Thursday, 12 September 2019

Feeding the trolls

I really wonder if I should offer to buy the guy a calculator. He seems to think that 17.4 is more than half of 66. I have tried to convince him otherwise but then he may have also believed that the UK gives the EU £350m a week too. There's no helping some people. Should I stop feeding them though?



For the record, this is my original letter:

Dear Editor,

I am saddened that the KM chose to misrepresent the result of the EU referendum in last week’s opinion piece by John Nurden. Mr Nurden claimed that “the majority of the country wanted to get out of the European Union”. This is blatantly untrue and the KM should print a retraction.

A small majority of voters indicated a preference to leave the EU in the referendum. There were 17.4 million leave voters out of the 66.3 million people in the country, or just 26% of the country expressing a desire to leave. Millions of people chose not vote and millions more were denied a say in the country’s future.

Add to that the proven electoral fraud by the leave campaign and what is now a significantly more informed electorate and there is a real case for a second referendum on the terms of the withdrawal.

Stuart Jeffery
Maidstone Green Party

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

What the Brexit referendum forgot

Please watch this, particularly if you still believe that Brexit is the right thing to do. The testimony from Alan Black will bring tears to your eyes.
It is quite clear that the impact on the Good Friday Agreement was ignored during the referendum. Even with the backstop there are risks to peace - without the backstop those risks are far higher. As someone who vividly remembers the London bombings in the '80s, which can only have been a microcosm of what was happening in NI, I really don't want to see us go back there.

I'm not a great fan of the EU. I don't believe it should be necessary to be a part of it, it goes against my belief in localism, my dislike of free trade and globalisation - however it has brought benefits and peace has been one of them. That's quite a big benefit too.

Boris Johnson is threatening to break the law at the end of October. If he does so I hope he goes to jail for a long time and that whoever replaces him can sort out the mess that he is creating.


Monday, 9 September 2019

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Maidstone and the Weald


I am delighted to have been selected to run for Parliament in Maidstone and the Weald for the Green Party. I have been thoroughly appalled by the actions of the Conservatives and Lib Dems over the past 9 years and their complete lack of interest in the environmental crisis that is unfolding around us.

We have deadly air quality in Maidstone, ridiculous housing proposals on green spaces around the borough, a completely lax attitude towards the climate emergency and continued increase in inequalities that both Conservatives and Lib Dems have presided over, it is time for a fresh approach to tackle the most pressing issues of our time.

I will also be campaigning for a second referendum. No one voted for a no deal Brexit or a return to the troubles in Northern Ireland. We are all far better informed than we were 3 years ago so it is time for a final say on what happens.



Thursday, 5 September 2019

Radical climate action, not denying, is needed - letter to KM

Letter to the KM following to climate denying letters being published this week...

Dear Editor,

I find is very sad that in these days of climate breakdown where weather records are broken with alarming regularity, the Arctic and rainforests are on fire and one in a thousand years events happen every few years, there are still people attempting to discredit the science and pour doubt on the scale of the emergency that we face.

To claim that the science behind climate change is in doubt is frankly disgusting. Will these deniers be encouraging their children to smoke cigarettes and teaching them that the world is flat too? It is claims such as these that have helped prevent any real action being taken so far and that lack of action is very likely to lead to disaster for our children and grandchildren. The climate deniers should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

One of the three ‘asks’ from Extinction Rebellion is to tell the truth. Climate change is real, it is happening now and it is human action that has caused it. The climate breakdown that we are facing needs humanity to act now. It needs radical action at every level of society, from individuals through to governments. The future of humanity truly lies in our hands.

Stuart Jeffery
Maidstone Green Party

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Brexit misrepresentation


Letter to the KM

Dear Editor,

I am saddened that the KM chose to misrepresent the result of the EU referendum in last week’s opinion piece by John Nurden. Mr Nurden claimed that “the majority of the country wanted to get out of the European Union”. This is blatantly untrue and the KM should print a retraction.

A small majority of voters indicated a preference to leave the EU in the referendum. There were 17.4 million leave voters out of the 66.3 million people in the country, or just 26% of the country expressing a desire to leave. Millions of people chose not vote and millions more were denied a say in the country’s future.

Add to that the proven electoral fraud by the leave campaign and what is now a significantly more informed electorate and there is a real case for a second referendum on the terms of the withdrawal.

Stuart Jeffery
Maidstone Green Party

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

What if there were "only a few summers left"?

Mat Wills use those words during his set at this year's Edinburgh Fringe (he was very funny and highly recommended!) It wasn't clear what context he was referring to but it got me wondering, what if there really were only a few summers left?

We read that the ice melt in Greenland, last month, was at a rate that scientists predicted wouldn't happen until 2070. An area of Siberia the size of Belgium was on fire earlier this month. The Arctic sea ice is close to record lows. CO2 emissions in 2018 were at a record high. June and July 2019 were the hottest June and July on record (globally). Plus all those record temperatures that were broken including here in the UK. And of course the Amazon is burning, although this seems to be deliberate, but the Amazon supplies 20% of our oxygen, you remember, the gas that we breath.

Meanwhile the UK, rather than doing anything about the climate emergency that it declared a few months ago, simply seems to want to continue to posture on Brexit while preparing for a general election. And the US... well they did nothing under Obama or Clinton so there is zero chance of the arch climate denier, Trump, doing anything. Never mind, today's impacts are due to the CO2 released 30 years ago, the recent emissions will take decades to impact.

It all looks a bit shit, really.

The IPCC predictions seem to be coming true at an alarming rate. Those predictions were generally downplayed as they had to get a wide consensus. What we don't really know if how bad the worst case scenario might be.

So what if we only have a few summers left? What should we do? How should we prepare? How many is a few?

Some of the best thinking is coming through from Jem Bendall's Deep Adaptation work. You can join the forum here, but there are plenty of other sources for what happens with societal collapse including James Howard Kunstler who wrote The Long Emergency and has an excellent podcast, plus John Michael Greer who wrote The Long Descent.

But perhaps I am thinking more about what type of approach to life should we take in the endgame of civilisation?

  • Should we party like it really is 1999 or do we redouble our efforts to live sustainably?
  • Do we honour the Earth or do we go out with a bang?
  • Should we rebel? Join Extinction Rebellion?
  • Should we focus on trying to ensure that some people and knowledge survive the collapse?
  • What do we do with the inevitable mass migrations?
  • How can governments function under the collapse? Do we need a world government? Will there be any government at all?
  • How do we deal with the certain rise of nationalism?
I have my answers to these questions but I'm really interested in your thoughts. Please comment!





Wednesday, 31 July 2019

A philosophical shift in thinking is urgent

Just done KMTV on the ten hottest years being since 2002. I explained that there was even worse news out there right now, the Arctic is literally burning and records are being broken. Climate change is happening harder and faster than predicted.

I was asked what should be done....

1. Tell the truth. This is the greatest emergency humanity has ever faced and it is imperative that everyone understands that and keeps it at the forefront on their minds. There is only a small

2. End fossil fuel use, go carbon neutral quickly, invest in changing the way we live.

3. System change, e.g. end the ridiculous drive for economic growth and find new ways of showing progress such as measuring wellbeing and happiness.

4. A philosophical shift in our thinking. We need to understand that we are part of Nature. We can no longer plunder and pollute her. What we do to Nature we do to ourselves.

Without number 4, 1 to 3 are not possible.

See me here from 7:00 minutes https://www.kentonline.co.uk/kmtv/video/kent-tonight-wednesday-31st-july-2019-26490/