Local authority elections are proving much more interesting and potentially constructive than they seemed until recently.
The international picture has forced a review of the whole range of political relations. Sweden and Finland view NATO in a favorable light and it is unlikely that Scotland, once independent, will not do the same. Macron’s success has stabilized the EU and made Brexit even more senseless, from the broad spectrum of Western democracy to the detailed cracks opening up in Ireland – described by George Kerevan in The National (Why the Yes supporters should keep a close eye on the May Stormont Election, April 25). Ukraine’s unity under strain has again shown the advantage of those fighting to defend their country and the implications of what constitutes national sovereignty.
READ MORE: UK’s cycle of austerity and racism cannot be broken without independence
But all of this is overshadowed by the clear message that Putin profoundly ignores the need for the human race to move from its primitive emotional stage to an understanding of its role in a balanced use of the planet’s resources. Its use of old technologies like tanks and artillery shows this. It showed even more clearly the folly of the nuclear threat. It most strikingly showed the West’s dependence on fossil fuels and Russian artificial fertilizers. The political philosophy that encompasses a thoughtful response to all of this is the so-called “green” one.
Green ideas aim for good international neighbourliness, but aim to ensure that local decisions are made locally. They are against all technologies that degrade the environment.
Thoughtful writers in The National such as Elliot Bulmer and Gerry Hassan draw on green principles to support small-scale democracy. It is to be hoped that voters understand this and that the Green Party benefits from their sound policies of democracy, equality, sustainability and decentralization, which are the keys to better local, national and global government.
Iain W. D. Forde
In Tuesday’s National, Green candidate Jill Belch made a number of statements about Ward 2, Strathmore, in Perth and Kinross that are not correct (“Five years and no new ideas”, April 26).
First, she claims that her party won the most second-preference votes in 2017. This is totally untrue! Indeed, the second preferences for the green candidate were the lowest of the seven candidates. His party received 317, less than a third of the number garnered by both the Conservatives and the two SNP candidates.
She goes on to say that “Historically, we have always elected two Conservative candidates [in Strathmore]”. No, we didn’t – the SNP normally wins two seats and 2017 was the exception. In fact, in 2012, the two SNP candidates were elected in the first round with a total of 41.7% of the vote. Interestingly, the LibDem and Tory candidates were also elected in the first round – a rare occurrence in any neighborhood.
READ MORE: Can the SNP depose the scandal-ridden Tory trolls who run the Angus council?
Turnout in municipal elections is always lower than in Holyrood or Westminster elections. If your readers want to see the withdrawal of Conservative candidates, etc., they can help by registering for mail-in votes. Fortunately, there has been a lot of effort in this regard in North Perthshire, and John Swinney overtook the Conservatives by postal vote in 2021 for the first time. This will help in the upcoming municipal elections.
Another very important way for party members to get actively involved is to knock-up on May 5th. They could do this by popping “Vote TODAY” cards through their followers’ doors and, more importantly, banging on those doors later. to check if they voted. It’s so effective when some people think they can’t vote because they lost their voter card; they don’t need it. Just call your local party office to find out how to help.
J FARRELL’s fascinating article on “The History of Collapsing Societies and What the Modern World Needs to Learn About Them” (April 17) was a thought-provoking piece, comparing the fate of Knossos around 4,000 years to the potential for apocalypse today. I gladly bow to his knowledge of Knossos, but his description of a seemingly harmonious society overthrown by its lack of ramparts and weaponry raises serious doubts in my mind. A “stable civilization” perhaps, but “admirable”? Wasn’t it an extremely hierarchical society, ranging from elites able to build extraordinary temples to widespread slavery? Wasn’t the fall of this civilization determined from within, revealing that it was not “stable” over time?
And therefore to conclude that global harmony requires a “balance of power, or terror” is a grave error. “Apocalyptic arsenals” are never harmonious, let alone static. They lead, inevitably, to arms races, the eventuality of which is both foreseeable and destructive for civilisation. Far better for the future of civilization and the planet would be to address the social inequalities that have justified conflict throughout history.