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Sunday, 13 September 2015

"GENERIC MOTHERHOOD AND APPLE PIE"

The Lib Dems in Castle Ward are angry. Very angry. One of their councillors, Jo Hayes, has put out a leaflet blaming Colchester Green Party for their losses in the May local elections because our vote rose and theirs declined. Cllr Hayes is disgusted that people chose to vote Green when apparently, so Cllr Hayes tells one of our members, all our election leaflets contained was, "generic motherhood and apple pie", and all we do is, "lecture people".
Well I am more than delighted that they are angry and upset. It is about time that they took responsibility for their own failure, both within Colchester and nationally. They are a sinking ship in wards such as those Cllr Hayes represents, while our vote is on the increase there. The momentum is with us. In a first past the post system a split vote can indeed let the Tories in, therefore it is safer to vote for a rising party (the Greens) than a party which is in decline across the whole of the UK. In addition the Lib Dems lost more votes across the whole of Colchester to UKIP, the Tories and Labour than they did to us. They lost votes in all directions. This was their own failure and their own fault. High time they took some responsibility rather than pontificating about how its all the fault of others. They chose to betray young people over tuition fees, be so slavishly pro-EU that they support TTIP (which would give large corporations the right to sue our government for requiring them to drop zero-hours contracts or stop fracking), prop up and de-toxify the Tory brand, support the bedroom tax, do precious little in Colchester about transport and overdevelopment and generally take their voters for granted.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Jeremy Corbyn Labour Leader

Today's news regarding the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader has massive implications. I think it is both very positive and a grave and serious threat all rolled into one. The positives first. Corbyn's election is further evidence that many people are sick of the neo-liberal 'consensus' way of doing politics with politicians talking from a script and spouting mantras written by spin-doctors. He opposes Trident, attacks on basic Trade Union rights, raiding public sector pensions and running down the welfare state and he is for free education, scrapping tuition fees, income tax increases on the wealthy and the NHS. All of this I personally agree with and is common ground with Green Party policy. He is somebody who I believe the Green Party could and should explore ways of doing business with in terms of certain joint campaigns, although I completely oppose electoral pacts.
However Mr Corbyn is not green, despite having a more positive approach to environmental issues than much of his party does.
When Jeremy Corbyn talks about re-opening the coal mines, he shows clearly how his priorities differ from those of the green movement. The same is true regarding his support for airport expansion. We are the only political party in the UK which places ecologism at the top of the agenda as well as opposing austerity and supporting the public sector. The Labour Party has never, when in power, prioritised environmental issues. I am also very uncomfortable with his willingness to share platforms with organisations who advocate terrorism and with his complacent attitude towards Islamic State and their horrific abuse of basic human rights. The challenge now is to set out to voters clearly not just the common ground we have with Corbyn but most importantly where we differ.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Green Party Open Meeting : Climate Change



The next open meeting is tomorrow (Monday 7th September) at the New Inn pub at 7.30pm. The subject is global warming and how the current economic system, based on consumerism, free-market neo-liberalism and endless growth cannot solve the problem. You cannot delude people by suggesting that individuals can solve global warming just by using the car a tad less or reducing their 'carbon footprint' by buying the right products. The whole system needs to change and that means action by governments. Find out more by coming to the meeting. All welcome.