Sunday 24 July 2011

Commentary on recent news

Phone hacking

Lately the news has been filled with atrocious stories about phone hacking of crime victims. The journalists and investigators involved took their work to a new low level of depravity. A free press is good for our nation and for holding government and corporates to account but in this case News International proves the media also need to be held to account.

Prime Minister David Cameron has evaded the hard questions for now but it is yet another lesson for politicians to choose their friends and employees wisely.


On a more environmental note, it was reported that badgers may be culled in Northern Ireland. It is thought they threaten cattle with bovine TB. However in Wales this has been postponed pending a scientific study.

We believe badgers should be protected and other means sought to protect livestock. Vaccination, testing, improved bio-security and controls on the movement of cattle are better ways of reducing the cases of bovine TB in cattle.

How would a badger cull affect the balance of our local ecosystem?

Plastic bags

A plastic bag tax is being proposed for Northern Ireland. Alex Attwood, Environment Minister, has put this out for consultation to find out how much consumers should pay.

Dr John Barry, lecturer at Queen's University and Green Party spokesman has stated, "Introducing this tax is only following suit after its success in the Republic in terms of reducing plastic bad useage and spending the money raised on environment issues."

We are in favour of this tax. It works for M&S and Lidl and we would encourage you to email your comments to Alex Attwood via

As always we would love to hear from you. Add your comments below or tweet us @lvgreens.

Thursday 7 July 2011

Growing Greens in Lagan Valley

Following on from the recent electoral success of the Green Party leader, Steven Agnew MLA in North Down, the local Greens in Lagan Valley are showing signs of growth.

At their AGM meeting held in Bridge Community Centre, Lisburn, on Tuesday 28 June, new members were introduced and a vote taken to transform the local group into a more effective constituency group for Lagan Valley. Positions were also appointed for Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Communications Officer.

Conor Quinn, who has been re-elected Chair said: "As a result of our increasing membership the Lagan Valley Greens have recently reconstituted as a full constituency group within the party”.

“We were delighted with the response on the doorsteps during the recent elections. It is clear there is an appetite for new, progressive politics in Lagan Valley”.

Local environmental issues were also discussed at the AGM, including the proposed development of John Lewis with 20 smaller retail units at Sprucefield, the proposed waste energy plants at Glenavy and Moira Road, the wind turbine at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club, and the allotments at Killeaton Playing Fields.

Lagan Valley Greens’ members come from different backgrounds, careers and age groups. Prospective members don’t need to be ecologists or environmental perfectionists to join. All that is needed is an interest in improving life for people and the planet.

As the Green Party believes in clean politics, it only accepts donations from individuals and never from corporates. This sets it apart from all other mainstream political parties and prevents influence from companies wishing to promote their own commercial interests.

The Lagan Valley constituency covers a wide area encompassing the City of Lisburn, Hillsborough, Dromore, Moira and parts of Dunmurry. To find out more about the Lagan Valley Greens visit or call 07717 717755.