Friday 26 February 2010

Politics Show Sunday 21st Feb

The Green Party was featured on the BBC Politics Show last Sunday with film of Hull North candidate Martin Deane, Huddersfield's Andrew Cooper, and myself doing a live bit from the London studio. Trouble is they asked me about climate change, and that's just not our main issue. I had about five points I wanted to make - but no time!

Young people and political debate

I spent a very interesting afternoon last week observing an East Riding Youth Assembly meeting in Beverley where young people were putting themselves forward as potential members of the Youth Parliament for the UK. 30 secondary school students spoke about what mattered to them - and it was all about justice. Issues included lowering the voting age, divorce and its effect on kids, bullying, the need to listen to young people’s views and to talk about disability in schools, unfair attitudes towards young people, and lack of things for young people to do. It was very impressive – and all these issues are championed by the Green Party whose slogan is ‘Fair is worth fighting for’.

The afternoon proved how caring young people can be, so it’s worrying that, in my experience, many young people don’t vote at all, often saying they know nothing about it. This allows the ‘grey’ parties (and the far right parties) to win seats because many older people seem to vote out of habit - or protest. It’s often younger people who want sensible fair Green politics, but who don’t vote…so its easy to see why we don’t get the positive change we so desperately need.

So, I’m inviting colleges and schools to please hold hustings (a meeting with questions to a panel of politicians) in the run-up to the general election. There was a Green landslide vote at Wolfreton School hustings (see below) : when people hear Green policies they like them. If you know a school or college (or, for that matter, any group at all) which is looking for a Green speaker, or a Green panellist for a hustings, do please get in touch with us.

Greens Landslide Win at Wolfreton School

I was delighted to be invited to Wolfreton School recently to participate in a political hustings in the run-up to the General Election. The audience was the whole of Year 10 and some sixth form politics students. The venue was the lecture theatre with adult politicians stage left and student politicians stage right. The adults represented Labour, Lib Dems, Conservatives, and myself for the Greens. The students represented Labour, UKIP, Green, BNP, Tory and Lib Dem. Tom (aged 13) also spoke as a member of the UK Youth Parliament. The politicians, young and old, described their policies, and questions followed.

Natalie and I gave the message that Green is the only way out of the recession. We can afford our policies because we would cut out the massive UK spending on ‘defence’. We would create hundreds of thousands of green jobs in agriculture, house refurbishment, insulation, public transport, and new energy technologies.

The audience voted and the result was a LANDSLIDE vote for the Greens!

Young people invariably believe in Green policies, but if they don’t vote (when they can), the older voters put in the OLD outdated parties and we get old outdated policies to keep us in the same old mess.

Many thanks for the event, Mr Richardson – if only more schools would do this….well done Wolfreton!

Saturday 6 February 2010

Beverley Town By-Election

Thursday 4 February: Result of the election in Minster South Ward
Dack(Green) 182
Foot(Lib Dem) - 165
McGrath(Labour) - 149
Dominic Peacock(Cons) - 322

Our 22% would mean about 143 MPs if reflected in Parliament. - as if! And we lost to a self-confessed "Toff" in a deerstalker. Beverley! Sigh.

Full House!

You will not be able to read this page without keen acuity, but it is displayed to demonstrate our first FULL HOUSE - a whole page of letters linked to our campaigns - in the Beverley Guardian.
Anti-clockwise, from the top: two on our local MP's stance on foxhunting, one from Pete Dack, the Green Party candidate in the Town Council election last Thursday (more about this above), one on dog shit, one from a strong opponent to ERYC's approach to Norwood House, and one from me on greens and climate change.

shooting ... who?

On the train the other day (Thursday 4 Feb), I saw a good treatment of the BBC R4 'Analysis' programme from last Sunday on Richard Lawson's blog. I even made a comment, promising to follow it up with more on my Blog. Now that I am getting down to it, Richard has been busy posting a whole lot more on other issues - what industry!
By coincidence, a letter of mine got into the local free press today (see above). Richard's post was very confessional - exploring the accusation that the greens we just religious near-fanatics.
I'm mainly pissed off with the cheap logic chopping of much reporting about greens - using weird associations to undermine perfectly rational standpoints.