Friday, 12 September 2014

Exciting first-ever Green House event in Norfolk:

Come hear Donnie MacLurcan of the Post-Growth Alliance at an event chaired by myself just outside Norwich, the weekend after this one:


Thursday, 11 September 2014

Green Party to select its Cambridge General Election candidate:

And I'm the only one putting myself forward for it...:

At 7pm on Mon. 15th September, Cambridge Green Party will have a 'hustings' meeting to grill its potential candidate for the Parliamentary seat, Dr. Rupert Read, who is a Reader in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia. Dr. Read is well-known to many Cambridge voters and to the media as the recent lead-candidate for the Green Party in the European Elections: Read came within 1% of being elected MEP. Now he hopes to stand in Cambridge, for MP.
Cambridge was the Green Party's 3rd strongest result in the whole UK, after only Brighton Pavillion (where Caroline Lucas was elected as the Greens' first MP) and Norwich South, at the 2010 General Election. This May, the Green Party scored nearly 20% in both the European Elections and the Local Elections. And according to the Green Party's own national geodemographic database, Cambridge has the strongest potential of any seat in the entire UK to become a longterm Green stronghold.
Ellisif Wasmuth, Returning officer of Cambridge Green Party, said: "In the Green Party, being the only candidate at a selection does not guarantee selection, there is always an option for members to vote for 'None of the above'. As a party with a strong commitment to local democracy it is important for us to create fora like this where political discussion can take place, and I anticipate a lively hustings. We are very excited to have Rupert Read put himself forward for Cambridge, and look forward to having the chance to question him at this hustings meeting."
Rupert Read, who is also national Transport Spokesperson for the Green Party, said: "I anticipate that we will be discussing transport as one of the key topics of the campaign, at this hustings meeting. The Green Party is of course THE Party to back if you are concerned about traffic congestion and air pollution, if you want to take the railways back into public ownership, if you back much better facilities for cyclists and safer streets for pedestrians, and if you care about resisting damaging new road-schemes. I am looking forward immensely to discussing these and other matters of great importance to Cambridge with the Green Party membership on Monday evening."
Dr. Read continued, "Cambridge is one of the Green Party's best prospects in the entire country, at the General Election. Voters have lost faith in the old parties and in the vagaries of tactical voting; that's why the Green Party has been experiencing a surge in the polls. Cambridge's voters have the chance to do something extraordinary, next May."
Cambridge Greens will be voting by post for who to have as their parliamentary candidate, beginning soon after the hustings. The result will be publicly declared at a meeting with Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett, on the morning of October 6th.

@richardjgodwin latest column in the ES:

Music to my ears, as national Transport Spokesperson for the Green Party; this is what we've been saying for months/years:

"Our railways are now owned by companies that cost us more in public subsidy than British Rail ever did, inflict annual fare rises on us and then reward their shareholders with record profits. All Britain gets is the bill. Last week the ailing Network Rail was quietly renationalised along with its £34billion (34,000,000) debt. Just as perversely, the East Coast Mainline, which has been publicly owned since 2009 and just made a profit of £235 million, will be re-privatised again next year. 
 "Which is not to say that national interests are not being served - they're just other countries national interests...
  "David Cameron refuses to exempt the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, which critics warn will make it impossible for future governments ever to reverse these decisions. That would amount to a huge loss of sovereign power, and I am not hearing many battle cries from MPs..."
...Except of course from Caroline Lucas.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

RR's most popular articles...

Love me, love my blogs:
I've been asked to put together a compilation of what I consider to be my best popularly-accessible articles of the last few years... Here it is!
Happy reading!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


My major piece on the financial crisis, politics and economics, reprinted from the _EUROPEAN REVIEW_:

Thursday, 14 August 2014

What's wrong with Piketty

My recent letter in the GUARDIAN, on Piketty, in case you missed it:

My line here is supported by this new report from the world-experts on the political economy of post-growth, Peter Victor and Tim Jackson:

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

All my ECOLOGIST articles collected together:

Check out my new ECOLOGIST magazine author page:
[My articles published in RESURGENCE however are not available here; and those printed in the print edition are not easily available anywhere online]

Post-growth common-sense: My latest GREEN HOUSE report.

On political communications in the age of the limits to growth:
Have a read!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Full personal statement from me: standing aside from the Euro-fight

I want to thank every single person who voted Green on May 22, here in the East. You have contributed to a movement that is growing, and will only continue to grow: for Green is the future, if there is to be a future at all.

It is terrifying that a Party whose basis is victim-blaming and which denies the very reality of dangerous human-influenced climate chaos has done so well at these elections (and some of the Conservative Party here are no different, by the way). I blame the tiny handful of multi-millionaires who bankroll the Party that shall remain nameless, and the national media for giving them bucketloads of coverage while ignoring the rise of the Green Party in the opinion polls during the campaign. I hope that once people realise what the Party that shall remain nameless actually stands for they will turn away from it in disgust, and turn to the Green Party, which offers a positive alternative to the old, failed parties.

As for me: I am so sad not to have been given the wonderful right to represent this Region at the European Parliament. While I will remain politically active, and may well seek to enter Westminster sooner rather than later (after a holiday!), this is goodbye to European-level electoral politics for me. I don't want to outstay my welcome. I've given it two great shots, and come close both times. Now, I leave it to younger others to do what is necessary: to stand for election to the European Parliament and to win for Green, so that together we can make the changes that are necessary, in order to save the future.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Norwich: Greens hold all five defended wards with increased majorities

The Green Party is celebrating a strong set of local election results in Norwich.

The party increased its majority in all five of the wards it was defending and also increased its city-wide vote to 30%, despite a strong challenge by Labour who were quoted as confident of taking two wards from the Greens.

For the Norwich City Council area as a whole, Labour took 35% to the Greens' 30% but for the Norwich South Parliamentary constituency Greens are ahead by 35% to 34%.

Three Green councillors were re-elected (Lesley Grahame in Thorpe Hamlet, Ash Haynes in Town Close and Simeon Jackson in Mancroft) and new Green councillors were elected in two wards: Tim Jones in Nelson and Sandra Bogelein in Wensum.

Andrew Boswell, Leader of the Green Party City Councillors, said:

"This is a fantastic set of results for the Green Party. Voters have recognised the strong track record of Green Councillors in representing their communities and re-elected Greens with increased majorities in all five of our wards.

"I'm delighted at the strong support we've received for our policies on ending zero hours contracts, opposing overdevelopment around Norwich and improving democracy on these issues. We will continue to challenge the ruling Labour Cabinet on these issues and be a strong, responsible opposition.

"I'd like to thank everyone who voted Green in this election and all the party members and supporters who helped our campaign."

The Greens obtained increased local election votes in many parts of Eastern region. The party won its first seats on Babergh council (Suffolk) and Epping Forest (Essex) and defended its Rochford council seat with a big majority. 

Adrian Ramsay, regional Campaign Manager for the Green Party, said: "These strong results - combined with opinion polls from recent weeks - suggest that we have an excellent chance of making a breakthrough at European level in Eastern region and seeing Rupert Read elected as the region's first Green MEP on Sunday evening."


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Craig Murray says: #VoteGreen2014!

So pleased to have Craig Murray's backing, for a green vote:

Craig, a former ambassador and human rights activist says:
"So who should those of us living in England vote for tomorrow? I intend to vote Green – it seems to me that in England that is the best way to give a positive expression to the discontent with mainstream parties. I particularly hope that those who have the opportunity to vote for Rupert Read in the East of England will do so. Their support for renationalizing the railways would be enough for me, but actually I find myself in agreement with the large majority of their platform."

See Craig's full article here:


See this letter in today's _Guardian_, that I'm proud to have co-signed:
#VoteGreen today to express an unequivocal opposition to the values of UKIP, and to stand up for a positive alternative to neoliberalism.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

UKIP = The nasty Party = The Conservatives squared.

So, Norfolk UKIP are now cosying up to Norfolk Conservatives to make a deal to gain control of the Council here... This is hardly a surprise. UKIP are nothing other than the nasty (anti-renewables, climate-denying, anti-tax, anti-immigrant, etc) wing of the Conservative Party - many of them actually having been expelled by or defected from the Conservatives. This is what the so-called 'anti-establishment' party intends doing - shoring up the very establishment party that got Norfolk into such a mess over the years (e.g. purveying the dreadful incinerator project). 

Endorsement: Long time Labour MP Ian Gibson backs Greens

Former Labour MP Dr. Gibson has put his name to a letter in support of lead candidate Rupert Read.

Other notable signatories include Sir Jonathon Porritt, former chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and the journalist and author George Monbiot. 

In the letter they urge readers, whichever Party they normally vote for and whichever they might vote for at the General Election next year, to consider voting Green this time. That's because the Euro elections are run on a proportional representation voting system which gives the Greens, as a smaller Party, a fairer chance of winning a seat.  The Greens already have MEPs representing the neighbouring constituencies of South-East and London. 

Dr Read can join them with only an extra 1% more of the vote than he achieved at the last Euro election. He said: "I feel honoured to have this distinguished group behind me, but it's especially exciting to have the backing of people like Ian Gibson and Peter Tatchell who have previously been prominent themselves in other political parties."

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

#GreensNotUkip: Natalie Bennett on the real fight in the Euro-elections

DAILY EXPRESS interview Green Party Leader!:

 I was present at the Yarmouth meeting mentioned here by Natalie. It was indeed disturbing to hear from experts at the front line in our Region of how migrants are suffering discrimination, right now, and of how it is tending to get worse...

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

My reaction to extraordinary story of police trying to stifle blogger's free speech.

Police have visited a Green Party blogger in Cambridgeshire after a UKIP councillor objected to his Tweets.


The Guardian reports that Michael Abberton was invited by the officers to remove criticism of UKIP from social media, though no offence had been committed.


Mr Abberton explained that his comments had already been retweeted and he no longer had control over them. The officers, who were reportedly polite and professional, were particularly concerned about the retweet of a faked poster giving 10 reasons to vote for Ukip, such as scrapping paid maternity leave and raising income tax for the poorest 88% of Britons.


The Green Party's lead candidate for the Euro elections in the east of England, Rupert Read, said:


"Criticism of UKIP is not only legitimate, it is essential! The real election battle now here in the East is between Greens and UKIP. It is very disturbing that the police got in the way of it - and very telling that UKIP tried in an authoritarian manner to get them to do so."


Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green party, said:


"This police action is both disturbing and surprising. That an apparently general complaint from a political party about not liking what was said about them could have led to a police visit that many would find intimidating is an extremely serious incident that demands immediate investigation. Free speech is a precious right that we must defend."

ICM Polling: Green Vote Growing as Liberal Democrats Wither

The Green Party is polling (1) at 10% ahead of the May 22 European Elections, putting it firmly in fourth place and three percentage points ahead of the ailing Liberal Democrats (7%).
The Greens have surged four points since ICM's last poll and are within touching distance of meet their target of trebling their number of MEPs from two (Jean Lambert, London, and Keith Taylor, South-East) to six. Based on a national swing the latest poll would give the Greens 5 seats in England plus one in Scotland. The Lib Dems would have zero seats. Among 18-24 year-olds the Greens are the second most popular political party.
Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader, said:
"The results of this poll chime with what I am hearing around the country. 
Former Lib Dem voters feel that the party no longer represents their values, let alone their views on tuition fees, nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons, and on curbing the influence of the banks and big business. 

"Former Labour voters are looking at our firm statements that the poor and disadvantaged must no longer be made to pay for the fraud and recklessness of the bankers. And traditional Tory voters are coming to us for our firm defence of the green belt and determination to rein in our still out of control financial sector."
Penny Kemp, Head of Media on the Green Party Executive, said:
"If the Green Party as predicted push the Lib/Dems into fifth place, I will be asking Ofcom and the Broadcasters Liaison Group to review their recent policy and I will be arguing for a place at the top table."
The polling results echo those released on May 2 by the Green Party. That polling, which was conducted by YouGov and commissioned by the Greens, had the Green Party on 8% and ahead of the Lib Dems in four of the nine English regions (the North-East, the North-West, Yorks and Humber and Eastern Region) with both parties polling on 11% in London.

ICM poll: Greens on cusp of historic victory in Euro-election

The latest ICM/Guardian poll makes some very encouraging reading for the Green Party:"ICM...asked...about voting intentions for nextweek's European elections. With only 37% of electors suggesting they arecertain to cast their ballot, such projections inescapably depend on fewerrespondents than those for Westminster."The Tories are up two on April, which puts them on 27%, and in a virtual dead heat with Ukip, which has bounced up four in the European stakes to stand at 26%. Labour sinks by 12 points on April, to 24%, with appreciable proportions of the party's 2010 votes moving to Ukip and the GREENS. "Together with Lib Dem defectors – Clegg's party languishes on 7% – this helps push the GREENS up four and into a clear fourth place, on 10%." Overall there has been a gradual upward movement in most polls (seelink, showing that we have momentum: ) and if we reach the 10% thre
shold, then we'llbe seeing the first Green MEP being elected next Thursday on May 22nd! And that would be me...Caroline Lucas was first elected in 1999 by a margin of 0.01%... Every vote counts...

Monday, 12 May 2014

Greens vs LibDems: nailbitingly close, in the Euro-elections: POLL

If those figures switch around in the next week - if we go to 9 nationally, and them down to 8 - then I could be elected as your new MEP...

Sunday, 11 May 2014

We must act now to address the crisis facing children and families

To mark #NationalChildrensDay! I have released a report on the crisis facing children and families in the UK and our policies to address it. We must take children’s rights seriously and the Greens are the only party doing so.

Read my report here and find out about our policies for children and families.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Lord Lawson's Global Warming Policy Foundation to Split into two following campaign by Green Party members

Lord Lawson's 'Global Warming Policy Foundation' to split into two, following campaign by Green Party members
Lord Lawson's Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is to split into two following a campaign led by Green Party members in the East of England to expose breaches of its charity status. 

James Abbott, Essex Green Party County Councillor and former Science Spokesperson for the Green Party, provided the Charity Commission with regular reports on the activities of the GWPF.
The GWPF has enjoyed the status of an "educational charity", which brings tax advantages.
However research by Greens revealed that the output of the organisation via its website was almost entirely anti-Green, pro-fossil fuel and 'climate sceptic'. Not only that, but James Abbott revealed a repeating pattern of the GWPF taking published articles and papers from around the world and changing the titles to give them more of an anti-green flavour. When asking a number of authors and publications if the GWPF had their permission to do this, the answer was always "no".
The GWPF today announced:

London, 9 May: The Global Warming Policy Foundation has decided to form a new non-charitable company which will be able to conduct campaigns and activities which do not fall squarely within the educational remit of the charity.

This arrangement reflects those used by other organisations with dual structures, such as Amnesty International UK and Greenpeace UK.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation will continue to advance its charitable objects by commissioning and publishing reports and papers and by organising lectures and debates on key matters relating to climate science and policy.

Some elements of its website, in particular its news articles and opinion pieces, will henceforth be covered by the new organisation.

The Trustees intend to establish this new organisation under the name "Global Warming Policy Forum".

Subject to ongoing discussions with the Charity Commission, we expect the new structure to be up and running by the end of July.


Dr. Rupert Read, Lead Green candidate for the European Election in Eastern region said

"The campaign that James Abbott and I have been running for a while now to expose the GWPF as a dogmatic and politically-charged cliamte-deniallist organisation that is unfit for charitable status seems to have finally borne fruit. This is a happy day."

Cllr. James Abbott said:

"The Global Warming Policy Foundation, is separating into two so that its anti-green, fossil-fuel-promoting campaigning activities are kept apart from its charity status.

It l
ooks like after more than a year of requests from Green Party members to the Charity Commission to investigate the GWPF, they are now requiring the GWPF to cease using its charity status as a platform for its lobbying activities.

This will be an embarrassment for Lord Lawson and the climate sceptic community who have long held up the GWPF as a 'credible' vehicle for their views."


Thursday, 8 May 2014

My vision for the East of England, via Europe

Let’s reform #Europe so that it works for us! As an MEP, what would be my plans for the East? See my new video here >>>>> #VoteGreen2014

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

[The Greens in] Europe - facts, not fiction


There is too much rubbish in the British media about the EU. So I've penned this straightforward account of the Greens in the EU:


MEPs in the European parliament are usually members of national political parties and may also be members of transnational European parties. The UK's Green MEPs are members of the European Green Party. MEPs also join voting blocks or coalitions, known as parliamentary groups. MEPs from the Green Party of England and Wales (as well as MEPs from Plaid Cymru and the SNP) are members of the Greens/European Free Alliance. The group is largely made up of MEPs from the Green parties of various EU member states, as well as other parties with similar goals.


Greens/EFA is the forth-largest parliamentary group in Europe, with 58 MEPs sitting in the current parliament. It is larger than both the Tories' group (ECR), and the UK Independence Party's group (EFD).


The European Green Party candidates for Commission President are José Bové and Ska Keller. In an innovative move, it has nominated two people, a man and a woman, as our choice for the job. Greens have decided that, given the importance of gender diversity among the most senior EU positions, the candidates will share the role should the Greens come out on top in May.


José Bové, from Bordeaux in France, is best known for his work campaigning for a more positive vision of Globalisation. He made headlines in 1999 when he organised a direct-action initiative to halt the construction of a McDonalds restaurant in southwest France. He is a powerful voice for those who want to see the global economic system work in the interest of ordinary people, not just big business, through measures from immigrant rights to trade regulations that support local communities.


Ska Keller, from Guben on the German boarder with Poland, became an MEP in 2009 at the age of 27, and is a firm believer in the power of democracy to bring about real change. Her academic background is in Islamic Studies and she is currently heavily involved in debates on the democratic crisis in Turkey and Turkey's relationship with the EU. She is also instrumental in orchestrating the Green's opposition the TTIP trade agreement, which threatens environmental and social standards, and in speaking out for the interests of the developing world its relations with the EU.


Green campaigning and voting influence has achieved the successes in the European Parliament including:


·         A cap on bankers' bonuses.

Bankers are now unable to earn a bonus of more than 100% of their annual salary, largely thanks to the work of Green MEP Philippe Lamberts.

·         Access for all young people to the European Social Fund.

Support for education, training and voluntary organisations, targeting areas with high unemployment.

·         Passing the Energy Efficiency Directive

Legal target to reduce carbon emissions by 20% by 2020

·         Consistent measuring of human rights progress across all EU countries

·         Ban on testing cosmetics on animals

·         Protection of the countryside

Including supporting farmers, banning bee-killing toxins and promoting seed biodiversity.

·         Groundwater monitoring to ensure companies can be held accountable for environmental damage caused by "Fracking".

·         More efficient asylum processes

Fighting to ensuring equal access to human rights protections, and introducing protections for vulnerable persons and the victims of torture.


A key battleground for the Greens in the next parliament will be opposing the TTIP trade agreement (also known as TAFTA). This is an attempt to create a US-EU trade area in such a way that European trade laws and protections will be overwritten by a new agreement with the US. American multinationals trading in the EU will be given the power to bypass both national and European law if it is deemed to be impeding trade according to the terms of the agreement. Greens oppose the lack of transparency surrounding these negotiations; we feel the deal cuts at the very core of European democracy, and threatens to destroy all the environmental protections and consumer rights that we have won in Europe.


Another key policy area is the fight for digital rights. In this last parliament, Greens helped to block the ACTA treaty, which threatened to allow private companies the ability to track the activities of internet users with no due legal process. Now, Greens are supporting legislation on tough data protection, which would prevent the UK government from carrying out their planned sale of HMRC and NHS data to private companies. Ultimately, Greens support the introduction of a Digital Bill of Rights, so companies and governments can be held to account for online snooping and phone tapping.


In the longer term, Greens are fighting for a socially just Europe, including ensuring labour standards are enforced across Europe to prevent "social dumping", an end to zero-hour contracts, a living wage, and legally binding social justice targets to raise standards in all member states. This will counteract "brain-drain" and unsustainable migration patterns to the benefit of every state. Most importantly, Greens will continue to work towards a Green New Deal, supporting investment in green technology to create thousands of new highly skilled jobs for a sustainable and resilient economy of the future.


Now former eastern England Labour MEP Hugh Kerr calls for a Green vote in the East!:

Hugh Kerr (Labour MEP for Essex West and Hertfordshire East 1994-99) commented this morning (on Facebook), on hearing the news about former MP Ian Gibson's endorsement of me for the European Elections ( 

"Ian Gibson is a good man sacrificed by Labour because he was a critic of New Labour. As a former Labour MEP for the Eastern Region I also call for a vote for the Green Party in the Eastern Region. Feel free to use that."

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

My letter in the Guardian: ‘Caroline Lucas and I doubt Labour’s rail re-nationalisation claim’

So, a letter from 30 Labour prospective parliamentary candidates calls on Ed Miliband to make public ownership of the railways a key part of Labour policy. After many years of being in government, sitting and watching the privatised rail monopolies rake in huge profits, is Labour about to do something? Or at least to "consider" doing something? The British public have been down this road before with Labour and they have been let down time and again. Caroline Lucas has a bill in the Commons right now calling for exactly this policy. This is a flagship Green party policy, central to our agenda. Labour is simply stumbling falteringly toward something that voters can already plump for in unadulterated form by voting Green.
Rupert Read National Green party transport spokesperson Caroline Lucas MP

Read it here: