The Government are using Brexit to weaken environmental protections

Green Party member of the House of Lords Jenny Jones writes at https://leftfootforward.org/2020/01/the-government-are-using-brexit-to-weaken-environmental-protections/

The UK government has lost in the courts time after time on issues like people’s right to clean air, clean waters and clean beaches. And now, guess what? The Government wants to use the EU Withdrawal Bill to give Ministers the power to set aside those EU related court defeats.

Theresa May’s government said they would retain existing EU case law that was in place when we left the EU. If changes needed to be made then Parliament would go through the process of fresh legislation and public scrutiny. But Boris Johnson’s Government want to exchange that legal certainty for a process of Ministerial diktat. They claim that the senior judiciary will be consulted on any changes before they happen, but the members of the senior judiciary in the House of Lords have expressed deep unhappiness with scrapping EU case law and want it retained so courts can refer to the judgements instead of the painful option of starting all over again.

This is about deregulation. The United Kingdom became a member of the EU in 1973. Since then UK law has developed in tandem with EU law – not dictated by the EU but having regard for EU laws and treaties. Boris & Co want to abandon all the development of law since then and return to the 70s. We had filthy, polluted rivers then and raw sewage on beaches.

It won’t only be about abandoning environmental protections. Jenny Jones’s article continues to discuss workers’ rights. For example abandoning EU case law will effect the paid holidays that we have become accustomed to. The Tories are really not keen on human rights… Then there are food safety standards – US food safety standards are abysmal compared to EU safety standards – they want you to eat siht.

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Brexit – Let’s kill the Tory party

Looks like Boris and his Tory party are going to “get Brexit done”. Expect higher prices and eating siht for decades. It’s only rich scum that will benefit from Brexit.

The Brexit campaign was a dirty campaign full of lies fuelled by dirty money. Ignorant people have been persuaded to act directly against their own interests. While younger people are hugely against Brexit, they are the ones who will be forced to pay for and endure it.

Let’s hurt the Tory party for all this. they are the ones who are responsible. Let’s try to kill the Tory party so that they are never elected to government again.

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I used to wake them up, but this one’s a pisshead ….

It used to work that I would post and some minion would wake them up

The trouble is that this one (Boris) is an alcoholic

and therefore

absent

ed: He is absent / drunk for extended periods.

6.55 He has the attitude that nothing changes while he is absent

7.20 And the real issue – of course – is that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is an alcoholic. That’s someone who is pissed all the time.

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Slinky black cat music?

Got a great slinky, slinky, slinky black cat

His name’s Spider, slinky black cat

Slinky, slinky, slinky, slinky black cat

*Slinky black cat lyrics are released on the please play Slinky black cat music and enjoy licence ;) ed: jazz especially yes please but also all music genres. Slinky black cat music ;)

23/1/20 Not the one on yt. My cat is slinky but his name is Spider.

Got a great slinky, slinky black cat.

He’s great, slinky and black,

Slinky, slinky, slinky black cat

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Trump/US’s assassination of Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani: analysis

The US assassinated Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani this morning by drone attack near Baghdad airport. I present my analysis which my be revised or extended.

Trump/US’s assassination of Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani is no doubt an extremely provocative and outrageous act having little or any regard for international laws and customs and – of course – Iraqi sovereignty.

It should be recognised and accepted that US, UK and Australia are dictated to by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. National policies are decided by Neo-Con (and climate-destroyer) Murdoch in pursuit of his own interests. Murdoch exerts a veto on politicians e.g. former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and otherwise controls how senior politicians act through the power of his news empire. It is extremely unlikely that Trump would have taken this action without clearing it with or being directed to do it by Murdoch.

Trump is facing re-election is 2020. This action provides a distraction from impeachment proceedings and presents Trump as a bellicose leader.

The best resolution of this unprecedented situation would be a legal one i.e. Trump/US being held to account legally. It is unfortunate that this is unlikely to happen since US has not ratified or does not recognise such legal treaties.

2.25pm

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, responding to the killing of Qasem Soleimani, said:

“The US assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani is an extremely serious and dangerous escalation of conflict in the Middle East with global significance.

“The UK government should urge restraint on the part of both Iran and the US, and stand up to the belligerent actions and rhetoric coming from the United States.

“All countries in the region and beyond should seek to ratchet down the tensions to avoid deepening conflict, which can only bring further misery to the region, 17 years on from the disastrous invasion of Iraq.”

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New year message

New year to all my readers. I wish you a successful and productive year – like I will have – unless you’re a Tory or Republican, Fascist, Racist, Xenophobe or a climate crisis-denying ignoramus. [ed: apologies that I forgot to exclude misogynists.]

We have to make some real progress on the Climate Crisis this year – at least Scotland is a good example. [2/1/20 Hopefully Murdoch will be dead soon.]

I’m hoping to pay a lot of tax for this year. I’ll probably still kick ass even if that doesn’t happen. I’ll also be being more sexy – easy enough: get fitter, lose a little weight, have sex. I don’t doubt that many people want to take me out. I’ve been so skint lately that an evening out has been shopping at a discount supermarket. I’m open to suggestions of all sorts but please keep it green e.g. no flying involved.

I’m starting my Biac* project today. More on that later.

*Boris is a …

4/1/20 I’m tagging something minor on here for the benefit of those who are keen to connect apparently unconnected events. I was burgled in 2019 and was woken by an uninvited strange man in my bedroom at 6.30am. (and the answer is no chance;) 4/1 later: I may be mistaken about this and it’s not important anyway ;)

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I’m not taking things too seriously now because I’m not responsible …

I’m just a political blogger. Let’s hold politicians responsible ;}

That seems right, doesn’t it? Politicians are responsible.

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ed:

ed:

ed:

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The ‘truth’ about Dancing

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KLF / What time is love?

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Comment on General Election result

As a supporter of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and his allies, I was truly shocked and disappointed by the result of the recent general election. The Labour Party achieved an unexpected poor result losing 59 seats while the Conservatives won an additional 47 seats. I expected the Labour party to improve on their 2017 result.

Boris Johnson shamelessly and repeatedly lied during the campaign – the big lie being “get Brexit done” – but also 40 new hospitals, 50,000 new nurses and “… no checks on goods going from GB to NI and NI to GB …”. While the media failed to nail him on his incessant lying he was also assisted by burying a report into Russian interference in British politics and the Metropolitan Police inquiry into his sponsorship of Jennifer Arcuri getting postponed until after the election.

The electorate latched onto the “get Brexit done” lie and that BJ’s BJexit deal is a Trumpian “great deal” while Labour failed to convey the message that Brexit fatigue and turmoil is all down to the Conservatives.

Jeremy Corbyn proved personally unpopular. People refer to him as a Communist without realising that he is simply a typical Democratic Socialist with a typical Socialist agenda. There were accusations that he would slaughter Kulaks and the intention to nationalise and provide free broadband was accused of being Communism. There is nothing wrong with having utilities and train services provided by the state – that is the normal way of doing it.

Jeremy Corbyn’s personal unpopularity must be down to the incessant and unjustified accusations of anti-Semitism. Zionists have succeeded in imposing Israel’s veto on Jeremy Corbyn. That veto is documented. Labour’s policy of appeasing the Zionists has failed.

Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party proposed a real Socialist alternative. The manifesto was huge because they have a real vision of change.

Despite proposing real policies to address the climate crisis, it appears that the public remain ignorant of the pressing need for action.

I feel for the Labour party and fellow Socialists and climate activists.

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For the many, not the few

I haven’t managed to get a poster for my window either.

This is an extremely important election. We have to start addressing the Climate Crisis urgently while Boris Johnson and Farage are absent from the debate.

It is widely accepted and documented that BJ habitually lies and deceives. “Oven -ready”, “get Brexit done” is established, routine BJ BS. Electing BJ as PM runs the real risk of a disasterous no-deal BJexit.

You simply can’t trust BJ on anything, particularly nothing as important as the climate, the NHS or Brexit.

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Boris “Buller, Buller, Buller” Johnson

Boris Johnson claimed today that the naughtiest thing he’s ever done is ride a bicycle on the pavement. In early September however, he alluded to his time at university by advising primary school children not to get drunk.

While at Oxford University Boris was a member of the elite Bullingdon Club that engaged in high jinks such as drunkenly destroying pubs and restaurants followed by humiliating the owners by paying for the extensive damage in cash.

Boris Johnson and David Cameron appear in Bullingdon Club photo.

Sexism, vandalism and bullying: inside the Boris Johnson-era Bullingdon Club

The woman who was the club recruiter said: “Boris was one of the big beasts of the club. He was up for anything. They treated certain types of people with absolute disdain, and referred to them as ‘plebs’ or ‘grockles’, and the police were always called ‘plod’. Their attitude was that women were there for their entertainment.”

She said there was a “culture of excess” in the 1980s in which the activities of the Bullingdon Club felt “normalised”. “They had an air of entitlement and superiority.”

Boris “Buller, Buller, Buller” Johnson

In 2013, Johnson – who reputedly still greets former members with a cry of “Buller, Buller, Buller” – described it as “a truly shameful vignette of almost superhuman undergraduate arrogance, toffishness and twittishness”. He added: “But at the time you felt it was wonderful to be going round swanking it up.”

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The lying liar Boris Johnson and more

It is documented and established beyond doubt that Boris Johnson is a lying liar. While that is enough to establish that he is totally unsuitable to hold any high office, there is further evidence that he is a dangerous, unstable twat totally unsuitable to be the UK’s prime minister.

Ridicule and disbelief as Boris Johnson insists he’s never told a single lie in his whole political career

Appearing on ITV, the prime minister was asked whether he could look the presenter “in the eye” and say he had never lied in his career – spanning back to 2001 when he was first elected as an MP. 

“Absolutely not, absolutely not,” Mr Johnson replied. “I have never tried to deceive the public and I’ve always tried to be absolutely frank.”

Pressed again, he continued: “I may have got things wrong, I may have been mistaken, but I’ve never tried to deceive people about the way I see things.” 

He’s recorded on video saying that lying lie.

The trouble for lying liar Boris Johnson is that it is widely accepted that he is a lying liar and that his lies are well documented. It is disappointing that he is permitted to lie so blatantly without being held to account.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-lies-conservative-leader-candidate-list-times-banana-brexit-bus-a8929076.html

Boris Johnson’s quotes in full

“We are getting ready to come out on October the 31st…Do or die, come what may” (25 June, TalkRadio interview)

“We are going to fulfil the repeated promises of Parliament to the people and come out of the EU on October 31, no ifs or buts” (25 July, first speech as Prime Minister)

“There are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels to delay. We are leaving on 31 October, no ifs or buts” (2 September, speaking in Downing Street)

“I am confident of getting a deal. We will leave on 31 October in all circumstances. There will be no further pointless delay.” (3 September, speech in Commons)

“I’d rather be dead in a ditch” (5 September, asked to promise he would not request a delay to Brexit)

later: It’s an old joke but a good one. How can you tell when Boris Johnson is lying? You can see his lips moving.

The Brexit lies above were while he was campaigning to be leader of the Conservative Party. Now he’s lying to win a general election.

later still: More

There is a debate about BSters vs. Liars proposing that BSters are more dangerous than liars and have very little grasp of the concepts of truth and deliberate deception. It appears that Boris Johnson also has very little grasp of these concepts and is very willing to deliberately mislead without realizing or accepting that he is a lying liar e.g. his statement “I have never tried to deceive the public and I’ve always tried to be absolutely frank.” Should we instead regard him as a BSting BSter?

As well as being unable to trust anything he says Boris Johnson’s inattention to detail and/or his daytime drinking have had serious effects.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/jun/30/nazanin-zaghari-ratcliffe-richard-ratcliffe-boris-johnson-gaffes

Johnson, who told a Commons committee when he was foreign secretary that Zaghari-Ratcliffe was “teaching people journalism” in Iran, should acknowledge his mistake, he said. Iranian officials cited his words as evidence that she had engaged in “propaganda against the regime”. The family have always maintained she was visiting relatives in Iran when she was arrested. She has strenuously denied spying. She was sentenced to five years in prison for attempting to overthrow the Iranian government.

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I’m a climate change scientist – and I’m campaigning for Labour this election

School climate strikes have encouraged some political parties to be more radical. SewCream / shutterstock

Simon Lewis, UCL

The 2019 UK general election matters because the climate emergency means that the next decade is critical for the future of humanity. Only a Labour government can really turn things around, not just in the UK, but globally. This may sound exaggerated, but it’s true. Let me explain.

While flooding has affected people in Yorkshire during the election period, look further afield and many millions are suffering the impacts of catastrophic floods in Central and East Africa. Fires have raged in Australia and things will get a lot worse until humans stabilise Earth’s rapidly changing climate. To do that means carbon emissions need to decline to zero. Fast.

Pursuing policies to limit warming to 1.5℃, as the Paris Agreement mandates, is a two part process. Stage one is to halve global emissions by 2030. Stage two is to eliminate the other half by 2050. Getting the world to zero emissions is extremely difficult as it means every sector of every country needs to get to zero. We can still pollute, but every tonne of carbon dioxide emitted will need to be immediately captured again, giving a net impact of zero emissions.

A serious plan

Finally, after 30-plus years of scientists explaining the problem, a major political party of a major economy has a serious plan for part one of the process. After wrangling between grassroots activists and trade unions, the Labour Manifesto pledges that the “substantial majority” of UK emissions will be eliminated by 2030. This isn’t bluster, as there is serious investment planned across electricity production (more wind and solar), buildings (retrofitting all UK houses to high efficiency standards), transport (investment in buses, only electric cars sales from 2030), and heavy industry (research and development into hydrogen and carbon capture technology), to name a few sectors.

Crucially, this would be driven by those who control the finances of the country. A new Sustainable Investment Board would bring together the chancellor, business secretary and Bank of England governor to oversee and co-ordinate these major investments. A National Investment Bank with £250 billion allocated for decarbonising the economy provides serious funds. And climate and environmental impacts will be included in the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts, so that the cost of not acting will be factored into every government decision.

Labour are calling it a Green Industrial Revolution. And it would be. It is a far-reaching set of policies and investments befitting the scale of the problem.

Tory plan ‘lacks ambition’

By comparison the Conservative Party manifesto lacks ambition and seriousness. Capital spending on climate – broadly conceived – is just £20 billion. There is no overarching strategy to reach net zero. As the independent analysts, the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said of the whole manifesto, “If a single Budget had contained all these tax and spending proposals we would have been calling it modest. As a blueprint for five years in government the lack of significant policy action is remarkable.”

While the Conservatives have a net zero target of 2050 and official UK emissions have dropped by 43% from 1990 levels, most of the reduction has come from the power sector, and the low-hanging fruit of switching from coal-fired electricity generation to gas and renewables. Beyond this, their record over the past decade in government has been poor – emissions from transport, buildings and agriculture have not declined over recent years.

Ditching coal power was a relatively easy win. Steve Allen / shutterstock

In 2019, the government’s own independent advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, said that only one of 25 policy recommendations had been delivered, and the UK is on track to miss its binding interim carbon budget for 2023 to 2027.

The stakes couldn’t be higher

Of course, UK emissions are just 1% of the world’s total, so does it matter what the UK does? It does. First, because every country needs to get to net zero emissions. Second, as the fifth largest economy in the world, large and sustained reductions in emissions across all sectors simultaneously would become a beacon to other countries to learn from the UK and reduce their emissions more quickly. Third, Labour would use £4 billion of new overseas development funds help countries leap-frog the fossil fuel age.

Finally, geopolitics matters. The world is gripped by right-wing populists who are often hostile to tackling climate change. Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro abandoned hosting this years’ UN climate talks, while Donald Trump plans to pull out of the Paris Agreement. Fearful inward-looking nationalism means that the internationalism necessary to tackle climate change is being eroded.

The antidote to the rising right-wing populism that Brexit and Boris Johnson are part of, is a Labour government with a Green Industrial Revolution at its heart. And just as Brexit spurred the Trump campaign, a win for Labour would increase the chances of the Democrats in the US reaching office and pursuing a similar Green New Deal. The tide would be turning towards deploying the tools of the state to reshape the economy to seriously tackle climate change.

Scientists working on climate often say some form of transformation of society is needed to tackle climate change. Here’s a rare chance to lever serious resources to do just that. Of course, supporting any political party is a major compromise, especially with our voting system.

When it comes to the environment, you can’t beat the Greens, but they can’t form the next government. The big prize is to grasp the chance to turn things around. So, I won’t just be voting this election. I’ll be out knocking on doors to canvas for Labour. It’s the least I can do. The stakes couldn’t be higher.


Click here to subscribe to our newsletter if you believe this election should be all about the facts.

Simon Lewis, Professor of Global Change Science at University of Leeds and, UCL

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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UK wealth inequality

How billionaires extract wealth rather than create it

M/Y Topaz is a 147m motor yacht making it the fourth-largest Superyacht in the world. It was custom built in 2012 by Lurssen Yachts in Bremen, Germany and registered in the Cayman Islands. Pic by Yoshi Anahory This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

It is difficult to comprehend the sheer scale of UK wealth inequality, which is twice as high as income inequality. New research published today by the Equality Trust has shown that the five richest families in the UK control as much wealth as the poorest 13 million people and that the number of billionaires has almost doubled over the last decade. The top 1 per cent of the population now owns the same wealth as the bottom 80 per cent of the population.

The other side of the wealth of the property tycoon is the poverty of the family being shunted between different forms of temporary accommodation because they cannot afford to keep a roof over their heads. The other side of the wealth of the private equity manager is the poverty of the worker he laid off to “turn around” his latest investment.

The other side of the wealth of the few is the poverty of the many. Fourteen million people in the UK are living in poverty — 4.6 million of whom are children. Children are going to school “unwashed” and “hungry” — nine out of ten schools in the UK are being forced to distribute clothes to students. 135,000 children will be homeless this Christmas, in a society with hundreds of people so rich that they couldn’t even count their wealth.

These patterns are replicated at the level of the international economy. Globally, the 26 wealthiest billionaires own as much wealth as the bottom 50 per cent of the population. And their wealth is not “earned” either. According to Oxfam, one-third of global billionaire wealth comes from an inheritance while another third comes from “crony connections to government and monopoly”. Much of the rest originates from land, oil or finance.

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Scientists say that average temperatures from 2010-2019 look set to make it the warmest decade on record.

Climate change: Last decade ‘on course’ to be warmest

Scientists say that average temperatures from 2010-2019 look set to make it the warmest decade on record.

Provisional figures released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) suggest this year is on course to be the second or third warmest year ever.

If those numbers hold, 2015-2019 would end up being the warmest five-year period in the record.

This “exceptional” global heat is driven by greenhouse gas emissions, the WMO says.

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Climate emergency: world ‘may have crossed tipping points’

Warning of ‘existential threat to civilisation’ as impacts lead to cascade of unstoppable events

The world may already have crossed a series of climate tipping points, according to a stark warning from scientists. This risk is “an existential threat to civilisation”, they say, meaning “we are in a state of planetary emergency”.

Tipping points are reached when particular impacts of global heating become unstoppable, such as the runaway loss of ice sheets or forests. In the past, extreme heating of 5C was thought necessary to pass tipping points, but the latest evidence suggests this could happen between 1C and 2C.

The planet has already heated by 1C and the temperature is certain to rise further, due to past emissions and because greenhouse gas levels are still rising. The scientists further warn that one tipping point, such as the release of methane from thawing permafrost, may fuel others, leading to a cascade.

The researchers, writing in a commentary article in the journal Nature, acknowledge that the complex science of tipping points means great uncertainty remains. But they say the potential damage from the tipping points is so big and the time to act so short, that “to err on the side of danger is not a responsible option”. They call for urgent international action.

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Statement on the Climate Crisis: Revised

The Earth’s climate is in crisis, it is an emergency. There is no doubt about it – scientists are in near unanimous agreement that humans are causing severe damage to Earth’s climate. This is our home and we have to care for it. I particularly feel for future generations – our children and their children – who we have failed. I propose that the appropriate response is that we do whatever is necessary and that we have already delayed too much.

[Revision 28/11/19

There is a clear Left vs. Right political orientation divide on the need for urgent action to address the climate crisis. It is within right-wing politicians that – despite the absolute deluge of evidence – deniers of human-caused climate change are found, figures such as Donald Trump and Nigel Lawson in the UK. It is within right-wing political parties – in the UK the Conservative, Brexit, UKIP and the Neo-Liberal Liberal Democrats parties – that there is little appetite for emergency action to reduce damage to the climate from human actions.

We need to prevent Climate change deniers and those most resistant to climate action i.e. the right-wing, from getting elected and being in positions of power.]

While I am no expert there are plenty of experts and we should listen to them.

This post is to be revised and elaborated.

[21/11/19

World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency

Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to “tell it like it is.” On the basis of this obligation and the graphical indicators presented below, we declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.

Mitigating and adapting to climate change while honoring the diversity of humans entails major transformations in the ways our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems. We are encouraged by a recent surge of concern. Governmental bodies are making climate emergency declarations. Schoolchildren are striking. Ecocide lawsuits are proceeding in the courts. Grassroots citizen movements are demanding change, and many countries, states and provinces, cities, and businesses are responding.

As the Alliance of World Scientists, we stand ready to assist decision-makers in a just transition to a sustainable and equitable future. We urge widespread use of vital signs, which will better allow policymakers, the private sector, and the public to understand the magnitude of this crisis, track progress, and realign priorities for alleviating climate change. The good news is that such transformative change, with social and economic justice for all, promises far greater human well-being than does business as usual. We believe that the prospects will be greatest if decision-makers and all of humanity promptly respond to this warning and declaration of a climate emergency and act to sustain life on planet Earth, our only home.]

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Register by 11:59pm on 26 November to vote in the General Election on 12 December

Register to vote gov.uk

Register by 11:59pm on 26 November to vote in the General Election on 12 December.

If you want to apply to vote by post in England, Scotland or Wales, register before 5pm on 26 November.

If you’re going to be abroad on election day, you can apply to vote by proxy after you’ve registered. It takes time to vote by post from overseas.

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