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NICK ROBERTSON BROWN




A.  PEACE.


  1. Are you in favour of Britain renewing its Trident nuclear weapons

 system ?


 I am totally opposed to renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system.

I cannot see a single occasion when a British prime minister would be

prepared to hit the nuclear go button. The cost of the system which we

don't need and cannot afford is £100 billion, and considering the state

of our health system, it's a very simple decision and I am a former RAF

engineering officer who used to work on missile systems.


2. Do you think our country is right to be involved militarily in

 the Ukraine, even if in a training and support role?


I think the conflict in Ukraine is a difficult one, but one that

cannot be ignored. I think we should support a negotiated settlement

between Russia and Ukraine whilst developing a new security structure

for the whole region.


B.  ENVIRONMENT.

3. Do you give full weight to the urgency of minimising global

 warming? In the light of this, do you accept that much of the known

 fossil fuel reserves should be left underground, especially the most

 environmentally damaging such as tar sands and Arctic oil?


Climate change is a disaster that is already happening and all but

a few are actually listening. When I left the Royal Air Force, I studied

environmental biology and worked on climate projects in the Arctic. What

is happening to our climate is acceptable and chasing fossil fuels in

places that are hard to get to is not only ridiculous, but financially

and environmentally the wrong way to go. Instead we should be investing

heavily in sustainable and natural resources such as solar, wind, hydro

and tidal energy. By doing this, we can move away from a total reliance

upon fossil fuels and help to reduce the catastrophic effects of climate

change will bring.


4. What is your attitude to fracking?


 "Fracking," or hydraulic fracturing, to give it its correct term

involves drilling deep into the earth and injecting toxic chemicals into

the ground at high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks in an

effort to release the natural gas held inside. It is a very expensive

and intensive way of releasing relatively small amounts of fossil fuels.

It also takes a lot of energy to claim the gas it is trying to release.

I think the disasters in America, in particular, Wyoming and Alberta

where wildlife and huge stocks of cattle have died from drinking the

toxic water that the chemicals involved in fracturing that has been

injected into the aquifers. I think the recent decision by the people of

New York to turn their back on fracking tells us an awful lot about the

awful nature of fracking. I am 100% opposed


5. Many people can’t afford to heat their homes over the winter. We

 can’t afford to ignore climate change either. How would you tackle

 fuel poverty in a long-term, sustainable manner?


Fuel poverty is part of the whole issue of social injustice and as

your question implies, there are two parts to addressing it. Firstly, in

order to heat homes, then energy is required, and the better the houses

are insulated in the first place, and the better they are built, then

the energy losses can be minimised. As I have already stated, the

production of energy should be sustainable and I believe eventually we

could become 100% sustainable. As for paying the energy bills, the Green

party has a plan to introduce a basic income, which is a guaranteed

non-means tested income sufficient to cover basic needs and payable to

every UK citizen. Basic income will replace the tax-free allowance and

most social security benefits. Housing benefit would remain until

transferred to BI. Part of children would receive £50 per week on their

behalf and 18 to 65-year-olds would receive £80 per week. People with

disabilities and single parents will be paid a supplement. We would also

pay an extra £30 a week to those assessed by their GP is not capable of

being able to work. The basic pension will pay £180 per week to a single

pensioner and 310 for a couple - this would take all pensioners above

the poverty line. This basic income would mean less stigma and

bureaucracy in the welfare system and ensure work always pays more than

unemployment. The cost of BI would be recovered from replacing existing

benefits personal tax allowances and National Insurance thresholds.


6. Do you think our economy can or should go on growing

 indefinitely?


I do not see how the economy can ever keep on growing, and for me

the economic model we are using is seriously flawed. It is an economy

based on greed and selfishness which is why this country and so many

other so-called democracies are struggling. A successful economy without

growth is possible and the model is out there. Prosperity without growth

- economics for a finite planet is a book that makes great sense and was

written by Tim Jackson.


7. Are you opposed to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment

 Partnership? If so why; if not, why not?


TTIP, or the transatlantic trade and investment partnership, is a

deal that was put together behind closed doors between the EU and the

United States. It is marketed as a means of economic stimulus for ailing

Europe and is presented as a free trade agreement, but existing tariffs

on either side of the Atlantic are already weak as a result of common

membership of organisations such as the world trade organisation. The

aim of this agreement(TTIP) is to strip away any obstacles to large

corporations, such as regulations to protect our privacy, the

environment, food safety and the economy from an already disgraced

financial sector. Probably one of the most crucial factors of this

agreement is that TTIP will open up public services to private companies

motivated purely by profit rather than the needs of people. As my

response may suggest, I am totally opposed to it.


  8. Do you intend to help shrink the yawning gap between rich and

 poor and check the extraordinary concentration of wealth in very few

 hands? If so, how?


I believe the ever-increasing gap between the rich and poor is an

abomination and anyone who supports this should be ashamed of

themselves. I fully back the Green Party in its economic policy which

has been fully costed. On top of the £100 billion that would be saved by

scrapping Trident missile system, we would clamp down on tax loopholes,

avoidance and evasion and this could save the UK, £70 billion a year on,

on its own pay off the deficit within three years. We would replace the

minimum wage with the living wage of £8.10 p per hour, rising to £10 per

hour by 2020. I would like to see the introduction of a wealth tax of 2%

a year on those worth 2 million and above, and this would raise £35

billion a year by the end of one parliamentary term. I would introduce a

Robin Hood tax of .1% on bank to bank transfers to reduce risky trading

and raise £25 billion a year to fight poverty and climate change. We

would move towards a 35 hour working week with more jobs fair pay and

more free time. By increasing corporation tax to 30%. We could raise £12

billion a year and help small local businesses to compete. Would

increase the top rate of income tax to 60%, raising an extra £2 billion

a year. And, crucially, we would take the power to create money away

from private banks and instead establish a national monetary authority

responsible for creating currency. I have already spoken about our plans

to introduce the Basic Income at question five.


9. Do you recognise that low wages and benefits, plus harsh and

 arbitrary stoppage of benefits, is causing serious and unjust

 hardship? Do you want to restore the safety net which ought to

 protect  British people from serious want?


I have already pointed out at question five and eight that I

recognise that low wages and the stoppages and reduction of benefits is

causing serious and  unjust hardship. In those previous questions, I

have also identified how we would restore the safety net and how we

protect the people of this country from the greed of this government and

the corporations that it supports.