My view on the economy this month

In my view the timing of the oil price is because of a recent meeting of OPEC (of which UK has strong links with Saudi Arabia and Iraq). The oil market has seen increased supply from the USA and Canada with increased "unconventional" fossil fuels: tar sands (oil sands) and fracking (shale gas). As we know, these are very damaging to the climate and the North American water table. If Osborne wants to take credit for the cut in fuel prices in the UK, he can take the blame for his long term economic plan which threatens future generations. As for infrastructure need i mention the "road to recovery". I think we all see the reality of serious pot holes thanks to Osborne's austerity and neoliberalism.


Hi, so it's Sunday, I am not a professional writer so excuse the ranty style and length of this piece.  I guess the reason I've got more blog hits is people have finally started to notice me within the Green Party accross the country, and local people who've found my blog want to know who their new candidate is.
The fact is Barnet Green Party selected someone incredibly active in local politics.  Here is an action over the road in Golders Green's Childs Hill ward.

I was ill but from a glance at the papers for Planning Committee on the 25th (not the 28th that was an error) the officers are making some false claims about why developers should be handed yet an other much loved green amenity space in the name of regeneration.  The Councillors do not have to accept their recommendations.  On the same night, plans for West Hendon Estate are considered.  There is an Our West Hendon meeting as usual advertised on facebook, mainly to get legal help for people's cases so they are encouraged to bring paperwork.  Kalim and I were hoping to raise more political issues but we'll see.  maybe there'll be time to informally chat before the meeting.  Jasmine has passed my message from Childs Hill on to Derrick who chairs West Hendon residents association which is a fairly good indication that I am proposing something sensible.

I am going through the Sunday papers and making some comments on the Guardian website (under the username BenGlasto).  Back in 2011 when we had the AV referendum, one of our talking points is that the Oscars use AV to choose the best film.  I guess if they used our current voting system, which Greens believe is unfair, we would end up with Oscar nominated films similar to Ed Balls and John Prescott picking up gongs.

I have been feeling a bit unwell.  It is quite stressful being a Green General Election candidate and I have jobs to keep up, chores, communal responsibilities, and other hobbies to keep up with.  I think I picked up this cold cycling back from Sweets Way in the rain, then developed it through this winter weather we've been enjoying.
I have been coming out with a lot of stuff that is not from the Green Party's epic policies file.  So last night I had a glance at the economics chapter and some others such as ROPS (record of policy statements).  I have on my reading list a  positive alternative to TTIP which would make a sort of global economy that Greens want to support.  I am also reading "rules for radicals"
I attended a seminar that launched the latin america series at Middlesex Uni (post grad).

I've also joined Barnet Greens to film our main campaign video for 2015 and gave a stirring performance, and finally had a look at some of the other videos.  Some of them, not naming any names are shocking in their errors.  I notice little things like their tone.  One major error of the Young Greens was not to bother producing a video, even though we have so much young talent both politically and technically.  We used to pride ourselves being more organised than the grown up party, and I feel the green surge and green growth fund has allowed the grown up party to catch up by hiring organisers and professionalising somewhat.  Some videos, such as Exerter, one in Cornwall, Ealing, and others are so good I tweeted them.  As a fellow Jewish candidate I am a particular fan of Norwich Green party.  But Norwich is unfortunate that it's in a very UKIP region with no Green MEP yet again.
Brighton also has a Jewish Community.  I have read the antisemitism report and discussed it with my parents and written to the leader and HQ about our disciplinary procedure, but not heard back.  I was also disappointed with the party's structures not being accountable at the re-formated London Green Party meeting.  It's a balance between having an interesting political and planning discussion focused on one thing, and actually being able to raise things particularly with the GPRC reps formally or informally.
I received an email from Theo at Seize the day for details of their fundraising gig.  Theo is a phenomenal crowd funder and also produced a lovely poem for registering to vote.

#BlocktheBudget @OurWestHendon joins the dots Press Release 2

Below press release has gone out to media ahead of Monday's protest. 
This is the second press release we have put out.
Best, Katya

Londoners call protest to Block Boris and demand budget to tackle housing crisis

  • Housing campaigners say we need a budget for London
  • Block Boris protest at City Hall 23 Feb, 9am
  • Protest follows London-wide week of action, eviction resistance and estate occupations
Londoners have called a protest on Feb 23 to Block the Mayor’s budget as it goes to vote at City Hall. Housing campaigners and tenants groups will join a protest that will feature music and visual installations – to illustrate that Boris’ budget is for the rich only, and not about creating homes for ordinary Londoners.

The protest is the culmination of a city wide week of action called by the Radical Housing Network, bringing together campaigners, social housing tenants and private renters to fight for housing justice. Events have included a ‘Love Council Housing’ day of films, direct actions and debates, as well as an occupation of flats in the Guinness Estate in Brixton to protest tenant evictions – where yesterday residents claimed victory following the Guinness Trust’s decision to delay the eviction of an assured shorthold tenant (AST) on the estate.

Guinness residents are among those joining the protest to ‘Block the Budget’ on Feb 23, which includes community-based housing campaigns Focus E15, New Era and Our West Hendon. Also attending the protest are tenants and participants in a political occupation of the Aylesbury estate in South London.

City Hall votes on the budget next Monday, but with no new money set aside for social housing, ‘Boris’s budget’ means more sell-offs of council housing and vast swathes of public land, leading to further rent-hikes and an acceleration of the housing crisis that grows more acute daily.

Campaigners say Boris won’t meet his target of 100,000 ‘affordable’ homes by the end of 2016 - and at 80% of market rents these homes are not affordable for most Londoners. The Shared Ownership scheme is only accessible to the best-off and ‘Home Zones’ and the London Housing Bank are subsidies for private developers. Meanwhile, the Mayor has removed the ability of local authorities to apply rent controls on new developments.
Last week, the RHN submitted a Freedom of Information request to find out about developments on land sold by the Greater London Authority, where the development includes residential units.
Campaigners at the #BlocktheBudget protest are calling Boris to set a budget for London: 
  • Increase quota of affordable housing on new developments and set truly affordable rent
  • Start work for rent controls in London’s private rental sector
  • Restrict buy to let and act against unfair evictions
  • Stop demolition and privatisation of council housing and build more social housing
A spokesperson for the Radical Housing Network said: “Boris talks the talk on housing but rather than acting to stop it, our Mayor is fast-tracking social cleansing.  Londoners are in desperate need of secure, genuinely affordable housing yet Boris Johnson, the most powerful politician in London with a housing budget close to two billion pounds at his fingertips, is acting and speaking on behalf of rich developers.

“Londoners are taking direct action and fighting back, protecting homes by occupying their estates.”

Betiel Mehari, resident, Guinness Estate: “The Guinness Estate re-development is backed and funded by the London Mayor with public money, to demolish social housing and replace it with expensive flats for private sale. The sort of London our Mayor is creating is not for ordinary people. We need to link up with other campaigns and fight the Mayor at every level – that’s why we’re blocking Boris on the 23rd.”
Janette Evans, campaigner, West Hendon Estate: “Boris Johnson needs to understand that selling off our public land to the highest bidder is not acceptable and not the answer to London’s housing crisis. London is becoming a city for the rich only – but ordinary people are rising up and uniting and will fight for their right to a home.”
The Radical Housing Network is made up of groups fighting for housing justice, based in London. The network defends affordable and council homes and opposes social cleansing and evictions. Members of the network include the E15 campaigners in Newham; campaigners for the Our West Hendon estate in Barnet; and many other housing groups and campaigns.
Radical Housing Network led the demonstration at Mipim last year, when the world’s largest private property fair came to London to feast on UK housing.
Block the Budget protest 9am Monday 23 February, City Hall, the Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA.
Full details of the Radical Housing Network’s Week of Action: Twitter @radicalhousing #housingaction #BlocktheBudget
Notes to editors

Interviews with people affected by the housing crisis & housing campaigners are available.
For interviews & further information please contact: Katya Nasim 07791018631
Katya Nasim
100 Exbury House
Brenthouse Road
London E9 6QF
t. 07791018631

Sweets Way

I visited Sweets Way on request of the leader of the campaign if there is one.
Poppy was there.  I'm trying to piece together everything as shocking as it is.
I think the main thing to note is that Left Unity made yummy soup, and all parties have expressed support to varying degrees except UKIP.  The Morning Star had a report on it which can probably express it better than me if I could only find it in the online edition.  Also Barnet Times and Barnet Press front pages.
Dilem Kurt had to take the day off work today and agreed in principle to write a letter about the psychological impacts.  She has a Masters degree in psychology.
I am nice and I hate criticism but they are lying about a lot of things.  For one thing the buildings are new and do not need knocking down.  An other is that according to Left Unity Labour used to be much better at street campaigning than they are now.  Barry can't seem to be able to stand with residents.  He told me today on his way out of the building the problem is the council decided to evict 70 families at the last minute with no planning for temporary accommodation.
I came across a rather nice plaque.


@CarolineLucas standing up for public services for all

Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

Will the Minister acknowledge the warnings issued by the Local Government Association about the cumulative impact of a 40% cut in local government funding? Does he
accept that many authorities, including Brighton, are struggling to provide services? Is not the truth that this Government do not care about the future of local government as we know it?

Photo of Kris HopkinsKris Hopkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

I suggest that one of the reasons Brighton council is struggling is its poor leadership. Moreover, the figure given by the hon. Lady clearly does not include significant amounts of public money, including money from the better care fund. Some £5.3 billion appears to be missing from the LGA’s calculation.
That £74 million will be topped up with £37 million of additional funding for local authorities during the current year. That extra money will ensure that councils can step up their efforts to get people home as soon as they are ready to leave hospital, and avoid the need for people to go into hospital in the first place. It will help to promote joint working between our local public services, and will improve front-line services for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Photo of Graham StuartGraham Stuart Conservative, Beverley and Holderness

Will the money be distributed in a way that is proportionate to the number of over-65s in local populations? As my hon. Friend will know, rural communities typically contain older, more vulnerable residents than their urban counterparts.