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Posts Tagged ‘David Cameron’

Help Break Murdoch’s Grip

July 5th, 2011 by

How much lower can Rupert Murdoch’s media empire sink? Today, one of his papers stands accused of hacking the phone of murdered teenager Milly Dowler, causing her family even more pain, and risking a police inquiry.

Rupert Murdoch’s empire is now under investigation by the police. But at the same time, he’s getting ready to take even more control of our media. This week, Murdoch’s expecting to get the green light from David Cameron’s government for his takeover of BSkyB.

If we work together, we can make sure this week doesn’t end with Murdoch getting awarded even more power.  The final government inquiry into Murdoch’s power grab ends this Friday, at midday. We’ve got until then to prove to the government that the public want to put the brakes on Murdoch’s power grab. We’ll deliver a copy of the petition to that inquiry – demanding that the phone hacking allegations are taken into account and the deal is halted.

The government wants to approve Murdoch’s BSkyB takeover. They say that Murdoch promises to respect media independence, so there’s nothing to fear from giving him even more control. They want us to trust Rupert Murdoch! But how can we trust him when his paper stands accused of hacking into the phone of a murdered teenager?

Yesterday, Murdoch’s empire thought they this deal was in the bag. Our people-powered campaign had helped delay things – but they had just one hurdle left. The minister in charge, Jeremy Hunt, was clearly on Murdoch’s side. Murdoch’s backing for the Conservatives at the election and his executives’ cosy dinners with David Cameron all seemed to be paying off.

But now, we have a real chance to stop this power grab. Across the UK, people are shocked at how one of Rupert Murdoch’s paper is accused of heartlessly abusing a family facing one of the worst situations any of us can imagine. Let’s work together to make sure this is a turning point in the battle for higher media standards in Britain.

Please sign the petition now.

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Tomorrow’s climate vote on a knife edge

July 4th, 2011 by

A picture of a polar bear on an iceberg

Photograph by U.S. Geological Survey

 

“This climate vote is going to be very close. 38 Degrees members could play a key role in making sure it goes the right way.”

Ruth Davis, Chief Policy Advisor, Greenpeace

 

Tomorrow could be a make or break day in the fight against climate change. There’s a crunch vote in the European parliament. It could come down to one or two votes. Hardline Conservative MEPs are threatening to vote against action to bring down emissions – we’ve got just 24 hours to stop them.

David Cameron could bring his MEPs into line by telling them to back strong climate action. That would probably tip the vote the right way. But Cameron will only act if he feels public pressure. Let’s help tip the vote the right way by sending Cameron a flood of emails urging him to act.

Can you send David Cameron a quick email asking him to make sure his MEPs don’t block vital climate change targets?

Tomorrow’s vote is crucial. If the European parliament votes for tougher targets it will be a great step towards cleaner energy, green jobs, and falling emissions. If the vote is lost, it’ll be a huge win for the dirty industries who are lobbying hard behind the scenes. If Europe rejects tougher targets, it will set back the fight against climate change across the world.

We know it works when we put pressure on David Cameron asking him to keep his climate promises. In May, thousands of us contacted him to tell him not to water down the UK’s own target – and it worked! Now, let’s do the same to make sure British MEPs don’t try to derail the Europe-wide climate effort.

Please email David Cameron now.

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Cameron to back climate targets

May 16th, 2011 by

David Cameron will take the advice of Chris Huhne and the Committee on Climate Change

Photograph by 38 Degrees

What a week in the world of UK carbon targets. With a crucial decision on climate change looming, thousands of us contacted our MPs. We asked them to urge David Cameron to listen to his expert scientific advice and keep his green promises. Good news, that message has got though.

On Tuesday, climate minister Chris Huhne announced that the government will accept the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change. It’s not perfect, the government have given themselves a little bit of wiggle room in the form of a 2014 review, but it still represents a victory for people power.

So what was all the fuss about? Here’s a quick recap on the events to date:

  • The 2008 Climate Change Act was a world leading piece of legislation committing the UK to serious action on climate change
  • David Cameron was vocal in his support of the then Climate Change Bill as it made its way through parliament. He even sleighed through the arctic to highlight his concern for the effects of climate change
  • Then days after coming to power last May, the prime minister promised he’d lead the “Greenest Government Ever”
  • Earlier this year, the Committee on Climate Change, a body set up to help implement provisions of the Climate Change Act, issued its latest set of recommendations in their Fourth Carbon Budget. This included key emissions targets for the period 2023 to 2027
  • Treasury insiders (and Vince Cable) have in the past weeks furiously lobbied David Cameron to reject these targets
  • The prime minister makes the big decision this week

38 Degrees members have asked David Cameron to keep his green promises and accept the recommendations. If, as now predicted, the government backs the Committee on Climate Change, it represents an important  victory for people power. Once again 38 Degrees members have had our voices heard.

And we weren’t alone in making this call. A chorus of support for the CCC rose over the past week. Greenpeace brought their Huskies to parliament on Friday (click for cute dog pics) and some of the UK’s biggest NGOs, from the RSPB to Friends of the Earth to Christian Aid, have written to the prime minister telling him he needs to get to work if he’s to keep all those green promises.

While David Cameron has promised the “Greenest Government ever”, we have seen the priorities of many of his cabinet colleagues lie elsewhere. A victory here, but as 38 Degrees members, we know the need for our close inspection of environment decisions remains.

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Is Cameron about to break climate promises?

May 12th, 2011 by

Pic of David Cameron after he promised to lead the greenest government ever

Photograph by DECC

Less than a week into office David Cameron promised he would lead the “greenest government ever”. Now it looks like the prime minister is about to break a crucial commitment on climate change.

The crunch decision is expected next week. If it goes the wrong way, it could set back the fight against climate change for years to come. We need to move fast to stop that happening.

The press reports that the government is “deeply divided” on whether to tackle climate change. The UK’s chief climate adviser has described next week’s decision as “the key test” of the government’s commitment to being green.

Cameron has always promised to follow the advice of his scientists. But Treasury hardliners are pushing him to ignore the advice. [1] They want watered-down targets, cuts in green jobs, and a boost for the dirtiest industries.

David Cameron wants to be seen as a prime minister who keeps promises and cares about the environment. That gives us an opportunity to influence him. We need to ensure David Cameron is hearing from every single MP, all telling him the public won’t stand for broken green promises.

Please contact your MP urgently. Tell them to write to the prime minister, demanding he keeps his climate change promises.

By working together to put pressure on our MPs, we can make David Cameron realise that breaking promises on climate change would ruin his reputation. This is a man who posed in the Arctic with huskies, and promised to run the “greenest government ever”. If we speak out now, we can send a clear message: you can’t get away with talking green and acting dirty.

Tens of thousands of 38 Degrees members are working together to push this government to keep its green promises. Together, we stopped them selling off the forests, protecting them for wildlife and future generations. Nearly 50,000 of us have now signed the petition to keep the laws which protect our countryside and our wildlife. Now let’s work together to stop this urgent threat to the UK taking action on climate change.

The clock is ticking. A decision is expected early next week. We know that the hardliners will be using that time to put as much pressure on Cameron as they can. If enough of us contact our MPs, we can drown them out with people power.

Please email your MP urgently and ask them to contact David Cameron as soon as possible.

NOTES
[1] The really important recommendations are:

  • A Domestic Action fourth carbon budget of 1950 MtCO2e
  • An indicative 2030 target to reduce emissions by 60% relative to 1990 levels (46% relative to 2009 levels)
  • An adjustment of the second and third budgets to reflect the level of ambition in the intended budget for the non-traded sector, giving an economy-wide reduction of 37% in 2020 relative to 1990

The full report is available from the Committee on Climate Change website.

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Climate, countryside and wildlife protection under threat

April 20th, 2011 by

baby hedgehog

Photograph by Alexander Olm

On Monday, The Guardian newspaper revealed that the government might scrap vital laws which protect wildlife and the countryside and help stop climate change. 278 regulations designed to protect wildlife, tackle pollution, protect the countryside, and reduce climate change have been branded ‘red tape’ by a new government consultation, “The Red Tape Challenge”.

The government says it wants to “free up business and society from the burden of excessive regulation”. But included in the list of regulations under review are very important laws such as the UK Climate Change Act, National Parks Act, Clean Air Act and the Wildlife and Countryside Act. These aren’t little-known laws that no one cares about. The Wildlife and Countryside Act protects wild birds, their nests and eggs, and makes sure that national parks and marine reserves are protected. The UK’s Climate Change Act was a world first which helps make sure we reduce our emissions.

The Red Tape Challenge website makes it clear that if we want to protect these laws, we need to speak out:

“Once you’ve had your say, Ministers will have three months to work out which regulations they want to keep and why. But here’s the most important bit – the default presumption will be that burdensome regulations will go. If Ministers want to keep them, they have to make a very good case for them to stay.”

John Sauven, Director of Greenpeace, has said of these proposals:

“David Cameron needs to come out and say the Climate Change Act, central to the push for a clean technology revolution, is safe from the axe. But if ministers are serious about scrapping it and other vital environmental regulations then we’ll be looking at something akin to the worst excesses of the Bush-Cheney White House.”

 

Friends of the Earth commented:

“News in today’s Guardian that all of the UK’s environment law is going to be reviewed is extremely alarming”

In the past, David Cameron has made headlines promising to run “the greenest government ever”. We need to convince him that scrapping these laws would be a disaster for his reputation. A huge petition will prove to Cameron that he can’t afford to break his green promises.

We know that when we work together we can make sure the government doesn’t get away with plans which could hurt the environment. When they decided to try to sell off our forests, over half a million of us got together and convinced them to drop their plans.

The government says it wants to hear what we think before scrapping these laws – so let’s give them a consultation response they can’t ignore! Please help make sure we have a huge petition telling the government to keep laws which protect our wildlife and our environment.

 

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Climate Targets At Risk

April 1st, 2011 by

Coal Plant

Photograph by Bruno D Rodrigues

David Cameron is on the brink of breaking his climate change promises. He’s under pressure from the Treasury to block bold new emissions targets that have been recommended by the government’s own climate change experts. We can’t let this happen. We need to tell him that we want him to keep his promise to lead “the greenest government ever.” Email David Cameron from this link: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/action-on-climate-change

Here’s the text of an email we just sent out about this issue:

Dear friend,

David Cameron has always promised to tackle climate change, but it looks like he might be on the brink of ditching that promise. We need to move fast to stop that happening.

Government climate change experts are recommending bold but realistic new targets. But hardliners in the Treasury are trying to block their progress. [1] It’s being reported that the government is “deeply divided” on what to do next. [2] If we act now, we can make sure the decision goes the right way.

The next two weeks are vital. If Cameron and Clegg are hearing from thousands of us, they’ll know that breaking their promises on climate change would mean uproar.

Click here send a message to David Cameron and Nick Clegg: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/action-on-climate-change

Last year Cameron promised to tackle climate change, saying he wanted to lead “the greenest government ever”. [3] It would be a disaster if this promise was broken. If we water down our targets, we won’t bring down emissions fast enough to stop dangerous climate change. And if we’re watering down our own targets, how can we ever hope to persuade the rest of the world to take action?

It was people power that pushed the last government to agree to set targets to tackle climate change in the first place. [4] It was people power that pushed Cameron and Clegg to promise to make climate change a priority. Now people power can persuade Cameron and Clegg to keep their climate promise.

Email Cameron and Clegg now telling them to accept the expert advice:
http://www.38degrees.org.uk/action-on-climate-change

38 Degrees members have a great history of pushing the government to do better on the environment. Back in 2009, thousands of us phoned the then Climate Minister Ed Miliband just before he left for international climate talks. Last month, half a million of us helped stop government plans to sell off our forests. Just two weeks ago, tens of thousands of us voted to keep climate change a priority campaign for 38 Degrees. So now, let’s keep up the pressure and make sure Clegg and Cameron know they can’t water down our climate targets.

http://www.38degrees.org.uk/action-on-climate-change

Thanks for getting involved,

Johnny, Hannah, David and the 38 Degrees team

Notes:
[1] The really important recommendations are
- A domestic action fourth carbon budget of 1950 MtCO2e
- An indicative 2030 target to reduce emissions by 60% relative to 1990 levels (46% relative to 2009 levels)
- An adjustment of the second and third budgets to reflect the level of ambition in the intended budget for the non-traded sector, giving an economy-wide reduction of 37% in 2020 relative to 1990.
The full report can be seen here: http://www.theccc.org.uk/reports/fourth-carbon-budget

[2] The Guardian reports: “The news comes ahead of a crucial cabinet discussion of the UK’s climate change targets beyond 2020. There are still deep divisions between the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which is calling for tough targets to stimulate green growth, and the Treasury and the Department of Business, which argue that the current economic situation calls for less stringent targets in 10 years’ time.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/mar/29/uk-global-green-investment-rankings

[3] http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/14/cameron-wants-greenest-government-ever

[4] http://www.foe.co.uk/news/climate_law_world_first_16014.html

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NHS plans: find out more…

January 19th, 2011 by

Launched today, the new NHS Bill, (the Health and Social Care Bill), is a radical plan to change the way the NHS is organised and how health care is delivered in England.
Baby

Photograph by Elin B

The BBC, and the Telegraph have useful Q&As on the new legislation, there’s also a short video, which all help explain what the changes are going to mean in practice as well as explaining the situation in the rest of the UK.

The plans put forward in the bill are controversial. This week six health unions, including the BMA, warned of their “extreme concerns” about the plans for  more commercial competition between the NHS and private companies.

Experts are also saying that these new rules could be a huge waste of money and make it much harder for doctors and nurses to work together, and could increase waiting lists. Lots of people are saying these changes will lead to the NHS getting privatised.

What can I do? Next week, 38 Degrees members all around the country will be getting together, in cafes, sitting rooms, and village halls, to discuss how to take action to protect the NHS.

If you’d like to attend a local event, then use this easy feature to see where they’re taking place:

Find a get-together near you

If you want to set up an event where you are, then click here:

Create a get-together near you

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts, Stand up for the NHS

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Election TV Debates: let us ask the questions

February 11th, 2010 by

Party leaders will debate before the election

Party leaders will debate before the election

With the 38 Degrees’ general election consultation in its final phase, one of the ideas that has emerged has already become a campaign. Several people suggested that the TV leadership debates in the run-up to the general election would be a good way for us to get involved: it’s a chance to make sure that ordinary voters get heard, rather than just the usual suspects.

So, we were concerned when we saw the news that politicians and their spin doctors are already squabbling about how to make the debates work. There’s a danger that it will become another opportunity for polished political performances, without putting our would-be leaders on the spot about the issues that we care about.

At first, these debates seemed like a step in the right direction. But there can’t be open debate if the people that count – the voters – are left out. The party leaders and their teams want to control everything about the debates, so that nothing will be able to spoil their image. That means no questions from the audience and no real debate.

Now, we’re taking action to call on the party leaders to let voters choose and ask the majority of questions during the TV debates. We want to quiz the party leaders directly on the issues that matter to us, like climate change, public services and bankers’ bonuses.

Click here to join the campaign for real debates between the party leaders at election time, so we can get the answers we need to decide who to vote for on polling day: http://www.38degrees.org.uk/open-up-election-debates

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