Rethinking recycling

The National Audit Office has today published its report on “The Packaging Recycling Obligations

The report proves that our recycling system is broken and we really need to focus on producing and consuming less. We have relied on exporting our waste to foreign countries and using them as our dumping grounds. We are exporting waste that is wrongly being recorded as being for recycling, when it contains so much non-recycling material that it will have to go to landfill or incineration. Continue reading “Rethinking recycling”

Child spies doing police work on: terrorism, gang violence and sexual exploitation

I was shocked to learn this week that the police and other public authorities are legally allowed to use children as spies. I only found out because the Government wants to change the rules, so that rather than authorising a child to spy for only one month at a time, they can be authorised for a whole four months.

I want to state this very clearly, because most people won’t know: children are being used by the State to infiltrate criminal groups and do dangerous police work. Continue reading “Child spies doing police work on: terrorism, gang violence and sexual exploitation”

Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill launch

July 5th is the 62nd anniversary of the first Clean Air Act becoming law

Local people and communities around the country would be able to take legal action to defend their right to clean air if the Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill I introduced today became law. This week’s air pollution episode throughout England and Wales illustrates how widespread the legal actions could become, as people seek to get corporations to change their behaviour and to force councils and government bodies to reduce pollution. Continue reading “Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill launch”

Water is too precious to stay in private hands

Putting water back into public hands would not end the need for hosepipe bans, but it would make them a lot less frequent. For starters, there is over £13.5bn paid to shareholders in the past 8 years that could be spent fixing leaking pipes that leaked away 20% of the treated clean water. That’s £13.5 billion, not million. That means pipes fixed, new sewers constructed and prices held down. Continue reading “Water is too precious to stay in private hands”

Fracking, Heathrow and nukes have no place in a modern economy

There are so many urgent actions and recommendation from today’s CCC report on what the government needs to do in order to stay within the UKs legally binding limits for climate change emissions. We know exactly what to do, but are government is still failing to create a modern economy. Continue reading “Fracking, Heathrow and nukes have no place in a modern economy”

The police are making political choices about domestic extremism

Why are the police making political choices about who is and is not an extremist? The Hunt Saboteurs Association was founded in 1963 and advocating non-violent tactics, which has been put in a police document alongside such groups as Boko Haram, Taliban, National Action and Combat 18. This follows some regional police services including anti-fracking protestors in their Prevent material for schools and colleges. I can understand the argument that it is better for professional police officers to make specific decisions about organisations, rather than politicians via the Home Office, but that logic only holds true if the criteria are clear and the reasoning explained. Continue reading “The police are making political choices about domestic extremism”

Government given Thursday deadline on court action over facial recognition

My solicitors have written to the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police giving them until the 28th June to either stop using automated facial recognition technology or prove that they have a lawful basis to use it. This is their final chance before Big Brother Watch and I jointly initiate judicial review proceedings in the High Court, where we will ask a judge to rule that automated facial recognition is an unlawful breach of our human rights. Continue reading “Government given Thursday deadline on court action over facial recognition”

Briefing on Heathrow and climate change

Some MPs will argue that it’s okay to expand Heathrow while staying within the national limit for climate change emissions. The Airports Commission did come to this conclusion, but I doubt that these MPs read the report’s smallprint about the squeeze on regional airports and a huge price hike (read more about the nonewrunways campaign). Continue reading “Briefing on Heathrow and climate change”

Clean Air Bill: momentum that can’t be stopped

There is a momentum behind the idea of a new Clean Air Bill that can’t be stopped. My own finalised Bill is being submitted in the Lords, while Geraint Davies MP is putting his forward for its first reading in the Commons. Between them, these two Parliamentary bills cover all the ground. Geraint’s is focused upon the practical measures and changes needed to ensure that we improve human health and includes all those basic steps that the Labour, Conservative and Coalition Government have failed to take in the last eighteen years. My bill enshrines clean air as a human right and would restore crucial environmental principles into UK law, such as polluter pays and the precautionary principle. It also creates an enforcement mechanism with the Citizens Commission which can support individuals and communities who want to take legal action to make their right to clean air a reality. Continue reading “Clean Air Bill: momentum that can’t be stopped”

Football scuppers Lords vote on environmental protection

I love watching a good game of football, but I would never let that stand in the way of voting through environmental protections in the Lords. I’m furious that a ‘cross party’ group of peers have convinced Lord Krebs to drop the amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill today, just so that we can reach the amendment on giving the commons a meaningful vote before the game starts. Quite simply, the opposition whips were afraid that their peers would leave, while the Rugby and Cricket loving Conservatives stayed. This is no way to run Parliament and it’s time we replaced the Lords with an elected second chamber. Continue reading “Football scuppers Lords vote on environmental protection”