Monthly Archives: September 2014

Iraq: our military presence only makes a bad situation worse.

From Mike Shipley of Derbyshire Green Party:

For the third time in 25 years, Parliament has voted to support military action in Iraq. The two conflicts have killed over half a million people, displaced four million and orphaned five million children. By any measure, Iraq is now in a worse state than it was before the 2003 invasion. There is civil war, the western backed government has no legitimacy among the majority of the population, real power is held by local war lords as in Afghanistan, another failed military intervention.

In recognition of the failure of military action in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, Parliament refused to back British involvement in the Syrian civil war. This conflict together with the sectarian policies of the corrupt Iraqi government, spawned ISIS, a brutal militia, armed and financed by governments hostile to the western presence in the middle east. Any engagement with ISIS will inevitably spill over into Syria where the Americans are already training and arming forces opposed to the Assad regime. No one knows the outcome, as in Iraq in 2003, there is no exit strategy.

Further military involvement can only make a bad situation worse and will further fuel the resentment many feel in the region to western interventions. Caroline Lucas was one of only 43 MP’s who voted to oppose further military involvement. The overwhelming majority won by the Coalition Government, supported by the Labour Party did not reflect public opinion. Despite the horrors depicted in the press of the actions of ISIS, 43% of British people oppose further military engagement.

The timing of the Parliamentary recall suited the Tory party, giving its leader the opportunity to play big international statesman on the eve of their conference to cloud the issue of a ministerial resignation and a defection to UKIP. He reminded us of another Conservative prime minister, who in 1982 and facing electoral defeat, used a foreign policy adventure to drive up jingoistic popularity and win a year later. But cynicism aside, there are many good reasons why this new engagement should be opposed. We are endlessly told that the economy is struggling and that we must all tighten our belts. Despite this, close to £1billion was spent on bombing Libya and we can not suppose that this campaign will come any cheaper. This is about the sum saved by scrapping the Educational Maintenance Allowance, three times that saved by scrapping the disability living allowance. So our young people and disabled are having to pay for a military adventure that will solve nothing.

From recent past history we know that this action will further radicalise young men into joining the jihad against us. It will kill and displace yet more civilians, it will condemn more hostages to death, it will bring closer the time when Iran will feel forced to intervene itself. Military force will not solve anything, it will make a bad situation worse.

We have to do something, the whole region is in a state of collapse. As Charlotte said, we have to open negotiations, this can be difficult, talking to people involved in atrocities. But then we are now allied to countries that are brutal dictatorships. In August alone, Saudi Arabian courts ordered the beheading of nineteen people, mostly foreign nationals, this year it has beheaded six women, again mostly foreign workers.

In the light of the headline reports of ISIS atrocities, calling for talks seems an inadequate response. But Europe is the living proof that only negotiations can solve age old problems. In 1945, Europe lay in ruins, divided by generations of bitter hostility that had broken lives, displaced millions and brought the full horrors of war home to everyone. Something had to change to alter the course of events that could so easily have lead to yet more conflict, such has been the 2000 year history of Europe. The response by a few wise heads to the brutality of two world wars in a generation was to negotiate. Not as in 1918, the victors dictating to the vanquished, but as equals. The bitter enemies of just a few years earlier, joined together to find a collective vision to banish warfare, to allow their countries to cooperate in building a peaceful society in which people could flourish. This process led to the Treaty of Rome and the European Union. The dream of warlords from Charlemagne to Napoleon, of a united Europe was achieved without bloodshed, through negotiation among equals.

This is the only way forward for the Middle East and every new military campaign only serves to further delay the opening of these talks. They have to involve all parties, including Iran and Syria, including the representatives of the Kurds and on equal terms, Sunnis and Shias. The west and western interests can not dictate terms. Peace is possible and there is a profound desire among the people of the whole region and beyond to find this peace. But a small minority, protected from the horrors of war, see profit in further conflict, Iraq, broken as it is, is spending $1billion on weapons, good business for some. Weapons flow freely, from Russia as well as the west, earning great wealth and creating more markets. This is where the west’s action is needed, control international arms sales, stop fuelling the conflicts that are threatening to spiral out of control and engulf us all.

For more information, visit:

Global Frackdown – 11th October

12noon – 2pm 11th Oct Y Senedd, Cardiff Bay.

A day of action against fracking and associated technologies across the world, and Wales is no exception. Frack Free Wales is working with Friends of The Earth Cymru to organise a lobby and protest at The Senedd in Cardiff Bay on Saturday 11th October.

All groups and individuals are to meet up at the Senedd at 12 noon – until 2pm for a rally.

Confirmed speakers:
Gareth Clubb – Friends of The Earth Cymru
Bethan Jenkins AM Plaid Party of Wales
William Powell AM – Welsh Liberal Democrats
Pippa Bartolotti – Leader of The Wales Green Party
Frances Twms Jenkins – Founder of Frack Free Wales
Donal Whelan and Keith Ross – Frack Free Wales

Songs from Côr Gobaith (Aberystwyth) and Côr Cochion (Caerdydd).

During the event we will be handing over the FoE Cymru ‘Wales Against Fracking’ postcards to a representative of the Welsh Government.

FOE Cymru’s part in this is to facilitate the rally and lobby at the above times – in the meantime if individuals wish to march to the Senedd from separate locations please take in hand and organise. Put the date in your diary and start working out how to get there.

Last year we had around 150 people handing in the Frack Free Wales petition with over 1,000 signatures. This year we need ten times that number to show everyone how rapidly the anti-fracking movement has grown over the last year. We need you there to make an impact and let the Welsh Government, the media and the industry know that we are serious about creating a FRACK FREE WALES, a environmentally, socially just, sustainable future.

Seeing as though Wales – Cardiff failed to have a Climate March of any scale, we really need to make this big, it’s not just about fracking, it’s about all forms of fossil fuels, new and old still being expanded in Wales. It’s about the ‘Future Generations Bill’ being implemented into Welsh political policy, it’s about your children’s future, and not forgetting ‘The State of Nature’. The Future Generations Bill can not be a weak bill, but it will be if we don’t carry on holding them to their words, pointing out that politics in its current form is simply not sustainable; or that politics is not providing due care and diligence in supporting community resilience in the face of climate change. Time and time again communities pay the cost of those who seek power, to maintain the status quo. Climate change science excepts that we only have a small window of opportunity to actually make the difference.

Bring your message, your voice, children and friends.

We all can not rely on others to communicate things of urgency. Share widely, invite, through out social media platforms, and keep sharing, as there is only 15 days left to go. If you are an administrator of a local Face Book anti fracking group please pin this to the top of your page.

Ensure you check that your are ‘going’ on the ‘GLOBAL FRACKDOWN – Wales 2014’ Facebook event page

Please ensure you like Frack Free Wales like page, and check ‘get notifications’

Do you have a Twitter account? Share this event as frequently as possible.

Ready Made Tweet:

Pls share & attend #FrackFreeWales & @foecymrucydd’s ‘Global Frackdown’ 12-2pm 11th Oct Y Senedd #Cardiff Bay

Or your own version…..

You will be able to see how many times it has been posted by checking #FrackFreeWales

With out your input we will not be heard, we will not make our presence felt.

Why huge numbers of people have joined the Green Party recently

Jim Scott from Pembrokeshire not only joined, but hit the ground running. He has submitted this to the Guardian:

I didn’t just join the Green Party, I joined and set up my local Party.

I have wanted to vote Green all my life, but since Thatcher I felt it was important to try and keep the Tories out by tactically voting if possible, and never felt that voting Green would have that tactical effect. I’m 37 now and over the years I seen all the main 3 parties pull heavily to the right to the point that I consider all of them to be more right wing than the conservatives were under Thatcher! Blair invading Iraq against our wishes was a big sticking point for me also, so in the last UK parliamentary elections I voted LibDem in the misguided belief that they were a ‘Left of Center’ and libertarian party.
I was shocked when they formed a coalition with the Tories, and then in disbelief as the raft of savage and socially abhorent policies like the student fee increases began to flood out of Westminster. I began to sit up and take notice of everything that was going on in terms of policy, like welfare cuts, cuts to public services, NHS privatization, ATOS assessments for the disabled, cutting legal aid for the poorest, Zero hour contracts. workfare, deregulation in employment law, The list goes on, and so did the UK media’s wholesale attacks on the poor and disabled as well as the immigrant population. The more I dug, the more I realized that whilst I had kept my eye off the ball and not been following UK politics too closely. New Labour had begun the process (which the Tories have now catapulted forward) of privatization of the NHS by introducing PFI’s and other legislation, Blair had actually brought in many laws which infringe on our civil rights and liberties under the guise of ‘Terror threats’ and Ed ball’s was schmoozing with his friend George Osborne at the Bilderberg meetings and announcing that Austerity would continue under Labour and Social security cuts would be increased! All this whistle Cameron announced from a millionaires banquet and from a golden chair and golden lectern that there would be permanent austerity for ‘the rest of us’.
It was plain to me that all three parties were now very right wing, and serving the same agenda, Billions for their banker friends but austerity for us, I also read a very good article by John Ress (Counterfire and Stop the War) called “The crisis in Europe and the response of the Left” which highlighted this neo-liberal hegemony among the main three parties very well.
I was so angry and motivated by this point, I made up my mind that I would only vote for a party I believed in from that moment on and that a vote for what I believed in was not a wasted vote in these times of crisis in democracy and democratic deficit. So after a lifetime of tactical voting I returned to where I always belonged at the Green party. I read their manifesto and was instantly heartened and at home with their progressive approach to issues like immigration and job creation in the green sector, social justice and very forward thinking and economically productive environmental policies, this as well and the citizens income, living wage, re-nationalizing the NHS and other public services, and importantly their belief that the way the UK is governed should be changed to that politicians become accountable to the people who elect them. I was happy with it all so joined up and decided to get active. I also joined the ‘People’s Assembly Against Austerity” movement which is supported by many organizations including the Greens.
I rang my regional office (Wales) in 2013 and found that there was no active Pembrokeshie Green Party, but they did help me contact all the other members in my area, this was 14 months ago and most of the other local members where long standing members and only 2 other people where interested in setting up the group (which wasn’t viably enough) so I shelved the idea for a year and got on with campaigning against the governments vicious welfare cuts and other campaigns with the People’s Assembly. then Earlier this year I received and updated list of Pembrokeshire Members and was excited to see that the membership had doubled! I emailed all the new members and organized a first meeting, I informed the local press and invited Wales Green party delegates to come and speak, The Green party in Wales being a very inclusive party meant that offers to help came in and eventually Pippa Bartolotti was booked to speak at our first meeting. The rest is history, but at our third meeting members had doubled again! and the new party is vibrant, radical and full of potential, we are already on track to field three candidates in the General Election next May (we have taken on Carmarthenshire’s candidates for this as well!) and I was even privileged to be invited to speak as a Pembrokeshire Green party representative at a CND Cymru supported event called ‘Drape the Drones’ at Aberporth military drone testing base last weekend on the international day of peace, Link to my speech is here>> << It is all very exciting and motivating and new members are joining our Pembrokeshire Green Party weekly, often daily! I am aware that we won’t topple the likes of Tory Stephen Crabb MP this time round, who sits in my own constituency, but I do strongly believe that the establishment is in for a big shock next May as people arrive in their droves to the stark realization that it is a vote for any of the main three parties that is meaningless and wasted whereas a vote for what you believe in however is a vote for change, a change I believe is in the air and coming at an unstoppable rate!

The other responses make equally intersting reading – most are not as in depth as Jim’s.

Other Contributions

First page of responses below – click on the links to read the full post full post
(There are currently 11 pages of these, and counting!):

Joining the Green party from Labour.

We had the EU elections and two local by-elections in very close succession where I live. I was a Labour party member at the time, and I di

Andrew GibsonAndrew Gibson2 days ago

0 Recommend

The only party to protect and strengthen the NHS

I joined this year before the EU elections. I will vote for them next year, they’re the only ones who offer true change, protect the NHS, u

amj123amj1232 days ago

0 Recommend

The only UK political party with vision for the future

There will be no future if we do not plan and act immediately on a long-term plan to restore and reclaim our environment. There cannot be

PonkbutlerPonkbutler2 days ago

0 Recommend

It’s time for change

I have finally realised that the “chumocracy” of the 3 main parties and major corporations is slowly destroying the fabric of our society.

Gwyn TullGwyn Tull2 days ago

2 Recommend

Switching from Conservative to Green in three years

At the last election I was left wondering who to vote for. I’d just left university and it seemed that job prospects would be poor for my y

Ben HickmanBen Hickman2 days ago

1 Recommend

An Alternative, Disillusioned Labour Voter.

I am from the Labour Heartland of all Labour heartlands Huyton in Liverpool, an area where very few vote any way other than Labour, I am al

davestanleylfcdavestanleylfc2 days ago

2 Recommend

Best of the Worst

As a left winger, it has recently come to my attention that I have no trust left in Labour. I believe that the power structure at the heart

Tomas Hedwyn SavageTomas Hedwyn Savage2 days ago

2 Recommend

Comparing polices, the Greens win, and now I believe no vote is wasted

No party is perfect, but every time I “vote for polices”, the Green Party wins. They represent my views better than any other party current

Nathan WadeNathan Wade2 days ago

0 Recommend

Universal Basic Income

I thought the Greens were just about environmentalism, chemophobia and other unscientific policy. Only through my own research have I found

Will FletcherWill Fletcher2 days ago

1 Recommend

i joined them

I’m a natural Labour voter. I’m a former youth worker, and worked in various charity sectors. I’ve seen how hard it is when funding is take

Paul SavagePaul Savage2 days ago

1 Recommend

Lack of true alternatives

Below the voting age in 2010, I formerly supported the Lib Dems, with their sensible policies and status as a large party, however their ch

Tom RichardsonTom Richardson2 days ago

1 Recommend

New GP member – former lib dem student then climate activist.

As a student during the 2005 election I joined the Lib Dems. This seems ridiculous today but at the time they were the mainstream party of

Sockpuppet563Sockpuppet5632 days ago

2 Recommend

Just joined Green party a couple of days ago…

After supporting the Labour party for most of my voting life and being a card carrying member for the past year, I switched my allegiance t

AKJBronxAKJBronx2 days ago

0 Recommend

Recently joined the Green party?

Do you care about people who have joined the SSP? It’s seen a proportionally larger number of people joining.

Mark HodkinsonMark Hodkinson2 days ago

1 Recommend

An Internationalist Ecological Society is essential to justice

I joined the Greens after doing an online blind poll to see which party’s policies i supported. I came out being nearly all Green. I knew t

eartheart1eartheart12 days ago

0 Recommend

First time local Green Candidate

I joined the Green Party last year and stood as a candidate in the local elections in May. Previously I was a labour supporter but as an NH

ID9918469ID99184692 days ago

0 Recommend

I recently joined the Green Party. Why Choose the Green Party?

Because they are the only sane voice on the left. Labour is committed to the neoliberal, global capitalist project and have made themselves

greenliberalgreenliberal2 days ago

0 Recommend

The only party that supports a common good

I was previously a Labour voter and even live in a marginal seat, but Labour do not go anywhere near far enough to work for the benefit of

Jon YoungJon Young2 days ago

0 Recommend

The current system failed me

After all my training and best efforts, I have failed to find a job which I want or are able to stay within. This is based on the condition

JackamomoJackamomo2 days ago

4 Recommend

Recent new Green Party Member

I’ve been to the left of politics since I was a student, having been active in the Labour Party in the 1990s, becoming Secretary for 2 ward

David DerbyshireDavid Derbyshire2 days ago

Help re-elect Caroline Lucas as MP for Brighton Pavilion


It’s essential that Caroline Lucas is re-elected to Westminster in 2015; it’s essential for the people of Brighton Pavilion; but it’s also essential for all of us who want to make sure that Green policies, the only kind of policies that are designed for the Common Good, impact on the Westminster agenda. Read on to see why and how you can help.

You probably don’t need reminding, either, that with the ‘first past the post’ electoral system to achieve this, we have a mountain to climb.

But we do have things to cheer about: and there’s nothing more important on the list of things we have to cheer about than the fact that in Caroline Lucas, MP, we actually do have one Green MP; and more to the point: we have a fantastic MP! An MP who is working hard for her constituents in Brighton Pavilion, but who is also working hard to bring Green policy to the discussion of the House of Commons.

Just a few reasons why we can’t do without Caroline in the House of Commons:

See some of the priorities she’s working on look at her website:

See how hard she is working, have a look at the number of Early Day Motions she has proposed, seconded and signed:

Early Day Motions (despite Bridgend MP, Madeleine Moon refusing to have anything to do with them) are an important way to put issues on the agenda.
Have a look at the Private Members Bill[1] she has put forward (first reading was on 7 July 2014); it has had its second reading; it may even get passed during this Parliament.


(Note the Plaid Cymru support for Caroline)

Why is it at stake?

In 2010, Caroline won Brighton Pavilion with a majority of just 1252 votes from Labour. That’s a very narrow margin. If you look at the percentage of the vote for different parties[2] you’ll see clearly how narrow it is:


And because it’s so close, and because for Labour a Green MP is a real thorn in the side (because that allows us to show the voting public that the Green Party is the only real voice of the Left, the only real voice for the Common Good), Labour have made Brighton Pavilion one of its top targets to win.

But it is only one of their top targets to win. For us, it is the top target to win again.

So all of us – irrespective of the work we will have to and want to do in our own constituencies – will need to support the re-election of Caroline Lucas as MP for Brighton Pavilion.

How can you contribute?

The easiest way to help is to contribute to the campaign financially; and whatever else you might want to do, please consider this, and consider it urgently. The sooner the campaign can raise funds, the sooner they can be allocated and spent. And don’t forget, that nearer the time of the General Election spending is severely limited. So early spending really counts.

We will also be looking to organise groups to go down and help with canvassing and anything else that needs doing nearer the time. watch this space.

You can donate on line here:

How Welsh MPs voted on going to war in Iraq again


Martin Caton (Gower) – Labour
Paul Flynn (Newport West) – Labour
Sian James (Swansea East) – Labour
Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East & Dinefwr) – Plaid Cymru
Hywel Williams (Arfon) – Plaid Cymru


Chris Bryant (Rhondda) – Labour
David Hanson (Delyn) – Labour
Elfyn Llwyd (Dwyfor Meirionnydd) – Plaid Cymru
Simon Hart (Carmarthen West & Pembrokeshire South) – Tory


Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) – Labour
Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley) – Labour
Wayne David (Caerphilly) – Labour
Geraint Davies (Swansea West) – Labour
Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South & Penarth) – Labour
Chris Evans (Islwyn) – Labour
Hywel Francis (Aberavon) – Labour
Nia Griffith (Llanelli) – Labour
Peter Hain (Neath) – Labour
Dai Havard (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney) – Labour
Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore) – Labour
Susan Elan Jones (Clwyd South) – Labour
Ian Lucas (Wrexham) – Labour
Madeleine Moon (Bridgend) – Labour
Jessica Morden (Newport East) – Labour
Paul Murphy (Torfaen) – Labour
Albert Owen (Ynys Mon) – Labour
Chris Ruane (Vale of Clwyd) – Labour
Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent) – Labour
Owen Smith (Pontypridd) – Labour
Mark Tami (Alyn & Deeside) – Labour
Mark Williams (Ceredigion) – Liberal Democrat
Roger Williams (Brecon & Radnorshire) – Liberal Democrat
Jenny Willott (Cardiff Central) – Liberal Democrat
Guto Bebb (Aberconwy) – Tory
Alun Cairns (Vale of Glamorgan) – Tory
Stephen Crabb (Preseli Pembrokeshire) – Tory
David Davies (Monmouth) – Tory

Spineless Madeleine Moon succumbs and votes for another futile war

Here we go again. We never seem to learn.

I thought our Labour MP, Madeleine Moon, was asking most of the right questions on Thursday. She posted this on Facebook:
As we move towards tomorrow’s debate I remain very worried about air strikes leading to mission creep.
Questions I feel need answering include;
What role will the Gulf states play militarily?
What role will the Sunni tribes play in attacking IS?
What role will the Sunni and Kurds play in a future Iraqi state?
What role will Russia and Iran play in this conflict?
How can we be confident that Iraq will not end up like Libya where a humanitarian mission led to regime change and a failing/ failed state?
Is the Iraqi army capable of following through on the ground after air strikes?
Is it just coincidence that we are having this vote the day before the Conservative conference? And so on.

There were no answers given to any of these questions, but unlike the her colleagues with the courage of their convictions (listed below), she crumbled and vote in favour of war and the death of civilians and the further radicalisation of young Muslims.
Utterly spineless!!

The action is estimated to have a likely financial cost of £3 billion – great investment for the Tories chums in the arms trade.
Isn’t it amazing how readily available such cash is for slaughtering people. Imagine what the NHS could do with it or consider this….

You can pass judgement yourselves at the ballot box next year – and that will include judgement on you Madeleine Moon!!
We’ll see you at the hustings!

Roll of Honour: Heres a full list of the 43 MPs who voted against military action in Iraq.


Caroline Lucas

Labour (24)

Diane Abbott
Graham Allen
Anne Begg
Ronnie Campbell
Martin Caton
Katy Clark
Ian Davidson
Paul Flynn
Stephen Hepburn
Kate Hoey
Kelvin Hopkins
Sian James
Mark Lazraowicz
John McDonnell
Iain McKenzie
Austin Mitchell
Grahame Morris
George Mudie
Linda Riordan
Barry Sheerman
Dennis Skinner
Graham Stringer
Mike Wood

Jeremy Corbyn (Teller)

Conservatives (6)

Richard Bacon
John Baron
Gordon Henderson
Adam Holloway
Nigel Mills
Mark Reckless

Lib Dems (1)

Julian Huppert

SDLP (3)

Mark Durkan
Alasdair McDonnell
Margaret Ritchie

Plaid Cymru (2)

Jonathan Edwards
Hywel Williams

Respect (1)

George Gallway

SNP (5 and teller)

Stewart Hosie
Angus Roberton
Mike Weir
Eilidh Whiteford
Angus Brendan McNeill

Mike Wishart (Teller)

Protest: No New War on Iraq!

Begin forwarded message:

From: Cardiff Stop the War <troopsoutcardiff>

Subject: Protest: No New War on Iraq!

Date: 26 September 2014 22:05:58 GMT+01:00

Only 43 MPs voted against the third Iraq War today. The government has won. For: 524 – Against: 43. Government majority: 481
All 4 Cardiff MPs voted for airstrikes, and only 5 Welsh MPs in total voted against: Sian James, Martin Caton, Jonathan Edwards (Labour) and Hywel Williams & Jonathan Edwards (Plaid). With no clear plan, it is likely that air strikes will be thin edge of a bloody wedge leading to “mission creep”, already some leaders are talking of a war that will last years. It is important to take to the streets –

Sunday 28 September, 3 pm
Aneurin Bevan Statue, Queen Street
Bring placards, banners, signs etc

British forces will be back in action in Iraq just three years after the last troops were withdrawn from the catastrophic occupation of 2003-11. The development comes in the same week Tony Blair called for renewed bombing in the region and the possibility of boots on the ground. Some politicians say this new intervention could go on for years.

All the experience of the terrible wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya has shown that western military action only serves to kill innocents, destroy infrastructure and inflames violence.

Isis is a reactionary force, but it is in part a product of the disastrous occupation of Iraq by Western powers. Isis is funded by some of our main allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia. Escalating Western military intervention will do nothing to stop them but will create more suffering and further destabilise the region.


National demonstation a week tomorrow, 4 October, London (see for details in next 24 hours). Get in touch if you would like to go.


Some recent articles exploring the politics, our website – collects many anti-war articles from variety of perspectives and opinions also:

Useful Primer – “It is important for the masses of ordinary people to build an anti-war movement to halt the rush to greater and greater war. Towards that end, I would like to share some Q&A for those who are not well-versed in the complexities of the situation in the region.”

‘Bombing will not destroy Isis, but win it sympathy – or even cause it to mutate into something worse. Only Iraqis and Syrians can defeat Isis. But the US remains determined to keep control of the Middle East, while being unable to find a stable way of doing it. So its response to every failure of intervention is more intervention. The US and its allies are at the heart of the problem in the Middle East, not the solution.’

Paul Flynn MP writing on why he intended to vote No

“When the war drums are beating, party leaders change their personalities. Prime Ministers talk in a different way. They dust down the Churchillian rhetoric and boom out the war jargon. They walk in a different way and strut like petty Napoleons. This is their great chance to write their page in history. Sadly, it’s usually a bloody page with our soldiers making the sacrifices. As in all wars, politicians lie and soldiers die. Only now are we learning the full truth on the political horse trading and vanities that led to the deaths of 16 million people in WWI.”

Plaid Cymru satement on why they would be voting No

“We believe that air strikes will almost certainly result in civilian deaths – as in the case of every other recent Western military intervention in the region and in Afghanistan – and radicalise the young and impressionable…..It is disturbing that the Prime Minister has said that we must not allow “past mistakes” to become an excuse for inaction. The shadow of the Iraq war still looms large – surely we should be learning from history, not forgetting it”

Adam Johannes
Cardiff Stop the War Coalition

Drape The Drones Demo, 21-09-14, Jim Scott’s speech

Jon Plumpton of CND Cymru contacted me a week or so ago asking if I would attend the Drape the Drones event at Aberporth on 21st September, and speak alongside Jill Evans MEP, but as I was planning to be at the Climate March in London, I felt unable to accept. This was a real pity, as it would also have been nice to catch up with Jill (once Chair of CND Cymru) and see how she is getting on with Molly Scott Cato in Brussels.

However, I had a moment of rare inspiration when Jon asked if there was someone from West wales I could recommend in my place. Having met Jim Scott a couple of times, seeing what a good job he was doing setting up a new local party branch in Pembrokeshire, and being aware of his concern for these issues, I proposed that Jim take my place. Jim was delighted to be offered the opportunity and did a fantastic job. The text of his speech is below with a video link at the end.

Enjoy and learn!
Andy C

Drape The Drones Demo, 21-09-14, Jim Scott, Pembrokeshire Green Party

Good afternoon friends and comrades, and thank-you to Drape the Drones and CND Cymru for organizing this wonderful, colourful event today on this International Day of Peace and inviting me to come here today and speak to you on behalf on the Green party, I am from the Pembrokeshire Green party just down the road which we have fairly recently set up.

So, happy autumn Equinox to those of you who celebrate it and may I just say it is very inspiring to see that so many people out here from west Wales and beyond who care so deeply about the despicable state of affairs that the military industrial complex (The War Machine) has led us to; to the point that you have come out here today and given up your Sunday to make a stand against this particularly inhumane technology, namely UAV’s or Drones, a technology that is increasingly taking on larger roles in modern warfare.

At the Green party we are ideologically and diametrically opposed to the West’s addiction to war and we are in full support of this campaign and of CND Cymru in general.

In the British mainstream media we hear so much about threats of terror. We are constantly bombarded with divisive anti-Islamic rhetoric, designed to make us feel divided yet proud and patriotic of our United Kingdom! People argue that our loved ones are sent over to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight for our freedom and democracy and that drones are an essential step towards making this battleground safer for our troops.

What we don’t hear in the media, what they fail to divulge, are the real motivators behind these wars, how the West’s addiction to oil and minerals is driving and perpetuating this onslaught against the earth’s resources and against humanity itself. Not in fact driven by “freedom or democracy”, quite the opposite, these wars are driven by profit, by banks, by the huge international arms trade and multinational companies engaged solely in the exploitation of people and resources across the globe. The media certainly doesn’t mention the vast environmental impact that just the very act of preparation for war has on our planet. If this wasn’t bad enough, we have the politicians to deal with too. Here in the UK, over the last few decades, we have seen us avalanche into neoliberalism and crony capitalism. The very people who are supposedly elected to represent us and represent our views are actually the people signing the cheques and oiling the wheels for the arms dealers, and multi billion pound tax dodgers who profit so much from perpetrating and orchestrating these illegal wars.

Just one example is this is the billions of pounds of our taxes given to private companies for “rebuilding contracts” in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. Not one school or hospital has been built in Afghanistan or Iraq, not one! And to compound this, as John Pilger writes, 300 tons of depleted uranium were rained into Iraq from US and UK military aircraft during the last gulf war. The Iraqi population are now suffering a cancer epidemic. In the Basra area, where the Rumaila Oil field is located, they say the depleted uranium blows in the sand. Where once 2-3 cancer patients were reported per month, now there are 30-35 cancer deaths each month, and just as happened in Hiroshima after the atom bomb, there has been a sudden increase of congenital malformations and nearly half of the people in these areas can expect to get cancer. Yet the roads got built and the infrastructure was put in place so that BP can continue to pump out the oil from the Rumaila oil field, which is soon to become the second largest producing oil field on the planet!

Drone warfare surely embodies the epitome of this modern age of organized war for profit. Youngsters who have been bought up on a diet of PlayStation and Xbox can now sit in control centres in the East of England destroying blobs on screens at the controls of these UAV’s, only these blobs on screens are human beings, women, children, farmers and even, quite commonly, first responders. Just as we’ve seen in Gaza recently with the UK/US backed murder of Palestinians, they launch a missile attack; they wait for the ambulance drivers and first responders and then send in another one. The UK and US are not only complicit in this slaughter in Gaza they have their top military men ‘sitting in’ on Israeli command centres, giving them front row seats of this testing of their new toys and scientific innovations. Whether they are buying or selling, this technological and clinical murder of Palestinians is effectively the shopping channel for these profiteering cultivators of war, and when Israeli arms dealers come to London for the arms fairs, they boast that their weapons are “battle tested”, meaning literally that they have tested them out on unarmed civilians in Gaza. So with all the UK government’s support for this, it comes as no surprise that the UK is the second biggest global exporter of arms after (you guessed it) the US.

Sadly the environmental implications of this false addiction to war and oil are far reaching to, In Canada they are destroying swathes of natural forest and displacing many thousands of people in order to extract oil from the tar sands, a procedure that ‘uses’ one barrel of oil to ‘produce’ just two!

In the US Fracking has already caused untold damage to peoples water supplies and air quality. All the evidence suggests that fracking is completely unsafe now, let alone in years to come when the wells degrade and allow highly toxic chemicals into the aquifers and pollute our water supply. But they are planning thousands of fracking wells here in Wales and the UK, and the politicians who have been put in place to regulate fracking here aren’t just cozying up with the fracking companies, they are the owners and directors of the fracking companies too.

This all makes for grim reading and I do apologize if I have just thoroughly depressed you!

But I am sure that you have come here today because you want change; want a positive and peaceful future, and like us at the Green Party and those at CND Cymru, you will not stop until you get it.

Just like 45% of the Scots, people are waking up to the realities of those who seek to exploit them.

Rather than allowing this minority ruling class of disaster capitalists to profit from their ‘real life’ war games, whilst orchestrating austerity for the rest of us with all our safety nets removed, we could be building a better future for all beings on this planet, and planning for a future where no-one lives in poverty or scrapes by on poverty wages.

Rather than profiteering from the development of technologies designed to murder people by remote control, we could expand the technology of renewables. Just here, in Wales alone, we have a surplus of potential wave and wind. Why not invest in that?

Rather than deliberately causing, funding and creating instability in the Middle East for oil and profit, we could be nurturing stability and peace, we could scrap trident and set an example to the rest of the world that our future–our children’s future cannot be based on fear and the threat of catastrophic world war.

We can build a future based on peace and unity and on solidarity with our brothers and sisters, from whatever piece of this earth they happen to inhabit,

We can start to build a future where the success of humanity is not measured by how much money can be made from exploiting and murdering our neighbours in a free market environment that benefits just the few, but a future where the success of humanity is measured by how well we all look after one and other and how well we protect the planet that we live and rely on.

Thank you.


This image has been doing the rounds on social media and has got me thinking about a few things.

Firstly, is this actually true?
Having spent a few hours researching online, the only evidence remotely contrary to this assertion I could find was a 2011 survey in Jamaica that suggested that around 60% of those surveyed thought Jamaica would have been better off had it remained a UK colony.

Secondly, how accurate is the 140?
Again my research has identified 126, rather than 140, but there are a few grey areas. Whatever, it is well over half the roughly 200 countries on the planet today, that have gained independence since 1945.

Thirdly, how many of these have gained independence from the UK?
I make it 48 (or about 38% of the total) and with the possible exception of Jamaica, I can find no evidence of any of them remotely regretting their decision.

Most are much smaller and less wealthy countries than Scotland. And none of them are known as the Brave either!!

There is only one possible conclusion. Scotland will not regret becoming independent.

Voting NO will consign generations of Scots to the regret of what might have been, and the rule of fear over hope.


Countires gaining independence since 1945:

Date of independence Alphabetical list of countries UK
July 5, 1962 – Algeria
November 11, 1975 – Angola
January 11, 1981 – Antigua and Barbuda UK
Sept. 21, 1991 – Armenia
August 30, 1991 – Azerbaijan
July 10, 1973 – Bahamas UK
August 15, 1971 – Bahrain UK
March 26, 1971 – Bangladesh
November 30, 1966 – Barbados UK
August 25, 1991 – Belarus
Sept. 21, 1981 – Belize UK
August 1, 1960 – Benin
August 8, 1949 – Bhutan
March 3, 1992 – Bosnia and Herzegovina
September 30, 1966 – Botswana UK
January 1, 1984 – Brunei UK
August 5, 1960 – Burkina Faso
January 4, 1948 – Burma UK
July 1, 1962 – Burundi
November 9, 1953 – Cambodia
January 1, 1960 – Cameroon
July 5, 1975 – Cape Verde
August 13, 1960 – Central African Republic
August 11, 1960 – Chad
July 6, 1975 – Comoros
August 15, 1960 – Congo, Dem. Rep. of the
June 30, 1960 – Congo, Republic of the
August 7, 1960 – Cote d’Ivorie
June 25, 1991 – Croatia
August 16, 1960 – Cyprus UK
January 1, 1993 – Czech Republic
June 27, 1977 – Djibouti
November 3, 1978 – Dominica UK
May 20, 2002 – East Timor
October 12, 1968 – Equatorial Guinea
May 24, 1993 – Eritrea
August 20, 1991 – Estonia
October 10, 1970 – Fiji UK
August 17, 1960 – Gabon
February 18, 1965 – Gambia, The UK
April 9, 1991 – Georgia
March 6, 1957 – Ghana UK
February 7, 1974 – Grenada UK
October 2, 1958 – Guinea
Sept. 24, 1973 – Guinea-Bissau
May 26, 1966 – Guyana UK
August 15, 1947 – India
August 17, 1945 – Indonesia
May 14, 1948 – Israel
August 6, 1962 – Jamaica UK
May 25, 1946 – Jordan
December 16, 1991 – Kazakhstan
December 12, 1963 – Kenya UK
July 12, 1979 – Kiribati UK
August 15, 1945 – Korea, North
August 15, 1945 – Korea, South
February 17, 2008 – Kosovo
June 19, 1961 – Kuwait UK
August 21, 1991 – Kyrgyzstan
July 19, 1949 – Laos
Sept. 6, 1991 – Latvia
October 4, 1966 – Lesotho UK
December 24, 1951 – Libya
March 11, 1990 – Lithuania
Sept. 8, 1991 – Macedonia
July 26, 1960 – Madagascar
July 6, 1964 – Malawi UK
August 31, 1957 – Malaysia UK
July 26, 1965 – Maldives UK
Sept. 22, 1960 – Mali
Sept. 21, 1964 – Malta UK
October 21, 1986 – Marshall Islands
November 28, 1960 – Mauritania
March 12, 1968 – Mauritius UK
November 3, 1986 – Micronesia, Federated States of
August 27, 1991 – Moldova
June 3, 2006 – Montenegro
March 2, 1956 – Morocco
June 25, 1975 – Mozambique
March 21, 1990 – Namibia
January 31, 1968 – Nauru
August 3, 1960 – Niger
October 1, 1960 – Nigeria UK
August 14, 1947 – Pakistan UK
October 1, 1994 – Palau
Sept. 16, 1975 – Papua New Guinea
Sept. 3, 1971 – Qatar UK
August 24, 1991 – Russia
July 1, 1962 – Rwanda
February 22, 1979 – Saint Lucia UK
January 1, 1962 – Samoa
July 12, 1975 – Sao Tome and Principe
April 4, 1960 – Senegal
June 5, 2006 – Serbia
June 29, 1976 – Seychelles UK
April 27, 1961 – Sierra Leone UK
August 9, 1965 – Singapore
January 1, 1993 – Slovakia
June 25, 1991 – Slovenia
July 7, 1978 – Solomon Islands UK
July 1, 1960 – Somalia UK
July 9, 2011 – South Sudan
February 4, 1948 – Sri Lanka UK
Sept. 19, 1983 – St Kitts and Nevis UK
October 27, 1979 – St Vincent and the Grenadines UK
January 1, 1956 – Sudan UK
November 25, 1975 – Suriname
Sept. 6, 1968 – Swaziland UK
April 17, 1946 – Syria
Sept. 9, 1991 – Tajikistan
April 26, 1964 – Tanzania UK
May 27, 1960 – Togo
June 4, 1970 – Tonga UK
August 31, 1962 – Trinidad and Tobago UK
March 20, 1956 – Tunisia
October 27, 1991 – Turkmenistan
October 1, 1978 – Tuvalu UK
October 9, 1962 – Uganda UK
November 24, 1991 – Ukraine
November 2, 1971 – United Arab Emirates UK
Sept. 1, 1991 – Uzbekistan
July 30, 1980 – Vanuatu UK
Sept. 2, 1945 – Vietnam
May 22, 1990 – Yemen UK
October 24, 1964 – Zambia UK
April 18, 1980 – Zimbabwe UK
March 24, 2016 ?? SCOTLAND ?? UK