Tuesday, 30 October 2007

*BNP attack on Greens

An attack on the Greens from the BNP for supporting Polish voters. I consider it an honour to be the target of some BNP venom.


Joseph Healy

International Coordinator

Monday, 29 October 2007


Spent the last three days at the Sustainability Show at The Dome. Around 50,000 people attended. Many remarked on the fact that we were the only political party present and several joined up and others took away the forms to sign-up on-line.

Our Mayoral Candidate, Sian Berry performed the grand opening.

In the photo: L-R Ken Burgess (London Local Party Support) Shahrar Ali (London Policy Coordinator) and myself.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Polish Embassy


Joseph Healy (left) was attacked on the BNP website for this event.

Sunday, 21 October 2007


With Joseph Healy (GP International Coordinator) went down to Portland Place today to welcome the Green Party busload of Brighton voters.

The crowds were massive, all the way around the block. 10s of thousands of people patiently waiting to vote. It was a very inspiring demonstration of democracy. The atmosphere was festive and if the opinions of the emigrants are anything to go by, the terrible twins will be defeated by a landslide.

We had GP placards in Polish and English which went down well. Leaflets were distributed to people in the queue and we gave out Polish savouries. The Brighton Eco bus also had quite a bit of attention.

It would now be nice if Irish expats had a vote. Ireland is the only country in the EU whose emigrants do not have a vote!

Saturday, 20 October 2007


Press Release from the Green Party:

Noel Lynch, London GP Convenor, and Dr Joseph Healy, International
Coordinator GPEW, will be among Greens meeting Polish voters from Brighton
on Sunday at Friends Meeting House, Euston Road at 1pm after voting in the
Polish general election. This election also vitally important because of
the appallingly right wing zenophobic and homophobic government in Warsaw.

They will be presented with cakes and leaflets on behalf
of the party before their return to Brighton. The event was organised at
the last minute by GP activists in Brighton angered at the lack of voting
facilities for Poles living there. Please pass on to press and Polish
press in particular. We will also have London GP banner there. Any Polish
speaking London members very welcome to attend, there will be snacks in
Friends Meeting House.

We also hope that these Polish citizens will encourage their compatriots
in London to vote in next May's Assembly elections and the 2009 Euro


From the, always interesting, UP! e-group.

Naturally, I would put JOIN THE GREEN PARTY AS No. 1.

1. Don't eat meat: the most wasteful and polluting way of producing food, and cruel to animals too

2. Don't waste energy: turn the heating down; insulate; wear more clothes

3. Drive as little as necessary: cycle where possible or walk

4. Refuse excessive packaging: or return it to the shops

5. Recycle what you can: plastics, metal, glass, paper

6. Compost organic waste: build a compost heap or get a bin

7. Reduce consumption: do you really need that much STUFF?

8. Don't fly: holiday at home [try camping, it's great fun and planet friendly]

9. Install energy efficient lightbulbs

10. Plant trees: in your garden or anywhere else you can find

11. Join an environmental, wildlife or conservation group and get active

12. Use less water: bath with a friend; don't flush after a piss; don't clean teeth with tap running

13. Install solar panels or a wind generator

14. Complain when you see wasteful behaviour: whether corporate or private

15. Write to your MP about bad government policies: like airport expansion and road building

"Ecological Restoration" in the Eyes of Nikos Kazantzakis

"Ecological Restoration" in the Eyes of Nikos Kazantzakis

"I remembered one morning when I discovered a cocoon in the bark of a tree, just as the butterfly was making a hole in its case and preparing to come out. I waited a while, but it was too long appearing and I was impatient. I bent over it and breathed on it to warm it. I warmed it as quickly as I could and the miracle began to happen before my eyes, faster than life. The case opened, the butterfly started slowly crawling out and I shall never forget my horror when I saw how its wings were folded back and crumpled; the wretched butterfly tried with its whole trembling body to unfold them. Bending over it, I tried to help it with my breath. In vain. It needed to be hatched out patiently and the unfolding of the wings should be a gradual process in the sun. Now it was too late. My breath had forced the butterfly to appear all crumpled, before its time. It struggled desperately and, a few seconds later, died in the palm of my hand.

"That little body is, I do believe, the greatest weight I have on my conscience. For I realize today that it is a mortal sin to violate the great laws of nature. We should not hurry, we should not be impatient, but we should confidently obey the natural rhythm.

"I sat on a rock to absorb this New Year's thought. Ah, if only that little butterfly could always flutter before me to show me the way."

Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek author.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

*First man to circumnavigate the globe by muscle power

A British man kayaked, pedaled, walked, swam and
skated to become the first person to circumnavigate the
globe by human muscle alone.

Jason Lewis, 40, shunned motor and sail to travel 45,505
miles in a quest that ended last week when he pulled his
pedal boat across the Meridian line at the Royal Observ-
atory in Greenwich.

The epic journey took him 13 years, two months, 23 days and
11 hours.

Lewis capsized in two oceans, was chased by a crocodile in
Australia, had two bouts of malaria, surgery for two hernias
and nearly died of blood poisoning 1,300 miles off Hawaii.

He also suffered acute altitude sickness in the Himalayas,
broke both legs when he was hit by a car in Colorado and was
arrested as a spy in Egypt.

Friday, 12 October 2007

*GORE and UN panel win NOBEL prize

From BBC online:

Climate change campaigner Al Gore and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The committee cited "their efforts to build up and disseminate knowledge about man-made climate change".

Mr Gore, 59, said he was "deeply honoured" while IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri said he was "overwhelmed". Mr Gore was behind a blockbuster film on climate change while the IPCC is the top authority on global warming.

Announcing the award, the Norwegian Nobel Committee praised the recipients' efforts to "lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract [climate] change".

It said it wanted to bring the "increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states" posed by climate change into sharper focus. The committee highlighted the series of scientific reports issued over the last two decades by the IPCC, which comprises more than 2,000 leading climate change scientists. The reports had "created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming". Mr Gore was praised as "probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted", through his lectures, films and books. 'Overwhelmed' Speaking in Washington, Mr Gore said he was honoured.

"This award is even more meaningful because I have the honour of sharing it" with the IPCC, he said - "whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years". He said he would donate his half of the $1.5m prize money to the Alliance for Climate Protection, reported the news agency Reuters. "I can't believe it, overwhelmed, stunned," IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri told reporters and co-workers after receiving the news on the phone at his office in Delhi. He later told a cheering crowd of co-workers and journalists outside his office in New Delhi he hoped the award would bring a "greater awareness and a sense of urgency" to the fight against global warming. A massive amount of work goes on behind the scenes at the IPCC, says the BBC's environment correspondent Richard Black, involving hundreds of scientists working to collate and evaluate the work of thousands more. In a sense, he says, this is an award for those usually unsung scientists too.

Mr Gore made a failed bid for the US presidency in 2000, after serving as vice-president under Bill Clinton. Since then he has emerged as a leading climate campaigner - winning an Oscar for his 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth, an unlikely box-office hit.

The IPCC, established in 1988, is tasked with providing policymakers with neutral summaries of the latest expertise on climate change.

The Nobel committee closely guards the names of nominees, but this year speculation was high that the recipient would be linked to climate change campaigns.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

*Straw bale auction rooms nearing completion

As an auctioneer and a Green Party activist, I am delighted to post this report from Green Building Magazine.

Straw bale auction rooms nearing completion.

The main structure of the largest straw bale building in the UK is nearing completion near Stansted airport. Pioneers of straw bale building in the UK, amazonails of Todmorden, West Yorkshire, are now completing the straw bale walls of the 1,100 sq m (11,800 sq ft) auction room and offices.

The design, with straw bales infilling a timber frame, is an advance on conventional timber-frame buildings and is quicker to build. Workers from amazonails will have spent three weeks camping at the site building the straw bale walls when the main structure is completed this coming weekend, the cedar shingle roof being supported above the building on timber uprights while the walls were filled in.

The construction process has also been used for training future straw bale constructors, this following an amazonails tradition in which people wanting to build their own straw bale home learn while they build, under instruction from experts from amazonails.

The building will provide new auction rooms and offices for Sworders Fine Art and Antique Auctioneers, of Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex. The building as a whole was designed by Robert Ward-Booth FRICS, a partner in G E Sworder & Sons. It incorporates solar heating, a bio-fuel boiler and water is harvested from the roof.

Barbara Jones, Executive Director of amazonails says: “This building demonstrates the amazing potential of straw bale buildings. They not only offer the possibility of exciting, eco-friendly homes; working commercial buildings can also benefit from the advantages of this kind of building while helping to lessen the consequences of climate change. The thermal efficiency of straw bale walls means that long term running costs can be much lower than other types of building and the dependence on fossil fuels can be reduced”.

This new commercial building should help dispel many myths about building with straw when done correctly. There are no problems with obtaining planning permission; such buildings are at least as fire safe as conventional buildings; and they will endure as long as any well-maintained building using bricks and mortar.

Furthermore, the heat insulation properties of straw bale walls are twice as good as the best alternative materials on the market.
The building is due to be structurally complete in October and it will be fitted out and occupied in the first quarter of next year.

*Benefit claimants need firmer safeguards,not tougher sanctions

"Benefit claimants need firmer safeguards,not tougher sanctions" by Alan Wheatley.

David Cameron says that tougher benefit rules will help make the economy fairer. He says that jobseekers who turn down suitable offers of work should lose benefit.

This panders to the tabloid exaggerated stories of abuses by benefit claimants. Do the tabloids ever report the dismal performance of Jobcentre Plus (JCP) call centres? Last year, JCP was criticised in Parliament for leaving 44% of incoming calls for the tax year 2004/2005 unattended; that was over twenty million calls. Only 5% of calls to the help line for Disability Living Allowance and Incapacity Benefit were answered!

That state of affairs has been exacerbated by JCP's insistence that
those making fresh claims for benefit must apply over the telephone. I am really glad that when I started part-time cover-duties as a social care worker in 2005, I 'kept my claim fresh' by signing on each fortnight and submitting part-time earnings forms.

JCP, however, was so inefficient that I was left waiting more than two months on two occasions for Jobseekers Allowance top-up to my meager part-time earnings. The second of those occasions was after I resigned from the strain of JCP-inefficiencies and from lack of in-service training and other such circumstances; there was a 'sting in the tail' to my receipt of £500, mainly made up of annual leave accruals. In the time while I was waiting for Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) to resume, Housing Benefits (HB) were told that I was no longer entitled to JSA and therefore not automatically entitled to HB. A telephone contact I had with HB at the Town Hall was not logged, and so in the months I was waiting for JSA to be resumed, the Council almost closed my HB file,
believing I had not responded to their earlier communication.

Regarding those who gave up benefits in going into paid work, the tax credits debacle led many families to be dependent on British Red Cross food parcels and help from other famine relief charities.

Further, I quote the following statistic:

Insecure at Work

* Half of the men and
* A third of the women

making a new claim for JSA were last claiming the benefit less than six months ago. (These proportions are similar to a decade ago.)

Alan Wheatley
GPEW Disability Spokesperson

PS: The WEEKLY 'earnings disregard' on Jobseekers Allowance is now LESS than an hour of paid work on the statutory minimum wage. That 'earnings disregard' has remained at £5 since 1988!


JCP call centre inefficiencies and other 'performance indicators' are noted at www.communitycare.co.uk

Insecure at work http://www.poverty.org.uk/33/index.shtml?2

*Green Party party - this Sunday

Please pass on this invitation:


3PM til 9PM !

live music acts , comedy compere and quiet room.

Come on ! You can't complain ! There's something for everyone to enjoy.

. Bring friends and family!

( Brixton and Oval Tube Stn)

DROP by during the DAY ,
drink , debate all day
while we raise funds and relax.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007


Today is the 50th anniversary of the Windscale fire on October 10th 1957.Green Party Principal Speaker Dr.Derek Wall has warned that nuclear power was still a dangerous option.

"The first serious nuclear accident happened in 1957: a reactor fire at Windscale (now called Sellafield),three years after the first nuclear power station was opened.

"Since then, there have been more than six serious nuclear accidents - three in the UK - Douneray, Chapelcross and THORP, two in Japan - Monju and Tokaimura, and one in the USA - Three Mile Island.

"The Windscale anniversary is a sobering reminder that nuclear power creates horrific dangers for humanity and the natural environment.

The fire spread radidation across Britain, provoking an emergency
where milk was thrown away. It was so horrifying, like an event from a science fiction movie. The very name Windscale was changed to Sellafield as a public relations move to make nuclear power more acceptable. The radioactive path to the future is one we must reject.

"But, despite the inherent dangers of this kind of energy, the UK
government are still hell-bent on bringing in a new round of nuclear power stations.

"Not only is this incredibly dangerous, it's also hugely expensive.

"Moreover, it's entirely unnecessary. The UK is better placed than
anyone else in Europe to utilise renewable energy - a clean, cheap
and cutting-edge technology. A source of power that doesn't cost lives.

"The full effects of the Windscale fire, or any of the other serious nuclear accidents over the past 50 years, may never be fully known - parts of the UK are still contaminated by the fallout from Chernobyl.

"But they should be remembered when deciding on the future of energy policy in the UK - it's time we said no to nuclear power."

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

*Americans Consider Global Warming An Urgent Threat: Poll

Nearly half of Americans now believe that global warming is either already having dangerous impacts on people around the world or will in the next 10 years.

A surprising 40 percent of respondents say a presidential candidate's position on global warming will be either extremely important (16 percent) or very important (24 percent) when casting their ballots. These results indicate a sea change in public opinion.