Saturday, 31 March 2007

More interesting items have just arrived at The Green Room.

Today’s post brought a book and a letter from Jeffrey Archer. Interestingly, the envelope is hand-written by himself. It sold almost straight away.

Also, just in is a Michael Foot toy called ‘Political Acrobrat’ Produced in 1982 it has Mr. Foot on a trapeze.
Plus: signed photos from Jilly Cooper and a photo of the Ali knockdown signed by Sir Henry Cooper.
Among the quirky lots that have come in are a pair of 1950’s durex and a phial of sand from the beach of Io Jima.

Friday, 30 March 2007

A pipe to be proud of!

Among items received for donation to The Green Room, this week, is an autographed pipe from Tony Benn plus a signed photo and a note wishing us well. This has now pride of place in the shop!

Other recent arrivals are:

A designer suit worn by Ronan Keating in one of the Boyz Zone videos.

Some quite amusing anti-Bush tin badges. The best one is ‘Hail to the Thief’ We have it displayed next to a Clinton badge ‘Inhale to the Chief’. Some old George Wallace badges have also arrived.

Reggie Kray’s autograph on a prison phonecard. We also have a prison card signed by Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair and a Christmas card signed by J. Edgar Hoover.

Spoken word record of the broadcasts of George Bernard Shaw. Also recently in is a recording of President Kennedy’s presidential speeches and ‘The Sounds of Time’ which has speeches of Churchill, Hitler etc.

We are normally open seven days per week, so why not call in?

Front page quote

I received a front-page quote in this week’s Irish Post – The main newspaper of the Irish in Britain.
First they quoted Sinn Fein, then Mr. Paisley and Tony Blair and then my quote. I found it rather amusing that my quote was longer that Tony Blair’s

See link below:

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Northern Ireland papers.

Northern Ireland.

It is a coincidence, but on the day when peace looked promising in Northern Ireland we received the following donations in The Green Room:

‘The Free Citizen’ A rare first issue of the paper of the Peoples Democracy (October 3rd 1969). Well worth reading for a grassroots, left-wing perspective of a time when the IRA was almost non-existent and the chances for peace that were thrown away by the British government and their allies.

and from a few years later:

‘The Volunteer’ Vol 2 No. 8 (1973) This newsletter was published by Sinn Fein in Andersonstown. Contains section on ‘War News’. Quite a primitive production and probably quite rare. Possession of this would probably be enough to have you banged up or worse by the forces of ‘law & order’.

Monday, 26 March 2007

Northern Ireland Peace Deal.

The following press release was sent today to the London/Irish papers:

Following their first ever face-to-face discussions, the leaders of theDemocratic Unionist party and Sinn Féin announced a target date of May 8 forthe restoration of devolved government.

Chair of London Green Party, Irish-born Noel Lynch said: "This is indeed a momentous day for Ireland. The historical significance of this agreement cannot be underestimated"

As Gerry Adams stated "The agreement marks the beginning of a new era of politics on this island"

Noel Lynch continued: "The results of the recent Northern Ireland Assembly elections, including the election of the first Green Party Assembly member, showed the desire of the people of Northern Ireland for the implementation of the agreement and the restoration of devolution."

Supermarkets decimate social cohesion.

In his presentation to the recent Green Party Conference David Boyle of The New Economics Foundation dismissed outright the notion that industrial centralisation contains any benefit and also stated that it decimates social cohesion: "A recent study showed that towns in the US containing a Wal-Mart have fewer amenity groups, fewer local activities, less scout groups and a lower voting turn-out than places that don't. Why? Because these giant, rational, centralised systems suck the life out of places and the people that live there."

It would be interesting to have a similar survey done in the UK. Not mentioned is the fact that areas with a good supply of local shops have less crime.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Are GM crops killing bees?


An article in Der Spiegel, Germany's most influential news magazine, asks if the decimation of bee populations in the US and Germany is a result of GM crops.
Walter Haefeker, vice president of the European Professional Beekeepers Association, points to research conducted at the University of Jena from 2001 to 2004, which examined the effects of pollen from Bt maize (corn) on bees.
When during the research, by sheer chance, the bees in the experiments were infested with a parasite, a "significantly stronger decline in the number of bees" occurred among the insects that had been fed on a concentrated Bt feed.
According to the director of the study, Professor Hans-Heinrich Kaatz, the Bt toxin may have "altered the surface of the bee's intestines, sufficiently weakening the bees to allow the parasites to gain entry -- or perhaps it was the other way around. We don't know.

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man." - Albert Einstein

Short green film

Great little short film:

Go watch it and pass it on.

Friday, 23 March 2007

'Noel is good for the Greens'

Useful write-up in this week's Irish World newspaper.

'Catastrophe and Resistance'

Green Party Principal Speaker, Derek Wall's rousing speech to to-day's Green Party Conference:

What do we expect from politicians' conference speeches, from Blair, Brown, Campbell and Cameron? We expect comforting lies. I believe we must break with conventions in many ways. I am going to try and give you some disturbing truths.
It is not enough to say we are right and they are wrong. We have to get political in a deeper sense than self congratulation.I am going to talk about catastrophe and resistance, about the differences between new green and real radical green politics, about the two contrasting pathways we can take in the Green Party.My 27 years in the Green Party has been about fighting catastrophe. The late Mike Woodin fought against catastrophe; the great historian EP Thompson, who I listened to in my first party conference in Malvern in 1980, fought against catastrophe. Green politics is about avoiding catastrophe on this planet and moving towards an ecological sound, socially-just, peaceful and democratic society.Catastrophe is the title of a play by Samuel Beckett. He is not seen as political playwright, but he worked for the resistance in Nazi occupied France. His most political play written in 1982 is Catastrophe, about totalitarianism, the destruction of nature and resistance. I am going to talk about the catastrophe on this planet and how we resist, through ideas, through culture, through winning elections, through direct action.
The catastrophe is about war and imperialism. Four years ago Britain and America invaded Iraq;. War in Iraq has killed 650,000 according to Lancet, with the destruction of cities like Fallujah, with the human rights abuse of Abu Grahib. Now they are saying that Iran is developing WMDs and contemplating my bloodshed. In Iraq privatisation of oil revenues are going to divide the spoils between the oil companies. Billions of profits are made from weapons and the corporations recycle them back to political parties. In Britain BAE may be going green by producing lead free bullets but their weapons and planes kill on a frightening scale. The bribery scandal, with investigations of alleged BAE payments to Saudi Arabia, was halted by the Blair government, and reveals the truth. They stand from top to toe in blood, shattered bones and entrails.
And in this week's budget, an additional £400 million of public money was set aside to fund 'defence', a euphemistic way to describe spreading more on death and destruction in our name. Trident will cost as much as £70bn on mega death, this destructive, waste on an instrument of terror could have instead been used to abolish student fees and fund public services, with money left over to meaningfully tackle climate change.
The US has intervened over 40 times since 1945. It is said that Iraq would never have been invaded if it had grown carrots instead of oil but in 1954 the CIA removed the government in Guatemala because they stood up to the US based United Fruit Company who were concerned with bananas. In 1973 the communications company ITT had Allende murdered in a coup in Chile.The catastrophe is ecological.
We have the highest level of co2 in the atmosphere for 600,000 years, the warmest winter since 1834. The risk of runway greenhouse effect is terrifying. As the ice melts, more heat is absorbed by the earth, as the permafrost melts millions of tonnes of methane will be released, accelerating the warming. Mass extinctions will occur, sea levels will rise, the climate scientists James Hansen argues we have 10 years to take radical action. At the same time, even if we halt global warming, commercial fish stocks are likely to be gone by 2040,the great apes by 2050. Indonesia has the fastest deforestation rate in the world, with palm oil plantations crowing out the habitat of orang utangs. Palm oil its in everything from margarine to biofuel. There are dozens of other ecological cycles that are under threat and thousands of species. The natural sinks of carbon in the forests and the seas are being absorbed by the economy and made useless. Whaling is on the agenda. Non human species mean nothing.
Green politics is about respect for all creation and creation is being battered by a highly organised system of greed..The catastrophe is economic. The more we produce, the more we consume, the more we waste, the longer we commute...the more the economy grows. Profit and growth are everything. Human life and nature are nothing. Capitalism is a secular religion, a fundamentalist religion....its priest, obsessed with a puritanical desire to get its all working harder for the economy is Gordon Brown. Education is about preparing us for work, the Olympics is about boosting the profits of McDonalds, Tescos are going to be running doctors surgeries. Accumulat, accumulate is the Moses and prophets. But how can our economy grow for ever, we consume 52 million barrels of oil a day, we cannot keep consuming, Americans Gordon Browns model of commercially responsible humanity are profligate, producing 20 times the co2 of the worlds average citizen.
The mathematics behind western civilisation simply don't add up. But tell an addict to cut their habit and they get angry, everyday politicians are tightening the tourniquet and mainlining on petroleum. They can't see the truth blinded as they are by corrupt desires.Corporate globalisation means companies outsource to the parts of the globe with the lowest wages and the poorest environmental standards. Cutting corporation tax is another step towards reducing the tax burden on big business - a step in the wrong direction from Brown. Even if we could ignore the ecological realities we face global economic catastrophe. The highest wages in the US, the most developed nation on Earth, are 400 times higher than the lowest wages. The share wages as a percentage of GDP is falling globally. Wealth creates poverty. In the USA African-Americans, have lower life expectancy than many in the developing world. Corporations are legally required to maximise profit, they do so even if it kills.Tobacco kills more than 400,000 Americans each year, the first convincing link between smoking and cancer was established in clinical and epidemiological studies in the 1950s.The Tobacco companies knew they were killing more people than many many thousands of serial killers, did they care. They cared about dividends, investments and bottom lines. Phillip Morris funded think tanks like the Competitive Enterprise institute to muddy the water about tobacco, CEI have now done the same for Exxon, spreading lies about climate change.
The catastrophe is political. We have new green, the painted on environmentalism of Cameron, Campbell and Brown, united yes by ecotaxes but also by support for nuclear weapons and the insanity of ever increasing economic growth. They use accountancy to pretend they are doing something, its more like pushing the food around the plate than eating up the problem. We have carbon off Brown's anti-carbon legislation, where we pay others to pollute less so we can pollute more. Can you imagine nicotine offset, where you smoke 40 a day and pay someone else to give up, where you pay for nicotine education and awareness programmes in China rather than giving up. Carbon offset in both! Brazil and Uganda, involves enclosing land and oppressing local people. You fly feel less guilty and buy a tree on stolen land, that does nothing to prevent climate change.
Given war, inequality and ecological disaster, civil liberties are threatened and politics has become more and more about control. A managed democracy where we have less and less say, where personality games are used to lull us to sleep. Where our every movement is watched. Where are every movement is watched. I predict micro chipping for foetuses, I predict like George Orwell that televisions will be watching us soon not the other way around. Who would have believed that we would be watched hundreds of times a day by secret cameras, that the CIA would fly prisoners out of Scotland to torture chambers. Every day John Reid is looking for new excuses to send asylum seekers back to repressive regimes....I guess we are moving towards a repressive regime in Britain with ID cards, even the oyster is used to track our movements.
Resistance is essential but how do we resist? Resistance is about ideas, we have to think hard about strategy, about getting there. My time in politics has been an almost continuous meditation on strategy, on what works. I have a phd in political sociology, a phd in trouble making.
I think sometimes we are so worried by the threats to our planet by the multiple catastrophes, that we don't think about how we change things.

Politics is the art of the possible. I won't tell you anything but I will try to provoke, to fight the war against sleep, we must think ever more deeply if we are to succeed.
Guess what I don't think have a leader will deliver success.Resistance has to be about culture. When they are most successful, movements take new ideas, new social codes and put them into the mainstream. We have to make respect for the planet part of the political consensus and change our lifestyles. To change culture we need to make it easy for people to be green. Congestion charges going up, rail firms like SW trains 16 million passengers face 20% rise in fares, while their owners are on the rich list with £395 million. Cheap public transport and local services are essential.

Lead by example, teach our kids to cook, grow where we can, enjoy being green. Positive cultural change, not sacrifice. One thing that angers people rightly is when environmentalists lecture them about flying less and then rush off to green conferences by plane. As principal speaker I no longer fly, it cannot be justified.
Resistance is about direct action. It's in the manifesto, it's essential. Non violent direct action is a way of dealing with imbalances of power, companies, the wealth, elites have huge power but direct action can slow, stop and reverse the wheels of the juggernaut. Direct action by greens halted the roads programmed, by Gandhi freed India, with your help on April 5th at Exxon's headquarters at Leatherhead will help fight global warming.
Resistance must be based on winning elections. We have to bring in the policies, from renewables to ending arms sales to promoting a democratic economy. 2046 is too late; already we are winning. Kirklees produces carbon budget amendments, Green GLA members green jet setter Ken Livingstone. First to predict NI assembly gains, this year I predict are sister parties in Ireland and Scotland will make gains and participate in government. Rhodri Griffths with your help will be a member of the Welsh Assembly.
Green politics is about taking political power and introducing a new green economy based on meeting need instead of corporate greed. We have to change the structures, we can do that by electoral success. We have come a long way from the 1970s but we must not rest.
Its never, ever, easy. Anyone who promises you easy success is wrong. But we do have a choice we can embrace our own form of 'new green' politics which is shallow, falsely pragmatic and market friendly. Or we can deepen our green, stick to our principles and change the world so we have a world.
I believe that choosing a leader will be a step on the way to irrelevence, to new green. You may disagree but I don't think being called leader makes anyone more persuasive or more articulate, wiser or more intelligent. I do think being called a leader has the potential to corrupt. I look forward to being replaced as Principal Speaker by someone better but I will mourn if speakers make way for old style ego led political figures.
I have no easy answers, I won't tell you any comforting lies but I know my history and I can recognise a trap however well disguised.The fact that we are not organized like a ‘proper’ party, when the big parties are increasingly seen as bunches of liars, hypocrites and suits on the make, can be (if we handle it right) a positive benefit to us. As George Monbiot wrote: “I think much of the Green Party's refreshing distinctiveness rests on the absence of a single leader. It's one of the only parties which really looks like a party, rather than simply an apparatus of power designed to sustain those at the top.”Virtually every radical movement in history has been sucked in and domesticated. Socialism led to Stalin and Tony Blair. The Romans deposed their kings, built a republic and replaced it with Empire. Jesus preached humility but under Constantine was used to christen an autocracy. The history of struggle is one of repetition, with radicals bought off, killed off or brain washed into submission. John Prescott used to be a union man, Gordon Brown used to be socialist. Politics can be like a gerbil cage you go up and up and up to the top slot but with compromises to get their you crash back like the fallen radicals.

Green politics cannot fail - we have a world to save. If we win power but at the cost of our ideals, that really would be a catastrophe.

I would like to introduce two people who inspire me. The first is Rhodri Griffiths, our lead candidate for the Welsh Assembly, he is going win, he is going be in the Assembly, pumping funds into renewables, fighting job cuts in the valley, working for animal rights, promoting trade unions and justice.
My second hero is Benny Wenda, who has seen his homeland West Papua invaded by Indonesia, a country armed by Britain. The Free West Papua movement has opposed the destruction of their forests, the invasion by corporations stealing land for cheap minerals, the imprisonment and execution of 100,000s West Papuans, often for simply raising their flag the Morning Star. The people who do the most to preserve our planet, like Benny have the hardest fight, they wont get any support for Tony Blair and David Cameron. They need our solidarity and we need their inspiration.

I give you real green politics, I give you Benny and Rhodri...we all have to struggle to save our beautiful planet, to free humanity from the burden of history, and to enjoy life instead of being enslaved by economic forces.

Always struggle until victory.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Banned in China!

This blog has been banned in China!!! I have no idea why:-)
If you have a blog and want to check if YOU are also banned, go to

Monday, 19 March 2007

'Greens indoctrinate kids'!!!!!!!!

One of these nutty ideas from America - hilarious!

From The Eureka Reporter:

Speaker says Greens indoctrinate kids
by Rebecca S. Bender, 1/19/2007

The teaching of sustainability in schools, author Holly Swanson told about 60 members of the Eureka Republican Women Federated Thursday afternoon, is by no means as innocent as it may appear.“This is indoctrination, pure and simple,” she said. “It’s political indoctrination, and that’s not what our schools are for.”Over lunch at the Red Lion Hotel in Eureka, Swanson expanded upon some of the ideas she’s set forth in a book called “Set Up and Sold Out: Find Out What Green Really Means.”Behind the concept of an education in sustainability, she told the group, is the Green Party, whose political agenda and goals mirror those of communism and socialism. And to further those agendas and goals, she argued, the Greens, who recognize the groundwork laid through education in creating the next generation of citizens and voters, are teaching sustainability in every class, furthering the party’s tenets not for environmental purposes, but for political ones.“They’re thinking of creating a group-think mentality. Followers,” she said. “It’s exactly what happened in Nazi Germany.”She also likened Green Party members to Russian Communist leader Vladimir Lenin in their desire to spread their vision of the world through “systematically conditioning” or “brainwashing” the populace and teaching children “so (they) don’t think, they just do it.”From kindergarten to higher education — where, she cautioned, “if you green the teachers, then you already have an inroad to green our children” — the same pointed curriculum is being taught in every class.Citing examples from Green Party and Second Nature literature, as well as the Earth Charter, she outlined some of the ways she believes Greens intend to overturn the current system in favor of one that features a redistribution of wealth, abolition of property rights, disregard for religion and diminishment of the value of individual success, among other things. She urged her listeners to get involved, to attend school board meetings, to speak with teachers and principals and provide educators with information to support their concerns. “We cannot let this happen to our children,” she said. “Everything we believe in is on the line.”She received a standing ovation.Julie Williams, an advocate with the North Coast Association of Home Builders, assured Swanson that the association shared her sentiments; she encouraged those present to get involved in the update of the county’s General Plan, a document that contains, she warned, some of the same dangerous principles Swanson had discussed. “The decisions are made by those that show up,” Swanson agreed. “Our children’s future, our country’s future and, literally, our own future is on the line.”McKinleyville resident Dennis Mayo, the director of Open Beaches and Trails, observed that he had encountered the same agenda when he sought — and was denied — the opportunity to speak at local schools about snowy plovers and opening certain beaches. “The earth is sacred,” he said, “... but so’s our personal liberties and our property rights.”Humboldt County Green Party Chairperson Dana Silvernale attended Thursday’s lunch. Afterward, she described herself as disturbed by Swanson’s interpretation of Greens’ goals. “It seems to be a misunderstanding,” she said. “The Green Party goals are based in grass-roots democracy. Her idea of group control is just the antithesis of what our goals are.”She added, “We are definitely not communists, and we have nothing in common with Lenin.”Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools Garry Eagles was surprised, late Thursday afternoon, to hear about Swanson’s identification of a political agenda being promoted through the local school system.“I don’t equate sustainability with the Green Party agenda,” he said. “And I’ve never entertained a conversation with a representative of the Green Party about furthering any sort of agenda. ... I know of no political agenda that’s out there in the schools.” Sustainability, he observed, would be an appropriate topic for any science class, as would conservation.He concluded, “I’m not so sure her assertions are well-founded; I’d like to see the evidence.”

Saturday, 17 March 2007

The uselessness of animal experiments

Around 3 million tests were carried out on animals in the UK alone in 2005 in the name of medical research - and a new study suggests that most of it was needless suffering. Researchers studied 6 separate animal trials, and found that none of the results were replicable in humans. In 2 of these, corticosteroids for head injury helped the problem, according to animal studies, and yet were of no benefit when they were tested on humans, while a heart drug that was extremely effective in animal studies actually made the condition worse in humans. The research team, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, also found that many animal studies were poorly prepared, and most ignored even the basic parameters for proper scientific testing. They also point out the very obvious fact that the biological differences between animals and humans are often so great that any results become meaningless. Meanwhile, groups such as FRAME (Fund forthe Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments) continue their good efforts to convince scientists to use organs, tissues, cells grown in culture and even mathematical modelling instead. Even most drug companies agree that animal tests are useless, but form a necessary part of the licensing process. Solution? Change the requirements for a drug licence.(Source: British Medical Journal, 2007; 334: 197-200). By "What DoctorsDon't Tell You" journal. Details from:

Friday, 16 March 2007

Greens in Northern Ireland decline White House Invitation.

The Green Party has declined an invitation to join President Bush's Whitehouse celebrations on St Patrick's Day.
The Party is citing its opposition to the war in Iraq and the need for political leadership in the battle to protect the climate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as their reason for the decision.
In a brief statement on behalf of the Party Executive, Dr John Barry & Dr Peter Doran said: "Green Partiy colleagues in the US and across the world have been consistent in their opposition to President Bush's illegal war in Iraq. Moreover, if the Green Party is to be true to its commitment to combat climate change, we must walk the talk. The Party has decided that a two-way trip across the Atlantic to celebrate St Patrick's Day in the Whitehouse is not a compelling reason, morally or practically, for emitting half a tonne of CO2
."Citing the lack of leadership shown by the Bush Adminstration on climate change Dr. Barry explained: "Our decision to decline this invitation should not be read as a criticism of the American people, but of the Bush Adminstration. Despite the Bush adminstration's lack of commitment to tackling climate change, there are many positive signs of grassroots leadership on the issue in the United States - in California, for example. Dozens of Mayors representing some 25 million Americans have signed up to an initiative to get American cities to meet the US's Kyoto environmental target which George Bush repudiated: cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 7% by 2010."The Green Party Executive thanked the American administration for the invitation but declined the invitation".


BASF has abandoned its plans to grow GM potatoes in Ireland. It is now opting to grow them in Britain where there are fewer restrictions. BASF delayed starting the Irish trial last year citing the onerous monitoring requirements imposed by the EPA.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Scandalous waste of public money.

The Bernard Matthews poultry company is to receive £600,000 compensation for its slaughtered turkeys. The birds were killed after last month's outbreak of avian flu. The firm, which has factories at Great Witchingham in Norfolkand Holton in Suffolk, was forced to kill 150,000 turkeys. News that the business is eligible for the huge payout has been condemned. Defra, theDepartment for Environment and Rural Affairs, has announced Bernard Matthews will get up to £4.38 compensation for each of the healthy birds culled. The Department says the company is entitled to the cash as the outbreak had not been caused deliberately. Liberal Democrat Shadow Defra Secretary, ChrisHuhne MP said: "Given what we know about the lapses of bio-security at Bernard Matthews' plant, talk of compensation at this stage seems woefully misplaced. "I would prefer it if Defra were talking about fines and throwing the book at Bernard Matthews for sloppy practices and risk-taking."

Why is this company being paid out of public funds? Doesn't he have insurance like everyone else? Scandalous!

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

London Mayor race kicks off in earnest.

Mayor Race kicks off in earnest
The race to be London's next Mayor kicked off in earnest yesterday, as the Green Party is the first to announce its candidate. Siân Berry, Green Party national Principal Speaker has been named as the party's candidate following a ballot of all party members in London.
Siân was selected from a choice of five candidates, receiving 45% of first preference votes. The other candidates were Shane Collins (19%), Shahrar Ali (17%), Katie Dawson (14%) and Terry McGrenera (5%).

Siân commented, "Life is a struggle for ordinary people in London. If It's not the chaos of our transport network, it's the high cost of living, the daily struggle to make a living wage, or crazy levels of rent and mortgages. Our vision is clear: a fairer, greener, healthier London. A city run on a human scale, which enriches the lives of everyone. A Green Mayor would be the best thing that ever happened to London. I can help bring a wide range of voters behind us with my record of action, and our vision of London as the world's leading example of a diverse, socially just, green city."

As one of the Green Party's two national Principal Speakers Siân already has a growing public profile. She is the public face of the anti-4x4s movement and her high profile campaigning has been crucial in bringing forward proposals for higher charges for gas-guzzlers in London.

I am delighted that Sian is our candidate. She will be like a breath of fresh air in what would otherwise be a very dull campaign.

Big Green Gathering

the low carbon festival for people who care. Tickets for Britain's biggest green event go on sale on March 15th 2007.
The Big Green Gathering, a five day family camping eco-holiday, powered bythe wind, sun and people is Europe's premier green festival for people whocare about their ecological footprint. This, not to be missed, event held on the Mendip Hills combines fabulous entertainment with demonstrations onsustainable lifestyles. Tickets are limited therefore early booking is recommended.The site is divided into several areas where festival goers can see renewable energy in action, learn about permaculture, listen to experts inthe Green Forum, try their hand at a new green crafts, see examples of low impact living in the sustainable homes area or take time to relax in the healing fields. For those that want more thoughtful discussion the Ethics, Spirituality and Philosophy Zone is where you can make the connections between the material world and our spiritual well-being. An action packed kid's area on the village green with clowns, dance, theatreand an environmental fun fair ensures that there is always something exciting for children at the Big Green Gathering.
The Big Green Gathering is proud of its GAMA (General Access and MobilityArea) field where those with mobility issues will find a warm festival welcome and are able to take part in all aspects of the event in the knowledge that their special needs will be catered for. Whether you want to wander round the Green Markets, spend an evening round the fire at the horse drawn camp, listen to some of the best new music or take in a movie at one of the cinemas powered by alternative energy, BGG can guarantee an eco-holiday with a difference.
Tickets for the five day event cost £110, Children 5-15 £30 and concessions £85 inclusive of all on site entertainment.
Check out the website on

Further information Penny Kemp 01622 890601 (m) 07711 760692

Monday, 12 March 2007

Normal service resumed

Readers may notice that posts to the blog have been intermittent over the last few weeks. This was largely due to the Green Party selection process for places on our list for the London Assembly elections. I had to be careful in not using any party posts for personal promotional purposes – I was even accused of misusing my position by inviting people to my birthday party:-)
Anyway, the count took place on Saturday. It was quite a cliffhanger. The STV PR system is great fun! After the first count, the lower candidates start to get eliminated and their second preferences distributed. There were 23 candidates. On the first count Jenny Jones (one of our two sitting Assembly members) was on 95 votes with me on 92 and Darren Johnson (our other Assembly member) on 77. Jenny and myself disputed the lead throughout the subsequent stages. I was ahead on the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth rounds and we were equal on the ninth and the sixteenth. Then came the 21st stage, with only three of us left in contention - the distribution of Sian Berry’s votes. These went massively to Jenny and Darren. That was enough to bring Jenny over the winning threshold and put Darren 8 votes ahead of me. I was then eliminated and Darren was elected in second place. I got elected to third place on the next round. What a day!
Actually, I am delighted and honoured to be in third place. All predictions are that we will take three places in the next Assembly elections (May 2008) and probably four.

Ah well, back to normal now. Off to West Central Green Party meeting tonight.

Friday, 9 March 2007

Historic Green win in Northern Ireland.

Brian Wilson of the Irish Green Party has been elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly! This means that the GP now has members in the Parliaments in Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, London and Jersey. We look forward to further wins in Scotland and in the Republic within the next few months. Brian and some of his election team will be attending the Green Party Conference in Swansea.

It's nice to proved right:-) In January I predicted a Northern Ireland election win for the Green Party.
I know of no newspaper 'experts' that predicted a Green win.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Lords Reform debate begins today.

Lords Reform debate begins today!
Lords Reform Day - the day when the House of Commons gets to vote on reforming the House of Lords - is tomorrow. Before that, the Commons will be embarking on a two-day debate on reform. In our estimation, we have significant grounds for optimism, but not for complacency. 9 cabinet members have written to Labour MPs urging them to vote for the 50%, 60% and 80% elected options, while Liberal Democrat support appears to be holding firm.Our main concern however is that despite David Cameron's pledge to personally support the 80% option and despite a manifesto commitment for a 'substantially elected second chamber', Conservative support is not as firm as we would like it to be. We have called on David Cameron to urge his party to vote for its own policy. If the vote comes down to just a handful of votes, David Cameron's leadership on this issue could make the difference between winning and losing.The vote tomorrow is on the principle of reform, not the details of the Government's White Paper.

If the democratic options are defeated tomorrow, the prospects of reform will be put back by a generation. *No ifs, no buts - a vote against reform tomorrow is a vote against reform EVER.*

You can STILL help!Even though the debate is imminent, you can still help the campaign by telephoning your MP.To do this, simply phone *020 7219 3000* and ask for your MP by name. If s/he is not there ask to 'leave a message on the board' asking him/her to phone you back and stressing that you are a constituent.If you speak to them, ask them if they are planning to vote tomorrow and which way they intend to vote. Urge them to vote for the 80% option.Don't forget, you can still use the Lords Reform Day <> website to look up where your MP stands on Lords Reform: simply go to the front page and type in your postcode.*Every bit of pressure we can put on MPs between now and the vote (which should start at around 5.30pm on Wednesday) will make a difference.* Please don't leave it for someone else to do - they may be leaving it to you.