Saturday, 27 December 2008

2008 - What a Year!

Its bin a while for me, December being the busiest for me at my work, and the winter Holidays, which I'm pleased were unusually peaceful and restful in a personal sense. It's depressing that there is little evidence of any peace and goodwill coming from Gaza, the Congo or Afghanistan at the moment.
The year began quietly for me, but was interrupted by a serious illness, I was hospitalised for 9 days and off work for more than a month, a frightening and painful episode! It did give me lots of time to think about what in life is most worthwhile and what things I wanted to devote more time to.
More reading, study and political activity and more time with my partner and dog, was what I decided I wanted to concentrate on. I have started down this path already and intend to continue as we move into 2009.
I have done a lot of reading, in terms of fiction, I read Little Dorrit, more enjoyable than this years BBC adaptation as well as some classic science fiction from the almost forgotten great, Olaf Stapledon. Being a political animal I have also read books from authors like Joel Kovel;, Murry Bookchin; and the "Ghetto Fights" by Marek Edelman I've just started what I have intended to read for years; Green Alternatives to Globalisation: A Manifesto by the late Mike Woodin and Caroline Lucas.
Sometime early in 2009 I plan to change what I'm doing for money, budget better and help as much as I can the Green Parties election effort for Bristol City Council and the Euro elections.
The biggest chalenge for Greens is not to win over disapointed Lib Dem's and Labour supporters, of whom there are no doubt quite a few in Bristol, but to engage with those who don't see the point in voting at all, and who can blame them when the real power seems to lie with the same old faces in the council chamber and unelected Merchant Venturers.
I also hope to visit blogosphere more often and try to avoid online "willy waving" instead trying to me constructive in what I argue.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Something funny!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Jean Lambert MEP's statement on BNP etc

The BNP membership scandal has shone a torch at all parties here with people previously associated with Tories, UKIP, Labour, Lib Dems and unfortunately the Green Party being found amongst the list. It has always been quite easy, perhaps too easy to join the Greens (sure its similar for other parties). Nothing yet on the Green Party website (hurry up!) but Jean Lambert our London MEP puts its clearly:

"Let there be no doubt that the Green Party stands firmly against both
racism and anti-Semitism. The Green Party has long fought for equality
for all, supported the rights of migrant workers and spoken out against
fascism and racism. People with those views are not welcome in the Green

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

BNP membership list online

Ooops! now I won't be as irresponsible as to post a link but some disgruntled ex BNPer has posted the entire membership list online.
If I was one of the fash, I'd be livid!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Housing in Bristol

My partner Katie went along to an Easton Planning meeting, mostly to discuss the continuing controversy surrounding the Chocolate Factory development. The first item on the agenda was on the problems of landlords buying up properties and letting them out without maintaining the properties well, which explains our very transitory population in this part of Bristol.
There is a shortage of affordable homes for families and it seems that the market is failing very badly in meeting that need. It appears that all new housing going up here and in the centre of the city is "luxury one and two bedroom apartments" Many of these I'm sure are bound to be bought up by landlords (who else can get a mortgage) and rented out t the highest bidder.
Naturally single people need accommodation, but I was always happier in a shared house as living in a small flat on my own would have been very isolating and depressing.
What I think is needed is more community and council control of where new housing is built, because of environmental and social impact; but also, what type of housing is built, in terms of low impact eco- houses and also who we are trying to house.
For the increasing number of people who can't get on the property ladder, they are forced into often quite substandard rented accommodation or a housing association if they are lucky. The answer is quite clear in my mind we need a new investment in council housing stock, improving conditions for those already in council houses and new better quality, more energy efficient stock, built in urban, rather than on green belt land. Bristol still has acres of brownfield land and its a tragedy that the priority is for shopping centres, yuppie flats and car parks rather than decent homes for people on low or modest incomes.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Blogroll, Cyclepaths etc

This is by no means complete, just some of the blog's I read. Slowly getting my head round the system here, will post something bit more interesting at the weekend, must admit it's been a bit of a non-starter) too much time spent working, just avoiding last place in a bye-election and leafleting, hours of leafleting!
From what others who have spent far more time looking at that I have, the big thing going on in my part of Bristol are the shenanigans over the future of the Chocolate Factory in Greenbank, although with the economy still nose-diving maybe the money will run out and the development at least shelved. However from what I can see the proposed scheme is far too intensive and has been spun rather expertly with more than a bucket of greenwash!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Child Poverty In Bristol

Quite Shocking figures Really!

51% in Bristol South, 49% here in East Bristol, North West is 46% and the West 26%. More than 10 years of Nu- Labour and still half the kids are born into Poverty.

Friday, 26 September 2008

New Green Blog for East Bristol


Just a quick note to say that I'm just starting up a blog, full of my personal observations on Green and Left politics, Bristol, my life, work etc...