Winter 2011/12

Winter 2011/12 Policies

Each season, Bright Blue will be campaigning for key policies to be adopted by the Government, which fit with our core aims and address the pressing issues of the day. We join other organisations from across the political spectrum in pushing for urgent implementation of these desirable, credible policies.

 

Long-term funding and transparency of international aid

It is shameful and scandalous that so many people in the poorest areas of the world lack access to basic health, education and housing. We should be proud that UK provides aid that transforms lives and creates opportunities. Not only does aid alleviate poverty, if spent in the right way it can actually put countries on a path to ending aid dependency. It is in our national interest too, supporting growth in emerging markets, and raising standards of living to help avert conflict and unrest that could threaten UK citizens. The Government should enshrine in law that the UK will spend 0.7% of GNI on international aid each year. But taxpayers deserve to know exactly how much aid is being provided, what it’s being spent on, and what it achieves.

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A global deal to prevent climate change

Climate change seriously threatens the world economy, international security, social stability, poverty reduction and animal habitats. Global action and investment is urgently needed to encourage low carbon growth and enable adaptation in vulnerable countries. On top of its commitment to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, the UK Government should continue to lead the way in pressing for a new, more ambitious international-binding agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions which includes supporting low-carbon development in the poorest countries. In addition, the Government should continue to incentivise low- carbon energy production – including nuclear, wind and biogas - and provide generous funding for the development and production of green technology that supports mitigation and adaptation.

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Applying pressure to countries that persecute women, homosexuals and ethnic and religious minorities

Human rights – freedom of speech, the right to an education, protection from violence, freedom from torture – are universal, not Western. We should not shy away from criticising countries that undermine and abuse the rights of women, homosexuals and ethnic and religious minorities. The beliefs and lifestyles of these minorities should be tolerated, respected and celebrated. We’re calling on the UK Government to apply intense diplomatic pressure to those countries that outlaw the behaviour of - and permit and encourage violence towards - minorities. In fact, Britain should withdraw aid from those countries that continue to seriously undermine the rights of women, homosexuals and religious and ethnic minorities.

 

An expanded European Union

Amidst the instability in the Eurozone, it should not be forgotten that the EU has enormous potential in spreading liberal, democratic ideals. The prize of EU membership prompts key progressive political, social and economic reform in countries seeking entry. A bigger, united EU can also have greater clout in international diplomacy, helping to achieve change across the globe that nurtures free markets, social liberalism, political democracy and environmental sustainability. Britain should be pushing for an expanded EU of countries that meet the Copenhagen Criteria. In particular, we support the eventual accession of Turkey to the EU.

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