Well I was invited to a surprise lobby this afternoon - news was in that David Cameron was due to visit and anti-incinerator campaigners were hoping to meet him. Unfortunately a meeting finished just too late for me to get there - but I've just heard from a Green colleague who was there and apparently Cameron was also met with anti fox hunting and UNITE demonstrators.
Pic from My Zero Waste site
Cameron apparently only saw one campaigner - a waste campaigner who was able to deliver a letter from GlosVAIN. Cameron is reported saying that local authorities need to be able to make use of the latest technology and referred to biogas. He will respond in a letter: it is a pity he didn't rule out a large incinerator. His party nationally have made noises against large incinerators - see here - it is time they acted on it or is this more talk and no action?
Tories and the NHS
Anyway Cameron was also trying to sell his vision for the NHS. Here is what Caroline Lucas MEP and Leader of the Green Party said today: "Tory plans to protect the NHS are simply spin and rhetoric, when what they really want is fragmentation and privatisation. Dislike for the NHS runs deep in the Conservative culture, as we all saw during the Thatcher and Major years, and more recently with Daniel Hannan's repeated attacks and suggestion that the NHS is a 60-year mistake. Women need urgent investment in midwifery services. They need to have personalised and comprehensive care as good as that provided by independent midwives, but provided by the NHS. They also need to feel confident to give birth at home or in well staffed maternity units. The Conservatives, however, will simply fragment care even more than has already happened, and they will create a two tier health care system, one for the rich and one for everyone else."
Here is another comment today from Green party colleague, Rupert Read - see here - he writes: "To use a medical metaphor, the ‘health premium’ policy is a band-aid, which will do no good in curing a degenerative condition. If Cameron were serious about reducing health inequalities, he would target economic inequality directly..."
Tories and Fox hunting
I've said before there are much bigger issues re animals than fox hunting like barbaric factory farming practices and animal experiments. However I am getting a little tired of how this issue regarding fox hunting is once again back in the news. Here is Shan Oakes writing for the Green Party to local papers: "We walked up to see the Holderness Hunt meeting on Beverley Westwood on Boxing Day. You might assume the Greens are opposed to hunting and you would be right that we are against hunting with dogs for sport. On the other hand, we are happy to see the vestiges of an ancient tradition in the form of horses, people and hounds getting some exercise - but without killing foxes - as was the case on Westwood on Boxing Day. If foxes need controlling there are more humane ways to do that than using packs of dogs to tear them apart.
"The Tory MP, Graham Stuart, on the other hand, said that if the Tories get into government at the coming election, he hopes the anti-hunting law will be repealed - so that this bloodthirsty 'sport' can resume. Mr Stuart spoke of retaining the 'freedom' to indulge in hunting foxes. The Greens' view is that we certainly want to retain our freedoms, but that archaic customs such as hunting and killing animals with dogs should no longer be seen as acceptable behaviour. Barbarity towards animals supports and encourages barbarity towards human beings."