First 3 campaign events report

My first four hustings (debates) have already taken place. First I attended Asbergirls to find out their experiences of the health service and schools. Then I did a large debate with Middlesex Students, to convey what attracted me to politics. On Friday morning I attended the Mencap hustings. It is the first time such a thing has been accessible and it was great to hear questions from people with learning disabilities and informally socialise with them and their carers over lunch followed by a walk in the park. I promised them that I would look into the Green Party's policy on hate crime, and told them that cuts have consequences. Friday evening was the mosque hustings. It was held at Hendon Mosque's youth and community centre. In hindsight there are more Muslim Women regularly attending Our West Hendon events than taking part in the event. There were more Labour councillors, bless their cotton socks. In terms of what was actually debated, it's often interesting what wasn't. I sat next to the chair so had a peek at his pre prepared questions. Fracking was not on the agenda nor did Mariam turn up to ask her question on privatisation of the health service or the bedroom tax (though I addressed disability in my opening speech). Foreign policy was left the the last 10 minutes and there was a balance of questions. On BDS I resisted the urge to talk about the ANC, but said I am on the record for expressing feelings of discomfort around my support for BDS, and that it's best if it's not anti-Israel but targeted at policy. I stated that it was a distraction from home demolitions in West Hendon, and administrative detention that we discussed in relation to anti-terror legislation. The Labour Party gave me lots of friendly advice before and after, and I overheard the outgoing MP giving lip service to leaseholders as we waited for the audience to arrive.

Stop TTIP and TISA - Green Party

Services trade agreement (TISA) Publishing mandate overdue but fails to address transparency concerns The EU negotiating mandate for the negotiations on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) was today published by the council of EU foreign ministers, two years after negotiations began (1). Commenting on the mandate, Green trade spokesperson and vice-president Ska Keller said: "While the belated transparency on the TISA negotiations is welcome, it is too little and far too late, two years into the process. The mandate itself is the tip of the iceberg: the crucial negotiating documents, which outline the concrete content of the talks, remain secret. This secrecy prevents proper democratic scrutiny of the negotiations and must be finally ended. "The mandate only serves to underline concerns that EU member states are using the treaty to push for the unfettered liberalisation of services. There is insufficient protection for sensitive public services, like health, education and water provision. TISA cannot be used to force through the liberalisation of vital public services by the backdoor. There are also major uncertainties about the data protection and whether TISA could also undermine EU privacy rules. This must be clarified." (1) Negotiations on the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) began two years ago between the EU, US and 22 other countries.

Don't trust MPs and PR men with ovary health!

I was intrigued by this bizarre headline in the Sunday Telegraph which appears to be a Tory attack on their coalition partners.  The story goes, that the Tories Medical Innovation Bill would allow GP's to give experimental drugs.  It is a worthy thing, but the first we hear in the screaming headline is that it is the brain child of Saatchi, whose wife suffers from Ovarian cancer.

The first thing that occurred to me is wasn't Charles Saatchi photographed strangling his wife in a restaurant?
Was this press release written when they were still an item?
Or is this an other wife?
Why can she not speak for herself on women's matters? (that much is obvious)
and, "Does this mean the end of the coalition?"

When is Ovarian Cancer month?
This is more than a co-incidence that it launched today the 1st of March.
The story is rather off-message because rather than trying to invest in finding a cure we are actually campaigning for better screening with the message "what every woman should remember".
something I'll schedule a tweet about this Saturday

Perhaps Saatchi and his mates should stick to what they know, prostate cancer awareness, rather than use millions of ovaries as a political football.
On prostate cancer, it's very common in my family and my cousin Uri Davis had treatment for it but his ability to hold it in has been slashed as I found out on our bus tour of the West Bank.