Which political party is this “Climate Emergency Manchester” a secret front for?
Whatever we say, you are gonna believe what you want. But nope. While there may be the occasional member of a political party in the core group, we are not affiliated, will never endorse etc. We talk with Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, Independents. There aren’t that many Conservatives in Manchester (voters yes, likely-to-be-successful candidates, not so much_

Okay, so you’re XR with ties and spreadsheets?

Still nope.  We are an independent Manchester-only group.  We know the XR Manchester people, obviously, and publicise their events on our website. They publicise ours. That’s it.

If it is an emergency, why on earth are you messing about with … a Scrutiny Committee? And what even IS that anyway?

Let’s take those in reverse order.  A scrutiny committee is a group of councillors – and occasionally members of the public who have been asked to be part – with the job of making sure that the bosses are doing what they are supposed to, and not doing what they are not supposed to. It’s an internal watchdog, often muzzled and without sharp teeth, but a watch dog none the less.   Some of its members may be barking, but others growl.

Without proper scrutiny – and we know this because we have been running this experiment for ten years in Manchester- very very little gets done.  So, a seventh scrutiny committee would mean there was more time for councillors to get into the fine detail of what was, and was not being done. We’re pretty sure the Executive and the senior officers won’t like it, which tells you that it is probably a good idea.

More money for climate action? You want my council tax go up even more, you revolting latte sipping elitists?

Climate change is gonna cause all sorts of horrendous costs.  No, that is wrong: it is already causing them. The later we leave it (and we’ve been leaving it for later for 30 years), the higher the costs.  What our petition is saying is – find some money and spend it NOW. The council has a bit of a war chest, a rainy day fund. We are simply saying “Hey, despite Australia being on fire, it’s that rainy day.”

Still not convinced Surely most of what the council needs to do in this theme is build infrastructure, which the council can finance through borrowing (and/or issuing bonds). Why are you demanding the council uses a particular form of financing a project when we don’t know a) how much money this project needs/ and b) all the possible forms of finance to fund this project, some of which may be more appropriate

Who said anything about all of it having to be spent on specific projects, or of NOT using money to kick start bond issues, “etc”?  This petition is not about precluding anything. It is about making it harder for the Council to keep shrugging its shoulders and saying “we have no money” or “we’ve been talking about funding since July’s declaration” when what discussions there may have been have clearly been at a very very basic level: in January all the Executive Member for Finance could say in response to a question about where the money might come from was “I’ll get back to you.”  If there had been six months of meaningful conversations, his answer would not have been so piss weak.

Yeah, whatevs. What are your chances of getting this?

Getting the four thousand? That’s definitely doable, and within our control.  But that gets us a debate in Full Council, not a sure victory. If we do it the ‘wrong way’ – by collecting signatures just from the Hulme-Chorlton-Didsbury triangle and the universities – we almost certainly get our debate and then… lose it. So, we need to be l

  1. Collecting across the city, and building relationships and networks with everyone we can
  2. lobbying councillors, hearing their objections, putting our responses in a frequent firm but polite way

And then you get the Scrutiny Committee and a bit of cash and the world is saved?

Now you’re trolling. A Scrutiny Committee and money in and of themselves mean not very much. We know this. But without them, we’re totally screwed. So, we campaign.

If I volunteer to get involved, you will give me bigger and bigger tasks, and emotional blackmail me until I burn out and give up, yes?

Damn, you saw through our cunning plan…. No.  We have a strict no exploitation/self-exploitation policy. We’d find out what skills, knowledge you had, what time you had, and find some jobs that could fit in that.

It might be collecting on paper at your place of work or worship.  It might be finding Facebook groups that would be willing to advertise our petition. It might be trying to get us gigs to speak to tenants’ and residents’ associations, or church groups, or whatever. But no emotional blackmail – there is no better way to destroy a movement (well, not from our side, anyway).

I’m sold. How do I get involved?

Email us at petition@climateemergencymanchester.net