Much has been said about Unisongate elsewhere "online" but I just want to focus on a remarkable thing that happened yesterday.

The Union appears to had hired its most expensive lawyers to defend itself from the complainants.  I am politically on the complainants side: I believe in working together when we have things in common, and when this comes to saving libraries and public sector trade unionism there is no question that the far left are our first natural allies, more so than Labour Party characters.  The corruption of waning union power is linked in my mind with the base of the Labour Party itself, which started as a one-issue party to represent workers back when there were proper jobs.  The scandal is Labour's failure to resolve disputes internally and will project these publicly.  I equally or more so criticise Barnet Council's recent failures including the failure of the Tory led council to properly run a London Mayor election.  The embarrassment led to the CEO's resignation and some press criticism, and an investigation.

Yesterday ran over time.  We weren't let in till 10:20.  Our lawyer was investigating the last person of the day, and it was more monty python than carry on at your convenience.  The poor chap was repeatedly being accused of sexism agianst what our lawyer described as the 2 women members of NEC.  This ignoring of their view in his independent investigation was described as odd several times and when he ended his cringe worthy shouting at the witness (there were no microphones) the judge had to stop him short when he got to the word sexism.  I am not saying there was no sexism.  Of course sexism exists and must be challenged.  But it seems to me that this line of questioning was not in the written evidence (which I have not seen).  It seems to me that if you accuse someone of sexism in such a confrontational way (Dave was in the room) you are not going to get the desired apology.  It seems to me an odd behaviour of a male lawyer representing a male trade unionist to be accusing this man of sexism with no evidence.  With more serious allegations it's understandable that witnesses and victims must be protected, that they should not re live their trauma.  That's why I am writing this because I hope Unison has proper channels such as a women's caucus, or Labour women's conferencae, through which this sexism and alleged sexism can be fought and defeated.

Session on Tikun Olam - changing the world

Update: I've submitted the brief description of my session hopefully for inclusion in the programme :)

Last Limmud I threw myself in the deep end and attempted to team up with a youth worker and some teenagers to run a 1-hour workshop (known in limmudnik lingo as a session) on the subject of climate change.

At the Alter-COP in Paris I found a good educator and put it to her, and her friend, what is the best way to teach these kids climate change in an hour or so.

My next challenge, set me by the Manc day-Limmud programming team, is to speak at a session on Tikun Olam (excuse the jargon, this roughly translates as "be the change you wish to see in the world")  and Torah.  Torah Le-shem-shamayim, Learning from text for the sake of heaven, i.e. education and raising awareness, is a core value of Limmud.

I wonder if readers who know anything about Judaism (or indeed Islam and other spiritual teachings) can give me a few things I might like to talk about and how I can make the session vaguely entertaining and engaging even funny and useful.

I am thinking of doing something to do with Green Party.  I also have other interests: The event will take place 2 weeks before Tu Bishvat so I might like to give people a resource for that.  it will be after Hannukah and a week after the Torah portion  of Bo, (Hebrew for come, relating the story of "let my people go")

So here are a few ideas I have so far
- My own Limmud journey: Particularly ecological Judaism meeting people like Naomi Tzur from NSPNI and Alon Tal from the JNF-KKL, Arik Ashermann that legend of Tikun Olam who inspired me organising over in West Hendon just as he organised in Bedouin neighbourhoods of Israel, Our own eco audit of Limmud, using plastic disposable biodegradeble items, maybe how Grassroots high holy days services.
and the importance of cross-communal education at Limmud, UJS, and other institutions
How that might translate into a session I don't know but maybe I could bring a text from Rabbis for Human Rights, or the liturgy, such as last year's Tu Bishvat seder that I took part in 3rd night.

- Chavrutah (breakout into pairs) study of certain texts.  These might be from a range of traditions
"What is hateful to you do not do unto thy neighbour.  That is the whole Torah, the rest is commentary" - Rabbi Hillel

Story-telling (the Talmud torah tradition of agada')

I suppose the best way of opening a discussion on Israel in a Torah context would be to talk about The Land of Israel as opposed to the modern State of Israel.  Unlike the state, the land has very clearly defined borders which can be quoted from Gittin (chapter of the Jewish Talmud)

"No country is free of the risk of terrorist attack, and the so-called war on terror has failed to make people safer in the US, Europe or Israel" - Lesley Grahame, Green Party Shadow Cabinet, in response to the Fairness for Israel Charter 2015. (this is widely available and will be made available)
"להילחם בטרור זה כמו לאכול מרק במזלג."
  "To wage war on terror is like eating soup with a fork." Shimon Peres, 1997  

I'd like to narrow down the handouts to 2 sheets of large print with gaps for notes around the outside.

A response to Trump might be a good starting point Psalm 1:1.  I'll google now if there are any musical settings to this ancient piece of hebrew literature.

In terms of Tikun Olam itself if there is time at the end it's probably worth quoting the origin of the phrase from the Alenu prayer and its original and modern meanings.

Climate change has been tackled by Liberal Judaism's magazine, the print edition of Tenoua, in a special issue which focused on the concept of "Adam".  It's been written about in classic collections of essays in the past by people like Rabbi Arthur Waskow

Message from Federal USA Greens campaign chair

I got an email this morning, here's my favourite bit,

The Green Party is the answer to so many problems plaguing our nation and our world.
And that’s likely the reason our party membership is growing like wildfire. 
Our victories are growing, too - including victories in this past election. There were over 1.2 million votes for the Green Party ticket of Stein/Baraka nationwide. Then also, both Maine and Benton County, Oregon both adopted measures approving ranked-choice voting.
Washington State passed Initiative 735 and California passed Proposition 59 calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish the illegitimate, court-created concepts of “corporate constitutional rights” and “money equals political speech.”
We're proud of that record.
Greens were also elected at the local level! We elected 3 in Minnesota, 5 in Michigan, and 10 to 13 in California, and 1 in Florida.
But our victories haven’t been isolated to just this election. They’ve been happening all along.

open letter to my elected representatives

Zac Goldsmith has resigned his seat and is standing as an independent on December 1st.  He wants to make this a "referendum" on Heathrow but since relaying my concerns about climate change some other issues have reared their ugly head.
- Zac can not be trusted to deliver anything for his disabled constituents because he voted to cut the money they need.
- Zac has been described by the left as "nasty".  Here in Hendon his nasty campaign talked up Islamic radical extremism without actual action to improve our environment.  Meanwhile the Green response to the Paris attacks was to strengthen inter faith links in Europe as part of the movement for climate justice for peace.  False accusations of antisemitism fly but will not stick when they are mistaken.

  Even the pro-Israel Anti Defamation League whose raison d'etre is fighting antisemitism, are on their guard.

I therefore request that you put party and backers aside when it comes to Richmond Park and North Kingston and put the national interest first, putting the community first.



32 Haslemere Avenue

On the failure of NAFTA so called free trade, what "we" have in common

This morning not many of us have slept well, who follow American politics.  So expletives and repetition of campaign messages are the first thing I've seen on twitter, and I saw a lot of things.

However what will remain in my mind is what Jo Cox MP would do if she had not been murdered by a man with links to far right American organisations.  Jo would focus on what "we" have in common.

"Don't mourn, organise"

As Greens one policy of Trumps we really like is his opposition to ISDS, a type of free trade deal which puts legal power in the hands of a handful of corporate lawyers.  Justin Tredeau (Liberal Party of Canada, elected under a similar system) and most of the mainstream media support these deals.  On most things the GOP stands for I disagree.  It's been said that UKIP only oppose these trade deals because they involve the European Union.  They would support it if it was the British state and the City of London behind the same ISDS type deal.  Ultimately this is a campaign we can win with the solid support of the left, greens, and possibly some UKIP, though UKIP members of European Parliament did not vote to oppose the deal last time.

What does this opposition to NAFTA mean?  For all of us it is about the world which we envision, that we wish to create.  This is a world for people working in manufacturing and skilled jobs, not a corporate elite.  When we win, we need to be talking about an Alternative Trade Mandate (ATM).  This clear plan is backed by many fair trade charities and non governmental organisations.  I would welcome a stripping of the language around this deal which is so technical and deliberately misleading.  However as we move towards Trump's style of rhetoric this must not mean a lowering of critical thinking standards and it must not mean a rejection of experts and academic study.  It is just that we have to connect with what what TPP, CETA and TTIP actually mean to you.  For me the agreements threaten things which should not be marketised: education for the young, the broadcast media for democracy, and continuing the National Health Service at a time that Medicare in the states is being attacked by misogynists and vested interests.  Here in Barnet it means the future shape of our Barnet Council services.

In his victory speech he called for America to put aside division get together.  As his fake anti establishment mate Alex Jones describes Clinton's ideology as globalism I am still trying to figure out what that means and how the world can get together.

We are Green!

useful response to THink road safety video on youtube

I have just sent the following complaint to the Department of Transport and the Advertising Standards Authority (linking this video): ... After carefully analysing this video, I urge you to withdraw it, as it encourages unlawful and dangerous behaviour of motorists. Please let me describe in detail what I mean by that. In the video a cyclist collides with a left turning HGV. As only a short sequence of what precedes the left turn is being shown, it is unclear what led to this situation in the first place. Did the HGV just overtake the cyclist, or did the cyclist ride into the gap between the curb and the HGV? The video clearly allows for both interpretations, where the first one would clearly be in violation of rules 167(1, 6, and 9) and 182. But let me take the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is not what led to the situation, and it was the cyclists who foolishly moved into the gap. First, in the video the HGV only starts signalling once it makes the turn, which is again in violation with rule 182, which requires left turning vehicles to “give a left-turn signal well before you turn left”.   Second, throughout the scene, the cyclist should be visible in either the class IV wide angle rear view mirror, or the class V side close proximity mirror of the HGV. Both are required by law, and are visibly installed on the HGV. If correctly installed, the first creates a field of vision of at least 4.5m wide to the left of the vehicle and starting right behind the cabin. The latter creates a field of vision right next to the cabin of at least 2m width. This means, that a driver who in line with rule 182 uses the mirrors before the turn, and considers that “cyclists, motorcyclists and other road users in particular may be hidden from your view” should have realised that there was a cyclist, and slowed down and/or abandoned the left turn.  What we rather see, is an HGV driver making a dangerously fast left turn without checking the mirrors. The speed of the turn makes it even more irresponsible, as the driver would not be able to stop in time for pedestrians who might be crossing the road it turns into who, if they have started to cross before the HGV makes the turn, have priority (rule 170). So, irrespective of what led to the critical situation, the ad is socially irresponsible and likely to condone or encourage behaviour which violates the highway code and is prejudicial to health and safety. I therefore urge you to stop screening this ad.

academy plans could harm kids lungs too

Press Release

Air Pollution Near Planned Ark Academy Site Exceeds Legal Limits
Re: Objection to the proposal to build a new school (the Ark Academy ) on the former site of Barnet Football Ground, Barnet Lane EN5 2DN. 
Planning Application Number 16/5948/FUL

 A few weeks ago Barnet Green Party put up diffusion tubes to measure the current air pollution around the site of the proposed Ark Academy . We used the diffusion tubes supplied by Gradko International, recommended by DEFRA, which measure nitrogen dioxide.
We have discovered that nitrogen dioxide levels near the proposed school already breach legal EU levels (which are still in operation  until Britain leaves the EU). These levels are also in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Air Quality Guidelines.
In some of the areas tested, the legal limit of nitrogen dioxide was exceeded.It’s dangerous for children when levels reach 30 µg/m3. The legal limit is 40µg/m3 (microgrammes per cubic metre).
High readings near schools are particularly worrying as it has been shown that nitrogen dioxide pollution can reduce lung growth in children by 10% and this can never be recuperated. As nitrogen dioxide turns into nitric acid in the lungs it poses a serious health risk for all of us.
Here is a list of the readings above 30 µg/m3 recorded near the site of the proposed Ark Academy .
1) Mays Lane / Barnet Lane                                 38.51 µg/m3
Lamppost on north side
2) Mays Lane/Barnet Lane                           33.23  µg/m3
South side
3) Underhill South side                                 43.96 µg/m3
Footpath to Westcombe Drive
4) A1000 50 m south of                                  51.02  µg/m3
Railway bridge
5) Barnet Lane south of                                 32.00  µg/m3
Westcombe Drive green wide gates
6) Barnet Hill/Underhill Lamppost no 1        42.31  µg/m3
According to the application documents, traffic in the Mays Lane/Barnet Lane area is expected to increase by up to 30% by 2014and that that the school will have an intake of around 2,000 pupils from a catchment area of a radius of 5 miles. Furthermore, the Ark Academy is expected to have a staff of around 150.
One can therefore expect air pollution levels to be considerably higher than at present.
According to a report published by the Royal College of Physicians in February this year, 40,000 deaths per annum in the UK are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution. The report states that “air pollution has also been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, diabetes, obesity and changes linked to dementia.”** A 2015 Kings College London report found that in London alone there are 9,500 deaths per year; that’s 26 a day.
In some UK cities, planning permission for developments has been turned down if the increase in traffic would raise the level of nitrogen dioxide above 40µg/m3, for example in Sheffield where an application to extend a Sainsbury supermarket was rejected because of concerns over increased air pollution.***
.Earlier in 2016, Barnet Green Party monitored nitrogen dioxide levels near a number of other schools in Barnet LBC.
Here’s a breakdown of our results:
(All figures are in µg/m3)
All Saints Nursery School, Oakleigh Road North                           37.23
Belfield Montessori Day Nursery, Greenhill Park, Barnet,                        26.75
Dwight School, 6 Friern Barnet Lane , Barnet                                49.60
Foulds School, Byng Road , High Barnet                                        21.45
Menorah Primary School, The Drive, Golders Green                   28.14
Sacred Heart School , Oakleigh Park South                                              45.75
Underhill School, Mays Lane , Barnet                                                          33.47
Wessex Gardens School, Wessex Gardens                                             38.57
Wessex Gardens School, Hendon Way                                          66.03
The tests were run using diffusion tubes from Gradko International Laboratory, where the results were also analysed. These are the same tubes and laboratory used by Camden Council. Residents and groups interested in monitoring air pollution can contact enquiries@gradkolab.com or telephone 01962 860331 to get their own test kits.
Barnet Green Party is keen to work with residents and local groups across the Borough to build up a more comprehensive picture of air quality and pollution hotspots and to campaign for nitrogen dioxide to be kept within legal limits.
* The quote is from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) UK overview document, Improving Air Quality in the UK : Tackling nitrogen dioxide in our towns and cities, December 2015.
** Royal College of Physicians report: Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution.
*** For more information on the rejected Sainsbury development see:http://www.sheffieldeastend.org.uk/PlanningInspectorsDECISIONSburysArcherRd082011.pdf
For further information contact:
Adele Ward
Barnet Green Party Press Officer

Read the motion I am leading on

It wasn't my idea but the animal policy working group let me do the speech
Billions of animals are slaughtered in the UK each year for the food industry, effective monitoring and updating of procedures and continually improving scientific and ethical knowledge should be required by law to ensure the best possible welfare of animals prior to and at the time of slaughter.
Shimon Cohen (Director Schehita UK), Yunus Dudhwala (Chairman, Halal Monitoring Committee), Compassion in World Farming, Greens for Animal Protection, Food and Agriculture Policy Working Group.
Delete AR404 and replace with
AR405 The Green Party will phase out all forms of factory farming and support a transition to small-scale, free-range units, mixed rotational farming and extensive grazing (seeFA660-661). We support the highest levels of animal welfare in farming and shall ensure that the ‘Five Freedoms’ listed in the Animal Welfare Act are applied to all farm animals. In particular we shall decrease maximum stocking densities and ensure appropriate environments are provided for all farm animals in order to permit expression of natural behaviour. We shall prohibit all caged rearing of poultry, including enriched cages. We shall prohibit all painful mutilations such as beak trimming of poultry and tail docking of pigs. We shall ensure that when slaughter must take place it is done so as to cause least suffering  to the animal, with due regard to species and individual animal factors and is monitored without prejudice towards minority religious and cultural groups

Greens for Animal Protection

GAP was formed out of the successful animal policy group and had their first AGM at Kidderminster football club.  I was there.
So was Keith Taylor, the Green Party's animal spokesperson nationally.
He said he has been successfully campaigning against the ivory trade.  Nigel Farage was one of the few MPs to vote for this aweful trade in elephant deaths to continue, when it went to European Parliament's plenary.
Keith pointed out that nature laws must be protected with Brexit and that the time is now and the next couple of years, to come together.
We then had breakout sessions.  I discovered it's not just the small animal "rights" chapter we were looking at but how the policies interlink with other sectors such as education and food.  The food at conference is aweful and should be improved, radically, more.
At the AGM I was elected onto committee as a regional officer for London.

my favorite volunteer

I got this email today from a new Barnet Greens volunteer in my constituency.
"I was a Labour voter, but to be honest Jeremy Corbyn's links with Sinn Fein  and Ken Livingston's Rabid Anti- semitism. I have been ecologically conscious since a child and I wish to stay true to my Beliefs."

Green Councillors: we're voting 'remain'

Green Party press release
For immediate release – Tuesday 14 June 2016 
Green Party councillors overwhelming in support of remaining in the EU
Green councillors almost unanimously concur that only voting remain will deliver a fairer, safer, and greener Britain
A survey of Green Party councillors has found that an overwhelming 98.7% of Green councillors who responded to a poll support a ‘remain’ vote ahead of the EU referendum.
The fresh findings underline how the Green Party is the political party most committed to staying in Europe.
Greens operate on the underpinning belief that Europeans flourish when we work together on the shared problems we face. The Green Party’s three MEPs – Jean Lambert, Molly Scott Cato and Keith Taylor – are part of the fifty-strong Greens/EFA group.
Natalie Bennett is in Bristol today campaigning for a vote to remain in the Greens' south-west stronghold. Natalie will be joined by some of the Greens' eleven councillors who wrote an open letter today spelling out why they are all voting remain.
As part of the survey, Green councillors spoke out about their chief reasons for backing ‘remain’. Many stressed that we can only maintain and improve environmental protections and tackle climate change by working together across borders, and the direct benefits of EU membership to their local areas.
Caroline Russell, Highbury East Ward councillor, and recently elected London Assembly member, said:
“Cutting ourselves adrift from the EU makes no sense in a global economy with a world facing the serious threats of climate change and environmental degradation. The prospect of ‘going it alone’ is very scary.”
Denise Craghill, Green councillor for Guildhall Ward, York, said:
"Collaboration at EU level is crucial for helping us tackle climate change - as a councillor with hundreds of ward residents flooded out of their homes on Boxing Day, this is especially important to me. These people are understandably scared of flooding happening again and, as well as better flood defences and land management, they want to see us tackling the underlying cause – climate change. We must have European wide cooperation and a seat at the table to do this effectively.”
Jonathan Chilvers, Green councillor for Leamington Brunswick ward, said:
“For hundreds of years until 1945, European countries were at war with each other. We've had peace for 70 years and the EU has contributed significantly to that. Now, when we have a disagreement with European neighbours, we can go and argue with them with words not weapons. Those negotiating channels have taken decades to build up. Peace is a fragile thing. Why throw that away just because we don't agree with everything in the EU?”
Simon Pickering, Chair of Environment Committee, Stroud Council, said:
“As Chair of the local council Environment Committee, I know that air pollution legislation has helped reduce the incidence of lungs disease in young and old alike. The powerful European wildlife legislation has allowed the council to protect the green spaces between and around our market town.”
David Raby, Green councillor for Town Close, Norwich, said:
“The EU is thus far the most effective instrument for building unity among the peoples of Europe on a basis of peace, democracy and social and environmental justice. While it has many faults, to leave would be to embolden the forces of reaction in this country and across the continent. We have to stay in order to work with others to strengthen democracy and justice.”
Ruthi Brandt, Green councillor for Carfax, Oxford, said:
“Across the EU, voices with a hate-filled agenda are getting stronger. But people advocating solidarity and care for our fellow humans are also making their voices heard. Leaving the EU will strengthen the former. Staying will strengthen the latter.”

Jonaline Lucaslet and other potentially good candidates for leader

Nominations have opened for leadership.
Only one or 2 candidates have confirmed, which you may have seen in a small Guardian article.
I haven't yet signed up to their campaign or nominated anyone officially.
My current preference for leader, if they step up and nominate themselves is, in rough order:
Esther Obiri-Darko
Tom Beckett
Siobhan MacMahon
Shahrar and Amelia
Bartley and Lucas
Alan for Deputy

Esther could well be the next Tooting MP.  Having canvassed for her, she has a great team, and deserves a lot more media coverage than she is currently getting.  I don't believe that she should be disqualified, just for not holding elected office.  People like what she has to say and she is united with a range of Green Party groups on local, regional and national levels.  Esther has also appeared in our video about the Green Party's vision for staying in Europe.

Tom Becket
The Green Party's central office is a bit of a power-house having rapidly grown to do the necessary work of admin.  However there is always a danger that the central office will run rings around our democratic structures.  Tom always goes through the proper channels, whether it's discipline or policies like the £10 living wage and saving our media sector.
Let's face it we love Tom Beckett really.  He has experience of running the party as CEO, through the 2014 and 2015 General Election happenings.  He's a natural born leader, physically fit for the job of traipsing around the country.  He showed real leadership qualities during the governance review, though he has obviously been criticised for being a man.  We can't help this but the back-clash itself would be very constructive to turn us into the party of the future.  I think Tom would make an excellent leader at this stage because he's the face of the Green Surge.  Tom understands the priority of supporting local grassroots members but he's also good at extracting money from them, and doing all this in a professional manner.  Definitely one to watch.  I would nominate someone else from the office but I know some people prefer to work behind the scenes.

Siobhan joined the Green Party stating, in her jokey style, that she wanted to be leader.  As a Young Greens fast-streamer who went on to lead the 30 under 30 programme, she would be well-placed to be the youngest party leader in history.  A true champion of the down trodden, an intersectional feminist but not in favour of defining the Young Greens as eco-socialist, she's our Northern powerhouse and best friends with the former secretary of Nottingham Young Greens, who I think is on the party's national executive as Equality & Diversity Officer (jobshare) , since joining the scheme together.  Siobhan is really good at getting stuck in, after she replaced Ash uncontested at the Young Greens Convention in Manchester.  Her leaflet was really cute, printed in font size 5 on little A6 bits of paper.  She was a member of Barnet Greens briefly but didn't stand in 2014.
here is a typical tweet:
I'd suggest you re-elect Chaz for E & D.  GPEx elections take place at the same time but I think Chaz has another year in her 2 year term.

Shahrar and Amelia
They haven't confirmed anything yet but as co-deputies they would make natural leaders and allow an open field for people to stand for deputy, who aren't going to risk standing against the former leader and Brighton MP's formidable campaign.  No one expected Natalie Bennett or Jeremy Corbyn to win, no one expected the Green Party's Sian and Caroline to beat UKIP and Pidgeon in London.  There is considerable back-clash against the idea of Caroline Lucas centralising even more power than she already has in the party, so depending what they decide to stand for, how the campaign goes, I would definitely support the deputy leaders.  Shahrar is our neighbour here in Brent Cross, we're up against it and he has been there for us in West Hendon against Barratts destruction of council housing.  He was key in the GLA campaign which we wouldn't have won if it weren't for outer London activists like us, so I urge you to vote for Shahrar.
All have good TV experience and are well-placed to take on the challenge of "the most important job in the green party" (that's a Natalie quote)

Carothan Lucaly
I have spoken many times about the job-share idea.  It's in the constitution and I predicted the possibility.
Caroline was the reason I voted Green and ultimately helped her get elected in Brighton.  I first met Caroline at Green Party conference in SOAS.  I brought along an Israeli and a local Jewish friend.  I told them about Caroline and they said why don't you shake her hand?  So I asked her.  She said to the other suits hanging around near her, "he's easlily satisfied".  This is my observation of how people treat her, largely uncritical support.
Here's Adele amidst a stream of retweets: "Brilliant news. I'm delighted. Caroline Lucas to stand for Green party leadership as job share"
At that SOAS conference, Sian Berry doing media work was on the executive, with Caroline's beaming face on the website.  We were in the stalls area and came across the PSC (Palestine) My Israeli friend started a conversation criticising their map and so on.  I didn't catch the whole thing but we were asked to leave, I think by Kathy, Caroline's number 2.  We got ourselves ready to leave and it was home time anyway.  However I remember that Caroline Lucas remembered me from the handshake, and said "he's alright".  So Caroline herself basically washed her hands of any potential exclusion of me and my Jewish / Israeli crowd.  That was the conference that Caroline chaired a packed PSC fringe and the Green Conference passed our International Policy chapter in due course.
Jonathan too has been involved with Israel, visiting in 1999.  Rumours that he's been right wing are greatly exhaggerated, he responded directly on the discussion list, that he is in fact a member of GreenLeft already.  He stood in Lambeth and I believe that if the party decide on this job-share, Caroline's International experience combined with Jonathan's radical theology expertise (see his piece on bright green) will make the most diverse leadership team we've ever had.

Deputy Leader
Alan Borgars is the only one who's declared, quite early, he's standing for deputy.  he's got a manifesto on his blog.  Like anyone getting stuck into politics he's had controversies, but I think that makes him very well placed to do the work of building the Green Party.  He is good on disability and would lead us through the review of our policies on diversity, disability, and what his liberation group calls "nero diversity".  Anyone who's met him will be impressed at his brilliant mind which is far more capable than me at tackling the Governance review that will take place during the next term of leadership.  He is a decent team player and evangelist for best-practice.  Though a student himself he's more involved with the wider party structures than anyone else you'd see from the Young Greens.

RON - I accept that I don't know everyone especially in places like Liverpool.  I look forward to seeing the full slate of candidates when it's confirmed next month.

If there are co-leaders there will be only one deputy leader.  It's a paid position now.

The current deputies may wish to carry on, if it is best for the party.

Campaigns Co-ordinator
I am really pleased with the incumbent who stepped up after Howard resigned.

Trade Union Liaison.
It looks like we could get a Fire Fighter on GPEx which is cool, he's also involved with Another Europe Is Possible

Media co-ordinator
This looks like the 3-way jobshare.  They are wonderful and will be key in ensuring a fair, positive campaign ensues.

Finance co-ordinator
it's a bit odd how this is framed but I will probably be re-electing Emma.  I've never met her but it's important to have consistency, and so on.

Young Greens co-chairs
These are ex-officio and older members who aren't students don't have a say in who represents the YGs on GPEx

Elections co-ordinator
We get through these.  Various people could do the job but I think there is a desperate need for a rural voice.  We did well in the 2016 local elections around the countryside and we need someone who can promote the county council stuff in 2017.  I think the position should be absorbed into a list of general executive committee members.

#Dontwalkaway from workers rights

The University and Colleges Union, middlesex university branch, are out on strike again so the Green party visited the picket line to show our soidari-TEA, followed by a rally in Holloway, Islington.

The Daily Pages

Today I sat down on the phone to help out a friendly journalist look through a few news stories. To be honest, I don't watch much TV so most of what I have seen about calls to sack whoever from BBC are unsubstantiated. I did however read a very good article on Vice called "How to spot when a political meme is bullshit". It certainly brightened up my day imagining what 100,000 could have been spent on, that the government blew on fighting against environmental lawyers who were calling them out on air pollution. I think most people want change. For example most pollution comes from roads but a lot more could be done to plant trees near roads to lessen the noise and air pollution. It's a public health crisis and the tree planting programme would also improve peoples state of mind. I think one of the biggest non-stories is the Tory who raised the terror threat level from moderate or something. It seems to me from what's going on in Ireland that there isn't much to worry about. The Troubles are behind us, and no one looks back. I'm really encouraged by the strong showing of the Greens and People Before Profit in the Assembly elections. In Ireland, Greens have done well in PR elections to both houses of parliament. But what makes me "mad" about this story is the language of terrorist nowadays only seems to be pinned on Muslims: Catholics are called militants. An other thing is it's a year since the General Elections and the battle bus is under investigation of failing to declare election expenses. This is where it all gets a bit technical. I would be happy to talk over the details with people, as an experienced battle bus campaigner myself. However at the time what went through my mind was be polite, congratulate graciously, stay positive, and whilst it's likely there was cheating involved including in Hendon, they haven't been caught and now they are in government it's too late to do anything that will meaningfully change the result. There's a saying that the most important poll is election day. If people want to investigate and persue the issue further be my guest but I am just too tired at the end of 3 big election campaigns - local, general, and London - and I know most of us are. A final point: What the government is doing to disabled people is inexcusable!


6.30-9pm Tue 26 April St Stephens Rosslyn Hill, NW3 2PP Speakers Prof. Frank Kelly, Environmental Research Group (ERG), Kings College London. ERG has led the research into health effects of air pollution in London Simon Birkett, founder, Clean Air London. Alan Andrews, Client Earth. Client Earth successfully brought the British government to court for failing to tackle air pollution Nicky Gavron AM (Lab) is a former deputy mayor of London. She campaigns to protect schoolchildren from lung damage caused by traffic-generated air pollution Cllr Siân Berry (Green) is a mayoral candidate and champions urgent action to improve air quality The meeting is jointly hosted by Castle Debates and Camden Greens and will be chaired by Pamela Castle OBE. Local citizen science projects will display NO2 readings taken across north Camden this winter. Much interest has been expressed in Neighbourhood Forums across the area and by The Heath & Hampstead Society. The venue will hold hundreds of people. We expect coverage from both local papers. The meeting aims to promote engagement with the issue and action on it. After presentations from the speakers, attendees will be invited either to join discussion tables with the speakers, with a view to helping make progress, or to visit the stalls at the back of the hall run by organisations working on air pollution. Stephen Taylor

Tube Challenge

Yesterday I joined public transport Adham Fisher on the first half of his 10 hour quest to visit every stop on the London Overground.  My first barrier was at Hendon Station the machine refused to sell me a zones 1-9 (plus Watford) travelcard.  The Zone system and TravelCard would be abolished under Green Party's plans.
After lunch time we took the blue TfL rail line to Stratford and Sian Berry and her PA joined us at Stratford through to Highbury where of course we were met by transport geek Caroline Russell.
Caroline is not standing as a consitutency or Mayor candidate but you can make your vote go further by voting her for the Londonwide party list on the London Assembly.
Green Party - "Vote Green on Orange"
This morning I heard the soothing tones of Caroline Pidgeon, poor Caroline, begging Today listeners to vote Lib Dem on the orange ballot paper.  If she does copy our idea and tries to complete the Circle line she'd have some trouble at Earl's Court which is a building site, and she might face a few train delays due to the botched sub surface rail upgrade that she as chair of the London Assembly's Transport Committee is responsible for messing up.  However, there is probably no way of getting rid of her.  The good news is I've voted with my Yahoo mail spam filter, and marked her email about childcare as spam.  I never wrote to her about childcare, and on a technical note, if she is using Nationbuilder, she is literally paying for every email that is sent directly to my spam folder.

The other good news is that NUS have finally elected a president that represents students, not just the Labour Party.  You do not need me to tell you that the Telegraph article tweeted verbatim by Adam Langleben, and most of the stuff you get when you google her, is a load of rubbish.  I would encourage you not to click on any of these antisemitism smears; instead, twitter has some very favourable things, even from the horse's mouth.  I watched the video with my dad.  My remark was that if she hadn't talked so much about being black, she could pass off as Jewish.  My dad is confused about the student black liberation groups.  In this country the majority of black students are not Afro-Carribean, but they still call themselves black as an umbrella term for Asian, mixed race, and Arab.  The narrative of her speech, however, focused on the right to safety and to get education.  Safety is primarily from violence.  I don't think there's any other form of terror than violent terror.

A very satisfying 4/20, definitely worth skipping a bit of gardening work for.

Mom's letter in the Jewish Tribune

Dear Sir, 

At this time of year, some people may feel panicky about how they're going to get rid of unwanted chametz before Pesach.

Last year and already this year, I'm seeing a lot of food being dumped in our local park and next to public waste bins.  This is illegal and is a waste of food.  It does no good to local song-birds but feeds rats.  I've had to call the vet several times when my dog found food in the park and ate it:  some "people food" is poisonous to dogs. 

  Please may I remind readers that JGIFT will take non-perishable food which is in sealed packaging and within its "use-by" date.  Colindale Foodbank are happy to accept bread if it isn't stale.  

With thanks and best wishes


Contact details 
020 8457 4429

Colindale Foodbank 
07909 702381