Once upon a time when rubbish was rubbish, life was simple. You bought stuff and whatever you didn’t consume in some fashion, you threw in the bin. The Council sent it to landfill or to the incinerator. There was nothing more to know.
That was then and this is now. Today, our rubbish has become a thing. A topic for conversation: “What can I recycle in which bin? I’m totally confused”. “Recycling is a load of rubbish, I bet they just chuck it all in the incinerator anyway”. “Someone told me that it still goes to landfill, so why do we bother?” Good question…
If you want the answer – and if you happen to be in London, just take a 20 minute tube ride from Tottenham Ct Rd to Bromley by Bow. You’re now in Olympic Park territory. Anish Kapoor’s bright red Orbit Helter Skelter sticks up above the trees, you pass a futuristic looking school with exciting murals emblazoned on the walls. You realise that you don’t actually know much about Bromley by Bow.
This is about as far from rubbish as you can get. Except that it isn’t. Proceed through a leafy glade and you find yourself right next to a massive gleaming light grey aircraft hangar. Except that it isn’t. This is a common-or-garden rubbish dump. Except that there are no smells? No smells at all, in fact. And no noise. Continue reading
Tellers, say Wikipedia, help their parties identify supporters who have not yet voted, so that they can be contacted and encouraged to vote, and offered assistance—such as transport to the polling station—if necessary. In as far as this increases turn-out, it can be said to be “good” for the democratic process, since a higher voter turnout is generally considered desirable.
In my time I have sat on wobbly plastic chairs / stood in soggy puddles / leaned on rough brick walls for hours-on-end in a multitude of polling stations across the land, at a variety of elections for all manner of Councils and Governments, as a teller, collecting voter numbers on behalf of a pick-n-mix bag of political parties.
And I can now confirm that the Friday 23 May UK election for the European Parliament was nothing like any other election I have been a part of. From the outset it was clear that voters considered this to be a second Brexit vote, not the General Election for the European Parliament, which it actually was.
As I write, Extinction Rebellion are hosting their final meeting in Berkley Square, to celebrate the return of the nightingale. Down the road, parliament are still at sixes and sevens about Brexit – yes, funny old world we live in.
But together, we can do something about it. Amid the turmoil, we have a real chance to offer voters, fed up with indecision on the things that really matter, a new alternative.
Just as you thought it was safe to venture outside in the lovely spring sunshine, watch out for men in hazmat (short for hazardous materials) suits, often on small tractors, with spray guns.
No they’re not from a new science fiction thriller being filmed in your lovely locality, they are most likely spraying glyphosate again.
Despite ever louder warnings about the unacceptably high toxicity of this chemical, the main ingredient in popular herbicides like Roundup, many local authorities are still plastering our borders and green spaces with glyphosate.
On 27 March, another California victim, terminally ill with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was awarded a multi-million dollar compensation payment from the manufacturer of Roundup, Monsanto, for their failure to warn him of the product’s carcinogenic potential.
Yet another US court finds the weedkiller glyphosate a ‘substantial’ cancer factor https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47633086 but Camden Council refuses to take action, ignoring my presentation of a 1000 signature petition to stop its use in the borough.
How many deaths will it take before Camden Council wakes up to the potential danger their staff and the public are exposed to?
“Kirsten would be an amazing MEP!
She’s totally committed to Europe and fights hard for what she believes in.”
Magid Magid, Lord Mayor of Sheffield
Parliament has been Brexit-browbeating the people for a thousand days. And so, fed-up we got up, and marched. Bloodied, but unbowed. I kept reminding myself that I am campaigning to become an MEP candidate for London, while at the same time taking to the streets of that very city, alongside over one million other Europeans, passionately trying to rescue the UK from crashing out of the EU.
All pretty unreal, to be sure.
Frankly, I am also ashamed that it had to get to the point where we now find ourselves staring wide-eyed and ashen-faced into the abyss, before I got off my **se and threw my hat into the ring as an MEP candidate.
Somewhere last week, someone said
“The UK could leave the EU without ever knowing what it was all about”.
And in the immortal words of Terry Pratchett:
“If you do not know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going.”
So to be a solid winner, our message for the 2019 Campaign for Europe must be delivered in three parts; The Past, The Present, The Future. Continue reading
Good evening Green Londoners!
There are 9 hours and 30 minutes left for you to stay up and select your shortlist of candidates for the GLA2020 elections. Tick-tock-tick-tock…
If you haven’t voted yet, and if you need a little help with making up your mind, here is my short opening statement at the London hustings – it starts at 1:10″
…and in case you’re gagging for more, here is my brief closing statement at the same hustings – it starts at 34:20″
Ok, calling all you Green Londoners out there!
Time to do your duty and VOTE
We need a bunch of keen Green candidates for City Hall
I obviously hope you’ll vote for me, but the most important thing is that you VOTE!