The Government has responded the petition – “Britain First announce militant action against elected Muslims PROSCRIBE NOW!”.
While we keep the list of proscribed organisations under review, we do not routinely comment on whether an organisation is or is not under consideration for proscription.
Under the Terrorism Act 2000, the Home Secretary may proscribe an organisation if she believes it is concerned in terrorism, and it is proportionate to do. For the purposes of the Act, this means that the organisation:
• commits or participates in acts of terrorism;
• prepares for terrorism;
• promotes or encourages terrorism (including the unlawful glorification of terrorism); or
• is otherwise concerned in terrorism.
“Terrorism” as defined in the Act, means the use or threat which: involves serious violence against a person; involves serious damage to property; endangers a person’s life (other than that of the person committing the act); creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or section of the public; or is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system. The use or threat of such action must be designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation or to intimidate the public or a section of the public and be undertaken for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.
The Government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy addresses all forms of terrorism, including that which is inspired by far right extremism. Preventing terrorism involves challenging extremist (and non-violent) ideas which are part of terrorist ideology.
The Government condemns those who seek to spread hate by demonising British Muslims. Those who seek to divide us damage our country by stoking anti-Muslim hatred and who deliberately raise community fears and tensions by bringing disorder and violence to our towns and cities.
The Government’s Counter-Extremism Strategy sets out comprehensive measures to defeat all forms of extremism – violent or non-violent, Islamist or far-right extremism, by countering extremist ideology, building partnerships against extremism, disrupting extremists, and building cohesive communities.
Click this link to view the response online:
The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.
The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government.
Find out more about the Committee: https://petition.parliament.uk/help#petitions-committee
In January 2016 we re-posted a report from NEWTEKWORLDNEWS writer B McPherson who in September 2014 said "Microbeads from cosmetics are clogging fish guts." According to Greenpeace in January 2016 the issues continue.
The 2014 report says;
"Microbeads from cosmetics are clogging fish guts. The cosmetic industry is taking a quick turn in their product offerings. The recent phenomenon in the beauty world of offering microbeads in everything from tooth paste to body scrubs is being phased out. By 2018 in the USA most states will have banned their use and the cosmetic companies are listening.
Perhaps in the past you have purchased Crest toothpaste with neat little glitter bits in it. It’s supposed to encourage children to brush their teeth, but adults can use it too. I’ve used it. It’s kind of fun. Turns out the glitter bits are small pieces of coloured plastic. They are not poisonous, but polypropylene is not high of children’s meal menus. Many cosmetics contain tiny plastic beads as well.
They have been touted as a way to achieve smooth skin. The organization Beat the Microbead has an extensive list of products that contain these tiny pieces of plastic.
Those tiny pieces of plastic make their way down the drains of the cities and from there to the water treatment plants. Like many of our modern constructs, our sewage treatment plants cannot deal with them and they pass through to eventually land in the ocean or the lakes.
Fish and invertebrates are increasingly showing up with microbeads in their guts.
Biologists are starting to wonder how these plastic balls are affecting the health of the animals. There is the potential that fish ingesting enough microballs of plastic may plug their digestive system. Poisoning may result if the plastic contains or has absorbed toxic substances.
Rubbing plastic which is basically another form of petroleum, on your body doesn’t sound nearly as glamourous as microbeads. Try to do what you can to educate yourself about this previously unseen form of pollution and eliminate it from your grooming routine. There are many more nature friendly ways to exfoliate and polish. Sugar scrubs, sea salt rubs, jojoba beads, ground apricot pits all offer a plastic free way to maintain smooth skin."
Greenpeace are running a report titled "5 Small Things That Explain The Big Problem with Microbeads" along with some self-explanatory images; a few of those images are shown below.
A Greenpeace petition to UK PM David Cameron says "Harmful plastic "microbeads" are unnecessarily put in the face scrubs and toothpastes we use every day. They are too small to be filtered, so end up in our oceans - and the creatures swimming in them. David Cameron must follow other world leaders like President Obama and the Canadian Prime Minister who’ve banned companies from using these wholly unnecessary bits of plastic."
Sign the petition by following this link"
It is now August 2016 and Greenpeace have sent this update in relation to the UK:
"This is huge - a new cross-party government report has recommended that microbeads should be banned!
This is amazing news - but the fight isn't over yet. Whilst this report carries a lot of weight, it's still up to the government to decide whether or not they ban these tiny plastic-polluters.
You are one of over 300,000 people who've made the government sit up and take notice of this issue. In fact the report itself says that: "Microbeads are a growing area of public concern with a recent Greenpeace petition calling for a UK ban attracting more than 300,000 signatures."
The more of us who add our voices to this petition, the more pressure the government is under to take action on this issue.
Many companies use natural alternatives to microbeads in their products but for those that don't, it's clear that decisive action is needed to halt the flow of these plastic polluters. That's why it's vital that the government announce a ban on any plastic in any product that goes down the drain.
Can you ask your friends to add their name to the petition? You can share this link: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/microbeads-gov-ban
Please share this link with your friends - you can post it on Facebook, tweet it or pop it in an email: https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/microbeads-gov-ban
With thanks for all that you do"
Beat the Microbead
Please help us bring animal abusers to justice...
Our harrowing Farm Animal Investigation at Bagshaws' Slaughterhouse, and the sentencing of Anthony Bagshaw as a result of our evidence, has been widely reported across the media yesterday and today.
With so many animals in our care, complex and long term investigations are difficult to fund and to organise. It would be easy to give up and become a 'traditional' animal sanctuary but it is very important to us that we continue to raise awareness of the dreadful conditions for animals that we find in too many farms and slaughterhouses across the country, and also expose those who commit acts of cruelty and violence towards defenceless animals.
If you are able to spare a donation, however small, towards our Animal Investiations, please please click the link below. When we achieve a successful investigation such as this one, it is only made possible with the help of our supporters.
Thank you very much from all at Hillside
Please see below for links to the Bagshaws Investigation in the press...
Hillside is home to 1600 Rescued Horses, Ponies and Donkeys, 300 Rescued Cows, 600 Sheep and Goats, 200 Pigs and lots of other animals.
Hillside Animal Sanctuary
Hill Top Farm
Norwich NR12 7LT
Telephone 01603 736200
Patron: Martin Shaw
Early in May 2016 we posted a reported titled "Give women in Safe Houses the right to vote"
It was regarding a petition and this is what it said:
TO: ELECTORAL COMMISSION
Wednesday we have received the following update. Success is a whisper away but please keep sharing the petition and signing:
Women living in safe houses are one step closer to being able to vote - thanks to a petition signed by you and 20,000 other 38 Degrees members.
NOTE: There is also a petition on the government website-sign and share somit will get debated in the House of Commons - https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131305
This is not a discussion but a polemic rant.
Folk have asked me, why a nice middle class man like you is so angry and such a left wing socialist.
The answer is easy, its class and it’s always been class.
It's quite simple there is a ruling class, the establishment, call it what you will and they have always been in charge.
They have continually buggered up people’s lives even in that past rose-coloured dawn of the 50 – 70s. There were still bloody awful employers and rulers who would have screwed us all but it suited all political parties to keep us sweet after all we had done for them.
If you want to know what work was like though ask any old man who was in the building trade or some god awful factory. I worked some of them and also saw my old man come home knackered from a day's work
So what do I know about it.
Well I packed up school on my 15th birthday and as I’d played truant for most of that year they were glad to let me go.
And this was a lad who could have had a scholarship to Christ Hospital but thankfully didn’t.
I'd have missed mum too much.
And for the next 25 years I worked at everything from demolition, selling insurance, plumbers mate to managing Audio Club of Britain and one thing for sure was that all employers would try and grab you.
Now I was lucky enough always willing to give them the rods and move on and there was always something to do or the trade union was good and looked after me. But no job was great. Yes we had fun and I did in all the jobs I did, but most of it was due to great comrades at work.
Then I got lucky, got an education, thank you Jenny Lee.
Margaret Thatcher said her regret as education chief was that she got there too late to stop th OU.
Now look at it.
Can anybody afford it?
I then got into teaching and adult education; just at the time people were saying “Management has the right to manage”.
Well no they don’t!!
They only have the right to manage with the consent of those they are managing, anything else is coercion.
And I was still needed as a union rep to stop bullying managers who worked on behalf of the employers, the government and therefore the ruling class.
Why? How? It’s simple, it’s called Hegemony.
The ruling class own the set of ruling ideas and from the concept of private ownership of the mean's of production to the idea that bankers, employers and financiers are above the (Phillip French), they own the ruling culture as well.
And yes it still makes me angry and until I can no longer do it I will take action where I can, visit picket lines and go on demos.
Yes it’s sometimes tougher as you get older but as that marvellous woman La Passionnara once said; “its better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”
And from the age of 16 I was always involved in politics and trade unions.
And one thing about trade union and political leaders that is common; they are like football teams, they always let you down.
And that’s what members are for, to make sure they keep to their (our) principles.
So that’s also why we need leaders with principles.
The idea of softening principles to gain power is ludicrous and unworkable.
What’s the point with gaining power? Can you change your principles once you get into power? Redraw your manifesto?
“Oh sorry electorate, I didn’t mean that, I meant this.” I think not.
After all Blair never did.
Many thanks to Mike Parsons
Yesterday, I went to Owen Smith’s event (I can’t really call it a rally as I’m not sure 100 people sitting in a room constitutes that…)
As I’m sure you’re aware, I am a big Corbyn supporter.
So why did I go?
Well, there are a few reasons.
First of all, I think its important to hear both sides of an argument. I was pretty certain that Smith wouldn’t change my mind, but I felt it was important to hear what he had to say. Also, all I’d heard from Smith supporters, were reasons not to vote for Jeremy, rather than why I should vote for Owen in particular.
I thought going to his rally would change that, and maybe I’d hear some genuine reasons to vote for him (I thought wrong, as it turns out, but we’ll go into that later on).
Thirdly, although I am a relatively new member, I have always been a Labour supporter, and who runs our party is an important thing. If Jeremy loses the contest, Smith will be the new leader. I felt it’d be good to know what that leader is about.
So, my friend and I decided to go along. We’d spent the morning on a Momentum stall in a nearby ward of our constituency, handing out Jeremy leaflets. We headed over, and out of respect, removed our Corbyn badges.
There were, as we counted, about 100 people present.
I was struck by the difference in atmosphere to the room where Smith was about to talk, to the rally held by Corbyn in Leeds a few weeks prior.
Now, this may be because I am a Corbyn supporter or it may just be how it is, but I felt a sort of electricity in the air at the rally in Leeds. People were talking to the people next to them, asking where they’d come from, discussing how they’d become a Corbyn supporter etc.
However at Owen’s rally, I didn’t feel anything in the air. No excitement. No hope. No excited talking and sharing stories.
Owen finally came on stage. A couple of people stood up and cheered. Again, I was struck at the difference in reaction to Owen entering the room at his event, compared to Jeremy entering the room at his. The room took 5 minutes to quieten down after Jeremy’s arrival, which shows the optimism and hope that Jeremy brings with him into politics.
Owen spoke of his upbringing in Wales, how he came to be involved in politics. He spoke about how he didn’t vote for Jeremy last year but took on the role as Shadow Secretary for the DWP as he felt they should ‘make a go of it’. He spoke about how it was him, not Jeremy, who secured the U turns on welfare policies over the past 10 months.
However, under Jeremy’s leadership we have become a party that vote against things, not just abstain on them. Would we have fought as hard against these welfare bills if the leadership had asked the PLP to abstain? If any of the other candidates had won last year, we would still be fighting for an austerity lite agenda.
He said that Jeremy had left taking on IDS and Stephen Crabb down to him, and how he’d had no help from Jeremy at all.
Well, with all due respect Owen, that was what your job was.
You were supposed to take on the DWP, that is the brief of Shadow Secretary for DWP.
He said that Jeremy spoke with slogans but took no actions- but then continued to speak in slogans himself (“British New Deal”, and “Anti Austerity, pro- Prosperity” to name but a few). He said that Jeremy wasn’t a leader, and that its all well and good having principles, but if you aren’t in power you can’t do anything about them. He said he was ‘fed up’ of Corbyn supporters claiming moral superiority over the rest of the Labour Party, and that we aren’t morally pure as we think we are, seemingly feeding into the “us and them” rhetoric.
When we were allowed to ask questions, a man at the front said that he wasn’t voting for Owen, because Owen was calling for a second referendum, and how would he create a story that would win over Leave voters who traditionally vote Labour. Owen’s response was a list of reasons why we should vote Remain. Owen also said that his principles tell him that we have to fight for the EU- but surely he’d just said that principles don’t lead to power?
Owen said that Jeremy and his supporters are talking inwardly, and that they are talking to themselves.
However, I would like to compare the demographics of a Jeremy rally compared to Owen’s event.
Out of the 100 people there in Halifax, there were maybe 5 young people, and a one or two people from ethnic minorites. People I know who want Jeremy as leader span a huge range of races, socio-economic backgrounds, genders, ages, previous voting habits…I have friends who have never voted, friends who have voted Tory, friends who have voted Lib Dem, friends who have voted Green- all of whom want to join the Labour Party or have joined the Party to become part of the movement created by Jeremy.
The only people I know who are voting for Owen are people who would vote for Labour regardless.
At the end of the event, I went over to speak to Owen.
I introduced myself and said I was a recently elected Town Councillor, and although I was voting for Jeremy, I would really appreciate it if he could denounce the names Corbyn supporters are called, such as Nazi Stormtroopers.
Owen: I already have.
Me: I haven’t heard you doing so
Owen: I have, on national TV.
Me: Well I’m sorry but I haven’t heard you say that
Owen: well I’ve been called a Red Tory
(in hindsight, I wish I’d said at this point that being called a Red Tory and a Nazi are by no means comparable).
Me: yes abuse from anyone is wrong, however I’m asking you to publicly denounce the Nazi slurs. You don’t need to be defensive, I’m not attacking you, but that it would mean a lot to a lot of people.
Owen: Well it was only one man calling you Nazis!
Me: Yes one man but in a national newspaper!
Owen: (sarcastically) What would you like me to do- write everyone a letter?
Me: Well you could write an email, or put a statement on Facebook or Twitter.
All I had wanted him to say was that he was sorry we’d been subject to that and he had tried to denounce it but if we hadn’t heard his statement, he would try and make one more publicly. That would have sufficed. But instead he got defensive and angry like a child. That, to me, is not a leader. It was at this point that my friend cut in and said we had only come to make sure we saw two sides of the argument.
He asked her if she was still voting for Jeremy. She said yes.
I left the event feeling incredibly disheartened and angry.
Owen had done exactly as his supporters have done so far - give a list of ‘reasons’ not to vote for Jeremy but as far as I saw, no concrete reasons to vote for him. He lazily repeated criticisms of Jeremy such as ‘he’s a bad leader’ and ‘he hasn’t gone far enough’ with no way to back up those broad statements. And the way he handled my comment about denouncing Nazi Stormtrooper slurs was incredibly childish and petty. He got defensive very quickly - a trait which I don’t think would play out very well with the public or at PMQs. He had some good policies, but they were all policies Jeremy has already said himself.
I compared this to how I felt leaving the rally in Leeds a few weeks back. Heart full of hope, feeling optimistic about the future. Everyone you walked past when leaving was talking about how enthused and emotional they felt.
I commend Smith on his apparent switch to socialism and ‘radical’ policies, of which most are identical to Jeremy. I also hope that whoever wins, the other agrees to work alongside him. We are all supposed to be the same party, after all.
Jeremy is often criticised by his opponents for not being a leader, however what a leader actually is is never quantified. What is this miraculous leadership quality they are all looking for? Did Ed Miliband have it, in their eyes? Did Tony Blair? Owen claims that Jeremy speaks in slogans and not with actions, but I could not disagree with him more.
For the first time in a long time, with Jeremy as leader, the Labour Party has a clear direction and is a distinct opposition party. That, for me, sounds like pretty good leadership.
Many thanks to Beth
"I'm Beth, and I am a proud socialist, a proud feminist and a proud northerner. All views are my own. Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts."
Check out her blog here https://reflectionsofayounglefty.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/so-i-went-to-an-owen-smith-event/
This blog will include a range of reports and opinion pieces covering many issues. It will be YOUR Voice.
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