Channukah message

Can British politicians keep their promises? Can the electorate hold them to account? It would take a miracle

the easy part

I am so excited that my Ecotricity key has arrived. Now when I top up my electric, I know that none of my money I going to the Big Six. Switching to a 100% green energy provider was an easy decision for me but in the long run, tackling our climate crisis will not be as easy as Al Gore pretended in his PowerPoint film. It was made sweeter by quoting the Green Party affiliate scheme that Ecotricity can send a donation when you swich. Let's be honest, there are cheaper deals, but it is a weight off my conscience that my heating will not produce any CO2 here or elsewhere in the generation of the power. I also know my money is not being diverted to lobbying vigilantism of the Big Six.
I will display my key ring with pride even after I get a credit meter.


21 February 1881 at the Middlesex Sessions in Clerkenwell. Benjamin Samuel (age 19, a tailor) found guilty of picking the pocket of Israel Cohen  and taking a watch (value £1 5s - about £60 in modern money) - the theft took place in the East End (because it came up at the Thames Police magistrates court first) and Ben was sent to Cold Bath Fields house of correction for 4 months hard labour!

- with thanks to Drew Grey, historian

Chipping Barnet Hustings 2

A second hustings took place.  After Barnet Church was filmed, with audible booing from certain sections of Labour who were sat near the recording equipment, for whatever reason we were told not to film in the second hustings.

The chair and Rabbi of the synagogue said a few words and we stood for a minutes silence
"Ultimately we are all joined together with our same cause in mind." the Rabbi explained the meaning of the Hebrew "chavrusa" and "chaver" which means friend and "chibur" which means joined.
Questions which came up:
Richard Carlowe in the chair allowed some introductory speeches which pre empted some burning questions in the community's agenda outlined in the ten commitments 2017 edition
 She "has shone a light on antisemitism that exists..  [as it does in all parties]. I will not hide it"  She supports Mike Katz' ammendment from the Chakrabarti report, "that would make sure it has no place"
She revealed that she is secretary of the largest CLP (Constituency Labour Party) which would be in Haringey which of course means that Phil is pretty much the only local challenger in this contest.

Theresa Villiers spoke of her involvement in a 2006 report on antisemitism from the all party parliamentary group (APPG) on the subject.  She described boycotts of Israel as unacceptable, and emphasised the link.  Also very emphatic of her personal support for Israel in her closing remarks.

Marisha Ray said that the root cause of much of these issues is prosperity, reading her speech from yellow paper!

Phil Fletcher spoke of his and his party's opposition to antisemitism obviously.  He said "we punch above our weight" and is concerned that UKIP for instance get lots of air time.

Richard Carlowe in the chair asked one question to each candidate.
Labour canvassing, how do they deal with the objections to Jeremy Corbyn?
Conservatives (Tories).  Manifesto lacking in detail and badly explained policies.  Complacent?
Lib Dem manifesto thankfully shorter. Centrist.  Is there something for everyone.
Green issues are obviously good but seems a copy of Labour.  Has the Green party strayed too far and become left of centre?

Questions submitted in advance from the floor:
Is there one item in the manifesto you'd prefer was not there?
Tax section
Sheila Graves: your stance on inheritence tax?
Michael: Is the Government pitching for a maximum tax for welfare state or is it just to punish success?
What would you do to uphold "peace of the realm"? quoted the prayer - We came for refuge... How will you keep us safe and secure?
Marisha spoke of alienation as the root cause

How will the process of Brexit happen?

Phil gave an example of what he told me was a history of peaceful multi cultural Europe with a Jewish contribution to society.

The gravity model of trade
European Medicines Association

Weiss - Education cuts might lead to a 4 day week and Amazon shopping lists for stationary supplies
Ruth Levin - a parent

Theresa Villiers gave the standard party line in response - which Phil called out and raised the library cuts too, calling for a radical tax reform

Quick question on Faith Schools

Rebecca Lerner & Malcolm Peters asked about tuition fees.

Daniela Frankl: Asked Theresa Villiers to support votes at 16 like in the scottish referendum

An East Barnet resident asked about who would you ally with in a hung parliament!

My view on Earth Song

I recently saw a new Michael Jackson video which I would encourage you to take a look at.  It is Earth Song (live), a modern sequel to the number 1 music video of the '90's.

It is a video which says a lot and I first saw it on Top of the Pops as a child, on a small black and white TV in the kitchen with my friend, then child minder, "Sponge".  My mom later took me to see the History tour live which quotes the famous Civil Rights movement MLK Jr. speech.
It says a lot that amidst the breath taking scenery of rain forest, stands Michael Jackson cruciform between two tree stumps.  I am no Christian but I recognise the symbolism, one of MJJ's favourite poses, and reject it.  It is a somewhat apocalyptic story you could say.  What have we done to the world?  War, famine, celebrities as savior.  Usually white celebrities.

Imagine (it isn't hard to do) what would happen if the Government listened to Michael Jackson and his army of American, European, North West London fans.  If they marched to his tune there would soon be a USA (that great bastion of democracy around the world with Michael Jackson's personal sponsor Sadam Hussain) invasion of Brazil and Amazonia.  I have a map of America on the wall.  Quite similar to Africa you see those straight lines.  There is a word for this sort of environmentalism: colonialism.  It is eco colonialism that reigns supreme in Israel with organisations like the JNF planting trees just like the girl in Michael Jackson's Earth Song (live).  MJ did not create the video with native Amazon tribes rather people dressed as Indians is more in style than we would like to think in the state of California where he is a citizen.

He is right about one thing.  One week before he died he addressed his touring band of talented dancers and singers.  There is nothing to be nervious about he said, just convey the important message that we are all one.  This is often a theme in shows and one reason I like Green Politics because I know that there is no escaping air pollution.  We are all the victim and we are all the polluter including future generations and, other species.

As a scientist I see inspiration in nature especially after my visit to South Africa between school and University.  However these ideas do need to be worked into a plan of action which is not to big up the oppressors but to be a campaign of the oppressed.  The Americans (I mean not US citizens) I met in Paris during the alternative climate talks, emphasised that it is not the planet we must save but ourselves.  We depend on its sustenance just to continue life.  The planet will be OK , it will go on, but will humanity?

One last plea.  If you still haven't watched the Earth Song video don't do it in anything lower than DVD or Blu Ray quality.

Ivan Lewis MP presents: Brexit, Trump, Corbyn, Politics in turmoil - What's going on?

I had a really good trip to Manchester.  The main reason I went to the MP's talk is I wanted to find out exactly what questions local people were raising.

However to my surprise, my old friend Simon Johnson was chairing and used chair's privilege to ask most of the questions for the first half hour!  Here is what was said:

Simon: Did it surprise you it was Jeremy Corbyn who won the Labour leadership?
Ivan: In many ways it is like the Tory leadership during their time in opposition.  The purpose was to get a leader who was not someone rather than because of who they are. Ken Clarke's ideology regarding the EU made him the wrong leadership choice.
Simon: Brexit question.  Should there have been a referendum
Ivan: No.  In a way it was a back clash against the establishment and how the EU question was flooded with things that have nothing to do with the question.  In many ways people used the referendum as a proxy.
Simon: should it be decided by the courts or not?
Ivan: But the voice of the people has to be respected.  Any delay in triggering article 50 is wrong
fair equitable re...
the deal is not in the interests (of Labour voters) but there are ideological factors

After 45 minutes of 2 men talking questions were picked from the audience.  Only men asked questions for the remaining 45 minutes!

-Antisemitism:  Do you feel comfortable in the Labour Party and the question of the Oxford accusations of antisemitism.  Ivan got a round of applause for saying he is not comfortable and it has not been zero tolerance but you would get this in any party
-Power should it lead people or respond to people?  i.e. bottom up or top down (at this point Ivan raised immigration as one example out of the air)
-Should the article 50 vote be following voters or your principles?
- Malcolm Jolis wanted to know if he should vote for Corbyn
- Trump and Israel - do you agree that the Americans want to bring a messianic age? (i.e. apocalypse)
- Are remainers thinking, with all the elections around Italy and Europe, that they can cause a reformation of the EU.

I managed to get in a question about why in Jewish and Muslim events no women tend to speak, and it's just men who spoke
Someone told me afterwards she was actually asked to be on the JLC panel... but someone like Trump can be seriously damaging to progress.

I am told Ivan used to be involved in the Jewish Socialist Group but fell out because he was very pro-Israel, after organising a very expensive trip to Manchester for a meeting.