Vote Green in European elections

Later this month the UK along with the rest of Europe will go to the polls to elect our MEP representatives. The ballot on May 22nd in the UK with the result announced once all countries have voted on Sunday 25th May.

In the UK the results are likely to be analysed from a national; perspective especially to establish the impact of UKIP and the countries feelings on Europe in general.

However this poll is vitally important in its own right and is far more than just a barometer for next year’s UK national election.

Whatever your view the European parliament does have considerable power and influence on the UK and therefore it is essential that we take part in the process to elect a new parliament and make our choice on a balanced view and with a long term perspective of how we wish to see our role in Europe in the coming years.

The current right wing majority in the Parliament has led to a reduction in protections for workers and an increase in decisions that have distanced many from feeling that the organisation is working in the benefit of all the nations within Europe.

The workings of the Parliament has fuelled the recent increase for extreme parties such as UKIP as they thrive on exaggerating the rulings and promoting a sense of fear amongst the UK population by describing events and impacts that are incredulous and just not backed by evidence.

The Green Party believes that the UK is better off in Europe but that said, we also acknowledge that there needs to be dramatic reform of the way Europe works and in its general direction and aims.

The Green Party is part of the fourth largest group in the European Parliament that is larger than both the Conservative and UKIP groups.

On May 22nd we will have the chance to join in the most representative ballot we have as we can vote by proportional representation instead of ‘first past the post’, so please use this opportunity to vote for your Green Party candidates and here in the East Midlands the lead Green Party candidate is Kat Boettge.

Every vote the Green Party gets increases the chance of Kat getting to Strasbourg and sends a message to the more extreme candidate purporting fear and hate that there is a third way it is not a decision to stay in Europe the way it is or leave. We can stay in Europe with reform and that is what the Green Party will continue to work for.

So from next week if you are registered for a postal vote you will start to receive your ballot papers and if you vote in person the day is May 22nd, whichever way you vote please make sure you vote for Hope and not fear and VOTE GREEN.

Kat 1

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Kat Boettge on immigration

 

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Greens get social priorities right

This government would have us believe that we are better off managing on our own.

Get the state “off our backs”, allow us to “keep more of our own money” and we will “manage just fine”. So it commits itself to continuing to reduce taxes, Corporation Tax on companies (reduced from 28% to 21% since 2010) and Inheritance Tax (already only paid on 5% of estates and set to be far fewer if Cameron and co are re-elected) in particular.

Meanwhile public services, particularly those provided by local authorities, are slashed to the bone, and spending on “welfare” is squeezed and scorned, with the reasonable desire to have a “spare bedroom” denied to those too poor to ” pay their own way” , and with high quality Surestart child care provision, and Day Centres for the elderly and disabled, all but wiped off the map.

Finding decent employment, that pays well , guarantees regular hours and offers long term prospects has become ever harder, even for those with degrees that graduates have gone into huge debt to acquire. Meanwhile finding somewhere decent to live has become a nightmare. House prices, already unaffordable for most people unable to borrow “from the bank of Mum and Dad”, are rising again and a chronic lack of “social housing” (i.e. housing with affordable rents, well maintained and offering security of tenure) means reliance on renting privately from those whose motive is to make money. Prospective landlords are encouraged to “buy to let”, perhaps in the hope of securing a decent retirement income, occupational pension schemes having been largely been closed down as “unaffordable” ( not true for MPs of course, who still enjoy gold plated pensions, but 25% of them have still taken the opportunity to become private landlords)

What is the alternative ? Well the Green Party had a fully costed manifesto in the 2010 election, which proposed cutting spending on warfare but not welfare and set out how we could create employment through a programme to “green” our energy, transport and housing, whilst providing decent public services for all and recognising that everyone had the right to live in a secure and warm home.

It is a programme needed more than ever now and could and can be paid for by increasing taxation on the rich and large companies, making the required effort to collect the taxes due (this government allows wealth to escape to tax havens and reduces the number of tax inspectors who collect ten times the amount they earn)

More than anything it is a programme based on a belief that we are better off living in a society based on principles of cooperation and compassion. It also recognises the urgent need to tackle ecological and environmental destruction, including dangerous climate change, a task that will require the actions of democratic and responsive governments and cannot be left to the “free market “

Greens in the UK also recognise that we cannot solve the challenges we face (unemployment, social injustice, climate chaos) in isolation . In the European Parliament elections next month we will be standing alongside Greens across Europe, offering a real alternative to the failed policies of austerity. The Green Parties of Europe have agreed a common manifesto, which includes the following

“We Europeans should combine our own strengths, which is what sovereignty means, in order to shape our own future. Instead of socially deaf and environmentally blind austerity, we propose three coherent avenues to sustainability: fighting unemployment,poverty ; and all forms of social injustice; transforming our economies with innovation and eco-efficient solutions to tackle climate change and environmental degradation; re-regulating the financial industry so it solves the real economy. We call this a European Green New Deal”

Vote Green on May 22nd and encourage others you know to do so too……For the common good.

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Don’t bet on cruelty

it’s that time of year again when many people make their only bet of the year- on the Grand National. 

However increasingly many people are questioning whether they should be supporting this ‘sport’.
This article in the Guardian highlights some of the issues and Animal Aid have done great work with their ‘Race Horse Death Watch‘ in highlighting the ongoing carnage in the racing industry.
I’m glad that in the last few years people have become increasingly aware of the deaths and injuries that have been occurring during the Grand National and other high profile races, such as during the Cheltenham Festival. It had certainly made many of my friends think again before having ‘a bit of a flutter’. 
 
Thanks to http://carolineallengreenlondon.blogspot.co.uk/
Unfortunately the problems of cruelty within the racing industry extend beyond these shocking and very visible deaths. During my vet training I saw first hand the other issues that are hidden away.
Plenty of horses never make the grade, sometimes because of development bone and joint problems or maybe they just aren’t quick enough, these horses are likely to meet a very premature end. 
Mares are drugged to force them to breed outside of the natural breeding season, all to meet an arbitrary date so the offspring can race in a particular age range. 
People are led to believe that race horses are fact living a life of luxury but most are actually more like ‘battery horses’, walked around and around in giant exercise wheels or stuck in a stable for very long periods. Unable to express their normal behaviour of grazing they develop stereotypical behaviours, not unlike a tiger pacing in a zoo.
 
There will be protests going on at Aintree, outside Channel 4 and around the country. It’s not about spoiling people’s fun but it is about ensuring people are aware that by backing the Grand National they are betting on cruelty.
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Europe – doesn’t need to be a shouting match

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European Election 2014 Green Party Lead Candidate

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Katharina Boettge will be the lead candidate and will be the first Green MEP for the East Midlands. 

Kat was born in June 1977 in Munich, Germany. She grew up amongst the German Green movement since her mother, Sabine Csampai was a well known, local Green politician (Depute Green Mayor of Munich). Kat came to Nottingham in October 1999. She has been raising her daughter as a single parent, whilst studying (A levels, degree in psychology and a Master in Psychotherapy) and working within social care. 

After successfully completing her Masters, Kat has been working in her private practice as a psychotherapist. 

From October 2012 to August 2013 Kat was the coordinator for the East Midlands Green Party, setting up various working groups and projects. 

In December 2012 she was elected the lead European election candidate for the 2014 election in the East Midlands region. Additionally Kat co-opted as Town Councillor for Kimberley, a town outside of Nottingham. Due to her work experiences, Kat became the spokesperson for the Green Party in social care. 

Email – katharina.boettge@greenparty.org.uk 

Twitter – http://twitter.com/KatBoettge 

Facebook – http://facebook.com/KatharinaBoettge

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