Wednesday, 27 May 2009

*Bookies refuse to qoute odds on 3,4 or 5 Green wins.

I received the following message, today, from a friend:

"Greenies might be interested in the odds that the bookmaker William Hill is offering on the forthcoming European elections -

Greens to win 10 or more seats - 6/1.

They are not offering odds on us to win, for example, 3, 4, or 5 seats. (I phoned to check). I find this a very optimistic indicator, because it tells us that the bookies think that this sort of result is very much on the cards, and so they prefer to not offer odds on it. (The trick of being a profitable bookmaker is that when something is likely to happen, don't offer odds on it at all, or if you do, offer such miserly odds that no-one will bet on it much).

What it boils down to is that the bookies clearly think that we may get for example, 4 or 5 seats - which is a good sign for us.

The point is that the bookies are generally very accurate when it comes to Parliamentary elections, so they are likely to have this one more or less right too."

Monday, 25 May 2009

*Green Left Pamphlet Launch at Housmans Bookshop next Wednesday 27th May @ 7pm

Green Left, the anti-capitalist current in the Green Party, has just published a new pamphlet, which is to be launched at Housemans Bookshop in London at on Wednesday 27 May. Entitled Countering the Crisis, the pamphlet gives an ecosocialist response to the global recession and the threat of climate change.

The pamphlet has two main sections; the first provides an analysis of the current crisis and shows how it is the inherent instability of the financial system that is the prime mover of the credit crunch rather than just the sleight of hand of a relatively tiny number of spivs and hucksters. It points to the phenomena of the financialisation of capitalism - the shift in gravity from production to finance - and suggests that this has been the key factor in the development of asset bubbles and the growth of the increasingly more arcane and risky financial schemes which have triggered the collapse of markets throughout the world.

The second part sets out some proposals for dealing with the twin crises - financial and environmental - that confront us. Central to these is the demand for a massive redistribution of wealth and power. One of the key factors in advancing the financialisation of the economy has been the dramatic redistribution of wealth away from wages as a percentage of the GDP. Therefore, there is an urgent need to redistribute wealth away from corporate profits and towards wages and income; not only because justice demands it but also because it makes sound economic sense.

The pamphlet points out that many of the points it makes have been made elsewhere on the left and that and a number of manifestos round which to organise have been issued, most importantly The People's Charter. It is vital that we start to draw together these strands of opposition to the current system in order to enable the development of a genuinely grass roots movement.

The pamphlet will be launched with a talk by its author, Sean Thompson, at Housmans Bookshop, Caledonian Road (near Kings Cross Station) at 7pm on Wednesday, 27 May.

*Lib Dem lies.

Apparently these fake claims are been published all over London:

I received a Liberal Democrat European election leaflet. On it there is a bar chart illustrating the votes achieved by different political parties, with an arrow pointing at The Green Party saying “can't win here”.

I have spent a lot of time recently explaining to Haringey voters about Green MEP for London Jean Lambert's exceptional performance over the last eight years. They elected her twice. MEPs represent the whole of London, and Haringey despite having no Green councillors was one of the biggest contributors to the successful Green vote both times. I'm confident the residents of Haringey will elect Green councillors next year. We definitely are electable in Haringey.

Before I received my copy of the leaflet, a few people had already asked me about it and asked me if it were true that Greens couldn't win. Having experience of the Lib Dems' use of election statistics in Haringey before, I could without looking at the leaflet explain what they had probably done. They'd used data from a 'first past the post' General Election alongside text about the 'proportional representation' European Election. The small print under the bar chart, which few people read, states which election the figures are from. Is this a deliberate attempt to mislead voters into voting for them, or simply an accidental mistake? I leave you to decide.

For the highest standards of integrity, 'Vote Green' on June the 4th, and in all other elections.

Pete McAskie

Green Party Parliamentary candidate

Hornsey & Wood Green

Thursday, 21 May 2009


is a short piece of film noir about the expenses row, from Scott Redding Associates, written by and starring Darren Johnson.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

*Euro election: How votes are counted

Wonderful new online video explaining how the votes are counted in the Euros and how voting for the Greens can stop Griffin and his sorry mob.

Watch it, talk about it, distribute it widely, especially if you have any friends or colleagues in the north west.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

*Green Party Election Broadcast.

It is the most effective broadcast that we have had in some time. Well done to our GPEX External Communications Coordinator, Tracy-Dighton Brown. A special commendation as the broadcast was done pro-bono and did not cost us
- that's what I call 'value for money'

Shot by Jonty Toosey at Bikini Films, the 2 minute 40 second election broadcast encourages people to think again about the Green Party. It challenges pre-conceptions and dramatises the varied achievements of the party in the European Parliament. The broadcast also contains music from Franz Ferdinand - their song, "Eleanor Put Your Boots On."

Saw Peter Tatchell on TV yesterday discussing the MP expenses scandal. Again, well done to Tracy, Spencer and our media team.

They are proving to be the best media team in my memory.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

*Green Party Election Broadcast - tomorrow.

11th May ITV 18.25,
FIVE (no time yet),
BBC1 18.55,
BBC2 17.55

26th May
FIVE (no time yet),

27th May
ITV 18.25,
BBC1 18.55
BBC 2 17.55

Thursday, 7 May 2009

* Don't lose your voice - register to vote

The European elections are taking place on Thursday 4 June - are you ready to have your say?

One in five Londoners, that's over 1 million people, who are eligible to vote may not register in time. If you're one of those people, you could miss your chance to choose who represents you and your city in Europe.

The European Parliament makes decisions that have a direct impact on every Londoner. Crucial legislation on a vast range of issues, from air pollution and climate change to rights at work and asylum, is set at the European level.

All UK, EU and Commonwealth citizens living in London are eligible to vote, but you must be registered on the electoral role. The deadline for registering is Tuesday 19 May. For advice and information visit or call 020 7271 0500.

You need to vote to have a voice - make sure nothing stops you.

Jean Lambert MEP
Green Party, London
Suite 58, The Hop Exchange
24 Southwark Street
London SE1 1TY

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

* ‘ShellGuilty’ Campaign Launched As Shell Trial Date Confirmed

Campaigners demand Shell end illegal gas flaring that Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa died trying to stop

LONDON—Days after a judge confirmed Shell Oil will stand trial in New York on May 26th on charges it was complicit in the murders of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Nigerian activists, environmental and human rights groups announced that they have formed a global campaign to hold Shell accountable and demand that it stop gas flaring in Nigeria.

The campaign is being coordinated by Friends of the Earth, Oil Change International and PLATFORM/Remember Saro-Wiwa. In addition to the website, the campaign will include grassroots advocacy, TV and online advertising, and calls for Shell to come clean about its corporate irresponsibility, human rights abuses and record of environmental devastation. The campaigners are demanding that Shell stop gas flaring.

“Ken Saro-Wiwa’s hanging revealed the true price of oil,” said Steve Kretzmann of Oil Change International. “Global movements for corporate accountability and environmental and social justice were inspired in part by the sacrifice of the Ogoni and the vision of Saro-Wiwa. Now, as Shell finally goes on trial for its crimes, we continue the struggle that Saro-Wiwa died for. For the climate and the communities of Nigeria, Shell must end gas flaring.”

“Gas flaring in Nigeria, where Shell is by far the largest oil company, poisons Niger Delta communities and is a significant, wasteful, source of global warming pollution,” said Elizabeth Bast of Friends of the Earth. “It’s time for Shell to end to its human rights abuses and climate crimes, including its gas flaring in Nigeria.”

“We remember Saro-Wiwa by keeping alive his nonviolent struggle,” said Ben Amunwa of PLATFORM/Remember Saro-Wiwa. “People around the world who care about these issues can demand justice from Shell—for all the victims of the oil industry—by joining our campaign at”


U.K.: Ben Amunwa, Platform/Remember Saro-Wiwa, +44-207-357-0055, +44-7891-454-714,
Netherlands: Anne van Schaik, Friends of the Earth, +31-20-5507387, +31-6-21829589,
U.S.: Nick Berning, Friends of the Earth, +1-202-222-0748,
U.S.: Steve Kretzmann Oil Change International, +1-202-497-1033,

Monday, 4 May 2009

*First ever mention of the Green Party by a Poet Laureate

As well as being the first woman laureate, Carol is openly gay, and probably the first laureate to mention the Green Party in a poem.


Poet for our Times

I write the headlines for a Daily Paper.
It's just a knack one's born with all-right-Squire.
You do not have to be an educator,
just bang the words down like they're screaming Fire!

Cheers. Thing is, you've got to grab attention
with just one phrase as punters rush on by.
I've made mistakes too numerous to mention,
so now we print the buggers inches high.

I like to think that I'm a sort of poet
for our times. My shout. Know what I mean?
I've got a special talent and I show it
in punchy haikus featuring the Queen.

Of course, these days, there's not the sense of panic
you got a few years back. What with the box
et cet. I wish I'd been around when the Titanic
sank. To headline that, mate, would've been the tops.

And, yes, I have a dream — make that a scotch, ta —
that kids will know my headlines off by heart.
The poems of the decade . . . Stuff 'em! Gotcha!
The instant tits and bottom line of art.

Friday, 1 May 2009

*MPA meeting of 30th April: A protester's view

It was good to see a strong turnout of protesters filling the seats in the 2nd floor chamber at City Hall for the meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority chaired by mayor Boris Johnson, the first since the policing of the G20. I am sure this helped add weight to some of the pro-protesters’ arguments put forward by MPA members grilling Tim Godwin, Acting Deputy Commissioner and Chris Allison, Temporary Assistant Police Commissioner – particularly the regular loud heckles and boos, as well as rounds of applause on occasion.

It was interesting to learn about the command structure of the policing of the G20 protests. The policing of the marches that converged on the Bank of England and Climate Camp, were managed by so-called ‘Bronze Commanders’ appointed by the more senior Silver Commander, Chief Superintendent Ian Thomas. These Bronze commanders apparently drew up their own tactical plans assisted by a number of so-called ‘sub-Bronzes’ where appropriate. According to a report by Chris Allison on behalf of the Commissioner, there were in excess of 70 Bronze posts deployed that day. Silver Commander then apparently checked these plans to ensure consistency and ensure they met strategic aims. The strategy itself was drawn up by Gold Commander Bob Broadhurst. It makes you wonder what the full strategy was and what tactics Silver approved. I think we are entitled to know.

We heard that police didn’t stop people and ask for ID which is strange as that is exactly what happened to me and my colleague Sarah Cope, the minute we stepped off our bus at Liverpool Street station. Three Met officers questioned us about why we were there, and asked for photo ID. One of them told us that they had stopped lots of people with “bricks and stuff” and that they wanted to protect us. Curiously, there was no mention of finding these “bricks and stuff” in the official account of events – just the discovery of fake police uniforms. We need to formally demand that names taken down like this are removed from police databases.

During the meeting Tim Godwin made reference to the need to consider what constitutes ‘lawful’ protest and the fact that they [the Met] had not had any discussion about the march and demonstration with the organisers. He added: “There was a concern that a minority of individuals could go on the rampage and commit criminal damage.”

I think this underlines the importance of the Met having an open discussion with protesters and civil liberties groups like Defend Peaceful Protest, in order to make the distinction between unlawful yet peaceful and unlawful and violent/a serious danger to others. Climate Camp was seen to be acting unlawfully by blocking the highway, but they did not at any time represent a serious danger to others. Green Assembly Member Jenny Jones said in the meeting that the Camp didn’t know they needed to move, until they bore the full force of officers from the Territorial Support Group (TSG), during which event many were injured as they raised their arms in the air shouting “this is not a riot”.

Chris Allison countered that officers were briefed to use appropriate force and those who didn’t should be held to account. Overall, however, it was “proportionate” he claimed. “Officers had been asked to clear the road. They need someone to liaise with and they didn’t have that on 1stApril.” Jenny Jones responded saying that dialogue needs to start early. She complained that she wasn’t allowed into the kettle at the Bank of England when she asked for entry.

The meeting showed just how much difference engagement with the Met prior to a protest can have on the type of policing. The benefit of dialogue before a demonstration was further underlined with the example given by Allison of the Stop the War demo at Trafalgar Square later on. He said that this example showed that by “working together events can pass off peacefully”. “Engagement [with the Met] is key with everyone. Getting the balance of human rights is a challenge.”

I noted a number of inconsistencies between claims made by Chris Allison on how protesters were managed by the police on April 1st. He said that the Bronze commander decides who (ie which protesters) to release from a cordon, adding that people had a choice on whether to get out and that water and toilets facilities were available. All the evidence, and my own experience, is that there were no “permeable cordons” as alleged by Kit Malthouse, MPA Vice Chairman, and no water or toilet facilities. Kettling on April 1st did not in my view represent “containment and controlled dispersal” as described by Chris Allison. Jenny Jones commented that the kettling was illegal, and those held should be entitled to compensation. This is a real possibility following the announcement that £85,000 has been paid out by Scotland Yard in damages to five people for assault and wrongful arrest outside the Mexican Embassy in 2006.

Concern was expressed about TSG officers, and how the fact that they were normally sent to deal with very volatile and confrontational situations suggested that they might be “battle hardened”. A review of using them was called for. Tim Godwin claimed that the vast majority of the TSG are “extremely competent, professional and lawful”, and “that only a few occasionally let us down”. He concluded that a transparent debate about TSG was needed. Boris added that the culture of TSG needs to be discussed.

When questioned about claims that tourists and other members of the public – as well as protesters had been told to delete photos, Chris Allison said “we accept that we are accountable and people have the right to film us”. But it’s not clear this message is being passed on to officers on the streets.

Joanne McCartney asked: “how do the police protect vulnerable people who are protesting peacefully?” Jeanette Arnold reiterated that the containment or ‘kettling’ was an “unlawful arrest” – to rounds of applause. “Kettling should not be a default tactic by the Met” she added.

Dee Doocey said that at the G20 protest the Met regarded all demonstrators as having criminal intent, and I am sure that that is a strongly held view among most of us who were there. As Dee Doocey rightly stated: “The right to demonstrate is a right in a democracy.” She went on: “We need to agree on a strategy to facilitate peaceful protest. The use of kettling is counter-productive, increases tension and the threat of violence. Kettling for hours is simply unjustifiable. If it was done to football fans there would be national outcry.”

From all of these discussions I think there is a real chance now to get a ban on the use of this dangerous and unlawful tactic against peaceful protesters. But it will mean that we have to keep the pressure up and engage in dialogue with the MPA who unanimously agreed to examine kettling and other public order police tactics in its civil liberties panel.

Anna Bragga
Haringey Green Party