Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Whizzo Quizzo - THIS WEDNESDAY.

Who invented the hole in the donut?
How was Wigan United AC involved in the fall of communism.
What did a Monkee's mother invent?
Why did John Major fail to get a job as a bus conductor?
Viagra was originally development as a treatment for what?

These questions may (or may not) be in our fun quiz. Come along and find out the answers.

Event: Green Party Trade Union Group fundraising Quiz..
When: This Wednesday, August 31st.
Start 7.30pm.
Venue: Development House, Leonard Street, close to Old Street Tube.  Just take exit 4 from the tube, walk about 20 yards and turn left down Leonard Street. Development House is at the far end of the street opposite the Borris Bikes.

Admission: £5 or £3 concessions.

Why not bring a team of friend, workmates, relations etc?  Otherwise, you can just turn up and join one at the event.

Also, bring your own drink and food to share.

Further details: Quizmaster, Noel Lynch 07961 44 1722

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Arrest in Parliament Square - police video


This is from the Brian Haw site.  It's from the police's own video.  Watch it to the end, the policeman in charge did not know that the tape was still running.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Lack of parenting support funds fuels riots debate

Molly Garboden

Tuesday 16 August 2011 14:03

Despite the prime minister's calls for stronger parenting in England after last week's riots and looting, local authorities are spending on average just 6% of their early intervention grant on parenting support this year, according to responses to a Community Care freedom of information request.

Last week, David Cameron said: "The sight of those young people running down streets, smashing windows, taking property, looting, laughing as they go – the problem of that is a complete lack of proper parenting, a lack of proper upbringing. That is what we need to change."

In her final review of child protection in England, Professor Eileen Munro pointed to Department of Health research stating that for every £1 spent on "parenting interventions to prevent persistent conduct disorders in their children" local authorities would save £7.89.

The riots have shown the potential for such an investment and the need for greater commitment to parenting programmes, experts have said.

"It seems ironic that David Cameron is emphasising parenting support now because he's the one who put in the cuts that are forcing local authorities to decrease their parenting support services," said Nushra Mansuri, professional officer at the British Association of Social Workers.

"He's seeing the devastation now, though. If the government really is going to commit to effective parenting programmes, they need to implement ring-fencing.

Toby Perkins, shadow education minister, said: "All the evidence shows that we're actually seeing cuts in preventative programmes. That really doesn't match up with the government's rhetoric about the importance of supporting parents and the situation is very dangerous when we're seeing the catastrophic reality of when children and young people go off the rails in the riots that happened last week."

Members of the children's services sector have said 6% of a local authority's early intervention grant on parenting will not cover the support families need.

"Six per cent of the grant is not going to provide the type of universal provision that the government is calling for," said Pamela Park, chief executive of Parenting UK.

"Taking a holistic view, we believe councils must invest enough to allow for a universal offer of parenting support in early years, with enough on top of that for follow-up support for parents as new challenges arise as their children get older. I don't think this 6% is enough for all that."

Statistics show about a quarter of those charged in connection with the looting and riots in England were younger than 18

Friday, 12 August 2011

"Stealing the Common from the Goose" 17th century commons poem

The law locks up the man or woman

Who steals the goose from off the common

But leaves the greater villain loose

Who steals the common from off the goose.

The law demands that we atone

When we take things we do not own

But leaves the lords and ladies fine

Who take things that are yours and mine.

The poor and wretched don’t escape

If they conspire the law to break;

This must be so but they endure

Those who conspire to make the law.

The law locks up the man or woman

Who steals the goose from off the common

And geese will still a common lack

Till they go and steal it back.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Tweet Pie

The 'Tweet Pie' recipe book - subtitled the 'The World's Shortest Recipe Book' contains 140-character recipes submitted by users of that Twitter thing. It contains instructions on making snacks, starters, main courses and puddings, all crowd-sourced on the social networking site, with more than 200 submitted. As a book with less than 7,000 characters would be quite short to say the least, it is augmented with illustrations from Twitter users, and recipes from actual chefs. The proceeds from the sales of the book will be given to FoodCycle to help combat food poverty. It is estimated that 4 million British people suffer from food poverty, and suggest that malnutrition costs the NHS £13 billion per year.

You can buy a copy of the 'Tweet Pie' from FoodCycle's eBay page.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Lambeth and Southwark Greens select campaigning Dad as candidate for London elections

A Dad who confronted David Cameron during the last general election campaign over his plans for disabled children, has been selected as the Green candidate for Lambeth and Southwark in next years London Assembly elections.

Jonathan Bartley, who has lived in Lambeth and Southwark all his life, was also the national spokesperson for the 'Yes' campaign, in the recent referendum on changing the voting system for the House of Commons. People in Lambeth and Southwark backed the change.

A regular panellist on BBC1's The Big Questions, and Radio 2's Jeremy Vine Show he writes for the Guardian newspaper and is a paper reviewer for BBC Radio London.

Jonathan Bartley said: "Next year's London elections are about the kind of London we want to live in at a time of economic hardship and cuts. We have a clear choice between a city which favours the wealthiest, or one which champions equality, inclusion, sustainability and accessibility for all.

"It is shameful that one of the richest cities in the world should also be one where the gap between the richest and poorest is one of the widest. It is important to fight cuts to housing benefit, the NHS and youth services, but it is also important to propose alternatives. The Greens who have been elected to the London Assembly over the last ten years, have done this successfully. I look forward to working with then, and others, to ensure we get more Greens elected in 2012 and make the alternative vision a reality."

Monday, 1 August 2011

The ultimate insult for Clarkson: His view's been ruined by a recycling tip

By Jonathan Brown

The Independent.  Monday, 1 August 2011

It is a development that will be savoured by environmentalists. Jeremy Clarkson, patron saint of petrol heads and serial denouncer of "eco-mentalists", can look forward to a recycling depot being built within a Lamborghini Murcielago's braking distance of his country home.

And for the growing band of critics of the so-called Chipping Norton set – the Cotswold hub to a certain David Cameron, Rebekah Brooks and Elisabeth Murdoch, as well as the Top Gear presenter and his family – there is a second, equally delicious twist. The man behind the campaign to move the existing plant from near the village of Dean, where the Camerons live, to a site next door to the Clarksons is Lord Chadlington, a close friend ofMr Cameron and president of theWest Oxfordshire Conservative Association.

Clarkson, who owns a sprawling Edwardian pile with an excellent view of the proposed site, feels powerless to stop the development. "It seems that my local council is thinking of moving the town's tip right next to my back garden," he said. "Normally, this is the sort of issue I would raise with my MP. Unfortunately my MP is David Cameron and, at present, the town's tip is right next to his back garden. I think therefore he won't be very sympathetic."

Dean Pit, where residents queue each weekend to recycle their household waste, is to close at the end of September. Were the new recycling plant not to be built near Chateau Clarkson, another proposed site was close to the home of the outgoing News International chief executive Ms Brooks. In a rare piece of good news for her, though, that site was rejected by West Oxfordshire District Council.

Lord Chadlington, who takes his noble title from the nearby Oxfordshire village where he lives, and is better known as Peter Selwyn Gummer, founder of the PR giant Shandwick, is said to have paid for a study by a group of independent experts looking at possible alternatives to the current site.

Mr Clarkson's fate was met with delight by local Greens, who picketed against the decision to award him an honorary degree at Oxford Brookes University in 2005 because of his outspoken views on climate change among other things. When the ceremony went ahead, the presenter received a custard pie in the face from a protester.

"It's got to go somewhere and I couldn't think of a better person than Jeremy Clarkson," cackled Councillor David Williams, group leader of the Oxfordshire Green Party. "He permeates a laddish culture where you put your foot down and burn as much fossil fuel as you can. He asked our members one day if they thought it was hot, referring to global warming. He said 'You can blame me for that.' That sort of joke doesn't go down well. The local environmentalists don't like Jeremy Clarkson and he doesn't like them."

Glyn Watkins of the group Chippy First said that some other locals did sympathise with Clarkson. "We don't see a great deal of him but he raises money for the lido which is used by Samantha Cameron and her kids," he said. "He also raises money for the hospice in Banbury. He does his bit.

"We hope he does complain to David Cameron but if he gets it moved it will be seen as a case of the old boys' act. He's damned whatever way he does it."

Clarkson on environmentalists

* "I've argued time and again that the old trade unionists and CND lesbians didn't go away. They just morphed into environmentalists. The red's become green but the goals remain the same. And there's no better way of achieving those goals than turning the lights out and winding the clock back to the Stone Age. Only when we're all eating leaves under a hammer and sickle will they be happy." (January 2008, Sunday Times)

* "These eco-people are the sort who were bullied at school. They have poor dress sense, limited social skills and they know they stand little chance of making much headway in the world, so they want it changed." (February 2008, Sunday Times)