Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Protect Local Democracy

As I write the Tory Government is trying to prevent local Authorities divesting from companies linked to Israels illegal occupation, and settlements on Palestinian land. Authorities which refuse to contract with such companies are  also being targeted.
This is a a direct attack on local democracy and decision making. This plan is a grave  threat to the fight for Palestinian human rights and freedom of expression. An explicit authoritarian and draconian attempt to clamp down on the growing strength of the grassroot Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which aims to end government and corporate complicity  in Israels violations of Palestinians rights.
At the moment local authorities have the right to divest their pensions on an ethical basis if they wish. Its been  part of our democracy for years and was vital in Britain's ability to boycott apartheid South Africa and help bring it down. Margaret Thatcher herself bought in an anti-boycott policy in 1988 aimed at  restricting local councils from taking action against to end British complicity in Apartheid. So I guess it's a case of David Cameron and his swivel eyed Tory loons following in her footsteps. As can be seen  on their relentless attacks on our Trade Unions and anyone who disagrees with them. Already eroding our own civil liberties now seeks to criminalise/ ban ethical behaviour. It should also be noted  that more recently councils across the UK have adapted fair trade  principles and removed tobacco and arms companies from their investment portfolios in response to local concerns.
The Tories want us to turn a blind eye to corporate complicity in violating international law and to ignore peoples  genuine concerns in favour of good relations with a notorious human rights abusing country. 
The UK Government should be welcoming any citizen  initiative that helps stop  our complicity in grave injustices. I believe seeking to outlaw this movement for justice will only make it stronger.
Please take action and make your voices heard : send a message to the governments consultation on this issue as individuals or organisations, by Friday 19th February 11.45 pm.

Here is a link :-

and hereare two  petition links I would be grateful for people to sign :-


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