Monday, 31 August 2009
Friday, 28 August 2009
The charity's chief executive Leslie Morphy said: ''This proposal is ill considered and potentially counterproductive. It beggars belief that the Government intends to introduce this when, by its own admission, it has no idea what the impact on claimants will be. We urge the Government to reconsider.''
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
We hope that both the Protesters and Police alike act with respect for the local community."
Lewisham's Green Party councillors have welcomed news that the 2009 Climate Camp has chosen Blackheath, the borough's famous green space, as its temporary home.
The venue was announced at the last minute this afternoon in a text message sent to activists around the country.
Lewisham is the Green Party's stronghold in London, with the largest group of Green councillors and a chance of electing the country's first Green MP at the next election in the Lewisham Deptford constituency. The party came second across the whole of Lewisham in this year's Euro-elections.
Cllr Darren Johnson, Green parliamentary candidate for Lewisham Deptford, said:
"We're really proud Climate Camp chose Lewisham as its base for communicating its hugely important and positive message.
"The campers have promised to be good neighbours and we are confident the heath will be left just as it was found. I'd urge local people to visit the site, see it for themselves and perhaps even pick up new skills at the camp's packed programme of workshops."
Cllr Sue Luxton, Green Party councillor for Ladywell added:
"Many may ask why, but it makes sense - Lewisham is the London area most likely to return a Green MP at the next election and has more Green councillors than any other. And Blackheath has a proud history of forward-thinking, grassroots people's movements going back to Wat Tyler's Peasant Revolt.
Romayne Phoenix, Green Party parliamentary candidate for Lewisham West, said:
"I will certainly be visiting the camp, and I expect to find a creative, family-friendly and inspiring atmosphere. While I want Green MPs elected, this kind of direct action is just as vital to a healthy democracy. I urge the police to keep their word by not harassing the campers or using heavy-handed tactics against what is a peaceful event."
Well by their deeds (and sometimes words) ye shall judge them. The Lib Dems have shown themselves up again as the voice of vacillation and being unable to support people seeking real change. Nick Clegg should tell them at their next conference: "Go back to your constituencies and prepare for whinging" as David Steel once told them many years ago to prepare for government. Soggy, wet and pathetic. Again the Greens have demonstated that they are party prepared to stand with the people against the corporations and those who would utterly destroy our planet.
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Invites you to an open meeting on 'Restorative Justice in a Green society'
Communities use problem-solving methods to resolve conflicts and children learn how to mediate
formerly director, Howard League for Penal Reform; policy officer, Victim Support
time: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
place: Brixton St Vincent’s Community Centre, Talma Road, London SW2 1AS
Wednesday 2 September 2009
Monday, 24 August 2009
Saturday, 22 August 2009
“They can also join our food club, which gives them a discount on the food we sell, plus the chance to come to events where local producers talk about what they do. We’ve found that food is making all the difference. It’s really integrated the pub with the local community and also given us a wider appeal across the county.”
“The pub plays a key role in any community and that needs to be realised, otherwise we risk losing more of them, which is something that I think we will all come to regret.”
Friday, 21 August 2009
His satirical film Isch kandidiere (I am a candidate) goes on general release throughout Germany this week and is almost certain to be a box office hit. One in five Germans have said they would consider voting for him if his name were ever to appear on a ballot paper.
Mr Schlammer describes his party as "conservative, liberal, left-wing and a bit ecological". Asked about burning issues such as the financial crisis, he is disarmingly honest: "I have no solution," he admits. Swine flu? "I'm against it."
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Public Meeting organised by Battersea and Wandsworth TUC
Thursday 20th August @ the Bread and roses pub (64 Clapham Manor Street) 7:30 pm
Nearest over ground; Clapham High street, under ground; Clapham North/Clapham Common
Workers Climate Action
Campaign Against Climate Change
Workers at the Vestas wind turbine factory on the isle of Wight have now been evicted from the occupation of their factory. They took up the occupation after the company announced that they intend to move production of wind turbine blades to America, stripping workers of their jobs, offering paltry redundancy packages and removing from the UK a source of harnessing renewable energy – which the government claim to be dedicated to.
Although the workers have been forced to end their occupation, they are still fighting back. Turbines and production materials are still inside the factory so workers are keeping up their relentless picket.
This is why Battersea and Wandsworth TUC have organised a meeting of trade unionists and activists within south London as a sign of support and an opportunity to decide what further action needs to be taken to keep up the fight and raise awareness of the issue in our neck of the woods.
Contact Nadine for more info, directions, etc; 07946 172 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
<http://www.facebook.com/search/?o=4&sfxp=1&c1=4> Meetings - <http://www.facebook.com/search/?o=4&sfxp=1&c1=4&c2=31> Club/Group Meeting
Thursday, August 27, 2009
6:30pm - 8:00pm
The Exmouth Arms (Function Room)
Alborada presents a public talk:
Massacre in the Amazon: The Garcia Government vs Peru's Indigenous
On June 5, World Environment Day, Amazon Indians in Peru were massacred by the government of Alan Garcia in the latest chapter of a long war to take over common lands -- a war unleashed by the signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Peru and the United States.
Come and hear about the latest developments in Peru and what we in Britain can do to help Peru's indigenous people and the wider social and environmental struggles taking place in the country.
"The Amazon struggle must continue, demanding respect for the rain forest.
The Amazonian natives know that what is at stake is their own survival. We hope that the world population becomes aware that they are fighting in defence of all humankind, the Amazon jungle is the lung of the planet."
-- Hugo Blanco (Peruvian social activist and director of 'Lucha Indigena'
- Oscar Blanco (Son of Peruvian political figure Hugo Blanco)
- Derek Wall (Former Green Party Principal Speaker)
Thursday August 27th, 6-8pm (Talk starts at 7pm) The Exmouth Arms (Function Room), Starcross St, Euston, NW1, London
(3 mins from Euston underground station).
::: More info: http://www.alborada.net/ / email@example.com
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
At the Green Party conference in Hove on September 4th I will be putting a motion calling for the immediate withdrawal of UK forces from Afghanistan. With the news that 204 soldiers have now died in the conflict, not to mention thousands of Afghans, and the mounting numbers of wounded being brought back to the UK, the time has come for a serious rethink about this war.
At a fringe meeting at the conference on Thursday 3rd September at 7pm, Jeremy Corbyn MP, one of the few sane voices in the Labour Party when it comes to this war, and Farid Bakht, Green Party Parliamentary Candidate in Bethnal Green & Bow, will speak about the war. I am copying Ten reasons to get the troops out of Afghanistan from the Stop the War Coalition's website below. The calls for blood sacrifice continue from Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, and others and the Lib Dems and Tories call for more resources. Once the election is over on Thursday, the US will be calling for reinforcements from the UK and other NATO allies.
The mother of one of the soldiers recently killed there has called for the politicians to get out on the front line and see what it is like. Another officer in the Welsh Guards is also about to be court martialed for speaking out against the war. The time for empty rhetoric is over - there must be an end to this war.
- The death rate is rising on both sides. The number of British troops who have died is now higher than those killed in 6 years in Iraq. Fifteen soldiers died in the first two weeks of July alone. No one keeps track of the number of Afghan dead but it numbers tens of thousands since 2001. In May more than 140 Afghans, mainly women and children, were killed in one air strike.
- This is an unwinnable war. The Taliban was defeated in 2001 but is now growing in strength. Osama bin Laden has not been captured. The war is supposedly about defending the Karzai government. But his government is one of the most corrupt in the world. Neither he nor the occupation forces have brought any real improvements for the Afghan
- Gordon Brown claims the war is about combating terrorism. But there was no terrorist threat to Britain before the war in Afghanistan, or before the war in Iraq in 2003. It is those wars and their consequences that have made Britain a target. Even MI5 told the government the Iraq occupation was likely to increase not decrease terrorism.
- We are told this may have to be our ’30 years war’. We have fought for eight years and the situation is getting worse. Children as yet unborn will be dying if this war is not stopped.
- The war is spreading to Pakistan, which is a nuclear state, opening up the prospect of an even more terrible conflict.
- Life is getting worse for most Afghans under occupation. There is a huge refugee problem. Corruption is rife. While Tony Blair promised in 2001 ‘we will not walk away’ Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world. According to the United Nations life expectancy has fallen for Afghans since 2003. Far more is spent on the war and the military than is spent on reconstruction. Aid meant to help the Afghans is not getting through to those who need it.
- Britain has spent £4.6 billion on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq every year – enough money to create 200,000 graduate jobs annually. We should be funding these jobs, not wasting more money on war. Unemployment must not become a recruiting sergeant for the army.
- More troops or helicopters won’t help. The NATO forces are not losing because they don’t have the equipment but because they are in Afghanistan.
- We were told that the war in Afghanistan was to liberate women. But women’s lives have not improved. Death in childbirth is rising. The Karzai government even tried to pass a law allowing rape in marriage. Despite all the talk about troops helping girls to go to school, less than a third of Afghan girls are in school and less than 10% can read and write, 7 years after the fall of the Taliban.
- The majority of Afghans do not want the war and occupation. The majority of British people think the troops should come home by Xmas at the latest. In two recent polls 56% (BBC and Guardian) and 59% (ITN) want the troops out.
Monday, 17 August 2009
Friday, 14 August 2009
Banks were allowed to borrow funds from international money markets to push loans at customers who were desperate for housing. The government turned a blind eye while the banks ran their business on the equivalent of a low fuel reserve. As a result, Irish banks maintained the lowest ratio of underlying capital to the outstanding loans in the EU.
They were motivated by sheer greed as each of the top three banks – AIB, Bank of Ireland and Anglo-Irish - aimed at securing profits of over €1 billion a year. The more they hyped up the property market, the more profit they gained.
Salary Package and Annual Pension Entitlements of Directors of Three Main Banks.
Name of Director Total Salary Package Annual Pension Bank
Brian Goggin 3,998,000,000 626,000 Bank of Ireland
David Drumm 3,274,000,000 258,000 Anglo Irish
Eugene Sheehy 2,105,000,000 526,000 AIB
Colm Doherty 1,663,000,000 289,000 AIB
John O Donovan 1,581,000,000 202,000 Bank of Ireland
William McAteer 1,427,000 94,000 (DC) Anglo Irish
Declan Quilligan 1,366,000,000 147,000 Anglo Irish
Source: Bank of Ireland Reports and Accounts 2007; Anglo Irish Bank Reports and Accounts 2007; Allied Irish Bank Reports and Accounts 2008
But the government does nothing for those suffering the most from this crash – the poor, the unemployed or mortgage holders on negative equity.
Even before NAMA is introduced, the government has already poured billions into the banks in three main moves.
A further €7 billion has been injected into Allied Irish Bank and Bank of Ireland.
In other words, even before NAMA has been introduced the government has already spent more than €11 billion propping up failed banks.
Mr Gormley said it was understandable that party members would like an input into such important legislation and a meeting of officers this weekend would see how that could be facilitated.
“You can crunch the numbers any way you like but Nama works out as the most preferable solution.
“We have already briefed our members on the issue and I am confident their views can be accommodated,” he said.
“Our strong commitment to party dialogue was evident in our recent convention on the EU Lisbon Treaty, which was endorsed by a two-thirds majority of our members,” he said.
Icesave was Landsbanki's online savings unit in the UK and the Netherlands and attracted over 320,000 British and Dutch savers with high interest rates.
When Landsbanki was nationalised in October 2008, the Icesave deposits were lost but only domestic clients' savings were guaranteed, creating anger in the UK and the Netherlands.
In June, the Icelandic government agreed with London and The Hague that Iceland would be provided with loans to compensate the foreign Icesave account holders to a certain extent.
But there is still one major problem. A large majority of the people of Iceland do not agree to the package for British and Dutch savers, who took advantage of the higher interest rates in Icesave before the bank collapsed.
One speaker at Thursday's protest, author Einar Gudmundsson, said Icelanders were being punished for the deeds of a private company. "A crime we as a nation had nothing to do with," he said, according to Reuters.
It is "a heavy burden for our population of 300,000" people, she adds in the article.
"Icelanders ..... are angry at having to take on the burden of compensation for the Icesave savings accounts of Landsbanki – a failed, privately owned, commercial bank, which attracted hundreds of thousands of UK and Dutch savers with high interest rates. The amount to be shouldered by Iceland is huge – about 50 percent of our gross domestic product."
If they are succesful, Iceland's EU application as well as loans from the IMF needed to restore the country's economy could run into trouble.
Public support for membership of the EU has fallen over the summer with a majority of 48.5 percent opposed to entering the EU against 34.7 percent in favour, the latest poll published on 5 August showed.
This could be the biggest crisis yet for the Left Green/Social Democrat coalition government,whom many Icelanders believed would save them from the worst which big business and a neo-liberal economic modle had meted out to them. It looks like there could be more trouble ahead in the small country. Both countries lived way beyond their means but the same speculators and spivs who ran both economies and their cronies in government are being allowed to walk away with their ill gotten gains while the poor and the most vulnerable are being expected to bear the cost. It really is a shocking state of affairs and needs radical addressing.
Tuesday, 11 August 2009
12pm Welcome and Introductions
12.15 to 1.15pm Campaigns - Adie Mormech (one of those recently arrested in Israel on a boat bringing relief supplies to Gaza)
1.15 to 1.45pm Lunch
1.45 to 2.45pm Working with the Left (Kay Philips, Chair of Respect North West and John Nicholson, Convention of the Left)
2.45pm to 3.45pm Increasing our profile in the Green Party
3.45pm to 4pm Break
4pm to 4.45pm The Peterloo Massacre and its resonance today (Paul Fitzgerald, Peterloo Memorial Campaign)
4.45pm to 5pm General Discussion and AOB.
There will be a meal in a central Manchester venue in the evening after the meeting.
We will be participating in the Peterloo Massacre Commemoration events on Sunday 16th August – details of which have already been sent out.
See above for details of how to get there. Open to members of Green Left.
Monday, 10 August 2009
Meeting to discuss pandemic flu with the Director of Public Health for London- July 28th 2009
Simon Tanner, Director of Public Health
Andy Wapling, Head of Emergency Preparedness
Joseph Healy, Michael English and Malcolm Alexander
1) History of the Swine Flu Pandemic
Simon Tanner gave a brief history of the pandemic. He said that it appeared to have emerged in Mexico in April 2009 and that the virus does not cause a high level of mortality in the general population, but certain groups including pregnant women in their third trimester, people with respiratory illnesses, other chronic conditions and young people, appear to be more vulnerable to the effects of virus. He said it was more infectious amongst young people.
Simon said that the response to the current epidemic, provided public health experts with experience for dealing with a more serious epidemic should this occur, e.g. if the current virus mutated creating a ‘novel’ virus which could have a higher mortality.
We asked why it appeared that the Mexican epidemic had such a high mortality rate. Simon replied that this was probably because the rate of deaths compared to the gross infection rate was unknown, i.e. the denominator is unknown.
2) Current situation
Simon said that the spread of flu in the UK was being closely observed by the Health Protection Agency, which he described as “highly competent’ in this role. He said that the national policy had been one of containment, and had now moved on to the treatment phase. There are about 2000 new cases reported each day in London by either GPs or the Fluline. These cases are not confirmed serologically, but are either diagnosed by doctors or by the use of an algorithm by Fluline staff. Fluline started on July 26th 2009. Simon said that Fluline was in its development phase and acknowledged that it was flawed by having no language line service. We asked about the training of Fluline staff; Simon said that they received a few hours training to use an algorithm as a basis for putting questions to callers, which can identify whether their symptoms were consistent with swine flu. He said Fluline staff had onsite clinical backup. Simon added that NHS Direct would be placed under extreme pressure and therefore caller waiting time would be unacceptable, if the Fluline approach had not been adopted. He said that the system is working well so far.
There have been 16 deaths in London from swine flu so far. We asked if a peak infection rate was expected in September/October 2009 and Andy agreed that this was possible but not certain.
Tamiflu works by halting the reproduction of the Flu virus, reduces the severity of symptoms, e.g. the incidence of pneumonia, and reduces by about one day the severity of the illness. It must be taken within two days of the onset of symptoms to be effective.
Simon said that 50-70% of people who have symptoms consistent with SF are accepting Tamiflu. He said that all those identified as having symptoms consistent with SF are being offered Tamiflu.
Simon said that there is a national stockpile of Tamiflu and the £1million GLA stockpile was now part of the national stockpile (it has been signed over by Boris Johnson to the NHS). He said that Tamiflu was stored in PCT stores. There are 125 distribution points in London at the moment and capacity to open 402 centres if necessary. In the current system a person phoning with flu symptoms who is diagnosed as having swine flu is given a number, which a friend or family member can take to the flu centre to get the supply of Tamiflu. People with symptoms are asked to collect Tamiflu within 2 days and currently the prescription for Tamiflu is not time limited. Tamiflu is funded centrally and the cost does not come from local PCT budgets. The active life of Tamiflu is 5 years.
Simon Tanner said that once a vaccine is produced for the swine flu virus that government policy is to vaccinate the whole population. There is a contract with two vaccine manufacturers (Smith, Kline and French and Baxters). The order is for 120 million doses, i.e. two doses for each person in the UK. The intention is to start vaccination in August and sufficient vaccine has been ordered to vaccinate half the population by the end of the year. We asked about post-vaccination testing for side effects, bearing in mind that this is a new vaccine and my cause harm to some people who are given it. Simon said that the first cohort would have blood tests to make sure that the response was adequate. We did not get an answer regarding side effects.
The vaccine would first be given to priority group, but it is not yet certain which groups will be designated as priority groups.
We asked whether the vaccine would be of any use if the virus mutated and we were told that it might be of no use if there was a new pandemic caused by a mutated strain.
5) Management of services to support the community
We asked if the voluntary sector is being fully involved the response to the pandemic. Simon said that this was the responsibility of the Borough based ‘flu committee’. He said that each Borough has submitted their plans to the Strategic Health Authority and these have been audited. This audit included as assessment of the involvement of the voluntary sector in local planning. The plans also included details of the care of vulnerable group in the community.
We asked if the quality of the publicity about flu will be improved, e.g. by strengthening the messages about preventing infection on the transport system. Simon said the publicity campaign was very much tied to the national campaign and costs had to be contained. He said that symptomatic people were being advised to stay at home and that a main plank of publicity was to communicate well, to reassure the public and emphasise messages about personal hygiene.
We discussed the possible need for quarantine and the curtailment of public activities. We referred to the very high level of mortality in 1918 (5-6% of the population). Simon said that curtailment of public activities was not appropriate in the UK, and that quarantine does not appear to make any significant difference to the gross number of people who become infected or change the course of the epidemic. Simon said that government strategy had to consider business continuity, but in his view the effects on the GDP should not override the need for people to remain of work to contain the spread of the epidemic.
8) Closed communities
We discussed the problems for people in mental health wards, prisons and other places where their movements might be restricted or people who live in closed communities. We agreed that this was a very significant problem that must be tackled. He said there are a number of national guidance documents for PCTs, prisons and mental health units on the Department of Health website.
Andy Walling, Head of Emergency Preparedness at NHS London, said: "We would like to reassure people that NHS London is well-prepared - all NHS organisations have plans which have been practised and checked regularly. NHS London has put in place recently audited plans on how to prepare for flu pandemic and ensure that anyone who needs help will receive it."
Malcolm Alexander, Joseph Healey and Michael English.
Friday, 7 August 2009
The Steering Group of Green Left considered these nominations at its meeting this week and we took the decision unanimously to give critical support to Jayne Forbes as Chair and Tracy Dighton-Brown for Ex Comms. So we are calling upon Green Left members to give them their support. It is, of course, up to individual members as to how they vote in these elections, but this is the recommendation of the Steering Group taking into consideration what we feel is best for the future of the party.
The Vestas Workers are calling for a day of action on next Wednesday with solidarity events being held around the country.
There is to be a Rally in support of RMT Vestas Workers and the Factory Occupation at 1 PM Saturday 8 August to be held in St Thomas Square, Newport, Isle of Wight. Please bring Banners and as many people as you can.
The Workers United will Never be Defeated
Wessex Regional Secretary RMT
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
CAMPAIGNERS RAISE THE INFAMOUS 'LIBERTY CAP' IN MANCHESTER FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ALMOST 200 YEARS.
SUPPORT FOR AN APPROPRIATE PETERLOO MEMORIAL REACHES NEW LEVELS, WITH ENTIRE DAY OF EVENTS.
This years commemorations of the Peterloo Massacre will be the biggest yet seen, with groups from the city and beyond rallying to St Peters Fields to honour those who gave their lives in the cause of economic justice and democracy.
EVENTS OF THE DAY
11am Peterloo historical guided walk by Paul Mason (BBC Newsnight correspondent, acting in a personal capacity. Paul has a long standing interest in the massacre.) Organized by Manchester Trade Council. The walk will finish at the site of the massacre in time for the main commemoration...
1pm main commemoration- Manchester campaigners will be met on the steps of G Mex by delegates marching in from Oldham and Middleton. (Following the original marching routes from 1819) Replica Peterloo banners kindly lent to the campaign by PROCESSION artist Jeremy Deller (one carried in from Oldham), will then be raised, along with 20 replica 'liberty caps' on poles. The red and gold liberty cap is an ancient symbol of political freedom dating back to ancient Greece, and has been used as an icon of freedom by many movements, including the French and American revolutions.
Liberty caps raised on wooden poles were a crucial icon during the 1819 protest, and were ruthlessly targeted with sabres by the yeomanry, resulting in many of the injuries.
An extract from Shelley's 1819 'Peterloo' poem, 'The Masque of Anarchy' will be read, along with the names of those who died.
Guests will include Tony Lloyd MP, and Manchester City Councilors.
3pm to 5pm 'REUNION' at Cornerhouse art gallery, Oxford Rd. As part of the 'PROCESSION' exhibition, Cornerhouse are inviting all those with “a connection to any of these events” to “join us at this special informal event to meet others and share your stories.” See-
7pm Music Event- 'Hear and Now'. Singer songwriter Claire Mooney and guests perform at Briton's Protection Pub to commemorate Peterloo and contemporary political struggles, organized by Manchester Trades Union Council. £3 / £1
8pm Music and poetry event‘ PETERLOO – SOLDIERS ON THE RAMPAGE’ will be presented for the first time on Sunday 16th August at The Angel Pub, Angel Street, Manchester. Tickets £5. Details- Martin Gittins 07760 430 577 email- http://firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNTIL 26th SEPT 2009 A month long exhibition commemorating Peterloo at the Central Library in Manchester- first floor. Includes period and modern items, including the mugs and liberty caps created by the campaign. Curated by Terry Wyke and Stephen Yates, opening hours Monday - Thursday 9am - 8pm and Friday and Saturday 9 - 5pm.
Said Paul Fitzgerald of the Peterloo Memorial Campaign: “We're stunned by the levels of enthusiasm this year. Just as we hoped, the campaign has swiftly bought to the surface an underground reservoir of passion about this massively significant, but much neglected event in Manchester's history.
With the Council's announcement of plans for a memorial in St Peter's Square, this is a crucial year for Peterloo. Our job now is to ensure that the design is informative, representative and appropriate. As we near the 200th anniversary, it's vital we put an end to the long and shameful tradition of neglecting or whitewashing the memory of this turning point in the history of democracy.
We invite everyone who cares about this issue to join us on the day and leave their mark on the site of this infamous event.”
PRESS CONTACT- Paul on 07800 535471
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Peterloo Memorial Campaign first bought this issue to light in 2007 with it's inaugural action on 16th August- pasting it's own accurate paper plaque over the disgraceful euphemistic old plaque on the side of the former Free Trade Hall. This led to the council installing a permanent ceramic plaque based on our paper one. It continues to campaign and lobby to ensure the memorial design is one that will inform those seeing it about what took place in the heart of this city.
The Peterloo massacre occurred at St Peter's Field, Manchester, England, on 16 August 1819, when cavalry charged into a crowd of 60,000–80,000 gathered at a meeting to demand the reform of parliamentary representation. Shortly after the meeting began, local magistrates called on the military authorities to arrest Hunt and several others on the hustings with him, and to disperse the crowd. Cavalry charged into the crowd with sabres drawn, and in the ensuing confusion, 15 people were killed and 400–700 were injured. The massacre was given the name Peterloo in ironic comparison to the Battle of Waterloo, which had taken place four years earlier.
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
We are seeking the urgent intervention of environment secretary Ed Miliband to save the Vestas wind turbine factory (Police asked to ensure the Vestas protesters receive enough food, 1 August). We know he is committed to promoting green energy, but people will find it difficult to understand that just as the government has recently set out its low-carbon transition plans to tackle climate change, England’s only large wind turbine manufacturing plant is scheduled to close. Ed Miliband has said he is committed to consulting people up until the Copenhagen climate change summit in December and that, in this context, “it isn’t just about world leaders, but about real people affected by huge changes who need to make their voices heard”. We would now urge him to listen to the voices of the Vestas workers. Here are 625 people who not only want to protect their jobs, but also protect England’s wind-power industry.
Christine Blower General secretary, NUT
Brian Caton General secretary, POA
Bob Crow General secretary, RMT
Jeremy Dear General secretary, NUJ
Gerry Doherty General secretary, TSSA
Sally Hunt General secretary, UCU
Chris Kitchen General secretary, NUM
Michael Leahy General secretary, Community
Lesley Mercer Director of employment relations, CSP
Bob Monks General secretary, URTU
Gerry Morrissey General secretary, Bectu
John Smith General secretary, Musicians Union
Matt Wrack General secretary, FBU
Charles Ward General secretary, AEP
David Cockroft General secretary, ITF
Monday, 3 August 2009
Chair, the Iraq Inquiry
C/O The Secretariat
The Iraq Inquiry
35 Great Smith Street
30 July 2009
As you may be aware, the Stop the War Coalition was the principal organisation leading the opposition to the war before it was begun in 2003, and to the subsequent occupation of Iraq. We organised the demonstration against the war in February 15 2003 which was the largest political protest ever held in this country. The Coalition had (and has) the support of a large and diverse range of organisations, including most major trade unions, religious bodies, political parties and campaigns. We have also worked closely with the Military Families Against the War organisation. Our President is Tony Benn, and our other officers include two members of parliament (Jeremy Corbyn MP and George Galloway MP), one member of the European parliament and two now-retired MPs, including Tam Dalyell, father of the House of Commons at the time of the war.
Stop the War Coalition