30 Jan 2015

Earth Hour UK teaser 2015


The countdown has begun....With only a few weeks to go until this year's event, the news is that some of the UK's biggest landmarks, including Big Ben and Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh Castle have already confirmed they'll be switching off!

Earth Hour 2015: Saturday 28 March, 8.30pm. Join in! See more at: http://www.earthhour.org/

29 Jan 2015

Date for diary: Randwick Easter Ceilidh Easter Monday


Randwick Easter Ceilidh Easter Monday, 6th April From 7:30 pm at Randwick Village Hall. Dancing to The Randwick Raddle Men (Additional Musicians Welcome). Various callers -Floor Spots Etc (Volunteer on the night). No Admission Fee (A collection will be made for Cancer Research). Bring your own refreshments:
For further information contact:
Terry Haines –01452 410 885
Richard Hannah – 01905 371 268 – Ghostie.hannah(at)virgin.net

28 Jan 2015

Green politics; not a more radical version of labourism, but different altogether

A local member asked that we add a link to see a letter by Professor Andrew Dobson in response to Peter Hain’s idea of “outflanking” the Greens. See it here.

South West Green MEP welcomes legal challenge to Hinkley C

 Molly Scott Cato MEP has welcomed news that the Austrian government is to mount a legal challenge against the decision by the EU to allow billions of pounds of subsidies for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. See here.

The previous European Commission has approved scandalous nuclear subsidies for the construction and operation of the largest nuclear power plants in the world at Hinkley Point. This opens the floodgates for the construction of new nuclear power plants in Europe. The German green energy supplier, Elektrizitätswerke Schönau, have appealed directly to the European Commission to complain against it. But only when the pressure of citizens is higher than the influence of the nuclear lobby will the new EC take back the wrong decision.

·         Sign their petition here: https://www.ews-schoenau.de/campaign.html

The plan is to present the petition to the EC mid-Feb. 

27 Jan 2015

Good news on atomic test veterans

Congratulations to STAND supporter and nuclear veteran, Dennis Hayden. See Philip Booth's film of him last year at the Remembering Fukushima event in Lydney below plus update re the recent court case.
The Fukushima Day Remembrance event was held by STAND (Severnside Together Against Nuclear Development) on Tuesday 11th March 2014 at Lydney harbour. There will be another event on 11th March 2015. This film is a short interview with Maralinga Nuclear Veteran Dennis Hayden. Seven British Nuclear tests took place under extreme secrecy between 1956 and 1963 at Maralinga, part of the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia (800 kms north-west of Adelaide). The site was also used for hundreds of minor trials, many of which were intended to investigate the effects of fire or non-nuclear explosions on atomic weapons. The site was contaminated with radioactive materials and an initial cleanup was attempted in 1967 while another completed in 2000 cost of $108 million. Debate continued over the safety of the site and the long-term health effects on the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land and former personnel. In 1994, the Australian Government paid compensation amounting to $13.5 million to the local Maralinga Tjarutja people. Today surviving Veterans are still seeking compensation.

The event commemorated the dreadful nuclear accident at the Daiichi nuclear reactors in Fukushima exactly three years ago. It was attended by Molly Scott Cato, prospective member of the European parliament for the Green Party, Steven Parry-Hearn, the Labour party's prospective parliamentary candidate for the Forest of Dean and James Greenwood, who is the Green Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for the Forest of Dean but who was speaking as a member of STAND. You can see a film with those speakers at: http://stroudcommunity.tv/fukushima-lydney2014/

STAND is a non-political, non-violent pressure group dedicated to stopping the building of a new nuclear power station at Oldbury. You can see more at: http://www.nuclearsevernside.co.uk/

Update!

Dennis and colleagues have campaigned tirelessly for years on behalf of Nuclear Test Veterans and their families. Dennis in particular has been unrelenting in his letter writing and research. Now at last some good news which should have implications for all those campaigning against the dangers of low level radiation.

Here is a short excerpt from Dennis’s report on a court victory that may overturn the 2012 supreme court verdict.
       
“The atomic veterans group litigation of over 1000 veterans and widows, led by Rosenblatt Solicitors of London,  was blocked in 2012 by a controversial Supreme Court ruling which stated nuclear veterans and widows claims for compensation had little chance of success. This class action is a moral and ethical struggle by nuclear veterans and families against the Ministry of Defence.  The MoD have concealed and withheld 1950’s and 60’s radiation levels underpinning the main causal link to the veterans legacy ill health, premature deaths and genetic damage passed to their children.

Damage to health from fall-out at nuclear test locations of alpha and beta particles was dismissed by government lawyers at the Supreme Court in 2012 as being just low dose, low level radiation and therefore of no consequence. However, the Upper Tribunal of the Administrative Appeals Chamber, in a damning indictment by Mr Justice Charles over the decision of the Stubbs Ionising Radiation Appeal Tribunal of 2013 not to grant war pensions to nuclear veterans and their widows, has ruled the Stubbs tribunal had “misapplied the law”.

On fall-out , the prime causal link to ill health in nuclear veterans, Mr Justice Charles confirms the source of causation is because of  the very long half-life of fall out radiation, particularly alpha particles, and the ‘undisputed evidence’ concerning how this type of radioactive contamination might enter the veterans by eating, drinking, swimming in contaminated water, and by inhaling this type of radiation.

The view of nuclear veterans is that during the cold war the Ministry of Defence ridiculed any evidence of causation of ill effects from exposure to radiation. When the men began to die in their 30’s and 40’s and their children were found to have genetic damage, the MoD began to vehemently deny any possible evidence connecting radiation.  Now, as a result of the latest court victory and judicial advances in the understanding of the science of causation,  the truth of the MoD’s betrayal of loyal servicemen and their families is now self –evident.”

26 Jan 2015

The march of progress (and why it’s heading the wrong way)

Here's a blog below from Nimue Brown - it comes on the day we hear that many in Greece are choosing an alternative to austerity - an alternative to seeing progress, as defined by economists who seem unable to see the whole truth. Greens share the view that austerity is a failed model - see comment by Stroud Green, Molly Scott Cato MEP at: http://greenparty.org.uk/news/2015/01/26/greek-election-green-meps-joint-response/ and here's Nimue's blog:

The mainstream west understands progress in terms of technological advancement and increased material wealth. It is held as a self evident truth that these two things are good, and desirable. They go with economic growth and increased GDP and are understood to be how we overcome poverty and improve quality of life for everyone. This is why it’s very hard to even start a conversation about alternatives – we have a culture that believes in material growth and consumption as its primary means of salvation in this lifetime, and its grand hope for improving the future for generations yet to come.

Thus is causes horror and alarm when The Green Party talks about zero growth economy, shrinking the economy, reducing material wealth. There’s a knee jerk, fear based reaction to all of this, because if material progress is good, not seeking material progress must be bad.

So what are we getting, for our great march of progress? What have we marched to, and where does the road lead? Yes, most of us now have more material wealth and comfort than the average mediaeval noble.  We have increased life expectancy. We also have an obesity epidemic, social fragmentation, isolation, lack of resilience, loss of skills, increasing inequality between the richest and poorest and a crisis in mental health. There is no clear correlation between improved material comforts and improved quality of life. I would argue that the high stress, over stimulated, depression and anxiety inducing modern lifestyle is no kind of progress at all. As air pollution takes an increasing toll on life, those life expectancy gains are dwindling for many, too.

23 Jan 2015

More inspiring quotes

View of Whiteshill from Randwick
Periodically we add a collection of quotes that took our fancy....here are a few more:

"Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living." Anais Nin

"You shouldn't dream your film, you should make it!" Steven Spielberg

"Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won't have to hunt for happiness." William E. Gladstone

"Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." Joseph Addison

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered." Thomas Jefferson 1802

"I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master, I want the full menu of rights. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa

18 Jan 2015

Greens say no to incinerator!

Interesting to read today that voters see Greens as more 'favourable' than UKIP, Labour and Lib Dems i100.io/ge59Fcl

13 Jan 2015

Two demo's to join this month

SAY NO TO THE INCINERATOR

As noted in our last blog Eric Pickles granting planning permission for the Javelin Park Incinerator is perverse. As campaign group, GlosVAIN, said: "We, the local people, said "NO INCINERATOR". The council threw out the application...Now Eric Pickles in Whitehall has given us the incinerator anyway - 25 years of damage to our finances, environment and countryside - our health at risk. We will not take this lying down and we must continue the fight. It is now "make or break" time. SO, WE NEED YOU AT THE BIG DEMONSTRATION!"

Sat 17 Jan, 11am. Outside the Subscription Rooms, George Street, Stroud, GL5 1AE. The demo is being organised by Glosvain www.glosvain.info

WE MUST CALL ON THE COUNTY COUNCIL TO TERMINATE THE INCINERATOR CONTRACT. Come to the DEMO on 17th Jan. Bring a banner, bring family and friends, bring your voice. This is "make or break" now...

SAY NO TO TRIDENT: STROUD COACH

 After the 2015 general election, MPs will vote to make a final decision on replacing the Trident - the UK's Cold War nuclear weapons system. We have to send a clear message to MPs: Trident must be scrapped, not replaced. On Saturday 24th January we will be encircling government and parliament buildings with a peace scarf knitted by thousands of people. See films from the scarf day here. Join us for a mass protest against government plans to spend

£100 billion replacing Trident! Let's meet people's real needs. Cut Trident - not jobs, health or education. If enough people are interested John Marjoram is planning to organise a coach from Stroud. Please contact him by Thursday 15th.  jmgreenstroud(at)googlemail.com or 01453-750962.

For more information on the London Demo: http://www.cnduk.org/get-involved/events/item/2034-wrap-up-trident-mass-demo-in-london

7 Jan 2015

Gloucestershire Greens call incinerator decision perverse

Campaign photo from years ago
Here's the report in the Stroud News and Journal published an hour ago:

GREEN Party members across Gloucestershire have called the Secretary of State's decision to go ahead with the incinerator perverse.
 
Chris Jockel, Green parliamentary candidate for Storud said: "Not only did Eric fail to make the decision on time, he also failed to make the right decision. Incineration fails to recognise waste as a resource in business and industry for re-manufacture and if built would lock GCC into a 25 year contract with no option to reduce costs. Bad financial management in times of reducing council income."

Gloucestershire County councillor Sarah Lunnon (Green, Stroud Central) said "Two points are really shocking about this decision, it fails to recognise that we have an over-supply of waste processing capacity in the UK and it will generate electricity with greater carbon emissions than a coal power station.

"The decision to allow the development of a massive incinerator on the edge of the dramatic Cotswold ANOB is one that unless Gloucestershire County Council act to cancel the contract with UBB, we will have a quarter of a century to regret.

"Such an eyesore would remind us of the mis-management of Tory local and national government driven by dogma and a lack of vision. The proposed savings touted by GCC are dubious and the proposed incinerator could actually cost us more money than alternative technology. I am now looking forward to working with other councillors at Shirehall to find a way to terminate the secretive and financially disastrous contract signed by the Tory administration."

5 Jan 2015

Stroud Community TV Awards 2014! Send your nominations now!

Stroud Community TV are in search of the best Stroud films for 2014. This year the winners will hopefully be part of the Stroud Film Festival this March.

The Awards also feature a new category of film for the first time - best 'Green' film! See details and how you can send in your nominations at: http://stroudcommunity.tv/awards-2014/

4 Jan 2015

Stroud Film Festival coming soon

See details of the Stroud Film Festival this March - and how you can submit films at: http://stroudcommunity.tv/film-festival-2015/

And folks don't forget to put the Stroud Fringe date in your diary!

1 Jan 2015

Green Party Ceilidh 10th January

Wishing a very happy new year to all blog readers....Join us for our annual Ceilidh!

Saturday 10th January, 2015. 8-11pm at the Trinity Rooms, Field Rd, Stroud (8-11pm).
Back by popular demand, the band will be "Caractacus", with caller Chris Beaumont. A chance to enjoy live music.

Licensed bar with local ale and snacks
Fun for all the family
Raffle and interval entertainment
Usually sold out so get tickets soon - £9/£7.50 from 01453 884092

25 Dec 2014

Seasonal Greetings

Just a note to wish all readers of Ruscombe Green a very Merry Christmas and good things for 2015!

It has been a great year for the Green Party.  Membership of the Greens has risen by an extraordinary 117% and polling figures are constantly improving – we had our first double-figure (10%) result this week. It's wonderful to look forward to such a promising 2015.

Austerity has failed - it is time for a new approach to politics. Collectively the Green parties will be standing in more than 75% of seats in the UK, reflecting the advance of our political philosophy that rejects austerity and believes that everyone should have access to the resources for a decent quality of life, with certainty, without fear, while we all live collectively within the limits of our one planet.

You can join the 'Green Surge' here.