Thursday, 20 December 2007

Ethical Investments Too...

As part of the questions and answer session I was not allowed to comment on the answers given by the leaders, so this is my opportunity!!! Before I start, Gandhi suggested that there are Seven Blunders out of which grows the violence that plagues the world. One of these is 'Commerce without morality'.

Fran Wilson (Maidstone LibDem leader) stated that BAE was a mixed company and that she would need persuading about their unethicalness. I will shortly be emailing Fran a set of links on why we should not invest in BAE, but as the UK's biggest arms company I think the need for persuasion is strange! As far as her challenge that my question was too simplistic - yes it was simple and we could debate the greyer areas of ethical investments, however arms, oil and tobacco are straightforward no-nos for investment. Ethical investment fund managers have got to grips with the issues - why can council fund managers and politicians? Aside from the LibDems economic policies which worship the god of economic growth, the LibDems are renowned for fence sitting.

Eric Hotson (Maidstone Tory leader) talks about how having the highest returns on fund is far more important than being ethical and doing the right thing. Of course the counter argument is that ethical investments are doing very well at present... I think it is morally repugnant to justify death and destruction on the grounds that it makes money. Welcome to their Conservative world.

Pat Marshall (leader of the independents) says nothing of note. I have no idea where they stand on this issue or why they won't spell out what they think...

Morel D'Souza (Maidstone Labour leader) talked at length. He backed the call to disinvest in arms and called BAE corrupt - a more refreshing position than his fellow councillors, shame his party are still happy to do business with BAE. He is happy with investing in oil and nuclear, which demonstrates the key difference between Old Labour and Green. Nuclear is dirty, dangerous and expensive - it has a legacy that will last 250,000 years. The only certainty about what this will leave future generations is that it will be destructive. As for oil - lets leave it in the ground and only consider using it for setting up a renewable future. Wind, wave and concentrated solar combined with energy efficiency are the only way forward, oil companies are ignoring this and continue to put the vast majority of their energies into oil.

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