Monday, March 18, 2013

Emergency deprivation of Social Security and emergency email to MP

Just emailed the following to my MP, Fabian Hamilton (Labour, Leeds North East).  Alas my printer is offline and it is too late to put something in the Republican Mail.  And it seems this one is planned to be steamrollered through Parliament tomorrow....

Subject: Jobseekers (back to work schemes) Bill

Dear Fabian

From the bottom of my heart I appeal to you to oppose the 'Jobseekers (back to work schemes) Bill, which I understand is to be rushed through Parliament tomorrow.

Why is it an emergency to deprive some of the poorest in society of the money they need to live on and which the Courts have said they are entitled to?  Why, if the Grauniad is to be believed, is this being supported by the 'Official Opposition'?

furthermore, doesn't such retrospective legislation strike at the very heart of the Rule of Law? 

and it is a rotten principal that because it is taxpayers money it should be denied.  On these grounds similar legislation could 'protect the taxpayer' from claims of compensation against say the Police Service.  It is after all taxpayers money.  Of course since they are responsible for the cock up Chris Grayling and IDS could always be held personally responsible if we were really to protect the taxpayer.

One final point, as Cait Reilly (the Geology Graduate forced to give up voluntary work in a museum to work for nothing at Poundland) rightly pointed out, unemployed people wish for help into paid employment or failing that education and training.  Forced Labour Schemes (Scab for your Giro) and punitive withdrawal of benefit do not create employment or get anyone back to work, so the Bill's title is a complete misnomer, a blatant lie.

It is beyond shameful that IDS is proposing this Bill, I trust that as my MP you will ensure its defeat including working with other MPs or all Parties.

Be in touch for any reason

Bluebell Eikonoklastes

Friday, March 01, 2013

Forty Glorious Years!!! The Greens at Nottingham, Spring 2013

Made it to Nottingham for Green Party 'Spring' Conference.  Here is the Town Hall.

Why?  You may ask.  Well, I joined The Green Party back in '89.  I had not previously been in a political party, not having been born into 'Labour'.  Discussion with a 'left' Labour man at Coventry Poly while I was failing my second year disastrously about the need to be in the 'Party of the Working Class' had led me to the conclusion that the Green Party was the Party of the Working Class not the Labour Party which at best does not care.  And that was at the time of the Poll Tax where the Green Party supported the struggle against the Poll Tax and the Labour Party were just covering their backs with a fair bit of sectarianism from the 'Left' of the Labour Party.  So, nearly a quarter of a century later, the Tories are the Nasty Party, the Lib-Dems are The Other Nasty Party, Labour are Nasty in Waiting and that leaves the Green Party.

Anyway I first went to Conference at Wolverhampton One in Autumn '89 and last went to Conference at Southport on the occasion of The Party's 21st Birthday.  Where did the last quarter century go....

The East Midlands Conference Center is on the campus of the University of Nottingham.  Out on the edge of town and vast with hardly any facilities.  Give me Leeds any day!!!!!  I am proud to be a Leeds grad!

Had hoped to catch the conference opening and Natalie Bennett's opening speech but alas... hadn't quite calculated the vast distances and relative infrequency of the buses....

It was a conference of highs and lows and most things in beween, a good high to start was that my name tag and folder with agenda, voting cards, timetable etc was there waiting for me.  Have a pic on other camera but am beset by a multitude of hardware and software difficulties here.....  so there are a few lost pics for now.

I made it, complete with a Green Rosette for the County Council Elections.

So next was the plenary session to accept the SOC report (standing orders committee) and other items of vital business. 

Friday Nite was Pub Quiz nite organised by the awesome Young Greens.  Here is a couple of Young Greens.

 Our quizmaster

Then back to the Crash at Nottingham Friends Meeting House where some Greens had brought their bikes :-)

Some of us did head out to try and catch last orders.  Someone has a Horn in Hand.

So good to be back at Nottingham Friends Meeting House where I have stayed once before at least for Young Friends General Meeting (the Quaker Yoof) when I was a bit younger...

Is The Other Nasty Party in town?

I take my seat for Saturday's 10:30 hrs Plenary Session

Here's the best bits of Will Duckworth's speech

Next a meeting of the Yorkshire posse, with Andrew Cooper our Number One Candidate in Yorkshire and the Humber, David Blackburn the first Green on Leeds City Council and Adrian Cruden

Taking a Vote!

Democracy in action innit!

and then, at 1645 hrs we celebrated 40 Glorious Years!  And welcomed our founders!

Here they are

From left to right: Lesley Whittaker, one of the original 4, Freda Benfield, another original, Skoolboy David Taylor chairing (he was still at skool and wrote to the National Secretary Clive Lord), Clive Lord, a true stalwart (blogging at and Michael Benfield another of the originals.  The forth Original, Tony Whittaker was prevented through illness and we all wish him health and recovery.

Lesley took us back to a different world... no mobile phones, no world wide web, photocopiers hardly existed, the internet was top secret, typewriting was generally manual banging away on keys, and copy cut and paste was literally that..

Can you imagine it? Nah!

and then it was deemed in right ordering to sing Happy Birthday

meet the new Chairperson

I dig being in charge! hehe    And here's to The Green Party!!

Darren Johnson was compare without compare of the review back at Southport here he is as DJ

Lots of dancing with passion!

Join a New Party!

With notice of poll from when Clive Lord stood as the People candidate for Leeds North East in February 1974.  Leeds North East is still here. 

Transport Spokesperson all the way from MK, Alan Francis with Jonathan Tyler

Tyler X

Meeting the MEPs at breakfast time Sunday....

Left: Jean Lambert MEP (Green London), Right Keith Taylor MEP (Green South East England) dunno who the chap in the middle is.

Two splendid MEPs lets elect more splendid Green MEPs!

And on to plenary

Here is our lead candidate for Yorkshire and the Humber for the European Parliament: Andrew Cooper.  And me.

Then on to a meeting with some of the Brighton Green Councillors, here is Jason Kitcat talking about the struggles of Brighton Council to resist the insane austerity regime of the Nasty Con-Dem government, their mistakes, their failures, their achievements.

Catching up with Mirriam Kennett (second from right) and of course Clive Lord (far left), with Iris Ryder (Hartlepool, second from left)

And so to the evenings ents, open mic

Here Richard Lawson does poetry!

back to the crash and from there to catch last orders here I hit the dancefloor in the alehouse.  I never thought the walk would end...

Here is Friends Meeting House

Monday morning question and answers with leader and deputy leader

I get to meet Natalie Bennett.

A million Green jobs.  Why not?

And home I went.  I first stopped at the statue of Chartist MP Feargus O'Connor, but that shall be another post.  I really ought to publish this and go to bed, this post has been something beyond a labour of love.  An obsession I suppose.  Seems I missed all the important bits out.....

It was a conference of highs and lows.  But on the whole good.  We are the happy party, we have good ideas, good news to sell.  The future, if there is one, is Green.

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