supporters of Bridgend Green Party,

I owe you all a number of apologies:

  • Apologies for getting my dates muddled up regarding April’s meeting, which should have happened on 24th in Pencoed. I hope nobody travelled to find nobody there. I did try and get a message round at the last minute cancelling it.
  • Apologies also for not having this months’s meeting in the usual last Thursday slot. I am away again and I have had a request from regular attenders to move it to the first week of the month due to personal circumstances. I am happy to accommodate them as this has the makings of an important meeting – in the sense that it may be the last for a while.
  • Apologies also the fact that I no longer feel able to function properly in my roles within the local party, and we therefore need to discuss the entire future of Bridgend Green Party, and its relationship with Wales Green Party.
  • Apologies also for any embarrassment felt over the on-going rumblings and grumblings about my personal attitude to the Welsh language. Given the position I seem to be seen in by some – it has perhaps tarnished perceptions of the Party in a way that I regret.

There is also a building situation developing over my stance regarding the Euro Elections. You will recall that I withdrew after securing the lead position on the ballot in order to support the campaign of Plaid Cymru’s MEP, Jill Evans to re-elected. She has been an outstanding member of the Green/EFA group in the European Parliament for 15 years (three successive terms) and is in some danger of losing her seat as a result of the Lib Dem vote crumbling and Labour and UKIP growing in support. I maintain the position that Green supporters should whole-heartedly be supporting Jill, given that voting Green instead could well allow Labour or (please, no!!) UKIP to take her seat. That would be a tragedy to anyone of a remotely eco-socialist disposition.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this has not gone down well in some quarters – with John ‘Enforcer’ Matthews already calling for my expulsion. A bit rich for someone that has overseen the demise of the once relatively mighty Cardiff Green Party, but he has form in pursuing the expulsion of ecosocialists!

So, the upshot of it is that this meeting will be the last, for a while at least, unless someone else wishes to take over organising them.

Given the situation, I feel that it is best that we revert to the Railway PH for this meeting as it is accessible location, should other than the regulars wish to make the effort and come along.

Andy Chyba

7.00pm Thursday 5th June 2014 at theThe Railway PH at the bottom of Station Hill
ALL WELCOME (Especially new members!)

AGENDA:

  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Apologies for Absence
  3. THE FUTURE OF BRIDGEND GREEN PARTY
  4. AOB
  5. DoNM ???

REMINDER – If anyone needs a lift to any of our meetings, let Andy know (greens@chyba.go-plus.net) and we will organise it for you.

 

Why 73% of UKIP supporters should actually vote Green (unless they are in Wales)

A Facebook friend and fellow ecosocilaist, Martin O’Beirne has this to say, based on the blog link below:

“Interesting – I was of the belief that if you are of the ilk that vote UKIP, you must inhabit an orbit so far removed from green, there is no benefit in trying to appeal – But speak to people, working people, voting UKIP, not the hardliners, the kind of floating protest, jumping on a bandwagon type voters ( that have been manipulated by UKIP propaganda) and clearly they warm to green – even on the stance in europe – but it seems like such a paradigm shift for them to consider green – who they regard as ‘green’ perhaps? – but fundamentally the required paradigm shift exists because of an unfair playing field – e.g. the obscenely disproportionate airtime UKIP and Farage receive – BBC and Question Time”

http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/73-ukip-voters-green-party.html?m=1

This is, of course, a very different perspective than that expressed by the Wales Green Party ‘leader’, Pippa Bartolotti, who has this to say about UKIP supporters:

“She said: “They [Ukip] appeal to an older generation of people who feel that politics isn’t working along the way that they think. A lot of older people…are racist.
“They don’t mean to be, they aren’t going out of their way to be, but they are, because that whole generation is. ”

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/welsh-greens-leader-why-party-7019024

I am not sure what her father would have to say about that, but considering what my own father went through in fighting the Nazis, and given the ever-increasing significance of the over-65 vote, this was, to say the least, a regrettable (but all-too-typical) thing to have said. It will surely deter some flakey and/or floating voters from voting Green (in the same way that my lack of enthusiasm for the Welsh Language has apparently turned some people off). Saying things we regret is something all politicians have to live with (but hopefully learn from). It need not be a disaster – depending on where the disaffected voter turns to!! If the ones I have upset do the obvious thing and vote Plaid Cymru, I can sleep well enough. It is less obvious where the ones Pippa has just upset will turn to.

It seems to me that the way our democracy works, and the way the electoral systems work, it is entirely understandable that there is a a substantial and all-decisive block of ‘floating voters’ up for grabs. They wield disproportionate power as they effectively decide the outcome of every election, given that a large proportion of the people that do vote are entrenched in their support of a given party, almost as off it is part of their DNA. We certainly see this in Wales, with their astonishing level of continued support for Labour. They perceive Labour as the party of the poor and disadvantaged, yet have not, it appears, realised that it has become in Welsh Labour’s interest to therefore keep them poor and disadvantaged!! How else can Labour’s record in the Welsh Assembly and Bridgend Council be understood?

Whatever we think of what UKIP stands for, we have to acknowledge how very successful they have been in appealing to the non-committed floaters. They have used all the traditional scapegoating tactics to build a case for their ‘quick fix’ policies. The Greens core tenets of long-term sustainability and one world interdependence do not lend themselves very easily to such populism – especially when (in Wales at least) the perception of many (from its public face) is of a ‘bunch of pious, condescending, middle-class, fruitcakes’ (not my words). As we see with UKIP, the floaters appear to prefer their fruitcakes ‘belligerent, un-apologetic and ‘patriotic-to-a-fault” (again, not my words).

So how best do beleaguered eco-socialists in Wales use their votes? What role can the Green Party play?

There is no getting away from the fact that Wales presents greater obstacles for a Green Party breakthrough than elsewhere in the UK. The road map to success is clear enough – it has to be built on a long-term commitment (10-20 years) to building local parties from the ground up. This is how it was achieved in Brighton and with Caroline Lucas; how it has been achieved in the West Midlands, with Will Duckworth, and in every part of the country where Greens have achieved electoral success. There is no other way. It takes the commitment of people to do the hard work on the ground, and that rare, magic ingredient of effective leadership. These things are lacking in Wales Green Party, as is the recognition that the Plaid Cymru factor could be used as a positive rather than a negative.

There are, of course, some things that Green Party members would never agree with PC about, and vice versa. Given the current eco-socialist leaning leadership of PC however, there is a unique opportunity to build a mutually beneficial alliance with PC, as we have witnessed in the Green/EFA group in the EU Parliament. I have had a very favourable response to the suggestion from leading PC members I have spoken to about this possibility.

Given the state of the meaningful polls, it is therefore incumbent on true ecosocialists (admittedly far from the majority in Wales Green Party), to do what is needed to ensure Plaid Cymru’s Jill Evans is returned as a Green/EFA representative for Wales. It saddens me to say that voting for the Green Party in the forthcoming EU Elections can only jeopardise this. This is why I withdrew after being selected as lead candidate for Wales Green Party.

With the right dialogue between the Parties, some form of electoral pact could be achieved, helping ensure PC and Green support combines to help both parties in their target wards to make serious inroads into the Con/Lib/Lab neoliberal capitalist hegemony we have to endure at present. Bridgend Greens and Bridgend PC have worked very constructively together on issues like the Bedroom Tax, so it is entirely possible to work well together., so why not at a Wales level?

Now that ought to be something we can rally behind, don’t you think?

Andy Chyba

Frock Swap reminder this friday

FASHIONISTAS’ FROCK SWAP Friday, May 9th, The Green Room, above SUSSED from 7.30pm.

Entry £3.00 includes a drinks and nibbles reception – alcoholic and non alcoholic.

Join in the vibe with like-minded frock swappers and take home some fab new clothes.

Reduce, reuse and recycle your wardrobe.
Give your unwanted good quality clothes or accessories a second life, go home happy with something amazing – you may strike gold!

As a nation we have a staggering £30 billion worth of clothes we never wear. Around 30 per cent of clothes bought every year are not worn.

Some items in your wardrobe are too good to give to the charity shop, but be frank, you don’t wear them anymore for one reason or another.

At the same time reduce your carbon footprint, 0.4 kg of CO2 is saved for every item of clothing that is re-used rather than bought new, and have fun. That can’t be bad!!

Participants should bring at least one loved item (clothing / accessories), considered too good for charity shops. Must be of decent quality, permitting a same value swap.

If more than one item is offered then a similar number of swaps can be made.

Hand over your items to our team on arrival in return for tokens which you can then swap for clothes. Additional tokens can also be purchased for £1. Relax and enjoy a night out with a difference.

 

 

Margaret Minhinnick
Director
Sustainable Wales Cymru Gynhaliol
4/5 James St.
Porthcawl
Bridgend
CF36 3BG
01656 783962

http://www.sustainablewales.org.uk/