Thursday, December 24, 2009

How to have a Green Christmas


At a time when countries around the world are trying thrash out a meaningful climate deal in Copenhagen, local Green Party candidates have put together a list of suggestions in order to have a Merry Christmas which doesn’t cost the earth.

Christmas Dinner:
Turkeys can’t fly very far but some have travelled a staggering 30,000 miles to get to dinner tables in this country! Shasha Khan commented, “It is important that shoppers look at labels on the food they purchase and choose the local option. European fowl and African vegetables can be forsaken for home farmed produce. Also try and support local shopkeepers.”

With 2.5m out of work and huge cuts and tax hikes around the corner, thousands of people risk placing themselves in financial trouble. Bernice Golberg said, “Why not try giving Secret Santa presents. If you do end up with unwanted presents why not sell or pass them on using web sites or Charity shops.”

Cards and wrapping paper:
Each year, 200,000 trees are cut down to supply the UK’s 1.7 billion Christmas Cards and enough wrapping paper is used to wrap the whole of the London Borough of Sutton. Hence, it important to reuse and recycle as much as possible. Why not use brightly coloured pages from magazines or newspapers?

Christmas tree:
Each year over 6 million trees are purchased. Look out for the council tree collections if you’re buying a real one. It is possible to save money and resources by using a tree with roots that can be reused. Shasha Khan added, “You can enjoy watching it grow all year round. The rent-a-tree concept has also been popular this year.”


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Labour councillor defects to the Tories in Croydon

My letter was a response to this news story in the Croydon Guardian.


Dear Editor,

I find it hard to believe that Bensham Manor Councillor Greta Sohoye’s reason for switching to the Tories is down to the local Labour leader’s treatment of ethnic minority councillors. Whatever the real reason, it does draw attention to the fact that the lines of distinction between Labour and the Conservatives are marginal, and how easy it is for one to defect to the other. Their ideas and policies are practically the same. That’s why some Conservatives regard Tony Blair as the greatest Tory leader they never had. Yet, voters who traditionally stick with Labour through custom and habit would never consider voting Conservative and vice-versa. Hence, these two parties have made politics not a battle of ideas, but a battle of personalities and presentation. Is it any wonder that people are turning off politics in droves? In fact, as the Green Party candidate in the Bensham Manor by-election in 2007, I recall how Labour shored up their core vote by urging their supporters to come out on polling day because there was a risk the Tories would sneak in. Yet through unbelievable circumstances, Bensham Manor has now ended up with a Conservative councillor. I could almost hear the collective sigh those voters let out when they read the news.

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan

Croydon Green Party

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Croydon Green Party fundraiser - ALL WELCOME

Interest in Sunday's event is picking up nicely. Email if you are coming.
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Candlelight vigil outside East Croydon station

Thanks to Michael Howard (no not that one) of Croydon FoE for forwarding this picture. It was taken on Saturday (12th Dec) evening outside East Croydon station. Campaigners took part in a candlelight vigil calling for a real climate deal in Copenhagen. There were 3000 similar events across the world in 130 different countries. Members of Croydon Green Party, Croydon Greenpeace, Croydon Friends of the Earth and the omnipresent Andrew Pelling MP certainly caught the attention of commuters! Well done Grace Onions for organising the event.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

City Safe Havens through London Citizens

The 'City Safe Haven' scheme through London Citizens is now up and running. I went out with the Thornton Heath team to recruit shops to sign up to the scheme. Basically, shops that display the sticker offer their premises as a sanctuary to teenagers, or even adults, who might be feeling vulnerable, e.g., being followed.

There are 200 such 'safe havens' across London, with City Hall being the 200th one. Full marks to London Citizens for introducing such schemes which make London safer.

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Friends of Thornton Heath Recreation Ground event

Listen out for some quality carol singing this weekend on the streets of Thornton Heath
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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Conservative party tactics exposed

My published response to Adam Kellet's letter is above (full text at the bottom of this post)

The Conservatives have resorted to dressing up their letters to the papers to make it appear that local residents feel that the Green Party is scaremongering. Adam Kellett is a Conservative candidate - something he chose not to disclose in his letter.

2006 Elections
Norbury ward

LabourMaggie Mansell2,434

Labour Shafi Khan 2,428

Labour Sherwan Chowdhury 2,333

Conservative Gloria Hutchens 1,751

Conservative Tirena Gunter 1,679

Conservative Adam Kellett 1,557

Liberal Democrat Leo Held 553

Green Michael O'Sullivan 511

Turnout 4,784 43.6%


Dear Editor,

The Conservative member Adam Kellett and I campaigned with other local residents to stop a development on Rylands Field back in 2004. Back then he recognised the link between environment and health. Regrettably, his letter regarding Croydon Council’s position on incineration is the real example of partisan electioneering.

Whilst this Conservative Council may well promise not to build an incinerator in Croydon, there are three arguments that suggest this position is false.

Firstly, whilst Labour has publically stated the location for the incinerator is Factory Lane, the Green Party has always maintained that the most plausible location for the incinerator is Beddington Lane. This is because the sewage works will be able to treat the toxic sludge that remains in the flue. Incidentally, Sutton Council has now stated that this is their preferred site, too. Beddington is just across the border which means Croydon will receive the harmful emissions from the incinerator.

Secondly, the technologies that are being touted to handle waste Londonwide are pyrolysis and gasification. These are discussed in the latest London Assembly report. In Europe the sites that burn waste using these technologies are known as Pyrolysis incinerators and Gasification incinerators. This may explain why the procurement contract which has been sent all across the European Union by Croydon council, calls for bids for ‘refuse incinerator construction’. Somehow in the UK the word incinerator has been deleted when describing these technologies publically.

Finally, what is worrying is that Labour, Conservative and the Lib Dems allow the market to dictate solutions on all manner of issues. Waste contractors are eager to incinerate hazardous waste and clinical waste in large scale sites because it fetches the highest price. However, market solutions do not consider environmental and social costs.

That is why the Green Party calls for a zero waste principle. It might not be achievable, but coupled with a comprehensive strategy to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost you eliminate the need to incinerate.

Yours sincerely,

Shasha Khan

Croydon Green Party

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Standing up for what matters