Tag Archives: Caroline Lucas

UK; Big business and democracy

By Leon J Williams

If you asked someone on any street in the UK ‘What is the City Remembrancer?’ What do you think they would say?

I may be underestimating my fellow countrymen but I reckon the vast majority wouldn’t have a clue.

The ‘City Remembrancer’ is a title given to the only unelected person allowed to sit in the House of Commons.

This person is a representative of the ‘Corporation of London’ (the City) whose interests are, of course, the interests of Banking and the financial sector.

The UK, who eternally criticise the European Union (EU) for a lack of democracy should first make sure that their House is in order first (pun intended).

Remove the City Remembrancer, The House of Lords, the monarchy and anything else that is not elected by the people, for the people!

The Greens had this to say:

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas has written to the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, asking him to consider removing the City Remembrancer from the floor of the House of Commons, and to end the Remembrancer’s special privileges in viewing legislation as it is being drafted.

Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett, said: “The fact that the City Remembrancer is the only non-MP allowed on the floor of the House of Commons is an historical anachronism*. The presence of the City Remembrancer on the floor of the House of Commons, gives the Corporation of the City of London and, by association, the financial industries, what seems to amount to an undue and undemocratic level of access and representation. No other industry or body has such special access to Parliament.”

The House of Commons library has advised that the rules on access to the Chamber are not a matter of legislation, but under the control of the Speaker.

Natalie noted that the London City elections took place last week, and the votes of the 9,000 were dwarfed, as always, by the 32,000-strong business vote, and that a survey by Bloomberg had shown how unrepresentative the business vote was of the workers, its alleged reason for existing. **

Natalie continued: I’d like to see the Remembrancer excluded from the Commons, as a highly symbolic act that would signal Parliament’s independence from the Corporation and all it represents.

Ms. Bennett added: “The Green Party has been leading the way on campaigning to rein-in the powers of the City of London. It was Labour Party policy until Tony Blair reversed it just before 1997, it has been Lib Dem policy in the past.

“The strength of the arguments for ending this feudal anachronism and bring the City of London within the framework of London – together with the large nestegg of the City Cash, which could be put to the benefit of the people of London rather than the global financial industries – have been clear for more than a century***.

“Removing the Remembrancer from Parliament would be a real start on this process.”

*This dates back to 1571.

** http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-25/sexism-in-the-city-of-london-as-men-rule-in-elections.html

*** Since a Royal Commission that reported in 1894.

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Green Party seeks help

Green Party of England and Wales£45,000 urgent funding need: As the Tory led Coalition batters the needy and disadvantaged with the ‘bedroom tax’ and other welfare changes, Labour is targeting Caroline Lucas’s seat as one of their key seats to recapture at the next election. She is one of the few MPs to really expose this Government and fight for those whose lives are being decimated.

As Leader of the Green Party one of the key responsibilities that Caroline passed on to me was to secure funding to help the party take its next step up. That is why I am launching a £45,000 appeal to build a campaign fund to fight three major elections in two years – and to speak up for those whose lives are right now being devastated by this Government.

After three years of this Government we are seeing their plan for dismantling the NHS and welfare system reaching a critical point.

Are you able to help at this point with a donation towards the £45,000 needed to begin our campaigns for three elections in two years and meet immediate needs – like fighting the appalling measures of this Government?

Please click here to donate now to our urgent appeal.

You will know of the ‘bedroom tax’, but there are also a series of other brutal and callous measures that came into force on 1st April.

Meanwhile, the Coalition is still working on plans to force the privatisation of NHS services.

Your help is needed so we can turn potential into more votes and more seats. We must fight three major election campaigns in two years – European, General as well as local in 2015.

£35 could help us buy specialist software to run much more effective election campaigns or your £50 could support local parties with training materials to help them take action against NHS privatisation and cuts.

You can be sure that the Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrat electoral machines are already gearing up for the election, but it is harder for us. Everything here is done on a shoe string – there are no millionaire backers (and we wouldn’t have it any other way because millionaire backers normally expect to buy influence).

Not only will your donation help us build our election fund it will also enable us to take action now for those who are suffering because of the Coalition’s actions.

This is a Government that is abandoning the principles of the welfare system that was set up, nearly 70 years ago, to ensure that no one went without food, a home or health care.

You will know of the ‘bedroom tax’, which is a cruel and unjust tax. It is supposed to force people to move if they have what the Government defines as a spare bedroom.

The reality is that there is a massive shortage of housing for people to move to. In Newcastle, for instance, there are only 50 one bedroom houses for the 7,000 who will be penalised by this law.

So people who are already struggling to survive will be forced into even deeper poverty – going without meals or heating or even ending up homeless.

Yet we know there are caring and practical alternatives. The Government could follow the Green Party policy and invest money in building eco homes on sustainable sites – creating thousands of homes, jobs and boosting the economy.

I know you will share my alarm at how far this Government is going. Your donations are vital in enabling us to credibly fight and win more seats in the upcoming elections, giving us the means to speak up.

Please click here to donate now to our urgent appeal.

And all the while this Government is working on plans to privatise all local NHS services. You and I know that they are trying to turn the NHS into an American system, which is both incredibly expensive and incredibly unfair.

The Green Party is the only party that stands for a truly free NHS. It was Caroline who created an Early Day Motion calling for a proper debate on regulations that would have forced local GPs to put all services out to tender. This has now been amended as a result of Caroline’s motion.
You can really see that this is Government by greed – the greed of the few – not Government by need.

But you can start to change that by helping the Green Party to grow with a donation today to meet pressing needs.

A donation of £35 could help us buy specialist software to run much more effective election campaigns or your £50 could support local parties with training materials to help them take action against NHS privatisation and cuts.

I thank you for whatever you are able to give. £35, £50 or even £100 from you would be a big help towards the £45,000 needed now to tackle three elections in two years – and stand up for those who are being devastated by this Government.

Please go to www.greenparty.org.uk/appeal now to donate.

With thanks,

Natalie Bennett

Green Party Leader

Daily Headline – 10/04/13

Greens On Thatcher’s death…

Green Party of England and WalesCaroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:

“As Britain’s first female Prime Minister and a true icon in that respect, it came as a great disappointment that Margaret Thatcher did so little for women – inside or outside Parliament – whilst also pursuing a political agenda which sought to marginalise the poor, undermine the very notion of ‘society’ and attack the fundamental principles of the welfare state.

“Whatever you think of her policies, Margaret Thatcher clearly made a massive and lasting impact on the political landscape, both here and abroad, and was incredibly effective in getting her message across.

“It’s just a tragedy that it was all in the wrong direction.

And fellow Green councillor Ben Duncan said the former Prime Minister had “not exactly changed the country for the better”.

He said: “She set in motion the whole notion of privatisation that had terrible implications for the whole nation.

“As a politician I’m not exactly sad because the legacy of her politics won’t be here in the same way”

Daily Headline – 14/03/13

EDF suffers humiliation

No Dash For Gas EDF EnergyEDF Energy (owned by French company Électricité de France) has dropped its £5m lawsuit against 21 environmental activists.

In October 2012 the activists occupied a gas power plant in West Burton (England) for a week before being taken away. Nottinghamshire police have been accused of passing on information on the protesters to EDF Energy.

The protesters have been given a lot of support from the public with campaigns against EDF…

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas raised the issue in parliament:
“In light of the allegations of complicity of officers in the efforts by EDF to stop the protests, we also need to ask questions about just whose interest the police are serving,”

An online petition set up by a parent of one of the protesters got 64,000 signatures in less than a month including prominent people such as Noam Chomsky.

Several hundred EDF customers changed energy supplier.

Big business in UK government “standard practice”

By Leon J Williams

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party’s sole MP has helped uncover something that we already knew. The corporate world has its employees in government departments.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information act (FOI) and requests made by Ms Lucas it has been released that the Department of Energy has employees who are also working for energy companies such as British Gas and Npower.

Caroline Lucas MP said:

“Fossil fuel giants should have no place at the heart of government given that their current investment strategies run contrary to the need to build a low-carbon future that delivers both security and prosperity. It’s even more outrageous that taxpayers are footing the bill for some of these secondments, including from British Gas-owner Centrica, at a time when British Gas customers are struggling in the face of a 6% rise in their energy bills, and the company is expected to make £1.4bn profits after tax this year.”

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)said:

“It is normal for secondees to be paid directly by DECC or for their company to be refunded for their time; this is standard practice across government.”

Is this really in the interests of the British taxpayer?
We help pay these people and in return we get higher cost energy bills and a screwed up environment.