Friday, 15 August 2014

Green thoughts of today

Yesterday, there was a local by-election in Knight's Hill, Lambeth, and the results of it were as follows:

Lambeth DC, Knight's Hill: Labour 1263 (63.7%), Conservative 248 (12.5%), Green 230 (11.6%), UKIP 99 (5.0%), Liberal Democrat 94 (4.7%), Independent (Nelly Amos) 51 (2.6%).

This by-election was incidentally caused by the disqualification of the recently re-elected Labour councillor, Sonia Winifred, on the grounds she once worked at a school in Lambeth. She resigned the post in order to recontest, but this unnecessary by-election has cost Lambeth taxpayers approximately £10,000, according to newspaper reports. In spite of this, Sonia was re-elected easily, partly due to Knight's Hill being very safe for Labour already and the fact that many electors are on holiday at the moment-the turnout in this election was only ~25%. Even with low swings for local by-elections, the Liberal Democrats sunk to a new low in Lambeth, coming fifth in this by-election behind UKIP in an area where UKIP has very poor prospects.

I am also very pleased that the Birmingham Post has interviewed Green Party Natalie Bennett due to the fact that the upcoming Green Party conference will be held in Birmingham, a fact the mainstream media will most likely give little coverage compared to the coverage they give Labour, Lib Dem, Conservative and UKIP conferences. HS2 is a major issue in Birmingham, which already has good internal and external transport links anyway (very useful with a population of two million in the Birmingham area)-it does not need HS2 and HS2 will have significant detrimental socio-economic environmental effects on the rest of the West Midlands, and lead to further concentrations of wealth in Greater London if it is ever constructed. The HS2 project, unfortunately, is not dead yet, so it is worth reminding us of these facts. 

Finally, I would like to give my thoughts to the family of Michael Brown, an African American who was wrongly killed by a white police officer, now named as Darren Wilson, in the town of Ferguson, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA. The response by Fergusonto peaceful protests just wanting justice for Michael was brutal and totally unjustified-the St. Louis County police have basically occupied the town and turned it into a miniature police state, wantonly attacking innocent protestors and (mainly African-American) bystanders in the town and forcibly stopping reporters from entering Ferguson. Although responsibility for the security of this town has now been given to a Missouri police force headed by a black police officer, Highway Patrol Captain (equivalent to a British Chief Inspector) Ron Johnson, I am still worried about what could transpire here. I share my solidarity with the residents of Ferguson who have suffered from this repression, and ask them to stand strong against any police violence. 

On a related note, I also give my solidarity and best wishes to those innocent people caught up (or worse) in the conflicts in Gaza, the Ukraine, and Iraq.  This summer has been one of the least peaceful globally I have ever known, at a time when most of us, wherever we are want peace, sun and relaxation. 

Regards, Alan.





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