The Tories continue their relentless attack on the few remaining rights of some of the most vulnerable in society.
At present, council house tenants have a right to stay in their homes as long as they wish but under plans announced by the Tories no one will be secure for more than five years. Having a reliable roof over your head is one of the most fundamental requirements in life and knowing that you can build a family home without fear of eviction has always been central to the council house ethos.
The new Tory plans will see families having to face the prospect of repeated moves which will negatively impact on the education of thousands of children and remove the security that we should all be entitled to in our old age.
Our local MP has repeatedly shown that he will vote in line with his government instead of what is best for his constituents. Yet again we need to make sure he knows that the people of Tamworth do not support these evil measures.
The 1st of December marked 60 years since Rosa Parks refused to move from her bus seat for a white person, an act that sparked a demonstration which lasted 381 days and helped to change the way minorities were treated all across America.
It is a perfect example how the resolve of a small number of people to do what is right and not what is easy can make a positive difference in society.
At present many in the western governments, backed by irresponsible elements in the media, are determined to escalate the ‘war on terror’ in the middle east in supposed retaliation for the abhorrent attacks in Paris. We are told of pinpoint accuracy and only hitting ISIS, just as we were told similar stories in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
The reality is a continuing cycle of suffering and death for millions of innocent Syrians caught up in a terrible civil war. History has shown us that air strikes go wrong on a worryingly regular basis, only last month the US paid out compensation to one of many wedding parties it has destroyed in drone strikes. The past twenty years have seen hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced and yet we are no closer to peace in the middle east or ‘security at home’.
As Albert Einstein said:
‘to repeat the same experiment over and over again expecting different results is nothing less than insanity’.
We need to stop this insanity now.
So what is the answer? The last one hundred and fifty years have shown continual interference in the middle east by western powers interested only in their own gains. We need to break the cycle of violence by stopping support for regimes that deny democracy and abuse human rights. We need to stop the supply of arms and training to those regimes. And most importantly we need to support those countries to develop free and open societies that value all their citizens or whatever gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. It won’t happen over night but it is the only way we can move forward.
What can the people of Tamworth do? Write to Mr Pincher and tell him that military intervention is not being done in your name. Make sure he knows that we will hold him to account at the next election.
Whilst it is true we face an acute shortage of suitable accommodation, there is no contradiction between continuing to campaign for decent, affordable homes for all and stepping up to meet our obligations to do the right thing and support the Syrian refugees.
On that basis, we would urge people to show the caring, tolerant and compassionate face of Tamworth and bring family and friends to join the “Tamworth says YES to refugees” gathering in Castle Grounds, at 2pm on the 7th November.
Several years ago we were told that Tamworth schools were in such a state that the only answer was to have an academy in the town. It was also decided that all of the 6th forms would be closed in favour of a single 6th form run by the new academy sponsor Landau Forte. This was fought but the decision had already been made and despite massive public opposition to the changes they were pushed onto Tamworth whether we liked it or not.
The government has recently said that any schools that fail to reach a good standard in the OFSTED inspection regime will be turned into academies as though it is a magic bullet that cures all ills. But what happens when academies fail? Sadly we are in this position with the only 6th form in Tamworth having been given a ‘requires improvement’ in its latest OFSTED inspection. What this shows yet again is that the use of private companies and organisations within schools does nothing to improve achievement.
The last thirty years have seen relentless meddling by successive governments, constant attempts to undermine the status of the teaching profession and the use of education to score political points off their rivals.
So what is the answer? Public money should be spent on things that benefit the public not to subsidise contracts for big corporations. Education professionals need to be given the freedom to develop the curriculum that best suits their pupils. And most importantly there must be real choice for parents to choose a school that best suits their child.
Tamworth deserves to have good schools for ALL children and that will only be achieved by well motivated staff working in well equipped schools. It is time to stop spending money on what private companies want and start spending it on making a better future for the children of Tamworth. The Green Party is dedicated to a fair system that values the skills of every child and believes that parents should decide what is best for their children.
The first Conservative budget in twenty years has shown nothing has changed apart from the faces.
Despite being told “we are all in it together”, today’s budget shows nothing could be further from the truth.
On a day when hundreds of thousands of public sector workers were told their pay would be subject to ‘restraint’ that amounts to a further 10% cut in their standard of living on top of the 20% they have already suffered, a small number of wealthy business owners were told that the tax they pay on the profits of their companies would be cut again and again and when they spend those profits on million pound mansions they will be able to pass them on tax free to their children.
The public sector workers affected include nurses, policemen, care workers and many others. The very people that supply vital services to us all day in day out will yet again be hit for the benefit of the wealthy.
Does this really sound like we are all in together?
But there is an alternative. By supporting the Green Party you are supporting a fairer society that values all people, no matter what job they may do. By supporting the Green Party you are sending a message to the government to let them know that you don’t accept tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of our NHS, schools and police force.
The beginning of July marks one year since the horrific Israeli attacks on Gaza last summer, which killed over 2,000 Palestinians. These attacks are enabled by the UK government’s support of the Israeli military industry. In 2014 alone, the UK government licensed over £11.6 million worth of military equipment and arms components for export to Israel, with full knowledge of what those arms are used for.
Also in July we are marking BDS@10, the ten year anniversary of the inspiring grassroots call from Palestinians for international supporters to engage in campaigns of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel until it complies with international law to end its apartheid policies. Central to the BDS mission is targetting the arms companies profiting from Israel’s war against Palestinians, producing weapons and weapons components used in the Israeli military attacks. Many of these companies are operating right here in our communities in the UK.Protesters call for an arms embargo and for the UK to stop arming Israel.
Elbit Systems, with its subsidiary factory in Shenstone, is one of Israel’s largest arms companies, producing drones and other military technology used in Israeli military assaults on Gaza. Last year activists occupied the factory, forcing its operations to grind to a halt while they were there. Now it’s time to go back outside the same factory, this time in numbers, to transform it into a space for community.
The Stop Arming Israel campaign will be a long-term campaign with many different approaches, including pressuring our government and the arms companies themselves. For now, let’s send a powerful message to Elbit Systems that we will not stand by while they produce their deadly weapons!