Meeting with London Jewish Forum last night.
"#Jazz is... a dialogue....a conversation Celebrate Intl #JazzDay April 30 @UNESCO @UN @herbiehancock" "We can not change the past. We can and must change our future." There was a full Sol Cohen Hall, with 5 candidates and Steven Rosenthal chairing. He gave us only 90 seconds introduction: The Tory went about 15 seconds over! Dr Offord called the election "important" and evoked the campaign poster of the road or path to recovery or as we like to point out ruin. He spoke about the "right to buy" (hallowed be thy name). Andrew Dismore said there is a clear choice, and that you know who you can trust. I followed the UKIP guys intro and showed him that I agree totally that I support a points based immigration system. I hope that will dispel some myths about the Green Party being for totally open borders in the short to medium term, because I am really shocked how UKIP seem to attract support in the local community given that everyone knows what they stand for / against. I spoke of my connection with the community, and one issue I hoped (in vain) the 2 main parties will touch on tonight, climate change, which I claimed is a bigger international threat than terrorism, that effects us all. I hoped that one of the party leaders might offer my generation hope as the 2015 climate talks loomed. The first question was on Mansion tax, from Charles who's new to Hendon, and Scotland. In a killer last minute twist Alisdair Hill (LD) revealed he's originally Scottish! boo! The question was aimed at Andrew Dinsmore. An other first question was on the NHS. I stated that we would raise lots of money from legalising cannabis and taxing it (I think that is the logical conclusion of the Green Party's actual policy, to have an evidenced-based review and decriminalisation, my party colleagues don't all agree with my very liberal view). The UKIP's line about TB went down quite badly, and an other Jewish doctor (God bless) refuted that this room would be empty if a 1945 government had taken that attitude. Sam an other Hendon first-timer, asked about defence & nukes. I answered first, pointing out the cost of something that will never be used, then re-iterating what I said in the Barnet Press a few weeks back, that the UK has to import its nuclear materials because none of it is under our soil. Andrew said we only have 2 aircraft down from 10 squadrons under Labour, and he therefore opposes the idea of spending such vast sums on Trident. Benji who works for a hedge fund but says he works for a housing association made a point about Ed Miliband being more left-wing than the previous incarnation. There was an other question from Colin Savoy "Please tell us about Israel" a lovely open question other than the fact it was aimed at Andrew, the questioner stating that voting for Ed Miliband this time would be obviously like turkeys voting for Christmas. Jay Stoll then followed up with a question on what I had quoted verbatim from the 2015 Green Party Manifesto. Matthew Offord muttered something about Universal Juristiction and Mike Frier resigning from the government over recognition of Palestine and got in to a bit of ping pong with his neo Labour opponent. I did a face-palm action. Jay wanted to know why Israel was listed next to Saudi Arabia as a human rights abuser. Mr Benjamin who is the Hendon deputy on the Board of Deputies asked about Kashmir in 1947 and the precedent that set for a 2 state solution. I responded that I know about Kashmir from the London Young Greens. There was a question about cuts and keeping the aid budget, from Richard at WJR. I said we support the SDG's and would aim for 1% "GDP". Matthew offered mentioned Justine Greening, the first time he has said anything good about a woman ever. Dina Jacobson asked something, and then Susan a homeowner asked why the Tories want to give away homes to council tenants when she worked hard and they didn't… I told her what we would do for home owners, cut VAT on refurbishment as recommended by the master builders. In 1 minute closing speech I re-iterated climate change (no other party mentioned it), and FGM and religious freedom, violence against women. I prayed for a clean campaign.