Posts Tagged ‘ffinlo Costain’

The grotty, anti-politics, Yes to AV campaign deserves to lose

02/05/2011, 05:00:51 PM

by ffinlo Costain

The Yes to AV campaign is flagging dismally in every poll and will almost certainly lose the referendum on Thursday. No wonder. From the start its organisers failed to understand that they needed to fight and win a single issue campaign, not an election.

Crucially they never understood that the No to AV camp had the easier task. No-ers didn’t have to win the case for first past the post (FPTP) – they simply had to convince people the case for AV was unproven.

The referendum will provide Britons with a once in a lifetime opportunity to make the electoral system a little bit fairer – but instead of making the case for AV, the Yes campaign has been a cheap and tatty, anti-politics affair. If the only reason to change the electoral system is that all politicians are scumbags, then why not just bring on the revolution?


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CSR analysis: the government’s green boasts were vain and idle

03/11/2010, 03:00:12 PM

by ffinlo Costain

Announcements leading up to the comprehensive spending review (CSR) and the review itself were the first opportunity to really test the Tory-Lib Dem government’s sincerity about tackling climate change. As the dust settles we can assess the result.

Labour’s warm front scheme, which provided grants for homeowners to insulate their lofts and cavity walls, is to be killed off. Thousands have benefited from reduced insulation costs, with grants worth around £300 delivered at council level. The result was widespread energy savings. The government’s green deal will replace this scheme. Instead of grants, homeowners will be offered loans to buy goods and services from businesses like B&Q and Tesco to make their homes more energy efficient.

But if many of those living in fuel poverty failed to take the opportunity to insulate their houses when most of the cost was paid for, it seems unlikely they’ll chose to insulate when they have to fund the full cost themselves. The measure also fails to help those living in un-insulated short-term rented accommodation. (more…)

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Green industry should be at the heart of Britain’s growth, says ffinlo Costain

10/10/2010, 12:49:13 PM

In his first speech as Labour party leader Ed Miliband said, ‘No plan for growth means no credible plan for deficit reduction.’  He’s right. But where will growth come from?

When Miliband was energy and climate change secretary the answer was clear: it would come from delivering a low carbon economy in Britain.  But the framework for that transition, set in place by Labour when in government, is now under sustained attack by the treasury, despite David Cameron’s pledge that his would be Britain’s ‘greenest-ever government’.

Many fear that the comprehensive spending review on October 20th will be the death knell for the renewable heat incentive, the green deal, the green investment bank, essential port development, and even the department of energy and climate change (DECC) itself.

Politicians such as shadow energy minister, Emily Thornberry, representatives from greenpeace, friends of the earth, and the TUC, as well as business leaders from the micropower council and the federation of master builders have articulated the need for concerted pressure to ensure the Tories and Lib Dems live up to their pre-election and Coalition Agreement promises.


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We don’t need to blow people up to win the argument on climate change, says ffinlo Costain

05/10/2010, 12:28:44 PM

This week the 10:10 campaign (getting people to cut their carbon emissions by ten per cent in 2010) presented a nasty little film, which they hoped would help wake people up to the perils of global climate change. It was an error of judgement, and the 10:10 director acted quickly when she saw the offence the film had caused, withdrew it and apologised.

Her fast response is laudable.  But climate campaigners must be more careful.

When I was a student in the early 1990s I was passionate about social justice, angrily in favour of peace, and Michael Portillo – at the time a hard-right Thatcherite instead of the late night teddy-bear Tory he’s become – was the Devil incarnate.

But then one night something happened. (more…)

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Votes at 16: ffinlo Costain says that, for once, we should follow the Isle of Man

28/07/2010, 12:16:19 PM

There’s one constitutional reform that would make Britain fairer and more representative, but currently lowering the voting age to 16 isn’t on the cards. For once, we should follow the Isle of Man’s lead.

The Isle of Man isn’t renowned for liberal government. Birching and anti-homosexual laws were abolished only relatively recently, and penal policy is still draconian. But in terms of voting reform the Isle of Man has always been a step ahead. In 1881 they were the first to introduce votes for women, and then in 2006 the Manx parliament, Tynwald, chose to reduce the voting age to 16.


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