Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Year from all of us at Rugby Green Party

As parliament goes into Christmas recess and Father Christmas readies his reindeer, the British public think that Father Christmas’s political views would be firmly left of centre

Ed Balls caused a stir last week by showing up to a commons vote on banking reform dressed as Father Christmas. Balls arrived directly from playing the role of Father Christmas at the Westminster Kids Club Christmas party, and proudly posed for a picture with Labour MP Pamela Nash. The idea of Father Christmas taking the Labour whip however, doesn't come as too much of a suprise to the British public. 
YouGov research shows that the British public think that given the opportunity, Father Christmas would vote either Labour or Green.
Excluding those who either don’t know (19%) or think he wouldn’t vote at all (25%), 27% of Brits think Father Christmas is a Labour voter, although the Green Party comes a close second with 23%. Despite his penchant for hand-outs, 17% think Father Christmas is a Conservative and 13% think he would vote UKIP. Just 6% think Father Christmas would vote Lib Dem.  
Support tends to fall along party lines, which makes the strong Green Party support all the more interesting. A majority of Labour voters (64%), Conservative voters (59%) and UKIP voters (60%) all believe that Father Christmas would vote for the party that they support. Worryingly for the Liberal Democrats however, just 30% of their voters think Father Christmas would vote Lib Dem.
A German museum has applied for Father Christmas to be added to the UNESCO list of cultural heritage. Felicitas Hoptner, director of the German Christmas Museum is keen to protect the original German "Father Christmas" character from the influence of the more recent American incarnation of "Santa Claus".
Image: Getty

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Autumn Statement: Yet another missed opportunity to restructure the economy and deliver a sustainable energy future

Autumn Statement: Yet another missed opportunity to restructure the economy and deliver a sustainable energy future

5 December 2013
CHANCELLOR of the Exchequer George Osborne’s Autumn Statement was dominated by short-term political considerations and a failure yet again to either address the underlying, structural problems which weaken the health of the British economy or move us to a low-carbon, affordable energy future, says the Green Party. Nothing has been done to prepare for the economic storm on the horizon.
In the Autumn Statement, Osborne insisted that “Britain’s economic plan is working” and that the Coalition Government is overseeing a “responsible recovery.”
In response to the Autumn Statement, Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader for England and Wales, said:
"Mr Osborne was so keen to claim that this was an Autumn Statement for the long term, yet on this issue, as others, he is clearly a man who protests too much.
"Our current economic position is based on high and growing consumer indebtedness, as households are forced to borrow to cover basic costs, and a government-supported housing bubble. The Chancellor says that the sun is shining. Well that proves he hasn't looked out the window today, or looked into the lives of millions of Britons who are struggling to pay the bills, in far too many cases forced to resort to extortionate payday lenders or foodbanks to get by.”
"Instead of working to restructure our economy, to rein-in our reckless, fraud-ridden financial sector, to boost manufacturers and the real economy, to create stable, decent-paying jobs that workers can build a life on, Mr Osborne's focus is instead clearly short-term - to inflate the economy for the mere 18 months to the next General Election."
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:
“The Autumn statement was yet another missed opportunity to take the action that we need that will genuinely move us to a low-carbon, affordable energy future.
“The Chancellor has done nothing to tackle the root causes of fuel poverty or soaring fuel bills. Instead of watering down energy companies’ obligations, he should have announced a major programme to make all homes super-energy efficient. If funded through recycled carbon taxes, this could bring an estimated nine out of ten homes out of fuel poverty, quadruple carbon savings, and create up to 200,000 jobs across the UK.” [1]
“The Chancellor has delivered a lavish Christmas gift to fracking companies – giving them tax breaks to support an irresponsible and dangerous dash for gas that will undermine the urgent action we need to reduce our carbon emissions.
“It’s ironic that a Chancellor who talks about going green is quite happy for the UK to continue to fund massive subsidies for both nuclear and fossil fuels. Taking real action to tackle climate change would create jobs, transform the economy, and help us meet our duty to secure a safe and habitable climate for future generations."

Green Party mourns loss of Nelson Mandela

Green Party mourns loss of Nelson Mandela

6 December 2013

Dr Derek Wall, International Coordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales stated:

'Nelson Mandela was an inspiring figure, he showed that resistance to injustice is possible and that reconciliation is vital. Our memorial to him must be our resistance to injustice and inequality. Those who fight for justice are often condemned until they win the fight and belatedly are then described as heros, we need to be aware that across the world there are new Mandela's who will be abused until they succeed in making necessary change.

However Nelson Mandela must also be remembered as a peace maker, advocating reconciliation between former enemies, this is a practical side of his work that we can all learn from. South Africa has made great progress but it is still a society where poverty divides communities, we are aware that from the Marikana massacre to battles against electricity privatisation, the long walk to freedom still has many miles to go. Mandela was never just one man, he was a product of a process iniated by South Africans and international networks for liberation and that process must continue'

Shop for eco products and donate to Rugby Green Party at the same time!

Shop for eco products and donate to Rugby Green Party at the same time!
Louisa Taylor, who is a Rugby Green Party supporter is working as an independent distributor for a company that sell eco friendly products for the home and family called Wikaniko and will donate 10% on every purchase made through her to Rugby Green Party.
Please visit Louisa website to see what products they sellhttp://loutaylor.wikaniko.com/
Contact Louisa Taylor for more details at louisataylor81@gmail.com for more details.
Plus for December a 5% discount is available.
Just use code ‘Rugby Greens’ when contacting Louisa.
Please note, that when purchasing your agreement is not with Rugby Green Party as this is only an informal agreement with Louisa Taylor.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Did pressure from Rugby Green Party stop Mark Pawsey, Tory MP for Rugby, voting for the Bedroom Tax yesterday.?

Rugby Green Party is pleased to say that despite the majority of Tories and especially shameful Dem MPs voting down a motion to scrap the bedroom Tax by 26 votes, our Tory MP. Mark Pawsey, for marginal Rugby, perhaps found it prudent not to make an appearance in the House of Parliament voting lobbies last night this after receiving our open letter – that was sent to him and the local press.
We have to say, if all the Labour MP’s had turn up, then today their would no longer be a bedroom tax in existence – something that will not be lost on a fair few people.


Captain SKA - Nothing Nothing Nothing


Monday, 11 November 2013

Rugby Greens calls on Pawsey to vote against cruel Bedroom Tax

Mark Pawsey MP for Rugby who asked Tax  Payers  to pay £80 towards his heating bills
 as people face eviction due to the cruel Bedroom Tax

Open letter to Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby from Rugby Green Party regarding Bedroom Tax

Dear Mark,

On Tuesday, 12th November, all MP’s can vote on the need to scrap the Bedroom Tax.

Nearly 900 households in Rugby,  including many people struggling on low wages, and/or disabled people , have been hit  by one of the most uncaring acts of the Tory and Lib Dem Government, by cutting from 14% to 25% of the Housing benefit contribution to keeping their home.

 It’s not a "life style choice" to be chronically sick or disabled, and it’s not a matter of choice to be one of the estimated 4.8 million Britons (20% of all employees) working below a living wage of £7.20 per hour, and so needing to claim housing benefit to keep a roof over their head.

Mr Pawsey, the Bedroom Tax was rushed through in the knowledge that the supply of smaller accommodation needed ( without the so called luxury of a spare room) , does not exist in reality.
The tax makes the poor bear our public financial burden, and will not achieve redistribution of public housing.

It seems to many of us in the Green Party that the sick, disabled and low paid are still being made to pay most heavily for the British bankers' gambling debts ; in stark contrast to the proposed ill timed and unjustifiable big pay rise for MP’s.  Rugby people will also note the £80 you personally got paid as an allowance to cut your own heating bill.

Also, before you  try to claim that the Government has provided a cushion fund for councils, it would be only fair for you to admit that any possible grants in this small fund can only be one-off, only last up to  3 months , and are very much discretionary – so little help in reality!

The Green Party- led Brighton & Hove Council has a "no eviction policy" for their tenants who are thrown into arrears by this tax, and you may be interested to know that we persuaded both Tory and Labour Councillors to vote for our stance in Brighton.

Rugby Green Party will be writing to the leaders of the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems on Rugby Council to ask them to follow  Brighton's position, and stand up for the most vulnerable people in Rugby.

A growing numbers of other Councils have now followed  Brighton's lead, and are gaining support from more politically aware Tory Councillors who have come out against the Bedroom Tax, and want to see it scrapped.

 Rugby Green Party have also provided a Facebook site ’Rugby Against the Bedroom Tax - Protest and Advice’ for current information, and  have produced a guide to appealing against the tax, by using definition of a bedroom including the room size limits, the need for a room for a disabled person to store equipment, when and if it is a good idea to take a lodger in.  Also how to claim for the 3 month additional housing support. 

Mr Pawsey, do you want to prevent sick and disabled tenants from living (and in some cases ending their lives) in inadequate rented housing, or even living rough on the streets of our town?

Rugby is a marginal seat; if you  really believe that voting to keep the Bedroom Tax would be a sensible way to proceed, you will not only be acting in an uncaring manner, but also will likely lose your seat at the next election.

The people of Rugby care about our neighbours and friends and we trust that you will vote to scrap the Bedroom Tax.

Peter Reynolds
Chairperson - Rugby Green Party

Tuesday, 5 November 2013




We want to make this Firework Night one which David Cameron will remember and remember for a long time!

Facebook CoverThe Peoples’ Assembly is calling for a day of protest in every town and city in the country.
The actions will be many and various, ranging from occupations of public space to occupations of banks, from online petitioning to blocking roads, from leafleting with the rail unions against the privatized rail companies to student occupations.
We are hoping for three waves of action: one in the morning, one at lunchtime and one in the evening. And at the end of the day the local out-sourcing contracts, the welfare legislation, the loan company adverts will all make a splendid bonfire…and you can choose whether the guy is Cameron, Gove, Clegg or Osborne.
Get in touch with your local group to find out what’s being planned near you.

Bonfire of Austerity – Local actions

London – Block Westminster Bridge – Assemble at Jubilee Gardens at 6pm, contact office@thepeoplesassemblyorg.uk/ FacebookBring your energy bills: we will be burning our energy bills on the bridge to highlight the massive rise in energy prices which have left people choosing between heating and eating.
Anonymous – Trafalgar Square, 6pm
ACTION FOR RAIL Leafleting across the country on NOV 5 – check here for details
Join us at stations across the country, meeting passengers and letting them know about our campaign for a national, integrated railway under public ownership.
Barnet – Assemble at 6pm outside Hendon Town Hall, the Burroughs, NW4 4BG, see here for more details
Birmingham – Assemble at Waterstones, High Str. at 5pm, contact birminghampeoplesassembly@gmail.com
Bolton – Campaigning against Zero Hours Contracts, Bedroom Tax, Pay Day Loans & NHS Cuts, organised by Bolton Trades Union Council
8AM – 9AM Leafleting, petitioning at the Bolton Railway Station
12:30PM – 1:30PM Leafleting, petitions, mock Bonfire outside Sports Direct (Bolton Town Hall Square)
Blackpool – 16:20 outside the Town Hall,  Anonymous Protest
Bridgwater -  ”Democracy? They’re Having a Laugh” A mass binning of Tory policies at the Cornhill, Bridgwater (TA6 3BY) 17:00 – 18:00
Brighton – Assemble at the Clock Tower at 12pm, contact pplsassembly.brighton@gmail.com / Facebook
Bristol – 5th November, 5 PM, 5 Campaigns
Assemble at The Fountains opposite Hippodrome
Come along and burn some austerity policies. Bring a placard with a policy you want to burn! We’re going to being making some noise and a presence in the centre of town so as well as placards, some will be in fancy dress, bring drums, whistles, horns or anything else that will grab attention.
Contact bristolpeoplesassembly@gmail.com / 07971630005 / Facebook
Cambridge - Contact cambridgepeoplesassembly@outlook.com
“Break the Chains of Austerity” – Time 5/6PM, details TBC.
We will form a chain gang led by David Cameron, dragging behind him various victims of austerity: a schoolboy/girl, a nurse, a train conductor, a fireman/woman… and march through Cambridge singing the old union song “Which Side Are You On?”
Rehearsal on Nov 4 at 7.30pm, we will meet at the University Centre (Grads Cafe, 3rd floor).
Contact cambridgepeoplesassembly@outlook.com / https://www.facebook.com/events/570519243017788/
Darlington – Assemble outside at 4.30 pm outside the Town Hall for a protest organised by Darlington Against Cuts and supported by the Teesside Peoples Assembly Against Austerity. Contact TeessidePA@gmail.com / Facebook
Doncaster – Set up a food bank in a bank, Meet at 11am, Clock Tower, Doncaster  contact doncasterpeoplesassembly@gmail.com/ 07587697028
Durham – Protest, 12:30 PM at Market Place, https://www.facebook.com/events/157323847811577/
Dundee – March and Rally
Assemble at Hilltown Park 11.45 am
March to City Square for Rally 12 noon
Followed by Picket of Home Scotland
Contact: 07894901688 /raymond.mennie@googlemail.com /https://www.facebook.com/dundeepeoplesassembly
Ipswich – Contact: suffolkpeoplesassembly@runbox.com
7.00 -8.30 Ipswich Station
Action for Rail - Leaflet to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Rail Privatisation and support public ownership of rail.
11.30 am – 1.00 pm Silent Street, Ipswich
Vigil outside ATOS and Job Centre.

1.00 pm – 3.00 pm near  Boots in Tavern St
Living Wage Activity.  Joint activity with NAPO members on strike.
6.30 pm  Bonfire of Austerity
Consign Austerity to the Bonfire on the Green by Felaw Maltings (assemble in Mather Way)
Kings Lynn – “Pin the blame on Cameron” 11AM – 15pm outside Boots/ Wimpey/ Burtons - If you’re mad at the Coalition, here’s your chance to let them know.
Come and meet Mr Clegg Cameron, your two-faced government.
Let him know how you feel… and why. Contact  jackiemulhallen@btinternet.com / Facebook
Kingston upon Hull – Assembly 12:30pm, Queen Victoria Square - Dress up, bring placards, whistles, drums! Make some noise, get your voices heard! Let’s show the people of Hull that there IS an alternative to the government’s damaging policies of austerity. Facebook / Contact
Lambeth – Contact 07913496012 /  lambethpeoplesassembly@gmail.com
Leeds –  4pm in Dortmund square (outside the St John’s Shopping Centre). Action jointly organised by the West Yorks People’s Assembly and Unite Community Branch
Morning action –  7:30am, Leeds train station for a leafletting action with Action for Rail. Contact: west-northyorkshirepeoplesassembly@live.com
Leicester – 4PM – Assemble outside De Montfort University’s Hugh Aston Building
Planning 2 demonstrations – one around the NHS and one around the Bedroom Tax. Contact: Leicester.PA@gmail.com / Facebook
Liverpool -  Contact andrea@merseysidepeoplesassembly.org/ Facebook
10AM – Assemble at St George’s Hall - there will be actions throughout the day.
Join the email list to keep updated (http://www.merseysidepeoplesassembly.org/join-us/)
London (Brent) – 9AM at Brent Magistrates Court  - “No Council Tax Benefit Cuts” Facebook
Protest called by Unite the Union – Community Members, West London Peoples Assembly, Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group, Brent Housing Action, Zacchaeus Trust (Z2K)
Brent Council has summonsed 12000 people for non-payment of council tax .   Many  of these cant pay as their council tax benefit has been cut in the new council tax support scheme.  Come and voice your objections to the cuts to the benefit and show support to those who have been summonsed. Debt advice charity Z2K will be at the court giving advice to those who have been summonsed.
London South – Contact peoplesselondon@gmail.com / text 07806545279 / www.carnivalagainstcuts.org.uk / Facebook
10AM – Deptford High Street / New Cross Road  - An action against poverty, led by the local Foodbank
1:30PM – Deptford Lounge public square – A performance against austerity politics
4:30PM – Catford Town Hall to Lewisham High Street – A procession against austerity, the bedroom tax and local cuts. Finishing with
6PM – The grassy Knoll, opposite Lewisham DLR – Bonfire of Cuts with music, speakers and effigies
London West - 12PM – protest against loan sharks – H&T Pawnbrokers and The Money Shop, 22 Uxbridge Rd, Shepherds Bush
Manchester - 5PM – Anti austerity torch lit tour of the city  Assemble at ATOS HQ Albert Bridge House Bridge street M60 GAT  More info
At 8 am we will be leafleting workers as they arrive in the city and local tram and bus depots.
Medway – contact medwaypaaa@gmail.com / Facebook
7am – Chatham Station, leafletting action with RMT
12pm – outside the ATOS centre on Bachelor Street, Chatham
2pm – Picket at the Jobcentre
Middlesbrough  – flashmob-style sing-a-long protest against austerity in the town centre around lunchtime/early afternoon in a location where we suspect it will be noticed. Contact the Teesside People’s Assembly: TeessidePA@gmail.com / Facebook
Newcastle - Assemble from 5pm outside Haymarket metro station.
Actions begin at 5:30pm which will highlight local examples of tax-dodging, loan-sharking and zero-hour-contracting
Contact peoplesassemblyne@gmail.com/ 07515676025/ Facebook 
Norwich – Planned vigil outside the Town Hall, Facebook
Nottingham – Assemble at 5pm, Brian Clough Statue, Market Square – Firesculpture, Fire Breathers, NHS petition. Contact shalforty@gmail.com/ Facebook
Oxford – Contact oxfordpeoplesassembly@gmail.com / 07954365186
9.30 am Lobby County Council
11 am Austerity on Trial: Bonn Square
12 noon Probation officers’ strike begins: St Aldate’s
5.30pm Bonfire of Austerity: Bonn Square
6.30pm Where next? Town Hall Contact oxfordpeoplesassembly@gmail.com / 07954365186
Pembrokeshire – Saturday 2 Nov –  Dress up as politicians for a symbolic bonfire – actions will focus on post offices, NHS, fire stations. Contact pembrokeshirepeoplesassembly@yahoo.co.uk / Facebook / Website
RCT/ Bridgend – “Unite Against Austerity” – Rolling demonstration – Actions focused on workfair and zero-hour contracts, the Bedroom Tax and local cuts proposed in RCT. Contact bridgend_rct.peoplesassembly@outlook.com / 01443 227996
10:30AM – Bridgend Valleys2Coast housing association. Meet outside the entrance to the shopping centre, Caroline St in the centre of Bridgend.
13:00 – McDonalds on Llantrisant
14:30 – Pontypridd Job Centre
From 16:00 – Pontypridd town centre by the fountain to oppose the RCT cuts.
Salford – Assemble 2PM at Stott Lane by Meadowbrook and Salford Royal hospitals.
Protest against the closure of mental health wards in Salford and Bolton by Gtr Mcr West NHS Trust. The protest is organised by United Service Users Committee and Salford Against Cuts, and supported by Keep Our NHS Public.
Sheffield and South Yorkshire –  4pm at the Town Hall for a celebration and a demonstration – Actions also planned during the day, contact sheffieldpeoplesassembly@gmail.com/ 07814420319 / Facebook
Shropshire – ‘Sit-in’ at the banks in Shrewsbury. Meet at The Square, Shrewsbury between 12-12.15pm. Contact  shropsfightback@virginmedia.com /Facebook
Southampton – contact spaaa4ever@gmail.com / Facebook
12.30 outside the local ATOS centre
1.00pm outside the Job Centre
5.30pm we will be holding a demo at the local BBC studio, Opposite the Civic Center
St. Albans – Contact stalbanspaaa@btopenworld.com
Stroud - Stroud Against the Cuts is joining  @pplsassembly Nov 5th ‘Bonfire of Austerity’ protests:
Assemble outside the Stroud Jobcentre at 12.30PM
and @ Neil Carmichael’s office 4.00 – 6.30PM
Tameside – Contact NIGEL 07709056079
Wilts and Dorset - Sunday 27 October – “Balls to the Cuts” – Gather at 12pm at Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset for a photo of people in a No Cuts formation. Contact wiltsanddorsetpa@gmail.com / Facebook
Wrexham – Gather at Queens Square Wrexham at 10am for a day of rolling action / 12PM for a rally. Contact redmolotov21@googlemail.com / Facebook 
Wokingham - 12:30 – 13:30 Lunchtime protest, Town Hall
York – City centre from 1pm – Model bonfire of austerity measures
Assemble at 4pm at St Helens Square for ” A festival of free speech against austerity” – an open mic event so bring speeches, poems, songs and anything else, dress up, bring props and join in a festival against austerity. Contact yorkpeoplesassembly@gmail.com / website

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Rugby Greens support Teachers strikes and urge parents to demand a say over Academies

PRESS RELEASE – 01/10/2013

Recent protest by local parents in Rugby to defend their school from Michael Gove's Academy plans.
Rugby Green Party are supporting the teachers strikes today as we believe that teachers have been given no choice by Michael Gove and the CONDEM Government.

Steve Wright (Rugby Green Party Spokesperson) says” We believe teachers are standing up to defend the rights of children to a decent education.”

“Over £9bn has been spent on the academy school programme while buildings decay and LEA's lose money.”

“Local schools like Newbold Riverside Primary School have been given to a private company based in London on a 25 year lease – without the agreement of parents, teachers and the local community”

“Other schools in Rugby are being forced down the same uncertain academy route.”

“Rugby Greens would urge parents to come together to support teachers defending their children’s education and also visit the ‘Rugby Academy Watch’ Face book site https://www.facebook.com/rugbyparentsagainstacademies that is updated daily and provides information to parents about academies and their rights to a say”

Back ground information
Cllr Will Duckworth, the Green Party's deputy leader (and lead Euro candidate for the West Midlands in 2014), will be speaking to striking teachers in Stourbridge on Tuesday during their one day action over pensions, pay and conditions.

Will Duckworth said: "I was a mathematics teacher for 30 years. Teachers care about children and only take strike action as a last resort."

Michael Gove's continuing attacks on teachers pensions, pay and conditions of service are demoralising the profession on which we all rely for educating the next generation.

Forcing schools to become academies began under Labour. Academies are setting school against school, introducing competition instead of cooperation.

The pressure for heads to bully their staff has also meant increases in stress and anxiety amongst teachers.

We need to work with trade unionists and sympathetic groups and individuals to tell this government that we need to save our vital services and keep them in public ownership.


The NUT and NASUWT will hold a strike rally in Birmingham, 11am to 12pm on Tuesday, at ICC, Broad Street, B1 2EA.

The Green Party now has 18 council seats, on 9 councils, across the West Midlands, 4th behind the Liberal Democrats.

Excerpts from the Green Party's 2010 general election manifesto on education:

- Move gradually to smaller class sizes by spending a further £500 million on 15,000 more teachers to get classes down to an average of 20 pupils by the end of the Parliament.
- Phase in the abolition of student tuition fees in higher education.
- Move towards ending the need for private education by creating a programme of voluntary assimilation of private schools into the state sector. Schools that remain in the private sector would have charitable status removed and would pay all relevant taxes, such as VAT.
- Phase out City Academies and Trust Schools. It is wrong to allow business and other outside organisations to have too great an influence over schools.

For more information, Rugby Green Party recommend parents visit the Local Schools Network website - http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/

Friday, 20 September 2013


Big NHS demo -join the queue
29 September - Manchester 

This is a public health warning - David Cameron's Tory-led government is destroying our NHS  

Help us contain the threat - join the big NHS queue to Save our NHS, outside the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Sunday 29 September.
The TUC organised national demo will set off from Liverpool Road, M3, making its way though Manchester city centre and around the conference centre on two sides, before heading out for a rally in Whitworth Park M15.

What better way to get the attention of David Cameron’s Conservative party than thousands of ‘noisy’ people on the streets of Manchester forming a human ‘quarantine’ around their political conference.

Come dressed as walking wounded in hospital gowns and wrapped in bandages or as health worker zombies, and bring your noise makers. We're organising transport from the regions, find out more by following the link below. 

Free Coach from Rugby - Demonstration outside the Tory conference (The Railway Hotel) in Manchester. Sunday 29th September. Unite coach leaving Rugby town hall at 7 am. Book your place. Contact Jan Thomkinson West Midlands Unite on: 01215536051

Join other Rugby Green Party members attending!

Monday, 2 September 2013

DPAC protest outside BBC Portland Place September 2 2013

Disabled activists from grassroots campaigns Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), Black Triangle and Mental Health Resistance Network have occupied the BBC building in London to protest against the role the media are playing in worsening attitudes towards disabled people and a complete failure to give space to the realities of what this government are doing to disabled people.
Ironically just last week the BBC reported on a research report by Scope which highlighted how things have got worse for disabled people since the Paralympics, but the BBC themselves have contributed to this situation by a lack of balanced or accurate reporting. In fact their coverage of the research angered disabled people by spectacularly failing to draw any links between the worsening conditions disabled people are facing and government policy.
Despite the fact that Iain Duncan Smith has been pulled up before the Work and Pensions Select Committee for misrepresentation and manipulation of figures and statistics, the BBC continues to report information released by the DWP as fact.
This resulted in a situation over Easter weekend where disabled people, about to face an austerity armageddon with benefits and income essential for their survival brutally slashed away, also had to contend with national media coverage that encouraged a view of us as benefit scroungers and cheats. It has since been proven that information released by the DWP ahead of the changes in April such as the figures for all of those who had supposedly stopped ineligible claims for incapacity benefit due to the tightening up of the benefit system, were misrepresentations with no basis in evidence. Just the smallest amount of research would have revealed to the BBC that they were about to report lies as objective fact. In addition to the misrepresented figures and statistics which the BBC promoted, further weight was given to the government’s propaganda by the succession of government ministers who were then given air time to continue to peddle their falsheoods. Where people were invited on to present an alternative view, they were non-disabled people from national charities. Firstly these people do not represent us, and secondly there are many more informed disabled campaigners who could have exposed the lies and misrepresentations.
Time and again the government and front bench Ministers have lied to justify policies which are causing the deaths of disabled people. Only last week the Disability News Service has had to raise formal complaints against the DWP press office for deliberately presenting false information about the level of spending on disability in the UK. Meanwhile the situation in the UK has gained international notoriety. The UN are currently in the UK to investigate and report on what the UK is doing through its housing policies. Solidarity protests outside the British Embassy have been organised by supporters in Canada.
Yet time and again the BBC have not only failed to report on what is happening but to contribute to public ignorance of what is going and to inflame hostility with questions such as “Why can’t disabled people take their fair share?” It is well evidenced that disabled people are bearing the brunt of austerity measures with those with the highest level of support need being hit nineteen times harder than the average citizen. To even put the question why can’t we take our fair share is damaging and in contempt of disabled people’s basic rights to be treated with respect and free from hostility.
For more information please contact Rosa Wilkinson on 07505144371.
Notes for editors:
1) Disabled People Against Cuts was set up in October 2010 to oppose the government attacks on disabled people. Our week of action last year highlighted the hypocrisy of Atos’ sponsorship of the Paralympic Games and culminated in a protest of 700 people outside Atos headquarters and the occupation of the DWP building by disabled activists and a guide dog for 2 1/2 hours. We are now in the middle of our week of action for 2013: Reclaiming Our Futures, which is focused on the wide range of attacks that are pushing back disabled people’s rights be decades.
2) DPAC report on DWP abuse of statistics: http://www.scribd.com/doc/149776210/DPAC-Report-on-DWP-Abuse-of-Statistics-Final-22-June-2013
3) http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2013/08/ministers-silent-after-being-caught-pulling-lies-out-of-thin-air/
4) Campaign for a Fair Society: how the cuts are targeting disabled people revealed the extent to which austerity is disproportionately impacting on disabled people
- See more at: http://dpac.uk.net/2013/09/for-immmediate-release-dpac-do-the-bbc/#sthash.jHB28XZ0.dpuf

Thursday, 22 August 2013



Rugby Green Party are fully supporting the independent campaign group - NO UCG WARKS  in opposing the planned Underground Coal Gasification 16 mile square mile site to the west of Rugby.
Rugby Green Party Spokesperson -  Steve Wright has appeared on BBC Midlands Television, CWR Radio and also in the press explaining why the Green Party is opposed to this ill thought out project and why we will stand shoulder to shoulder with the local communities opposing this - not just in Rugby but across the UK.
(Steve Wright supporting local campaigners)

More about the campaign and what UCG could mean for our local community please visit - http://noucgwarks.blogspot.co.uk/

Mass Protest outside the Tory Party Conference, Manchester 29th Sept

Monday, 19 August 2013


 Up until now the county of Warwickshire has been best know for its history (think Shakespeare and Warwick castle) but that may be about to change if Cluff Coal and the government have their way. At least for 41 square kilometres (16 square miles) of the Warwickshire countryside centred on the place where the River Leam intersects the ancient Roman road, the Fosse Way, which might soon be far better know for its potential future, rather than its past. This area of countryside, halfway between Leamington Spa and Rugby, is the subject of an application (PDF file) for an Underground Coal Gasification Licence, one of three recently announced.


  • New UCG licence application submitted
  • Onshore in Warwickshire countryside
  • 24 licences in UK already given away
  • All blocks just off the coast up until now
  • Could open door for UCG to move onshore
  • UCG involves burning coal underground
  • Toxic/Carcinogenic tars are a byproduct
  • Long history of contaminating groundwater
  • Large amounts of toxic waste produced
  • Larger area, including Coventry, threatened
Proposed onshore UCG license covering 16 square miles of Warwickshire countryside between Leamington Spa and Rugby

Up until now the county of Warwickshire has been best know for its history (think Shakespeare and Warwick castle) but that may be about to change if Cluff Coal and the government have their way. At least for 41 square kilometres (16 square miles) of the Warwickshire countryside centred on the place where the River Leam intersects the ancient Roman road, the Fosse Way, which might soon be far better know for its potential future, rather than its past. This area of countryside, halfway between Leamington Spa and Rugby, is the subject of an application (PDF file) for an Underground Coal Gasification Licence, one of three recently announced.

Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) is an extreme energy extraction process which involves setting fire to coal seams underground. It uses similar drilling technology to Shale Gas and Coal Bed Methane (CBM), to inject air or oxygen and bring the resulting synthetic gas (syngas) to the surface. UCG has never been use on the scale now envisaged, and with the exception of the a handful of small plants in the Soviet Union, has never got past the testing stage. Previous trials have been associated with explosions and severe groundwater contamination by the toxic and carcinogenic chemicals produced in the process.

A Small Scale UCG Trial: Rocky Mountain Field Test In Hanna, Wyoming (1988)
As with all extreme energy processes UCG is much more polluting, dangerous and expensive than previous energy extraction processes. The combination of the toxic coal tars that are a byproduct of the process and the fact that the gasification is done out in the open environment means that contamination of groundwater is all but inevitable. The massive stream of waste produced (around a cubic metre of contaminated water per ton of coal gasified) is also a huge problem and another source of contamination. The extreme nature of the process, piping superheated toxic and explosive gas up to the surface also means that catastrophic accidents can occur. See our recent article Underground Coal Gasification: Creating Hell On Earth for more details.
UCG is already threatening areas around the coast of Britain. Until recently, Swansea Bay, where one start-up company owns a licence, has appeared that it might be the most advanced project. Now however, Five-Quarter Energy are threatening to start drilling in their licence blocks off the coast of Northumberland sometime this summer. The company has four licences running up the coast from Newcastle to Alnwick. Up until now the 24 UCG licences the government has given away (see black licence blocks on this map) have all been just off shore, in an apparent tacit admission that the process is likely to contaminate ground water.
Five-Quarter has proved highly savvy in acquiring government help with furthering its plans. In 2011 Five-Quarter director Paul Younger was involved in drilling a 2km deep geothermal borehole in the centre of Newcastle, using government money. Coincidentally the borehole also gathered data on a number of coal seams that Five-Quarter are interested in. Last October Five-Quarter received a £15 million grant regional development grant to help them build a Underground Coal Gasification plant at Blyth, in Northumberland. The company also has links to the Duke of Buccleuch, the largest landowner in Europe, and appears interested in expanding into Scotland.
The applicant for the Warwickshire licence is Cluff Coal, who recently announced that they are in the process of applying for four new licences for UCG. Two of these licences have since been awarded, one is off the coast of Cumbria, and one in Largo Bay in the outer Firth of Forth. Cluff also has existing licences near Kincardine in the inner Firth of Forth, the Loughor Estuary in South Wales and the Dee Estuary between the Wirral and North Wales. Cluff Coal is a subsidiary of Cluff Natural Resources, which was founded Algy Cluff in 2012. Algy Cluff is mainly known for looting Africa’s natural resources, in particular goldplatinum and diamonds.

Ryton Wood nature reserve owned by the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust – one of the country’s largest surviving semi-natural ancient woodlands and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
The area of Warwickshire countryside that Cluff is seeking to licence clearly demonstrates that anywhere with coal underneath it is now at risk. The area includes the most significant concentration of ancient woodland left in Warwickshire today, with Ryton Wood in particular described as one of the country’s largest surviving semi-natural ancient woodlands and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). One of the largest landowners in the area appears to be the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, which manages a number of nature reserves in the area. It is unclear to what extent the Trust are involved in these plans, but one look at their list of corporate sponsors which includes include the National Grid,fracking bank HSBC and oil company ConocoPhillips, shows why they might not be in a position to raise any objections.
While the sleepy villages of Marton, Weston under Wetherley, Princethorpe, Birdingbury, Hunningham and Eathorpe are likely to bear the brunt of any development the impact would likely spread over a much wider area. As with existing offshore UCG licences there are significant population centres nearby. Around half a million people live within five miles of the proposed licence block, including most of Coventry, Leamington Spa and Rugby. The River Leam, which flows through the block, continues on through Leamington Spa, before joining the River Avon which in turn after flowing though Worcestershire and Gloucestershire joins the River Seven. This could easily provide a mechanism to spread the resulting pollution as far as the Bristol Channel. Also the nearby reservoir, Draycote Water, which supplies Coventry and Rugby is filled from the river Leam at Eathorpe, within the proposed licence block.

128 square mile area in Warwickshire identified by the British Geological Survey as being suitable for UCG
In addition, the licence is within a much larger area (PDF file) identified by the British Geological Survey as being suitable for UCG which covers an area of 128 square miles (332 square kilometres). This area includes most of Coventry and Leamington Spa. If UCG is allowed to gain a foothold in the UK, it will inevitably spread to all areas where there is coal underground that can be burned. The prospect of UCG becoming widespread in the UK presents a truly nightmare scenario. Already licence blocks ring the coast, many near major population centres, like Swansea, Liverpool, Newcastle and Edinburgh. If this licence in Warwickshire opens the floodgates for further onshore licencing across the UK, which seems highly likely, then we face the prospect of the coal under our feet being set on fire, as well as being surrounded by toxic seas. Stopping UCG in its tracks soon, is the only alternative.

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