Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Monday, 31 May 2010
The Green Party Leader, Caroline Lucas MP, has called on the Government to condemn the actions of the Israeli troops in firing on a ship carrying volunteers and medical supplies to Gaza, and to back an urgent inquiry into the incident.
In a strongly worded message to Foreign Secretary William Hague, she has demanded that he urgently contact the Israeli authorities to demand an end to the attacks, and that he ensure that Israel is held fully to acount for an illegal and unprovoked attack.
Speaking this morning, she said:
"I completely condemn this deadly attack on the humanitarian aid convoy. I am deeply shocked by the brutality of the assault, which has left a still unkown number of people dead and wounded. My thoughts are with the victims and their families.
"This attack is a serious infringement of the principles of international law. The Green Party calls on the UK Government, and the EU, to apply pressure to lift the ongoing blockade of Gaza, which makes essential humanitarian aid for the population of Gaza virtually impossible to deliver. We also call for the quick establishment of an international inquiry to shed light on the circumstances of this attack."
Sunday, 30 May 2010
It seems that right-wing Tory MP Nadine 'Nimby' Dorries is having trouble with her blog.
It's been off the air since the general election.
I'm not sure what the trouble is. There may be a technical hitch.
Fortunately, before her blog disappeared, I took the precaution of saving a few of her pre-election items.
To give a helping hand in times of need, I'll post one or two here.
This is the first:
Saturday, 29 May 2010
After just 18 days of the Condem Coalition we have the first casualty today.
Treasury Chief Secretary, the Libdem David 'Hatchet-Man' Laws, has had to resign over revelations about his fiddled expenses.
This right-wing flint-faced millionaire ex-banker only this week started the cuts onslaught with a £6.2bn attack on 'wasteful spending'.
The only surprising thing about Laws is why he wasn't in the Tory party in the first place.
Friday, 7 May 2010
Caroline Lucas has been elected in the Brighton Pavilion constituency, becoming the first Green Party MP.
This major breakthrough was the primary objective of the Green Party in the general election.
It's a history-making achievement.
The 0.20 million voters throughout the country who voted Green will have a powerful voice in parliament.
I will report on this blog on the work of Caroline Lucas in the coming weeks.
The Mid Bedfordshire result had no surprises - Mid Beds has returned a Conservative for the past 65 years.
My own vote was 773, representing 1.41% of the total vote.
My thanks to all voters who supported me and voted for the Green Party.
Thank you for placing your confidence in me and the Green Party.
Your vote is very important in support of the Green Party policies that Caroline Lucas will be pursuing in parliament.
Thursday, 6 May 2010
By voting for the Green Party today, you have an opportunity to send a clear, powerful message to the old big parties.
When the polling stations close at 10 pm this evening, it will be too late.
It will be too late when the wheeling and dealing in a hung parliament begins; when the big parties get up to their old tricks; when the vicious cuts in our public services begin.
Give them all a reminder today - vote Green.
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
A Green vote is NOT a wasted vote.
A large Green vote tomorrow will send a powerful message.
The Green Party is campaigning tirelessly to elect the first UK Green MP tomorrow, Caroline Lucas in Brighton Pavilion.
In a hung parliament, which still looks the most likely outcome of this general election, every Green vote will count in support of a newly elected Green MP.
This is a chance to help make history.
Tactical voting is dishonest.
It's shameful that New Labour government ministers have supported tactical voting - deliberately voting for something you don't believe in.
I hope Mid Bedfordshire voters tomorrow will follow their beliefs and conscience and vote for what they truly believe in.
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Nadine Dorries threw a tantrum and walked out of the Hustings Meeting this evening at Flitwick Village Hall, organised by FATCRAG - the local Residents Association.
She was upset by some guy recording the meeting.
He was out of order, but so was she.
This woman is not fit to be an MP, frankly.
No doubt she'll be re-elected on Thursday
Monday, 3 May 2010
This is essentially a tax on international speculation - the casino capitalism that caused the financial and banking crisis, and the current huge deficit.
A very small Robin Hood tax at a very low level (maybe 0.05%) on the value of every financial transaction between financial institutions worldwide has the potential to generate a huge amount of money, as much as £250 billion.
The Green Party would dedicate these revenues to global sustainable development - richer countries helping poorer countries.
There are no prizes for guessing that the Conservatives are bitterly opposed to this proposed tax on speculation.
Conservatives never liked anything to do with Robin Hood.
It goes against all their instincts, and would upset their banking and big business friends in the city.
Sunday, 2 May 2010
Saturday, 1 May 2010
WE CAN'T GO ON TRASHING IT'
This is my quote as reported recently in the Bedfordshire Times & Citizen.
Today, as the full horror of an impending environmental disaster from oil in the Gulf of Mexico unfolds, my words seem even more poignant.
Up to 5,000 barrels of oil a day are gushing into the sea after the BP - operated rig exploded and sank last week. Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida have all declared a state of emergency.
In BP's 2009 exploration plan for the well, the firm suggested an oil spill was unlikely or virtually impossible, AP news agency reports.
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Thus spake Gordon Brown, in what he thought was the privacy of his limousine, calling a lifelong Labour voter a bigot, seconds after chatting amiably to her about immigration.
The incident speaks volumes about the disconnect between New Labour and core Labour voters.
It represents the hypocrisy at the heart of New Labour.
New Labour has never had any guiding political principles.
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
I've used this post title before, and I feel I must use it again.
As this general election campaign moves into the final week, it has become crystal clear that voters are in grave danger of being sold a pup. The draconian scale of cuts in public services after the election is being held back deliberately from voters by the three old parties. What is also being avoided by the big parties is any recognition or discussion of the depth of the financial crisis facing our country.
Talk of a hung parliament doesn't extend to spelling out that, after the little inconvenience of the election, the old parties will then get together for fun and games deciding what they really think is best for the country. Democracy? Bah, Humbug !
Brass necks don't come much brassier than that of self-styled 'Fabulous Fab' of Goldman Sachs.
He put in an appearance today at a Senate hearing in the US.
The corruption and arrogance around financial institutions is staggering.
They still haven't got it.
I don't think they are capable of getting it.
The system is rotten to the core, and needs changing.
Mid Bedfordshire voters: - of the choices available to you on the ballot paper on 6 May, the Green Party is the only party able and willing to articulate the changes required.
To send a clear message to the Bankers and Financiers - VOTE GREEN
Sunday, 25 April 2010
A key aspect of Green Party policy on waste is opposition to incineration. Of course, in Mid Bedfordshire, I and the Green Party oppose the proposed Covanta incinerator, for a host of reasons.
The Lib Dems are the least trustworthy party on the environment.
They talk about green waste management but they currently support incinerator projects in Exeter, Plymouth and Barnstable.
In Essex, they've proclaimed support for a zero waste strategy, which means no incineration, but they're still supporting incinerators in Essex.
Thursday, 22 April 2010
I watched the Leaders' debate on TV tonight.
It's quite clear there is next to no difference between the policies of the three old parties, give or take the odd nuance here and there. Same policies on Afghanistan, same policies on Trident. Clegg's deception on Trident was clearly exposed.
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
One of the issues I feel passionately about is the weapons trade.
Shamefully, our New Labour government promotes weapons sales around the world. I am grateful to a Mid Bedfordshire constituent for highlighting this ignominious business.
The policy of the Green Party is clear:
We will act to reduce arms sales worldwide by ending government support for and subsidies of arms exports, including through UK Trade & Investment's Defence & Security Organisation (UKTI DSO) and the Export Credits Guarantee Department.
We will press for successful negotiations over a robust and comprehensive global Arms Trade Treaty.
The Green Party will use skills and resources at present tied up in military industry in the UK to create new jobs and produce socially useful products, especially in the renewable energy sector.
I have no hesitation in supporting the closure of UKTI DSO and an end to its functions.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
In case there is any doubt, the words from the Seize The Day song 'Flying' that I quoted in my last posting here are of course satirical. The song is intended to challenge all the little reservations people have about limiting their use of planes. The band has stopped flying.
I am a fan of Seize The Day. They are brilliant.
Saturday, 17 April 2010
'I will recycle,
I'll use my bicycle,
I'll turn the heating down,
I'll fill my kettle halfway,
Listen to everything else you say ...
But don't take my freedom away,
Don't take my holidays,
Don't take my time away,
Don't take my wings away ....'
says the chorus from the song 'Flying' written by Shannon Smy of Seize the Day.
For three days now our wings have been taken away. By a volcano in Iceland. With no chance for Willie Walsh of British Airways to slap on an injunction to stop the volcano doing what volcanoes occasionally do.
Many people have been seriously inconvenienced, including my friend who is stranded in Barcelona. Nevertheless, the world has not ended. Around airports and under flight paths tranquillity has been restored. Life goes on.
We do not yet know for how many more days our skies will be free of planes.
Perhaps the volcano has provided a reality check on flying.
Friday, 16 April 2010
I was invited last month to write a short piece for the April 2010 edition of the magazine 'Christian News', edited by Angela Price. 'Christian News' is a monthly publication which carries news and views from the local churches and the community in the Woburn, Woburn Sands and Aspley Guise groups of parishes. The request was for an outline of my views as the Green Party candidate in the general election in Mid Bedfordshire. I was very pleased for the opportunity to summarise my political outlook and that of the Green Party.
Here is the article that was published:
John Bunyan’s ‘Slough of Despond’ is an apt metaphor for politics today. I can’t recall a time when politicians were so low in public esteem. It’s not merely the fiddled expenses of individual MPs and Peers. The fact is that every single MP is implicated in the scandal. They should all have known what was going on; they were all responsible for a corrupt expenses system. They all share collective responsibility for the enormous damage to our parliamentary democracy. It will take decades to repair.
We were taken into a dreadful war on the basis of lies. We are presently fighting a pointless war which cannot be won, propping up a corrupt puppet regime.
The banking and financial crisis has stunned public confidence: the obscene bonuses, the bail-out at public expense, with the cost to be paid by savage cuts in public services. Our country was taken to the brink of financial disaster.
I don’t want to pursue the analogy with ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ too far, but after the general election we certainly face The Hill Difficulty. We’re promised cuts all the way, whoever is Prime Minister - either Giant Despair or Mr Money-Love. But the fact is we can’t cut our way out of the recession. We need a massive investment now to create one million more jobs.
Under both Tory and New Labour governments the gap between rich and poor has widened. Increasing inequalities damage the lives of all of us. This point is made powerfully in ‘The Spirit Level’.
Four million UK children live in poverty. Maternity services are inadequate. Hospitals and health centres face closures and privatisation. They are treated like businesses rather than vital public services. The state pension is a disgrace.
Conventional politics has failed us because its values are fundamentally flawed. It doesn’t have to be this way. A different world is possible. Green politics is a new and radical kind of politics. The success of a society cannot be measured by narrow economic indicators. A good dose of the market will not cure every problem we face.
Our planet Earth is unique, fragile and very beautiful. Its natural resources are finite, yet we are busy trashing it by consumerism and mindless growth. We should look for non-violent solutions to conflicts. Our actions should take account of the well-being of other nations, other species, and future generations.
Thursday, 15 April 2010
The Green Party manifesto for the general election was launched today in Brighton. It's a very impressive document, and one that I am proud to be campaigning on.
I will highlight the key policies in the manifesto in the weeks leading up to the election.
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
The report of the independent panel investigating the scientific work of the CRU has strongly upheld the scientific integrity of the research. I'm not surprised.
The panel chair said: 'We found absolutely no evidence of impropriety whatsoever. That doesn't mean that we agreed with all of their conclusions, but the scientists were doing their jobs honestly."
This report will not satisfy the flat earthers of course.
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
After 13 years of New Labour rule, it is particularly offensive that 25% of pensioners still live in poverty.
It is outrageous that a rich country like ours, one of the richest countries in the world, cannot even look after its older people. What is lacking is not the resources, but the political will.
The Green Party is committed to a state pension of £170 per week for a single person, £300 pw for a couple. This would be paid unconditionally to all pensioners, and would be linked to average earnings.
Housing Benefit and disability benefits would continue to be paid. The demeaning Pension Credits would be abolished.
This pledge has been fully costed.
Casting an eye over the UKPollingreport website today, I was surprised to see a scrolling advert along the bottom by the Libdems. It featured a photo of the right wing Conservative MP for Mid Beds, Nadine Dorries, with the words "everyone fears a suicide" superimposed on Dorries' picture.
Nadine Dorries doesn't need me to defend her.
But how typical of the poor taste of the Libdems.
The Vince Clegg show rolls on.
These two codgers were side by side, as ever, on TV today. Clegg was going on about the Conservative election manifesto launch. Vince stood grim faced as Clegg attempted a joke.
It's typical of the Libdems - they can't make up their minds who is their real leader.
I think most people would prefer Vince.
Monday, 12 April 2010
The news yesterday that chief executives in the NHS were paid salary increases of 6.9% in 2008/09, while nurses got less than 3%, confirms the shocking and indefensible pay disparities in the NHS.
The fattest cat of all was a Ron Kerr, who received a massive £270,000 at Guy's and Thomas' Hospital Foundation Trust in London. On average, foundation trust chief executives got £10,000 more per year more than those at other trusts.
This state of affairs is a disgrace. It's one more example of the growing inequality under New Labour.
The Green Party general election manifesto, out this Thursday, will surely have something to say about these outrageous pay levels in the NHS.
Saturday, 10 April 2010
The other night on TV, I heard Theresa May, Tory shadow Work & Pensions Secretary threatening to do terrible things to people who are caught three times cheating on benefits, claiming it would save thousands of pounds.
When the reporter gently pointed out that not a single person had been found doing this, the hapless May became flustered and incoherent.
So it was a complete fabrication. It wouldn't save a penny. The Tories hadn't even checked it out, and their MP was spouting rubbish.
Friday, 9 April 2010
There's been hardly any mention in the media of an important success for the European Space Agency yesterday. The Cryosat-2 spacecraft was launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan. Cryosat-2 will make precise measurements of the extent and thickness of the ice at both poles. Submarine surveys indicate that the Arctic ice thickness below the waterline may have reduced by about 40% since the 1960s.
The successful launch was specially poignant for scientists; hopes were dashed in 2005 when the first Cryosat mission failed at take-off.
Cryosat-2 will be gathering data of polar ice cover for ten years or longer.
The measurements will make an important contribution to our understanding of how melting polar ice could affect ocean circulation currents and the global climate.
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
Congratulations to the Lib Dems for the first gaffe of this general election.
They've got a 'battlebus' with Vince Cable and Nick Clegg mugshots featured prominently on both sides.
It reminds me of that picture back in the eighties with the heads of David Owen and David Steel sticking out of one sweater.
There's something of the overgrown schoolboy that's unconvincing about Clegg.
No pun intended.
Thursday, 1 April 2010
There seems to be some sort of conspiracy of silence among the old parties about precisely where cuts will be made, to reduce the mountain of government debt. We're told the cuts in public services will be vicious, worse even than those under Thatcher. But it will only be after the general election when the full horror will be revealed.
The old parties must explain to voters precisely where the axe will fall, before the election.
There's endless diversionary chattering and babble as the election gets closer. It's a kind of verbal smoke screen to avoid the awkward questions.
What is certain is that it will be poorer people who will suffer most from the wild irresponsibility of the bankers, and the connivance of the politicians who allowed them to get away with it.
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
We do not need a new generation of Trident nuclear weapons. This relic of the cold war is not fit for the twentyfirst century. It does not increase our national security. No sane human being could ever agree to use such monstrous weapons of mass destruction. The Trident replacement is a complete waste of money.
We have a General Election a few weeks ahead. I believe this vital issue should be decided then, by voters. Not kicked into the long grass, and taken out of voters hands, by merely calling for a defence review after the General Election. This is the policy of the Liberal Democrats. They anticipate a hung parliament, when they can wheel and deal. Their track record shows they will then move to the right, and suffer collective amnesia about their erstwhile opposition to Trident.
Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats continue to support the pointless war in Afghanistan, propping up a corrupt puppet regime, risking the lives of more of our troops.
Many years ago, when I was student, we had a talk one evening by a man from the Flat Earth Society.
His audience was about 200 science students and academics. We listened in polite silence to his explanations about ships disappearing over the horizon, and what happened at the edges of the earth. But when he invited questions, his careful arguments were torn to shreds and ridiculed mercilessly by the students. I felt really sorry for him.
The flat earthers today are the climate change deniers, but I don't feel the least bit sorry for them.
Of course, they agree the global climate is changing, but they insist it's due to natural variability, with minimal input from human activity.
The scientific consensus is that global warming is taking place, and cannot be explained without including the artificially enhanced greenhouse effect, due to the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and CFCs.
A handful of critics outside the consensus can usually be traced back to oil companies like Exxon Mobil, and many are free market fundamentalists.
The fact is that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by 37% since the industrial revolution, to the highest levels for at least 600,000 years. Temperatures on Earth now are higher than they have been for at least 8,000 years.
Politicians now have to make a choice.
Suppose we reduce our carbon economy, and it turns out that the scientific consensus is wrong?
We will have created hundreds of thousands of jobs in insulation and renewable energy manufacturing. Thousands will have been taken out of fuel poverty, peak oil will be less of a shock, the oceans will be less acidic and energy security will have been tackled.
Now suppose the Flat Earthers are wrong. We will end up with acid oceans, acid rain, fuel poverty, civil unrest, unemployment, catastrophic climate disruption, droughts, floods, crop failures, disease, massive environmental migrations of refugees and war.
Any sensible politician would put our money on decarbonising the global economy.
This is called the Precautionary Principle.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Tony Blair was back today in his old constituency Sedgefield, addressing the local party faithful. His aim was to support the New Labour general election campaign, and in particular declare his support for Prime Minister Brown.
I found his appearance and manner quite a shock.
He was tanned, looked rather haggard, and seemed to be speaking with a sort of partial American accent.
Since leaving office he appears to have devoted himself to grabbing as much money as he can. Lecture tours at ridiculous fees, 'advising' various middle east countries on matters relating to oil. They say he has set up about a dozen private companies to generate his wealth, called 'Wind Rush' or something, in all kinds of countries - Romania, Lithuania ....
This man was a Labour Prime minister - Labour.
More accurately of course, New Labour.
His activities since stepping down tell you all you need to know about this man, about his guiding star, and about New Labour.
Thursday, 25 March 2010
New Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling has promised post-election public spending cuts 'tougher and deeper' than those of the Thatcher days in the 1980's. The Conservatives will cut even more than Labour. If the Lib Dems hold the balance of power in a hung parliament, I suppose we can expect cuts somewhere between New Labour and Conservatives.
What have we done to deserve this?
Well, nothing actually.
It's the pay-off for the financial crisis caused by the banks, and the rescue by, er.... you and me.
We won't have to wait very long after the election before the full horror of the cuts is revealed: just 50 days if the Conservatives win; in the autumn if it's New Labour, so they tell us.
It's starting to look a bit like turkeys voting for Christmas.
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
A Conservative government after 6 May (or whenever) will open at least one new nuclear power station every year and a half. There will be 'no limit' on the growth of nuclear power in Britain under a Tory government, says Greg Clark, the shadow energy spokesperson.
Clark ignores the fact that the timescale for a nuclear programme is far too long to solve the looming energy crisis. The desperate promotion of nuclear power is driven opportunistically by the nuclear industry lobby. The cost implications are horrendous.
Clark ignores the genetic and health risks of even low radiation doses associated with nuclear power.
He ignores the unsolved problem of all the nuclear waste.
What is certain is that the mess will have to be cleared up, if at all, at public expense - long after the private nuclear companies have taken their profits and vanished.
Nuclear power is not carbon neutral. Renewable energy sources are the only answer.
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
'Poverty is an outrage against humanity. It robs people of dignity, justice, freedom and hope, of power over their own lives. Poverty is political, a scandal created and perpetuated by our own systems and structures. At its core lies the misuse of power, within and among countries, groups and individuals. But a problem created by people can be solved by people and, in the wake of the economic crisis, there has never been a better time to challenge its existence.'
These words are not mine, or those of the Green Party. They are the preamble to the Christian Aid Election Manifesto 2010.
The document then identifies five areas for action:
- make development work for poor people
- deliver climate justice
- link transparency and taxation to support development
- invest in good government and crack down on corruption
- support the transformation of conflict into sustainable politics
I strongly support the Christian Aid manifesto and the determined action it requires. It is in close alignment with the policies that the Green Party urges voters to support in the general election in just a few weeks.
Social justice is a fundamental concern to Greens. It is the poor that are suffering most due to climate change.
I believe we should reassess the nature of debt, by recognising the historical ecological debt owed by rich to poor countries. The ecological debt has been built up by: the extraction of natural resources without proper payment, the use of local and indigenous knowledge for the development of products - eg medicines - without proper recompense, the use of local land for mono-crop export rather than for feeding the local population, and the appropriation of the atmosphere for the disproportionate emission of climate change gases.
Simultaneously, the Green Party wants to see the cancellation of all unjust and unsustainable traditional debt 'owed' by the developing world to richer countries. At the moment there are lots of strings attached to debt cancellation, often unjust and undemocratic in themselves. We want to see these strings removed.
We have plenty of local problems in Mid Bedfordshire, and those issues are rightly of great concern in this general election. But voters also have an opportunity to send a clear call for action against global injustice and poverty.
Monday, 22 March 2010
The revelations about Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt and Geoffrey Hoon are shocking. To hear Byers calmly talking about £5,000 a day for his lobbying services, comparing himself to a 'cab for hire', was disgusting. These people were at the heart of the New Labour Project, and close to Blair. New Labour is rotten and corrupt to the core.
The constituency most likely to return the first UK Green Party MP on 6 May (or whenever) is Brighton Pavilion, where Caroline Lucas is the Green Party candidate. Last Saturday I travelled by rail (and bus across central London) down to Brighton with Ben Foley to help in the Brighton campaign. Brighton Pavilion is a wedge-shaped constituency in central Brighton, with the thick end of the wedge to the north. When we arrived at the Eco Centre we were immediately given bags of leaflets and maps of the areas to be delivered, and driven to the first location.
The leaflet message ran:
FEELING THE SQUEEZE? LIKE YOU, GREENS BELIEVE OUR MONEY SHOULDN'T BE SPENT ON BANKS & FOREIGN WARS: Green MPs would fight for:
- a fully functioning NHS
- your freedom and security
- a fair deal for older people
- good quality jobs
After about two hours pushing leaflets through letter boxes, we found our way to lunch in a member's house.
Then more delivering after lunch, working with two other campaigners from Brighton.
The Brighton campaign is very well organised, and local members are immensely enthusiastic. But there's a long way to go before polling day.
Sunday, 21 March 2010
I support scrapping replacement plans for Trident nuclear weapons.
Green Party MEPs persuaded other MEPs to call for a ban on depleted uranium weapons and cluster munitions. We must control and reduce the sale of UK weapons around the world, and those on our street.
The Green Party would not use a 'war on terror' to destroy our rights to a private life. We would stop the ID card scheme.
Saturday, 20 March 2010
Friday, 19 March 2010
I believe that smaller businesses and local enterprises make our communities stronger. Increasing numbers of supermarkets and shopping centres have meant fewer local shops and businesses. The planning system can be used to favour small local enterprises, as achieved for example by Green Party councillors in Oxford. I support the creation of community banks to help smaller traders survive the recession.
As well as using planning laws to create and save allotments, the rules should be changed so schools and hospitals can buy more local food.
Monday, 15 March 2010
The Green Party will cancel the road building programme and instead invest in safer roads and in helping many more people to walk and cycle.
After fierce lobbying London Green Assembly members ensured that all new London buses will run on hybrid engines by 2012, creating a third less pollution.
We will repeat this success in all UK cities. We would create travel plans for workers and invest more money to promote car sharing.
The Green Party would bring the railways back under public control. We would create more jobs by expanding rail networks.
The New Labour Government has failed to combat increasing air travel. Unlike the other political parties we would say 'no' to Heathrow and prevent the expansion of Britain's other airports.
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Thursday, 4 February 2010
Sir Thomas Legg says 390 MPs must repay £1,305,000 for the expenses scandal.
In fact, all MPs, including the current MP for Mid Bedfordshire Nadine Dorries, share the blame, whether or not they individually have been caught fiddling expenses.
They were ALL responsible for the expenses system, which condoned fiddling.
They MUST all have known what was going on.
And none of them did anything about it.
That's Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat.
They share the blame for this scandal which has brought ridicule on our parliamentary democracy.
These were the people elected to take major decisions of war and peace.
You have an opportunity on 6 May (or whenever) at the ballot box to let your voice be heard.
Monday, 1 February 2010
We all know how the present MP for Mid Bedfordshire loves to trivialise and personalise politics.
She's now busy waging war against the Speaker of the House of Commons.
She's up in arms because, apparently, the Speaker has stopped wearing fancy dress.
Now, most of us don't give a toss what the Speaker wears.
Not so Nadine Dorries.
Taking off his fancy outfit will mean millions of pounds lost each year from our tourism economy, she believes.
So what's she doing about it?
She's refusing to stand back to the wall and divert her eyes when the Speaker walks down a corridor.
I kid you not.
She accuses the Speaker of eroding the authority of Parliament.
In the real world, nothing has eroded the authority of Parliament more than the MP expenses scandal, which has destroyed trust in politicians. Whether or not an individual MP was personally culpable, the fact is they all knew the system, they all approved it, they all knew what was going on. And they diverted their eyes, till the cat was out of the bag.
Sunday, 31 January 2010
The media, overwhelmingly, just don't get science.
They don't understand how science works. About the importance of probability.
So journalists (with a few honourable exceptions) create wild headlines out of every passing straw of scientific research.
This leads first to public confusion, then apathy, and eventually rejection of all things science.
An example is diet and food.
Another, which is starting to gather momentum, is climate change. The deniers sense a field day coming on.
I'll return to this important issue.
I took time out in Birmingham yesterday with Green Party colleagues.
For a couple of hours, before our Green Left meeting in Birmingham Metropolitan Community Church, we joined Salma Yacoob and Respect party members distributing leaflets in Sparkhill. It was bitterly cold, but a bright sunny morning.
Salma joined our meeting later for a discussion and chat.
She is inspirational and courageous.
Friday, 29 January 2010
We have been able to witness Blair questioned today about his part in the war with Iraq.
I was going to say interrogated, but that wasn't the approach of the polite, courteous, fumbling enquiry.
Blair ran rings round them. It was the establishment v the establishment, and the establishment won.
I really can't see this enquiry getting anywhere. The best we can hope for is the demise of New Labour at the general election.