The Government plan to remove the freedom to choose who you do business with, and who you buy from. Under the plan all publicly funded institutions will lose the freedom to refuse to buy goods and services from companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco products or Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.
The Government plan is an attack on any public body which tries to make an ethical choice.
Rachel Collinson, the Green Party’s Business, Innovation & Skills spokesperson claims that the proposals will restrict the ability of public bodies to move away from dirty fossil fuels.
Collinson said, “The Tories say they are the party of freedom, choice and free markets. This announcement shows the emperor to be stark naked”.
Collinson thinks that if the government really believes in freedom of choice, it would not be placing restrictions on publicly funded bodies making ethical choices.
A minister said that any public body that continued with boycotts will face severe penalties.
By restricting the right to make ethical decisions, particularly on energy, the Government are interfering in the market in favour of the fossil fuel giants, “They are trying to shove oil down our throats”, Collinson said.
“The Green Party believes that investment in fossil fuels not only damages the earth, it is a foolhardy financial gamble, given the volatility in oil prices. We encourage all government bodies to divest from polluting industries and arms companies as quickly as possible before this becomes law.”
This is clearly an attack on local democracy, and the Government have lost whatever little credibility they had on the matter of localism.
The Government agenda is clear and unambiguous. Another nail in the coffin of Democracy. We need an election before Democracy is dead and buried.