If we're going to save the NHS we'll have to make some sacrifices

Sorry, Dave, We're not talking about a pay cut for your office cleaners. We're talking about a progressive alliance.  We might not agree with other political groups but we have resolved to work with them in a progressive alliance against the cuts to vital public services.

Please contact me or via other YG's such as the office, if you are interested in booking early on Living Marxism, a conference that regularly entertains unionists and unionists alike.  I've never been but if a Green Left presence there attracted our committed Barnet & Green Left diversity officer to the Green Left it can't be all that bad.  In fact for 5 days it promises to be great value if you book in advance, as a group.  I will need to know numbers soon.

We are all one.

Media work...

 I've finally succumbed to the http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/01/24/labour-mp-launches-campaign-against-kettling/#comments

As the City of London launches a 15 year plan for air quality, here's what the local Green party have to say on the matter of idling.  I've noticed a police car idling its own engine on Westminster Bridge at the big anti-student operation on the 19th January 2011.

BBC News - Mayor of London 'must act' on engine idling

Tamsin has been working hard on the Jeremy Vine Show to Save our Forests, but says it's down to other people who are working much harder.

Plus the Young Greens national committee (including former members) have been putting all their weight behind this

7 political events to get involved with

Monday: Day of action against cuts to DLA benefits:  London NW1, Nottingham, and all around the nation on the same day.
Public meeting on Parking Charges, Hendon Town Hall, Barnet, 7pm

Tuesday 25th Jan:  Come and have a drink with me in Barnet Green Drinks, an informall meeting at the pointy end of the Tally Ho Pub from 8pm. every month.

Wednesday 26th: MoHoLo (Message the housemates for the address)
Description: In collaboration with the JCC, our monthly hang out with Darfuri refugees and the extended Jewish community! Come to our House looking for fun, good conversation, and great food.

Thursday 27 January at City Hall

Friday: If you're Sabbath observant why not celebrate Shabbat at a private house in my ward: contact Vivienne if you're coming

In France a slogan emerged: "What parliament can do the movement can undo!" In 1990, the poll tax was voted through and later defeated.

On  January 29 there will be two demonstrations, one in London an done in Manchester and we will be showing that the students are here to stay.

for more information http://educationactivistnetwork.wordpress.com

LONDON: The demonstration in London has been called by Education Activist Network, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and University College Union (UCU)

MANCHESTER: On the same day there will be a TUC rally and demonstration in Manchester supported by UCU and PCS youth network

Sunday, Barnet Alliance for Public Services (BAPS) rally, 11am:
Host: Barnet TUC
Location: assemble Finchley central. March to Arts Depot, North Finchley for indoor rally with refreshments, speakers and bands
Contact/ Email info@barnettuc.org.uk


It's your party

Photo by Rustam, Media co-ordinator at YoungGreenParty
I just got home from the big social event of the London Young Greens, who didn't exist 2 years ago but now have one elected officer, a skeleton consitution, 2 email lists, a facebook page, a group. I could go on, but I'll plug some of the people there who signed my nomination form for the selection ballot:

Teresa, who says I don't look left-leaning,

Andy, with the Clash - London Calling t-shirt, who it seems signed up my politically left-leaning friend in Barnet to the cause at a conference last year in the Friends' meeting house.

It's been a long time since I've seen Jeannine. It's all about Jeannine, as I said about 5 years ago at the Peace Picnic: Before I even joined the Green Party. So glad she has just joined...

Matthew, a member in London from Nottingham, who went to my school and says so did the head of Liberty (who I might add, are hiring an experienced media campaigner at the moment).

Matt, who says he's breaking out of the Green bubble, told me I should speak to someone called Rob Smith I think, who's also into transport issues. Also we discussed nuclear energy, having just had a mailing on the subject.

I didn't have time to pester Farid but hope he'll forgive me. Likewise, theres no point pestering Gayle who I encouraged to come, from Manchester, because I think the rule is they have to be London members. I agree with Rustam who says that the rules should be laxer for new members wishing to take a stand.
And then there's Lee, who considers himself in an ethnic minority surrounded by "Southern Faries".

The flipside of the Priory Arms near Stockwell is that we had only 2 in attendance from the North - Elliot sent his apologies, and I counted 2 new members at any one time. Mind, I'm kind of glad underage people weren't present what with all the kissing, alcohol, smoking, body-doodling, and general banter going on.

(Last but not least Helen)

I will hand-deliver the spair signatures the day before the deadline on my way to work in North London.

I don't think there'll be a chance to vote for my selection at conference, though this might be a good idea.

I've resolved to be more polite in the way I pester people.

Shahrar Ali

Shahrar Ali asked me to sign something at Thursday's meeting. I said, what is it for? Spares, apparently.

Anyway. He's officially handed in his nomination forms to be selected for both Mayor and Assembly, just like Jenny, who I gather has some very strong backers!

Farid really has to get his act together by the deadline and not leave things to the last minute as is usual practice. I haven't seen any other candidates which is largely down to the two-year-rule, which I had to circumvent this month by winning the official support of twice as many members of various local parties, and backing of 3 local parties in Lambeth (Brixton), Greenwich, and Barnet.

Israel Expansion

design: Elliot Folan (Barnet)
Just received this message. "As you will have read the Board of Deputies voted out a resolution last week to support a two state solution."

I think this is a blow to quite a lot of my pro-Israel opponents including Andrew Dismore, who narrowly lost the position of Member of Parliament for Hendon, who told me he supports a two state solution.

Also I gave £50 to the CND last month. It turns out they're not a registered charity. They sent me a leaflet and their 2010 magazine which is out today. It mentions very little about their facebook presence, which is the reason I got the appeal for funds.

This weekend we're having a Young Greens party to celebrate and welcome 750 new members. I think the fact it was free made it much easier for them to join the Green Party.
Right now I've got your attention, here's what I've been up to on the campaign today. I have some EMA leaflets Claire left at the Coalition of Resistance on Saturday. So I gave out half my stack at Prospect Ring with an encouraging take-up from passers-by. The sun is shining and I'm indoors blogging. Once I've finished with this admin stuff I'm going to return some items to East Finchley Library and get 2 or 8 books out for safe keeping. Nottingham City Council has announced its budget this week and it's not good for libraries.

I've sent Noel Lynch (former Assembly Member), a reply to his message BARNET needs YOU!!! saying that the 30th is a Sunday not a Saturday and please check messages before you send them...

Today I got a form back from the Greenwich Green Party, which is the third party to sign its support for my nomination. I just want the right to stand, was my message! I think for the sake of public debate and action on the environment it's really important the Green Party exists. Now I'm going to have to think about how to get more votes than Marek in the internal ballot in March 2011.

I'm looking for the link to Farid's blog: He's running for Mayoral Candidate.

Also in the news today has been tax. I quote someone from the Financial Times
"A commentator to the Financial Times stated:

I was lucky enough to read through the first of the Barclays documents...

I will say it was absolutely breathtaking, extraordinary. The depth of deceit, connivance and deliberate, artificial avoidance stunned me."


"Your politics are a bonus" Pennina from Hackney / USA

"You're our secret weapon Ben!" Lianna Etkind from Brighton

(facebook wall) "Hello mister - yes to camden meeting and more more more. have decided not to run as mayoral candidate. will run next time round and then we can have london's first and youngest green mayor. see you soon buster X... p.s. way to go Shahrar. can't ever make weds meetings as it's climate rush meeting night. see you soon buster X" - Tamsin from Climate Rush

"Ben... We recognise you are very keen and committed to green values" - Islington Green Party

London Young Greens Meeting

Moaning is what Jenny Jones promised, and moaning is what you get with me when I'm exhausted, annoyed, or a mix. I was 15 minutes late to my LYG meeting and didn't have time to charge my phone or eat today, meaning that I missed a key meeting in Camden. I managed to fit in 1.5 hours of environmental services work today in Hackney, paid on the spot by cheque. It's a company chequebook and my boss was not sure where to sign so she signed over the bottom like a normal cheque. I hope it goes through as I'm pretty reliant on that. I want to use the Mayoral campaign to encourage more education of young people about other housing options than private rented accommodation. There's a great company that does up empty stately homes called the Property People: look them up.

I might ask Elliot to contribute some arguments to this blog about the May Referendum. He's planning on speaking at a local party meeting in Enfield, in a debate on the Alternative Vote.

My position on this is fairly clear, that through my work with Elliot I've discovered that you don't need to understand the technicalities of how it works. The point is that there are problems with the First Past the Post system that we must overcome. In order to have "balance" you can read the argument for at http://www.yestofairervotes.org.uk and the no campaign at http://www.no2av.org/why-vote-no/
There's also a spoil-your-ballot contingient.

We're planning a party. Elliot's written some alternative lyrics to Red Flag.


I passed a used nappy on my local main road today.

What next for students fighting fees and cuts?

There will be a national day of action on the 5th to occupy your local library, for obvious reasons.

I met a non-hierarchical PR guy called Jonathan who gave us tips on how to co-opt the press. I will definitely be following his suggestion to keep blog posts short and news-flashy. He would be good for a training event: If you're reading this Jontathan, send us your CV ;-).

Jonathan said that the coming fuel strikes, if they emerge, will be a rare opportunity for the culture jammers such as myself and the Green London Assembly Candidates: To engage with a hidden working class.

Despite losing the parliament's vote on fees last month, the next generation will continue to take a stand for what you believe in. The Young Greens have challenges and opportunity as published down the back of dear Adam's newspaper-style website Bright Green Scotland. That starts with me taking a stand against "Coalman", Barnet's leading conservative full-time politician. I won't be standing directly against him unless I lose the list vote and to be honest I have very little confidence in the process but can only take a stand, and hope to achieve something here.

The Islington Green Party Newsletter

It appears that I am in the Islington Green Party Newsletter.
How random is that!?

(The chair guy has sent me a photograph of himself so I can recognise him at the bar. His local party already has one of me.)

I think my friend from school Jonas lives in Islington. Simon Barnes-Sadler definitely did, and was very proud to say it all the time. They have a good exhibition centre with office space called the Business Design Centre, that the Climate Action Network did some flyposting outside on the Graduate Careers day. If you see any giant posters of me on said electricity boxes, please report it to the address provided and I shall issue a take-down notice to all my supporters.

Persil's Mighty Chutzpah

Persil have just forced people to buy a re-packaged "small and mighty". Previously the green packages of dissolvable soap sachets were half the size. Now they're forcing us to consume at twice the speed. It's still smaller than the liquid, but it's really off-putting that they did not clearly explain the change. What my mom has done is decanted the sachet in half and only used half the soap. Far from ideal from a product which claims it want to reduce the amount of lorries in its distribution network.

I had a friend called Chris from Rhode Island who doesn't use any laundry powder. "It all goes into the oceans" he said

Being heard is a right

I've emailed Andy Rossall Young Greens' committee Treasurer to say hi and ask what the deadline is if I want to get my voice heard in the Young Greens Newsletter, a twice-yearly publication that goes out to every member of the Young Greens.

Elliot Folan kicks off the Youth Parliament Campaign

Today is the big launch meeting with, er, me and Elliot strategising how to win the Green Party's first MYP. You can hear the voices of young people on www.bbc.co.uk/parliament and then find Youth Parliament.

Some good discussions have been going on. We already have the support of Alex Clayman who made a successful student demo happen here in Finchley, where I'm going to be going to this big launch meeting. I hope Elliot shows up and signs my nomination paper. So far I have many celebrities signing including Jonathan Bartley, the new head of the Yes 2 fairer votes campaign. Since there are in the Green Party more former committee members than current ones, I've obtained the signature of almost retired former treasurer of Lambeth Green Party, Stephen Norman of SW2. In the meeting we resolved to jointly appoint a returning officer for a postal or electronic ballot of both Lambeth & Southwark for the joint constituency, which formally starts selecting its candidates after the mayoral count on the 19th March, all things permitting. Noel advised me not to worry about who signs the paper, but as I see it, it's vital to have Elliot's support, as it's vital that I currently have the support of Young Greens based in Colindale, Tower Hamlets, Richmond + Twickenham, Southwark, Hammersmith, Ladywell, and East Finchley. I used to be on the Young Greens National Committee and this regional dimension is a really good way to keep that political base alive. So far I have a really representative list of my contacts in the Young Greens, minus Elliot, Marek, and Charlotte's. Admittedly 8 of the 10+ Young Green members who've nominated me are male, but I could actually end up actually representing Young Greens alongside Marek and Charlotte.

Today we heard that a politician was shot in the head and is unconscious. I hope we will find time to send our prayers which go out across the Atlantic, that this violent act is does not result in the death of one of the most Democratic parties I know...

Back to the subject of the Youth Parliament: Elliot plans to address a number of assemblies about it. I must dig out my CRB so I can go in and take a stand for renewed democracy.

A date for your diary

1st February is Power shift. A massive conference from the Green Alliance
"Can the Big Society and localism agendas inspire a major shift towards a greener society? Join experts and policy-makers to find out at our conference on 1 February where we will explore the question with a stellar line-up of speakers, including Nick Hurd MP, the minister responsible for making it happen, Lord Giddens, Fiona Reynolds and Matthew Taylor. Specialist led workshops will be analysing the roles of volunteering, social enterprise, planning and big business."

Click here to register now


Hendon Town Hall: Dexter, the director of DAB, a group of mentally disabled people, attended a consultation meeting on funding for adult social services. They were greeted by Sachin Rajput, a councillor responsible for adult social services.
Dexter was quoted in today's paper complaining that there are 3 consultations due very soon, but the tory councillor responded that the deadline is April for the final council budget. The article is not online but here's a story about Alfie, the student who was bludgeoned just for taking a stand!
There is an important motion coming up in the England & Wales Green Party in the next few months of 2011 which seeks to clarify our postion on the cuts.
Personally, I was the first of 1 million recently unemployed young people. Most of these young NEETS are not in London, but I've discussed it in the JobCentre and London's jobs are very different. Definitely we are too reliant on financial services.
The cuts will obviously cast a cloud over the entire job market so I would like them to go away, something the ConDems have no intention of doing.
It has been suggested for expample that admin costs could be reduced but I would ammend the motion to make it clear that I would protect admin staff from central government cuts, and they need not worry! The real worry is what is your plan for when the polar ice cap melts and sea and river levels rise by 60 metres?
Furthermore, we won a seat in the Commons on a platform of "fair is woth fighting for". That means essentially that we stand for a living wage, reduced hours, cutting trident, not the welfare state which is the foundation for everything we stand for.

p.s. Jan 31st they've published the agenda order and it's D09, in other words unlikely we'll get thorugh 4 pages of other organisational motions to properly debate "my" motion.  However there is a Policy Committee motion in C Section... C01 which will be interesting.  It's quite long.
For more on youth unemployment please see this story from the revolution currently going on in the Arab world.


Vote Green Party

Vote Ben Samuel for The Assembly 2012

For the latest campaign materials visit http://plenty12.blogspot.com

This official campaign blog is part of the GLA campaign promoted by Martin Bleach for the London Green Party, both of 1a Waterlow Road, London.

Facebook presence

We've all been there.  The dot com bubble has only just started.  There's loads of ways to sell your product and campaign using ways to communicate like facebook.
Here's one my strongest supporter made earlier

I’ve even gone to the effort to friend Elisabeth so as to suggest she like the campaign page.  She did sign the nomination form after all!  What an odd name.  I’m not one to talk, knowing we have a councillor called Kitcat.

Pre-selection: 2 down 1 to go!

I'm trying to get selected.  I know people who have procrastinated or given up because they don't have time or they are afraid of losing or they are not committed to the Green Party.
But today I made a difference by attending a meeting of the Lambeth Green Party.
Most of the interesting bits of the meeting happen before and after:  We start with my favourite part attunement, which is basically a minute's silence.
The meeting voted to support my nomination.  Ben for GLA yay!
I think my speech genuinely resonated with some of the women in the meeting, which is interesting.  One of them is seriously stressed about redundency before they've even sent out the letters yet.  Imagine how the people of 331 Youth Centre feel after last Thursday's emergency meeting!  Probably like taking a lot of alcohol all at once.
My local party supports my nomination and I need the written support of 3 to get selected for the pre-list.
Coming up I have an other Barnet meeting which clashes with West & Central, my dinosaur AV-hating Union, and 2 other local parties.  Brent, I need to find out about to organise a meeting, possibly alongside Friends of the Earth or something. 
Then I have Camden next Sunday with some female supporter I met at a Fed meeting, 13th Jan is Merton and Ealing.  When I cycled to Brighton I went past somewhere called Merton.

The purpose of this group is to communicate the best policies and campaign resources during the 2012 election.  I will post links to all pdfs to print your own fliers, posters, and billboards.  Please use recycled paper if you feel the urge!

This pre-selection campaign is part of the GLA campaign promoted by Martin Bleach for the London Green Party, both of 1a Waterlow Road, London.