Friday, May 28, 2010

Hartwells and other shops on Brigstock Road need support

Hartwells Butchers has been trading for 96 years on Brigstock Road. Robert Hartwell, the third Hartwell to run the shop, is at risk of not making it to the 100 year mark, mainly down to the recession and the massive Tesco's down the road. I've known him for some time. Its a sign of the times if he doesn't make t to the 100 year mark. Robert Hartwell showed me the shops' original order book (left) that his grandfather used.

Just a couple of days after the local elections, and I was back out there campaigning for community in Thornton Heath. This time it was the shopkeepers on Brigstock Road who needed support. Recently shops on Thornton Heath High Street received a lifeline in the form of the new 30 minute free parking bays. However, shops on Brigstock Road have been overlooked. I made a phone call to the council and David Wakeling the Traffic Design Manager came to discuss the issue with the shopkeepers. By all accounts the meeting was very positive. After the meeting the shopkeepers asked how I got on in the local elections. They were surprised that I didn't poll enough to win in Bensham Manor, mainly because when it comes to local activity they simply wouldn't know who to approach for support.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Letter sent to the papers thanking Green voters

Dear Editor

On behalf of the three Green Party Parliamentary candidates and our 70 local election candidates, may I through your letters page thank all the Croydon electorate who came out and voted on May 6th, and especially those who voted Green. The response to the televised leaders' debates clearly led to much tactical voting, yet so many of you still voted with the courage of your convictions. Hopefully with a reformed electoral system next time round, we will achieve more than just one Green Party MP at Westminster.
Thanks are also due to the Electoral Services staff at the Town Hall. They had two major elections to manage simultaneously and worked all hours of the day and night to ensure their smooth running, whilst remaining unfailingly helpful and courteous.
Yours sincerely

Bernice Golberg
Croydon Green Party Election Agent

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

ConDems. Spot the difference.

One of our local Green Party members told me the other day that he was always getting mixed up between Clegg and Cameron because they look so similar! What is more, half of the the Lib Dems that now hold cabinet posts have very similar backgrounds to their new Conservative colleagues. Three of the 6 profiles below are Liberal Democrats and other three are Conservatives. Its not east to tell them apart.

Profile 1

Estimated wealth£2.2m. Educated at his local comprehensive school; then went on to Oxford University. First elected to the House of Commons in a by-election in 1989. This person is a Management Consultant by profession and from 1997-2002 was chairman of the International Democrat Union.

Profile 2
Estimated wealth £1m. Brought up in a council house that his parents later bought. Formerly a GP before entering parliament. Studied at University of Glasgow where this person became President of the Conservative Association. Shareholder of Arrest Ltd.

Profile 3
Educated at the private Caldicott School in Bucks and the private Westminister school; then went on to study Social Anthropology at Cambridge University. It was here this person joined the Cambridge University Conservative Association. From 2004-2005, this person was lobbyist for GP Plus, whose clients include the Hertz (rent-a-car) and British Gas.

Profile 4
Educated at a Roman Catholic independent school, and then went to graduate with a double first at Cambridge University in economics. This person went on to be a Vice President at JP Morgan in 1987 to 1992. First elected into parliament in 2001. Has written a collection of essays championing free trade and the private sector.

Profile 5
Studied at Nunthorpe Grammar school; went on to study at Cambridge University. Whist at Cambridge he was contemporary of the Conservative Cambridge mafia - a pejorative term for those who were either President of the Cambridge Union (of which this person was elected) or served on the Cambridge University Conservative Association in the 1960's. Became Chief Economist for Shell in 1995.

Profile 6
This person was educated Nottingham Grammar School and then went on to Cambridge University. He went on to join the Conservatives at University but failed in his attempt to become President of the Cambridge Union. First elected into House of Commons is 1970. This person enjoys jazz music and birdwatching.

source wikipedia and BBC
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Feature on Bernice Golberg

Great piece on Bernice in the Croydon Advertiser just before the election.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Has Murdoch media succeeded in getting their man into number 10?

As I type this, John Pienaar is predicting a Tory/Lib Dem coalition. I've also just heard about this interview. The Murdoch Empire's desire for Cameron to get the keys to number 10 is somewhat alarming. Goodness knows what the Conservatives may have offered, with specific regard to the BBC, in return for such unashamed bias.
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Monday, May 10, 2010

Thoughts on the May 2010 elections

Minutes before this photo was taken (6.05am, Friday 7th May), Caroline Lucas was duly elected MP for Brighton Pavilion


  • My own vote in the 2007 Bensham Manor by Election was 240; in 2010 it is 1194. I guess this is recognition of three years of local activity. Our realistic local ambitions revolved around ensuring everyone in the borough could vote Green, and this was achieved through the full slate. If the local election was not on the same day as the General Election I may have got in.
  • My everlasting memory of the 2010 General Election took place at 6.05am on the morning after the day before. Whilst on stage for the declaration of results for the Croydon North constituency, with Bernice Golberg (Croydon Green Party’s super-agent), we spotted the results of Brighton Pavilion come through on the TV screens around the room….AND HOW WE REJOICED ON THE STAGE AND ON THE FLOOR, whilst Labour MP Malcolm Wicks berated the Conservative candidate Jason Hadden.
  • Finally, people around the country will get to see there is visionary alternative to the almost identical LibLabCon trick, and that you can put forward sustainable and progressive solutions to the problems we all face. Solutions that do not put profit before people or planet.
  • I am my worst critic normally BUT I could even see that whilst nationally our vote took a squeeze, the Green vote in Croydon held up fairly well. Gordon Ross’ vote in Croydon South was 1.74% from a standing start (no candidate stood in 2005). As far as I can make out, the Green vote in Croydon North (1.97%) was the highest for any outer London borough.
  • The Presidential style leaders' debate had a major influence on both the General and Council elections. The apparent self interest nature of politicians from Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem parties had been exposed in the MP expenses scandal. To counter widespread disillusionment, the three parties leaders turned this election into and ‘X’ Factor style affair, billed as Brown V Cameron V Clegg, switching the emphasis to the personalities rather than parties. The fact that there was little choice between the three on either social or economic spectrum was largely accepted by the media. Suddenly people were engaged again. The stay at home Labour voters in Croydon North, of which Bensham Manor is one of the 8 wards, got to see Dave Cameron in action for 270 minutes beside Gordon Brown, although they would have needed just 2.7 minutes to reach this conclusion: If they failed to vote, David Cameron – who clearly didn’t look, think or talk like them - could end up as their next Prime Minister. However, not for over 100 years (and possibly more) had the local elections in London fallen on the same day as the General Election. This meant the turnout in the ‘locals’ doubled automatically. Hence, Labour regained the seats they lost north of the borough and the Conservatives south of the borough were re-elected with even bigger vote shares – the TV debates conversely shoring up the anti-Brown vote. WE NEED PR!!!!!!!!!
  • I spoke to a residents in Bensham Manor on the night of one of the TV Leaders debates who told me their votes will be decided on the performance of the three leaders on show. I asked if this would apply to the council election as well, to which they replied “yes”. I then spent about 15 minutes explaining everything they needed to know in order to at least make an informed decision about how best to use their council votes.
  • One Labour councillor commented, "you’ve done very well in Bensham Manor", referring to all the posters, "you have built up a presence in the area". The fantastic thing about the campaign is that it stirred those living in Bensham Manor into greater activity. They realise that it has been the Green Party that has been knocking on doors throughout the year, supporting and informing local people. Those that were previously just passive voters asked if they could put up a poster; those that were active supporters became members; those that were just members have become candidates. I am very positive about the future.

by Shasha Khan

Green Party candidate for Croydon North

Green Party candidate for Bensham Manor ward.

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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Local and General Election results.

Plenty of thoughts running through my head. Until I get a chance to put them down, here are a couple of links:

Full local results can be viewed on the Croydon Council web site and a summary of all the parliamentary seats the Green Party contested can be viewed here.

Green Party percentages in the local elections in Croydon

Bensham Manor - 15.87% (North)
Thornton Heath- 10.93% (North)
South Norwood- 10.33% (North)
West Thornton- 8.54% (North)
Upper Norwood- 8.40% (North)
Sanderstead- 8.33% (South)
Waddon- 8.16% (South)
Selhurst- 7.91% (North)
Ashburton- 7.77% (Central)
Woodside- 7.59% (Central)
Kenley- 7.58% (South)
New Addington- 7.27% (Central)
Shirley- 7.16% (Central)
Norbury- 6.96% (North)
Heathfield- 6.58% (Central)
Croham- 6.57% (South)
Fairfield- 6.23% (Central)
Addiscombe- 5.70% (Central)
Broad Green- 5.38% (North)
Coulsdon West- 5.13% (South)
Purley- 4.83% (South)
Coulsdon East- 4.55% (South)
Selsdon & Ballards- 4.04% (South)
Fieldway- 2.82% (Central)

I also recommend John Cartwright's web site.
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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Green Party Battlebus comes to Croydon

You tube video of the Battlebus in Croydon.

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Standing up for what matters