Archive for Caroline Lucas
www.guardian.co.uk 19th May 2011
The argument over whether to ban animals performing in circuses has become even more contentious as, it appears, the lawsuit that Environment Minister Jim Paice used to justify not enacting the ban doesn’t even exist yet. Following a campaign by The Independent newspaper to stop animals in circuses, galvanised in part by the horrific beatings experienced by Anne the Asian elephant at Bobby Roberts Super Circus (pictured), Mr Paice MP claimed that a ban was not possible due to a lawsuit between the European Circus Association and the Austrian government. He also added that it could be against the UK Human Rights Act. Fearing a similar legal issue in the UK, a ban was not possible. With the new revelation that the case does not actually exist, Mr Paice made the extraordinary statement that if you don’t like watching lions and elephants performing in circuses, then don’t go. MPs from all parties rounded on Mr Paice with Caroline Lucas branding the government ‘cowardly’ on the issue. There are 39 animals used in UK circuses today including lions, tigers, crocodiles, zebras and camels. There are no elephants after the retirement of Anne.
The UK Green Party, led by Caroline Lucas MP (the first Green Party MP in history), has managed to capitalise on public discontent with the Liberal Democrats by securing 14 new councillors across the UK. The Greens went into the elections with 116 councillors in 42 councils and came out the other end with 130 in 43 councils. Seats were gained in Bolsover, Bristol, Herefordshire, Kings Lynn and West Norfolk, Malvern Hills, Mid Suffolk, Reigate, Solihull, South Hams, Stafford and St Albans. In Brighton, where Caroline holds the MP position for Brighton Pavilion, an amazing ten seats were won making the Green Party the largest on the council. Even where the Greens were not successful, such as in Lancaster and Wales, local parties still managed to over double their vote share.
www.guardian.co.uk 20th September 2010
The Coalition government of the UK has gone back on its promises to make it a criminal offense to possess or import illegally felled timber. The Foreign Secretary William Hague promised to pass the legislation after a similar bill was brought into action in the USA in November last year. He even went as far s to criticise the Environment Secretary at the time, Labour’s Hilary Benn, for not promising the same. However, Jim Paice, Minister for Agriculture and Food, has told Green Party MP Caroline Lucas that no such action is forthcoming and the UK would stay in line with EU directives on the matter and no more. He called any further action by the UK “duplicative” and added that “in these difficult financial times, we need to focus on the principles of better regulation”. Campaigners believe that that such legislation is necessary to curb the 350-650 million square metres of forest felled annually for the illegal timber trade.
This is the second coalition turnaround on Green issues. Promises were also made to extend energy subsides for people who erected solar panels. Instead, the Climate and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne stated the plan would not go ahead and those that had erected green energy alternatives should be content with the “warm glow of being pioneers”.