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The people who really hate Britain are some of our tabloid press

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The Daily Mail and the leader of the Labour Party have got into a spectacular argument over an article that attacked Ed Miliband’s deceased father, describing him as “the man who hated Britain”. This new low by the Mail should offend all fair-minded people.

Ralph Miliband arrived in Britain as a 16-year-old Jewish refugee from Belgium, escaping Nazi Europe. A few years later he was fighting as a volunteer in the Royal Navy, defending our nation from that evil and existential threat. An openly passionate Marxist and intellectual, he was critical of Britain’s establishment and the rigid class system of the time. He was hostile to what he saw as our overt nationalism.

None of these views constitute hatred of Britain. The best kind of friend is not someone who slavishly applauds the status quo, but one who challenges us and our thinking. Disliking unelected leaders, birth right based social status and extreme nationalism comes with the territory for someone escaping the Nazis, who represented all of those things.

The post-war nationalisation of industry, the creation of the welfare state safety net, education-for-all and an NHS, free at the point of delivery, all reflected Miliband Sr’s professed view and the consensus of the time. Many negative aspects of our rigid class structure have broken down over time; many still remain.

The entire Daily Mail piece hangs on a single diary entry of a traumatised 17-year old. Miliband Sr may have known of, or suspected, many of Britain’s upper class flirtation with fascism. He may have known of the Daily Mail’s ‘Hurrah for the blackshirts’ front page, and it’s previous owner’s effusive praise of Hitler. Praise that was reciprocated by Joseph Goebbels.

When Ed Miliband demanded and got a right to reply, rather than accept the response neutrally, the newspaper doubled down on its attack, repeating the slurs and refusing to apologise for what it had written. It has clearly misjudged the instincts of its own readers and the fair play character of our nation. As the highest rated commenter on last night’s dailymail.co.uk article wrote, “For goodness sake DM, you’re in a hole – stop digging and apologise.”

What should offend decent people most about the Daily Mail article, is not just that it attacks someone who fought for our country and made a significant contribution to academia (albeit a left-wing perspective), but that this morally outraged yet soft porn pedalling newspaper has hated Britain itself for decades.

According the Mail’s apparent worldview, our children are layabouts, out of control thugs or rampantly sexual; young women are sluts (but this needs to be graphically illustrated on the right-hand sidebar of shame online, in as little clothing as possible); all asylum seekers are scroungers, whatever persecution they are fleeing from; the poor are universally work shy; the NHS is an abject failure (despite being one of the best in the world); and our schools and hardworking teachers part of a failing education system (despite being one of the best in the world). They have even attacked the monarchy, particularly during the Diana-Charles era.

Alongside the Murdoch press, no organisation or individual has hated Britain more than the Daily Mail Group and its editor-in-chief, Paul Dacre. They have corrupted our national debate, hacked our phones and computers, harassed victims of crime, back pseudo-science, spread disinformation about everything and provided a platform to hate speech commentators. It you are black, Muslim, gay, or a little different, the Mail hates you.

All the Daily Mail sees is national decline and moral crises, enveloped in outrage, hate and fear. That it has contributed so much to that outrage, hate and fear escapes it entirely. It does not love this country; it is one of a number of newspapers that hates Britain. For his part, Ralph Miliband actually fought to defend this country, which is more than you could ever say for any of our national newspapers’ current proprietors and editors.

The Daily Mail’s owner loves this country so much he has retained the non-domicile status of his father, just so he doesn’t pay too much tax to the country he ostensibly calls home. News Group Newspapers’ owner (Sun and Times) loved his own country so much he renounced his Australian citizenship so he could become a US citizen and own media in that country.

All of this noise precedes the meeting of the Privy Council to discuss press regulation. The Daily Mail is incandescent that the freedom it has abused for so long might be curtailed in anyway. We share many of its fears, but also think that press regulation has failed to protect the weak and innocent for too long. It can no longer self-regulate. The Daily Mail’s behaviour in this Ralph Miliband article makes the case for independent regulation even more compelling.

Alternatively, we could demand the same conditions as the US. If you wish to own a large private media company in this country you need to be a British taxpayer and resident, even citizen. Large shareholders in listed media companies should be similarly drawn from the pool of British taxpayers and residents. We might then get less of this disgraceful anti-British smearing.

Ed Miliband is right to defend his father. David Cameron would be. Nick Clegg would be. Natalie Bennett would be. Nigel Farage would be. Even Nick Griffin would be.

The political views of your parents or grandparents often do not reflect your own. Otherwise Viscount Rothermere is a Nazi sympathiser and apologist. I’ve met Jonathan Harmsworth (the current Viscount) and his deceased father, and they’re neither sympathisers and apologists.

Attacking someone’s dead father for their views is a new low in newspapers. Smearing them with blatant lies more so. The Miliband family has our sympathy and support in challenging the Mail on this.

Stephen Fry’s analysis of the Daily Mail regime puts it more eloquently than anyone: “The only good thing to be said about [the] Mail is that no one decent or educated believes in it.

Sign Ed Miliband’s petition, ‘Speak up for decency in British politics’, here.

Further reading:

Comedians get serious about British media

A free press would be a good idea

Freedom of expression is not the same as a freedom to mislead

Defenders of a free press are being dishonest

A short history of trying to regulate an irreverent, unruly and opinionated press

The Guide to Responsible Media 2012

Simon Leadbetter is the founder and publisher of Blue & Green Tomorrow. He has held senior roles at Northcliffe, The Daily Telegraph, Santander, Barclaycard, AXA, Prudential and Fidelity. In 2004, he founded a marketing agency that worked amongst others with The Guardian, Vodafone, E.On and Liverpool Victoria. He sold this agency in 2006 and as Chief Marketing Officer for two VC-backed start-ups launched the online platform Cleantech Intelligence (which underpinned the The Guardian’s Cleantech 100) and StrategyEye Cleantech. Most recently, he was Marketing Director of Emap, the UK’s largest B2B publisher, and the founder of Blue & Green Communications Limited.

Economy

How Going Green Can Save A Company Money

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going green can save company money
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By GOLFX

What is going green?

Going green means to live life in a way that is environmentally friendly for an entire population. It is the conservation of energy, water, and air. Going green means using products and resources that will not contaminate or pollute the air. It means being educated and well informed about the surroundings, and how to best protect them. It means recycling products that may not be biodegradable. Companies, as well as people, that adhere to going green can help to ensure a safer life for humanity.

The first step in going green

There are actually no step by step instructions for going green. The only requirement needed is making the decision to become environmentally conscious. It takes a caring attitude, and a willingness to make the change. It has been found that companies have improved their profit margins by going green. They have saved money on many of the frivolous things they they thought were a necessity. Besides saving money, companies are operating more efficiently than before going green. Companies have become aware of their ecological responsibility by pursuing the knowledge needed to make decisions that would change lifestyles and help sustain the earth’s natural resources for present and future generations.

Making needed changes within the company

After making the decision to go green, there are several things that can be changed in the workplace. A good place to start would be conserving energy used by electrical appliances. First, turning off the computer will save over the long run. Just letting it sleep still uses energy overnight. Turn off all other appliances like coffee maker, or anything that plugs in. Pull the socket from the outlet to stop unnecessary energy loss. Appliances continue to use electricity although they are switched off, and not unplugged. Get in the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room. Change to fluorescent light bulbs, and lighting throughout the building. Have any leaks sealed on the premises to avoid the escape of heat or air.

Reducing the common paper waste

paper waste

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Yury Zap

Modern technologies and state of the art equipment, and tools have almost eliminated the use of paper in the office. Instead of sending out newsletters, brochures, written memos and reminders, you can now do all of these and more by technology while saving on the use of paper. Send out digital documents and emails to communicate with staff and other employees. By using this virtual bookkeeping technique, you will save a bundle on paper. When it is necessary to use paper for printing purposes or other services, choose the already recycled paper. It is smartly labeled and easy to find in any office supply store. It is called the Post Consumer Waste paper, or PCW paper. This will show that your company is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources. By using PCW paper, everyone helps to save the trees which provides and emits many important nutrients into the atmosphere.

Make money by spreading the word

Companies realize that consumers like to buy, or invest in whatever the latest trend may be. They also cater to companies that are doing great things for the quality of life of all people. People want to know that the companies that they cater to are doing their part for the environment and ecology. By going green, you can tell consumers of your experiences with helping them and communities be eco-friendly. This is a sound public relations technique to bring revenue to your brand. Boost the impact that your company makes on the environment. Go green, save and make money while essentially preserving what is normally taken for granted. The benefits of having a green company are enormous for consumers as well as the companies that engage in the process.

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Energy

5 Easy Things You Can Do to Make Your Home More Sustainable

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sustainable homes
Shutterstock Licensed Photot - By Diyana Dimitrova

Increasing your home’s energy efficiency is one of the smartest moves you can make as a homeowner. It will lower your bills, increase the resale value of your property, and help minimize our planet’s fast-approaching climate crisis. While major home retrofits can seem daunting, there are plenty of quick and cost-effective ways to start reducing your carbon footprint today. Here are five easy projects to make your home more sustainable.

1. Weather stripping

If you’re looking to make your home more energy efficient, an energy audit is a highly recommended first step. This will reveal where your home is lacking in regards to sustainability suggests the best plan of attack.

Some form of weather stripping is nearly always advised because it is so easy and inexpensive yet can yield such transformative results. The audit will provide information about air leaks which you can couple with your own knowledge of your home’s ventilation needs to develop a strategic plan.

Make sure you choose the appropriate type of weather stripping for each location in your home. Areas that receive a lot of wear and tear, like popular doorways, are best served by slightly more expensive vinyl or metal options. Immobile cracks or infrequently opened windows can be treated with inexpensive foams or caulking. Depending on the age and quality of your home, the resulting energy savings can be as much as 20 percent.

2. Programmable thermostats

Programmable thermostats

Shutterstock Licensed Photo – By Olivier Le Moal

Programmable thermostats have tremendous potential to save money and minimize unnecessary energy usage. About 45 percent of a home’s energy is earmarked for heating and cooling needs with a large fraction of that wasted on unoccupied spaces. Programmable thermostats can automatically lower the heat overnight or shut off the air conditioning when you go to work.

Every degree Fahrenheit you lower the thermostat equates to 1 percent less energy use, which amounts to considerable savings over the course of a year. When used correctly, programmable thermostats reduce heating and cooling bills by 10 to 30 percent. Of course, the same result can be achieved by manually adjusting your thermostats to coincide with your activities, just make sure you remember to do it!

3. Low-flow water hardware

With the current focus on carbon emissions and climate change, we typically equate environmental stability to lower energy use, but fresh water shortage is an equal threat. Installing low-flow hardware for toilets and showers, particularly in drought prone areas, is an inexpensive and easy way to cut water consumption by 50 percent and save as much as $145 per year.

Older toilets use up to 6 gallons of water per flush, the equivalent of an astounding 20.1 gallons per person each day. This makes them the biggest consumer of indoor water. New low-flow toilets are standardized at 1.6 gallons per flush and can save more than 20,000 gallons a year in a 4-member household.

Similarly, low-flow shower heads can decrease water consumption by 40 percent or more while also lowering water heating bills and reducing CO2 emissions. Unlike early versions, new low-flow models are equipped with excellent pressure technology so your shower will be no less satisfying.

4. Energy efficient light bulbs

An average household dedicates about 5 percent of its energy use to lighting, but this value is dropping thanks to new lighting technology. Incandescent bulbs are quickly becoming a thing of the past. These inefficient light sources give off 90 percent of their energy as heat which is not only impractical from a lighting standpoint, but also raises energy bills even further during hot weather.

New LED and compact fluorescent options are far more efficient and longer lasting. Though the upfront costs are higher, the long term environmental and financial benefits are well worth it. Energy efficient light bulbs use as much as 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent and last 3 to 25 times longer producing savings of about $6 per year per bulb.

5. Installing solar panels

Adding solar panels may not be the easiest, or least expensive, sustainability upgrade for your home, but it will certainly have the greatest impact on both your energy bills and your environmental footprint. Installing solar panels can run about $15,000 – $20,000 upfront, though a number of government incentives are bringing these numbers down. Alternatively, panels can also be leased for a much lower initial investment.

Once operational, a solar system saves about $600 per year over the course of its 25 to 30-year lifespan, and this figure will grow as energy prices rise. Solar installations require little to no maintenance and increase the value of your home.

From an environmental standpoint, the average five-kilowatt residential system can reduce household CO2 emissions by 15,000 pounds every year. Using your solar system to power an electric vehicle is the ultimate sustainable solution serving to reduce total CO2 emissions by as much as 70%!

These days, being environmentally responsible is the hallmark of a good global citizen and it need not require major sacrifices in regards to your lifestyle or your wallet. In fact, increasing your home’s sustainability is apt to make your residence more livable and save you money in the long run. The five projects listed here are just a few of the easy ways to reduce both your environmental footprint and your energy bills. So, give one or more of them a try; with a small budget and a little know-how, there is no reason you can’t start today.

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