Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Email Troubles

Message for those who think Shan and I have disappeared from cybercontact.

The emails with voice-international.net have temporarily disappeared.

We can be contacted on rigby"AT"voice.karoo.co.uk or shan"AT"voice.karoo.co.uk for the time being. The "AT" bit is to inhibit spammers, obviously one should use @

Friday, 7 May 2010

The Morning After

My Green mate Richard has put up an interesting blog encapsulating the best of the night from our point of view.
For my own part, 686 votes was a bit gutting. Better keep on with the day job.

Hearty thanks to all of you who bravely voted for us. There was a strong incentive to vote for an 'old' party, in order to keep out a worse one.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Now listen carefully

I want everyone to look at this image carefully, and reproduce it when you enter the ballot box on Thursday.

an interesting hustings

The 'Churches Together' group organised a hustings in Beverley Minster on 26 April. I'm sorry it has taken time to reflect on it in the blog. All in all it was good for the Greens. 250 or so came, and the feedback afterwards was positive. A few more thousand needed before I can be confident of winning the seat.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Politics Show

On Sunday 25 April, the Politics Show section for the North will be somewhere in the Leeds Liverpool Canal, and you might get a glimpse of me! The things we do for a little slice of TV exposure. Not sure yet whether to take my goggles and flippers. The topic is Employment and Jobs - if I get a chance, there is plenty to say!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Manifesto lesson 3 - Immigration

I think it is time to get down my ideas on immigration - together with the Greens' policy stance.

This will be the first of a few postings on the issue, 'cos it is a mite complicated. The Green Party manifesto devotes just over a page to the topic (pp 45,46).
In one sense we can say it's quite simple, really. In brief, Greens will
  • be fair to all,
  • meet our international obligations,
  • sort out the issues which are causing people to want to move here, and therefore lessen the demand
  • sort out the mess inherited from the existing system, and
  • make sure children, particularly, are treated humanely.
These wholesome aspirations look a lot more complicated, when other factors and anxieties come in to play. These include worry about overcrowding here in the UK, fear of society being taken over by others with a lack of respect for our values, resentment of incomers getting a better deal than ourselves, fear of jobs being taken by migrants, and so on.

The position in Beverley and Holderness is affected also by the particular 'character' of local society, where for many generations there have been quite small changes compared with the experience in other communities.

And finally, for this posting, I don't think we are very good at hammering out local solutions to knotty problems, and this certainly presents a basket of problems which will need a lot of knocking around before they are resolved. This is a place where leadership has been called for, and been lacking. Greens will offer leadership, if the voters make it possible.

So, this is what happened ...

I was intending to do a piece on another topic, when an article in last Sunday's Observer gripped me. Will Hutton, a respected writer on economics, is saying, in the words of his headline, "Now we know the truth. The financial meltdown wasn't a mistake – it was a con".
This is a story about the implications of the pending prosecution against Goldman Sachs, 'the world's most famous investment bank'. The allegation is that they were selling a dodgy product, while at the same time supporting a hedge fund which was betting on the stock in that product collapsing. The question is, why have no allegations of bankers' misconduct emerged from the UK?
He makes the point, 'We have to live with the fiction that our banks and bankers are whiter than white, and any attempt to investigate them and their institutions will lead to a mass exodus to the mountains of Switzerland. The politicians of the Labour and Tory party alike are Bambis amid the wolves'.
Greens want to regulate this lot - with vigour.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Which policies do you prefer?

It is good to see that when people vote blind for the policies on offer, without knowing which party the policies belong to, there is still a majority in favour of the Green Party.

The Vote for Policies site shows (rounded up to whole numbers):
Greens 25%
LibDems 18%
Labour 18%
Tories 17%
UKIP 11%
BNP 10%

The sample size is 144,000, so these results are pretty robust.
Dear reader, can you please vote according to your reasoned judgement?

Media - news about news

We had this nice bit of cover today in the Hull Daily Mail, and guess what - the web link we had published on the bottom had been hacked & has taken all day to fix. Google still thinks it's a corrupt location. Grrr. Martin Deane and our web host slaved for ages trying to deal with it.

Caroline had a slot with David Vine on BBC R2 this lunch time. He was pretty rough, but C handled it with dignity.

Manifesto - lesson 2b

I've just had a little insight. It's obvious, really, but helps to get things to click into place about the Greens grip on finance. All the tax and spend projections can be listed under two headings - either promoting social justice, or promoting environmental justice. We see social justice here in the UK best achieved by reducing inequality, hence the 'levelling out' principle in both taxation and expenditure plans. To realise why this principle is so important I cannot recommend too highly the book, The Spirit Level, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, and its associated web site .

We are, obviously, going for taxation and expenditure to protect and improve the environment (see pages 16, 17 of the manifesto), and that's because we think ahead, not just for the next three weeks.

Greens, the double issue party - for social AND environmental justice

Monday, 19 April 2010

Manifesto lesson 2

Our policy on the economy starts with some assumptions. Firstly, the present system is bust and is only working in fits and starts. The collapse of last year is just a symptom.
The frequent failures come from irresponsible financial speculation (casino capitalism), forgetting that resources are finite, and not grasping the implications of increasing inequality.
The Green economy ties money to goods, resources and services. It promotes equality and fair shares, and balances the books honestly against the future.
This is not a doom and gloom scenario. It creates jobs - in abundance, promotes well being and good health and reduces the reasons for international disputes and conflict.

OK, sounds fine but what of the realities? The details are on pages 8 to 11 of the Manifesto , and include
  • paying back the debts (50% by 2013)
  • regulate the financial sector more stringently
  • protect public services
  • reverse the trend of falling taxation levels

Saturday, 17 April 2010

A fishy tale

A lot of positive exchanges took place during our tour of the town today. Friendly discussions with young and old. But the fish man (top pic) engaged me in a taxation debate - who pays more tax (proportionately): the rich or the poor? I said, "the poor, of course" and he challenged me to find the source of that statement. I'll have to research it tonight. Watch this space

Saturday promenade

Shan and I did a sort of promenade today. Starting at the Buttercross in Saturday Market (lower pic), we met the voters - including a bit of banter with a Town Councillor (below) and a Green stalwart (above).

usurper prevails

This is a nest which has been occupied every year for the last 20 by a male wren - not necessarily the same one, mind you, but a wren has been there. Now, here is a robin in the nest. Maybe the cold winter has led to a loss in demand for des res from wrens. Maybe the wrens, who usually have more than one nest, have allowed a squatter in for altruistic reasons. Who can quess? Anyway, we are having a great time watching progress!

Manifesto Lesson 1

photo: David Bebber of the Times.
Caroline Lucas, the Green Party Leader, at the launch of the party manifesto the other day.
"Our vision is for a fairer society that meets everyone's needs" - a statement taken from the preamble. 'Motherhood and Apple Pie', you may say, 'Surely all the parties are saying this'.
What the others are NOT saying is that our economic, education and benefit systems are all functioning to make matters worse, and not better. They are not saying that our foreign policy is being conducted in a manner which enhances global inequalities - frustrating the pursuit of Millennium Development Goals which are supposed to reduce differences.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Freepost leaflet

The leaflet is being delivered, as some people have told me they have one. It seems so long ago since it was prepared!

Post Mortem

The hustings last night was good in parts, I suppose. I've looked through most of it, and reminded myself (once again) to look at the camera. But - the experience is certainly very testing.

I must confess to making a 'slip'. Things were going extremely well, when I was asked a question and I should have known the answer, but didn't. So, can you guess what I did? I gave the answer to another question. Now, this is OK, and a well established ploy by media savvy operators. However, I compounded the problem by giving the wrong answer to the question that hadn't been put (if you see what I mean).

Memo to oneself: keep to the truth - don't answer if you don't know the answer. Blundering on makes the situation worse. The lesson is that pontificating in public is harder than it looks. There is no substitute for knowing the stuff through and through.

There: I've said it.

This morning (Friday) we registered three candidates with the Returning Officer: Michael Jackson for East Yorkshire, Shan Oakes for Haltemprice and Howden and Bill Rigby for Beverley and Holderness.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Live TV Hustings - Today

After a solo show yesterday, there is a hustings at 7 pm this evening. This is plenty of time before the distraction of the national head to head - so viewers will be able to compare.

You can see it live or later at your leisure.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Live TV appearance -TODAY

I am just off to be interviewed at 2 pm this afternoon on a local internet TV channel. I hope you catch it live or via the web
It makes interesting viewing - for me, at least!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Hull & East Riding Launch

A good turn-out for the launch of the four candidates who will run for the Greens in Hull & East Riding. The BBC Look North team did us proud with at least fifteen seconds of air time live on the 6.30 slot (gentle irony). Martin had the mike and competed`well against a cacophany of distractions from hooting passers by. We will look at the I-Player version tomorrow and see how it went for you viewers. The great thing was the good session afterwards in the Kings Head, Saturday Market. A worthwhile occasion. Thanks to all who braved the crisp and breezy evening.

the Battle Bike

The Skeffling interview (see below) was our first trial of the Mezzo. I took a train from Beverley to Hull, number 77 bus to Patrington, and then biked to Skeffling. As one might expect, the Greens were the first there! Labour came in a Jag (seriously), and the Tories (team of 3) by Alpha Romeo. Ten-nil for moral superiority.

Look North - another wind up

On Friday I trialled the new Party Battle-Bike to an interview with two other candidates in the middle of a field near Skeffling. This was to record a slot for Look North to accompany the LIVE broadcast of our local election launch in Beverley this evening. All the interest at this stage in E Yorks is on wind farm developments. This evening we hope to widen the agenda.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Bang! goes the starting gun

In the days when I competed as an athlete, I would enter for the race, turn up in good time and warm up. Then, after settling down at the start, be off at the gun - all balanced and cool.
This particular race fo has certainly started when we all predicted, but (a) I can't find my kit, (b) feel unreasonably handicapped by the system, and (c) I am running several events at the same time!
Having said that - I'm glad to be here, offering a chance to Fight for Fairness!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

A precious legacy tainted by venal politics?

One would hope that the Greens would not get into the dog's dinner described below. Maybe I have chosen an inappropriate metaphor ...

Today the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, acceded to worldwide demands and designated the Chagos as a marine reserve. This declaration will make it the largest marine protected area in the world, totalling more than 210,000 square miles - an area twice the size of the UK. He was responding to the demands of over 275,000 people who had written in support of the proposal to preserve this unique marine habitat from further exploitation by commercial fishing. Read a fuller version of the history at the Protect Chagos website. For the uninitiated, it may be helpful to be reminded that here in the UK only 30, yes thirty, square miles of our seas have the protection granted to the Chagos.

However, this campaign has been accompanied by the pleas of the indigenous Chagosians, forcibly removed a generation ago to make way for the building of a US Air base at Diego Garcia. Despite winning a High Court ruling to permit them to return, HM government remains intransigent and awaits an EU Court of Human Rights judgement as to whether the continued exile can stand. See the Channel 4 news report

One can only hope that a way can be found to respect the rights of the indigenous people in a manner which promotes the vital conservation objectives of the marine reserve.

The lessons of this exercise will prove valuable to conservationists and politicians struggling with the sustainability of our own local waters, and those of the NE Atlantic, over fished to a disastrous level through the workings of the EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). This Policy, in the process of reform needs radical revision as a matter of urgency. The world’s marine ecosystem needs a successful resolution of both dilemmas.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

policy bite

I hope this letter gets a place in the local rag this week.

I have found it fascinating that, no matter how carefully a letter is drafted to try to conclude a debate with the clinching argument, there is always a come-back. Like a forest fire, the flames of debate flare up from unexpected places. In the latest case it was “the carnivore’s revenge”.

To be clear: Greens do NOT say ‘that we all should be vegetarians’. However, humans are eating increasing amounts of meat and dairy products and this is having serious consequences, not only on our health but also on forest cover – particularly in the Amazon. It’s not that the cows need the grazing, but that the land is commandeered for the soya they’re fed with. Oh, and there are local people to be cleared away before the soya is planted, with injustice and human rights implications. Friends of the Earth is running a campaign on this issue called ‘Fix the Food Chain’.

So, our increasing appetite for animal products leads to accelerating climate effects from the methane and reduced tree cover, human rights violations for many poor people, with consequent civil unrest, and extraordinary profit for the few.

Green policy in a nutshell – “You can’t get owt for nowt“

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Nuclear comment - scrap Trident

I like this summary from Martin Deane:
"Green Policy #9: Scrap Trident and British nuclear weapons.

40 years ago Britain undertook to halt, reduce and eliminate our nuclear capability when we signed the NPT or Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Labour-proposed renewal of Trident, after Blair’s vote in 2007, is hardly that. Labour apologists say renewing Trident is completely within the terms of the NPT and doesn’t count as an escalation. They argue that the actual number of warheads is decreased – and this may even be true! However, the NPT commission doesn’t see it that way and regards the proposed renewal as an escalation of capability and therefore may be in breach of the Treaty.

Scrapping Trident is part of our 8 point plan on Peace and Security as per latest draft manifesto.

No replacement of Trident . We cannot conceive of any circumstances in which we could or would use these expensive and immoral weapons, and would de-commission the existing system and not renew it.

There are various figures given for costs. The most frequent is a £76 bn lifetime cost. But the the total cost could be as high as £130 bn (Guardian). And we have plenty of plans for that level of expenditure!

The reasons the LibDems give (Nick Clegg, last June) are that it’s too expensive and not fit for our security needs. They still believe in and want a nuclear deterrent just not that one.

In 2007 when Blair put Trident renewal to a vote, some 72% of people polled against it and nearly 100 Lab MPs revolted over it.

In the Green Party we do not want these weapons. We do not want a replacement. Nor do we do not want a nuclear deterrent. A significant majority of the British people agree with us (58% to 35% in last September’s poll) . Nuclear deterrence is a highly dangerous outcome of the Cold War.

It is necessary and vital to think differently in the 21st century – especially on how we use dwindling resources, and how we foster international cooperation and development.

We cannot conceive of any use these weapons have: they cannot be used, that would be the ultimate failure. Nor is Trident actually an independent but relies on American missiles, know-how and say-so – they don’t help our security, they keep us tied to US policy"

Monday, 29 March 2010

Peter Levy Show

Our colleague Mike Jackson was interviewed in the Peter Levy radio show this lunchtime. He is the Green candidate for East Yorkshire, and it is pleasing that we were brought in. However, he was kept cornered by Peter into giving responses to questions purely about windfarms and the like. I sent the following email to the BBC, hoping that it may get an airing at some stage.
Hello Peter,
I enjoyed your interview with my colleague, Mike Jackson, earlier.May I reinforce the key point; the oil and gas bonanza in the last decade or so has burnt most of global supplies – we are soon to be so short that we’ll be handing out the stuff by the teaspoon, not for energy, but for medicines, fertilisers, plastics and the like. In preparation for this shortage, what are governments doing? Going to war to secure oil supplies. This is not responsible leadership appropriate for this crisis.

Greens see the link between the oil and gas addiction of our society and embarking on futile war. This shows lack of concern for the needs of our children and grandchildren. Best wishes

Friday, 26 March 2010

Broadening the agenda

Shan did me proud with this letter, also in last week's Beverley Guardian.

Local debate continues

We try to keep wider issues, like peace, justice and sensible economics, in the public eye. So this piece (published on 19 March in the Beverley Guardian) plays into the hands of those who think we have nothing to talk about, but the weather!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Longcroft School hustings

This event (19 March) was organised by the East Riding Youth Assembly (as you can see), chaired by one of the Longcroft students, in front of forty or so sixth formers. The candidates are beginning to know each other quite well! L to R Bill (Green) Ian (Lab) and Graham (Con).

Again, a cracking range of issues, which gave no-one an easy time.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Hornsea bites back

Last Monday we went to a meeting of small businesses in Hornsea convened to consider ways of responding to the arrival of a new branch.

The Market Weighton Chamber of Trade sent a member to share their experience of Post Tesco Shock Syndrome, followed by a business link adviser. He gave a presentation on strategies helpful for keeping your business on its toes.

Useful chat with a parich councillor, and with some of the shopkeepers, all pretty anxious about what might happen to their business.

Tesco economics is plain barmy.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Hustings at Wilberforce

It's Wednesday - it must be Wilberforce. We are beginning to get into a rhythm. Yesterday's event was at one of Hull's sixth form colleges whose students come in large numbers from the Beverley and Holderness patch. So I was pleased to be able to share a platform with (L to R), Christine (Con), Stephan (the Principal), Jonathan (entrepreneur), Mike (Lib Dem), Ian (Lab).

Six scorching questions: Why bother to vote? Should we be in Afghanistan? Is global warming an issue? HE fees - should they continue? Are the BNP now 'mainstream'? and, finally, how do you eat a cream egg?

Half of the audience of 120 or so is old enough to vote. Asked at the beginning, how many intend to vote, only a minority responded. I hope we persuaded some to change their mind. One student afterwards gave Greens the victory in debate - maybe he was a voter!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Hard times in Roos

The illustration is one of the ads by the Department for Energy and Climate Change that was criticised by the ASA. The government has pledged to continue its campaigns on climate change, despite the advertising watchdog banning two of its press ads. Last October's £6m ad campaign, by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has become a lightning rod for the politically charged debate over the issue. The campaign, including a TV ad, four press ads and two billboard posters, prompted almost 1,000 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, denouncing it as misleading, scaremongering and distressing.

The ASA has today ruled that two of the press ads, which used nursery rhymes to push the message of climate change, were in breach of the advertising code. In its ruling the ASA said that the language used to indicate how storms, flooding and heatwaves will increase "should have been phrased more tentatively". However, the ASA added that the images of the UK flooding and of a drought "were not in themselves ... exaggerated or misleading".

The above little piece in today's Guardian (the old Manchester Guardian, not the Beverley Guardian!) links with my experience last night at the Roos wind farm enquiry.

A company called RES has had its planning application turned down by the East Riding Planning Committee, and their appeal against the decision has gone to a public inquiry. The inquiry has been spread over eight days, but one of the hearings was not in County Hall, which is in Beverley, 30 odd miles from the site, but in Roos itself. I elected to give my views at this meeting. The parish hall was packed – 60-odd people at least. Objectors were heard first, and the leader of the objectors gave a careful and comprehensive case lasting about one hour and forty minutes. She was followed by seven or eight others. After two and a half hours, the three people prepared to speak in support were called. The first, Mike Jackson, a fellow Green, described the experience a Lisset, a village near to his home which has had a wind farm in place for nearly a year. I made my case as follows

* Government has failed to make clear to the nation as a whole the true extent of the energy security crisis, hence it is entirely understandable if communities bridle at the thought of a wind farm invasion whose case they don’t accept. The ad campaign shown above illustrates the hamfistedness of the current efforts by DECC
* Local authorities have been given no incentive to use their community connections to discuss a strategic approach to sustainable energy provision in their area, so the case for putting the installation has had to be made by the developer
* Local communities have had no incentives to become partners with the developers in a scheme. The only beneficiaries appear to be the landowner and the developer.
* This dogs dinner means that if the appeal is upheld, the community will be resentful, add their voice to the network of others under ‘threat’ and make subsequent applications more difficult. If the appeal is tuned down, government will come up with more draconian planning arrangements which make applications easier to succeed and breed more local unrest.

My support was therefore highly qualified – but support nevertheless. Which made me no friends at all!

Our dear government is making Greens a scapegoat for their incompetence

Sunday, 14 March 2010

On the stump

At least two reasons to feel good during Market Day in Beverley yesterday. The weather is picking up, and we were comfortable standing for a few hours. Even better was the warm feeling we got from the regular positive responses from passers by.

Vulture Funds - Tory plot!

some bits of news just take your breath away. This one did.

I have sent this letter (below) to my MP, Graham Stuart, following a story in the Guardian (web version) on Saturday 13 March. There seems to be no sign of it in the Sunday version. If you have a local Tory MP, please consider sending your own version to him/her.

People have being buying third world debt (which was scheduled to be written off anyway) and successfully suing for their recovery in UK courts. This bill was supposed to extinguish the practice in our jurisdiction.

Dear Graham, As you will be aware, on last Friday evening members of your party killed a private members’ bill that would have put an end to the disgraceful practice of corporations buying up old debts of some of the world’s poorest countries the suing them for large sums.
The bill had enjoyed widespread support within parliament and from leading charities.
One would expect all Members of Parliament to have supported Mr Gwynne’s bill but Conservative MPs objected to it, knowing that this would mean it would run out of time and have no chance of becoming law.
It appears that your party, having pledged support for the bill, then objected to it and refused to admit who was responsible.
One can only conclude that this was a decision taken by your front bench in a direct breach of commitments given by David Cameron. Can you please
Make your view of this action clear in a reply to this letter, and
Pass on my concerns and seek a clarification from David Cameron
Yours sincerely
Bill Rigby
Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Beverley and Holderness

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Beverley Town By-Election

Thursday 4 February: Result of the election in Minster South Ward
Dack(Green) 182
Foot(Lib Dem) - 165
McGrath(Labour) - 149
Dominic Peacock(Cons) - 322

Our 22% would mean about 143 MPs if reflected in Parliament. - as if! And we lost to a self-confessed "Toff" in a deerstalker. Beverley! Sigh.

Full House!

You will not be able to read this page without keen acuity, but it is displayed to demonstrate our first FULL HOUSE - a whole page of letters linked to our campaigns - in the Beverley Guardian.
Anti-clockwise, from the top: two on our local MP's stance on foxhunting, one from Pete Dack, the Green Party candidate in the Town Council election last Thursday (more about this above), one on dog shit, one from a strong opponent to ERYC's approach to Norwood House, and one from me on greens and climate change.

shooting ... who?

On the train the other day (Thursday 4 Feb), I saw a good treatment of the BBC R4 'Analysis' programme from last Sunday on Richard Lawson's blog. I even made a comment, promising to follow it up with more on my Blog. Now that I am getting down to it, Richard has been busy posting a whole lot more on other issues - what industry!
By coincidence, a letter of mine got into the local free press today (see above). Richard's post was very confessional - exploring the accusation that the greens we just religious near-fanatics.
I'm mainly pissed off with the cheap logic chopping of much reporting about greens - using weird associations to undermine perfectly rational standpoints.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Chagos crisis - sign up now!

Since last November, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has been running a consultation on a proposal to set up a marine reserve around the Chagos Islands. The image here is borrowed from the FCO literature.

The consultation is due to close on 12 February 2010.

Greenpeace and others are organising an on line petition to persuade the FCO to set up a reserve. This petition has an endorsement from Professor Callum Roberts.

Two recent news stories add background to the issues. The Guardian on 27 January gives a gallery of images, and includes a piece by Tony Juniper, where he says “Protecting the Chagos archipelago is a rare opportunity for the UK to create a conservation area as important as the Galapagos islands or Great Barrier Reef”. The story also makes clear that the consultation process has excluded the inhabitants of Diego Garcia, evicted by the British to make way for a US air base years ago. The bloggers are making hay discussing the politics and the conservation issues. A lot of heat & only a little light.

However, The Times in an article on 22 January adds another twist, by pointing out that “ A company belonging to the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser is opposing plans to create the world’s biggest marine reserve. His company holds a government contract to manage fishing in the area, which would be banned if the reserve were created”

Murky waters - indeed. It appears that the CSA himself and a whole range of officials cannot see a vested interest, even if it slaps them in the face.

Please sign the petition NOW!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Norwood House - another move

The planning decision last Monday prompted a piece in the Yorkshire Post on 22 Jan (see Shan's Blog). This, in turn, led Radio Humberside to ring us for a quote. I duly obliged.

Climate change in Beverley - whatever next?

This could have been drafted better, but we are pleased that the Beverley Guardian published it this week. An incentive to us to organise an event

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

You can't win them all

Reeling from the news about Norwood House, we went to the budget meeting of the Beverley Town Council. This time it was me making a presentation - attempting to persuade the Council to think again with plans for yet another Armed Forces Day in the summer.

My three minutes did not hit the button (note: learn more about simple rhetoric), and I wasted my breath. £12000 of our money has been voted to support this recruiting effort for the military!

I hear a campaign rumbling.

Eastern Area Planning Committee

We arrived on Monday afternoon in good time to attend the planning meeting which was to determine the future of Norwood House. The doors were jammed with people from Leven, there to object to a development proposal in their village. Soon after this stern shot was taken, they were jubilant with the news that the application had been refused. We were not so sanguine, fearing an acceptance for the proposal to turn Norwood House into offices.

Our advocate, Prof John Wilton Ely, had three minutes to convince the committee to reject. And that is just what they did!
'Gob smacked' is the word

Friday, 15 January 2010

...and finally

Then we were invaded by a group eager to demonstrate - on every issue!

A very rewarding session.

My thanks to those who came to chat - their good humour and obvious concern for important issues.

campaign trail 3

Others came, anxious to make a point

campaign trail 2

Then we met a lady with her friend from Copenhagen, supporters of our mission for peace.

on the campaign trail

Earlier in the week we went in search of someone who would express support for some of the key Green slogans. A miserable, blustery day was enlivened by a series of encounters.

The first was a baby (sheltered in the pram), who let his mum pose for a shot.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

letter to the editor

The Beverley Guardian is read by a high proportion of local people. We were therefore pleased when the editor this week included our comment on the 'performance' by a local politician at the local hunt on Boxing Day.