Monthly Archives: November 2014

BUS ARRANGEMENTS for Stand Up to UKIP (SUTU) on 06/12/14 at Margam Park

It has been agreed to ask for contributions to the cost of £3 (and £1 concessions).

Book seats with SUTU by emailing standuptoukipwales or phone/text 07704 356894

Begin forwarded message:

All transport arranged and discussed with coach companies

East

Newport Railway Station .. 9.30
Cardiff National Museum .. 10.00
Sarn Services Bridgend .. 10.30

West

Carmarthen Llammas St, Peacocks .. 8.30
Llanelli Town Hall . 9.15
Swansea Guild Hall ..10.00

Port Talbot Railway Shuttle

Bus stop depart ..approx 10.50

The achievements of Brighton & Hove Green Administration

Saddiq Khan, head of Labour’s anti-Green task force, is desperate to unseat Caroline Lucas and the favourite tactic is to try to tar her with the same brush as the Brighton & Hove Green led council. Some have tried to disassociate Caroline from the Council in her city. I am not sure this is a legitimate tactic. I would prefer to see us trumpeting the successes of the Council. They have made some mistakes, for sure, but their list of achievements puts any Labour led local authority that I know about – and most certainly Bridgend CBC – to shame.

Attached is a 6 page pdf of things achieved by the Green administration. Some are more impressive than others, but how many of them would have happened without a Green administration?

Pick out your favourites and have them at your fingertips when canvassing for when people trot out the myth that the country’s only Green Council has been a flop.

A new way to govern –Brighton and Hove pdf

“Archaeology and Climate Change”. Presentation and discussion this Friday

In the Green Room this week…

Friday, NOV. 28, 8pm. “Archaeology and Climate Change”.

Remember the recent uncovering of two 200-year old cannon in Porthcawl?

Is that evidence of climate change?

This continues to be an emotive subject but what evidence is there in man’s past that can contribute to either side of the debate?

Martin Little, resident archaeologist at Porthcawl Museum, will be discussing some familiar and not so familiar historical events involving extreme weather and the affects it had on our communities.

Everyone welcome. Entrance £3

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

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

Sustainable Wales is an environmental charity. Committed to sustainable development, we focus on society, economy, jobs, creativity and the arts and their inter-connection with the natural world.

SUTU (Stand Up To UKIP) Margam Demo

11.00 Saturday 6th December – Margam Park, Port Talbot, SA13 2TJ
UKIP NOT WELCOME HERE

Join the protest at the UKIP Wales Conference – leaflet attached.

On Saturday 29th November we are asking supporters to run a stall and leafleting session for the Margam demo in their local High Street. UKIP will be standing candidates across Wales from Monmouth to Ynys Mon in the General Election in May we need to be building local groups to expose them as the racist, anti-working class, Thatcherite party that they really are.

To volunteer to help locally or get leaflets for your own stall – reply by email to SUTU WALES <standuptoukipwales> or phone/text 07704 356894 giving your contact details, or contact Andy Chyba via the usual channels .

Demo Transport: Coaches will run from (A) Carmarthen – Llanelli – Swansea to Margam and from (B) Newport – Cardiff – Bridgend to Margam. Thanks to Unison union support the fares will only be £3 and £1 concessions. But places are limited so book asap – see contact details above.

There will also be a free shuttle service between Port Talbot Parkway Rail Station and Margam – no need to book.

Rochester – Ukip’s win in Rochester reinforces what a danger they are – just imagine a Tory/UKIP coalition government after next May – a bosses and bigots dream but our nightmare. But also note their underlying weakness. It was only a 51% turn out so they got around 20% of the electorate – 4 out of 5 voters did not support them. That is what we have to build on.

Leaflet (click to enlarge):

DOWNLOAD HERE:

SUTU demo (Margam) both.pdf

Renewable energy co-ops

This is an obstructive move by the FCA that cannot go unchallenged if we are to achieve progress towards an ecosocialist future. Please support.

FCA 38 Degrees Campaign – Support Needed!

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) refuses to allow creation of new renewable energy co-ops – please sign and share the petition

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FCA refuses to allow creation of new renewable energy co-ops – please sign and share the petition

Dear Energy4All Co-op Member/Supporter,

Following on from our email last week regarding the FCA refusing to allow the creation of renewable energy Co-ops I have created a campaign on 38 Degrees “Creation of New Renewable Energy Co-ops Blocked by FCA” and wanted to ask if you could add your name to it.

This campaign is very important and the more support we can get behind it, the better chance we have of succeeding. You can read more and sign the petition here:

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/Energy4All

Thank you!

P.S. Can you also take a moment to share the petition with others? It’s really easy – all you need to do is forward this email or share this link on Facebook or Twitter:

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/Energy4All

Mike Smyth
Chair – Energy4All

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Wales campaigns on 38 degrees

38 Degrees Logo
Dear Andy,

Across Wales, tens of thousands of 38 Degrees members are campaigning for change on issues that matter to all of us. People are coming together to call for a fairer and more sustainable place to live. Together, we’re making our public services work for us – and fighting devastating cuts.

Take a look below at some of the campaigns started by 38 Degrees members in Wales:

In Newport, Rich is campaigning to stop the proposed M4 route – the plans could damage the nature and wildlife at Gwent levels:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/M4

Malcolm has started a petition to save Pontrhydyfen Primary School in Afan Valley from closure. To watch the campaign song by Pontrhydyfen students click the link below:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/Pontrhydyfen

In Neath Port Talbot, Neale is campaigning to get the council to reject all applications for fracking. With your support Neath Port Talbot could become a frack free zone:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/Neath-Port-Talbot

And Len has started a petition asking members of the National Assembly for Wales to stop austerity cuts:
https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/Cuts-in-Wales

Is there an issue you’d like to campaign on? Maybe you want the government to improve NHS services in Wales, or perhaps you want to make your voice heard and campaign for politicians to be more accountable?

With Campaigns by You anyone can start their own campaign with the click of a button. But that’s just where your campaign journey begins. Creating a petition, then sharing it with friends and promoting it locally, can soon give you a groundswell of local support. And hopefully, you’ll end up winning a campaign you really care about.

Click here to get your campaign started today:

START A CAMPAIGN

Thanks for everything you do,

Ali, Amy, Robin and the 38 Degrees team

NHS: Madeleine Moon

38 Degrees

38 Degrees Logo
Dear Andy,

Urgent: on Friday, MPs vote on a new law that would keep the NHS out of TTIP – the US-EU trade agreement that threatens to lock privatisation into public services. [1]

Votes in Westminster on the NHS aren’t usually relevant outside England. This time, it’s different. TTIP could pave the way for sweeping privatisation in our healthcare system across the UK. [2] The government needs to take our NHS off the negotiating table. And Friday is our chance to make sure that happens.

Can you sign a petition to your MP asking them to turn up and vote the right way on Friday? MPs aren’t used to being the target of petitions: the last thing they want is hundreds of their constituents banding together. So the bigger this petition is, the more likely your MP is to listen.

Click here to tell your MP to vote to keep our NHS out of TTIP on Friday:
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/vote-to-save-our-nhs-bridgend

If the vote goes the right way, it would do more than just keep the NHS out of TTIP: it would repeal the worst bits of the Health and Social Care Act. That’s the law that’s been forcing the steady privatisation and break-up of the English health service since 2012. [3]

But for 38 Degrees members living outside of England, Friday’s vote is still really important. If we don’t keep our NHS out of TTIP, it’ll be open season for private healthcare companies.

It’ll be a hard vote to win. But win or not, politicians need to know that 38 Degrees members haven’t given up or gone away – we’re still here, we still care, and we’ll take every opportunity to protect our health services.

Please click here to sign the petition to your MP now, calling on them to turn up in Westminster this Friday and vote to keep our NHS out of TTIP: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/vote-to-save-our-nhs-bridgend

Thanks for being involved,

Susannah, Elizabeth, Rachel, Blanche and the 38 Degrees team

PS: This Friday’s vote is on a “Private Members’ Bill” – a law proposed by a backbench MP. In this case, it’s proposed by a backbench Labour MP called Clive Efford. That means it will be particularly hard to get enough non-Labour MPs to vote for it! But public pressure has persuaded MPs to break ranks with their own party before, so let’s give it a go. Please sign the petition to your MP now:
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/vote-to-save-our-nhs-bridgend

NOTES
[1] International Business Times: TTIP: Labour Vows to Push Bill to Protect NHS from Privatisation:
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ttip-labour-vows-push-bill-protect-nhs-privatisation-1473045
[2] OurNHS: On TTIP and the NHS, they are trying to bamboozle us:
https://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/john-hilary/on-ttip-and-nhs-they-are-trying-to-bamboozle-us
[3] Clive Efford, Labour MP for Eltham, is tabling a Private Member’s Bill for debate in the House of Commons on Friday 21st November. It’s called the National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill 2014-15, and it would amend some of the most controversial bits of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and exempt the NHS from TTIP.

Every year, a small number of backbench MPs have the opportunity to introduce their own legislation to Parliament. Their attempted laws are called Private Member’s Bills. If Clive Efford’s Private Member’s Bill passes, it would reverse many of the worst changes to our NHS.

Politics.co.uk: Labour backs bill to repeal NHS reforms:
http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2014/06/29/labour-backs-bill-to-repeal-nhs-reforms
You can see the bill’s passage through Parliament here:
http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2014-15/nationalhealthserviceamendeddutiesandpowers.html
NHS for sale?: Private providers reports:
http://www.nhsforsale.info/private-providers/private_providers02.html
NHS for sale?: Contract Alert Report (Apr 2013 -Apr 2014):
http://www.nhsforsale.info/privatisation-list/contract-alert/contract-alert-report-april-april.html

People’s Assembly Wales – urgent: Senedd demo tomorrow 12.00

People’s Assembly Wales – group and organisation support discussion list from conference

Dear Colleagues

First a reminder about tomorrow:

1. People’s Assembly Wales demonstration tomorrow 12.00 (noon) (Tuesday 18 November 2014) on the steps of the Senedd. Presenting and supporting the People’s Assembly Wales petition ‘Stop austerity cuts in Wales’.

Together with the written signatures – another 100 collected in Wrexham on Saturday: well done – it has now passed the 1000 mark which is no bad achievement for a hard demand and one campaigned for through ‘word of mouth’ in just over three weeks. Please sign and share if you’ve not already done so: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-austerity-cuts-in-wales-rhowch-stop-ar-doriadau-llym-yng-nghymru

If you can make the demonstration it would really be appreciated. Bring banners and placards along and if you can think of any ‘stunts’ please let us know. We are working on getting the press etc there.

Please let all your supporters know asap and also ask them to keeping signing.

So far most people think we should keep the petition going after the meeting tomorrow as a way of expressing unity against austerity across Wales. What do you think?

2. This coming Saturday 22 November again at 12.00 (noon) at the Senedd will be the Wales Says No to the Bedroom Tax demonstration. Please try and make this: https://www.facebook.com/events/721530277934842/

Keep in touch – we need to organise our anger and outrage!

Len Arthur – People’s Assembly Wales convenor (pro tem)

UKIP – how should we see them?

For a long time I and many others have been guilty of treating UKIP with derision and scorn. We have seen similar responses to the far-right ‘loons’ elsewhere. Who after all doesn’t think Sarah Palin is barking mad? Who does not have nothing but contempt for the le Pen National Front in France? The answer, sad to say, is ‘plenty’.

The politics of protest have clearly changed since my youth; in fact since the Great Depression and the French Revolution really. Until recently, hard times always tended to benefit the progressive left. Many think this is why the Welsh Labour has never even wanted to remove the poverty of the valleys – it keeps them in power in Wales. But the times are a-changing. Partly because, I suspect, of Labour’s clear abandonment of any pretence to be the party of the workers, the poor and the disadvantaged, large swathes of the electorate are buying in to channelling their frustration and resentment towards immigrants, welfare claimants, poorly functioning public services. These are the issues dominating the political agenda. Allied to establishment bias in the media, the left-wing progressives struggle to get a look in.

We hear a lot about the Green Surge, but of course the UKIP surge has been even more impressive in numerical terms. In 2002 UKIP had 3500 more members than us, and despite fluctuations in between, the margin was actually smaller in 2010, with UKIP at 15500 members to our nearly 13000 members. UKIP have maintained an impressive surge since 2010, whereas we plateaued until the turn of this year. This leaves us currently 15000 members behind them today, and our growth rate is currently only slightly better than their this year. We are not going to catch them up any time soon.

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 23.06.49

Since the spate of 6 by-elections in November 2012 (which included Cardiff South & Penarth where Ukip scored 6.1% to just beat our 4.1%) there have been 6 further by-elections where Ukip ranged from 18% to 59.7% (ave. 32%) and we ranged from 0% (DNS) to 3.1% (ave. 2.7% in the 4 we contested)

And this has all happened against a backdrop of repeated charges of racism and sexism and assorted ‘idiots’ saying stupid things that you would have thought would have stopped this surge in its tracks. This is the now infamous ‘car crash’ interview on LBC, just 4 months before getting close to 60% of the vote in Clacton (which is in the LBC broadcasting area)

The small business spokesman mentioned, by the way, is now one of our Welsh MEPs.

So how should we see them? They are clearly well ahead of us in the polls and, although we can keep hoping their bubble will burst soon, there is no evidence of it being imminent. As Natalie Bennett points out, “What Ukip’s rise should do is provoke seriously soul-searching among our political class about why it has been able to get so far with its dangerous, divisive and damaging rhetoric, and been almost unchallenged. The three largest parties haven’t taken on Ukip, but all too often pandered to it, seeking to pull back Ukip voters by outdoing it in rhetoric and policy.”

She goes on to say: “This is not only morally wrong, but politically stupid. By pandering to Ukip’s stance on immigration and Europe, the three largest parties have helped to make its claims that immigration has “caused” low wages, has “caused” housing shortages, has “caused” crowded hospitals and schools seem plausible.”

Natalie dispels the myths of immigrants stealing our jobs (our pay and conditions are among the worst in Europe!), overcrowding our houses (600,000 are empty!), abusing our health service (they keep it running!), and scrounge our benefits (there are Brits doing the same thing all over Europe). But none of these things seem to have a lot of traction on the doorstep. UKIP’s nasty, simplistic ‘blame the foreigner’ message has been tried and tested before. Scapegoating is the easiest way for people to absolve themselves of responsibility for their own predicament.

People are waking up to the fact that their predicament is the result of successive generations putting all their faith in a narrow set of neoliberal policies prescribed as if there is no alternative by the identikit neoliberal parties. UKIP offers the attractive proposition that the reason it has all gone wrong is not your fault for keeping faith with the neoliberals, but the bloody immigrants’ fault for coming in and undermining it all. People that cling to this sort of analysis are not easily shaken.

So what can we do about it in those brief encounters on the doorsteps?

I believe that we need to simply keep pointing out the things that UKIP are ALSO about that nobody else is talking about. You can use this handy flowchart for example, making sure you get to the the bottom. In fact, cut to the chase and go straight to that last purple box. This is where people start to splutter a bit and start thinking UKIP may not be quite representing their interests.
should you vote ukip flowchart
(Created for HuffPost UK Comedy by @unnamedinsider, David Schneider and David Beresford)

You can then start thinking about what the Green Party offers that might appeal. Indeed research suggests (and this made me splutter when I first read it) that 73% of UKIP voters should actually support the Green Party when the do things like Vote for Policies.

For example:
Rail+Nationalisation+Green.png

This is the way to tackle UKIP voters. Engage them in issues that directly impact on them and self-interest will come to fore. A Green Left friend of mine, Martin O’Beirne, puts it well. “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”

I still struggle to respect UKIP politicians (hence my support for the Stand Up to UKIP demo)  – but we have to learn to respect UKIP voters. Labelling them a bunch of racists just plays into UKIP’s hands. Most of the people contemplating voting UKIP have not voted for them in the past. They should be considered non-committed floating voters that we can have an impact on if we engage with them properly.

Now there is real challenge for us all!

Margam anti-Ukip demo

Hi All,

UKIP NOT WELCOME IN WALES

11.00 a.m. Saturday 6th December – Margam Park, Neath Port Talbot, SA13 2TJ
Join the protest at UKIP’s Wales Conference, Called by Swansea Stand Up To UKIP, supported by Unison. Leaflet attached.

WHY? There are many reasons – here are just three:

1. UKIP is racist. Attacks on immigrants are inherent in UKIPs policies – personified by Farage’s “I wouldn’t want Romanian neighbours” – demonstrated in their Swansea West candidates BNP style leaflet which proudly states: “UKIP candidate condemns diversity”

2. UKIP is sexist. Not a single woman in their Wales National Executive. In order to get hundreds of thousands of Euros into the UKIP coffers they have done a deal with a Polish far right group whose leader believes women should not have the vote and that No does not mean No, ”

“Women usually pretend that they don’t want [sex],” he said. “The percentage of women who pretend that they don’t want to have sex, but they do want in fact, is about 30 or 40 percent.” Farage has said, “I have found nothing in this guy’s background to suggest that he is a political extremist at all. “

3. Farage and his deputy leader are both on record as wanting to privatise the NHS. Farage has advocated an ‘insurance scheme’ . We only have to look at the USA to see what a disaster that is. Would you trust his recent u-turn on this?

THERE WILL BE A FREE COACH FERRY FROM PORT TALBOT PARKWAY STATION TO MARGAM PARK – HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE.

SUTU demo (Margam) both.pdf