Saturday, 24 September 2016

Overpopulation and Climate Change – A short briefing

World population is going up. How far will it go? Surely something should be done?

In a free society can we compel people to have smaller families? This will seem to many a step too far to a totalitarian state akin to China’s now abandoned only one child family dictate. The fact is that the rate of increase is going down. Putting this another way, population is going up less quickly and the increase in population is continuing to go down. This is because fertility rates in most countries is going down. And importantly fertility rates are going down fastest in the countries with currently the highest fertility. This map is an easy way to see how in just one or two generations the world’s fertility rate is falling: http://brilliantmaps.com/fertility-rates/ (Source date Population Resource Bureaux). You can click through the fertility rates at this UN site: http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Graphs/Probabilistic/FERT/TOT/

The fertility rate is falling for many reasons but the largest factors are thought to be the gradual reduction in world poverty and improvements in education and women’s empowerment.

So let’s not use the current world population increases as an excuse not to tackle climate change. We need to do more in the west. And yes we need to do more to reduce world poverty and support the majority world with fair trade and removal of trade rules rigged against weaker developing nations.

I recommend the book: “Population 10 Billion” by Danny Dorling


Long and dark Winter evenings are the thieves friend

Two tips to reduce the chance of being burgled:

1) Make access to the back of your property difficult. Buglers will sometimes gain access to the rear of a property where there are no other properties overlooking to then take their time to break into a property.

2) Use a timer to switch on lights between 4 and 6pm. It gets dark from about 4pm and if you are out at work and return at say 6pm your house may well be dark and be letting a burgler know that you are not at home.

There are lots of tips on home security at the West Mercia crime prevention website:
https://westmercia.police.uk/article/13052/Home-security-advice


Regressive 4% Council Tax Rise Due To Central Government Cuts

Local Conservatives on the County Council are proposing an inflation busting near 4% rise in council tax which they claim is for helping the most vulnerable by increasing expenditure on care.
In the light of this rise in local council tax, it must be remembered that this comes after a 40% cut in central Government funding to local government. The huge scale of Government cuts has, and continues to have, consequences.
The Green Party agrees that we have to protect the most vulnerable in our society. However, with staggering hypocrisy, the Conservatives plan a regressive local council tax rise on Worcester residents. Many of the people paying for this increase will be the very people who the Tories claim to be intending to help with their social care costs.
The Green Party would instead raise the money needed centrally by introducing serious measures to reduce tax avoidance and evasion as well as changes to corporation and capital gains tax. The Tories have had over five years to tackle tax avoidance and evasion but cut the staff of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs instead, allowing the wealthy and their lawyers and accountants to continue to get away with paying tax at the expense of care.

6 Towns Credit Union – Supporting The Local Economy

I’m just writing to ask if anyone feels able to join me in supporting
our local credit union now that they have established a physical
presents in the city. For anyone who isn’t sure how a credit union
differs from a high street bank I offer this brief explanation.

A credit union can be thought of as a local bank with community and
social intentions. Each union only operates in a defined geographical
area and only runs accounts for people and businesses in this defined
area. Credit unions don’t lend money to large national or
international companies such as BP, or play the stock market. However,
they do lend money to local businesses and people on very low incomes
and or benefits at far more reasonable rates of interest and terms
than loan sharks. In this way credit unions support the local economy
and benefit claimants in ways that the high street banks do not.

Now that 6Towns Credit Union has opened an office in Worcester I have
opened a savings account with them and by giving them some of my money
I believe I am helping to support the local economy and population.

People can open an account with 6Towns Credit Union in two ways;
Online on their website [www.sixtowns.co.uk]
Or by going into their Worcester branch in Lowesmoor, the office now
occupies the old Lowesmoor CAB offices.

Thank you for helping me to promote this idea.

Guest blog by Duncan Bell 05/11/15


What is going on with the Labour Party?

The media has obsessed this last month with Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party. Corbyn is varyingly painted as a public menace, or a saviour of britain. In this piece I want to clarifying what is really going on and how we, as greens, fit into the picture.

What is Labour?

The Labour Party exists to represent the trade union movement in government; to articulate their interests and demands. Britain has some of the strongest historical unions in the world. At their peak half of British workers were unionized. From the perspective of this struggle, Labour Parties across the Western world made great advances in the 1950’s, developing and building the welfare state.

Since this visionary advance, the Labour Party has been suffering a slow malaise. Power has been slowly concentrated in a political and academic elite; the party has lost touch with its members, its activists and it’s visionaries. This manifests itself both in a gap between party policy and the members, and a total lack of new, visionary or radical politics. I’ll cover two areas of policy here to highlight my point;

Economics

The first policy area is economics and workers rights. The most obvious flaw with Labour here, has been their failure to attack austerity. Labour fails twice here. They failed to cut through the deficit scam and take up the task of defending welfare state, which the Conservatives attack as ‘inefficient’. They’ve also failed to see beyond the 1950’s conception of the state, to build new systems of common ownership; utilising workers cooperatives, and new means of public engagement.

Labour has also failed to address new economic problems, like mechanisation. The Greens; a truly democratic and grassroots party, have come up with solutions. Here we support the Citizens Income; a visionary idea suited to the modern era. Labour is supposed to be the leader in workers protection, and the Greens consistently trump them.

Ecology

The second policy area, more damning for some is ecological concerns. Labour offers a ‘green future’, but a deeper analysis shows they don’t understand the issues. Most obviously, they promote economic growth as a solution to poverty. They don’t realise that we are at the edge of the planet’s ecological limits, and that any growth now has to be meet with reductions elsewhere.

 

Who is Corbyn?

All of this brings us to Jeremy Corbyn; a moderniser who has managed to win the Labour leadership contest. Corbyn offers a much more modern version of economic policy, and a slightly more progressive environmental policy. Though he is leader of the party, this doesn’t mean that Labour is reformed, rather it is the start of a new struggle in Labour. If Labour is to become a progressive modern party, the momentum needs to emerge from the grassroots, to reform the party  as one of real democracy. Corbyn is not the important player here, but the grassroots membership of the party.

It has yet to be seen whether the grassroots of Labour will reform their party, whether they will break off to form a new movement, or whether they crash and burn. With all luck, a democratic party of the Trade Unions will emerge to stand by our democratic party of ecology, and Britain will be stronger for it.

Guest Post By: Andrea Grainger


St Mary’s School Pictures

St Mary’s School is still on the market and in case you missed the sales particulars here they are, click the link below:

St Marys School

 

 


Living Over The Shop

Why have I launched an advocacy group called Living Over The Shop?

During the May 2015 General Election I attended about 20 different hustings and in quite a few the question came up “What would you do about all the building on Green Field sites?” My stock answer generally went down very well with the audience: let’s use up all the brown field sites and empty properties but let’s also make better use of the space above our city centre shops. I decided to research where this has been tried before and then do something about it instead of just talking about it. The project is still developing, I have a meeting with Worcester City Council in early September and I am envisaging that some considerable energy will be needed to maintain pressure. If promoting flats above shops was easy it would have been done already – I like a challenge.

For more information see our dedicated website: www.LivingOverTheShop.org.uk


Is the NHS really being privatised – really?

Some will say that outsourcing is not really the same as privatising something.

When we talk of privatisation we are talking about a process that is moving a service along a continuum.

Privatisation does not happen all in one step, it can be a gradual process, it’s a direction of travel rather than an end point.

Do you agree with these definitions?

  • Privatising or Privatisation: Something that is in the process of being privatised.
  • Privatised: Clearly past tense, implies that the transition from public to private has been largely completed.

So yes, the NHS is in the process of being privatised.

But no, we are not saying that the NHS has been privatised or will be fully privatised in the next few years. There is still a long way to go but we must be on our guard to stop the current processes continuing.

This great little video explains that privatisation is a process: Video


Friends Of The Earth General Election Verdict

Friends Of The Earth verdict on the political parties running in this years’General Election: The Verdict

 


Would you feel cheated if you could not vote Green?

The Green Party is growing, membership is going through the roof and the national opinion polls are quite often giving us around 10%. Just one problem the party is struggling to capitalise on this new popularity – some areas do not yet have a Green candidate selected and for smaller parties raising the £500 deposit is proving a struggle.

Worcester and Wyre Forest Green Party’s have come together to create a crowd funding site that will raise the 2 x £500 deposits we need for the Bromsgrove and Mid Worcestershire constituencies. Any money we raise above this will go to the other local parties in Worcestershire to help out with the cost of leaflets.

Please help us promote the Worcestershire Green Party crowd funding initiative: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/worcestershire-green-party-election-deposit-fund/

If you can spare even just a few pounds this will bring us closer to our goal of giving everyone the chance to vote Green if they want to.

Thank you.