20 Oct 2009

Green Candidate for Brent Central on Press TV

Shahrar Ali, Green parliamentary candidate for Brent Central, contributes to Press TV panel discussion about Turkey and the EU. Broadcast on Sun 18 Oct 2009. On-line.

Summary of Shahrar’s line:
1. Green Party in favour of including Turkey subject to protecting freedom of expression and combating homophobia.
2. Not in favour of an EU neo-liberal agenda.
3. Integration as a two-way street.
4. Importance of open access to contrary religious ideas (copy of open
letter referred to).
5. Free speech as a means of overcoming all politicised religious ideologies.
6. Moorish Spain good example of liberal Islamic tradition.
7. Double standards of UK arms sales to Middle East.

Peter Beckett, Chelgate Europe
Shahrar Ali, Green Party
Suzanne Nuri, London Turkish Gazette
Frank Cook, Labour MP

15 Oct 2009

Brent Transition Town Launch

On 16th September, a group of residents held the launch event of a local transition town movement for Kensal Green, Queens Park and Kilburn.

The launch began with the screening of
'The End of Suburbia' at the Lexi cinema on Chamberlayne Road. The documentary powerfully depicted how, in the 21st century, we needed to jettison our oil-dependent, consumerist American ideals and pursue radical, sustainable alternatives instead – urgently.

The idea of "transition towns" is to realise just such a collective vision of a more sustainable society by developing local initiatives that enable people to take ever greater ownership over how they manage every aspect of their lives – from food production and purchasing patterns to energy consumption and human scale transport options.

After the film, we heard from a spokesperson from Brixton about the launch of a new currency, the
Brixton Pound. This is the first truly urban currency in London which many independent traders in Brixton have just started trading in alongside sterling.

You can imagine how development of a local currency would help townsfolk to support a more diverse trading community. A more advanced currency again would attempt to link cost to actual carbon expenditure over the life-cycle of a product, as a carbon currency might do. It's worth noting that the new Tesco and
Sainsbury "local" stores, though popular, are particularly bad for sustainable food production, packaging and local investment.

The transition town movement is wholly consonant with the radical Green agenda and Brent Green party shall therefore be willing it to succeed and participating however best we can.

[This is an edited version of a letter published in Brent Times as 'It's time to change our society', 1 Oct, p. 32]