Campaigns

Our policy digests

Our local members have compiled short summaries of Green Party policies. These have been compiled by individuals so are their personal interpretation of the information provided by the Green Party. You can find out more about Green Party policy here.

  • Drug use
  • The economy
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Food and agriculture
  • Migration

Drug use

 

People have always used drugs. They can cause harm. The harm of the legal drugs (‘alcohol, tobacco and inappropriately prescribed tranquillisers’) hasn’t had enough attention.

 

  1.  Legal drugs are inappropriately prompted; illegal drugs are counter-productively supressed. Prohibition does not prevent illicit drug use.
  2.  The Green Party aims to minimise all drug use; but it cannot be eliminated.
  3.  Therefore we need to reduce drug-related harm.
  4.  The Party proposes a complete ban on the promotion of tobacco and alcohol and other drugs that may become legal.
  5.  Taxes would increase; laws on driving under the influence would be tightened.
  6. Cannabis would be immediately decriminalised. A Royal Commission would recommend new frameworks for drug use. Small-scale possession of drugs for personal use would be decriminalised.
  7.  Drug analysis services would be provided. Information and advice provision and counselling services would be strengthened. Treatment would be better-funded. Harm minimisation would be further supported.
  8.  The regulation of raves / pay parties / free festivals would be improved.
  9. Support for international drug-crop eradication and substitution programmes would be ended. Trade initiatives would seek to move communities away from dependence on drug crops.

You might hear...

  • ‘Those immigrants, they come over here and make their cannabis factories in houses and on remote farms’ (Answer: Our policies will bring proper control over the market, not the illegal free-for-all we have now.)
  • ‘I don’t want my kid smoking cannabis’ (Answer: Neither do we, but the current system doesn’t stop them – cannabis is easy to get hold of and many young people don’t even think cannabis is illegal! Careful control is better. And alcohol and tobacco are the bigger problems.)

The economy

 

  1. We need a new economic system that is: sustainable; reduces the burden on the planet; promotes well-being; promotes human development. Policies will promote reducing consumption and appropriate consumer choices. Economic indicators don’t measure progress and wellbeing, they merely validate unsustainable activities; new indicators would measure progress towards sustainability, equity and devolution.
  2. To reduce the negative impacts of economic shocks, economic power must be decentralised and the informal sector supported. The ‘Third Sector’ and self-reliance will also be encouraged, as will co-operatives. The banking system will be comprehensively reformed, and, working with European partners, controls on international capital movements will be introduced. A Green Investment Bank would be created from the currently ‘nationalised’ banks. There would be no PFIs.
  3. The balance of economic power must be shifted from large scale, private, and remote towards local, household, and informal. The local economy is the key to sustainability. Companies would be more democratically structured and all stakeholders would have a voice. Companies would have to pay employees fair remuneration; large companies would annually audit social and environmental impact.
  4. Privatisations would be reversed, nuclear weapons cancelled and the defence, energy and chemical industries will be converted to useful production; excessive production of short-life, throwaway products will be strongly discouraged.
  5. The home-based economy will be supported; planning and building regulations will encourage home based enterprises; there will be grants for re-skilling, and for the tools and technology necessary.
  6. Extortionate loan rates and irresponsible lending will be prevented.
  7. More tax would be levied locally (but there would be geographical redistribution). Direct tax policy will be used to develop equity and justice; National Insurance will be merged with income tax; tax-free allowances will be abolished, there’ll be no distinction between ’earned’ and ‘unearned’ income; and there will be a top rate greater than the current 40%. Capital Gains Tax exemptions/thresholds will be removed. A wealth tax is, in principle, supported. Inheritance Tax will be reformed. Corporation Tax will be banded. Tax loopholes will be closed. There will be a transaction tax on financial products (e.g. shares). Indirect taxes will be used to alter consumption patterns, e.g. on tobacco, alcohol and the newly-legalised drugs; fuel taxes will increase to incorporate Road Fund Licence so as to more effectively tax usage. VAT would be phased out, replaced by eco-taxes targeting specific products, resources, pollutants etc. A resource tax on fossil fuels may be introduced. Import duties reflecting the ecological impact of the products will be levied. A Land Value Tax will replace Council Tax and the National Non-Domestic Business Rates (agricultural land will be taxed at a low rate). International taxes will be considered. There will be publicly administered pension schemes. The Citizen’s Income (and (the higher-rate) Citizen’s Pension) will remove human hardship and break the link between economic activity and survival. It will also promote equality. This will reduce the need for endless economic growth. Money will become less important; it will ‘return… to its proper role as a medium of exchange, not a commodity in its own right.’
  8. Many of these policies would be impossible within an unreformed EU. Economic devolution and freedom for unilateral national action will be sought.
  9. Globalisation is neither inevitable nor desirable. We need new global agreements to regulate international trade and investment, aiming for less international trade and more equity and sustainable development. International Aid will be replaced by transfer payments. There would be international debt relief. Current international bodies (e.g. the IMF and World Bank) are by dominated by the West, and are undemocratic and outmoded. Changes would be made to the WTO (e.g. abolishing the TRIPS Agreement [copyright protection]).

10. (The transition to this New Jerusalem will take some time.)

 

You might hear...

  • ‘This Citizen’s Income: it’s not been costed properly, how can we afford it? And it’ll increase inequality’ (Answer: True, there are lots of loose ends. More work is needed on the detail of this policy. This is a huge and very radical shift in the way we look at work and citizenship – Britain is still a rich country, but it’s the rich that have most of the money – there is plenty for everyone if it is redistributed. Everyone has a right to feel economically safe – extreme poverty is damaging to individuals and to society.)
  • ‘This Citizen’s Income – why should people work their arses off when they can get six grand for sitting at home watching TV?’ (Answer: It’s a basic safety net. And people will still want to work. At the moment, there is not enough unskilled work for all who want it – our other policies will create jobs and increase skill levels. And the Citizen’s Income should push up the minimum wage that people are prepared to work for - which is a good thing.)
  • ‘Your economic policies are economically illiterate/ other-worldly/ left-wing fantasy/ too expensive/ …’ (Answer: The Green Party takes a radical view – but it’s carefully thought-through. Many of our economic policies are for the long-term, although we know where we will start on this major transformation. For too long, the bankers and moneymen have been in control: we are going to change that and build a new system where money will become less important, and our relationships with each other will become more important. It’ll take time – but the current economic system is an unsustainable fantasy and needs the radical changes we are proposing.)
  • Localism will potentially have a huge impact on the powers of the three local tiers: county, district and parish.
  • The Land Tax will be levied at a lower rate on agricultural land ‘so that intensive farming is not encouraged or basic food prices forced to rise’.
  • ‘…changing planning and building regulations to encourage home based enterprises’ might have perceived negative impacts on rural tranquillity.

Local slant

  • Localism will potentially have a huge impact on the powers of the three local tiers: county, district and parish.
  • The Land Tax will be levied at a lower rate on agricultural land ‘so that intensive farming is not encouraged or basic food prices forced to rise’.
  • ‘…changing planning and building regulations to encourage home based enterprises’ might have perceived negative impacts on rural tranquillity.

 

Education

 

Key message

The Green Party believes that education should provide everyone with the knowledge and full range of skills they require to participate fully in society and lead a fulfilled life. The Green Party rejects market driven models of education that see its role only in terms of international economic competitiveness and preparation for work.

 

Schools

ED023 We will move towards a system in which early years education extends until the age of 6. (Like most of the rest of the world, including high performing nations such as Finland, Singapore, Shanghai; formal learning too soon has a detrimental long-term effect and the current government is pushing more formal and sooner.)

ED030 In addition to compulsory education there will be Youth Schools in every town as in other European countries such as Denmark for young people to opt to attend from the age of 14. This will provide somewhere safe for young people to socialise in the evenings, and structured learning will take place as it does in adult education, including a wide variety of courses, life skills, practical and vocational training. (Local relevance – high levels of drinking, drugs and teenage pregnancy in the local area; children unprepared for working life)

ED054 The Green Party will abolish external SATS exams and the Year 1 Phonics Test. (Again, other successful countries do not keep testing children –in Finland, no testing until the age of 18. Teaching to the test leads to inappropriate learning experiences for children.)

ED055 The Green Party will abolish league tables in their current form as they give an over-inflated impression of schools with a higher ability intake which can contribute towards problems with admissions. (As above: teachers teach to the test when they know it is not in the best interests of children, because of the punitive league tables.)

ED134 The Green Party is opposed to creating more academies and free schools and will support community, school and parent campaigns that share this aim. The Green Party will integrate academies and free schools into the Local Authority school system.

ED141 The Green Party will allow no new grammar schools and gradually integrate grammar and secondary modern schools into the comprehensive system.

ED127 Schools which remain in the private sector would be classed as a business and have all charitable status removed; they would pay all relevant taxes such as VAT and Corporation Tax. (i.e. supporting a fully comprehensive system, not distorted by various forms of selection.)

 

Religion

ED174 We will abolish the requirement for a compulsory daily act of worship.

ED176 No publicly-funded school shall be run by a religious organisation.

ED178 Opt-outs from equality and diversity legislation will not be allowed for faith schools and they will not be permitted to promote homophobia or transphobia on the grounds of religion.

 

Higher Education

ED234 Under a Green government there would be no student loans as there would be no tuition fees and living costs would be met by Citizen’s Income. In the short term we will reintroduce student grants to meet living costs.

ED241 It is essential that there is not a commercial bias in research undertaken in Higher Education Institutions.

ED242 There will be sufficient funding to encourage independent and ethical research.

 

Lifelong Learning

ED262 There should be funded opportunities to study at any level at any stage of life. This is essential for the 21st century.

Energy

The current use of fossil fuels for energy and heat for housing and industry and for transport is driving man made climate change. 

The Greens will transform the energy system by stopping energy waste, improving efficiency and by a rapid increase in renewables to replace existing polluting sources.  This will ensure lower stable prices and remove dependence on foreign fuel imports.

The Greens will ensure democratic control. Local councils will have the powers and resources to develop energy plans covering heating, power and transport. Energy policy will be linked to local housing and transport plans AND will engage local communities in the planning process.

We will:

  • Reduce demand, in housing and industry by investing in better insulation of buildings and more efficient equipment, which would also provide millions of jobs. And in transport use planning to avoid the need for cars. 
  • Invest in renewable energy to replace fossil fuels rapidly for the home, industry and transport.
  • Oppose fracking. Oil and gas need to stay in the ground.
  • Oppose nuclear power. It is far too dangerous now and for many generations to come. Safe storage does not exist.
  • Invest in up-skilling the work force and in research, providing jobs and generating products worth billions.
  • Use the carbon tax to promote change together with rigorous targets e.g. full electrification of the rail and bus fleet by 2030.

To bring down prices and avoid fuel poverty, we will:

  • Use welfare benefits and special help with insulation for the most vulnerable.
  • Separate energy generation from supply and retail, and purchase large scale renewable plant to get competitive public sector energy provision.
  • Encourage small scale and community owned renewable production with fixed price feed-in tariffs and support from the Green Investment Bank, so small groups can provide energy at competitive rates and earn from it.

Food and agriculture

Background

In 'rich' countries there is abundant food and it is relatively cheap; people are ill from over/inappropriate consumption.

In 'poor' countries malnutrition and starvation are common, mainly because commodity-based agribusiness makes food unaffordable or expensive.

Industrialized international agriculture, mass produced food and its concurrent dependence on fossil fuels pollutes the air, land and sea; destabilizes and destroys communities – sustainable agriculture will be a part of the solution and no longer a ( large ) part of the problem. 

Principles

  • To re-introduce sustainable agriculture over long and short term
  • To provide and promote nutritious, healthy and sustainable food, including public sector food
  • To support diversity, local production and local food markets
  • To be fair to farmer, distributer and consumer
  • To respect animal welfare
  • To protect and restore natural eco-systems and biological diversity
  • To provide education including practical skills about the procurement and cooking of food
  • To provide through changes in taxation and subsidies healthy food at affordable prices
  • To regulate cheap food outlets around schools.

This will be achieved through policy which include:

  • economic measures
  • standards and regulation
  • education and information
  • research and participation.

Further issues

  • Food waste and packaging: reduce!
  • Food safety: GM, synthetics, additives, pesticides and drugs; research and confirm what is known.
  • Food security and markets: distribution, more local food, promote human rights, shift to plant-based foods, waste, education, restrict bio-fuel, moratorium on GM, agricultural diversity.
  • Localization and local food: community growing, allotments, food miles, fresher more seasonal food, community and local food culture, small scale, support rural community.
  • The agricultural economy: promote land-based work – diversity and resilience
  • International trade: respect all countries – reduce trade.
  • Europe and CAP: they have failed to support true sustainable agriculture and food security by being in favour of 'global competitiveness'
  • Agricultural systems and practice: we are custodians of the soil. Maintaining and improving ecology through sustainable methods including organic, stock free organic, permaculture, agro ecology agroforestry and forest gardening. Tax synthetic fertilizers. 

There are various local organic farms including the Astley Estate at Barney.

80 acres bio-dynamic horticulture at Camphill Community, Thornage.

Brilliant research and working eco-farm at Fressingfied in Suffolk! (Martin and Anne Wakelyn) http://wakelyns.co.uk

Migration

 

Immigration policy and controls in Britain are part of the Green Party’s global policy on migration and is linked to our policy for refugees.

 

1)      In the long run, we aim to reduce the need for migration, to create a just and ecological world where there is no need to migrate. At the same time we recognise the contributions made by many migrants and value the cultural diversity and intercultural awareness resulting from both temporary residence and migration. We encourage temporary residence in the UK and abroad, particularly by young people, to promote intercultural awareness. 

 

2)      The current mass migration of people escaping the consequences of war, global warming and environmental degradation, should be met by an international willingness to share resources. Richer communities should not use migration controls to protect their privileges. We oppose forced migration and forced repatriation. We will plan for the future support of environmental migrants, along with international agencies, non-governmental organisations, other countries, the European Community and local government.

 

3)      Communities and regions should have the right to restrict inward migration when:

 

a)      The ecology of the recipient area would be significantly adversely affected by in-comers to the detriment of the wider community (eg. National Parks, Antarctica)

 

b)      The recipient area is owned or controlled by indigenous peoples (eg Australian aboriginal people) whose traditional lifestyle would be adversely affected by in-comers

 

c)      The prospective migrants have, on average, equal or greater economic power than the residents of the recipient area except when they or their families were forced to leave the area in the recent past

 

d)       Specific individuals would threaten public safety.

 

4)       Migration policies should not discriminate on grounds of race, colour, religion, political belief, disability, sex, sexual orientation, wealth or skills.

 

5)      A fair British immigration law to be developed through consultation:

 

  • It will allow the partners, prospective partners and families to join immigrants without excessive delays or unreasonable requirements for proof of relationship, whatever their financial status and whether they can offer accommodation or not. (To be implemented along with housing policy).
  • It will have an independent appeal process for Immigration decisions.
  • No prospective immigrant will be held in detention unless they pose a danger.
  • Transport providers will not be penalised for bringing people without the required visas, etc. to the UK.
  • Will provide assistance, including legal aid in appropriate languages, at ports of entry
  • Will provide accurate information about conditions in the UK.
  • Environmental Migrants

 

6)      Trafficking. We would grant a temporary right to stay to any victim of trafficking and allow them to apply for a longer term or permanent immigration status on the same basis as others seeking to migrate. Criminal investigation of a trafficked person should consider whether the acts were performed under duress.

 

 

Other issues

No to fracking

In North Norfolk we are currently holding stalls to raise awareness about the issues surrounding fracking. So far we have collected 100s of signatures. If you would like to get involved or want more information, please get in touch.

We will be presenting the petition to the North Norfolk District Council. Please have your say.

Fracking is the process of blasting water, sand and a cocktail of chemicals deep underground in order to get out the gas or oil.

Yes, you read right, it’s not just gas,  it’s also oil they're hunting for. And here are four main reasons why this is a really bad plan.

Read the full article here

 

Ebay is still selling pesticides that are killing our bees

Please sign the petition to stop this.

 

Campaign against Trident - with CND

The government’s current Trident Alternatives Review does not include non-replacement.

In fact, the Government has agreed a £37 million deal for new Trident missile launchers – the latest in a growing series of contracts for components of the Trident replacement submarines - more than a year ahead of a Parliamentary vote on replacing Trident.

The government has already ordered steel for the hull and a nuclear reactor for the first replacement submarine, pre-empting a decision due to be made after the General Election.

CND says: ‘The government’s failure to consider non-replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system is an abdication of responsibility. Non-replacement is a credible option, which offers serious strategic and economic benefits’.


No to GM foods: Yes to clear labelling – with GM Freeze

Read more indepth about GM (Conference Papers)


Demand transparency in the NHS

Please sign this petition.


End ecodice

The definition of ecocide is 'The extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished.'


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