Archives For Politics

Tax avoidance firms will be banned from major government contracts

Workfare ruled illegal, but only on narrow terms

Who takes the harshest anti-welfare line? Those on state benefits

Yee-haw! Osborne’s oil bonanza

Burke approves huge gas and coal plans

I wouldn’t mind paying Swedish prices for Swedish social care. But I resent Swedish prices for low-standard care

Bhutan set to plough lone furrow as world’s first wholly organic country

Will EU discards ban force the hand of our disastrous fisheries minister?

British sugar giant caught in global tax scandal

Shocking figures reveal the growth in UK’s wealth gap

David Miliband to head global fight to prevent eco-disaster in oceans

The UK farming crisis: which crisis do you mean?

Tory MP tables decarbonisation amendment to coalition’s energy bill

‘Some of the emails I’ve had are simply appalling’: MPs complain of vitriolic lobbying ahead of historic vote

Can Obama’s fire and brimstone on climate change herald a new hope?

Boris Johnson’s climate flippancy translates into policy failure

From Arab Spring to global revolution

Cameron pushes energy efficiency as motor of green growth

This Equality obsession is mad, bad and very dangerous

Ladbrokes is gambling with fish extinction – and so is the government

Is denial the biggest barrier to sustainable change?

Al Gore attacks George Osborne’s ‘short-sighted’ approach to climate

When the rich are born to rule, the results can be fatal

Why bother with boring facts when prejudice is easier?

Starbucks threatens Cameron after ‘unfair’ tax attacks

Davos 2013: do David Cameron and George Osborne really understand business?

Nicholas Stern: ‘I got it wrong on climate change – it’s far, far worse’

‘Buddy’ scheme to give more multinationals access to ministers

North Sea oil and gas wells leap fuelled by tax breaks

Biodiversity offsetting will unleash a new spirit of destruction on the land

MPs trust in energy companies leaking away, finds poll

Ministers’ failure to act on plastic bag pledge condemned by campaigners

If you think we’re done with neoliberalism, think again

Making Up Our Minds: A collection of essays on improving our approach to mental health

Attitudes are changing people are speaking up

UK seeks to water down Arctic oil drilling proposals

Climate change inaction the fault of environmental groups, report says

The employers and the MPs are the real shirkers

Skivers v strivers: the argument that pollutes people’s minds

Osborne’s father-in-law in ‘conflict of interest’ row

Governments must confront climate change in 2013

David Cameron’s black ops speak louder than green words

By cutting the corporate chains of an internet giant like Facebook and standing up for my principles of boycotting a company that is happy with tax avoidance schemes, I find myself tempted into the world of corporate social media within the first 24 hours of going ‘independent’. But how do I know that I’m not jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire?

After writing my first post and navigating the various technical processes of the amateur blogger, I found myself in a world of buttons and widgets that any lapsed geek would find irresistible. And not surprisingly I explored every possible option, resulting in the reclassification of my blog as ‘mature’ – you’re now reading a porn site apparently! And every good porn site needs a good tweet….. so I looked at the Twitter options within WordPress and within moments, I’d signed up without really knowing the history of the company. I even changed the name of my blog from ‘The Lapsed Catholic’ to ‘A Lapsed Catholic’ because Twitter had a 15 character limit on it’s usernames.

I suppose that I was less concerned with this company selling my personal data, since I used my pseudonym to setup the account, but I have no idea if Twitter has a better tax record than Facebook. So should I automatically accept that this company has a good ethical policy and one that I would be happy to support? Or should I be investigating every corporation, business, and organisation, that I interact with? And who am I to judge?

I remember recently visiting The Green Party and doing a quick search on the internet (probably using Google!) and finding an article about the massive heat loss from the party HQ, in comparison with the energy efficient Conservative and Labour headquarters. How could I support a party that doesn’t even practise what it preaches?! And, Oh My God, they have muffins in plastic packaging! Don’t they know about the gyre in the Pacific Ocean?! Of course, I judged them too quickly and the building that they occupied was shared with a number of other NGOs with a landlord that was ethical enough to offer space to organisations with a social and ethical cause rather than the organisation willing to pay the most money, so probably a little strapped for cash to make major improvements to the buildings. I never asked about the muffins when I found out that this national political party was run by only nine paid individuals – reliant on thousands of volunteers and limited donations. The other political parties may have the resources to ejaculate their green policies but their is little evidence of their success – and more suggestion of their corruption (I stolen that verb from Arthur Conan Doyle via Stephen Fry on QI, and thought it was appropriate for my ‘mature’ audience).

So I shouldn’t judge Twitter too quickly but at the same time, I shouldn’t be ignorant of an issue that needs to be addressed. I will look further into their ethical policies and tax affairs, and continue to utilise their services until such time. And eventually I will work out how to remove the Facebook button from my blog…….!