Green Party leader visits Upton protest camp to highlight region’s battle against fracking









Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett, and Peter Cranie, the North West Green Party’s European election candidate, will visit the protest camp at Upton, near Chester, to highlight the Green Party’s opposition to fracking for shale gas and the extraction of coal bed methane.

Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader, has been a vocal opponent of fracking, visiting the protest camp in Balcombe, Sussex, last summer and visiting Barton Moss in Salford earlier this year. She said:

“Coalition government ministers have a fervent belief that fracking can solve all of our problems, from fuel poverty to manufacturing decline, from energy security to unemployment. Lib Dem Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Davey is hell-bent on supporting extreme energy, boasting that he “loves” shale gas. This fervour is misguided – the evidence shows that fracking won’t bring down energy bills and is not a solution to climate change.

She continued: “Rather than locking us into a future of fossil fuel dependence the government should be doubling its efforts to reduce energy use through home insulation and supporting the creation of renewable, clean and safe energy. Residents in Upton are right to oppose extreme energy and I’m here today to show my support for their campaign.”

Peter Cranie, the North West Green Party’s European election candidate, is campaigning to be the region’s first Green Party MEP. The Green Party is the only major political party opposed to fracking and this is a central message of his campaign.

He said:  “I’m pleased to be visiting Upton to hear more about local people’s concerns about extracting coal bed methane gas and to back their campaign. We’ve seen that there’s huge opposition to fracking for shale gas and extracting coal bed methane across the north west. A recent poll revealed 74% of Britons oppose plans to allow drilling under their homes without permission. People are right to be concerned.”

He continued: “Fracking isn’t going to bring down fuel bills or help us tackle climate change and it brings with it the risk of water and air pollution. Unlike the other political parties, the Green Party is against fracking. We’re working hard on this issue in Europe and the UK – asking the difficult questions, challenging the government and pushing for a complete ban on fracking, like in France.”

He concluded: “In parliament we have an outspoken Green MP, Caroline Lucas, who protested peacefully against fracking, was arrested and subsequently found not guilty. She stands up for the vast majority of people who either oppose fracking or are not convinced by it. The Greens will stand with local residents in opposition to fracking. Labour, UKIP, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives all support this unsustainable and harmful dash for gas. If you want an elected representative to stand up against fracking in Upton, then you need to elect at least one anti-fracking Euro MP by voting Green on the 22nd May.”

The Green Party is the fourth largest group in the European Parliament with 58 MEPs, working on issues as diverse as workers’ rights, energy, transport, fishing, international development, environmental protection and employment. Peter Cranie lost out on a seat in the European Parliament by just 0.3% of the vote in 2009 and instead the British National Party’s leader, Nick Griffin, became the region’s MEP. The Greens are hoping to break through on May 22nd.

ICM Polling: Green Vote Growing as Liberal Democrats Wither

GPLogoWorldGreenForWebThe 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.
Further information available here

‘What space for a women’s agenda in politics in 2014?’


An evening with Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett

Wednesday 16th April,  7.30 (tea/coffee) for 7.45 pm Friends’ Meeting House, Lancaster (next to Lancaster Rail station).

Since becoming leader of the Green Party in 2012, former Guardian journalist Natalie Bennett has spoken and listened to many women’s groups up and down the country on issues ranging from equal pay to female genital mutilation.

Come and hear her conclusions – and tell us your priorities. Everyone welcome at this informal but informative evening discussion.

Q: What do all these parties have in common: Tories, Lib Dems, Labour, Respect, UKIP, Scottish Nationalists, Socialist Party, Democratic Unionist Party, SLP, TUSC, & now ‘Left Unity’?

A: They all have a white, middle-aged, male leader!