31 Mar 2010


NEXT MEETING: Tuesday 11 May, 7.30 pm, Brent Trades and Labour Hall. Agenda to include: fund raising, preparation for public meeting 13 May.
1. To promote within the London Borough of Brent the policies and activities of the national Campaign Against Climate Change
2. To disseminate information about the policies and activities of participating groups and organisations
3. To raise public awareness within the borough of climate change and other environmental issues
4. To maintain a website, organise public meetings, film screenings and local campaign activities, and to provide speakers for schools and colleges, trade union branches, tenants’ and residents’ associations, etc
5. To develop local climate policies and initiatives and to promote these within the consultation bodies of Brent Council, the Greater London Council, local trade union organisations, tenants’ and residents’ associations, and political parties.
a) Report back from the Cochabamba (Bolivia) “Peoples and Social Movements Summit on Climate Change”, 19-22 April. Preferred date for public meeting, Thurs 13 May.
b) Public Meeting on Science versus Climate Scepticism, preferred date week beginning 21 June.

26 Mar 2010

Beatrix Campbell takes on Hampstead & Kilburn rivals

Green Party candidate Beatrix Campbell took on her rivals for the Hampstead and Kilburn constituency at a hustings in Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead on 25 March 2010, co-sponsored by the Ham & High (which carried an interview of her on page 4 this week).

In a wide-ranging debate, Bea spoke eloquently and passionately about the radical Green alternative to a failing economy (green industries), climate change action, MPs expenses, state funding for political parties, the new constituency boundaries ("a London for all Londoners"), the ills of targets in healthcare, and properly funded public transport. One felt that she captured the aspirations of the packed church hall, and their applause.

Chris Philp (Con) and Ed Fordham (Lib Dem) were certainly gunning for it. Fordham was good on local history when asked about boundary changes. Philp refused to be put on the defensive when challenged by Fordham about the ingenuousness of his claims to be financed by "local people". But one wondered whether his closing confession to have voted LibDem once was a somewhat mercenary appeal to floating LibDem voters.

Fordham's criticisms landed more squarely on Glenda Jackson, when he sought to expose her previous statements in Parliament on the claimed advantages of the Public private partnership for London transport. I was surprised to see that Tamsin Omond, whilst not on the platform, took no opportunity from the floor to make a point or two.

Over the coming days, I have three hustings to look forward to in my own Brent Central (so-called marginal with two incumbent MPs) and Bea showed all-comers how its done.

Caroline Lucas MEP, our candidate for Brighton Pavillion, has added her voice to the calls to save Whittington A&E.

Picture of Bea, wearing my donated but damp rosette, flanked by UKIP candidate.

High Court declares Heathrow Runway "Untenable"

Today the High Court has ruled that the Government's plans for a third runway at Heathrow fly in the face of its own climate change policy and that the claimed for economic benefits have not taken carbon emissions properly into account. The legal challenge has been brought by Green campaigners led by Greenpeace.

This ruling puts the Government firmly on the back foot. Describing the runway proposal as "untenable", Lord Justice Carnwath ruled that the Climate Change Act 2008 takes precedence over the 2003 Air Transport white paper, upon which the Government made its flawed assessement of the benefits and impacts.

Brent Greens have campaigned against the third runway proposal from the outset on grounds of climate change and the negative impacts on local residents, either through the wholesale destuction of Sipson village or increased noise. This ruling is a welcome step forward.

The image was taken at the Heathrow demonstration in May 2008, of a family in Sipson (with permission).

Green Candidates for Queen's Park Ward

Click on image to enlarge

from Wembley and Willesden Observer March 26th 2010

15 Mar 2010

Darren Johnson Condemn's Boris Johnson's Brent Cross Rubberstamp

The decision by the Mayor of London not to refuse planning permission for the controversial Brent Cross Cricklewood development has been condemned by Darren Johnson, Green Party London Assembly. Darren has previously lobbied Barnet Council, the Mayor of London and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to improve or reject the proposed development.

Darren Johnson said:

"The Mayor has rubberstamped a proposal that will increase traffic and pollution across the whole of North West London. The Mayor has ignored the views of residents and councillors in the neighbouring boroughs of Brent and Camden, who never got a say in the consultation.

“There are better ways to spend £4.8bn if we want to revitalise this town centre. Londoners want less traffic, good local shops and more affordable homes, but the Mayor has rubberstamped a development that will bring the exact opposite to the area: another 29,000 cars, a threat to other neighbourhood shopping areas and one of the lowest affordable homes targets in London.”


95 High Rd, NW10 2SF
Jubilee Line : Willesden Green (Bus: 260, 266, 460, 52, 302, 6)

Brent PSC

Last month PSC helped organise the Viva Palestina international aid convoy. The Convoy succeeded in breaking the illegal siege on Gaza and delivered vital medicine and humanitarian aid to the besieged people of Gaza.

Come and hear first hand accounts from Sam Rias, Joti Brar, Umaima Maguz and Mary Edwards who travelled with the Viva Palestina humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza in December 2009 - January 2010 with slides from convoy .

‘’Gaza is a prison and Israel seems to have thrown away the key’’ –United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, John Dugard

‘’Much of the destruction was wanton and deliberate, and was carried out in a manner and circumstances which indicated that it could not be justified on grounds of military necessity’’
– Amnesty International

‘’My message to the International Community is that our silence and complicity, especially on the situation in Gaza, shames us all.’’–Archbishop Desmond Tutu

‘’the killing of civilians appears to have been the direct objective of the Israeli military’’ and that ‘’the operation was in furtherance of an overall policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population for its resilience and for its apparent support for Hamas.’’–Goldstone Report

14 Mar 2010

Why Vote Green?

Shahrar Ali's book entitled Why Vote Green? has just been published as one of a series on the main political parties. It is available from the Willesden Bookshop, next to Willesden Green Library.

Click on image to enlarge

Willesden and Brent Times 11.03.10 and Willesden and Wembley Observer 11.03.10

10 Mar 2010


Tim Storer of Brent Green Party joined members of the Brent Cross Coalition, including Navin Shah AM and Sarah Teather MP, to hand in letters to John Denham demanding a Public Inquiry into the Brent Cross Development.

Lia Colacicco, Co-ordinator, of the Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross Cricklewood Plan said:

“The case for a public inquiry into these disastrous and damaging plans is overwhelming. We are confident that the Minister will exercise sound judgement and work in the best public interest.

The Brent Cross plans clearly meet the criteria for a call-in – they affect vast swathes of north-west London. Brent and Camden have already formally rejected the scheme. It will cause congestion, pollution and is unsustainable in terms of transport, housing and the environment.

Five thousand local residents have now signed petitions and letters calling for a public inquiry. We urge John Denham to call it in immediately so it can undergo the full public scrutiny deserved.”

5 Mar 2010

UAF and EDL in Westminster

Here is an update on today's UAF rally against the EDL, in Westminster, which I had planned to give a speech at on behalf of the Party.

I spoke only a few words before we had to postpone all speeches because of the appearance of the EDL (small in numbers) - which roused the rally into chanting. On my way to the rally a police officer seemed to deny knowledge of our existence but for the hour that I was there I witnessed totally unnecessary and aggressive tactics by the strong police presence.

I estimate there were two to three hundred of us and about two-thirds of us occupied the street itself. This later become the scene of a kind of reverse kettling manoeuvre by the police (designed to keep people from joining but not from leaving). I moved on to the pavement at an early stage but from there witnessed some extremely aggressive behaviour by the police.

In one case, a young peacenik was overwhelmed by around six officers and many photographers attempted to record the struggle, which was not much of a struggle - think how an animal might look after being held to the ground for up to one minute, potentially suffocated in the process (I shall have to review my own footage).

There was no communication by the police about what they wanted (or if there had been some initial tannoy it was neither repeated nor updated). I learned from an organiser that the police had asked us to move to the park, but when I went to the gate I was told it was closed (and now apparently being used as a holding area). People being forcibly moved from the street, for a period of some 20 minutes, could not have known whether they faced arrest or why.

I am disgusted and saddened that the police have not facilitated a peaceful demonstration but instead sought to provoke upstanding citizens determined to fight racism in all its forms.

Picture of Green Party banner at the front of the rally in Westminster. UAF.

Shahrar Ali, Green Party