Tag Archives: Trident

The Green Party – We’re Not Just a Pretty Face!

JeanI have to confess that I had a personal dilemma on how to vote in the election. Should I vote tactically or vote for what I believe in?

I have been a member of the Green Party for 30 years but I have only been able to vote Green in the General Election twice back in 1987 and 1992 and the only times I have been able to vote Green in Local Elections was when I stood as a candidate myself. It has been difficult for us as a small party to find both the people and the money to stand in General Elections so I was pleased that the Green surge brought a new excitement and energy and candidates willing to put themselves forward.

However, I live in Derby North where Labour’s Chris Williamson only won by a small majority in 2010. Many people I spoke to outside the Green Party who were concerned about the cuts and austerity said I should vote tactically rather than vote Green. I knew that Chris was passionate about Animal Welfare and he was also in a group of fifteen Labour MPs who called for an alternative to the continuation of austerity and spending cuts. So I did consider their view carefully but in the end decided to vote for the party I believed in and not to play the tactics game.

Having taken this decision, I was very disappointed that the Conservatives won Derby North by 41 votes after three re-counts. I began to think that perhaps I should have voted tactically after all. But would it have changed anything? Labour was defeated nationally, their leader resigned but they still appear to think that austerity and cuts is the answer to our debt problems. From what I have heard, the candidates for the Leadership want to move nearer to Conservative policies to win back business and the votes of comfortably off people. This is far removed from what the Green Party stands for as an anti-austerity party, who don’t want to renew Trident, who oppose TTIP and who do not want our NHS to be sold off to the highest bidder. So, I’m glad I wasn’t persuaded to play the tactics game.

As others have said, for the Green Party, it is not just about who “won” on 7 May. I think the Green Party’s results in this election have helped the Party break through the perception in many people’s minds that it is just a well-meaning nice campaigning group. I believe that it will help to convince voters in 2020 that the Green Party is a serious political party, and given the chance, it can change the future face of politics.  One of the first things that we need to try to change is the first past the post voting system.

We have a long term aim to bring back values into politics, to build a fairer society for all and to continue to push for action to try to limit the consequences of global warming. Changing attitudes is always difficult and will not happen overnight. The abolition of the slave trade, votes for women, getting rid of apartheid, all required, and still require, persistence and dedication from those who believe that something needs to change. This election has shown that the Green Party is not just a pretty face; we have the body and brain to go with it.

Jean Macdonald
25 May 2015

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Nuclear Weapons in an Age of Austerity

Why is the government planning to force through devastating cuts which are hitting the poorest the hardest, destroying the welfare state and worsening the economic crises when it could save us over £100 billion by scrapping Trident?  The money could be better spent on housing, jobs, pensions, education and health.

bruce_kentRecently I listened to Bruce Kent at Derby Cathedral talking about Nuclear Weapons in an Age of Austerity.  Bruce Kent is a British political activist and a former Roman Catholic priest. He has been active in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) for many years.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Kent – cite_note-1

For the month of April, Bruce, now in his 80’s, is hitting the road on behalf of CND, spreading the Scrap Trident message across England.  He is working with a range of different organizations, including the Green Party, to highlight the wasteful spending on Trident when so much investment is needed to eradicate poverty, boost people-friendly development and make our world a safer and more peaceful place to live.

aldermastonThe Green Party Leader, Natalie Bennett and Green MEP, Keith Taylor joined together in a round of speaking at the annual CND Easter protest at Aldermaston on 1st April.

The Scrap Trident campaign is trying to put across the connection between the £100 billion to be spent on Trident and the savage cuts that people are being exposed to.   It is important to campaign now to stop plans for the replacement of Trident being progressed. It will be too late to wait for the next General Election as whoever is in government will be under pressure not to back out for economic reasons.  If we go ahead and replace Trident it will mean Britain possessing nuclear weapons until nearly 2060 – 90 years after we agreed to disarm.   

Please help the campaign – to see a snappy video and add your name to a petition, follow the link http://www.cnduk.org/scraptrident

If you are one of the people who think we need nuclear weapons as an insurance policy consider how non-nuclear countries view this.  If Britain shows the world that we think our security depends on us having nuclear weapons far into the future, then other countries without them, such as North Korea, will want them too. So the dangers of accidents or crises increase.

It’s a deep hypocrisy to say “we can have them but you can’t” I quote from Bruce’s website: “Our obligation, as a country is to negotiate the elimination of all nuclear weapons. If we replace Trident, in any shape or form, other countries will take the message from us that we think nuclear weapons improve our security. It’s an open invitation to get their own. It’s hypocrisy to say we can have them but they can’t”.

Scrap Trident – Vote Green X

Jean Macdonald for the Derbyshire Green Party

Press Release on behalf of Peter Allen, Green Party Candidate, High Peak

It is well known that the Green Party cares for the environment. What is less well known is our full range of policies covering social policy, the economy and global issues. High Peak Green Party Candidate Peter Allen and his team will be out on the streets during the next few weeks telling voters about these other Green Party policies.

“We don’t just want to save the planet, we want to make life so much better for people living on it” says Peter.

The Green Party has a fully-costed programme to transform Britain into a self-reliant, fair and sustainable country that contributes to making a fairer world. Among its policy commitments are:

  • A massive investment programme in public transport, renewable energy and social care, creating a million jobs in a Green New Deal
  • Expanding and defending the NHS and stopping further privatisation.
  • More money to fight world poverty, and to help poor countries combat climate change.
  • Bringing the troops home from Afghanistan and cancelling Trident.
  • Fairer taxes based on the ability to pay, and a clamp down on tax avoidance. Require banks to reinvest in sustainable projects.

The problems we face are enormous, and climate change threatens our very survival. The business-as-usual policies, offered by the other parties, will fail again. Now is a time of opportunity for us to work together to develop the answers to problems that affect us and our children.

“The obsession with economic growth at any cost must be replaced by sustainable development, and a fair distribution of the world’s resources” says Peter.

Green Party members will be leafleting in Glossop on Saturday morning (6th) in New Mills (13th), Chapel (20th) and Buxton (27th).