UK Politics Just Got More Interesting

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown captured d...
Image via Wikipedia

People often wonder why I show interest in UK Politics. I find it really interesting and absorbing. The following letter from two fromer Ministers really sums up why I find it more interesting!

Dear Colleague,

As we move towards a General Election it remains the case that the Parliamentary Labour Party is deeply divided over the question of the leadership. Many colleagues have expressed their frustration at the way in which this question is affecting our political performance. We have therefore come to the conclusion that the only way to resolve this issue would be to allow every member to express their view in a secret ballot.

This could be done quickly and with minimum disruption to the work of MPs and the Government. Whatever the outcome the whole of the party could then go forward, knowing that this matter had been sorted out once and for all.

Strong supporters of the Prime Minister should have no difficulty in backing this approach. There is a risk otherwise that the persistent background briefing and grumbling could continue up to and possibly through the election campaign, affecting our ability to concentrate all of our energies on getting our real message across.

Equally those who want change, should they lose such a vote, would be expected by the majority of the PLP to devote all of their efforts to winning the election. The implications of such a vote would be clear – everyone would be bound to support the result.

This is a clear opportunity to finally lay this matter to rest. The continued speculation and uncertainty is allowing our opponents to portray us as dispirited and disunited. It is damaging our ability to set out our strong case to the electorate. It is giving our political opponents an easy target.

In what will inevitably be a difficult and demanding election campaign, we must have a determined and united parliamentary party. It is our job to lead the fight against our political opponents. We can only do that if we resolve these distractions. We hope that you will support this proposal.

Yours fraternally,

Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt

Text of letter from Sky News

With an election coming up in May, this has serious ramifications for the Labour Party. Will Gordon Brown stay or go? Will the ballot go ahead??? Its all very interesting! I will be watching it closely!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Climate Change: A letter to EU Leaders

Taoiseach Brian COWEN, Fredrik REINFELDT, President of the European Council, and José Manuel BARROSO, European Commission President and others

I am writing to urge you to do all that you can to ensure the crucial EU Council meetings at the end of October deliver clear EU commitments to deal with climate change. These must put the needs of the world’s poorest people – who are being hit first and worst by climate change, but who are least responsible for causing it – at their core.

The Council meetings at the end of October provide the opportunity to finally agree an EU position: this may be your last chance to agree firm commitments ahead of the crucial UN climate summit in Copenhagen this December. The right EU offer in October can set the global talks ahead of Copenhagen alight, and give us all the best possible chance of tackling the climate crisis.

To do this the EU must commit in October to:

* providing an additional €35bn per year by 2020, to help poor countries to adapt to the effects of climate change and to develop in a low-carbon way. Not only does the EU have a historical obligation to do this, but it has the money to finance it.

* guaranteeing that the money generated from the laws you and your fellow European leaders agreed last year, requiring heavy industries in Europe to pay for their carbon pollution, will be directed straight to the people that need it most in tackling climate change. This money is a drop in the ocean compared to the billions raised to bail out banks since last year.

* crucially, this €35bn must be new public money, not taken away from existing aid commitments. The response to climate change should not come at the expense of investments in vitally needed services in poor countries, such as hospitals and schools.

* agreeing a target for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions strong enough to avoid catastrophic climate change. This too is vital to break the deadlock in negotiations in the lead up to Copenhagen. The EU should agree a reduction of 40%, from 1990 levels, to be achieved by 2020.

I urge you to do all you can to ensure the EU takes this month’s vital opportunity to make these firm commitments on climate change. Failure to help poor countries adapt to climate change and develop in a low-carbon way, and to prevent future catastrophic climate change, is simply unthinkable.

The above is a letter sent by me as part of an Oxfam International campaign on Climate Change. You can send you own letter by visiting Oxfam’s website and filling in the details

More about the Oxfam campagn:

Continue reading “Climate Change: A letter to EU Leaders”