fix my street .com

Big thanks to mysociety. First I used their site for contacting my MP and David Cameron about the omnishambles that is Osbourne (see Chris Atkins video on GreenPeace). Then I looked at If I were a local councillor this would be an invaluable tool. Finally I wrote to my local councillor to urge Labour to ask questions about Pinkham Way. It's no secret this local issue led to a great vote in Coppetts in 2012. In the next 4 years I'm campaigning on parking issues taken straight from

starbucks and uncut

Starbucks are the next target for #UKuncut according to the pro austerity free paper this morning Metro business page 51.

Post-action update:  The next target is unknown as the network may decide whatever in the future but RT's interview with UKuncut suggests the banks.
An other local target was Foxtons; something I put to Maya De Souza at today's meeting, which she chaired so expertly!
I also declared my interest in Camden and my intention to stand for the GLA for Barnet and Camden.  (It is a joint constituency and would put me up against candidates including probably the current representative, Labour's Andrew Dismore, my former MP)

The text of my "sermon on the starbucks mount" is available on my facebook.  Jim Jepps who was at the action says it was great and a brave move to make the speech, and I said what had to be said.

it is not good for man to be alone
here is the source from Genesis that Rabbi Jonathan brought to yesterday's seminar with MAROM in West Hampstead.  Great turnout. I went to James Green and Helen Ohrah's workshop on conversion.


Here is my blog piece on why I will be voting for Caroline.  However you use it, It is vitally important to the green party that you vote in the ballot to select our candidate.  2014 may seem a long way off now for new members but trust me you will look back and kick yourself for not taking part.  I am not passionate about Europe and I still want to run for the London Assembly so I will not be reading through all the questionnaires, rules, and manifestos, but I will be voting.

Reason number 1, the Caroline effect.
G = Mus + number of Carolines squared
so if you double the number of carolines you basically quadruple the Green vote.
When I was in the pub after the meeting with my local party, which was then Enfield, Douglas Coaker asked me who the ones to watch were in the Green Party.  I think this was before the leadership contest, but after the 2012 elections, in which I was a few votes and drop-outs away from taking part myself.  I said, I think Caroline Russell and Caroline Allen could do really well, both hailing from Islington where Development House happens to be.  Caroline has been one of my favorite people on twitter since the 2012 elections, and has her own blog too, tracking her frenetic green politics. She has always spoken well at husting and meetings, even making Cameo appearance at informal Green meetings in Barnet. One of my favorite tweets was her explanation of how she was named, after a relatively modern pop song.  As a young green I am sure you identify with the song "sweet Caroline" anyway I call this collaboration of local greens named Caroline, the Caroline Effect.  People rightly or wrongly associate their names with the Green Party and that lends Caroline Allen an enourmous amount if soft power when publicising us greens. My simple message is that Caroline Lucas led us to victory in Europe initially, and this Caroline could make a similar victory on the road to Brussels.

Reason number 2
Green Activist
Caroline Allen is a powerful green activist because of the way she is effective in the workings of the party. Her actions as a member of policy committee till 2012 have brought us together as greens behind the clear sections she has been part of re-writing. one argument against her, used on rival deputy leader candidate and former Young Greens co-chair's campaign site, is that she is good at what she does so should remain specialised. Would Einstein have been offered the job of Israel's first president if he had stuck to what he was good at, inventing nuclear weapons?  Caroline proves that you can take a lot of roles at various levels; local, regional, national, internal, external; and win them all holistically.  I am voting for someone who is genuine as an activist, not specialised. We do not want our MEP to be a cog divorced from the workings of her community, but a leaf of a green living being, connected to policy writing, local issues and so on.

Reason number 3
I identify with her science background because though she is a vet and I work on a molecular level, we both get science.  The difference is she has found a way to make a job out of it, and I was unable to carry on working in so called green chemistry, which was not green at all. Science and technology are organised in political organisations and it's fundamental that we are represented by someone who can grasp the problems and solutions of air quality.  Caroline's frustration that local government are doing nothing on the issue is demonstrated in a letter to the local papers about a new waste facility North Londoners have been campaigning on, especially in the Coppetts ward of Barnet which borders on Enfield and Harringey.  Her appearance at the annual fundraising dinner at Barnet Green Party probably helped her think of writing on this strong campaign. One thing that separates climate campaigning from previous anticapitalist issues is that it attracts scientists such as Caroline and this benefits our thinking. As the first Caroline in Europe told me at Glastonbury, most of our environmental law comes from Europe. But she obtained her doctorate in Elisabethan English.  A scientist is needed to defend our air that we take for granted, and fish that is under threat, and so on.

Reason number 4
When she suggested she's running for European elections, she was so humble about the whole thing, but the fact she didn't want to win that when focussing on the deputy leadership contest, doesn't mean she didn't want it once her supporters have envisioned how good she'd be at the job, and it seems to have positively snowballed.

Reason number 5
animal rights
A core part of our manifesto will be to do with respect for animals.  Unlike most vets Caroline is not afraid to say so. Animal rights should be part of this campaign.

Reason 6
honorary young green
She seems much younger and more trendy than the other candidates.  The green party are supposed to be different and she proved her support for young people during the double dip recession, by employing one to stuff envelopes with me and the other 2012 candidates.
With young greens voting for someone new will send a clear message that we have been given by the new leadership election, that we are not the future of the party, we are the party now.  Move over, grey parties, the time has come for the next generation of greens to take a stand.

Reason 7
Technical issues about proportional representation that I won't bore you with.

B A Samuel

Youth transport select committee

A few months ago I was in the gallery of the second and final session taking evidence from disabled, environmental and transport experts. But don't take my word for it.  Read this new report and watch this space,-concludes-youth-select-committee.aspx


There is very little a green campaigner can do when there isn't an election campaign on, so before getting selected for next time, and having cast my ballot for the new green party leadership election, I have been sending off a couple of letters asking my neighbours to stop the leaf-blower nonsense.  The reply from Nico the gardener was angry but brief.  "You have no right to tell me what to do.  I've been doing this job for 25 years for Mrs... er. .. and unlike other gardeners I leave the path tidy and thirdly, the children should be playing in the back garden if they are outside.  It is not safe for them to be in the street.  And one other thing," he shouts through the closed door, "You need a gardener, or you will get rats."  Right.  He doesn't know I am a gardener and I am not in a hurry to let on.

Feel free to adapt the letter for your own use.  I have yet to hear back from Moshe's wife about whether she has had this discussion with him.

Tue 21/8/2012

Dear Neighbour,
I ask that you ask your gardener to cease using the leaf-blower to sweep the path and drive, for the following reasons
1. It is not autumn and there are no leaves to blow, only bits of wood and dust.
2. It is the school holidays and children are playing outside.
3.  It is very loud.  Prolonged exposure may damage your staff's hearing.
4.  The two-stroke engine has the worst particulate emissions of all engines, even worse than diesel.
5.  Your gardener has several rakes and I am willing to lend you a broom.
6.  All the blower does is temporarily blow everything somewhere else.
7.  As a result the street is getting dirty and full of weeds and debris.
8.  Air pollution is already very bad here causing health problems as it is.
9.  There is a bylaw against burning garden waste and this is worse.
10.  The fuel is very costly and it is a waste when people are complaining it is too dear.

Yours sincerely,

Ben Samuel

Electric Vans Launched. Congratulations!

- Green Thinking from Crop to Crumb
Green Party London-wide candidates Natalie Bennett and Ben Samuel visited the Bread Factory this week to show their support for this important project providing healthy food to local people while investing in a fleet with zero carbon pollution. The Green Party passed new policy at its recent National Conference offering more support to local food initiatives. The Greens recognised the vital role they can play in providing fresher, more healthy food, addressing growing food poverty and greening local communities. Of course the new fleet is also more environmentally friendly, relying less on dirty diesel (£100 a tank) and making our food distribution systems less reliant on fuel. Ben Samuel, 25, who lives in the Brent Cross community said ‘We would like to see more of these fleets and see them getting better infrastructure from Barnet Council. The Council should be supporting local food by ensuring their procurement process makes use of local produce. The Brent Cross
Cricklewood regeneration should also be used to encourage the inclusion of food growing spaces that can be used by the community and unused land should be made available for people to grow their own food, whether you're into rocket or coleslaw sandwich fillings’. 
The director of the Bread Factory said,  "This initiative came out of thinking about how we take care of the environment.   We have here two electric vans.  We hope to get two more.  The other thing is the electricity it is fed by is now fed by solar or wind, so as I was saying to the Green Party it is zero emissions.  We hope to do our small change from our small perspective here in Hendon"
Alon from Oreo V representing the new vans said... I think this is an historic movement.  We believe the revolution of electric cars starts here.  Electric vehicles are more efficient.  All trains are now electric.  It is very brave to be taking that first step.
Natalie Bennett, number 4 on the PR list, according to local bookies had a 1 in 10 chance of winning.  She said "John Lewis had electric delivery vans.  Back then there was hundreds and hundreds of different sorts of vehicles on our roads, especially adapted by their manufacturers to be suited to the job.  We got away from that with mass production and so what you have now is vehicles that are probably designed for running around motorways at high speed and high energy capacities and I was hearing earlier today lots of them do 60-80 km a day around London and the average speed in London is 7 mph (12 kph).  So what you are doing is going back to the future! Back to the right vehicle for the right job which means that we are also producing on a small scale with the right thing for the right job.  Now this is the sort of industry that we in the Green Party believe we need and that of course mirrors what you are doing with bread too because you are employing lots of (300) people and you said earlier that you value your people too.  And what we need is we need jobs, we need energy efficiency and we need quality products and you are delivering all of those, congratulations."
The manufacturer told me informally the battery now weighs only 150 kg, and I asked him if there was evidence that it goes 100 miles; of course the answer was yes.  I also asked them if the Bread Factory had any plans for green roofs.

Chomsky on 2011

Today is the 10th of Tevet on the Hebrew calendar, which I think has something to do with the destruction of Jerusalem.  This is all very sad but what is the harm in a rap video featuring Noam Chomsky and Anonymous?