Andrew Cooper, the Lead Euro candidate 2014 for the Yorkshire & Humber Green Party, has outlined the party’s wishes for the forthcoming year:
“The New Year is a time for resolutions and wishes,” says Yorkshire and the Humber Green Party’s Andrew Cooper, “But what might the top Green Party wishes look like for 2014?”
1. An end to foodbanks! These monstrous carbuncles have sprung up in all our leading cities - reminding us of our inability to make policy to end severe poverty, with increasing malnutrition and hunger around the country.
2. Scrap HS2! This boondoggle of a high tech project which has gone from estimated costs of £32 billions to £80 billions in just one year - before it’s even begun - and may cost hundreds of billions before it’s ever finished! Why? So people can get to London a bit faster! That £100 billions can be spent on ANYTHING else - local transport, subsidising ticket prices or alleviating poverty.
3. Where is Chilcot? Release the Chilcot Report on Iraq. What precisely happened? How did we send hundreds of troops to their deaths while killing hundreds of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis. For what precisely? No Iraq War report means no trust. The bloodiest deception of modern times requires answers; publish and be damned!
4. Properly fund the NHS. This Government is to blame for the A&E crisis.
5. Renationalise the railways! The East Coast line made £208 million profit and it’s state-owned! So keep it public! Now prices have recently been raised again on top of every other burden ordinary people are having to carry.
6. Prosecute some bankers. We all know why this austerity is being sold to us: because successive governments are determined to protect the banking industry at all costs. But their one job was to make money! Banking is not a money pit for taxpayers. They failed, sometimes scandalously, like fixing LIBOR rates. Those responsible must pay an honourable price.
7. Tax properly. Spend properly. There is £120 billion minimum to recoup for the country in avoided and evaded taxes. Government’s job is to protect the people not surrender everything to banks and corporations.
8. Release Shaker Aamer. An American president promised the closure of Guantanamo prison in 2009. Among the innocent captives remains one final British resident, jailed 12 years ago on February 14th, the day his youngest son was born. ‘They know what they are doing to me is wrong and that’s why they are scared.’ But it will cost America nothing now.
11. An international effort now to solve Fukushima! After 3 nuclear meltdowns and any number of other difficulties, to leave Japan, let alone Tepco, let alone ordinary people, to suffer all the consequences is unconscionable. The world must rally round.
12. An end to fuel poverty in the UK. We need a proper plan to insulate the homes of millions of UK homes to permanently protect people from energy company price rises.