E-mail sent by Leslie Rowe, Friday, 13th October 2017 @ 11:39am
Conference would not be conference in the Green Party (of England and Wales GPEW) these days, without an establishment motion attacking Brexit, preferably with as little debate as possible.
If you were looking for policy initiatives at the 2017 Autumn conference this week, you would have been disappointed. Interminable debate on internal structures, but no debate on the situation in Catalonia or North Korea. Indeed emergency debates, including a motion by me criticising the failure of the EU to sanction Spain over its contravention of the European charter of human rights in Catalonia, were hidden away on the BACK of the notice board, so few received the minimum 50 signatures.
The establishment did manage to get a new device called a "Late Motion" into the final agenda, titled "Campaigning against the EU repeal bill".
A confused motion, it simultaneously called on GPEW to oppose, suspend and amend the EU repeal bill. The EU Repeal Bill does two things. Its primary objective is to transcribe EU law into UK law. Its secondary objective is for the Tories to enact the "Henry VIII" proposals to use fast track statutory instruments, so that Tory ministers can make all the decisions on Brexit.
I attended the workshop on the motion and helped to convince the meeting to propose an amendment deleting the call for a campaign to oppose the bill, but keeping the call to amend the bill to take away the Tories' power grab.
But when would this motion be discussed? No one knew. Standing Orders committee told me that it was "unlikely to be called". The final day of the conference (Tuesday) was sparsely attended compared to the weekend. The final business of the day was a plenary session mainly looking at "A" motions (reports from committees): as dull as ditchwater: people drifted off to catch trains. The plenary session was due to end at 3.45 pm. At 3.40 pm, the chair of the meeting suddenly announced that the "Late Motion" would be discussed. Luckily there were enough people in the room to propose the agreed amendments, except for one.
So it was down to me to propose the final amendment to the final paragraph to replace "oppose" with the word "amend" :
"Conference instructs the GPEX campaigns coordinator to develop a campaign in conjunction with the Party's parliamentarians to "oppose" the EU Repeal Bill".
ALL the amendments were passed. So conference has spoken. Our "parliamentarians" are instructed NOT to oppose the EU Repeal Bill, but to "amend" it to remove the "Henry VIII" powers. If our "parliamentarians" do oppose the bill, then they will be thwarting the will of conference.
E-mail sent by Leslie Rowe, Friday, 13th October 2017 @ 9:54am
If you were at the Green Party conference, you would have witnessed a further resurgence of "Project Fear" now being resurrected by EU vested interests. In this case it was a speech by Green MEP Molly Scott Cato, who outlined a dystopian future for the UK after Brexit without providing a shred of evidence for her predictions. (See her website for the speech made on Sunday 8th October 2017).
So, I would like to propose a different view of the UK in the year 2030, an alternative to the doom and gloom predicted by Molly, using the same examples she used, but with a completely different outcome. (This article already posted on Facebook).
The Japanese companies that provided nearly a million jobs since the Tories trashed our manufacturing sector in the 1980s, embraced with open arms the opportunity to work with the National Investment Bank and help manufacture goods and services in the UK after Brexit, rather than import them from low wage economies. Indeed, the "site here to sell here" policy introduced by the Progressive Coalition Government (elected by proportional representation) has meant that the majority of the new electric vehicles sold in the UK are now manufactured in the UK, rather than imported and the number of British manufacturers, particularly of components for renewable energy, has increased. (Vast savings also made by the cancelling of the foreign owned Hinkley Point nuclear power station and state investment in offshore wind farms and tidal barrages).
Led by Government owned banks, like RBS and the National Investment Bank, the expertise of the City of London has ensured that banking employment has increased, again with the help of the "site here to sell here" policy which helped to control and localise finance and abolished the right of commercial banks to create artificial debt (positive money). In addition, the aggressive anti-tax avoidance policies introduced after Brexit has outlawed institutions based in countries that actively encouraged tax avoidance like Luxembourg and Ireland and led to a big increase in tax revenues; (also boosted by the introduction of the Robin Hood tax on unnecessary financial transactions across Europe).
As environmentalist Colin Hines described in his book "Progressive Protectionism - taking back control", the UK has re-introduced tariffs, quotas and capital controls, to curb the power of big business to play countries off against each other and threaten to relocate unless the UK bends the knee to open borders and global competition. Similar tactics to those used by China to become the largest manufacturer of goods in the world.
Naturally, leaving the EU as well as the democratisation of the World Trade Organisation (the WTO) has meant that economic growth is no longer the driving force of the UK, but instead a focus on improving the quality of life of its citizens. So free trade deals, like TTIP, like CETA and indeed like the EU single market, are no longer considered necessary.
A Government subsidy to facilitate a switch to more organic vegetable production in the UK, as well as the ability, now that the UK has left the EU, to support agriculture in the developing countries of Africa, has left the UK awash with fresh, healthy vegetables and fruits. Similarly a big increase in animal welfare legislation, banning the factory farming methods so prevalent in the EU as well as banning the use or import of meat adulterated with unnecessary hormones and antibiotics, has led to a big increase in the quality of meat production.
New localism policies have improved prospects for local firms, such as local dairy farms producing milk under higher welfare standards. As a result the health of the nation has never been higher, especially after the big increase in spending on the NHS, paid for in part by the savings made in not having to pay contributions to the EU budget. (There is still debate as to how much that exactly was!)
The un-enforced environmental health standards of the EU, such as for air quality, have been replaced by legally binding UK environmental standards and a big increase in jobs at the Health and Safety Executive.
The border problem between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland was quickly solved by a unification referendum and the abolition of the border, as Ireland was re-united at last. Indeed relations with all European countries has improved as the UK has stopped stealing staff trained in other countries and instead vastly increased its own investment in training, particularly of doctors, nurses and vocational jobs. With the abolition of tuition fees, universities have once again become centres of learning and not just businesses.
So, no Molly, Brexit does not necessarily mean the Tories continuing in power for the next 13 years. Indeed, we can and should replace the unpatriotic Tories, (whose only concern is to help their foreign paymasters in big business) with a patriotic Government that uses Brexit to put the UK, and its people, first.
E-mail sent by Leslie Rowe, Saturday, 15th July 2017 @ 9:09am
If you are a member of the Green Party of England & Wales, please support Michael Gold's motion for the Autumn conference. In particular note the SOC comment under the motion for registering your support and please do it ASAP.
Just follow this link and register as a supporter.
It is simple to join Green Leaves - please use the link below. You need simply to confirma few personal details and that you are a Green Party member or supporter and that you support the idea that the UK should leave the EU.