Friday, 30 April 2010

The Common People vs. Cameron

Further to my earlier post and tweets...
This is genius!

My leaders debate...

67 tweets in total this time... And I ate dinner (with a group of Green friends), during!
[Read up from the bottom}

My @GreenRupertRead debate tweets:
1. @07948480070 And while we're at it, why not abolish taxes on the rich altogether,so that they can hire even more 'help'?!.. Er.. #DebatePlus1 minute ago via TweetDeck in reply to 07948480070
2. @thomaslowe87 In other countries, e.g. most European countries, a far higher proportion are willing to rent. We need a culture shift on this2 minutes ago via TweetDeck in reply to thomaslowe87
3. Cameron won? - I'm a monkey's uncle: That Cameron is credited by most outlets with having won last night's debat... 1 hour ago via twitterfeed
4. RT @Jo_Cox1: There are still so many unanswered questions from Tories: what cap on immigration? Why cut inheritance tax? business tax?about 11 hours ago via TweetDeck
5. RT @willself: You would think from the #leadersdebate that it is the norm to be anti-immigrants in this country. Can we get #iloveimmig...about 12 hours ago via web
6. Nick Robinson talking sh*te about immigration 'exploding' as an issue in this debate. Stop making things up, Nick! #leadersdebateabout 12 hours ago via TweetDeck
7. RT @ns_mehdihasan: Could GB not have said one positive thing about Labour's record in office? Minimum wage? Paid holiday? Better hospitals?about 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
8. RT @sianberry: DC 'change we need!', NC 'yes we can?', GB (traditional) 'don't risk it' #leadersdebateThere'sonly2kindsofelectioncampaignsabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
9. ...and the winner is... NOTA. So @CarolineLucas wins by default! :-) To find out more, check out #DebatePlusabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
10. RT @KaieteurDevon: @CarolineLucas should be at#leadersdebate These chaps are monotonous, false #DebatePlus #greenpartyabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
11. @stsquad No - My point is: A plague on both their houses.#ImvotingGreen #DebatePlusabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to stsquad
12. RT @campbellclaret: Dave hasn't told many anecdotes this week. Perhaps the black man from Plymouth told him not to.#leadersdebateabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
13. RT @heraclitus: Inequality went through the roof under the Tories.#LeadersDebateabout 13 hours ago via web
14. RT @campbellclaret: Go on Gordon - another inheritance tax mention. Another DC wince. > Yes!about 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
15. Did Clegg really just say "one of the biggest - SORT OF - pledges in our manifesto"...?!! ;-) #leadersdebate #ge2010about 13 hours ago via web
16. RT @AdamRamsay: #debateplus #leadersdebate but will you bring back student grants? #ImvotingGreenabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
17. RT @heraclitus Well to be honest,no one has 'won' this.We've all lost the election though. #LeadersDebate >Not if we #VoteGreen!#DebatePlusabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
18. RT @caspertk: I have a plan! #leadersdebateabout 13 hours ago via web
19. RT @garydunion RT @Charlotte82: I am a real person. I don't have concerns about Immigration. Who's listening to me?#leadersdebateabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
20. @johnprescott True, John, but WHY HAVEN'T YOU RESTORED BUILDING OF COUNCIL HOUSES, AND REINED IN THE RIGHT TO BUY? You are just as bad...about 13 hours ago via TweetDeck in reply to johnprescott
21. RT @sianberry: What exactly is there at the top of the 'housing ladder'? Cheaper homes for rent is what I want #leadersdebate#debateplusabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
22. RT @sianberry: A very good point when we all spend 1hr+ a day at it! RT @AdamBienkov Has transport been mentioned once in any#leadersdebateabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
23. @garydunion Exactly. Having an inflated housing market has been part of our PROBLEM in Britain, for years now.about 13 hours ago via web
24. RT @garydunion: @RupertRead It's such an odd economic goal. We already have a weirdly high own-occupy rate by int'l standards - why prio ...about 13 hours ago via web
25. RT @AdamRamsay: #leadersdebate stand up for an amnesty Nick. If not, what'sthepointofyourparty?> #GreenParty will stand up for whats rightabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
26. Damn right: RT @campbellclaret Cameron still has not answered inheritance tax question. 4 times asked. 4 times not answered#leadersdebateabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
27. RT @sianberry: I think Clegg has now scored 4 times with 'point-scoring' #leadersdebate > Would that @CarolineLucas were there!#debateplusabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
28. RT @sunny_hundal: The debate pretty left-wing in content: on saving public services, bashing bankers, helping poor & developing industryabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
29. RT @AdrianRamsay: I'll be responding to the #leadersdebate on BBC1 and Radio 4 & 5 after it finishes #debateplusabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
30. RT @AdamRamsay: #leadersdebate #debateplus I can hear the dog whistle Nick #voteGreenabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
31. RT @mr_andy_c: Oooh, you can hear from the Greens on the News after the debate. @carolinelucas should be on debate#thanksfornothing #le ...about 13 hours ago via mobile web
32. RT @heraclitus: Oh here we go, immigration, out toughing one another while we ship people back to their countries to be tortured.#Lead ...about 13 hours ago via mobile web
33. Yey, at last the #GreenParty gets a mention! #DebatePlusabout 13 hours ago via mobile web
34. RT @charliewhelan: Cam still refusing to answer questions put by Gordonabout 14 hours ago via mobile web
35. RT @carboncoach: Greens will fight for community banks, credit unions and mutuals so those who need financial help are given realistic l ...about 14 hours ago via mobile web
36. RT @garydunion: You're an idiot, Clegg. Did you really just use "conservative" as a synonym for "good"? Protip: ...about 14 hours ago via mobile web
37. RT @kitfriend: We're going to need a Clegg-says-political-point-scoring-ometer soon #bullshitbingo #leadersdebateabout 14 hours ago via mobile web
38. RT @CathElliott: Yes RT @leongreen: RT @sunny_hundal Is Clegg over-doing it on the 'all this political point-scoring is getting too much ...about 14 hours ago via mobile web
39. RT @heraclitus: Wow, listening to David Cameron whose party made modern casino city claiming it is a problem is the economy was unbalanc ...about 14 hours ago via mobile web
40. Cameron is being KILLED on inheritance tax. #GreenParty has the fairest policy on inh tax: tax the recipient. #debateplus#leadersdebatesabout 14 hours ago via mobile web
41. RT @carboncoach: Greens would bring in Tobin ('Robin Hood') Tax raising huge sums... #leadersdebate #DebatePlus #greenpartyabout 14 hours ago via mobile web
42. RT @BeccaLewisSmith: Anyone else feel like we've heard these sound bites before? #leadersdebateabout 14 hours ago via mobile web
43. RT @heraclitus: Got to say, on this stuff, Brown is pretty strong. Inheritance thing is an absolute mill stone for talking about fairnes...about 14 hours ago via mobile web
44. RT @channel4news: RT @mrchrisaddison: Sky poll just in! David Cameron won the debate! #leadersdebateabout 14 hours ago via mobile web
45. Camewrong is performing 'well' - but nastily. #leadersdebate#ge2010about 14 hours ago via mobile web
46. Half an hour on economy and then a torrent of bigotry? My fear for the #leadersdebateabout 14 hours ago via mobile web
47. RT @ns_mehdihasan: @sunny_hundal So Sunny, whaddya think? First or second question on immigration once the economy bit's over tonight?> :-(about 15 hours ago via TweetDeck
48. Will there be a question in tonight's leadersdebate on BIGOTRY, to accompany the inevitable immigration question?... AM Apr 29th via Facebook

And my @RupertRead debate tweets:
1. RT @DanMitchelmore: RT @AdamRamsay: #debateplus#leadersdebate complete lack of serious economic discussion. We need to restructure/buil ...about 12 hours ago via web
2. RT @manishtasunnia: @mauvedeity Vote for the Green Party which have been denied representation #GreenParty #debateplusabout 12 hours ago via web
3. RT @carboncoach: o dear BBC give UKIP a prime slot for nasty play for racist vote, why no sanity and common sense voice from Green #lead ...about 12 hours ago via web
4. Who are these awful people who think Cameron won the debate? ;-) HE is awful...about 12 hours ago via TweetDeck
5. RT @georgeeaton: Interesting that the Economist last endorsed the Tories in 1997. What were they thinking then?!about 13 hours ago via web
6. @Kaihsu #DebatePlus has been good - we need to keep spreading the word now!about 13 hours ago via web in reply to Kaihsu
7. RT @campbellclaret: Cameron looking after the poor? Yeah. And Burnley will win the Champions League next yearabout 13 hours ago via web
8. RT @sianberry: DC 'i've got a great team behind me'. Whole country thinks of Osborne and disagrees #leadersdebateabout 13 hours ago via web
9. You're 'right', Nick - but the only Party that will bring clean politics and real change is #Green . LibDem dirty politics RULES YOU OUT...about 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
10. RT @manishtasunnia: Cut class sizes, bring back grants, abolish tuition fees... Vote Green! #LeadersDebate #GreenParty#debateplusabout 13 hours ago via web
11. Starting to get bored of #leadersdebate now. The agenda is far too narrow. BRING ON @cAROLINElUCAS ! #VoteGreenabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
12. RT @FakeNickClegg: Vince has made me some economy notes but his handwriting's worse than Gordon's. I suppose they are both doctors... #l ...about 13 hours ago via web
13. RT @FakeNickClegg: If you see me scribbling i'm not taking notes, i'm drawing characatures of the audience. Going to sell them outside...about 13 hours ago via web
14. #GreenParty policy: The right to rent. NO repossession, if you can and want to carry on renting, instead. #Leadersdebate#DebatePlusabout 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
15. "No life on the dole, that's my policy" - Brown. Sounds like this unpleasant man wants to shoot the unemployed. A modest proposal?about 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
16. The #GreenParty would build lots of new Council housing. That's in our manifesto - not in the LibDems'! #debateplus #leadersdebate#ge2010about 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
17. Brown: "I want to create an owner occupied majority in this country." WHY? You sound just like Thatcher, mate! We need more COUNCIL housing.about 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
18. ‘Yes or No’ - Like it!!about 13 hours ago via TweetDeck
19. How predictable: The Beeb covers itself by getting a black bloke to ask a predictable (bigoted?) question...about 13 hours ago via web

Cameron won? - I'm a monkey's uncle

That Cameron is credited by most outlets with having won last night's debate – despite his vapidity, his utter failure to answer key questions put to him directly by Brown and Clegg (letalone his failure, admittedly shared by the other 2, to say where the savage cuts they are all tacitly planning are going to fall), and the repulsiveness of much of his agenda (his obvious bias toward the rich on issues such as inheritance, the pretty evident insincerity of his pro-poor soundbites – plus the general return of the nasty Party, in his rhetoric on immigration, welfare, etc.) – is a reflection of a combination of a corrupt media culture (large sections of the media have decided to twist and deceive as much as necessary to get Brown out and Cameron in), a failed format for the debates (no provision to insist upon answers to questions – and no presence for the smaller Parties, such as the Greens, who would really shake up the status quo), and a British public that now has such low expectations of politics that it is prepared to see this shallow old Etonian as their representative and as an 'improvement'.

God save us all.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Correcting LibDem misinformation

 It is very sad to see the LibDems continuing to mislead Norwich voters at every opportunity - in spite of the fact that their candidate claimed that he would run a 'Clean Campaign', following the Green Party's initiative of a Clean Campaign Pledge in Norwich South.
 In their latest leaflet, the LibDems try their hardest to pull the wool over voters' eyes about what happened in last year's elections. They fail to point out that I (as the Green Party candidate) came within just 1% of winning a seat in the European Parliament, and was the runner-up - and that if it hadn't have been for LibDem lies about me being 'out of the race', I could very easily have been elected.
 During the Norwich North byelection, they took some words of mine from THE TIMES and printed leaflets saying that those words proved that I was admitting that I could not win that byelection. In their latest leaflet in this election, they claim that I insisted during that campaign that I COULD win the byelection. Make your mind up, LibDems - you can't have it both ways! (Maybe you think you can, because you are so used to sitting on fences... ;-)
 Once, long ago, I was a LibDem, for my sins... Every time one of their manipulative pieces of paper comes through my door, I thank my stars that I'm now with the Green Party, instead. And that the Green Party may now be poised on the edge of a famous victory, here in Norwich South. That's certainly how the posters look, across the constituency - overwhelmingly Green, with few LibDem posters in most parts of the city.
 In last year's Norwich North byelection, the LibDem vote fell substantially - while the Green Party vote more than tripled. Norwich South is our stronghold, where we outnumber LibDem Councillors two to one (ALL the Green Norwich City Councillors are in Norwich South). In Norwich South, if voters vote for what they want, they will get a Green MP: brilliant local man and experienced Councillor Adrian Ramsay.
 But you won't find any of that information on LibDem leaflets!

Vote for what you believe in

There's 1 week to go... The still-increasing prospect of a balanced (aka 'hung') Parliament is good news for those of us who believe that it is high time that Britain recognised that it has multi-Party politics, and that British politicians need to work together, across Party lines, to secure a democratic mandate. However, it is distressing to see that the Party still managing to stay narrowly out in front in the national polls (the Conservative Party) is the Party most firmly committed to massive government cuts (rather than to what is obviously needed: investment in a 'Green New Deal') and to shrinking the state and to deregulation (when the gathering climate crisis - not to mention the last three years of unprecedented financial crisis - have demonstrated with absolute clarity the need for strong state action to prevent complete meltdown).
It's time for real change. Sending Green Party MPs to Westminster, where they might play a crucial role in influencing for the better the policies of a minority government, or at least in preventing the dismal plans of the old Parties, is now the most positive and effective way in which voters can act.
Luckily the Green Party is now stronger than it has ever been before, and is for the first time ever in realistic contention to win in some seats, such as here in Norwich South, where I'm writing from. The Conservatives are weak here, and (to judge from all the posters on the streets, and from what people are saying to me on the doorstep) it is the Green Party that is in potential contention to take this seat from Labour.
The national debates have enabled many citizens to recognise that they can look beyond the old Parties.
Here, and in a number of other places in Britain, that certainly can and clearly should now mean: voting for the Greens. So that we can win.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Greens winning posterwar handsdown

There's 16 Green posters up in my street; and 1 Labour one, 1 LibDem, and 1 Conservative.
That's exactly how I like it. It shows that the other Parties are trying - and failing miserably. 

LibDems NOT clean: Labour tells it as it is

Scroll down for a superb letter from respected Labour activist Jane Roberts:
She writes: "I have considerable respect for a number of national Lib Dem politicians and Nick Clegg does indeed have a compelling, straightforward style of talking, so important now for any party leader. But what sticks in my craw is the notion that the Lib Dems represent a new and different type of politics. In local elections, Lib Dems have long been the most shameless, unscrupulous campaigners of any mainstream party. Let's not kid ourselves that the Lib Dems have the high moral ground." Jane Roberts, Former Labour Leader of Camden Council
Bang on the money.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Being interviewed by the BBC last week in Norwich South, while Adrian spoke at a public meeting.

Monday, 26 April 2010

UKIP's carcrash redux

A good detailed blogpost on the disastrous UKIP candidate for nearby Broadland constituency...:

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Compass and tactical voting - a step in the right direction

Well done Compass: . Nevertheless, this news will be of marginal interest to British politics so long as Compass remains in effect a Labour faction, closed to other Parties. The really radical step would be to permit Greens, LibDems, Respectites, Scots Nats etc to join. Then we would be able to talk about a realignment of progressive politics in Britain

Weakness of government's lowcarbon plan

Friday, 23 April 2010

Progressives reactions to the attacks on Clegg etc.

...Can we have a bit less bleating about the poor little LibDems, please? If they weren't by and large such filthy campaigners, they would deserve the sympathy they are currently getting. But they are. So they don't.
(Unless and until they change their ways, and stop the misrepresentations that disfigure every single leaflet they put out.)
I hope we get a hung Parliament. But it would be more likely, if there weren't more and more people fed up to the gills with the distorted graphs, '2 horse race' distortions and untruths, unpleasant personal attacks etc., that are most LibDem electioneers' stock in trade
See for instance When challenged by Michael Crick, Nick Clegg defended the vicious attacks on me by the LibDems in Norwich North, last year. When he expresses contrition, then maybe I'll think about jumping on the Cleggmaniac bandwagon.
Not before.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Me on telly tonight: Iplayerlink

 I'm on [BBC TV] here talking about cleaning up politics, approx 17-20 minutes into this: From earlier today, when Adrian Ramsay and I visited Norwich's City College.

#Leadersdebate summary - my tweets

My @GreenRupertRead tweets:
  • RT @johannhari101: Even I didn't think Cameron would be this bad.
  • RT @richardpbacon: Sky's exterior lights / collapsing wall is the clear winner tonight.
  • RT @thecraigwood: ""immigration was not a political issue in the past" - words of wisdom from the party of enoch powell" ...
  • RT @Andrew_J_Taylor: Caroline Lucas' reaction to the #leadersdebate on ITV news at 10pm.
  • RT @Flammenfisch: #leadersdebate And the results are in (for me anyway)! Clegg beats Brown on points, both hammer Cameron into atoms.
  • RT @calbish: Quote of the night: "You can't deport 900,000 people - you don't know where they live." #LeadersDebate
  • RT @GreenAmyK: God the #leadersdebate was tedious. Ironic to see 3 dull white men talking about 'change'. Wish my leader had been on too ...
  • RT @garydunion: Clegg win. But wouldn't it have been better with @carolinelucas putting the case against racist and paranoid border policies ...
  • RT @thedharmablues: @Jim_Jepps I know you've read the manifesto! #VoteGreen
  • RT @heraclitus: This immigration 'debate' makes me so angry. Meanwhile an innocent man is being shipped back to be tortured next friday. ...
  • RT @TheGreenParty: ITV reaction after debate from @CarolineLucas .. BBC reax from @AdrianRamsay .. Sky reax tomorrow from @DarrenJohnson ...
  • RT @catherine_mayer: RT @JNSMALL And we're done. Closing arguments. Nada on Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Africa, South America, Asia.. some foreign policy debate... ...
  • Clegg kicking the racist-pandering ass of Cameron (& Brown). :-) #leadersdebate #ge2010
  • Is Cameron's tie a tacit appeal to UKIP nutters? (Sorry, that should have been 'voters'.) #leadersdebate
  • RT @thedharmablues: Doh! I thought Sky News was hosting the foreign affairs debate. I'm such a fool! It's the News of the World debate # ...
  • We need PROPERLY NATIONALISED and REMUTUALISED banks. Only the #GreenParty has the radical answers needed to tame the financial fatcats.
  • RT @pickledpolitics: RT @wdjstraw: Will Cameron retract this blood drenched machete poster?
  • RT @CathElliott: Yep RT @mattytat: Agreeing to the #leadersdebate is probably the decision David Cameron will regret most in his political career ...
  • RT @caspertk: George Osborn as Chancellor. *shudders visible from many in the room*
  • CAMERON IS SO BAD AT THIS! Brown and Clegg much more real-sounding, Prime-Ministerial. #leadersdebate
  • Yes please: a national government of ALL Parties' MPs. Let's have @adrianramsay and @carolinelucas as Ministers! (#leadersdebate)
  • RT @garydunion: RT @charltonbrooker If it's disgraceful to frighten people in an election campaign, why all the hung parliament scaremonering ...
  • RT @campbellclaret: Well done Cameron for taking Clegg down a peg from his sanctimonious high horse on expenses. Is his major donor still on the run... ...
  • RT @thedharmablues: @KemptownBen If only there was a party that had that policy... #VoteGreen #NoDebate
  • RT @KemptownBen: My #Green view on #leadersdebate - No: all pensioners should get min £170 pw (single), £300 (couple) AND free public t ...
  • Hope Miriam Clegg isn't watching; Nick C. wants to shag Mary. (Or is it just that he wants to make it look like he is engagin w. audience)
  • Duckhouses. Lembit Opik's expenses claim for a parking ticket. The old parties are shameful: Time to vote @TheGreenParty
  • RT @catherine_mayer: Little England in action: the Pope's visit gets counted as foreign affairs and foreign affairs debate is woefully bad ...
  • RT @Jim_Jepps: Brown - "your vote matters" - but it doesn't *count* unless you live in a marginal #leadersdebate
  • Is Mary going to be given sole power to decide who gets sacked? #leadersdebate #ge2010 #greenparty
  • RT @mjhsinclair: Another non-policy question, again they'll have to stumble onto the actual governance of the country #leadersdebate
  • RT @Jim_Jepps: I went jogging with a cardinal the other day... #leadersdebate
  • RT @catherine_mayer: #runthatbymeagain? Cameron suggests Brown & Clegg's tributes to Lech Kacynski = praise for Kacynski's party, one of ...
  • @charliewhelan @PatJHennessy Very revealing to see how seriously you take #climatechange : given yr backing of a 3rd runway at Heathrow...
  • Well done Cleg for drawing attention to the Tories' lack of seriousness on #climatechange, demonstrated by their climate-denying Euro-allies
  • RT @patrickharvie: Cameron doesn't want the extra runway at Heathrow, but like the rest does want more aviation capacity elsewhere. #lea ...
  • RT @KemptownBen: #Greens would build no nuclear or coal power stations: massive investment in renewables instead. Would create jobs too. ...
  • RT @KemptownBen: #Green Party guarantee: if I'm elected I will not support war against #Iran. #leadersdebate
  • Anyone noticed how sh*te all the QUESTIONS are in this #leadersdebate? Shows how sh*te SKY are...
  • LibDems are ON THE FENCE about nuclear weapons. Only the #GreenParty is committed to nuclear disarmament
  • RT @AnnaAdamsBBC: Dave agrees with Gordon! #leadersdebate
  • RT @KemptownBen: #Green Party (as you haven't got @carolinelucas on Sky) would bring troops home from Afghanistan...
  • Cameron's speech in brief: 'Helicopters, helicopters, helicopters...' #leadersdebate #ge2010
  • RT @Jim_Jepps: "You two are just squabbling" worked for Clegg last week so hey, it might work for Gordon this time round. #leadersdebate
  • RT @Jim_Jepps: Troops out of Afghanistan #leadersdebate
  • RT @iaindale: Nick Clegg anti American? Brown loses it.
  • @charliewhelan Very sad and very revealing to see a famous Labour spinner belittling the importance of #climatechange. (#leadersdebate)
  • RT @KemptownBen: #leadersdebate: #Green Party - we must be in EU, but fighting for reform and all decisions to be taken at the most local level ...
  • Plus: My @RupertRead tweets:
  • Cameron must've agreed to #leadersdebate against Clegg thinking that Tories could then hoover up LibDem seats. BAD CALL! :-)
  • Overall: Brown and Clegg did OK, Cameron drivelled; #GreenParty Leader @Carolinelucas would have wiped the floor with them all. (#leader ...
  • Brown sabre-rattling on Iran: disgraceful. #leadersdebate
  • Nice one, Sky. Get a black woman to get the 'leaders' to pander to the tacitly-racist anti-immigration lobby. #skyareshite
  • Brown quite right on the nonsensicality of a Tory 'DIY' health service. But Labour too are privatising NHS. #imvotinggreen #leadersdebate
  • Nick fancies Mary. #leadersdebate. By the way, Nick, its TOO LATE to register to vote in #ge2010; didn't you know?
  • Pass the sickbag: Cameron invokes dead Polish Pres purely so as to sound 'concerned'; completely irrelevant to the question. #leadersdebate
  • #leadersdebate: re. #climatechange: The political point isn't what _individuals_ are doing, its what _government_ should do. #imvotin ...
  • Pathetic to hear Cameron defending the Afghan government. Karzai is a corrupt unelected puppet. VOTE GREEN!
  • Wednesday, 21 April 2010

    A perfect parallel: Ashcloud/climate

    Isn't it extraordinary that, while the Precautionary Principle was rightly invoked to stop flights for a week because of the ashcloud... apparently it can't be invoked even to reduce flights (for a long long time) to save the atmosphere, the climate?
    [I owe this thought to my brilliant student and fellow Green Councillor, Ruth Makoff.]

    Conference on the philosophy of Frank Ebersole and of Ludwig Wittgenstein, at Crewe.

    Just a few images from the excellent philosophy conference I attended last week!

    With Kelley Jolley

    With Eugen Fischer

    With Fred Mosedale, John Powell and Don Levi

    Sunday, 18 April 2010


    The Green Party Manifesto was launched late last week. The document was largely authored by my friend, leading political scientist Dr. Andy Dobson.
    Here, on a day of blogging about global poverty, are some key excerpts from the Manifeto that concern relevant matters, on which this my Party is very strong and distinctive:

    The Green Manifesto promotes the concept of 'ecological debt', recognising that rich countries have already imposed billions of pounds worth of damage on poorer countries through their greenhouse gas emissions.

    The Greens propose that at least 1% of UK Gross National Product is spent on aid by 2011. This would be targeted for the poorest, not involve economic policy conditions, respect gender equality and not be diverted to equipping security forces.

    The Green Party would ensure that UK companies operating abroad adhere to environmental and human rights standards and would encourage countries with which the UK works to implement core International Labour Organization standards.

    In order to address the reasons funds flow out of developing countries, the Greens pledge to deliver 100% debt cancellation, to crack down on tax havens (including country by country reporting) and to implement and enforce international conventions against corruption.

    The Green Party manifesto takes a clear position against 'free trade' which has caused greater poverty through increased instability, lower wages and little environmental protection. As an alternative, the Green Party would ensure that trade deals, whether global or with the European Union, allow developing countries to retain control over their economies and do not force through deregulation and liberalisation. We need localisation, not 'globalisation'.

    Also on the international level, the Greens would turn the World Trade Organisation into a General Agreement on Sustainable Trade, which, together with a reformed International Monetary Fund (IMF), would better reflect the interests of smaller countries. The Greens would both work for an international arms trade treaty and reduce arms sales worldwide by ending government support for arms exports.

    The Greens stand for a global treaty on climate change based on a 'Contraction and Convergence' framework in which poorer countries reduce emissions more slowly than rich countries (and in some cases increase them slightly). This would require a UK carbon dioxide emissions reduction target of 10% a year, with the aim of reducing emissions by 90 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030 and 65 per cent by 2020.

    In order to fund the US$150 billion a year of finance that is required for poor countries to adapt to climate change, the Green Party favours the idea of a Robin Hood tax (also known as a financial transactions tax or Tobin tax) on the value of every financial transaction between financial institutions worldwide.

    Saturday, 17 April 2010

    Newest polls show decrease in Tory and Labour support

    This election is wide open now. Voters are more 'partisan-dealigned' than EVER before.
    It's a huge opportunity for ALL Parties that aren't the 'main two'. Clegg's stylish (if fairly substanceless) performance on Thursday night has made people reassess whether they have to vote Labservative. The LibDems will profit in many seats - and the SNP, Plaid, Greens, Respect, independents etc will profit in others.

    Thursday, 8 April 2010

    The political class in crisis: Reflections from outside Parliament

    Wednesday, 7 April 2010

    The political class on Day1 of the election campaign

    I spent yesterday serving as p.a. to Green Party Deputy Leader (and my fellow Norwich Councillor) Adrian Ramsay, in a series of interviews on College Green just outside the Houses of Parliament. Adrian spent the afternoon speaking live to Sky and the BBC, and doing pre-records with numerous other media outlets (from across the world), as the great and the good of politics-as-usual came and went, doing much the same: Peter Mandelson, Alan Duncan, Michael Howard, Ming Campbell, Ben Bradshaw, Ed Balls, David Miliband, Frank Dobson, etc etc. etc. . We spoke with Peter Kellner about our prospects of victory in Norwich South; we spent some time chewing the fat with Martin Bell (who I got along to Green Party Conference a couple of years ago); we had an off-the-record briefing with Iain Dale. The weather was nice, everyone was pleasant, the day went well.

    And the thing that strikes me as so peculiar about the whole thing is this: The beginning of the election campaign takes place in an atmosphere of some excitement among the political class, with the very real prospect of a hung Parliament, and indeed all the one-off chances of influence from the smaller Parties and from independents that that may bring; but there is a terrible disconnect between this political class and the vast crises that our country and our world confront:

    • There is a political crisis, a really deep crisis of confidence and trust in our political institutions and our politicians: and yet the people who I was rubbing shoulders with yesterday are fully expecting still to be basically in charge, after May 6th. Labour may hold on; or the Conservatives may win; or (even if there is a hung Parliament) we might even get a change in the voting system. But what we will not get is a Green government, or a government of independents, or a truly radical participatory democracy emerging. Our system needs more than a mini-shake-up; it needs a revolution, it needs a reboot. But it is apparently simply not going to get one. What I saw yesterday was our political class, nervous about the discontent that they know their subjects feel, but at the end of the day supremely confident that there will be no true game-changer. They will still be there, after May 6th, in their suits, addressing the cameras, in charge.
    • There is an ongoing financial and economic crisis; we have experienced a true system-failure to rival that of 1929 onward: and yet the people holding court on College Green yesterday are only tinkering. There is no Keynesian revolution; there is no programme to rival the New Deal (the Green New Deal plans put forward by Caroline Lucas et al have not been adopted in any serious way, except in a few far-sighted countries such as South Korea); there is no political will to take the banks into lasting public ownership, as we ought to ( ); the great moment of opportunity that a once-in-a-lifetime crisis represents has basically been squandered. I wondered around yesterday almost in a state of disbelief: can it really be that we as a people may be about to put in power a Party (the Conservatives) who are beholden to capital and who believe (most especially, Osborne believes) in deregulation, a small state, and the essential wisdom of ‘the market’? How is it possible that this crisis which has demonstrated an epic ‘market-failure’ has not led us to reconsider (to abandon) the model of neo-liberalism? Once again, this is a symptom of deep political failure: our political system has not risen to the challenge of times requiring massive changes ( ), rather than tinkering. Basically, our system has been ‘captured’ by monied interests in a more profound way than was the case even before the Great Depression. It is in-credible that we are thinking of perpetuating this situation, by returning the Tories to power, at the very time when it is clear that the Tory/New-Labour consensus is just what is to be blame for the situation in the first place.
    • There is an unprecedented ecological crisis gripping our planet, our civilisation: and yet there was simply hardly any talk, in the constant media chatter and interviews yesterday, of this. Our democracy seems incapable of facing up to this, the greatest crisis of all. Our chronic short-termism (see my ) is of course significantly to blame. We as a people cannot bear to question consumerism and to bracket ‘growth’ – and so our ecosystem is inevitably degraded. We are thus the brilliant allies of our own gravediggers.

    These three inter-linked crises haunt me today, as I reflect on what was missing from yesterday’s opening of the election campaign. We must do what we can to change this state of affairs, this state of decay, this state, in these next four weeks. It is inadequate – it is intolerable – to have an election campaign that so desperately fails to measure up to where the citizens are at … and to where the world is at.

    Tuesday, 6 April 2010 review of Rupert'sRead$1322092.htm
    Not bad! :-)

    Norwich South: game on!

    With the election campaign officially ON, please take a minute to help the Green Party win its crucial first seat!:

    Monday, 5 April 2010

    UKIP Eastern Region MEP caught with his financial pants down

    So, it appears that the man who beat me - by just 1% - last summer, to become MEP, may have done so through following in that finest of UKIP traditions - fraud:
    This is a story I shall follow with great interest! ;-)
    This story has - unsurprisingly - gone national and international already, by the way. Here is the Sunday Times original expose:
    Go three and a half minutes in. Agnew ADMITS to taking part in illegal activity.
    This is shameful and disgraceful. He should resign - but, more to the point, maybe UKIP wouldn't have got two MEPs elected AT ALL without the money that it appears from this story they have illicitly siphoned through non-transparent routes.
    There should be a byelection. UKIP should not be allowed to have these MEPs, which it has seemingly won in an ill-gotten manner.
    See also this:
    1. 2. 3. Rupert's Read: April 2010 4. 12. 15. 18. 19. 20. 21.

    Rupert's Read

    22. 23. 31. 32.