Friday, 31 October 2008

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

*Thames Estuary airport


Thames Estuary airport
Question No: 2032 / 2008
Jenny Jones
Will the study being undertaken by GLA officers in to your proposal for an airport in the Thames Gateway consider the difficulties to construction that could be posed by the wreckage of liberty ship SS Richard Montgomery, which sank off the coast of Sheerness in 1944 carrying a cargo of explosives, around 1,500 tons of which are reportedly still on board the wreckage?

Answer from the Mayor:
Thank you for highlighting this important issue.
I will make sure that my officers consider the implications of this in their current evaluation of Thames Estuary airport options.


Funny that Boris should embark on his cock-eyed proposals without knowing of the existence of this wreck, which if exploded, would take a fair bit of the coast with it.

Friday, 24 October 2008

*An evening with Percy Schmeiser

What would GM crops mean for British Farmers?

An evening with Percy Schmeiser

Chaired by Jenny Jones, Green Party Member of the London Assembly

Wednesday, 29th October 2008

6.30pm Drinks and buffet at Gaia House
(18 Well Walk, London, NW3 1LD)

7.30pm Talk and discussion at Burgh House
(Opposite Gaia House, New End Square, London NW3 1LT)

The British public has shown it has no taste for GM crops. Now, however, climate change and world food shortages have placed them back on the political agenda.

Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser is in the UK to talk about the effect that growing GM crops commercially is having in his home country. He will share his astonishing experiences about the knock-on effects of GM contamination, which have gained him worldwide recognition, and will discuss what GM crops could mean for British farmers and the right to choose food free of GM contamination.

Book a place please contact Sarah Nicholl on or 020 7428 0055.
Reserve your place online at or send a cheque for £10 to
The Gaia Foundation, 6 Heathgate Place, Agincourt Road, London, NW3 2NU. Booking for this event is essential.

Percy Schmeiser is a farmer from Bruno, Saskatchewan, Canada. He specializes in breeding and growing canola. He became an international symbol and spokesperson for independent farmers’ rights and the regulation of transgenic crops during his protracted legal battle with agrichemical company Monsanto. He is recipient of the 2007 Right Livelihood Award.

For more information see

Jenny Jones is an ex-archaeologist and former chair of the Green Party. She has been a Member of the London Assembly since 2000 and was elected as the first Green member on Southwark Council in 2006. In her former role as chair of London Food, Jenny played an important part in shaping the mayoral Food Strategy for London. She is also the former Deputy Mayor of London and in 2004was named as one of 200 ‘women of achievement’

Thursday, 23 October 2008

*On BBC Essex

I have just been interviewed on BBC Essex about the Cherie Blair suit and the story of her knickers.

Yesterday's write-up in the Daily Mail is here:

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

*Cherie's bargain

The Green Room is mentioned in to-day's Daily Mail - page 41 Richard Kay column.

It's a story about a dress previously owned by Cherie Blair which is now for sale in the Green Room.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

*New arrivals in the Green Room

Star lot in this week is a small piece of hair from the head of John F. Kennedy.

Celebrity hair is, pound for pound, now the most valuable commodity in the world.

Also just in:

Original ballot paper for the first free South African elections. Features Nelson Mandela - Zimbabwe $500,000,000 note - Roman Nails - Medieval English Ships nails - Victorian coffin nails - A Gladstone calling card -Bush Snr. and Saddam puppets - Roman bronze fire starter.

Among the other unusual items for sale:

Charles Manson autograph - Ancient Egyptian Ushabti - Casanova Tarot Cards - "Iraq Most Wanted" playing cards - DINOSAUR EGG, approx. 80 million years old - A COMMEMORATIVE BRICK made for Charles & Di wedding - GORDON BROWN DOG TOY - A pipe previously owned and autographed by TONY BENN - FOSSIL FISH, 56 million years old - An original Denarius of Tiberius, the TRIBUTE PENNY as used by Jesus Christ in 'render unto Caesar' - An old 78 rpm record of Ramsay MacDonald's speech at the 1929 Labour convention - A Piece of DINOSAUR DUNG - An ancient ROMAN BRONZE RING - Piece of HAIRY MAMMOTH tusk - A MAGGIE THATCHER FLATULATING DOLL - A rare 1917 CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR MAGAZINE and thousands of books and records.

The Green Room is open seven days per week, 10am to 6pm and often later. Only 200 yards from Highgate Tube with busses 43, 134 and 26s passing the door.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

*Mavericks object to McCain.

Samuel Augustus Maverick, went to Texas in the 1800s and became famous for not branding his cattle, which led to unbranded cattle being called "mavericks."

The Maverick family has been active in progressive politics for generations, including Fontaine Maury Maverick, who was a congressman and his son, a firebrand lawyer who defended draft resisters.

The Mavericks object strenuously to McCain's being labelled a maverick, saying: "He's a Republican. He's branded."


Disturb us Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves. When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little. When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us Lord, when, with the abundance of things we possess, We have lost our thirst for the waters of life. Having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity. And in our efforts to build a new earth, we have allowed our vision of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us Lord, to dare more boldly. To venture on wider seas. Where storms will show your mastery; Where, losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; And to push into the future, in strength, courage, hope and love.

Friday, 17 October 2008


That headline appeared in one of yesterday’s papers! No word for the innocent man executed for ‘being in the wrong place at the wrong time’ to quote the Pogues song about another miscarriage of ‘justice’

The officer also goes on to say that his officers ‘were prepared to shoot dead the suspect without orders from bosses’

Actually the gunmen came within a hair breath of shooting the very brave officer who had effectively tackled Jean Charles, pinning his arms to his sides, making shooting totally unnecessary.

Judicial executions were banned many years ago, but it seems that there are armed and legalised executioners loose on our streets. What happened to Jean Charles could have happened to any of us.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

*Speech by Rosa Clemente

An inspiring speech by Rosa Clemente, the latino, hip hop journalist from New York who is the Green Party’s Vice Presidential candidate.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

*Majority say keep hunt ban

A new MORI poll shows a majority of Tory supporters want to retain the Hunting Act, despite the party itself pledging a repeal as soon as it gains office.

But the poll itself has sparked fury among hunt supporters amid claims the question asked a sample of more than 2,000 voters by the respected polling organisation MORI was biased against hunting.

It is understood the Countryside Alliance is to complain about the way MORI conducted the poll, eight months after having a similar complaint against the polling organisation upheld.

The results of the poll revealed 59% of people who consider themselves Tory voters wanted to see the ban on hunting kept, and only 30% wanted to repeal it.

Among voters of all parties, 75% supported the ban, while MORI said there had been a marked decrease in support for repealing the ban - down from 22% to just 16%. And of voters in a rural area, 71% supported the ban on hunting, according to the poll.

*Green New Deal

From Darren Johnson. Green Party Member of the London Assembly:

Greens have been warning for several years that London's economy has been massively over-reliant on the financial services sector. It was folly to think we could rely so much on the City and the inevitable fluctuations in global finance to deliver London's jobs and economic prosperity. That is why Green Party Leader, Caroline Lucas MEP, unveiled proposals for a Green New Deal to get our economy on a more secure and a greener footing.

The plans are inspired by President Roosevelt's 'New Deal' - his comprehensive plan to pull the USA out of the Great Depression. This time, the Green New Deal is about providing solutions to the credit crisis, climate change and dwindling oil supplies. The Green New Deal proposes schemes like free insulation for every home and low cost loans for green energy projects, both of which would create many thousands of new jobs in green industries.

These, combined with measures to properly regulate the banking sector and crack down on tax evasion will help us beat the credit crunch, tackle unemployment and dramatically cut carbon emissions. It is definitely time for a change in direction.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

*Roseanne supports Green candidate.

Roseanne Barr comes out with some typically feisty comments re the US elections and her support for Cynthia McKinney and the Greens.

She has really upset some of the Guardian's more moronic readers:-)

Saturday, 11 October 2008

*Brigitte Bardot denounces Sarah Palin

Sixties sex idol Miss Bardot has described Mrs. Palin as 'disconcertingly stupid' for ‘denying the responsibility of man in global warming’ and ‘by advocating gun rights’.

She also told the mother of five, who once dubbed herself a 'pitbull with lipstick': 'I know dogs well and I can assure you that no pitbull, no dog, nor any other animal is as dangerous as you are.

'You are a disgrace to women and you alone represent a terrible threat, a true environmental catastrophe.'


By Lisa Szabo, USA Today

Baby boys are more likely to have changes in their genitals -- such as undescended testicles and smaller penises -- if their mothers were exposed to high levels of a controversial chemical during pregnancy, a new study shows.

Virtually everyone has been exposed to the chemicals, called phthalates, which are used in countless plastic products and are found in everything from drinking water to breast milk to household dust, according to the study, published in the current issue of Environmental Research.

Until recently, most studies have been conducted in animals. Those tests suggest that phthalates interfere with the male sex hormone testosterone, causing a "phthalate syndrome" in male fetuses that changes the way their genitals develop, says study author Shanna Swan, a professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Swan says her study of 106 mothers and sons suggests this syndrome may be occurring in humans, too.

In her study, doctors measured phthalate levels in the mothers' urine during pregnancy, then examined the babies at 12 months.

Boys whose mothers had the highest phthalate levels were more likely than others to show three anatomic differences: smaller penises, a shorter distance between the anus and base of the penis, and undescended or incompletely descended testicles, Swan says.

Swan also notes that most boys had normal sex organs. Twelve had incompletely descended testicles, while 29 babies fell into a category with "shorter" anogenital distances.

In most cases, these aren't serious problems, Swan says. Babies with undescended testicles often need no treatment, because the organs descend on their own by age 1. Others can be helped with hormone treatments or surgery. And even the smaller penises appeared to be within the normal range.

But Swan says she's concerned that these changes indicate a deeper problem -- that phthalates may have made the boys "less masculine" in key ways. In animals, males with these genital changes also had lower sperm counts, she says.

Swan says she is also concerned about girls. It's possible that any effects from pre-birth phthalate exposure may not surface until the girls hit puberty or try to have children, she says.

In her paper, she notes that other researchers have linked phthalates to reduced sperm quality and DNA damage, as well as hormone changes, reduced lung function and premature puberty.

Friday, 10 October 2008

*Green industry has power to create new green jobs

Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP for London, launched her new report Green Work: Employment and skills – the climate change challenge. The publication finds that the UK is failing to expand its green industries and in doing so is trailing many other European countries when it comes to creating new green jobs.

Around 40% of Europe’s total wind capacity is located in the UK, but we produce little more than 4% of its wind energy. This lack of investment in green industries means that the UK has, at very best, 26,000 jobs in renewable energy, while Germany has 250,000.

Jean Lambert, who is a Member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, said:

“There is high unemployment in London and an urgent need for skills training and investment in green industries. The government must enable the UK to prosper as a green industry leader to reap the associated environmental, economic and social benefits.”

For more information see Green Work: Employment and skills – the climate change challenge, at

Thursday, 9 October 2008

*Booklet on animal protection.

This new booklet explores the achievements of the UK Green MEPs, Jean Lambert and Caroline Lucas, in the European Parliament.

They continue to demand better protection of animals and push animal rights to the top of the political agenda.

It covers the following topics:

• EU ban on battery cages for laying hens

• Animal experiments

• Cat and dog fur trade

• REACH legislation and animal testing

• Seal products trade

• Wild animals and habitats

• Animals in ‘entertainment’

• Live animal exports

• Intensive farming

It is available at

For hard copies of this publication please contact

*US debt clock runs out of digits

US debt clock runs out of digits
The US government's debts have ballooned so badly the National Debt Clock in New York has run out of digits to record the spiralling figure.

The digital counter marks the national debt level, but when that passed the $10 trillion point last month, the sign could not display the full amount.

The board was erected to highlight the $2.7 trillion level of debt in 1989.

The clock's owners say two more zeros will be added, allowing the clock to record a quadrillion dollars of debt.

Douglas Durst, son of the late Seymour Durst - the clock's inventor - hopes to replace the Manhattan clock with its lengthier replacement early next year.

For the time being, the Times Square counter's electronic dollar sign has been replaced with the extra digit required.

For its part, the digital dollar symbol has been supplanted by a cheaper version - perhaps a sign of the times for the American economy.

Some economists believe the $700bn bail-out plan for ailing US financial institutions could send the national debt level to $11 trillion.

From the BBC website.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

*Myth-busting report criticises London Mayor's demonisation of youth

A report issued today by Jenny Jones, a Green Party member of the London Assembly and of the Metropolitan Police Authority, has condemned the unremittingly negative portrayal of young people by journalists and politicians.

The report, 'Young People and Crime: Busting the Myths,' is released as London Mayor Boris Johnson AM takes the chair of the MPA for the first time; Ms Jones has criticised Mr Johnson for encouraging fear of young people in order to win support for his Mayoral campaign.

Jenny Jones said:

"71% of media stories on the young are negative. Boris Johnson rode to power on the back of rising fear of youth violence embodied by those stories - a fear he stoked with paranoid rhetoric on soaring gang-membership and rising knife crime. This report shows that rhetoric to be baseless. Youth violence fell by over 10% between May 2007 and April 2008, while just 2000 of London's 1.72 million young people are involved with gangs."

"That is still unacceptably high, but using young people as a political punchbag clearly won't help. Teenagers simply feel alienated from a society which responds to their problems with indiscriminate tools such as knife-arches which make everyone a suspect. That alienation and suspicion ultimately undermines real efforts to tackle crime.

"Boris Johnson must promote a positive attitude to the young, and to do so he must challenge the myths he started."

1. 'Young People and Crime: Busting the Myths' is available here:

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

*The credit crunch and sub-primes

For a bullshit free explanation of the present financial problems see Bird & Fortune in the following clip:

Sunday, 5 October 2008

*Charles targets GM crop giants in fiercest attack yet

In a provocative address to an Indian audience, the Prince echoes Gandhi
with a stinging attack on 'commerce without morality'. Geoffrey Lean reports

It is less than two months since Prince Charles was on the receiving end of a fusillade of scientific, political and commentariat criticism for voicing,yet again, his concerns about GM crops and foods. He was widely accused of "ignorance" and "Luddism"; of being too rich to care about the hungry, and even of trying to increase sales of his own organic produce. It was put about that Gordon Brown was angered by his intervention.

Yet the Prince has responded by stepping up his campaign, making his most anti-GM speech yet, in delivering – by video – the Sir Albert Howard Memorial Lecture to the Indian pressure group Navdanya last Thursday. And he made it clear that he was going to continue. "The reason I keep sticking my 60-year-old head above an increasingly dangerous parapet is not because it is good for my health," he said " but precisely because I believe fundamentally that unless we work with nature, we will fail to restore the equilibrium we need in order to survive on this planet."

True to his word, he plunged straight into the most controversial and emotive of all the debates over GM crops and foods by highlighting the suicides of small farmers. Tens of thousands killed themselves in India after getting into debt. The suicides were occurring long before GM crops were introduced, but campaigners say that the technology has made things worse because the seeds are more expensive and have not increased yields to match.

The biotech industry strongly denies this, but two official reports have suggested that there "could" be a possible link.

Prince Charles expressed no doubts in his lecture, delivered at the invitation of Dr Vandana Shiva, the founder of Navdanya, and one of the leading proponents of the technology's role in the deaths. He spoke of "the truly appalling and tragic rate of small farmer suicides in India, stemming in part from the failure of many GM crop varieties".

Much of the controversy surrounds claims of failures by a Monsanto GM cotton called Bollguard. The GM company says that "farmers in India have found success" with it, and cites a survey in support. Its opponents produce evidence of their own to show the opposite.

But Prince Charles did not stop there. Broadening his offensive, he said that "any GM crop will inevitably contaminate neighbouring fields", making it impossible to maintain the integrity of organic and conventional crops. For the first time in history this would lead to "one man's system of farming effectively destroying the choice of another man's" and "turn the whole issue into a global moral question." He quoted Mahatma Gandhi who condemned "commerce without morality" and "science without humanity". He added: "One must surely ask the question whether – if only from a precautionary point of view – it might be wise to keep some areas of the world free from GM-based agriculture."

The Prince attacked the contention that "GM food is now essential to feed the world", saying that the evidence showed that modified crops' yields were "generally lower than their conventional counterparts". He called them "a wrong turning on the route to feeding the world in a sustainable or durable manner" and "a risky and expensive distraction, diverting attention and resources away from those real, long-term solutions such as crop varieties which respond well to low input systems that, in turn, do not rely on fossil fuels." There was substantial evidence "to show that a growing world population can be fed most successfully in the long term by agricultural systems that manage the land within environmental limits".

Recent research had shown, he added, that organic farming techniques had increased yields in Brazil by 250 per cent and in Ethiopia were up fivefold, while the world's biggest international agricultural study – headed by Professor Bob Watson,now chief scientist at Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs – had backed organic farming,rather than GM to tackle word hunger.

Kirtana Chandrasekaran of Friends of the Earth said: "Prince Charles is right that GM crops and industrial farming are profiting big businesses, not feeding the world's poorest."

To have your say on this or any other issue visit

Thursday, 2 October 2008


From the Green Humour list:

......and looking specifically at the problems facing the Japanese economy:

Following the problems in the sub-prime lending market in America and the run on Northern Rock in the UK, uncertainty has now hit Japan.

In the last 7 days Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.

Yesterday,it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song, while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.

While Samurai Bank is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.

Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal.