Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Corbyn Victory Makes Role of Greens More Important

Leading Greens Caroline Lucas and Natalie Bennett have welcomed the victory of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader.

These are very interesting times.

We Greens will continue to have more influence outside Labour than we would have within - we need a distinct voice on Climate Change, the most important issue of our age. Caroline Lucas has held out the hand of partnership to Jeremy and we wish the labour left well, but they still have a massive mountain to climb in the face of an overwhelmingly right wing PLP and councillor base.

The Green surge was partly responsible for Jeremy's rise IMO, with the raising of left green policies to debate in the election and engagement of a new generation. Now Greens must continue to use our leverage to push for commitments on electoral reform and climate change. This is crucial, as without electoral reform, if the establishment manage to defeat or more likely sabotage the Corbyn movement to reclaim Labour from the Blairite cuckoos it will be back to neo-liberal business as usual. With electoral reform Tory majority governments will hopefully be a thing of the past (24% of the electorate and falling?) and radical left and green views will be much much harder to push to the margins where FPTP and neo-liberal "consensus" in the corporate media have managed to contain them for so long. The left wing lever that the Greens, and to some extent the SNP and Plaid have applied to Labour can be continued and strengthened and a progressive alliance will be able to take on the Tories and their corporatist backers effectively across all the country and all its diverse sections.

If we play this right we can park our ecosocialist tanks on the lawns of the establishment and the corpocracy and build the kind of Parliamentary/extra parliamentary alliance that is required for the next stage....This will not be easy, mind. The ruling class can see the threat. Expect dirty tricks from the corporate media/foreign and domestic intelligence services.....

The fact that Caroline Lucas and the SNP and Plaid may now be able to attack the Tory Corporatist agenda in concert with a Labour Party Front Bench is immensely encouraging however.  The fightback just stepped up a gear.  A key aspect of the coming period will be to unite forces on the ground to fight things like fracking, Trident replacement and the anti-trade union bill.  There is everything to play for.

"Rise like lions out of slumber, 
Ye are many, they are few...."

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Support Frack Free Lancashire

From 9am on Tuesday 23rd June, Lancashire County Council will be deciding on whether or not to approve two of the biggest fracking tests ever contemplated in the UK. If allowed to happen, each site would have 4 horizontal wells, producing tens of millions of gallons and radioactive and toxic waste and opening the door to thousands more wells to be drilled across Lancashire, and the rest of the UK. Preston Council have just recommended objection to the plans for Roseacre Wood.
Come down to County Hall, Preston, where Lancashire County council are due to decide on Cuadrilla’s fracking applications. Fishergate, Preston, Lancashire PR1 8RL

On the first day (and on subsequent days), concerned communities from around the UK will descend upon Lancashire County Hall in Preston for a peaceful show of solidarity and resistance. This is a huge deal that has implications for the entirety of the UK. It’s also a great chance to showcase the strength and solidarity of the of the UK anti-fracking movement by standing with the people of Lancashire!
Full Event Details Here!
Wear Yellow & Bring a Home Made Banner!
Register your Objection to Cuadrilla’s plans now!!!

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Friday, May 15, 2015

After the election - get organised and resist!

Now that the general election is over and we face the full horror of a Tory Government, the Green Party are well placed to be a vital pole of attraction and organising base for oppostion to what the Tories aim to do.  I urge everyone who has supported the Greens in the election campaign to sign up, get involved locally and help build effective coalitions of opposition and resistance.
From the Human Rights Act to Hunting, from Trade Union Law to massive welfare cuts and from fracking to cutting renewables support the stage is set for mass opposition and anger against what this government of corporate shills and chancers have planned for us all.
Join the Green Party here:
Support the coming demonstrations organised by the People's Assembly and the actions arranged by UK Uncut and get active in your local community to build solidarity networks.
There is hope!  The Greens are committed to long term change, and to resisting every mean spirited, nasty, selfish and authoritarian move the Tories make.  Join us.

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Sunday, April 05, 2015

Three excellent books to read to understand politics before the election

Three books are doing very well in the bookshops at the moment in the run up to the General Election in the UK on 7 May.  This is a really good thing if it means people are getting a more accurate view of the issues and the system we face than that offered by the supine (oligarch owned and controlled) media and the muck-raking tabloids.

The three books are the paperback versions of Owen Jones The Establishment - and how they get away with it and Naomi Klein's This Changes Everything  and finally Caroline Lucas' account of her time as an MP since being elected as the sole Green MP in the UK in 2010 - Honourable Friends

I urge anyone wanting to prime themselves about the big questions facing us, the obstacles the establishment throw in the way of even the most modest attempts at change and the absolute necessity of quite radical and far reaching change to read these three books before they vote!

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Big Green Comedy Gig

Some big comedy names lined up for this gig supportive of the campaign to re-elect Caroline Lucas.

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Vote Green 2015

New book: VOTE GREEN IN 2015

Green Party Included In Election Book Series

The Green Party is pleased to announce its inclusion in the Why Vote book series, aimed at introducing the general reader to party policies ahead of the general election 2015. In the Greens’ edition, out on 29 January, Deputy Leader Shahrar Ali has recruited some of the Greens’ leading thinkers and activists to explore how the party provides a credible left-wing alternative to Labour in 2015. 
Darren Johnson, Green Party London Assembly Member said: 
“Green politics in the UK has been gaining rapid momentum in recent times. Membership and public support for the party is growing and voting Green is becoming a viable option for more and more people. Read Why Vote Green 2015 to find out what makes the Green Party tick and what its vision for the future looks like.” 
Among the contributors are Molly Scott Cato Green MEP for the South West on Economy, Sarah Cope, Chair of Green Party Women on Women's Politics, Deputy Leader Amelia Womack on Young People and Politics, Adam Ramsay on Constitutional Reform, and former Labour minister Tony Clarke on International Affairs. 
Baroness Jenny Jones, writing of the three crises in the Foreword, said: 
“Increasing numbers of people are mobilising against climate change. Increasing numbers of people reject the austerity agenda. Increasing numbers of people see the inadequacies in our political system. These people often think that all the parties are the same and that there is no one to vote for. Fortunately, they are wrong. The Green Party sees the crises clearly and has the policies to address all three of them.” 
Shahrar Ali, Green Party Deputy Leader and editor of Why Vote Green 2015 said: 
“It’s vital for Greens to be included at every turn, from the leader debates to an election book series. I feel proud to share with you our party’s key policies, commitments and ambitions in the voice of some of our leading spokespersons and activists. Why Vote Green 2015 creates a compelling case for the Greens as a party of government.” 
Dame Vivienne Westwood said: 
“There’s absolutely no other choice but Green. The others are all the same.” 
1. Full list of chapters and contributors: Foreword – Jenny Jones, Green Values - Shahrar Ali, Climate Change - David Flint, Economy - Molly Scott Cato, Education – Martin Francis, Women’s Politics – Sarah Cope, Welfare – Noel Lynch, Home Affairs – Peter Cranie, Young People and Politics – Amelia Womack, Constitutional Reform – Adam Ramsay, Housing – Tom Chance, Transport – Caroline Russell, Environment – Shasha Khan, International Affairs – Tony Clarke, Animals – Caroline Allen.

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Green Party in Brighton Votes to Defy LibLabCon Austerity

BREAKING NEWS! Brighton Green Party passes motion supporting 'No Cuts' budget - Join the resistance
(Hat tip to Wembley Matters Blog)
Breaking news from Brighton

This is the full and final text (below) of the No Cuts motion passed by a large majority at a quorate and wellattended meeting of the Brighton and Hove Green Party today.  The General Meeting sets policy for the party, but cannot "instruct" Green Councillors. However, given that the General Meeting is "the prime decisionmaking and organisational body for the BHGP", and has now made this vital policy decision, the party expect Green Councillors to abide by it, and if they feel they cannot, to step down.  It remains to be seen what will happen when the Budget comes up for decision in late February, but the local party has now made its position very clear - Green Councillors should not vote for any cuts budget or abstain so as to allow one to pass; and after this the party and councillors should lead a campaign of resistance to imposed cuts. If Green Councillors vote for a cuts budget of any kind, then they would be defying the clear and democratically expressed wish and policy of the local party.


This General Meeting notes the Motion passed unanimously (with one abstention) at the December 2015 General Meeting that the Brighton & Hove Green Party supports the production of an alternative Budget for 2015-16 that would protect local services and employment, not cut them.

The cuts to local services required to "balance the budget" for 2015-16 are the direct result of massive and unprecedented cuts by central government to the local government support grant, cuts which could mean a further cut to the Brighton & Hove budget of over £100 million by 2020.  This will effectively destroy local services as we know them.

The cuts required to balance the budget for 2015-16 alone would require  a restoration of more than £20 million of government grant or a Council Tax rise of over 20%. The proposed 5.9% Council Tax increase is therefore not viable as a means to fight the cuts or defend the vulnerable. It is a regressive tax on the poorest, and it would hardly dent the massive cuts still required. To propose this rise in Council Tax in conjunction with a cuts budget would fatally undermine the Green Party's anti-austerity stance locally and nationally.  It is the worst of all worlds.

We are now seeing a "Green surge" and rising membership especially amongst younger voters, the primary reason for which is our inspiring anti-austerity message. If the only example in the UK of the Green Party in office were to implement a large cuts budget just before the 2015 General Election that would disillusion and alienate many of those new supporters. It is likely it would severely damage not only the local party but the national party's prospects in the election.   The Brighton & Hove Green Party will not support any Brighton & Hove Council Budget for 2015-16 that makes further cuts to local services. We support a no cuts budget identifying how much government grant now needs to be returned to Brighton & Hove to avoid horrendous damage to local services. It is therefore the policy of Brighton and Hove Green party that any budget that makes further cuts to local services should not be voted for by the Green Group of Councillors, nor abstained upon to allow it to pass.

The Brighton and Hove Green Party advocates a strategy of complete resistance to implementing further cuts to local services, including
·         A massive communications campaign to explain a) why the Green Party is adopting this policy, b) the devastating effect of the level of cuts suggested for 2015-16 and the years beyond, and c) that Labour and the Conservatives will deliver those cuts because they have no policy or strategy to resist them. 
·         Refusal to assist any officials sent by DCLG to enforce a cuts budget upon Brighton and Hove, and wide publicity to explain this refusal.
·         Working with the Brighton and Hove People's Assembly, local campaign groups and trade unions to publicise and implement this strategy and to create a focus of resistance to cuts and the austerity agenda.

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