The Green Party

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cuts in Croydon - council lobby video

Demonstrators lobbied the last council meeting. Greens were there in force.
The facts are that the Council is planning to cut upto one third of its workforce and to privatise many services. As many as 2000 jobs could go as the Council tries to cut its budget by £70 million over the next few years.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lib Dems join in the attack on our freedoms and public services

With friends like the Liberal Democrats, our beleaguered public services, reeling from a miserable thirteen years under New Labour’s right wing economic agenda, need no enemies. Business secretary Vince Cable has announced plans to privatise up to 90 per cent of the Royal Mail, and has said he would happily see it bought up by foreign companies. Far from acting as a brake on the gung-ho free market capitalism of the Tories, LibDem members of the coalition are enthusiastically Con-Demming us to the further decimation of public services.
What’s interesting about the draconian cuts in the spending review, as George Monbiot points out in the Guardian (October 19th 2010) is not so much what is being axed as what isn’t. Public bodies whose purpose is to hold corporations to account are being swept away. Public bodies whose purpose is to help boost corporate profits, regardless of the consequences for people and the environment, have sailed through unharmed. Whether the LibDems are having the wool pulled over their eyes and are innocently unaware of the Tory agenda, or they are simply now revealed for the illiberal right wing party that many of us suspected they (or at least their leadership) are, we’ll have to see. But it follows a series of defeats for the leadership at their conference on the coalitions’s plans for so called ‘free schools’, which of course in no time will become semi privatised ‘academies’ with no democratic local control. This from a party that likes to tell us how keen they are on localism and accountability. Ha ha. But they were at it before the election too. Lib Dem peers Razzell and Clement Jones, back in March, ameded the lready illiberal Digital Economy Bill to allow site blocking for copyright infringement. Rushed through by the illiberal Labour Government this tawdry Act opens the door for the blocking of sites accused of copyright infringement, including sites like Youtube. Any site with user generated content could easily fall foul of provisions like this. And we all know who can afford the expensive lawsuits which attach to any conflicts, and who can’t.
Even the environment is under attack from LibDem members of the coalition: this week we have the bizarre spectacle of a Tory, Tim Yeo, chairman of parliament's cross-party energy and climate change pleading with a LibDem minister, Chris Huhne, the Climate Change Secretary, not to slim down commitments to sustainable technology. Huhne has said: "nothing was safe" in his department.
There's plenty more; it all adds up to a depressing picture of continuing whittling away of the public sphere, with the Tories set to get their way nearly everywhere supported by their junior partners, still too intoxicated by the scent of power to know how to use it properly.