Emerging from the Green Closet

November 23, 2016 by

As you may have noticed this blog has been on a fairly long hiatus in 2016 and now  has changed hands, so I’ll start with a “hello!”.

My name is Scott and I was nominated at our local AGM to take over running of the website and social media presence. I am Northampton born and bred and work in the county, in healthcare not computing so I’m no master of code or web design but I will try my best to at least keep things up to date.

I joined the Green Party in 2015 but had been a closet Green Party supporter since about 2010. I say closet because I come from a blue family in a blue town so the subject was largely avoided at family and social gatherings. Anyone I did tell usually garnered the response.

“So are you hippy now or something?”

This usually means I have to explain myself, which tends to work out positively.

There are 3 main reasons I joined and am keen to be active in the Green Party.

1: They actually do something locally. I live in South Northamptonshire which is as safe a Tory seat as they come, so have never been heavily canvassed by anybody. The only time I ever saw local politics in action was when the Green Party had a stall in town, were protesting against something or undertaking litter picks. I had received a couple of lib dem leaflets whilst living in the town centre, but nothing of any consequence. Currently, fellow local party members are trying hold our council to account on air pollution, traffic and provision for safe transport. This is being done without any representation on the local council. Imagine the work we could get done with elected members.

2: They  aren’t the  Tories/Labour/Lib dems: Since graduating in 2009, I have worked in the NHS and have seen the problem change from overburdening targets and bureaucracy to overburdening targets, bureaucracy and chronic under funding. As far as I can see the only difference being the  colour of government. I am quite sure the current government want to remove the N in NHS. Evidence for this is seen in Health & Social Act 2012, Scrapping  nursing bursaries and the upcoming STPs. Whilst the lib dems seemed to temper the Tory excesses in 2010-15 I can’t vote for them due to crossing their own red line of Tuition Fees. My experience of the labour party in this time seems to suggest they can’t even decide what or who they stand for let alone fight an election. A number of times I’ve hoped they would oppose something e.g. Trident or Heathrow expansion, but have been found wanting. As yet the Green Party have not been mired in corruption, scandal or betrayal. Maybe it’s naive to suggest they never will be, but it is a good place to start.

3: I actually agree with their policies: Kind of an important one, No? No political party can completely align with ones world view but I think the Green Party aligns closest of all the parties. I feel that the biggest threats to our long term safety and well being are not Islamic terrorism or feckless spending but climate change and poverty so tackling these in my view transcend party politics and should be centre stage of any policy. With Brexit and Trump it feels like the world is moving away from Green issues, and people are looking for alternatives to the establishment. This is exactly why we should become a bigger political force in the coming years. It would be nice to dispel the “mad hippy” myth.

 

Our focus for now is to prepare for local county council elections in 2017 and continue the Air Quality Campaign in Northamptonshire. We meet every month and I was hoping the blog could be opened up to our members to post about local or national issues that are  close to their heart. If you have something you would like to write about that you think would fit with the Green ethos please message me via Twitter and see what we can do!

2015 in review

January 4, 2016 by

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

No Minister, this winter’s floods are not ‘Unprecedented’.

January 1, 2016 by

East Midlands Green Party Blog

David Cameron was ill advised to brag about how much flood defence work has been done during his premiership – surrounded as he was by flood water in York. “Like much of the rest of what you have done as prime minister David, your actions on flood prevention have been demonstrably inadequate. That’s why you were surrounded by flood water!”

The line being taken by this lamentable government is that the floods of this winter were ‘unprecedented’. The impression that they want to leave with the public is that there was nothing that could have been done to prevent them and that they are a one-off event, unlikely to be repeated. “So, Environment Minister Truss” [who has repeated the ‘unprecedented’ line like well trained parrot] “were the floods of 2007 or of 2014 also ‘unprecedented’? Doesn’t ‘unprecedented’ mean ‘not happened before’?”

After the 2007 flooding in the West country, there…

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The Curate’s Egg of the Paris Agreement

December 27, 2015 by

COP12 – Last Chance Saloon?

December 8, 2015 by

What does the World need from Paris?

November 29, 2015 by

Reflecting on the slow death of Britain’s Green Deal

November 24, 2015 by

Energy in Demand - Sustainable Energy - Rod Janssen

Many posts have been written in recent years about the rise and then demise of the Green Deal. Andrew Warren, a regular contributor to EiD and undoubtedly our most prolific commenter, writes an important post in the November/December issue of the magazine Energy in Buildings and Industry, questioning who is responsible for its slow death.

From insomnia to extinction

This summer, just after Parliament rose for its summer break, the Government unceremoniously killed off its flagship energy efficiency programme.

The Green Deal Finance scheme had initially been intended to be biggest home improvement programme since 1945, improving 15m homes during this decade, according to its lead minister, the Conservative Greg (now Lord) Barker.

He it was who memorably went on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme in March 2013, shortly after a less than triumphant launch. And admitted that “if we don’t have 10,000 Green Deal plans by the…

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1°C and Rising – Time for Action on Global Climate

November 19, 2015 by

British government ditches plans for zero carbon homes

July 18, 2015 by

Energy in Demand - Sustainable Energy - Rod Janssen

Philip Oldfield writes in the Guardian about the government decision to axe plans to make new homes carbon neutral from 2016. This has raised much criticism. What the article does not mention is how the government will now meet its related obligations for nearly zero energy buildings under the EU’s energy performance of buildings directive.

UK scraps zero carbon homes target

Housebuilders, planners and green groups have condemned the government for scrapping plans to make all new UK homes carbon neutral.

The zero carbon homes policy was first announced in 2006 by the then-chancellor Gordon Brown, who said Britain was the first country to make such a commitment.

It would have ensured that all new dwellings from 2016 would generate as much energy on-site – through renewable sources, such as wind or solar power – as they would use in heating, hot water, lighting and ventilation. This was to be…

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MEP caught up in Channel Tunnel delays calls stop to “demonisation of migrants”

June 24, 2015 by

People_Keith_TaylorAfter being delayed for over 4 hours yesterday at Dover because of a Calais Port strike, Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for South East England, has called for a stop to the “demonisation of migrants” and for “humanity” and “compassion” to be shown towards migrants who used the strike as an opportunity to try and gain entry to the UK.

Keith was on his way from London to Brussels via the Euro tunnel yesterday afternoon when he was caught up in the travel delays at Dover.

Despite some sections of the media blaming migrants for trying to take advantage of the transport chaos caused by the strike, Keith is adamant that the demonisation of migrants who attempted to board lorries is very unwelcome.

Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, said:

“It was inconvenient being held up at Dover for over 4 hours but this bears no comparison to the misery and suffering migrants face on a daily basis at Calais. The real crisis here is for those seeking sanctuary, not for the irritated passengers.

We have to show more humanity and compassion and I’m shocked by those who have used this crisis as an opportunity to demonise desperate migrants taking desperate measures.

I have the great benefit of being lucky enough to be born in Britain but who could say what any of us would do if we are fleeing miserable conditions in unsafe countries.

Better opportunities for legal access to Britain would be a good response to yesterday’s crisis, and greater commitment to combating the underlying reasons why refugees flee their country of origin.”