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Waterbaby - Green Party Press Office

17th Apr. 2002, Green Party Press Office

Greens stand by controversial film


Portrayal of child death is justified

The Green Party today defended the horrific scene in its new marketing film, involving the death of a child, which the Greens say is intended to alert the public to the extent of environmental health risks to both children and adults.

Spencer Fitz-Gibbon, the party's communications chief who commissioned the new film, comments:

"Air pollution kills up to 24,000 people in the UK every year and hospitalises tens of thousands more."

"The current British population stands to lose about 16 million years of life due to air pollution - unless we do something radical about it."

"When people hear about the extent of the problem, they're horrified. Unfortunately too few people get to hear about it, which is why the Green Party is putting the issue on television in its new film prior to this year's local elections."

Multi-billion pound annual health bill

A Green Party briefing in support of the message in the film points out such startling facts as:

- The health costs of UK road transport alone amount to more than £11 billion a year.1

- The health costs of air pollution from the UK aviation sector are estimated at more than £1.3 billion a year.2

- Heathrow airport alone contributes about 10% of the England and Wales total of volatile organic compounds.3

- People inside cars are exposed to 2-4 times as much air pollution as pesetrians and cyclists.4

The 5-minute film, which has already aroused widespread comment for allegedly "putting sex into politics"5 in another of its scenes, will be broadcast immediately after the late news programmes on BBC1, BBC2 and ITV1 on Friday 26 April.

Spencer Fitz-Gibbon concludes: "When you make an alarm call you don't whisper. If we're to take radical action we all need to be awake."

Notes 1. See Fair on Fuel, Fair on the Future, Green Party, November 2000, at . 2, 3. See Aviation's Economic Downside, Green Party, August 2001, ibid. 4. For this and other details, see our briefing Stolen Life: Death and illness caused by air pollution. 5. Daily Express, Saturday 6 April 2002.

Preview stills available on request, VHS and CD-ROM copies released by negotiation


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BBC1, BBC2 and ITV1 on Friday 26 April. 2002


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