23 May 2015

EU Referendum

Following on with the democracy theme, the Conservatives will be holding a referendum on whether to stay in Europe by the end of 2017.

In a letter published in the Guardian on 21st May the Green Party said 'The Green Party welcomes the EU referendum, though we are clear that we don’t want business-as-usual to continue. Indeed, with the looming threat of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal it’s clear that we must act now to ensure the EU doesn’t become a vehicle for a race to the bottom on environmental and social protections.'

The press is already featuring various companies saying that we should stay in Europe, eg Marks and Spencer, the head of the CBI, Airbus. But the Greens do not support the EU referendum for the sake of trade, as there should be greater emphasis on home grown produce and products to reduce environmentally unfriendly freight transport.  Instead the Greens see a united Europe as essential to reducing corporate power, ensuring workers rights, combating climate change and working for peace.

I hope that the press gives the Green Party's views good coverage, but I have my doubts. On 22nd May the BBC website had an article entitled What is 'Britain looking for?' when really it meant what are the Conservatives wanting. The list included protection for the City of London financial markets from EU legislation and freeing business from red tape and "excessive interference". Both defintiely not on the Green agenda.

I worry that nowadays the biased reporting of the press, which is mainly owned by rich press barons with their own agendas, has destroyed true democracy by not giving readers the facts so that people can make informed decisions. How else can the Tories have got back into power?

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