Friday, May 29, 2009

Liberal Democrat voters the largest group likely to switch to the Greens, followed by Labour voters

Just had the Liberal Democrat Party European election leaflet through my door. A lot of it is, surprise, surprise, pretty unremarkable. However, it does feature a paragraph worthy of comment on the Greens (along with paragraphs on the Conservatives and Labour) entitled ‘Their record of shame’ (the title’s a bit rich I’d say, given that several Lib Dem MPs have been forced by public pressure to repay expenses claimed)!! Now, this paragraph is interesting because poll evidence shows that the largest group that would consider switching to the Greens are Lib Dem voters, even though its usually far more common for Greens to attract former Labour voters, who this time came second!! Obviously the Lib Dem Party feel the threat to their vote from Greens.

This is what the Lib Dem Party’s inaccurate misrepresentation said,

‘The Green Party have always been anti-EU even though it is our best chance of tackling climate change. The EU has helped to clean up British rivers and beaches and ban animal testing of cosmetics, but the Green Party let their ideology get in the way of getting things done for the environment.’

*Greens ‘anti-EU’??
Frankly the Lib Dem Party should be much more questioning about the current EU which has been distorted by vested political and economic interests into a union dominated by economic interests, which lacks democratic control, and promotes the goals of multinational corporations, not of people. Greens are not campaigning to withdraw from the EU but we do believe that it should be radically reformed so that its made up of overlapping, co-operative, democratic, decentralised groupings of nations and regions. (More detail on the Green view of Europe here).

*Greens ‘let their ideology get in the way of getting things done for the environment’??
First the list of Green initiatives for people (just some of them shown in the long list below) in itself shows that we get things done (The Lib Dem Party still have not got the idea that being Green is not just about the environment and should note the wide range of our economic, social and political as well as environmental initiatives below). Second, the statement is illogical because Green ideology is itself about getting environmental things done, in combination with the social, economic and political, through the principle and practice of sustainability.

For you
Ensured better regulations for consumer goods
Won support for tougher laws on animal protection
Worked for urgent action on climate change and the environment
Promoted peace and human rights at home and abroad
Opposed the privatisation of public services and the closure of local post offices
Campaigned to end the Parliament’s wasteful two seat arrangement in Brussels and Strasbourg
Worked towards a more local, organic and sustainable food system
Ensured the health of EU citizens is put at the heart of European policy making
Demanded a global economy which puts people before profit
Promoted a fairer system of world trade to help reduce poverty

For women
Backed EU wide action to help ensure that women are guaranteed a life free from all violence
Secured support for the EU’s Cancer Task Force to investigate the environmental causes of cancer, (delete including) especially breast cancer
Called on members of the European Union to ensure that all women can fully enjoy the right to reproductive and sexual health care and information
Campaigned for the EU to fund improvements to maternal health, specifically to prevent deaths in child birth, across the world
Challenged whether the UK’s lax licensing laws for lap dancing clubs are a breach of European legislation designed to promote equality of treatment in the workplace

For workers
Demanded a massive investment in green industry and employment training, to create hundreds of thousands of new green-collar jobs here in the UK
Called on the European Commission to review the impact of the Posted Workers Directive on national jobs
Lobbied the UK authorities about better protection for temporary workers, including guaranteeing the same basic working and employment conditions as other employees doing the same job
Backed EU plans to limit the working week, giving people the chance to opt for a better work-life balance
Worked alongside trade unions to challenge the privatisation of public services and the impact this has on workers rights and job security

For the LGBT community
Led a European Parliament campaign for mutual recognition of civil partnerships between different countries
Called on the European Commission to condemn LGBT oppression in places like Iran, Morocco, Egypt, Bahrain and Honduras
Backed calls for a new law that would outlaw hate crimes perpetrated against LGBT people
Urged the British government to offer asylum to those fleeing persecution because of their sexuality or gender identity
Placed pressure on Eastern European countries to fully support LGBT rights, including backing PRIDE marches

For older people
Called for a £165 a week non-means-tested citizens’ pension for every pensioner in the UK
Challenged the UK’s decision to withdraw entitlement to free adult education for many older people
Ensured that EU law on equality and employment (is there some text missing here?), by opposing a mandatory retirement age
Supported constituents whose pensions schemes have failed
Helped protect constituents’ right to health care when they retire and live some of the time in another European country

For younger people
Campaigned to protect higher and further education from being run for profit
Encouraged the EU to provide more funding for cross-cultural programmes between young people in different countries
Worked hard to ensure that the internet remains accessible to all
Called for a Europe wide strategy to combat the trafficking of children
Demanded that children seeking asylum in the UK are not kept in detention
Supported NGO initiatives to promote greater public understanding of younger people

Should council tax payers help fund the proposed Bristol City stadium development??

No comments:
Tesco's desire to turn Bristol City's Ashton Gate stadium into a superstore are again in the news. This time the concerns of local businesses and people are reported and lively online debate included:

'Mr Landsdown says...he needs Tesco's money. What will he need next, a subsidy from the Council?' (Rob, Crews Hole).

Indeed he will Rob. In yesterday's Post Steve Lansdown is quoted as saying this,

"There's a feeling that Steve Lansdown is going to pay for the lot but the city of Bristol has to pay for some of it because this is going to be around for a lot longer than I am. I'll pay for some of it but there are others who can chip in as well."

Mr Lansdown it seem wants: to build over green space; wants Tesco and council tax payers money to help him do so; wants to push the whole process along by exerting his not inconsiderable influence, along with that of the media, Tesco, the FA...on the leaders of the big three parties on the council (who in turn will influence all councillors - including those on the relevant planning committee). I doubt that he is concerned at all about the impacts on the diverse range of businesses already operating in the area.