My friend and fellow blogger Tanya Jones from the Green party, this week brought to our attention the very serious and undemocratic proposal by the Conservative government to ban public bodies from boycotting unethical trade or investments. They are doing this under the guise of wanting to prevent anti-Semitism.
This is a section from Tanya’s blog from 15th February.
*The policy is to be announced formally during a trip to Israel by the Cabinet Office Minister Matt Hancock this week. That is, of course, no coincidence. The thin end of the wedge in justifying this draconian step will be the conflation of opposition to Israeli action in Palestine with anti-Semitism. The more the government and its allies can repeat and embed that falsehood (vigorously refuted by groups like J-BIG) the more they can make opposition not just ineffective but unacceptable. And now, with the enormous success of the fossil fuel divestment movement, they have the opportunity of quashing that too, a whole flock of birds with one thumping great stone.
It won’t do. Set aside, if you like, any particular campaigns that you don’t agree with, or don’t feel strongly about, and take a look at what remains. Ethical purchasing decisions by individuals and institutions have been powerful engines for social and political change for many years. The sugar boycott helped to bring about the end of the slave trade, decisions not to invest in South African companies crippled the apartheid regime and the choice of homespun over imported cloth united and inspired Gandhi’s struggle for Indian independence. All of these, if carried out by public bodies – our representatives – would be criminalised under the Tory ban.” Read the full blog here.
Christians On The Left NI are hosting a panel discussion about Fossil Fuel Divestment on Tuesday 23rd February in Belfast. If the Conservative Government in Westminster succeed with their planed bill, then churches may be criminalised for only wanting to invest in ethical organisations.
Ryvka Barnard from the charity War-On-Want has said “This attack on local democracy is the latest in a sustained assault on our democratic rights and freedoms*
Come alone to above event to discover how we can make a difference with our investments and the use of our buying power.