Wednesday, 28 November 2007


This is a very enjoyable event. Ideal for picking up Christmas presents. Only £1 to get in. Loads of events for the kids.

London GP will have a stall. We are in the Lower Foyer. Drop in and have a chat.

Animal Aid Press release:

Animal Aid's Christmas Without Cruelty Fair: Kensington Town Hall, London, Sunday 2 December
Come along and join in all the fun of the Fair. There's a full programme of events and activities, including a short message of support from our patron Tony Benn, who will be at the Fair from 11am. See the website for full details.

Celebrity Auction

The lively Noel Lynch will be wielding his gavel for the celebrity live auction this year, and kicking off the proceedings at 2.30pm in the downstairs foyer. Items up for auction include Tony Benn's pipe, an Arsenal pennant signed by the 1st team, a signed Melanie C T-shirt and photo, a camisole from Kate Winslet and a photo and werewolf action figure from Doctor Who, both signed by David Tennant.


In more than its fifty year history BNFL's Sellafield complex has released at least as much radioactivity into the surrounding environment as was released in the Chernobyl accident.

Mike Townsley of Greenpeace International: “Sellafield is a slow- motion Chernobyl, an accident played out over the last four decades'."

Saturday, 24 November 2007

*QUOTED IN YESTERDAY'S GUARDIAN.,,2215376,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed

To anyone who is not already aware, the Green Party is engaged in an internal referendum on whether to have a leader. The proposition is opposed by most activists but sounds attractive to the ‘armchair members’ At the recent AGM of the London Federation of Green Parties, the YES side were only able to muster nine votes in the straw poll, despite fielding some very high profile speakers.

My factual comments have brought down the wrath of some of the extremists on the YES side:-)

Here are the websites from both sides:

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

*London Green News/'Stop and Kill'

Apologies to the readers out there. I have not been posting much lately. With only 22 weeks to the GLA elections, things are just hectic. In fact, last night was my first at home in eleven days. Even then, the last e-mails were sent out after midnight. Two events stand out over the last week:

1) BRIEFING on ‘STOP AND KILL’ from the Metropolitan Police:

This was conducted by two senior policemen at Scotland Yard. In preparation for it, I studied the Stockwell 1 report (180 pages) and the Stockwell 2 report (140 pages). Fascinating, and scary stuff!! While some of the reports are repetitive, I would urge anyone interested in the subject to read them – available on the Met website.

I came away from the briefing even more scared than before:-) For one thing, an armed policeman can shoot to kill at any time if he thinks his life or the life of a member of the public is in danger. This, apparently, has always been the case! Being Irish I knew this already.

The officers also stated that Tony Blair was not involved in the attempt to gag the independent investigation, contrary to what is in the Stockwell 1 report (section 17.21)

Reading the report, one can see that it could have happened to you or me or anyone if you are ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’, as in the Pogues song about another miscarriage of Justice – The Birmingham 6. It is quite obvious from the report that John-Charles did absolute nothing wrong and had not acted in a suspicious manner.

On Thursday last I was involved in the signing-off of the first ever issue of the London Green Party’s new tabloid newspaper London Green News. This was the culmination of a long held dream of mine. On the first issue, we have a print run of 170,000. That’s about the same as the Guardian in London. It will be hitting the streets this coming weekend. Volunteers for distribution are very welcome. E-mail me at

Monday, 19 November 2007


Depth of child poverty in Britain exposed by report
By Emily Dugan

Published: 15 November 2007

The true hardships of the one in three children in Britain who live in poverty are exposed in a new report revealing that a quarter of the country's poorest households cannot afford to put a daily hot meal on the table for every family member.

The ground-breaking report, Living With Hardship 24/7, which was published yesterday by the child poverty charity The Frank Buttle Trust, takes an in-depth look at the experiences of families surviving in low-income households, exposing details of their daily struggles that would not look out of place in a developing country.

The study found that children as young as five were so keenly aware of their parents' financial difficulties that they gave back money to help support the household. The children surveyed were from 70 families across the country with an income of less than £11,000.

Almost half of the parents interviewed said they could not afford basic toys or sports equipment for their children, and a third did not have enough money to buy the winter clothes their offspring needed. Some children said they did not ask for Christmas presents for fear of adding to their parents' burden.
Eight-year-old Fiona said her parents' financial situation made her fear for her sister's life. Her parents were dependent on benefits and were £30,000 in debt. Asked how she felt about their predicament, Fiona said: "I'm really, really scared ... Because if we don't have much money then we won't buy food and then my baby sister will die."

The report's author, Dr Carol-Ann Hooper, a senior lecturer in social policy at the University of York, said: "Children as young as five recognised that poverty was a key source of stress for their parents, and some tried to alleviate it by hiding their needs and wishes, and giving or lending money they had received from other family members. They were also often sad, angry, frustrated or upset by the impacts of poverty on their lives and hardship clearly impacted in a range of ways on all dimensions of children's well-being."

The anxiety of children who felt they should be helping more was also highlighted in the report. Amy, nine, explained how she was worried about her mother being able to afford a birthday present for her: "I just think I should really be paying for stuff," she said. "I should do more for my mum that I'm not doing really, but I don't really have enough money to do any more."

In the foreword to the report, the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, wrote: "The Government pledged in 1999 to halve child poverty by 2010 and to end it by 2020. While absolute poverty in Britain has fallen as a result of the measures taken by the Government, there are still 2.8 million children living in poverty in the UK today – that is one in three children. A great deal more needs to be done."

End Child Poverty, a coalition of 100 children's charities, has been lobbying the Government to keep its promise of eradicating child poverty by 2020. This is looking increasingly less likely, as the number of minors living in poverty rose by 100,000 last year.

Hilary Fisher, the director of End Child Poverty, said: "It's shocking to think that in this country, one of the richest in the world, there are children worried their siblings might die because they don't have enough food. We have five-year-olds so concerned about money that if they receive any they give it to their parents.

"Most people in the UK don't believe poverty exists, and they can't imagine what it looks like. We have one of the highest rates of child poverty in the industrialised world and we need action now to tackle it. We are calling on the Chancellor to make the 2008 Budget a Budget to end child poverty. Without the investment of an extra £4bn by April 2009, the Government's commitment to child poverty targets will just be a hollow promise."

Laura Macarthur, 22: 'Often I don't eat'

Laura Macarthur, 22, a single mother, lives in Huddersfield with her one-year-old son, Camden. She is unemployed and surviving on benefits. "I don't manage to pay all the bills. With it getting so cold now we need the heating on more; it's very difficult. Sometimes I run out of gas or electricity because I haven't been able to top up the meter." When Ms Macarthur broke up with her boyfriend she was left with nowhere to go, so she went to the local homeless centre. "I had to take the first council flat that came up, but it was in a really rough estate, and had almost no provisions. Often I don't eat because I can't afford to. I'm more worried about feeding Camden. The Government seems to think you only need £59 a week to survive, but it's not enough, and child benefit doesn't come close to covering the extra amount that you need to bring up kids."

Sunday, 11 November 2007


C. S. Prakash of AgBioWorld and his associates have called for fellow GM lobbyists to target Dr Michael Antoniou of Kings College after he argued in an article in the UK's Independent newspaper that "genetically modified crops are dangerous and unnecessary."

Dr. Antoniou is one of the clearest thinking scientists that I have ever met. I once chaired a meeting where he spoke. He demonstrated very clearly why GM is such bad science.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

*Knickers to the generals.

Knickers to the generals.
From The Belfast Telegraph.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
By Andrew Buncombe
Activists seeking to pressure the Burmese regime are targeting the superstitions of its senior generals by asking for people around the world to send women's underwear to the junta.
In what may be a first, campaigners based in Thailand have called for supporters to "post, deliver or fling" the underwear to their nearest Burmese embassy. They believe the senior members of the junta – some known to be deeply superstitious – could be made to believe they will lose their authority should they come into contact with the lingerie.

" The Burma military regime is not only brutal but very superstitious. They believe that contact with a woman's panties or sarong can rob them of their power," says the website of the Lanna Action for Burma group, based in Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand. The group says that Burmese embassies have already received underwear from people in Thailand, Australia, Singapore and the UK.

One of the group's activists, Tomoko, said: "We want to raise awareness first, and we want to target officials, letting them know we are against them abusing their power. We are sending the generals panties as a symbol of putting their power down."

What result the underwear campaign will have is unclear. Burma's senior general, Than Shwe, is known to be very superstitious. When the regime decided to move its capital from Rangoon to a new location deep in the jungle at Naypidaw, the general sought the advice of a numerologist who told him that the most auspicious time for the move would be 6.37 in the morning. As a result, the first convoy of government trucks left Rangoon at precisely that time.

News of the latest effort by activists to pressure the regime came as hundreds of Burmese riot police returned to the streets of Rangoon yesterday. The Buddhist Lent season was ending, allowing monks to move about again, and authorities feared they might spark off protests.

*Walls that pee back.

The mayor of Paris, who made environmental concerns
a major priority, is taking aim at another threat to the
city's cleanliness -- public urination.

Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, who made all self-cleaning Sanisette
toilets in streets and parks free of charge in February,
is turning to a new method of keeping urination off the
streets and in the toilets: walls that pee back, The
Telegraph reported Monday.

"Le mur anti-pipi" is an undulating wall that features sloping surfaces that reflect urine streams back toward their source, the newspaper said.

"The jet of pee is rather oblique. If it meets a sloping
surface it is sent back to the trousers," said Etienne
Vanderpooten, a municipal architect who has been working
on halting public urination for 25 years. "It is the case
of the arroseur arrose (the sprinkler sprinkled),"


The first shopping cart was introduced on June 4, 1937, the invention of Sylvan Goldman, owner of the Piggly-Wiggly supermarket chain in Oklahoma City.

With the assistance of Fred Young, a mechanic, Goldman constructed the first shopping cart, basing his design on that of a wooden folding chair. They built it with a metal frame and added wheels and wire baskets, and advertised the invention as part of a new “No Basket Carrying Plan.”

The invention did not catch on immediately. Men found them effeminate; women found them suggestive of a baby carriage. "I've pushed my last baby buggy," offended women informed him.

After hiring several male and female models posing as shoppers to push his new invention around his store and demonstrate their utility, as well as greeters to explain their use, shopping carts became extremely popular and Goldman became a multimillionaire.