Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Crowdfunding continues to be a great tool for many Greens to raise money.

Not wanting to miss out, I've got a project too:

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The A5 flyer

I have been circulating the above flyer as much as possible with fellow activists recently. The reaction has been quite good. I received the following message via Facebook:

Hi Shasha, I'm a long time Labour voter who's just got your flyer through the door (Maberley Rd), and I've stopped dithering about who to vote for. I'm going to vote for you, and I will be telling everyone I know about you too. Good luck!

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

SELL OFF - The Abolition of the NHS

Photo of Peter Bach taken whilst watching Sell Off
Last month I was invited to the Croydon screening of Sell Off at Stanley Halls. It's powerful movie featuring doctors and GPs who are described as NHS "insiders". I was invited to say a few words after the movie alongside one of the "insiders", Dr Bob Gill.

The film can be viewed here. Please watch it.

There are many revelations in the film. The most telling section for me is when Peter Bach, the narrator, talks about the 200 parliamentarians who have recent past or present financial links to companies involved in healthcare.

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

30 second pitch

It seems like the number of opportunities to promote ones candidacy is manifold this time around. Simple Politics have thought up one of the more novel promotional tools - a 30 second video. I noticed that Sadiq Khan, the Labour MP leading a unit to halt the Green Party threat, had filmed a #30secondpitch, so I thought I'd match my namesake.

Not easy to promote yourself in 30 seconds, so I went for a leftfield approach. It was shot after a leafleting session in Upper Norwood. I figured the top of Biggin Hill, off Beulah Hill, would offer an eyecatching location, with central Croydon's skyline in the background.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Angel Di Maria and the nursery key worker.

A friend of mine gave me the current copy of FourFourTwo for my birthday. I love football so I enjoyed flicking through it. There was an interesting article on how much top footballers earn per week.

Lionel Messi

The highest paid footballer in the world is Lionel Messi. He is on a cool  £512,835 a week. He beats Ronaldo's £502,863. The highest paid English Premier League player is Angel Di Maria who is on a rather modest £250,000 a week.

Angel Di Maria

Some other notable weekly pay packets:

Gareth Bale,  Real Madrid & Wales, £324,795
Wayne Rooney, Man Utd & England £235,000
Radamel Falcao, Monaco & Man Utd, Colombia £217,840
Robin Van Persie, Man Utd & Holland £210,000
Eden Hazard, Chelsea & Belgium £200,000
Yaya Toure, Man City & Ivory Coast £190,000
John Terry, Chelsea & England, £175,000
Steven Gerrard, Liverpool & England, £140,000

I am thinking about wages this week because my daughter's excellent key worker at nursery is leaving her position for a career change: a telesales operative for a multinational company. I spoke to her about this briefly and she said had no chance to save money to buy a house with the salary she was on. Looking online, a key worker/ nursery practitioner could be on around £15,000-£17,000 which works out at about £288 per week (£7.70 p/h).

If a parent sends their son or daughter to nursery, the role of the key worker is almost like a second mother or father. Due to the long working hours culture that we all have to contend with, in many cases the key worker will see more of the child than the parent(s). However, leaving this important role to market forces means that parents tend to find child care expensive, child care workers find the pay too low and the proprietors of nurseries are probably barely making an average salary as their profit.

I assume if Angel Di Maria's agent is ever asked if his client is worth a weekly pay packet, which observed as a ratio, is 870:1 more than a Trafford nursery key worker he would probably reply these inflated prices are what clubs are prepared to pay.

Green Party policy is 10:1 ratio 

The Green party stands for fair pay and that is why we believe in a 10:1 ratio for wages. On Brighton and Hove council the Chief Executive has actually taken a pay cut in order for Greens to move in the direction of 10:1 ratio.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Saturday night to Sunday morning as the clocks go forward

Busy weekend: What a great turnout on Saturday at the Stop The Incinerator fundraiser in Beddington. I was invited to say a few words during the interval - whilst speaking I thought to myself there's a lot of people out there! The event finished quite late. On Sunday we were campaigning in South Norwood at 10am (9am in reality - clocks went forward)!

Stop The Incinerator fundraiser in Beddington Village Hall

South Norwood Action Team

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Selhurst by-election reaction

A few years ago we had some work done on our kitchen and dining room. A wall was knocked through, some bricklaying done and new kitchen fitted. I actually knocked up a video of the transformation!

After the work was completed there were some bags of rubbish and building materials, such as a bag and half of sand, that remained in our back garden. It remained in our garden for a while. Occasionally I thought I had better take the rubbish to Factory Lane Waste Transfer and Recycling Centre, but it was usually after a downpour and I figured I didn't want to carry the soaking bags of rubbish through the house. Such is the way the mind works, after a few weeks/months one forgets that its an unsightly pile of rubbish and instead it becomes almost a fixture of the garden. Anyway, I eventually removed it.

The important fact is that apart from our household, no one else had to view the rubbish on our property.

The Selhurst By-Election in a funny way reminded me how as residents of Selhurst had become oblivious to rubbish. Rubbish had become a fixture.

On the final Sunday before the election we had an Action Morning in the ward. A couple of our colleagues from Carshalton joined us. Here we are all just before we set out:

After the session our colleagues from across the borough boundary, who were leafleting in a different part of the ward, mentioned that there was a lot of rubbish about in Selhurst. This usually means flytip rubbish, but they qualified their observation by explaining it was on peoples properties. Rather defensively, I said it comes from living in a densely populated transient area, with high levels of rental accommodation.

The sheer fact is that I am used to the rubbish on the streets and in peoples front gardens, and almost more fixated with flytipped rubbish which I constantly report using the My Croydon App. However, for people living in Carshalton, Selhurst in comparison must seem like a depressingly rubbish ridden area but my senses are more accustomed and accepting to it.

Since the election I am a whole lot more acutely aware of visible rubbish that is not on public highways. Behind fences seems to be common location. Therefore, not on a public highway, instead pushed through a gap in a fence on to someones land to remain in perpetuity, away from the highway thus removing it from the responsibility of the council contractors.

Here are a couple of examples that are destined to remain indefinitely [I have attempted to ensure the property cannot be identified].

I assume the occupiers of the above properties may well be short term tenants who probably feel it is not there responsibility to clean up the mess left by previous occupiers . Equally, It maybe the case like me with the rubbish in my garden, the present occupiers have become oblivious to the rubbish.

Something that one can also be oblivious about is elections in Selhurst. Over 80 per cent of the electorate did not vote.The fact of the matter is Labour have embarrassingly huge majorities in several wards in north Croydon. The winning candidate David Ward has a job for life. All he has to do is ensure the members of the Labour party who live in Selhurst are kept on side. Thereafter it's an easy ride knowing once selected, you will be elected.

Tracey did really well. She polled only 98 votes behind the Conservative candidate and finished unexpectedly ahead of UKIP [okay by one vote] and the Lib Dems. The declaration is here.


David Wood - LAB - 1517

Tirena Gunter - CON - 246

Tracey Hague - GREEN -148

Annette Reid - UKIP - 147

Geoff Morley - LIBDEM - 65 

Turnout 18.6 per cent

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The stall, then and now

 I do find myself getting quite nostalgic about Green Party activity, partly because as the General Election campaign moves into full swing mode, it's hard not compare with previous elections.

On Saturday (21st Feb) Esther Sutton, Peter Underwood and Bernice Golberg had set up the stall from 10am. I was rostered for an afternoon shift, and as usual the opportunity to joust with an anthropogenic global warming sceptic, meet the South African gentleman, who from memory has visited every stall we have done, and exchange email addresses with the Chair of the local mosque just goes to show the old ways of communicating are still effective in this new media age.

There was also plenty of interest in the No to Waddon Motorways campaign that Peter has taken a lead on.

When I arrived at the stall for my stint I noticed the stall was in front of HMV. In the recent past we've been positioned right in the centre of the pedestrian zone, but we've also pitched up on this spot before. I had a look through some old images on my old pc and found a picture which confirms this!

Photo taken on 22nd May 2004

Photo taken on 21st February 2015

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