Benn's diary

Tuesday 18th February
I was unable to attend Lolitics at the Black Heart, due to not having £3, which it costs to get in.  In stead I took part in the Open Midrash Project at the Jewish community centre in Willesden Green "MoHoLo", where free food was provided, and food for thought
Wednesday 19th February
I attended or didn't attend a London Young Greens meeting.  They are much more fun than local party or general business meetings due to us jelling.  Also much the same format: Meet, eat, then head to the pub afterwards.  Nice turn-out of new members due to the regularity of these.
Friday 21st February
I went campaigning in Bushey St James ward, spoke to some very proud Tories who fight back by denying the existence of climate change.  I missed lunch and it took all day just to get 12 signatures.  I celebrated the start of Shabbat at the Rabbi's house.  People come from all round.  Ezra was there and was still singing when I left.  He runs 3 choirs now.  I mentioned how our retired Jewish Studies teacher Louise is doing, and so on.

Sunday 23rd
I went canvassing with Maya De Souza, who is awesome, that's why she was re-elected in 2010 as Highgate Councillor.  She made red and green soups for us and then we had a photo with the Young Greens.  We debated energy policy and I consulted about the new slogan.  Natalie Bennett turned up and there was an other photo, on the York Rise Estate.  I spoke to the candidate about my idea for young voters.

Monday 24th
I went to the meeting of elections group in the evening.  Good turnout and lots done.

Tuesday 25th
I phoned round some Barnet Green Party members.  This took ages and I also collected the new electoral register and identified the part of West Hendon I will get nominated from and found two streets to target next.  I leafleted those registered, and later, I found one first-time voter who said he would vote.  Unfortunately afterwards no one had the time or energy to attend Barnet Green Drinks round the corner and no one really turned up.  I was too broke to buy a drink.

Wednesday 26th
I enjoyed making a film with GreenPeace, some film students, and 2 polar bear outfits.  Normally I go to nightclubs at night when I am tired but this way I got to have a real boogie during the day.  Unfortunately there was no music to dance to.  One lady who is getting on felt quite uncomfortable at being sidelined and the only hardcore GreenPeace member there.

Thursday 27th
A well attended meeting with Barnet Cyclists in the run up to the election.  Poppy made a good impression.  There needs to be a sense that things can change in Barnet.  Things have changed but we just don't realise it as the population has crept up and it's turned into a major suburb.  The process is flawed but we have been doing our best to engage.  The Labour councillor for Woodhouse was there.  He said he can't wish me luck.  Which means he kind of did.

Friday 28th
I had various requests to do stuff in London during Green Party Conference in Liverpool and my choice of where to go was not very good.  I decided to go to Parliament and sit in the public gallery of the House of Commons for the private members' bills.  Caroline Lucas is up to the second reading of her Railways bill and public opinion is behind it, but it was no where near the top of the agenda.  Instead we had yet an other session with a very typical Tory waxing lyrical about the House of Lords, and our tax money goes to this time wasting.  I left to get some lunch when it became apparent Caroline Lucas and even my tory MP hadn't turned up and weren't going to speak.  I wrote to my MP afterwards and he explained that he withdrew his bill till June.  I still don't know where they pick up the order papers but I found one and took it home.  In the afternoon I got a call from my grandfather and dropped by his house via the appaulingly car-based A5.  I would like there to be a cycle tunnel built to bypass some of he junctions there.
I went to the service at the Jewish Vegetarian Society.  Great food.

Saturday 1st March
Likewise at the Organic Minyan and lunch and torah at Selig Ct.  I don't like the tight security arrangements there.  It puts off potential visitors observing the sabbath.

Sunday 2nd March
Took a shelfie in Sainsbury to ask Head & Shoulders to source sustainable palm oil.  European Parliament passed a motion last week on deforestation.  The former got a great response online and in the high street.

Thursday 6th March
Radical Housing Network launched their London Not for Sale campaign.  Lots of emails exchanged, nice weather.  I wish the agenda would move on from housing so we can campaign on the next planned thing but better late than never as they say.
In the evening I met with Barnet Friends of the Earth and Tim who supports local activism around the country.  Got a lot done, and joined the group for £4

Friday 7th
Did some paid work

Saturday 8th
Lunch with Hedi and other guests.  One lady who lives in her block is on the edge.  I must include her in my gardening trip for seniors.

Sunday 9th
Did some more paid work

Monday 10th
Met with a representative of the new group in town, Barnet Participates

Tuesday 11th
After some paid work, I cycled to Hertsmere to try and find some candidates and sign all the paperwork.  I went straight from there to the Camden GreenPeace meeting, about 1 hour's cycle at breakneck speed, in the dark.

Wednesday 12th
I returned the Virago Book of Suffragettes to the Hackney Library (Barnet Libraries are useless for this sort of thing) and borrowed some more excellent Ska (urban, all these euphamisms) music, free of charge.  A favorite is Les Nubians' Brothers & Sisters.
There was a sold-out gig in Hackney and I went to a fundraiser in Highgate which was very inspiring and made £2000 and I bumped into Steve from JVS.

Thursday 13th
The fast of Esther.  feeling very uncomfortable possibly because today was the Syria vigil.  It was very moving to hear from the people of Syria, to see what few reached these shores, to hear music, to hear the loud voices of children.

Sunday 16th
The festival of Purim.  An excellent slideshow on the story was put together involving the Simpsons screen-shots.  I made a fresh food parcel and gave some pennies to those in need.  We raised a lot of money for Kisharon, a very popular cause here.

Monday 17th
London Federation of Green Parties meeting.  I received the agenda and it was interesting so I went along, but only after attending a town hall meeting with West Hendon Residents.  I layed out the spread and was there in time to discuss and plan the thank you party.  My officers report is always 10 minutes to 9.

Thursday 18th
West Hendon Question & Answer public meeting at the multicultural community centre.  "Representatives" from parties on the panel, and actual local candidates making contributions from the floor.  I had a good chance to talk one to one (schmooze) with people.  Notable people who were not present were, the Barnet Conservative Party, UKIP, and the other Young Greens.

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