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

REDUCE, REUSE - and only then RECYCLE

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.

I'm grateful to Cherry Puddicombe at for the creative design of my election leaflet.

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.

No surprises today when Gordon Brown announced that the General Election will be held on Thursday 6 May.

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.