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.
I am standing as the Green Party Parliamentary Candidate in Holborn & St Pancras, a rock solid Labour seat. Sir Keir Starmer (Lab) has a 30,500 majority.
Why on earth am I doing that?
Because the bigger a political majority, the more essential a strong opposition. Big majorities kill debate.
Who am I anyway?
An active Green Party member for five years, I was born in Denmark and came to live in Britain in my twenties. I have two grown up children, a background in television production and a PPE degree. I sit on the Council of the Electoral Reform Society and I represent the Kentish Town Health Centre on the NHS Camden Clinical Commissioning Group. I have an overwhelming sense of fairness and equality, and we don’t have enough of either.
I want to change that.
When will this happen?
Now. It’s time to act. Time to ramp up our climate programme, time to get the homeless off our streets and time to give our kids well funded, happy schools. All of them. Time to fix our employment laws, so we can work to live, not live to work, and time for decent retirement for our parents. Time for universal free education and time for affordable homes for all.
Why vote for me?
A vote for me means new energy, new ideas, no political baggage. Our politicians have failed and we can’t solve our problems with the same thinking that created them. We need new heads to create new solutions.
You know what to do!
In Holborn & St Pancras the Labour majority is so large that we have the luxury of being able to vote for what we believe in, without risking unintended consequences! So vote with your heart for once, and together we’ll make our world a better place. We can do this.
The Camden Green Party is 100% funded by small individual donations.
The 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.
To 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.
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.
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?
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.