News from Kent Greens
Change the approach to Defence
Wed, 16 Jul 2014
Kent Greens have written to the new Defence Secretary and the new Minister for Defence, Michael Fallon and Julian Brazier, congratulating them on their appointments and calling on them to bring a new direction to the government. They have called for an end to Trident and a reversal of the military intervention approach to foreign wars without a request from the UN.
Stuart Jeffery Chair of Kent Green Party: "Spending £25 billion on an unnecessary and devastating weapon of mass destruction is frankly obscene. This money should be used for socially and environmentally useful projects, such as renewable energy, public transport or improving health care. I have no doubt that the Kent MPs will continue with the disgraceful replacement programme but they must be challenged to reverse the decision.
"Military intervention should be last resort and only when requested by the UN. I want Julian Brazier to take a radical new approach to defence, one that doesn't have aggression at its heart."
Amelie Boleyn, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Sevenoaks: " Michael Fallon has an opportunity to change the way the UK is seen in the world. We want the UK to be seen as a nation that promotes peace rather than war. While I have no doubt the he will remain committed to trying to police the world, I hope that he will come to agree that this outdated colonial attitude must come to an end. Rather than promoting our military strength, which can only breed more fear, we must learn the lessons from our colonial past and work with the UN and INGOs in an exclusive peacekeeping capacity, setting a progressive example as world leaders for peace, not war"
Dear Mr Fallon and Mr Brazier,
Congratulations on your appointments as Defence Secretary and Minister in the Ministry of Defence.
We are aware of Mr Brazier's military background and hope that you will be able to reflect on those experiences in your new role. Given Mr Brazier's knowledge of the military and Mr Fallon's standing in the Conservative Party we hope that you will be able to influence the government on the need for a new approach for defence, one that is less aggressive and not focused on direct military intervention.
In particular we call on you to reverse your previous support for Trident and to now champion its demise so that the funds devoted to this outdated, unnecessary and devastating weapon system are channelled into socially and environmentally useful schemes.
We also call on you to reverse your previous support for foreign military intervention, unless requested by the UN.
Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party
Amelie Boleyn, Green Party PPC for Sevenoaks
Message of Support to the Fire Brigade Union
Mon, 14 Jul 2014
Kent Green Party have sent a message of support to the Fire Brigade Union at the start of their strike against the increase in the age of retirement. The government want to increase the retirement age to 60 which the FBU deem as unsafe. Kent Greens have
Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party: "It is very clear that this is the latest in a long line of ideological attacks on the public sector and one that affects the safety of the service.
"Kent Fire and Rescue Service provide an excellent and vital service to Kent but our public sector services have, for decades, been systematically attacked. Workers are bearing the brunt of this, and are being expected to pay the price for an economic crisis not of their making.
"We are proud to be able to express our solidarity with the workers on strike who have done this as a last resort. We hope their action is successful."
Letter to the FBU 15th July 2014
Dear Mr Simmons,
On behalf of Kent Green Party, I wanted to drop you a short note to express our solidarity with your strike action.
We are disgusted by the approach of the government against all sections of the public sector and we have been supporting recent actions across the country. The latest attempt to increase retirement ages is simply another attack on the public sector and as you rightly point out, it impacts on the safety of the Fire Brigade.
It is very clear that you provide an excellent and vital service to Kent but our public sector services have, for decades, been systematically attacked. Workers are bearing the brunt of this, and are being expected to pay the price for an economic crisis not of their making.
We recognise that going on strike is the option of last resort. We sincerely hope that your action succeeds in defending your pensions and working conditions - all of which are vital if we are to protect the integrity of the service.
Chair of Kent Green Party
Whitstable Job Centre under threat
Thu, 03 Jul 2014
Canterbury Greens will be supporting the PCS protest on Friday at the threatened closure of Whitstable Job Centre.
Pat Marsh, Canterbury Green Party: "Whitstable Job Centre is there to provide a key service to people in need. It has already seen its hours reduced and closure will simply make it harder to access and more likely that people miss essential appointments.
"This appears to be the latest in a long line of attacks by the government on the poor and vulnerable in our society."
Stuart Jeffery, Chair of Kent Green Party: "I have written to the PCS expressing our support for their campaign and to the Job Centre management calling for the Whitstable centre to remain open. We have to ensure that essential services are available and accessible to all who need them."
MEP dismayed at Dungeness announcement
Wed, 02 Jul 2014
Keith Taylor MEP has responded to news that the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has approved changes to key safety standards at Dungeness B nuclear power station in Kent.
EDF, the energy company operating Dungeness, had applied to the ONR to relax the safety limits for graphite bricks inside the reactor, which are vital for safety.
Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP for Kent and South East England, responded to the announcement:
"I am dismayed that the ONR has approved EDF's application to lower key safety standards at Dungeness in order to prolong the life of the reactor.
"This is particularly worrying as Dungeness has had a number of unplanned shutdowns in recent months due to safety concerns.
"Rather than re-writing the rules in order to keep this unsafe and expensive form of energy production online for a few more years, we should be focussing our efforts on the switch to a truly sustainable energy future - one which focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, and which would deliver more jobs, faster carbon reductions and a fundamentally more democratic energy system fit for the future."
- See more at: http://www.keithtaylormep.org.uk/2014/07/01/mep-dismayed-at-dungeness-announcement/#sthash.KVhCaYhP.dpuf