Our MP tells us (Hexham Courant, 19th May) that the new Agriculture Bill will reward UK farmers for high standards of animal husbandry and land management, and that it “lays the foundation for British produce to make a real impact in the global market place”. He fails to acknowledge that global markets could have a negative impact on British producers, and it’s easy to see why. On the same day that Mr Opperman voted for the Agriculture Bill, he voted against an amendment to that bill that would have protected UK farmers from the harmful effects of low standard food imports.

The “trade amendment” would have secured food safety, animal welfare and environmental safeguards for imported food, ensuring that UK farmers were able to compete on a level playing field, and it was strongly supported by the National Farmers’ Union. Although 22 rebel Tory MPs voted for the amendment, Mr Opperman chose to toe the government line.

The amendment was defeated, and there is now a very real possibility that UK farmers will find themselves undercut by imported products produced to lower standards than those to which they must themselves comply. The Agriculture Bill that we deserve would uphold food standards not only today and tomorrow, but over the course of many future governments and many future generations. Unfortunately, our government is putting free trade and the quest for short-term profit before the long-term interests of human, animal and planetary health.

The recently announced dual tariff system, which will subject low standard imports to higher tariffs, is papering over the cracks at best – there are no guarantees whatsoever that tariffs won’t be lowered or scrapped. Mr Opperman says (Hexham Courant, 19th June) that the government “will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards”, but this is a lie – the compromise has already been made.

The dual tariff proposal (which wouldn’t exist without the trade amendment’s defeat) was accepted at a ministerial meeting on 1st June and will make low standard food imports a reality if and when the US accepts it. By voting against the trade amendment, Mr Opperman became complicit in the government’s perfidious manoeuvres. When forced to choose between self-interested party loyalty and supporting his constituents in the agricultural sector, our MP chose the former over the farmer. Do you feel well represented? I don’t.

Nick Morphet, June 2020.

Local Election Results 2017

Tynedale Green Party Gained 2 Second places in the Election on the 4th May.

Wesley Foot in the Target Ward Of Humshaugh was rewarded for the hard work that Wesley and the “Team” had put in.

Mickey Macgregor a None- Target Ward Candidate did amazing well.

Thanks must go to all the Candidates that stood, From small Acorns large trees grow for the Common Good.

Results are here in .doc format

Frequently asked question on the Green Party GE 2017 policy on electoral alliances.

Frequently asked question on the Green Party GE 2017 policy on electoral alliances.

Our Co-leader Caroline Lucas MP has been at the forefront of negotiating progressive alliances with other parties where both parties find a mutual benefit.
The proportion of Green Party votes is on the ascendant and the increased number of candidates nominated by the Green Party at all levels of government gives more opportunity for our supporters to vote for the Green Party raising the profile of our policies and increasing our power to influence government policy.

The question of whether/when a local branch such as TGP could make an electoral alliance has been carefully considered by the Green Party of England and Wales including consultations with all Green Party Members. This resulted in a motion being passed at the Green Party Spring Conference that determined the conditions when an electoral alliance might be beneficial and in accord with the GPEW policies. We attended the Spring Conference and reported back to TGP members at our recent business meeting and again in response to members questions at the EGM.

For your information the elements that would be required for an alliance to be considered are that the Parliamentary seat in question would be marginal, and there would be an agreed mutual benefit for both parties, and the other participant’s policies would be in accord with the GPEW; in particular on proportional representation and environmental sustainability.

The constituency of Hexham is not a marginal seat so would not qualify on that account. If TGP had decided not to stand a candidate nobody could know how the TGP voters would use their vote; therefore in this scenario TGP would be the certain loser, and the likely gain/loss to other parties would be unknown except to the individual voters; who might chose to vote for any other party.

In any event members of Tynedale Green Party would not agree to an electoral alliance without reference to the North East England Regional Council Officers and the policies of GPEW members.

Barbara Grundey
Co-ordinator Tynedale Green Party

30th April 2017