EU Elections, TTIP and A Couple of Alternatives, by Obi_Live
Since becoming one of the Occupy live video stream support, I have ended up being involved in various campaigns. Among them Fight against Fossil Fuels, Fracking, Bedroom Tax, Rights for Disabled People, Hands Off London Transport, Save the NHS, Stopping the TTIP.
On May 22nd 2014. we will be voting in the European and Local Elections. Local Elections are First Past the Post and in your local area. The European Elections are Proportional Representation, so your vote does count. I thought to provide some details to a couple of alternatives available to those who want to vote.
I do encourage people to get involved in your local politics. Democracy is not ticking a box every five years, and expecting the politicians you voted into government to do all the work. Corporations pay lobbyists in ensuring those politicians get their viewpoint. The 99% better get off their posteriors, and remind those in the Councils and Parliament who votes them into those offices.
You can see the Southwark Local Election Hustings here. Unfortunately, there were barely 60 people in the room.
For the European Elections I have experience with two, the Green Party and the National Health Action Party.
The Green Party
Green party leader Natalie Bennett on the launch of the party’s 2014 European Election campaign.
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett spoke about her party’s election campaign launch with Jo Coburn on the Daily Politics (and her panel of MPs). She talks about the attack on our democracy via the US-EU Free Trade Agreement and re-nationalisation of the Railway.
The majority of the British people want to have the Railways re-nationalised and we get the usual, “how do we afford it?”, “Who picks up the running costs?” Natalie replied rightly that the taxpayer does it now. Since our British Rail was given to Corporations, subsidies have increased from £1 Billion per year, to £4 Billion.
The Green Party are against the TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), also known as the worldwide Corporate Coup d’etat. Cameron and Co. are supportive of the TTIP and the Labour party line is a wait and see attitude. In this video, we can see that Menzies Campbell (Lib Dem) would prefer the TTIP negotiations (EU-US Free Trade Agreement) to continue to be written in secret. 500+ Corporate representatives writing a trade deal, without any democratic oversight, should worry people.
It is good to see the Green Party getting some footage on the BBC, rather than being the constant UKIP propaganda machine. UKIP does keep quiet about the TTIP, figuring that their supporters would not ask the question and since it hardly reaches the mainstream media, keeping the electorate ignorant is the better option. I don’t remember anything about the BBC mentioning that if the British electorate want the NHS privatised, they would vote UKIP. Paul Nuttall UKIP MEP, and Deputy Leader, wants to destroy the NHS and not much of media footage on that story.
The Green Party have been supportive in various campaigns against Corporate attacks on our sovereign laws and our environment. Fracking has been one of them. Groups like Occupy set up community protection camps in Balcombe and Barton Moss, to highlight that fracking will contaminate the soil and poison our water supply, but the ConDems are happy to ignore these details. Cameron and Osborne constantly claim that energy prices would come down because of fracking, even when the fracking companies have said otherwise. Only the Green Party have deigned to visit and show their support.
This is the video of Green Party MP Caroline Lucas (Brighton and Hove). Arrested for participating in the Reclaim The Power week of action in Balcombe Community Protection Camp.
National Health Action Party.
The National Health Action Party grew from the need by various Save NHS and Keep Our NHS Public groups to have a greater voice in politics. If they get at least one MEP, it would certainly send a shockwave to the House of Commons, and the main parties might realise that the British public would be very unhappy with an American style healthcare system. It is a matter of the people learning that the NHS is in trouble and if it is not rectified, we will lose our health care system.
The NHA Party are also against the TTIP, and strategically calling for the exemption of the NHS from the trade agreement. The NHS is a £100 Billion industry, and this would allow the campaign, to totally stop the EU-US Free Trade Agreement, to ramp up. I have to note that Andy Burnham Labour MP is also calling for the exemption of the TTIP, but we are unsure whether he will be Health Secretary; if they do get into Parliament. He can make promises now, and have no need to keep it, if he is not in the position to do so. We would need Ed Milliband to say that the Labour Party is against the TTIP.
Dr. Marie-Louise Irvine is chair of the successful Save Lewisham NHS campaign, who twice won from threats of closure; by the government. Jeremy Hunt MP wanted to close Lewisham Hospital’s A&E department, but it was proven that the move was illegal. The ConDems have recently changed the rules on how to close hospitals with Clause 118 – now 119. They no longer need to have public consultations, instead having one meeting. Clause 119 was supposed to be used on failing hospitals, but has been created to close successful hospitals and making them easier to open to corporate parisitisation.
Dr Marie-Louise Irvine Interviewed by Going Underground. NHS and the TTIP.
The EU-US Trade Agreement (aka TTIP) will lock in NHS privatisation and give private companies the right to sue the government if they don’t get the contracts they want. Despite claiming to be Eurosceptic, the Tories are pushing hard for this EU deal to go ahead. UKIP’s MEPs have so far either voted in favour of TTIP or have failed to vote at all. And Labour really aren’t doing anywhere near enough for the NHS, making weak noises about TTIP and then diverting their campaigning efforts elsewhere.
To Vote or Not to Vote:
“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you” ~ Pericles
The 2012 Local Elections, two thirds of people eligible did not vote.
During the 2012 Mayoral Elections Boris Johnson won, on a turnout of 38.1%. with barely one million people voting for him. With the result of 10 Fire stations closing, planned downsizing of ticket closures and loss of 1,000 jobs in the London Underground, along with further social cleansing of Londoners, in favour of the super rich and non-domicile tax dodgers.
This time around, people are even more disheartened that their vote does not count. Unfortunately, this plays into the hands of the Neo-Liberal Far-right who want to keep the turnout as low as possible. I do believe it would be better for all those people, who do not believe in voting for any candidate, to turn up and spoil their ballot paper. Write NONE OF THE ABOVE!
At least, participate in your society for one night.
NHA Party – Patients Not Profits
Fed Up – Not Fired Up. Two Thirds of Voters did not use their vote.
Two weeks before EU elections, 62 percent ‘not interested’
From Another Angry Voice: Reasons to vote alternative.