Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

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.” 
NOTES 
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.

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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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Saturday, December 06, 2014

Green Party Trades Unionists Support Firefighters in Dispute

The union representing Firefighters in England has announced a further strike on Tuesday 9th December.
Starement of The Green Party Trade Union Group:

The Green Party Trade Union group sends support to those FBU members who will
be striking on Tuesday next. We know that firefighters are dedicated to
ensuring public safety and saving lives, so they will not be taking this
step lightly. It is absurd, but regrettably not surprising, that the
government cannot reach or even approach a settlement to the pensions
dispute with the FBU in England whilst settlements and negotiations which
the FBU finds more acceptable can proceed elsewhere in the UK. This is
another sad example of the inept and dangerous handling of vital public
services by the current government. We hope the firefighters will be able
to win the just settlement that they deserve.


blogged at
http://gptublog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/firefighters-in-england-announce.html

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December Industrial Worker Reports on Upsurge in Workplace Organising in The USA

The paper of the IWW reports on global labour struggles, with particularly detailed information on events in North America.

Download a free PDF of the December 2014 issue from this site:

http://nottsiww.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/industrial-worker-december-2014/

This blog is proud to support the growth of the IWW and industrial unionist and syndicalist ideas in the UK and Europe.

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

More on the Green Surge

More on the Green Surge with comment from Natalie Bennett -
on the Green Party Website

Interesting article in the Independent also.

More from the Independent's "Green week"

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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Green Party TU Group Statement on NHS Industrial Action

Nine NHS trade unions are holding a four hour strike (7-11am) on Monday 24 November, and working to rule from 25-30 November by not doing unpaid overtime and taking their breaks. 

The unions involved in the action are:

- Unison
- Royal College of Midwives
- Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians
- Society of Radiographers
- British Association of Occupational Therapists
- GMB
- Unite
- Managers in Partnership
- Prison Officers Association

 
Green Party Trade Union Group Statement 


Unite the Union have announced that “NHS workers have had their wages cut by up to 15 per cent since 2010 thanks to the government's draconian pay policy of pay freezes and minuscule below inflation pay rise”. 

 
The Green Party Trade Union Group believes that this is characteristic of a nation where neo-liberal economics has run riot, penalising the poor, the sick, the vulnerable and also those who provide their health care.

Unlike Cameron’s cronies, nobody who works in the NHS expects to become a billionaire, but NHS workers will be striking again for decent pay on November 24th. The Green Party Trade Union Group sends it support, we all need the work that these workers do and they need a decent wage!

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