Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Helpers needed for the Green Left stall at conference

Helpers needed for the Green Left stall at conference. We intend to be distributing the new edition of Watermelon there, but if you have a literature on causes/groups in sympathy with gl aims please bring some for the stall. and please come and visit us any way

Also Green Party Trade Union group will be doing a fundraising raffle, GPTU will need about £300 for new leaflets soon, so if you have a items in good nick that might be suitable prizes, please bring them to the stall and please come and visit us any way.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Greens Say No More Savage Cuts

Greens Say No More Savage Cuts

Six Green cllrs today have vowed to continue to vote against any budget containing cuts at today’s reconvened budget council following failed attempts to agree a budget for 2015-16 last week.

Cllr Philips stated "With women facing 85% of the ConDem Government's cuts, and vulnerable groups, such as people with disabilities being disproportionately affected, it is time to say enough is enough and to refuse to implement further cuts coming down from central government".

Cllr Buckley said “Homelessness has risen 50% since Cameron has been prime minister, austerity has seen violence against women rise, suicides increase and parents having to face the stark choice to heat or eat at a time when corporations pay no tax. Many residents don’t agree with austerity measures and as such we are exercising our democratic mandate to say no to these savage cuts.”

 Cllr Wakefield "As teacher for over 30 years, putting funding into provision for our next generation has to be the right forward-thinking approach. Cutting children and youth budgets is depriving our young people of much needed support, guidance and help'"

 Cllr Jones added "Services provided by local government and the NHS are being undermined and dismantled by stealth because of the funding cuts and outsourcing favoured by this Conservative and Lib Dem Coalition government."

 Cllr Mac Cafferty said "These cuts hurt the most vulnerable members of our society. As local Councillors we have a duty of care to our residents to reject further cuts to public service funding." 

Cllr Ruth Buckley Green councillor for Goldsmid Ward Deputy Leader of B&H Council

Sunday, 1 March 2015

London federation of Green Parties meeting 24/2/15: 21st Century Military Operations/ International Debt / "From Fact to Fiction"

 BEN GRIFFIN: “An Insight into 21st Century Military Operations”

Our perception of modern warfare is shaped by the military through the media, this presentation will offer an insider’s perspective on the nature of modern warfare. Ben Griffin is a former SAS soldier and the Coordinator of Veterans For Peace UK, an Ex-service Organisation that seeks to educate the public on the true costs of war.

DANIEL OZAROW: “Challenging the legitimacy of international debt: Argentina confronts the vulture funds”

The destructive nature of the unregulated global debt system has come under the spotlight following Argentina’s recent “debt default” at the hands of wealthy hedge fund speculators that have held the country to ransom in the pursuit of multi-million dollar profits. Daniel Ozarow, a Jubilee Debt Campaign activist will describe the international ramifications of these “vulture funds’” recent New York court victory against Argentina and explains why a growing movement is challenging the legitimacy of national debts globally by demanding citizens’ audits and subsequent debt cancellation. This, he explains is not only feasible but also integral to creating a fairer and more socially just world. Dr Daniel Ozarow, is a Lecturer at Middlesex University, a Jubilee Debt Campaign activist, co-editor of Argentina since the 2001 Crisis: Recovering the Past, Reclaiming the Future and member of the Green Party.

JENNIFER NADEL : “From Fact to Fiction: Trying to tell the truth”

After a career as a campaigning journalist which saw her reporting for the BBC, ITN and Channel Four News, Jennifer Nadel turned to fiction. Her first YA novel, Pretty Thing, is out this month. In it she tackles the same political issues that she sought to address from behind a microphone. In the process of writing it she discovered that telling the truth without having to rely on facts had some distinct advantages.

Currently Jennifer Nadel is the Green Party general election candidate for Westminster North

Questions and discussion part 1

 Questions and discussion part 2

Jonathan Neale of the Campaign Against Climate Change speaks at the London UCU retired members' meeting 26/2/2015


Jonathan Neale of the Campaign Against Climate Change speaks at the London UCU retired members' meeting 26/2/2015 on the politics of climate change, the CCC pamphlet "1 Million Climate Jobs" (available from http://www.campaigncc.org/greenjobs ) and the Climate Change march on March 7 2015, see http://www.campaigncc.org/TimetoAct

http://youtu.be/gUy3EHtwl6M  Questions and discussion with Jonathan Neale

Monday, 23 February 2015

Anti-TTIP Protest, Brussels, 3-4 February. Day 2

from http://leonora-opera.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/anti-ttip-protest-brussels-3-4-february.html

The second day started with the Trojan Horse Protest outside the European Commission. This protest was organised in cooperation with Friends of the Earth Europe, who made this video of the event. The speakers explain why TTIP is considered to be a Trojan Horse, and why we should protest against it.

After the protest, we all walked (yes, including me!) from the European Commission to the European Parliament, to meet with our Green MEPs.

Our Green MEPs are Jean LambertKeith Taylor and Molly Scott Cato. Here they are at a discussion chaired by a member of the German Greens. They were also joined by Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans, who sits in the European Parliament as a Green. (I could hardly believe that I was really in Brussels, attending a meeting at the European Parliament. And they provided us with lunch!)

The Green Group has consistently opposed TTIP from its inception, as have the Left groups, but apparently not the Social Democrats. The discussion involved pointing out that there is much more to TTIP  than a trade treaty, it is not merely about 'goods crossing borders'. As we had already learnt, it is more about lowering standards of environmental protection so as to increase the profits of multi-national organisations, There was more discussion on ISDS, to which we had been introduced on the previous day, and we were reminded of the fact that corporations can sue governments, but not the reverse.  The introduction of TTIP would mean multinational corporations making the laws, not governments, The measure of the special tribunal would be whether INVESTMENTS had been damaged.

Keith Taylor pointed out that bilateral trade agreements are only about money (profits), and wider social and environmental issues are routinely ignored. 
Molly Scott Cato also spoke on the theme of finance, pointing our that a 'trade' treaty is really a corporate power treaty, enabling corporations to move finance, not goods.The banks are still not properly regulated, but TTIP asks for reductions on regulation.

Jean Lambert reinforced the theme that had already  been discussed, that implementation of TTIP would pose a threat to the UK National Health Service and to public services in general (throughout the EU).

Jill Evans spoke on the threat to food safety standards, and the question of food labelling, Apparently there is very little food labelling in the US, and the treaty would require a reduction in the standards of safety and explicitness in food labelling in the EU. It is a very political issue! 

We then moved on to a discussion with Labour MEPs, led by David Martin, a Scottish MEP. The Labour group are less committed in their opposition to TTIP than the Green group, perhaps more prepared to give it consideration under certain circumstances, David Martin said that he did believe in 'free trade if possible, but only if it's fair'. He said that there could perhaps be a 'good' TTIP, which would be good for jobs and good for growth,  but it would have to enshrine labour rights in law. He claimed that the discussions have not reached the point where it's possible to be for or against TTIP since it is still 'a blank sheet of paper'. 

He then told a heckler, 'If you're not here to listen, just piss off', which some of us thought was quite funny, but he then had to apologise. The hecklers were quite annoying......how often does anyone get the chance to go to the European Parliament and discuss serious issues? 

That was the final meeting, and then we returned to London, with a lot to think about, and with the intention of continuing the campaign.

I'll just finish with something that  is not connected with the campaign, but I found rather amusing,....at one point a woman came up to me and asked where I was was from. I said, 'London - Green Left', and she said....'Oh...you're not from Shetland, then?' This is why!!

This was what I was wearing......I did indeed knit it for Shetland Wool Week, interesting that someone in Brussels recognised the design!!

19 Mar / London / Public meeting: NATO and the crisis in Ukraine

Stop the War Coalition . Posted in National Events

NATO and the crisis in Ukraine
Thursday 19 March • 6.30 pm
Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church
Shaftesbury Ave London WC2H 8EP
Nearest tubes: Tottenham Court Road and Holborn

Organised by: Stop the War Coalition
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Jonathan Steele Guardian journalist
Andrew Murray chief of staff Unite the Union
NATO has created and is exploiting the crisis in Ukraine in order to extend its military and geopolitical reach to the borders of Russia.

Instead of authentically supporting the cessation of hostilities and the peaceful resolution of the conflict, Western powers are pouring fuel on the flames of a brutal civil war in Ukraine and lurching towards a new, increasingly intense Cold War with Russia.

Hellenic TV - Syriza London and Greece SolidarityCampaign RallyRally Trafalgar Sq 14/1/2015

Hellenic TV - Syriza London and Greece SolidarityCampaign RallyRally Trafalgar Sq 14/1/2015

Video posted on Facebook and here :

featuring Romayne Phoenix, Paul Mackney, Owen Jones etc