Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit - it is really all over ?

Greens hate the idea of further capitalist globalisation, but know that is a small problem compared with the loss of our planetary environmental support system. This is not a scare tactic - we have been saying this for decade on decade, only now do the other parties even realise there is a question to ask - they have not gone any real way towards providing a set of answers.

The Brexit vote for a Green was like having to chose between two children and hope the one you lose can cope better that the other child by itself. We can deal with globalisation only if we can still breathe - staying in lets us debate those issues from the inside - where we geographically and meteorologically exist anyway.  Please forgive my generalisations and remember that the details of the facts are less relevant than the power with with they are shouted. This isn't an easy question and yet we have to give an easy answer - that can never be fully right - we have to make a version of Sophie's choice.

This can be changed. Generalisations are forced by 'democracy' and made far worse by the two party, first past the post system. Reality is, people are individuals - politics ignores this almost totally at the moment. The Green Party has been held back for years by doing its best to not generalise and so gets very little actually decided. I think Jeremy Corbyn would fit in well once he starts think about the environment. That difficulty in facing up to the yes/no aspects of 'democracy' is in part why the Green Party has a 'Philosophical basis' as a central part of its manifestos.

As a very part time politician, I am delighted and at the same time deeply saddened at the reasons for the massive political wake up caused by the Brexit referendum. I keep reading wonderful comments from people I have never heard say anything even faintly 'political' before. To me 'Politics' is the word that describes how we can decide the future - and as such everyone should spend all their time learning enough to be sure they can be democratic and vote with anything other than a knee jerk response . This is obviously impossible, impractical and a rotten way to live - you'd never get anything done. So, we pick people to do that for us and trust them. When a few of them take personal advantage they destroy our trust in all of them. This is neither just nor true, but it is totally understandable. The public made a choice but now regret it - or so it looks to me.

This is not the end of Britain in Europe quite yet however. From the administrative angle alone the practicalities of the actual work required to remake 40 years of negotiations after an exit may cause it to be abandoned. From the view of the public it could well be they now see the lies too late and have actually changed their minds. At the time of writing over two and a three quarter million people want another vote.

I know we clever humans can and shall make anything work - eventually - but it was not obvious how damaging an exit would be in so many ways. As I write, Article 50 has not been passed through Parliament. An potentially altered public attitude can be gauged from the details of the petition at . In this remarkable and one-off scenario the result of the referendum has been even more dramatically opposed than was the result of last General Election. This is possibly because far more people - about double the last turnout voted. A new election we could expect to have a similarly enlarged turnout.

This petition was started before the vote and the wording states - whichever way the vote goes - 75% should have voted and the difference should be 60/40 - not sour grapes, Farage said the same - once. A new petition asking for a free vote on ratifying Article 50 is at the checking stage at the moment. It can be found at .

Our very system is flawed. It is only a true democracy when people actually know what they are voting about and they have been checking Google in their thousands like never before. I am basically saying - people have changed their minds now they can see they have been lied to or have misunderstood what they heard. A second chance is fair - that is what democracy should be - but is not fair when the facts are either hidden or are lied about.

This second bite petition has the power to stop ratification of Article 50. It is unique, as was the referendum in that it has been held at a time when people can actually get the information they need in order to come to a decision - but - we are all new to this game.

A second referendum would most certainly be binding and it is essential if we value democracy.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Brexit - how to make the best of a bad vote.

Right folks. How can we make this work ? Jenny Jones's comments obviously come to mind. I did not hear any Green say that her views were wrong, just that, because they did not match with what Conference had decided she should keep quiet about them. One of her major points is that Greens are and have always been firmly against Globalisation - of industry, the economy and commerce in general. The not opposing Remain argument put greater weight on the environmental and social aspects of staying within the EU - which has always been an economic grouping and not an environmental one - despite the best efforts of very many Euro Greens. All their work and that of so many other groups that have been aimed at correcting that error are now in terrible danger of being wasted. But, we should now remember that they were the best we could do from the position we were in then. Now we have moved.

We always wanted, needed and campaigned for an environmental union and we can still have that - now freed from the commercial concerns imposed by having to meet the ever more difficult problems of equating different countries and societies in the pretence of them being a single entity. Environmentally the world is indeed one place and every action one group makes has an impact on many if not all others, we have always known that and now the people have chosen to have our collective noses rubbed in the realities of our similarities and differences.

Now that the UK, for as long as it can be called United, is cutting itself away from financial ties with Europe, it shall have to run on a wartime system - living with vastly reduced imports. Land will have to be put in to food production and people shall be needed to tend the processes. Raw materials will be in short supply too, but, the UK, like all 21st century economies has generated huge quantities of waste and these can be recovered and reused - probably at a far lower eventual cost than would be expended rebuilding infrastructure to cope with the as yet utterly unpredictable import export systems that must now be redeveloped. There could be a maximum of only two years in which to do this, possibly far less time than that. Greens know what to do, we have been trying to get societies to be self sufficient for decades. Now, the UK has forced itself in that direction this is a great opportunity if approached correctly. Produce locally. Consume locally. Export only what the rest of the world can not make, import only what the UK can not make.

And now the good news. We all need water, food, space and resources to sustain life and the quality of life we have come to expect and hope for. Too often in the past these have been won through invasion and wars. Today though things have moved on. The last few decades of planet wide technological and social growth and unification of information and scientific effort have resulted in exponential increases in the capability of every technology humanity has to hand - and has even created the probability of artificial assistance - Robotics. These changes are no shock to anyone who has been watching, but most people have not had the time, they have work to do, they leave that sort of thing rightly to elected representatives to do that job while they get on with their's. This 'Leave' vote tells politicians that the public thinks they have been caught with their hands in the till - sleeping or partying on the job. The Public has spoken and said - enough - we deserve better. Well, Greens are better.

Win Win ? No - the transition could be dreadfully painful. That is why the Green Party did not advocate it in the first place. We knew how hard it would be, we feared the xenophobia that could result from a 'them and us' 'Leave' vote, but hey, you asked for it, now here it comes. It's the job of the Greens to reunite a shattering country in to sustainable - environmental self sufficient small groups that can work together country and planet wide for the benefit of everyone and every thing.