I've realised that I'm meeting the legal definition of a tenant.
I'm campaigning quite a lot on housing at the moment. I get that people like Friends of the Earth and GreenPeace are into fracking but it doesn't have quite the same bread-and-butter issue quality as housing. There 9 million private renters in the UK and they need to be paying in the region of £30 a week not £2600 a month like someone quoted in the business section of the London Evening Standard last week. Rents are being fixed by the market controlled by the landlords, but we should have the German system where a rent tribunal brings tenants into the picture. There are also global calls for the government to step in and cap rents. I think a Green Government would have to serve a Compulsary Purchase Order on the Bishops Avenue to build a council estate.
This evening the London Federation of Green Parties will be having the first regular meeting where we've invited a guest speaker from the Radical Housing Network, a London-based group that fits with my values. Three people volunteered after it turns out there's a clash with an other housing & homelessness meeting. The rest of the agenda will be squeezed into 8:30 - 9:00 p.m. and includes deciding whether Green Party Conference should clash dates with a Climate Change demonstration planned in London in March.
I need to think quite carefully with the Green Party how we organise the wealth of housing expertise from Councillors, housing managers, and employees in the housing sector.
In local news the leading homeless charity St Mungo's are taking action today with over a hundred Unite members in that workplace. For me a major focus of the housing campaign is council housing. The West Hendon Estate in my ward is said to comprise of 74% "affordable" housing at present, which the main parties running the council believe is too high: Labour want 40% and the Tories around 20%, but definitions vary because in the London plan that means 80% of market rate; something Alex at the MIPIM protest totally rubbished. He said we wont council housing. Meanwhile UKIP arent' quite sure but they use most of their media coverage to say they're not racist but immigration is to blame. I'm really glad the Green Party held a protest at UKIP conference. We need to get gender-balanced at the highest levels, get involved more, get out, and fight for a fair wages economy, against global warming, and for a fully public NHS.