Who's West Hendon? Our West Hendon

Who's community? Our community
Who's lives? Our lives!"

I want to start off with this story by Paulette if you haven't already heard of the background to this.


The group marched to present the petition to their MP, which was denied.  So they'll be presenting the petition to the council tomorrow whilst they are here... I guess it will be accepted by Labour councillors if the leadership don't show up.

Many thanks to Barnet Green Party for their superb online support: The video of my rousing testimony has been posted up on facebook and it's one of the rare occasions I find myself in this situation, that people actually listen to what I have to say.  I share it on my page www.facebook.com/greenbsamuel

I wrote up my day,
blog on 28th March

I am sitting in the town hall.  It's 9.30 and the penultimate day of testimonies is about to start.  I can hear the pigeons cooing in their heavenly abode.  I was up early this morning in time to deal with a few emails before my paper round.
I agree with Katie, on the front page of the Daily Mail.  Every disabled child deserves to get enough benefits to get to school.  If that means the tax payer offering her enough for a taxi fair, that is her decision whether she gives some of it to charity.  She will probably spend it on something really naff!  but anyway.  Save the independent living fund.  The Daily Mail is screaming shock at this or that, a really awful paper.  The big story is the inquiry in London into Putin.  The Indy's take on this is the nuclear element literally putting thousands of lives at risk, well whoever was on the plane with him.  Wasn't it Polonium.
Anyway then I went to the JobCentre to sign.  She asked if I have a bad memory.  Yesterday I forgot whether I had objected to the planning application.  I totally dodged the question.
I went to buy some bread.  It's expensive but i'm not complaining.  I got a parev chocolate brownie and pain-au-chocolat and a bun for lunch.  It's going to be quite bad weather so I've taken my vitamin D in chemical form!

The morning of the inquiry had a very brave testimony from a representative or 2 of the disabled people of West Hendon who made a very good equalities case.  Then Miss Parsons invited a witness from Lambeth to talk about the current issue of viability.  Two Labour Councillors are due to appear, but I am not sure if they will say anything of consequence: political support is welcome.



I was outside Hendon station this morning campaigning with commuters, delayed as is customary on the Thameslink route.
Brighton community campaigner Nancy sent us this copy of her letter to the guardian back in May 2014.

The solution to rail misery

Rail fares in Britain are contributing to the cost-of-living crisis, with season tickets now the largest monthly expense for many people, costing even more than the mortgage or rent ("Cautious or bold: which path will Miliband take to election?", News).
Just as Labour has pledged to freeze energy bills and reset the market to secure a better deal for customers, so it will be necessary to reform the rail industry to secure a better deal for passengers.
Train companies walk away with hundreds of millions of pounds every year, despite running monopoly services and benefiting from £4bn of public investment in the rail network every year. These profits are even helping keep down rail fares on the continent as many of Britain's rail services are run by subsidiaries of the state railways of France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Yet the not-for-private-profit model that works so well on the East Coast line has shown how there is a better way to run Britain's rail services. As well as making over £1bn of franchise payments to government, East Coast reinvests all of its further profit to benefit passengers.
A commitment to extend this successful model to the rest of the rail network, as existing contracts come to an end, would mean that hundreds of millions currently lost in private profit would be available to fully fund a bold offer on rail fares.
Labour parliamentary candidates: Nancy Platts, Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven; Andrew Pakes, Milton Keynes South; Wes Streeting, Ilford North; Clive Lewis, Norwich South; Polly Billington, Thurrrock; Rowenna Davis, Southampton Itchen; Tristan Osbourne, Chatham & Aylesford; Uma Kumaran, Harrow East; Lisa Forbes, Peterborough; Veronica King, Elmet & Rothwell; Jamie Hanley, Pudsey; Richard Burgon, East Leeds; Clair Hawkins , Dover & Deal; Will Martindale, Battersea; Adrain Heald, Crewe & Nantwich; Neil Coyle, Bermondsey & Old Southwark; Jessica Asato, Norwich North; Thangham Debbonaire, Bristol West; Lara Norris , Great Yarmouth; Cheryl Pidgeon, South Derbyshire; Joe Riches, York Outer; Josh Fenton-Glynn, Calder Valley; Alex Sobel, Leeds North West; Stephanie Peacock, Halesowen & Rowley Regis;
Cat Smith, Lancaster & Fleetwood; Todd Foreman, North East Somerset; 
Rupa Huq, Ealing Central & Acton; Ruth Smeeth, Stoke North; Mike Le Surf, South Basildon & East Thurrock; Deborah Sacks, South Norfolk; Peter Smith , South West Norfolk

Local Greens offer a new approach to the Council budget

It's quite a good day for balanced press coverage.  I had this letter published in the Barnet Press.

A Green Council would further open up their budget consultation to a "participatory budgeting" model.  This could include a flash game on the website where you could play with each departments budget on a sliding scale and see what Barnet's services would look like.  I understand that is very hard to balance residents feedback against the cuts so difficult decisions must be made; such as a progressive council tax.

  I urge armchair activists to make their voices heard against what is effectively a poll tax on those who can not afford it, so that the rich can be bribed a council tax freeze equivalent to filling up a Range Rover.  Reform is needed on a wider level but Barnet Council are not asking for this, because it gives them an excuse to push their new ideology.

comments on guardian article - Green Party Promises 10% cut in fares

Here are two of my fave comments from below the article

    Private companies should be allowed to charge what they like. Although if you want the costs reduced how about jailing the RMT and Aslef thugs that work on these things, automating the lot and outsourcing the few remaining customer service roles. That would save more money and would protect the middle class from shaven haired union economic terrorists.
    Goddammit Green Party!
    Don't you know there are people who are trying to paint you as woolly-headed, tree-hugging, idealistic radicals? You aren't making it easy for them with all these sensible, progressive policy ideas supported by a majority of the British population, you really aren't.
    Can't you just announce a policy mandating lentil stew for every meal? Then we can all go back to our cosy preconceptions.
    I'm a taxpayer and I also use public transport. Its about time that this separation between the two was no longer implied. It suggests that those of us who use public transport don't pay taxes. That is utter bunkum and its disgusting.

    My comment: Gosh, this is supposed to be fun. Isn't King's Cross square such a lovely new environment for campaigning? I organised this Monday happening and didn't have to liaise with the pigs once! Lots of passers by told us they vote green and it's about time someone re-nationalised the railways. We came together with socialists, all types of media characters, commuters, cleaners, Transport Salaried Staff Association, RMT members, East Coast staff, Climate Change campaigners, Bring Back British Rail (please sign the petition), MPs, one party leader, volunteers new and old. Thanks everyone who supported. 
    Thanks critics for opening an interesting discussion.
    The scandal is not the Greens having a "money fairy" and we are quite the opposite of "authoritarians". In 2010 Channel 4 were about to run a documentary exposing the Green's budget as fiscally illiterate. They went through it with a fine tooth comb and decided not to run because the boring truth is that the Greens have the best manifesto. This ties in with cynicism of politics that commenters like Leekliberal are quite happy to attack the Greens behind the anonymity of the internet whilst proposing an unrealistic 50% or 100% cut and targeting a small number of tactical voters. Tactical voting leads to situations where unpopular parties can get away with going against, in this case, 60-80% of the public's opinion that public transport for the common good is essential to this country and deserves all levels of support - including from us Greens. You can see a photo of Monday's protest at Kings Cross on the London Green Party's facebook page.