Archive for ‘Bernard Hyde’

June 16, 2017

Thank you voters – General Election Count 2017

We would like to thank everybody in Medway who voted with their hearts last week for a Green future in the General Election.  We had anticipated a lower vote this time due to tactical voting by people trying to overcome the limitations of the ‘first past the post’ electoral system.  While out canvassing, many people told us that although they would prefer to vote Green and intend do so in local elections, they would be voting Labour this time in an attempt to defeat the Tories. Unfortunately this didn’t actually change much locally.

Nationally, while we welcome the big shift towards progressive politics, we are left with a minority Tory government who will go to any lengths to retain power, including an irresponsible deal with the DUP, a party with controversial views on climate change, abortion and gay rights. Yet more people voted for progressive parties! Also of note is that while the DUP received fewer votes than the Green Party, they now have ten MPs while we still have only one!

Our current electoral system is inherently undemocratic by failing to reflect the true opinions of voters.  The Green Party will continue to fight for a fairer voting system in which everyone’s vote counts.

Locally, we are undeterred and looking forward to continuing our various campaigns in the coming months and years to allow more of you to see what Green politics is about.

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Clive, Sonia and Bernard, our candidates after votes had been declared

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May 26, 2017

Tory cuts obsession threatens our future by Bernard Hyde, Green candidate for Chatham and Aylesford

sure start demoThe threatened closures of Sure Start Centres in Medway are part of a political strategy that has been threatening our social support systems since 2010 when the Tory-led Coalition Government came into power.   It was at that point that the Tories decided that it was “fair” to inflict the debts caused by the bailout of unscrupulous banks following the financial crisis on the rest of us, and in particular the poorest and most vulnerable in our society [1], by starting a programme of continuing cuts which have attacked our social security and public services.

The argument by the Coalition Government was that it was unfair to inflict this debt on future generations.  Putting aside that the current Government has actually grown the level of debt it inherited [2], this misses the fact that the size of public debt is only one aspect that will determine the potential of our children’s and grandchildren’s adult lives.  The condition of public infrastructure, hospitals, schools, housing, transport, social care, social support services and the natural environment our children and grandchildren will inherit will all have a huge impact on the quality of their lives. There is little advantage to having low public debt if you will not be able to be treated when you are sick, housed when you are homeless, or if the natural environment which supports your very existence has been destroyed beyond saving.

We inherit the planet from our parents, but we also borrow it from our children. It is our duty to act in an intelligent, mature and compassionate way towards those around us and those who come after us.

Bernard Hyde
Green Party candidate for Chatham and Aylesford

NOTES:
[1] http://www.social-policy.org.uk/downloads/idow.pdf (p8)

[2] https://fullfact.org/economy/labour-and-conservative-records-national-debt/

 

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May 25, 2017

Meet Bernard Hyde, Green Party candidate for Chatham and Aylesford

Chartered Architect

Email: bernard.hyde@greenparty.org.uk

Bernard HydeThe Green Party stands for ‘the common good’. Three simple words that have a real and particular meaning for creating a sustainable future in which people and the environment that support them matter most. I am honoured to stand for the Green Party in the forthcoming general election for the Chatham and Aylesford Constituency.

I have enjoyed living and working in Medway for nearly seventeen years. I am a grandfather, keen gardener and self-employed chartered architect and town planner specialising in energy efficient buildings, both locally and overseas. The maxim of my architectural practice is ‘work with nature and nature will work for you’.

Many plants and animals have died out because their natural habitat has been destroyed. Frequently these habitats have been destroyed by human activity.  We must stop this happening.  Unlike other species we are able to determine our future and choose to make intelligent use of our natural resources.

The choices we make have to be for everyone and everything, because everyone and everything matter, they are all integral and all have an essential contribution to make to the well-being and future of our planet which is also our one and only habitat.

In Government policy making, everyone should count equally and everyone should have equal opportunity to make their unique contribution to society. Policies need to look to a future spanning decades and centuries, not related to short-term gain but a future shared and enjoyed by everyone.

The physical resources of the world in which we live are finite and we have already used up substantial quantities of them. We inherit the planet from our parents, but we also borrow it from our children. It is our duty to act in an intelligent, mature and compassionate way towards those around us and those who come after us.

Although our resources are finite, our potential to create innovative solutions to a myriad of problems is infinite. Every single person has a role to play and has potential to contribute to a better future. Educational opportunities must therefore be equal for all, healthcare must be equal for all, housing must be available to all. How else can everyone contribute unless they have reached their potential in mind, body and well-being.

Our country has a rich tradition of inventiveness and creativity. In the past this has been the product of a minority of educated and privileged people. How much further and faster might we progress to a sustainable future if we harness the efforts, energies skills and gifts of everyone.

There are already new ideas and developments emerging in every field that could help shape a truly sustainable future for everyone. These need to become our common place, common sense, common knowledge that will be our building blocks to a sustainable future.

Chatham has a proud tradition of skill, knowledge and dedication to the greater good. It is now a seat of learning in every respect from toddlers to retired adults with the potential to achieve great things, not just for the Chatham & Aylesford constituency, but for Medway and surrounding areas as a whole, nationally and globally.

The Green Party has responded to the consultation for the Medway Local Plan with a vision for the future of this area. If elected, I would work to ensure that this vision becomes a reality.

May 12, 2017

Medway Green Party selects its General Election candidates

Three candidate imageMembers of Medway Green Party have chosen three local people as their parliamentary candidates to stand in the Medway constituencies in the upcoming General Election on June 8th.

Teacher Sonia Hyner has been selected to stand in Rochester and Strood. Sonia’s career background is in social care and support. She worked for Citizens Advice for 21 years, seven of those in Medway, actively supporting members of the public to help alleviate poverty and secure housing, before retraining to teach English to adults at Further Education College.

Sonia has been politically active for a number of years and took part in the London march in 2003 against the war in Iraq. She has attended many anti-discrimination protests against racism and homophobia and was part of the protest that took place during the by-election in 2014 when the people of Rochester united to prevent Britain First from marching.  Sonia is keen to promote a Green economy and protection of our public services.

Sonia says: “As an active peace and climate change campaigner for many years, my beliefs have been further enhanced by embracing Green politics, particularly in terms of the promotion of a Green economy that looks at sustainability in terms of local economies producing goods for their own communities, thus becoming more resilient as well as reducing our Carbon footprint. I am also concerned that our public services are protected, our young people are supported, and that our housing crisis is averted in a way that will still protect our natural environment.

“As a regular on the doorsteps of Rochester residents as part of our ongoing campaign for the Council Elections in 2019, I am looking forward to this opportunity for explaining our brand of Green politics to the people of Rochester and Strood and how things could be better for them”.

To contest Gillingham & Rainham, the Green Party has selected local businessman Clive Gregory. Clive is a freelance musician and sound engineer who runs a PA/sound services and hire business. Alongside this, he is a part-time carer for his parents.

Clive stood for the Greens in Rochester and Strood in the 2014 by-election and 2015 General Election and strongly campaigned against the proposed Lodge Hill development.  He is concerned about the expansion of development locally and keen to promote a new kind of politics that challenges elitism.

Clive says: “We live in a world where politicians are to some extent controlled and manipulated by powerful forces that are not elected, nor have any respect for democracy and the rights of the majority of the population.  Big banks and mega corporations, many of whom have budgets greater than some countries, control much of the real power of the world.  There needs to be a quantum shift in the way we vote and run our politics and financial systems.

“This requires a voting system that delivers a parliament that represents the political makeup of voting intentions – proportional representation and a chance for real democracy.  I am concerned that the obsession with private profit aided and abetted by politicians is ruining our public services”.

In Chatham and Aylesford, the Green candidate is Bernard Hyde, a self-employed chartered architect and town planner specialising in energy efficient buildings, both locally and overseas. He wants to create a sustainable future in which people and the environment that supports them matter most.

Bernard says: “The physical resources of the world in which we live are finite and we have already used up substantial quantities of them. We inherit the planet from our parents, but we also borrow it from our children. It is our duty to act in an intelligent, mature and compassionate way towards those around us and those who come after us.

Although our resources are finite, our potential to create innovative solutions to a myriad of problems is infinite. Every single person has a role to play and has potential to contribute to a better future. Educational opportunities must therefore be equal for all, healthcare must be equal for all, housing must be available to all. How else can everyone contribute unless they have reached their potential in mind, body and well-being?”

Steve Dyke, Medway Green Party co-ordinator says: “We are delighted to have three great candidates with strong local connections in Sonia, Clive and Bernard to represent us in the forthcoming General Election.  The Medway Greens look forward to supporting them in explaining how our brand of Green politics could make things better for the people of the Medway Towns.”

 

 

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October 12, 2016

Micro-energy generation – a better way to meet our energy needs? By Bernard Hyde

One of our members, Bernard Hyde, recently had a letter posted in the Medway Messenger on the decision to go ahead with Hinkley Point C.  Here he expands on the discussion:

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In the past year, the photo voltaic panels on my modest 1930s end of terrace house have produced about the same amount of electricity as we used to buy from our energy provider, British Gas.

For practical reasons, we were only able to use about half of what we produced and the other half we sold to the National Grid.

With the money we were paid for the electricity we had generated and the money we saved using our own electricity, we enjoyed a tax free eight percent return on our initial investment.

So our house is a micro power station and, in its very small way, it is like the very large nuclear power station approved to be built at Hinkley Point; except it isn’t really.

There is no security fence around our micro power station, we don’t employ guards, there is no fire risk or possible radiation leaks. We don’t have to have regular health checks, we don’t have a highly paid CEO and no foreign governments are involved. Our power source is free and infinite, we don’t have to buy any toxic fuel, there is no dangerous waste product for our descendants to inherit and our equipment is recyclable.

The proposed nuclear power station at Hinkley Point hopes to generate about 7 percent of the entire UK’s energy demand, equivalent to 5.8 million homes. The cost of this Nuclear Power Station is now estimated at £30,000,000,000; that is thirty thousand million pounds. This is just over £5,000 for each of the 5.8 million homes mentioned earlier, or just enough money for a 3 kW photovoltaic system for each house.

So just as I, with my micro power station had to make an initial investment in my photovoltaic panels before any electricity could be generated, our government is borrowing money to make its investment. It has agreed to borrow the money from China and of course the money will have to be paid back with interest. The capital and interest will be paid back by us, the electricity consumers, and it won’t be cheap.

What then are the problems with micro renewable energy generation?

  • The first problem is conceptual. It is too obvious.
  • The second problem is that the technology is sophisticated and not easily understood. We are wedded by history to our Victorian understanding of technology in the way we generate our power and construct our buildings.
  • The third problem is that the power source is free. It is hard for someone to make a quick buck out of selling sunshine or wind or tide.
  • The fourth problem is that the light from the sun isn’t always there. On average throughout the year half of the time is day and half night. The technology to store electricity generated during the day with batteries has lagged behind the technology for converting the light into electricity with solar cells, and battery technology is only just beginning to catch up.
  • The fifth problem is that there is less daylight during the winter, when our energy requirements are greatest. However, winter is the time when winds are strongest and wind and solar make a good combination.
  • The sixth problem is that we are brought up to believe that small units are not efficient. Traditional power stations use a thermodynamic cycle that creates heat to convert into mechanical energy and then into electricity. This is about 35% efficient, whereas photovoltaics can be 100% efficient, especially where buildings are designed and orientated effectively.
  • The seventh problem is distribution efficiency from small units. The electricity from power stations is stepped up and down in voltages via transformers and distributed via transmission lines and cables with a consequent power loss of between 8 and 15% dissipated in heating the environment. Half of the renewable energy our micro power station produces is used directly on site.
  • The eighth problem is that administering a large number of micro power stations is expensive as one imagines meter readers visiting each house and someone writing cheques. However with smart meters, that use cell-phone technology to send readings automatically and internet banking, this doesn’t have to be a problem.
  • The ninth problem is that micro-generation relies on thousands of people to invest a modest amount of money in their own interest and that of their country. It is the complete opposite of the multi-national megalithic corporations who unfortunately have more influence with government decision making.
  • The tenth problem is that the photo-voltaic market has been flooded with cheap Chinese imports that perform less well than their more expensive European competitors. The answer of course is for the UK to make its own high quality equipment.

The problems of renewable energy are ones of perception and commitment that can be solved with education and resolve.

The problems of nuclear power are inherent in the process itself and have no foreseeable solution, in the United Kingdom we have daylight but we don’t have uranium.

These problems are compounded further by the need for foreign involvement and the loss of national security.

Hinkley Point may be an untried French design for a nuclear power plant but that doesn’t make it cutting edge; it is still yesterday’s technology. What we need is fast moving, and fast improving new technology – for tomorrow’s generations to benefit from and enjoy, not to be burdened with and threatened by, and that is renewable energy.

Bernard Hyde, Medway Green Party

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