Saturday, 31 December 2011

Can you clean up London's air?

Hilarious quiz on the Jenny for Mayor website.  See if you can do better than Boris


Thursday, 29 December 2011

Kids jailed. Santa locked out

SECURITY PERSONNEL STOP LUSH EASTBOURNE'S SANTA DELIVERING PRESENTS TO CHILDREN- new information reveals that mother and sick baby are currently locked up.
Santa found his way blocked by perimeter fences, locked doors and security guards 1. yesterday when he and three helpers attempted to deliver presents to children in the immigration detention facility at Pease Pottage, Crawley. 2.Staff and customers at the high street cosmetics store Lush, in Eastbourne, gathered donations of luxury soaps, chocolate and toys to be taken as presents to families being held at the 'Cedars pre- departure accommodation centre'.

Children are imprisoned at the Pease Pottage facility simply because of where their parents come from. Doctors have widely documented the trauma suffered to minors as a result of even brief periods of imprisonment. 3.

Nick Clegg has described child detention as a 'scandal' and a 'state sponsored cruelty'. Yet instead of keeping his promise 4. to shut down child detention centres the coalition opened the facility at Pease Pottage, outside Crawley, in August.

Alice from SOAS detainee support, who was one of the three trying to deliver the gifts, said-
“This is a classic bit of government spin. They make a prison look prettier and claim it isn't a prison. Border police are still breaking into people's houses in the small hours of the morning and dragging children from their beds. Children are still being held against their will for up to a week, and they're still being forced onto planes and sent back to situations that their parents have fled from in desperation. This is a scandal which the government promised it would end. We can't get these children out of there this winter, so we at least want to be able to send their neighbours' love in.”

Despite assurances on the UK border agency website. 5. that appointments can be made to visit those detained, for three days staff at the 'Cedars'facility refused to allow the arrangement of any appointments to visit any detainees in the foreseeable future, or give any reason for doing so. They even refused to come to the gate and receive the gifts to take them in.

Information received today from Medical Justice ( suggests that staff may have been particularly reticent because they'd received a new detainee that morning. A woman who was injured when police broke into her home at 6am to take her and her baby to Pease Pottage. The 14 month old is suffering from a chest infection and diarrhoea. The authorities refusal totell the mother it's weight suggests that it is under 11kg which would mean that it has been given inappropriate anti malarial jabs. Despite this oth mother and child are due to be deported tonight.

Details are still emerging, but this unusual and damning situation can only deepen concern about the ongoing detention of families.

Lush Local Campaigns co-ordinator Liz Snook said-

“All we're trying to do here is give some children some presents. We're prepared to go through whatever is demanded of us, but instead we've been met with rudeness and flat refusal. These levels of 'security' reveal the lie that child detention is over in the UK. 7. When ill babies no more than a year old are being subjected to terrifying raids and bundled onto planes we need to start asking more questions. We want the families held under this frightening system to know that we've not forgotten them.”

For more information about the child detention in Crawley please see

1. While at Cedars Families are under the control of G4S security guards. A recent Chief Inspector of Prisons report found that G4S escorts showed “a shamefully unprofessional and derogatory attitude”, and used unnecessary force and racist language.

2. Cedars, Brighton Road, Pease Pottage, Crawley, RH11 9AD

3. Medical evidence has demonstrated that even short periods of detention can cause long term damage to children. The Royal College of Psychiatrists issued this statement in relation to the practice—



6. The Freedom of Information request was carried out by the campaign group ‘No-Deportations’ and discovered that of the 11 children who entered Cedars pre-departure accommodation in September 2011: 3 children spent 1 day in detention, 2 spent 2 days, 2 spent 4 days, 3 spent 7 days, and the remaining child, having spent 4 days in detention was still detained as at 30 September 2011.

7. The coalition government announced the 'end' of detention.

8. Of the 10 children being detained in ‘Cedars’ who left in September 2011, 7 were removed and 3 were granted temporary admission or release.

This means that even by the Home Office’s own admission 30% of the children detained should never have been arrested in the first place—despite the fact that every family admitted to Pease Pottage was meant to have been vetted and approved as 100% deserving of removal by the Home Office’s so-called ‘Independent Family Returns Panel’.

9. All six children kept imprisoned for more than 72 hours would need to have had their detention personally approved by Immigration Minister, Damian Green, a man who rashly promised that he would dress up as Father Christmas if a single child was kept in detention last Christmas (one child actually was, but Green did not don his Santa suit)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Poll: Public overwhelmingly backs wind and solar power

YouGov poll for Sunday Times finds over half of people want more wind turbines, while nearly three quarters support increased solar panel rollout

By BusinessGreen staff

The environmental movement might have taken a bit of a battering in recent months from opinion polls suggesting climate change and environmental issues are falling down the public's list of priorities, but according to a new survey a clear majority still support the rollout of renewable energy technologies.

Despite a high-profile media campaign criticising wind farms and attacking the cost of renewable energy technologies, 56 per cent of people want to see more wind energy capacity in the UK and 74 per cent think solar energy capacity should be increased.

The figures come from a YouGov poll of 1,696 people commissioned by The Sunday Times, which also reveals that just 19 per cent of respondents want wind power to be scaled back, and just 12 per cent think the rollout of solar panels should be blocked.

Just over a third of respondents said there should be more nuclear plants and just 10 per cent and 16 per cent respectively believed the UK should build new oil and coal power stations. In contrast, just under half of respondents said the use of these fossil fuel power sources should be scaled back.

Perhaps most interestingly, given the keen debate on the price of energy bills, 60 per cent of those polled thought the government was correct to subsidise wind farms, compared to just 26 per cent against such policies.

Dr Gordon Edge, director of policy at trade body RenewableUK, said the poll confirmed the industry's long standing belief that only a "small, but vociferous minority is opposed to wind energy".

"This poll demonstrates that even in difficult economic times, the public understands why the expansion of wind power is important - to secure jobs, enhance energy security and reduce our reliance on expensive fossil fuels," he said.

The new figures come as engineering giant Siemens yesterday confirmed that it plans to invest £210m in a new offshore wind turbine manufacturing plant in Hull, creating over 700 long-term jobs.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

The unkindest cut of all!!!

The Government has found a new target for interfering with our lives: 
 VIAGRA IS TO BE RATIONED. The NHS have cut the normal ration from four to two tables per month. In other words a cut of  50% in the sex lives of many middle aged and older people.

Of course, it may not matter anyway. A recent study showed that men now think of food more than sex. Which is worse, a nation of obese older people or a more healthy group of randy oldies?

Saturday, 10 December 2011

In a Pickles

The man who says we need more cuts employs a temp @ £36k PER MONTH!

you could not make this up!

Friday, 9 December 2011

DPAC's Save Independent Living Fund campaign

The lack of help for those 'temporarily incapacitated' is a BIG issue now that local authorities are having to cut back so much on home social care.

 Even before the cuts, a friend who was totally immobilised for weeks by a broken leg got minimal time from a visiting carer and had to pay for that at about £12 per hour. Fortunately she had a teacher's salary but if she had been unemployed....? she has no family in the UK at all, lives alone, had to beg friends and acquaintances to do things like shopping, cleaning, taking rubbish out, even helping her to bath.

Veggie McD was chicken

Veggie McD was chicken - A second woman has described her horror at biting into a vegetarian meal in McDonald's and discovering she was eating chicken. Teacher Emma Goldsmith, from Eastbourne, ordered a vegetarian meal at the town's branch but was given a chicken meal in a vegetarian wrapper. She contacted The Argus after reading a woman had a similar experience in McDonald's at Brighton Marina.

Monday, 5 December 2011


"We are appalled at developments in the dispute at Langdon School in Newham, east London, which started over issues of workload and oppressive management.

The head has employed up to 46 scab supply teachers and brought them in to try to break a lawful, balloted strike by NUT members at the school. Worse still the local authority, and a Labour one at that, has put this strikebreaking force on temporary local authority contracts when they scab.

This shocking move is unprecedented in education disputes and the employment of a strike breaking force has shades of Rupert Murdoch's union busting tactics under Thatcher's government in the mid 1980s.

We totally condemn this move and see it as a threat to every trade unionist.

We call upon all our unions and organisations to ensure the widest possible condemnation of the head and Newham local authority and to work for the fullest possible solidarity with the Langdon School NUT to beat this attack on the basic trade union right to take legal industrial action."

Signing this statement on behalf of the Green Party Trade Union Group, Yours in solidarity Peter Murry (GPTU Secretary) and Noel Lynch, Chair of the London Green Party