Monday, 13 October 2014

Great to debate, but let's have a format that reflects our multi-party era

The ERS helpfully commenting on the dodgy stitch-up debates format, that is excluding the Greens:

Great to debate, but let's have a format that reflects our multi-party era

Commenting on the broadcasters' proposal for three TV debates in the run up to the 2015 General Election [1], Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

"It's great to see some momentum behind the idea of TV debates. At their best, TV debates can make political issues come alive for the electorate, and after the success of 2010 voters expect to get this opportunity to hear directly from party leaders. It would be hugely disappointing to go back to the old days of no TV debates.

"But the format suggested by the broadcasters doesn't really reflect the fact that we are now firmly in a multi-party era. It's difficult to see how to justify the exclusion of smaller parties from the debates. And having a two-party duel between Labour and the Conservatives simply doesn't reflect the way people see politics these days. Democracy is about hearing from everyone, not just from the two men most likely to be Prime Minister.

"People have changed since the heyday of the two-party system, and they want to hear a variety of voices in politics. The debates should be an opportunity to hear from the leaders of all parties which command a significant amount of support.

"Of course there are practicalities to consider in order to decide where to draw the line, but the principle should be in favour of openness rather than shutting people out. We want to see a format that fairly represents all of the parties which field candidates across the country and which people support in significant numbers."

ENDS

For more information, interviews and comment, contact Will Brett on 07979 696 265 / will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk

[1] See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29595529

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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Natalie Bennett in Cambridge tomorrow with me:

GREENS NAME RUPERT READ AS CAMBRIDGE CANDIDATE
Party Leader Natalie Bennett set for candidate news conference

The Green Party tonight (Fri) named the academic, author and campaigner Rupert Read as its candidate in Cambridge for next year's General Election.

There will be a first opportunity to question Dr Read on his new campaign when he appears at an introductory news conference at King's College on Monday (Oct 6th), introduced with a personal endorsement from Party Leader Natalie Bennett. The event will also reveal further high-profile endorsements for Dr Read's candidacy.

Alongside his work as Reader in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, Rupert Read is a former city councillor in Norwich, and already the Green Party's national spokesman on transport. He has been instrumental in helping to develop Green Party policy nationally. He said:

"I love Cambridge: probably the most 'networked' and 'thinking' city in Britain. Cambridge Green Party is young and enthusiastic and fires me up for the campaign ahead. Cambridge was our third strongest result in the entire country in the 2010 General Election, and, according to our Party's own research, quite simply the strongest place in the entire country in terms of Green potential. If not here, where? If not now, when? I would love to represent Cambridge in the place that matters the most: the House of Commons."

Recent polling on voting intention by the Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft indicated that the Greens are starting with 9% support in the constituency. A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times last week indicated that voting intention nationally put the Greens at 6%, neck and neck with the Lib-Dems, who currently hold Cambridge.

In a busy programme of events on Monday, there are five opportunities for members of the media to meet Rupert Read and hear his views on a range of issues:

11:00: News conference launching Rupert Read as the General Election candidate for Cambridge. With Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett. Chetwynd Room, King's College.

12:00: Lunchtime talk and Q&A with Rupert Read and Natalie Bennett, Keynes Hall, King's College. "The Green Vision for a Sustainable Society".

13:00: Seminar with Rupert Read, Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, Coslett Building, Mackenzie Rd, Cambridge. Dr Read will be questioning the notion that "you can't stop progress" by asking what progress really is.

14:00: Rupert Read and Natalie Bennett available for media one-to-ones.

19:00: Talk and Q&A with Rupert Read and Natalie Bennett, Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Trumpington St, Cambridge. "What Green Party Economic Policy Really Means", including equality, taxes, renewables and localism in a post-growth society.


www.rupertread.net

follow me: @rupertread , and @greenrupertread , on Twitter.

Monday, 29 September 2014

'In a vulnerable space': I'm on a panel to discuss Steve Waters's new play:




Norwich Arts Centre on October 22nd, 8pm:
Steve's new play on dangerous climate-change, which will be followed by a panel discussion:
Dr Rupert Read - philosopher, environmental thinker and Green Party candidate
Dr Veronika Sekules - artist and  Head of Education and Research at the Sainsburys Centre
Jonathan Woolley - anthropologist currently working in the Broads.
Do come along!

Wittgenstein and Physics Conference that I'm speaking at:

I lead off this event, on 22 Nov., in Oxford, at the brand new St Cross Centre for the History & Philosophy of Physics (HAPP) at the University of Oxford:

10.30 am WELCOME

10.45 am Dr Rupert Read - How to Admire Science and Despise Scientism: Wittgenstein's Contribution to the Great Challenge of His Time and Ours

11.30 am Professor Martin Kusch - Wittgenstein, Einstein, Metrology

12.15 pm Professor Carlo Penco - The Influence of Einstein on Wittgenstein's Thought Experiments

1 pm LUNCH BREAK

2 pm Dr Chon Tejedor - The Early Wittgenstein on Induction and the Principles of the Natural Sciences

2.45 pm Dr Richard Staley - Boltzmann, Mach and Wittgenstein's Vienna

3.30 pm TEA/COFFEE BREAK

4 pm Professor John Preston - Wittgenstein, Jeans and Eddington

4.45 pm Summary of the Day's Proceedings

The key to this inaugural event is its role as an exemplar of the interdisciplinary approach of our new HAPP Centre to the chosen fields of interest (i.e. physics, philosophy and history). Also the very nature of Wittgenstein's career provides a unique progession through various of the key developments in both physics and philosophy in the late 19th and 20th centuries. e.g. from his early years in Boltzmann's Vienna, to study in Planck's (and then Einstein's) Berlin, then onto Rutherford's Manchester and eventually to join the cohort of great physicists in Cambridge in the 1930s and 1940s.
Free. All welcome.

Friday, 19 September 2014

"You can't stop progress"


Cambridge are hosting me for this talk, early next month - please do come and join me as I question the myths of "progress" and [economic] "growth"

#IndyRef ... The fabulous opportunity presented by the narrow BetterTogether victory:

My call for a #ConstitutionalConvention, published this morning in Europe: http://www.greeneuropeanjournal.eu/now-must-constitutional-convention-whole-uk/

#ConstitutionalConventionNow!

My post-referendum piece this morn on OPEN DEMOCRACY'S OurKingdom project, a key venue for the discussion now underway: https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/rupert-read/constitutional-convention-now

Time to give all UK citizens a say

Statement from the Electoral Reform Society
Immediate release 09:45 19th September 2014
Contact: Will Brett (
will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk / 07979 696 265)

Time to give all UK citizens a say

Commenting on the need for a UK-wide Constitutional Convention in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum, Katie Ghose (Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society) said:

"This referendum has demonstrated that when it comes to deciding the future of our country, people want to be asked. It would be a terrible waste if we do not build on that passion by ensuring everyone in the UK, and not just Scots, have a say in where power lies.

"Now is not the time for top-down commands on our constitution, issued by political leaders in the immediate, frenzied aftermath of this momentous vote. The future shape of the country is too important to be rushed through Parliament without consulting the people.

"We need a UK-wide, citizen-led Constitutional Convention to determine where power lies in the future. We can draw on international examples to create a process which does justice to people's passion for change.

"Such a process needs clarity of purpose, and certainty about how its conclusions will be taken forward. It needs the full support of all the political parties, but it must also retain its independence from them.

"Above all, a UK Constitutional Convention must capitalise on the enormous amounts of interest and passion sparked in Scotland by the independence referendum, and bring that passion for determining our political future to the rest of the United Kingdom."

ENDS

For more information, interviews and comment, contact Will Brett on 07979 696 265 / will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk

NOTES

  1. Last week The Times published a letter from the Electoral Reform Society and 18 other democracy experts, which called for a UK-wide Constitutional Convention whether or not Scotland votes for independence.
  2. Citizen-led Constitutional Conventions have been successfully used around the world to settle where power should lie. For a recent example, see the Irish Constitutional Convention (https://www.constitution.ie). For more information about Constitutional Conventions and what this would look like for the United Kingdom, see http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmpolcon/writev/constconv/m24.htm See also the Irish Constitutional Convention process.



Monday, 15 September 2014

The Scottish referendum requires constitutional revolution - whatever its result

See my new piece on OPEN DEMOCRACY on this, co-authored with Rebecca Johnson, my colleague in 'Compass Greens': https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/rebecca-johnson-rupert-read/after-scotland-decides-build-citizencentred-democracy-through

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: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/what-comes-after-capitalism-tickets-12750798983

 

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.
 
#VoteGreen!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Westminster Beeb interview with RR on Cambridge, Norwich...

Have a watch of me on the BBC talking about Green Party Conference, transport policy, etc: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B73KChI9p0RVVElMR3ZDeTRYaHc/edit?usp=sharing

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!
http://shiftinggrounds.org/2014/03/progress-beyond-the-growth-fetish/
http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2397606/lets_build_a_postgrowth_economy_that_works_for_the_99.html
http://www.theecologist.org/campaigning/2221766/renationalise_our_railways.html
http://blog.talkingphilosophy.com/?p=7957
https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/rupert-read/climate-how-ukip-and-tory-right-will-defeat-themselves
http://blog.talkingphilosophy.com/?p=6662
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2007/nov/13/emergencytalk
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/how-ecologism-is-the-true-heir-of-both-socialism-and-conservatism/
http://greenwordsworkshop.org/node/34
https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/rupert-read/greens-ukip-of-left
https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/rupert-read/guardians-of-britains-future-generations
https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/rupert-read/philosophical-and-political-implications-of-spirit-level-response-to-gerry-ha
https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/rupert-read/im-not-racist-but
https://www.opendemocracy.net/rupert-read/last-refuge-of-prejudice
http://liberalconspiracy.org/2013/04/12/leave-our-kids-alone-the-case-for-banning-advertising-that-is-targeted-at-children/
http://oneworldcolumn.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/by-rupert-read-normal-0-false-false.html
http://oneworldcolumn.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/by-rupert-read-we-are-thoroughly-used.html
http://oneworldcolumn.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/our-responsibility-to-future-justice-or.html
http://oneworldcolumn.blogspot.co.uk/2008/04/we-told-you-so.html
http://thinkingfilmcollective.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/thinkingfilm-co-founder-rupert-read-has.html
http://thinkingfilmcollective.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/gravitys-pull.html
http://thinkingfilmcollective.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/avatar-transformed-cinema.html
http://theoxfordphilosopher.com/2014/08/25/economist-kings/
Happy reading!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

'Economist-Kings?'

My major piece on the financial crisis, politics and economics, reprinted from the _EUROPEAN REVIEW_: http://theoxfordphilosopher.com/2014/08/25/economist-kings/

Thursday, 14 August 2014

What's wrong with Piketty

My recent letter in the GUARDIAN, on Piketty, in case you missed it:
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/31/constant-growth-make-most-poorer

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: http://www.prosperitas.org.uk/SIGMA#.U-yiiqPCcug

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Green Party proposes wealth tax on assets over £3m

Post-Piketty, this should be a no-brainer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28459473

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: http://www.greenhousethinktank.org/files/greenhouse/home/Post_growth_commonsense_inside.pdf
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.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Why libertarians become climate-deniers

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:

#WeAreTheAntiUkip

See this letter in today's _Guardian_, that I'm proud to have co-signed: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/21/nigel-farage-ukip-bigoted-populism
#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... http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/politics/conservatives_to_discuss_deal_with_ukip_to_take_back_control_of_norfolk_county_council_1_3608604 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!: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/475832/Ukip-s-divisive-politics-are-driving-voters-to-Greens-says-party-leader-Natalie-Bennett

 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."

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/12/police-ask-blogger-remove-legitimate-tweet-ukip

1. 2. 3. Rupert's Read 4. 12. 13. 14. 15. 18. 19. 20. 21.

Rupert's Read

22. 23. 31. 32.