Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Big Brother is Here and collecting your DNA

Professor Jonathan Montgomery is the Chair of the Human Genetics Commission (HGC), the Government's independent DNA watchdog. The HGC says that there is little evidence that the national DNA database is of any use in solving crime. The Professor goes further, declaring that “it is now routine for the Police to take DNA samples on arrest. Large numbers of people on the DNA database will be there not because they have been convicted, but because they have been arrested. ..people are arrested to retain the DNA information, even though they might not have been arrested in other circumstances (source: Independent 24/11/09)
Why have the Police created the largest DNA database in the world? Who are they targeting? Well more than 75% of all the black men in England aged 18-35 are on the database, but the Police deny that they are institutionally racist. A similar percentage of peaceful political activists who regularly attend demonstrations are also probably on the database, judging by the evidence of the G20 , Kingsnorth and other recent demos. But the police claim that they are not politically motivated. Anyone who has attended a peaceful protest will be aware of the massive police presence, the “evidence gathering” officers with their cameras photographing every face and every car number. So even if you are not on the DNA database, your face and personal details are on the national police computer. How long will it be before the police come knocking on your door in the middle of the night at the behest of this increasingly repressive Government?
Once upon a time the old Labour Party marched for civil liberties. Now New Labour marches with a goose step, turning the Police into a para-military force, empowered to suppress our liberties and arrest us for our DNA. New Labour IS Big Brother, but does anyone really think it will change under the Tories? Don't take the chance: vote for real democracy, vote for the Green Party.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Europe Shamed by Rompuy Pumpuy

Well, I’m afraid that it is no good just saying, well thank God that it isn't Tony Blair! The selection of a so-called President of Europe (one of three in fact, if you include the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament) is a slap in the face of democracy. The vast majority of the population of Europe were not asked if they wanted this appointment. The British Government reneged on a manifesto pledge to give the British people a referendum. And this is the result. We have as the unelected President of 500 million people in Europe, a short-term leader of a divided country smaller than North Yorkshire (Belgium), the unknown Mr Rompuy Pumpuy.

To add insult to injury the newly created European Foreign Secretary’s job has been given to a career opportunist, who has never faced an election in her life and who owes her political career since 1989 to patronage by the Labour Party. Plucked from obscurity, she has no Foreign Policy experience but Catherine Ashton had the temerity to claim that she was the best person for the job.

The truth lies elsewhere, I think. Reports in the French newspaper Le Monde suggest that Gordon Brown cut a deal with President Sarkozy at this week's Brussels summit. In return for French support for her the Prime Minister is said to have agreed to hand Ms Ashton’s highly influential old job of Internal Market Commissioner to the former French foreign minister Michel Barnier. Both Barnier and Rompuy want to scrap Britain's EU rebate, a rebate already massively reduced by Tony Blair as a spiteful present to the UK just before he quit as PM.

Ms Ashton had only had that job a short time, put in as an inoffensive apology for quitter Mandelson, when he jumped the EU ship to take over the running of Westminster. Yet another unelected official lording it over us.

The divine right of Kings, or in this case European Heads of State, to make shady deals behind closed doors has made the famed Democratic Deficit at the heart of Europe now a yawning chasm. In any other job such blatant patronage would be illegal. These appointments are an embarrassment for the whole of Europe & we should do our best to shame these flunkies into an early resignation.

So my message to the new President and “High Representative” (accompanied by the “Agincourt Salute”) is “GO AWAY, WE DON’T WANT YOU, WE DID NOT ELECT YOU SO RESIGN.”

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Council Tax Doubled by Poor Leadership

Poor political leadership by councillors is the main cause for the doubling of Council Tax in Richmondshire, North Yorkshire since 1999.

According to the Government figures released to Parliament, Richmondshire District Council has seen the revenue it collects increase from £10.9m to £25.6m in the ten years to 2008 – 134 per cent in cash terms or a 78 per cent real terms increase. Richmondshire is now collecting £28.2m in Council Tax for 2009/10, another massive increase.

These are the biggest increases in Yorkshire and a damning indictment of the stewardship of Conservative and Independent Richmondshire District and County Councillors alike. This Labour Government has certainly decreased its financial support for local government in the last decade, but local Councillors have only themselves to blame for such a large increase in Richmondshire.

Dithering Councillors and above inflation pay rises for senior staff are just two of the causes for this increase. All too often it is the same councillors making poor decisions at both District and County level. We have too many County Councillors who are also District Councillors and doing a bad job at both levels. Some Councillors are clearly well past their sell-by date and need putting out to pasture. What Richmondshire needs are new Councillors with new ideas, sustainable and cost effective ideas for the 21st century.

Richmondshire Tory and Independent Councillors will increase Council Tax above inflation again next year with the highest Council Tax payers likely to be charged more than £3000 a year for 2010-11. That’s £250 a month and for what? Council Services will continue to be cut and standards decline. Richmondshire voters need to ditch these failed councillors and vote for change at the next election.

Leslie Rowe is the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Green Party in the Richmond Constituency, North Yorkshire and a Chartered Certified Accountant.

Promoted by Leslie Rowe 73 Richmond Road, Brompton on Swale, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 7HF on behalf of Richmondshire Green Party, c/o 73 Richmond Road, Brompton on Swale, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 7HF

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

It’s your vote. Use it to vote for a Referendum on Europe

So now all three English Westminster Parties have broken their promise to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats promised a referendum in the 2005 General Election manifestos, but were quick to renege on that promise once that election was over.

David Cameron made a "cast-iron guarantee" to the public in 2007 on behalf of the Tory party, that he would hold a referendum on the treaty. Today he has broken this promise, saying only that if Europe tries to amend the constitution again, he might then give the people a referendum. A stern “don’t do it again “ from Mr Flip Flop. Yet another policy of appeasement on Europe from the Tory Party, just like David Cameron’s predecessor Neville Chamberlain.

Is it any wonder people are sick to death of politicians who time after time break their promises and focus only on lining the pockets of themselves and their friends? Unlike the Green Party, Conservatives, Labour and Liberals all rely on “donations” from big business to survive. No wonder then that they support a European Union set up to bring even bigger profits to the multi-national companies. Many local jobs have gone in the UK, as manufacturing and now service jobs are being exported to cheaper parts of Europe and the rest of the world. The City of London, once touted as the saviour of the British economy has had to be bailed out by the British taxpayer, leaving us with higher taxes for years to come.

Despite claims to the contrary, the EU is a fundamentally un-Green institution. Even if we ignore the millions of pounds wasted on flying powerless politicians and European bureaucrats around Europe, we have further billions wasted on inefficient European Common Policies. In particular the Common Agricultural Policy, which subsidises meat production, a major source of greenhouse gases and which undermines Fair Trade in the developing world. The EU spends far more on supporting a cow in Europe, than it does in supporting a human life in Africa.

The EU encourages large supermarket chains to sell brands on a European wide basis, undermining local production. We should be switching back to local production of food and local production of consumer goods, to bring useful jobs back into the UK. Similarly instead of European wide monopolies of water, electricity and gas, who declare that big power stations (including nuclear power) are the only solution, we should be encouraging everyone in this country to generate their own power through solar panels, windmills and underground heat pumps. Even the Americans, under Barak Obama, are offering US citizens $25,000 to do just that.

If you voted Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat in the last General Election, please make up your mind now to not vote for them at the next General Election. If you care about your country and the environment and want a referendum on Europe, then you should vote for the Green Party.

But even if you cannot bring yourself to support the radical and sensible solutions of the Green Party, please do not just stay at home. Make sure you vote for someone, anyone, who will allow you a say on our future in Europe. And that means voting against the cock sure Tories as well as punishing the liars in the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats.