9 January 2020
A New Year should be a time of optimism, but 2020 has got off to a bad start. The wildfires in Australia are causing loss of life amongst humans and animals, Trump in America has caused alarm and outrage by killing the Iranian General Soleimani and Iraqi military man Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a "surgical" drone strike which also killed nine other people. Meanwhile Monday was Fat-Cat day, the day of the year when bosses of the UK’s top 100 companies have already earned more than the typical worker earns in an entire year.
So whether it's social justice, peace or the environment that you care about, there's plenty to worry about, and little sign that anything will get better under the current administrations.
The election in December delivered yet another democratic deficit. The Tory party have a majority of 80 MPs with only 43% of the vote. The Green Party won almost a million votes, a 60% increase and still just one MP. Under a proportional voting system we would have had another 11 MPs. We will continue to call for a voting system that fixes our broken system, and recognises the true political will of the people.
Meanwhile under the current system we continue to use our growing influence to call for the peace, action to protect the environment and social justice that makes the world a better place for everyone.
The Green Party has called for new legislation to ensure chief executives are not paid more than ten times any of their workers as it was revealed FTSE 100 bosses earn 117 times the annual pay of the average worker.
We have condemned the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani as an affront to responsible diplomacy and a reckless and deliberately provocative act in a volatile region, and called on the UK government to condemn the attack. Whilst General Soleimani was implicated in violence throughout the region, including attacks on US soldiers, which we also deplore, actions which risk war can never be the answer.
This week the Met Office issued new figures which show that four new temperature records were set in 2019. Remembering the fires in Australia and floods in Indonesia we call for more than empty pledges followed by lack of action, from our local, and national political leaders. 2020 will see the climate summit take place in Glasgow, it is not too late for the government and councils to adopt a net-zero carbon emissions target of 2030.
Let’s at least attempt to make 2020 the year of climate action, peace and social justice.
In the Politics Column of the Whitehaven News 8 1.19. The News and Star 10.1.20.