Food Not Fuel

Halima

Yesterday I was invited along to the Action Aid blogger meetup to hear about their work as part of the IF campaign coalition. Having previously done a bit of work for an international development charity working in Africa, I was acutely aware about the issue of hunger. And being a climate change campaigner I have spent a lot of time reading about how climate change will worsen the global food crisis and the poorest people will suffer first, so I went along keen to learn more about the issue.

For those who don’t know already, Enough Food IF is a campaign in the style of ‘Make Poverty History’ and is asking the G8 (the worlds most wealthy countries) to implement a series of measures to help tackle world hunger. This year David Cameron is president of the G8 and therefore has the opportunity to drive real change if he so wishes.

The campaign has set out of big IF’s for world leaders to tackle:

Throughout the evening we heard from a number of speakers including the actress and cook Fay Ripley, Joy an inspirational young Action Aid campaigner from Kenya. And Rachel Beer, who I have known for several years and is a thought leader in charity fundraising and digital.

Fay spoke passionately about the extravagant culture of present giving at children’s parties and how she and her 6 year old decided to ask that parents just donated into a bucket and then with that money through Action Aid they sponsored children and saw what a wonderful difference that money made.

I asked Fay about food waste at the parties and she confirmed that it is terrible and that most parents in her North London circle care very little for it. Being a keen cook Fay assured me that isn’t the case with her parties but it was disheartening to hear that there was such blatant waste of good food. This at time when in the UK food banks are opening at the rate of 3 per week. Further afield the situation is much worse as Joy was about to tell us.

Joy is a 29 year old campaigner from Kenya, she spoke with such raw passion and gave us her first hand account of what it was like growing up when their was literally not enough food to go around. She spoke about how her bigger brothers would eat all of the food and how in her family if someone hesitated with their food another family member would take the food of their plate. She also talked about how people would “bump” round and if your family had food, you would share it with them, I liked that people were willing to share the very little they had with their neighbour.

Joy

She then went on to talk about Biofuels, one of the key focuses of the IF campaign and how this has impacted upon communities in Kenya. But first a little bit of background about biofuels:

  • Around 10 years ago biofuels were being touted as a renewable energy source.
  • Biofuels harvest crops which could be used to feed people, once these lands have been used for biofuels, it can take as long as 25 years to be able to grow food on this land again
  • Big oil companies like BP and Shell have invested heavily in Biofuels and lobbied governments to include biofuels as part of the renewable energy mix.
  • There is now scientific consensus that biofuels don’t reduce carbon emissions, in-fact they actually release higher carbon emissions than the fossil fuels they were created to replace.
  • The EU instated a target of having 5% of transport fuels come from Biofuels by 2010, this has helped drive the industry and land grabs.
  • In 2009, the oil company Shell stopped investing in wind and solar power choosing Biofuels as its “renewable” energy investment because it has the potential to generate profits.
  • BP are another big oil company who have invested heavily in biofuels, they are determined to see it succeed.

So in short biofuels a bit of a problem, big oil have invested in developing it and 10 years of intense lobbying has led to laws supporting its use. However in 2011, 10 of the world’s most powerful organisations, including the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank all recommended that G20 governments should  scrap biofuel policies.

Back to Joy, she told us about the extent of the hunger crisis in Kenya, currently 11 million people are going hungry everyday, this doesn’t include people who are partially hungry i.e. they may have one meal a day. She told us about biofuels and how recently a french company displaced 20,000 people through a land grab in order to start producing biofuels. If these people are offered jobs at the plants they are lowest possible roles, paying very poor wages.

Biofuels Infographic

The issue of land grabs is a frightening reality for the whole of Africa not just to fuel biofuels production but to feed the populations of the gulf region and China. Large corporations and governments have been buying up vast regions of land. The people in these areas are not consulted, compensated, simply displaced.

You maybe aware that recently we passed 400ppm of carbon in the atmosphere. Putting it very simply this is seriously bad news in the bid to tackle world hunger. Dr James Hansen one of the leading climate scientists said this in 2008: “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted … CO2 will need to be reduced … to at most 350ppm.”

The continued use of biofuels will see an increase in the carbon emitted into the atmosphere leading to an increase in extreme weather patterns. Floods, droughts, hurricanes will become more common and in arid regions of the world already struggling with poverty. The tougher climate will make water more scarce and farming in difficult conditions even more challenging. It is predicted in the next 50 years climate change will result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and millions of climate refugees.

Last year extreme weather events caused £170 billion in damages, this isn’t taken to into account the emotional trauma and death these ever increasing weather events caused.

Tackling world hunger isn’t easy, even if biofuels are scrapped and the IF campaigns demands are met there will be an unbelievable amount of work to do. But this is a good starting point, and as a country we shouldn’t be supporting an industry which has been found to be bad for the environment, displaces innocent and pulls communities into starvation. With the world population due to expand to 9 billion in by 2050, we need to use land for food no fuel, we need to invest in renewable energy sources and we need to eat less meat to reduce carbon emissions and ensure their is more food to go around.

For too long these corporations, BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil et al, have taken advantage of the people with no voice. They have taken their land, polluted their environment and made huge profits whilst in places like in Kenya 11 million people can will starve everyday. They should feel ashamed. And if the G8 don’t stop the use of biofuels they will be responsible for the continued misery of untold millions.

I will leave you with the words of Joy who I felt was channeling some of the energy of the Suffragette Emily Wilding Davision, 100 years to the day that she stepped in front of the Kings horse to demand votes for women.

Joy was pretty fierce through out and said: “Lets join hands and fight together for the hungry people”.  Well I couldn’t agree more, please share this blog and spread the word about the IF campaign. Or join Action Aid and other NGO’s in Hyde Park this Saturday for an IF campaign rally.

Did the left win the 20th century?

Another plane

Last week I received a complimentary 100th year anniversary copy of the New Statesman. I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the archived essay from John Maynard Keynes on the case for intervention and Will Self talking about his pessimistic outlook.  However the one feature which really caught my eye was politicians and political commentators discussing ‘Did the left win the 20th century?’

Having got over the shock of not being asked for my opinion directly by the New Statesman I decided I would quite like to write about this. I am quite unashamedly left wing in my politics, I believe in nationalised public services, government intervention in business, tax and spend fiscal policy and ending all fossil fuel subsidies and the need for a rapid transition to a clean energy system.

However I recognise that to tackle the biggest challenge our generation faces in my eyes ‘climate change’, we will need both sides the left and the right to work together to have any chance of seriously curbing our carbon emissions.

To date I would be correct in suggesting big business are standing in the way of tackling climate change at every turn. If capitalism is going to survive as the dominant politically ideology for the next 100 years, I believe it will have to evolve, retract, become a more local. We live on a planet with finite resources and a rapidly changing climate.

The businesses which help us becoming smarter and more efficient in the way we lead our daily lives, paying a fair wage to employees will be the ones which thrive. Those who continue to put profit before the wellbeing of their employers and those who currently buy their products will perish.

Did the left win the 20th century?

Oh, how I would love to answer ‘yes’ and say how in 2013 we live in a socialist paradise where everyone cycles and poverty in non existent. The truth is that as I type this I can hear the planes on route to City Airport and we stand on the verge of a triple dip recession. To boot we have a government who want to de-regulate and privatise and outsource everything, even through irresponsible unfettered capitalism was a root cause of the financial crisis. The neoliberal economics of Milton Friedman adopted by Thatcher then Blair and almost every western government since the 1970’s and has led to the current sad state of affairs, so it could be said the economic doctrine of the right sadly had more support at the end of the 20th century.

However the social ideals of the left certainly gained universal acceptance by the end of the 20th century. Things like for example an national health service, state pensions, acceptance of gay relationships, end to apathied, employment law, human rights act. These only came about because of the left.

So on reflection perhaps it was a score draw. What is clear the politics of the 20th century failed, the gap between the richest and the poorest grew wider. And although there were huge advancements in providing help for the most needy food banks are opening at a rate of 3 a week in the UK.

The next 10o years will need a different kind of people politics with ideas for change from business and government coming our communities not out of touch privileged politicians.

Regardless of who “wins” the 21st century political battle, lets hope it is the side which fights for social justice and wealth distribution and tackles climate change. That is the side I will be on.

Boris Johnson- no fracking clue

“Who’s bad?” in the British political scene of 2012 it has to be Boris Johnson. The publicity-loving Mayor has been showing his dangerous neo-liberal tendencies again; this time by using his column in the Telegraph to support of the pursuit of shale gas, better known as Fracking.

This article was lazy even by his slap dash standards, throughout he manages to ignore any empirical evidence about fracking and uses what I would describe as cold war style rhetoric to make his points. This little snippet used when talking about the Kyoto treaty stopping us building new coal stations sums the language used throughout the article perfectly: “We are therefore increasingly and humiliatingly dependent on Vladimir Putin’s gas or on the atomic power of the French state”.

We all know Boris isn’t one to follow rules, however it would appear this extends to following scientific reports. Although Boris did correctly identify that gas omits less CO2 than burning coal. Well-done Boris. Although studies commissioned by the EC have found Shale gas is likely to have higher emission levels than conventional gas extraction methods. So not much, much, cleaner Boris but still probably the second most destructive form of fossil fuel consumption available to us at the moment in Europe.

Boris also claims there hasn’t been one single complaint the Environmental Protection Agency in the US where fracking has been widespread. Sadly it appears Boris hasn’t heard of the infamous ‘Hallburton Loophole’. In 2005 Congress passed the Energy Policy Act. This act included a clause which exempted nearly everything used in fracking from being regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. So if you live in the United States and your drinking water now has shale gas mixed in with it because of leaking fracking wells, you can’t complain. If the fracking rigs cause poisonous air quality, you can’t complain about that either. Instead artists led by Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono have united against fracking to stop it happening in the New York area.

This kind of de-regulation and reckless pursuit of fossil fuels to benefit the already rich fossil fuel industry is ludicrous. Boris should really be careful as he is already responsible for over 4000 early deaths in London due to poor air quality. So yes Boris, I am a green campaigner and I take the further poisoning of our air, water and increased carbon emission’s very seriously.  And my next point is where I find him incredibly frustrating; whenever I see him on TV he endlessly talks about the need for investment. Renewable energy is an area where we have the expertise and the opportunity to be word leaders however Boris continues to call for investment in dangerous fossil fuel technology.

And I am not alone in calling for this urgent investment in green growth the CBI (The UK’s top business lobbying organisation) recently released figures showing that one third of British growth last year came from the green economy. The figures are stacking up in favour of investment in the ‘green ecomony’. The CBI believes if we get the right level of investment from the government and investors the ‘green economy’ could deliver £20 billion in 2014/2015. I certainly wouldn’t call that ‘chicken feed’.

Again in regards to employment he really misses the point. In sectors such as wind power and energy efficiency close to one million people are already employed in the UK. Expertise in energy efficency and renewable technologies are things we can export. We can’t sell the toxic carbon emissions created by fracking that is for sure.

Boris Johnson is now widely viewed to be the future leader of the Conservative party. Members of his party would do well to remember the bumbling backbencher that couldn’t punch his way out of a political paper bag. Essentially Boris hasn’t changed he still spouts the pro business, anti environment, de-regulation nonsense, which led to the financial crisis. His ideology of neo-liberalism has been discredited; it’s heroes, Thatcher, Bush, Cheney, Blair, are widely derided figures. This article reaffirmed Boris desire to destroy our countryside and ignore the climate change crisis in the favour of short-term profits for the fossil fuel companies.

This is the man who in the wake of the Libor scandal told us “Barclays is and remains a great British brand,” a “proud” and an “historic” one no less. And he remains a champion of Rupert Murdoch despite the phone hacking scandal. The question is; do you really trust Boris on the environment? I know I don’t.

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Israel and the inconvenient truth

I am feeling angry and deeply saddened by the latest attack by Israel on the people of Gaza.  Let us remember Gaza is a place with no army, no heavy artillery and no airforce to command. Gaza is essentially a concentration camp surrounded by Israeli checkpoints the the people of Gaza live in poverty, constant fear and terror. Palestinians are called Terrorists but it was the Zionist movement which launched a bombing campaign against the British to force the creation of Israel and the British to abandon Palestine.

Israel is a country born in blood despite the figures being fiercely disputed, what known is that in 1948 Israel Defence Forces ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands if not millions of Palestinians. I believe Israel has never recovered from the horrific horrors of the genocide but now as they prepare for another ground invasion into Gaza they are overseeing another genocide of their own against some of the persecuted most vulnerable people in the world.

Never Ending War

“The situation in the Israel” “Israel Palestinian conflict” these are some of the terms used to describe the occupation and genocide of Palestinians by the western media. This culture of tolerance and blind support for the actions of Israel by our politicians and media needs to end. I was pleased to hear the Foreign Secretary, William Hague calling for a negotiated two state solution earlier today (20th November 2012).

But this is why I feel it will be a long time before we will ever see a two state solution come into fruition. Like in Orwell’s novel 1984 the ruling power in this case Israel wants never ending “war” with Palestine. By cultivating the illusion of being under constant threat Israel are able to justify a huge defence spend over 7% of GDP and exporting over $18.4 billion in tech exports, many of designed to aide terrorism counter surveillance. Being at constant war has become a way of life for Israel and the Palestinians are being seen as collateral damage to maintain a economically thriving country. Tonight whilst Palestinians in Gaza live in fear of their lives in blood bathed streets just the other side of the wall Israelis are living a very different existence.

This comment from the speech below by Chris Hedges the American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist pretty much sums it all up for me.

He said; ” The lesson of the holocaust is not, Jews are special, is not jews are unique, not that Jews are eternal victims, the lesson of the holocaust is that when you have the capacity to halt genocide and you do not. No matter who carries out that genocide and whom it is against; you are culpable”.

You can watch the full speech by Chris Hedges which sums up the situation in Gaza perfectly in my opinion.

Recommended related reading: http://dorkymum.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/we-need-to-talk-about-gaza/

Reactions

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After receiving an email from the wonderful Annie over at Mammasarus blog talking about linky initiatives, I decided I would join in with the Ranty Friday linky. So the following is a bit of a rant on a couple of issues I really have a bee in bonnet about at the moment.

Innocent until proven guilty

First off let me be clear; the allegations of child abuse by MP’s and media figures are disgusting. As someone who worked at the NSPCC I am fully aware of the horrors of abuse and the lasting impact the vile actions of abusers leave on survivors. But this week has seen the internet awash with the names of MP’s accused of abuse.  These people haven’t been found guilty yet and although I am really glad these allegations are being taken seriously and the people accused are being arrested or spoken to by the police. In this country we have a proud tradition of being innocent until proven guilty. The reputation of the accused will never recover even if they are found to be innocent. These accusations are of the most serious nature and I think we would be all better off if they were treated like the serious crime they are and not a tool to sell newspapers or grab TV ratings.

Disaster Politics 

Well thank god Obama got re-elected and we have been spared the crazy neo-liberal extremism and anti women policies of Romney. In his victory speech Obama said; One of his dreams is that the nation’s children would live in an America “that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”

Sadly it has taken the devastating consequences of climate change in the form of Hurricane Sandy to come knocking on door of one of the richest and most powerful cities in the western world to put the issue back on the US political agenda. When hurricane Katrina destroyed the poor area of New Orleans barely a fingers was lifted, the poor were left destitute, whilst the rich rebuilt privatised towns with security guards to keep the deemed undesirable out.  The US should be leading on tackling climate change and investing in renewable technologies, such as wind, solar, carbon capture storage and introducing a carbon tax on business. Instead they continue to not commit to legally binding carbon targets and invest in the environmentally reckless practice of shale gas extraction better known as ‘fracking‘. If President Obama wants to create a future where our children don’t live with regular extreme weather events he better act fast.

Dangerous Times Call For Radical Green Solutions


Following last week’s Green Party conference, The Guardian released the first in a series of videos focusing on the politic party conferences. Our video was called; ‘The Greens are turning into a force on the radical left‘. If I were being a bit pedantic, I would argue the choice of this title, as I believe we are turning into a broader political force not just one confined to one side of the political spectrum.

This years Green conference saw the newly appointed Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett, give a powerful maiden speech. In her speech she did something you certainly wouldn’t hear David Cameron or Ed Miliband doing; she asked Green Party members to hold her to account on her promises made for her first 100 days in office. She also spoke on how Labour hasn’t changed and the coalition has picked up from where Labour left off. And I was also personally delighted to see Natalie invite dialogue with the trade union movement.

For me the Greens and unions working hand in hand feels like a natural fit, as we share the same desire to create a fairer society and strong public sector. We both wish to see efficient and affordable public services run with the interests of the general public at heart. We both believe in a fairer society whereby those who caused the financial crisis bear the brunt not the poorest in society. We both wish to see proper wages paid to those who get up every day and work for the benefit of the people not multinational corporations. I am talking about nurses, teachers, bus drivers, care home workers. These are the people who make Britain tick and these are the people the governments misguided austerity drive is failing to support. The Greens and Unions have that common bond of wanting to create a fairer society and this is a relationship I hope we continue to strengthen.

In her speech Natalie importantly also touched on how our planet is under attack. I know I am not the only green who has despaired in recent weeks at the bizarre discussions in government surrounding environmental issues. Our government are obsessed with airport expansion, cutting renewable subsidies like they have done with wind farms and pursuing fracking despite the European Commission publishing a report saying ‘drilling for shale gas poses “high risks”, worse than those posed by other fossil fuels’. All of this at a time where we recorded the lowest Arctic ice levels ever and 80% of agricultural land in the US is facing drought. And those environmental shining beacons of responsibility, Shell, head off the Arctic to drill for oil with no credible plan on how to stop leaks.

I feel excited about the potential of The Green Party under the leadership of Bennett. She wasted no time in attacking the neoliberal shock doctrine politics which binds the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems together. Yes us Greens may be seen as radical by the mainstream media, however we live in the time of an environmental crisis and we need radical solutions to the challenges we face.  If we’re to tackle climate change and create a low carbon future filled with green jobs, low carbon travel and sustainable local food solutions, it will require a radical reshaping of our economy and the ending of our obsession with growth. Recognising we live on a planet with finite resources and ecological limits is the first step to doing this. The Greens and many leading economists have recognised our growth obsession isn’t a long term strategy. The question is when will the other parties wake up and do the same?

Blog Revamp

This blog has had a bit of a revamp and will now concentrate purely on climate change activism, green issues and politics.

I will be using this blog as a space to explore ideas which will help us in avoiding runaway climate change and I’m actively encouraging discussion on my blog posts.

Let’s create a low carbon future together.

Damien

A Lefty Tweetup

Those of you who know me either offline or online will know that I am passionate about the power of social media to bring people together and change the world for good. Since the creation of Twitter the world has become a increasingly connected  and open place. From Iran to the Arab spring to the student protests all have benefited from Twitter giving a voice to involved to expose what really is happening on the ground.

I recently noticed a tweet by @nishmadoshi about whether there is a tweetup for politically left leaning people. This got me thinking that we totally should have one and after my experiences of participating in the amazing @nfptweetup’s organised founded by the lovely @rachelbeer. The benefits of @nfptweetup to voluntary sector has been huge it has helped nuture a open culture of sharing information to enable us all to do our jobs better.

I hope the @leftytweetup builds a similar community vibe helping us to share knowledge and build new friendships; with the ultimate aim of strengthening our opposition to the government both online and offline

So if you would like to be involved in organising the event, speaking, making cakes, providing a venue, funding 🙂 (worth trying) get in touch.

I am hoping to run the first event in October and everyone who considers themselves left politically leaning is welcome to join. What I can promise is a warm atmosphere, yummy cakes and people who want to use social media to make the world a better place.

Initial topics ideas include:

  • Social Media and governments moves to censor it/ net neutrality
  • Clean air campaign
  • The dangers of fracking
  • Post London riots- how can the left engage the communities involved?
  • Dangers of the current economic austerity programme and available alternatives.

If any of the above ideas tickle your fancy let me know.

I hope to hear from you lovely tweeters soon.

Damien

Contact me at either of these accounts:

Shocking Blue Doctrine

Recently I have been reading Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine and the more I read the clearer it becomes to me that we are experiencing a period of shock therapy with Cameron and Osborne administering the treatment.  The Shock doctrine we are being exposed to was developed by Milton Friedman a radical Chicago school economist responsible for devising a fundamentalist version of capitalism reliant on shocks, whether natural disasters, acts of terrorism or financial collapses in order to implement radical economic policy. Friedman’s teaching advocated pushing through radical reforms whilst the population is in a state of shock and unable protest.

Sadly Friedman has accumulated a batch of disciples since the late 70’s including Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Regan and George W Bush and as son’s of Thatcher it would appear the Cameroon’s.

According to Klein, Friedmanite’s stockpile free-market ideas and once a crisis strikes look to implement irreversible change on a crisis-racked society. Friedman estimated that a  “a new administration has some six to nine months in which to achieve major changes; if it does not act decisively during that period, it will not have another such opportunity.” Unfortunately these radical shocks are intended to transfer assets and wealth from the state into the hands of private organisations and individuals. Disciples of Friedman believe that business should be free to do as it wants and taxation should be low; and social state spending stopped. They passionately believe that free markets produce a perfect economy and perfect relationships.

Reflecting back on the first year of the Tory led coalition government it is clear we are currently in the process of being shocked as the government look to roll back the state and implement radical free market policies.

Writing in October George Monbiot warned us how ‘disaster capitalism’ is being used to reshape the British economy in the interest of businesses whilst trashing the public sector. Six months down the line and the government are furiously trying to shrink the state transfer wealth from the state to businesses.

Shock Therapy

I have plucked a couple of the recent coalition policies that have the fingerprints of Friedman all over them.

1)     Forests – The proposed forest sale was intended transfer the ownership of the forests from the public into the hands of private business. This would have led to more Centre Park style organisations putting the potential of profit ahead of the interests of those who enjoy free open spaces. Luckily due to some fine campaigning by organisations such as 38 degrees and Climate Rush this disaster was avoided.

2)     Expansion of academies programme– As a product of one of the 17 pilot academies rolled out under the Blair government In the 90’s, I know of both the benefits and negative sides of an “academy” education. But one thing they definitely do is shape young people for a career in business. Creativity and non conformity were not actively encouraged, obedience, conformity and success were the mantra of the school and the free market with little regulation was clearly expressed as a great thing to young students.

3)     Student fees– It is startlingly clear as more and more universities reveal they plan to charge the full tuition fee that is isn’t a policy which will benefit the majority of the country. This is a clear shock policy pushed through in the wake of the financial crisis aimed benefiting the richest in society and standing firmly against social mobility.

4)     Review of employment legislation–  George Osborne is aiming to carry out a wholesale review of employment legislation. In typical Friedman style this review benefits business owners and not the rights of employees.  Key points of the review include cutting redundancy notice period from 90 days to 30 days and tackle TUPE regulations, which safeguard employees’ pay and conditions.

5)     NHS reform – “Sticking with the status quo and hoping we can get by with a bit more money is simply not an option”. Excerpt from David Cameron’s speech on the NHS on 16th May. Friedmanite’s push through radical reforms to avoid the status quo. In this case the “status quo” is our national health service which has put the needs of the patients first since it was founded in 1945. What Cameron and Lansley’s proposals advocate is open competition between private sector companies and charities and social enterprise to deliver services currently delivered by the NHS. By outsourcing routine treatments to third party organisations we will see large private sector contractors like Serco delivering treatments like hip replacements. Their main concerns will be on price, turnaround and efficiency instead of patient wellbeing and quality of service.

On the left we need to work together to put forward strong arguments against these radical policies which are serving the interests of private business and wealthy individuals.  The biggest challenge we face is combating the elements of the media which support “disaster capitalism”. This is why it is important we blog, speak, tweet, march and confront these policies head on. If we fail to do in the coming months and years I predict we will continue to witness a dramatic shift in assets from the state into the hands of private business.

In Klein’s book she quotes a great extract from George Orwell’s classic 1984 “We shall squeeze you empty, then we shall fill you with ourselves”. Currently we are being shocked by the government into accepting their market obsessed ideologies, we must resist this shock treatment.

All aboard the double dipper

“I have spent my whole political life fighting to open up politics. So let me make one thing very clear: This government is going to be unlike any other. This government is going to transform our politics so the state has far less control over you, and you have far more control over the state. This government is going to break up concentrations of power and hand power back to people, because that is how we build a society that is fair. This government is going to persuade you to put your faith in politics once again”.

Taken from Nick Clegg’s speech on the 19th of May where he set out the Government’s plans for political reform.

Well Nick you were certainly right about one thing this government is unlike any other. Eight months in to this coalition and the “transparent” politics we were promised seems like a sick joke part of an elaborate game devised by the government to see how much the public can take before we crack.

My vivid imagination can visualise odds being offered up in the cabinet meeting and an ensuing scuffle by cabinet ministers to place their bets. In my vision Dave’s Head Boy Gideon Osborne fights his way to the front and enthusiastically places the first bet; “I will take 2/1 on May, double dip time, double dip time” Turning to Dave “I am so excited can we tell them please can we”. To which Cameron responds “No don’t be silly my old friend, I know it is exciting but promised to tell the public the opposite of what we are doing and we must stick to our guns, It is in the national interest”.

Let’s look at some of the facts.

The Pledge

“I pledge to vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative”. Nick Clegg signing his now infamous NUS tuition fees pledge.

I don’t really need to go over this one in detail, short and simple a betrayal. A whole generation of young people will be priced out of education. Quickly to tackle the old argument I hear from ministers of “If you graduate earning £21000 you will pay back the loan at a slower rate”. Yeah true you will but you still will get charged interest, So you will pay roughly £50 to the Student Loans Company and roughly get charged £30 in interest. So appropriately £20 per month x 12 that adds up to £240 a year paid off, So making massive inroads to that £28000 student debt.

I just happened to be in the area

Helen Lewis- Hasteley wrote a great article in this week’s New Statesman titled Read all about them? Fat Chance. The article includes a great true story about how David Cameron just happened to be in his constituency and popped into a dinner hosted by News International Chief Rebekah Brooks, oh and James Murdoch just happened to be sharing a table with Dave. Well so much for not the government not being cosy with News Corp.

Can we forget about that 6 billion bill please Mr Osborne

Last year the government let Vodafone off of tax bill of 6 billion, So much for building a fairer society with a estimated 7 billion pounds worth of cuts lined up for Civil Society in April. Sadly Vodafone isn’t where it ends. Government advisor and Acadia group owner Sir Phillip Green dodged £1.2 billion in tax my transferring majority share holding to his wife who lives in Tina who resides in Monaco.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii4Pq4Fsixw

Memories start here

When the conservative government rebranded their logo in 2006 to include a picture of a tree it was a glimpse into the future whereby they would steal trees across the UK.  Caroline Spellman, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has recently been plotting to sell off our forests. Belatedly a public consultation has been hastily announced. So if you enjoy free access to forests in the UK write to Caroline Spellman and tell her we don’t want our forests to become Center Parcs
http://ww2.defra.gov.uk/news/2011/01/27/englands-forests/

Emmm we forgot to add that bit

David Cameron has announced his plans to restructure the NHS, Silly Dave he must have forgotten to put a big thing like that in his manifesto or was it a small paragraph on page 46. Well so much for ring-fencing the NHS, this idea to give 80 billion budget to GP’s scares me they should be focusing on treating patients.

So when Cleggy promised change he was certainly right. We have moved seamlessly back into the 1980’s with a series of radical changes that are threatening the very fabric of our society. The student protest movement and groups such as UK Uncut and Climate Rush are showing the government that if they are incapable of transparency they will let the public know what is really happening and long may it continue. People are angry and there is going to be nowhere for this government to hide.