I'm off to Green Party Conference tomorrow.
I will be proposing an Emergency Motion, and a motion on prevending the development of dictatorships (below):
Emergency motion on MetGate
1. Conference notes that the scandal arising from illegal surveillance of public figures by the News of the World raises many important questions relating to democracy in the UK. It is emerging that the tabloid press frequently indulge in illegality. The influence of Rupert Murdoch's News International empire is excessive, and its relations with the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), who appear to have failed to conduct the News of the World investigation with due diligence, is questionable.
Conference resolves that the Green Party, through its elected members and its press activity, should call for :
1. An independent inquiry, whether judicial or by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Police.
2. The MPS to release all information relating to illegal surveillance to those affected by it
3. A fresh investigation into the surveillance by a police force other than the MPS
4. Mobile phone companies to review and improve their customers' security
5. The setting up of a Media Commission, along the lines of the Banking Commission, to review and make recommendations on better journalistic practices, including the matter of undue domination of the media by a single person or corporation.
6. An amnesty for past acts of illegal surveillance by journalists, in order to get a fresh start without an unmanageable number of individual court cases
7. The Press Complaints Commission to be replaced by a body with real authority to correct errors within the media.
Proposer: Richard Lawson
Amazingly, this one got through. I would very uch doubt that the GP Press Office can use it, because they have to keep the press sweet.
Also proposing a motion (C12) on inhibing the development of dictators:
C12. (C24) Dealing with Dictators
While the Global Index of Human Rights will add a steady, continuous pressure for all countries to improve their human rights, unfolding world events frequently demonstrate the immediate need to restrain dictators who are acting against the interests of their citizens. At present the international response to dictators is ad-hoc.
Insert new IP 336 and re-number:
IP 336 The Green Party will press for the UN to set up a framework of international rules of governance that will help all rulers to learn that certain courses of actions will certainly lead
to unwanted effects on their freedom to act to the detriment of their citizens. Specified forms of conduct that indicates a tendency towards dictatorship, evidenced by progressive erosion of human rights, will be matched with a tariff of targeted sanctions which designed to affect the regime, not the people, and are applied in a measured, stepwise and consistent basis.
IP337 There are a number of identifiable steps on the road to dictatorship. The following examples
are advanced as indicators of such a tendency:
1. Electoral fraud
2. Intimidation at the polling booths
3. Ignoring the result of a democratic
4. Banning critical newspapers and
5. Banning non-violent opposition
6. Imprisoning people for their beliefs
7. Use of torture
8. Violent suppression of peaceful
9. Lavish expenditure on palaces for
10. Disproportionate spending on
11. Oppression of minorities
Each of these steps will be legally
defined, and the question of whether
the regime in question has
committed them will be tested in a
timely way in an international court.
IP338 Each step, or constellation of steps, will have a specific targeted sanction attached to it. The targeted sanctions applied will be designed to affect the ruling class and not the ordinary people. The sanctions will be appropriate to the specific case, will be recommended by the international court of law, and may be subject to ratification by the UNSC.
Examples of the tariff of sanctions
1. At the mildest level, increased intensity and frequency of inspections by UN rapporteurs will
take place, and the regime will be offered education in the ways and advantages of democracy.
2. Tightening up of border controls.
3. Disproportionate spending on arms will result in a total ban on arms sales.
4. Banning opposition parties could lead to financial support to nonviolent opposition parties whose
aims are judged to be helpful to the welfare of the people of the country.
5. Ignoring the result of a democratic election could result in a ban in foreign travel for members of the regime.
6. Use of political imprisonment and torture could result in the regime being denied eligibility to serve on appropriate UN councils, for example, the Human Rights Council.
7. Lavish expenditure on palaces for the dictator could result in sanctions against the import of luxury goods.
8. Violent suppression of minorities and peaceful demonstrations will result in freezing of financial assets of the regime.
9. Ban on foreign travel for members of the regime, with possibility of arrest of such people if they do travel abroad.
The sanctions will be cumulative and progressive, and will be withdrawn promptly, in reverse order, if the regime takes action to retrace its steps.
Proposed by: Richard Lawson (**),
Seconded: Philip Booth, Tom Hart, Ricky Knight
Sadly, this one was defeated after a rushed, confusing and almost totally unbalanced debate. This brings my participation in the Green Party policy development to a close. A new chapter in my life opens.