October 23, 2017

Rethinking our future

Manifesto: The Cornwall Ecology Party, 1977

Our society is beset by increasing unemployment, inflation, crime, delinquency, and a deteriorating environment. Unless we completely rethink the problems facing us, it is only a question of time before we are confronted with economic and social collapse.

We cannot understand our problems by looking at them one by one, nor tackle them successfully in a piecemeal fashion. Government after government has tried to do this, and each time they have failed. Instead, we must look at our problems together—ecologically—and attack them in a coordinated programme, with policies that are based on common sense.

We are setting up a political party in Cornwall, affiliated to the British Ecology Party to contest the county and parliamentary elections. The corner stones of our policy are:

LESS POLITICAL DEPENDENCE of Cornwall on central government and MORE effective control over our own affairs if we are to put Cornwall on the road to prosperity and a stable future. We believe that local people know better than those in Westminster what measures we should take.

LESS ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE on the National, European and World markets and MORE SELF-SUFFICIENCY. With five lasting economic resources in agriculture, clay, mining, fishing and tourism, Cornwall should be rich. Yet none of these make the contribution they should to the local economy.

In agriculture, instead of merely selling our produce, we should be processing and consuming it ourselves. Rather than sell our wool, we should be selling textiles and clothes made from it. Rather than buying vegetables and other foodstuffs from elsewhere in the country or from abroad, we should be producing them ourselves and distributing them locally. All these measures would create valuable new enterprises and more jobs.

In fishing, instead of allowing trawlers and factory ships from elsewhere to deplete our fish stocks, throwing our fishermen out of work, our inland waters should be reserved for local fishermen, thereby reviving the fishing industry.

In mining, we must insist that it makes a far greater contribution to the county’s finance. A royalty on the export of minerals and clay would enable it to do so.

In tourism, the same applies. A tax placed on tourism and caravans (as is done on the Continent) would pay for the extra facilities that have to be supplied for their benefit.

MORE RELIANCE ON SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIES The British economy has become too dependent on failing industries that meet only short-term needs. The car and ship-building industries are prime examples and it would be foolish to build our future on oil which is not expected to last beyond the year 2000. Cornwall must generate industries that will last—only then will we prevent recurrent business failures and unemployment. This means taking good care of those industries that we have, and expanding others like forestry. We must refuse to allow any more of our land to be eaten up by motorways and urban sprawl. We must conserve our fish stocks and protect them by stopping the pollution of our rivers and estuaries. Our clay and mining industries too, can be sustained if we do not exploit them too fast or on too massive a scale. Tourism will only continue if we halt the degradation of our environment. Few people will come to admire a blighted Cornwall.

INCENTIVES TO SMALL INDUSTRIES We must encourage the small business man on the lines envisaged by the Cornwall Industrial Development Association (CIDA). In general, the smaller the business, the more sustainable and socially satisfying it is; and over all the more people are employed. It is only in small businesses that craftsmanship and pride in one’s work can flourish and where people can be treated as if they really mattered.

POPULATION POLICY In future our prosperity will depend very much on our numbers. Rather than encouraging further population growth, we should be doing everything possible to prevent it. In particular, we oppose all plans to build more overspill towns in Cornwall.

We do not accept the recommendations of the South West Economic Planning Council (a non-elected body) on this issue.

OPPOSITION TO NUCLEAR POWER We must oppose the development of Nuclear Power. We believe it to be the most dangerous threat to the future of Humanity, and it must be fought at all costs. We propose the introduction of an energy policy that stresses conservation; the development of natural, pollution-free energy sources such as solar and wind power; and the decentralisation of the national grid to prevent wastage.

A MORE RESPONSIBLE SOCIETY We must reverse the trend towards an increasingly irresponsible society to one in which people recognise not only their rights but also their duties as citizens. Decentralisation means the responsibility for controlling anti-social behaviour is exercised by the family and the community, rather than the State.

THE PRINCIPLE OF SUBSIDIARITY. We will always work on the principle that every decision must be taken at the lowest possible level. Nothing should be done at County level that can be done by the local community; and nothing should be done by the local community that can be done by the family. It follows that councils should only intervene where public health and safety may be at risk. This will reduce bureaucracy and save money.

We believe that the policies of the Cornwall Ecology Party are the only ones that will bring about a society capable of weathering the storms that lie ahead. We believe also that it is the only one that can bring meaning back into our work and our daily lives.

If you wish to help, in any way, towards setting up such a society, then please telephone or write to The Ecology Party . . .


Chairman: John Bamford.

Secretary: Nicholas Hildyard

Committee: Dick Smyth, Jeremy Faull, Edward Goldsmith, Peter Bunyard, Howard Hoptrough.


CANDIDATE: Edward Goldsmith

I am 48 years old, married—though separated—and have two grown up daughters and a teenage son. My father was, for a long time, Conservative MP for Stowmarket in Suffolk.

I have lived in Withiel for five years, and publish and edit the Ecologist Magazine in Wadebridge. (It is printed in Callington).

This magazine was founded in 1969 by a number of people who were convinced that our society was moving in the wrong direction, towards bigger and bigger industries, more and more massive cities and an ever more pervading bureaucracy, and that the environmental and social destruction that this must give rise to, could only lead to disaster.

I have devoted practically all my time since then to opposing these trends to the best of my abilities—by writing articles and books, lecturing and broadcasting, and contributing in various countries to the development of Ecology Movements that are trying to bring the world back to sanity and help create a future for our children.

I am very conscious of the fact that I have only lived here for a short time. However, I feel that if my ideas and my energies are not entirely misguided, then they should be put—above all—to the service of the people among whom I live.

Those who are interested in discussing with me the ideas underlying the Cornwall Ecology Party are welcome to do so . . . every Tuesday and Friday evening until the election from 8.30 to 10 o’clock.



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