Why do London’s Greens oppose HS2?

I recently met up with Sam Willis from OnLondon. He wanted to know what I think of HS2. Read his full article HERE 

Meanwhile, here’s a taster:

It is perhaps unsurprising that someone of De Keyser’s political background might lack trust in the good intentions of the government. But her stance also reflects her peculiar position as a Green parliamentary candidate in one of the safest Labour seats in the country. “I’m the one-person awkward squad,” she says. “Where you have these big safe seats it’s really important that you have an alternative voice, otherwise no debate is ever had.” As she sees it, in safe seats the incumbent party gets complacent: “Their own people don’t ask them the awkward questions.”

Thanks to Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg, environmental issues have been pushed to the foreground of political debate. This might help the Greens  – oppositional, mistrustful of government and sceptical about development – to pick up voters and send a message to the Big Two parties. In the meantime, the battle over HS2 continues.

Why do London’s Greens oppose HS2?

Five years is a very long time to wait for a bus service review

 
180801 TOY LONDON BUS 7The London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that the review of bus services in outer London will take five years to complete. The review for inner London, where bus use is falling, is already done and dusted, so this news is yet another example of how City Hall is failing miserably when it comes to London’s greener boroughs.
 
We managed to fight an entire World War in five years, so taking half a decade to run the numbers on a bus service, which already has ample computerised documentation available, with a myriad of time tables, measured ticketing information and closely recorded employee activity, is a scandal that must be challenged.
 
City Hall and Transport for London will have to learn to work smart to meet the ever increasing public transport demand in boroughs like Barnet. Communal transport is the future and private taxi companies are already ahead of the game with their ‘Share & Ride’ services.
 
180801 TOY LONDON BUS 5To combat the wastefulness of large buses carrying few passengers, apart from during crush-hour, we need more, smaller Hopper style buses, even mini buses that whizz about where and when people need and want them.
 
For those, who are happy to pay a small fare uplift, Hail & Ride services are ideal in quiet backwater neighbourhoods, where regular large scale communal transport is not viable. Such services have already been running successfully in many cities – including parts of London, for years.
 
Coupled with a London wide flat fare system, this would be twice as fair, and would also cause such increased uptake in passengers, that it would practically pay for itself.
 
Taking five years to get this going is nothing short of an admission of either incompetence or complacency. Whatever it is, we expect better for our hard earned tax money.
180801 TOY LONDON BUS 4

…famous last words

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″

Continue reading

Calling all Green Londoners, your city needs you!

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! 
Thank you💚

 

 

Questions? Questions? What’s yours?

190204 SCREENGRAB 5

Until February 14, Green Party members in London are exercised by a whole bunch of question marks.

Who? What? Where? When? Why?

They’re picking their candidates for the Greater London Assembly, this massive city’s government. And they’re taking their task extremely seriously.

Together with 21 excellent candidates I am up for selection, but only 11 of us will get through the door.

So Green London members are putting their peers through their paces. And they want answers. If you have any thorny questions, send them my way!

Here’s a selection we have received in the last few days, together with my replies.

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Grown-up politics: Kirsten de Keyser, candidate for Green London Assembly list

180905 KDK CAMPAIGN CU CROPIn 2020, London will go to the polls to elect a new Mayor and members of the London Assembly. The London Green Party are now in the process of selecting their candidates for those elections. Bright Green is offering every candidate seeking selection an opportunity to tell our readers why they should be selected. One of these candidates is Kirsten de Keyser, who has the following to say:

Reading through all the Green candidates’ pitches for the 2020 GLA elections, it struck me that they all sound strikingly similar; protect the environment, build more houses, stop knife crime, clean up the air we breathe.

All totally laudable, of course, but few political parties would disagree with any of that, including Labour, Tory, LibDem, UKIP and those of no discernible persuasion. It’s called logic. As the late Labour MP Jo Cox so memorably quoted in her maiden speech to the House of Commons: “We have more in common than that which divides us”.

So I decided that it would be a waste of both my writing time and your reading time to repeat this exercise. Instead, I turned to what it is that actually divides us. What sets us apart from the rest? Why are we members of the Green Party? Continue reading