The Green Party

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Shan Oakes - The real civil liberties candidate

Shan Oakes has been selected as the Green Party's candidate standing against the Conservatives' David Davis for the seat of Haltemprice and Howden on July 10th 2008.

Any offers of campaigning help can be directed to Martin Dean at sokuto12 'at'

Read Shan's new blog at


Monday, June 02, 2008

Stop the 3rd runway!

Of all the insane proposals put forward by this increasingly wretched government their plans for airport expansion must be some where near the top of the league. That’s why I was happy to be there at the weekend supporting the action against the proposed third runway which will demolish about 1200 homes as well as making lives of tens of thousands of people a misery. The new runway will increase the airport capacity by 50% from 480,000 flights a year to 720,000; and BAA also wants to end the “alternation agreement” which regulates flights at Heathrow’s existing runways: planes leaving the airport currently switch directions at 3pm in order to give the people of West London a break from the noise. If the policy changes, the airport could take a further 72,000 flights a year on top as well as condemning thousands of local people to non stop noise.

What about the wider issues- of climate change? Depending on whether you believe the government’s figures or those produced by academic researchers, by 2050 the greenhouse gases produced by the UK’s air passengers will equate to between 91% and 258% of the carbon dioxide the government says the whole economy should be producing. Its airport expansion plans, in conjunction with those of other nations, will cause runaway climate change even if we were to spend the rest of our lives shivering in the dark. So much for the economic benefits of new runways.

Don’t think that it will be any better with the Tories who are predictably just as committed to run(a)way climate change via increased air travel. The LibDems too like to sit on the fence and proclaim that we should be expanding regional airports like Lydd (as if these are somehow more cuddly and their emissions less toxic). Pathetic cop out as usual. If the position of political parties on airport expansion isn’t touchstone of their real commitment to ‘sustainability’ then I don’t know what is.

Green waste- another hastily rolled out mistake.

copy of letter sent to Sutton Guardian:

Dear Editor

As chair of the Greens you’d expect me to be an enthusiastic composter and indeed I am but it only servers to reinforce my perception that if anyone in the LibDems is a gardener they can’t be very good at talking to each other, for there is so much garden waste that isn’t suitable for the compost heap. Leaving aside all the woody material which I’m not sure what to do with now, even large quantities of grass cuttings don’t rot down as correspondents to the Guardian have already pointed out. I’m all in favour of encouraging more composting- maybe the teams of smart travel people could have been recycled into compost consultants? – but the best that can be said for this fiasco is that it’s a well meaning but wrong headed approach. If Cllr Hall and his team had thought about consulting with gardeners, it seems they could have avoided looking like monkeys whilst only paying peanuts, to paraphrase recent comments by another councillor to justify another dubious decision. Bonfire anyone?

Bob Steel, Sutton Green party