East Midlands Green Party Blog


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No Laughing Matter; one response to the budget

Danny Alexander, George Osborne, David Cameron laughin

Green Party members in East Midlands have a few things to say about the latest budget. This response comes from Derbyshire’s Mike Shipley:

Some time ago, a picture of Osborne, Cameron and Danny Alexander was dong the rounds on Facebook.  It showed the three of them sharing a joke, the caption said:

‘What are they laughing at?  They are laughing at us!’

If our situation wasn’t so serious, laughter might be the best response to the Coalitions latest budget.  Big tax breaks for mega rich companies who will hide their profits off shore and pay huge bonuses, a penny of a pint for the rest of us. Thanks Gideon, you really understand the common people!

But our situation is no laughing matter. This budget is based on a lie.  The lie being pushed at the British public is that the financial crisis was caused by excessive public spending, and therefore this spending has to be slashed and the money returned to the private sector who will invest it to create jobs and restore the economy.

The truth is that the financial crisis was caused by reckless bank lending to the private sector, it was private debt that was out of control n 2008, not public spending.  It was the banks who created the problem, then they demanded that governments bail them out with public money, threatening to go bust if that money wasn’t produced.  In this game of chicken, unfortunately it was Governments who blinked first, encouraged by conservative economists who said that the banks were too big to fail, they had to be saved, all else had to go to the wall. In order to save the banks, public spending had to be sashed to find the money and keep the markets happy.

Now that the banks have been bailed out, they aren’t returning the favour. They aren’t providing affordable finance to projects that will benefit the taxpayers who bailed them out.  Instead they are sitting on the cash and using it to justify the continued practice of paying excessive bonuses to themselves. We are rewarding them for their greed and folly with our money that should be being spent on public services that would benefit us all.

None of this will Gideon Osborne recognise.  His mission is to win the gratitude of the super rich who will bankroll his Party’s election campaigns.  He is using the so called ‘crisis’ to drive his own agenda, which is to privatise as much of public provision as possible, so adding to the wealth of his core supporters.  Oh yes, he generously chips a penny of the price of a pint and cuts the fuel duty increase, but don’t bother to drive to the pub to drink to Gideon’s health, by the time he’s finished, this government of millionaires will have made the rest of us considerably worse off.

‘Who are they laughing at?  They are laughing at us.’


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No to the Bedroom Tax

tax bankers not bedrooms

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fKaoTKr9aw

The above video displays only one of the outcomes of the bedroom tax. People with two or more homes are stating that children with disabilities must share bedrooms with other siblings or their families will have benefit cuts. This effects the safety and health of any disabled child, their siblings and their family. It is also economically unworkable, the cost of moving families with disabled children and re-equipping homes with the most basic tools to allow even the minimum safety and mobility would be far greater than any saving made. Single parents, recently bereaved families and those with children away at university are also targeted in these cuts.

Human rights are being violated with this and other unnecessary and unequal cuts.  80% of cuts are to come. Calls for tax justice and fair pay are being increasingly replaced with those in poverty turning on one another in response to government spin-doctoring, which Natalie Bennett at Spring Conference called ‘deeply derisive workers verses shirkers rhetoric’. Blame is placed on those driven into unemployment by public service cuts and economic failures of a system where organisations making cuts often make people redundant before looking at turning off the lights at closing time. Responsibility is placed at the door of those whom accident or illness made too ill to work. International workers often used as cheap labour, hardly surviving on their pay, are hated by those who lose their jobs or take pay cuts to compete. Losses are taken by small and medium sized businesses collapsing under unjust tax laws and other financial inequity. Young people and vulnerable groups pay increasing ecological and economic bills while many become blinded to the real issues.

Be seen to be Green with me on the 16th March at 1pm at Brian Clough Statue off Market Square, Nottingham. Our policies, including for a living wage and for the top of an organisation to be on no more than 10 times the salary of the lowest paid employee, of bank and tax reform and cutting carbon not welfare are important in these times. They are the only concise alternative to austerity.

Please join us for this and other peaceful demonstrations. Please share this with others and use this blog and our facebook group to let us know your thoughts and any relevant local campaigns.

With Thanks,

Antonia


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East Midlands at the heart of Green Party’s 40th Year!

East MIdland Conference Centre

As we wish one another a healthy, hopeful 2013 we can feel happy that the East Midlands is playing host to The Green Party Spring Conference in February. Our party has evolved over 40 years; one generation, through many changes locally, globally, regionally. Those of us here now form the torch-bearers of the next generation.

From the 22nd to 25th February 2013 East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham becomes the hub of The Green Party of England and Wales. This gives local party members an opportunity to be at the very heart of the next stages of flourishing and sustaining. Attendees will collectively be involved in the progression of policies within the party. There will also be fringe and training sessions, special panels and birthday celebrations.

Our neighbours in the West Midlands saw the seed of the Green Party planted in Coventry  by Tony and Lesley Whittaker, Michael Benfield and Freda Sanders. Then called the ‘PEOPLE’ party it grew into The Ecology Party and ultimately The Green Party. During this time it has weathered many storms and influenced change. It has stayed true to core values. I extend an invitation to you to tell some of the stories of our last four decades, how lives and futures have been shaped,  what we have faced and are facing. What are the greatest challenges ahead? What inspires you? What have you been part of? Is it the party’s stance on creation of green jobs and a living wage or their questioning of unjust wars? Is it continued work in building sustainable energy supplies and sharing economies or the contribution to animal rights that fire your loyalties? Has it been our call for better insulation in homes or empowering local producers? Is it the greater gender equality within the party that excites you or their stance against injustice in the present tax and banking systems? We have come far and have far to go!

So, as we toast in 2013, we may remember to say ‘happy birthday Green Party, many happy returns!’ For more information on the conference and to book please follow this link: http://greenparty.org.uk/conference.html.  

written by Antonia Sara Zenkevitch for East Midland’s Green Party