What a lively few weeks of mixed emotions we’ve had. Jubilation and joy, tempered with disappointment and dismay.
The coronation brought joy to some, and disappointment to those who believe in the democratic right to peaceful protest. The police waded in to stamp out any hint of dissent, using the new powers given to them by the Tories’ Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act that became law last year. Their Public Order Act was given royal assent just days before the coronation. Such was their enthusiasm that the police even detained several Westminster Council volunteers who were simply handing out rape alarms!
The government claims that the legislation is necessary to stop protesters from disrupting the lives of ‘ordinary hard-working people’, but it’s more like an authoritarian means of silencing opposition to government policies. Nothing is going to disrupt all of our lives more than the increasing depletion and pollution of our environment and the changing climate which is steadily growing ever more extreme. We risk a time coming when all of us – environmental activists and protesters included – will regret not having done more to force the government to take the urgent actions needed to protect our collective future.
A Green surge
Disappointed as he was by the local council election results, Rishi Sunak nevertheless vowed to plough on with what he claims are the peoples’ priorities. The election results suggest he would do well to reconsider those priorities. The Green Party’s surge in popularity doubtless reflects the growing environmental concerns of most people.
The Office for National Statistics reports that climate change is now the second biggest concern for 75 per cent of UK adults, demonstrating how out of touch the government is.
A record number of Green councillors were elected last month, up from 281 to 481. The total included 33 new councillors here in the South West. While we look forward to the next general election, the lack of proportional representation will inevitably mean that the result will continue to reflect the wishes of vested financial interests, media barons and wealthy donors, rather than those of the general populace.
We deserve better, do we not?
Ken Huggins, North Dorset Green Party