Thursday, 27 April 2017

Take me Higher - Aspiration not Austerity

To make an idea come to life is always going to involve hard work. The ratio of inspiration to perspiration is always going to favour the latter! However, there has to be an environment in which aspiration is encouraged and nurtured.

Ironically, sometimes the energy for embarking on a visionary project can be birthed in the very circumstances you want to leave behind. Even relative poverty can be the driver to pursue your original idea. But that should never, ever be used to justify Tory style policies of austerity.

The Green Party is committed to building a fairer and more equitable society with policies that will give the opportunity to be aspirational:

  • Citizen's Income - where everyone has an income regardless. This actually saves taxpayer's money
  • Three Day Weekend - a vision to improve health and wellbeing - yielding more efficiency and safer productivity

Furthermore their is a rational commitment to reducing spending on flagship, grandstanding projects:

  • NO HS2
  • NO Hinkley Point C
  • NO Trident renewal

Let's move away from complacency and cynicism. They are the greatest hindrance to aspiration.

And on that note it is just one week to the Essex County Council Elections, make your voice heard by voting Green!


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Ban the Bombmongers...

Although I consider negative campaigning somewhat of a soft option I could not let this moment pass. A couple of days ago the so called Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon speaking on BBC Radio 4 Today's programme stated "We have made it very clear that you can't rule out nuclear weapons as a first strike". Now this is an incredibly dangerous statement that has serious implications.

Firstly I think it is important to recall that it was this same Michael Fallon that, on the appointment of Jeremy Corbyn to Labour Party Leader, repeated ad nauseam on news broadcasts that Mr Corbyn's dire faults included "a threat to our national security". This is because of Mr Corbyn's history with the Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament (CND). Ever since the criticism of the Labour Leader has been relentless in respect of his views that he would not consider pressing the nuclear button in response to a nuclear attack. Good for him!

Secondly Parliament has been persuaded that the whole point of the Trident renewal programme is based on the premise of the UK needing a Nuclear deterrent. However, this latest statement, which included that chilling phrase "first strike", therefore means the Tory government no longer considers our nuclear arsenal as a deterrent but one of an initial attack as a Nuclear Aggressor.

I put it to you that Sir Michael Fallon is a danger to our national security, a warmonger and, along with his cronies, is not fit to serve this country. Ban the bomb, ban the Tories and Vote Green for our National Security...

Here endeth the Lesson


Promoted by Robbie Spence on behalf of Peter Banks, both of 124 Morant Road, Colchester CO1 2JD

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Stop calling us Ordinary, we're all Extraordinary!

I know I'm not the only one who gets infuriated when politicians refer to the general public as 'Ordinary People'! It seems to appear during every Party Political Broadcast, quoted during interviews and used by BBC Questiontime panels. It is such an insult! How very dare politicians unilaterally decide to distinguish themselves as Extraordinary whilst implying the rest of society isn't?

People are ALL extraordinary and, if I am to make my point completely inclusive, EVEN politicians!!!

It is inevitable that whatever career or vocation you follow that there is a 'bubble' factor in that it takes a degree of extra effort to look beyond the boundaries you find yourself in. However, that should not be used as an excuse to continue to use inappropriate categorisations of the 'Other'.

In the Green Party we are blessed with having such an extraordinary Member of Parliament in Caroline Lucas. If you have yet to read her book 'Honourable Friends?' then now is the perfect time before this snap General Election to see why voting Green is Extraordinary!


Promoted by Robbie Spence on behalf of Peter Banks, both of 124 Morant Road, Colchester CO1 2JD

Monday, 24 April 2017

Learning not Loading - Love your Teachers

My first proper, full time job was as a schoolteacher. I'd just left university (UEA), having struggled through my physics degree, and had not secured a job despite having run a up a sizeable debt buying my first Hammond organ. The doors of the music business were not flung wide open and I was bandless and, frankly, clueless!

As one of the first ever Uni graduates from my old school, Gaynes School Upminster, I visited to say thanks to teaching staff and found myself promptly ushered into the headmaster's study and interrogated as to my career plans. My two cunning, alternative plans of becoming a rock music star or steam engine driver were, putting it politely, frowned upon! However, I walked out with a completely unexpected job offer.

As it turned out it was another couple of years before it became possible for me to take the plunge into full time music. But my time in the teaching profession was formative and I loved it. It is clear to me that the job has radically changed since back then. Now there is a disproportionate onus on submitting data to faceless bureaucrats rather than being the role model that inspires the next generations.

And teachers are given such a hard time in the press! I find the whole business of parents going to court to challenge schools about taking time out during term time astonishing... no one ever mentions the scandalous outcry that would ensue if teachers decided they should take advantage of out of season air fares?

So everyone needs to value our teachers more. Let us allow our teachers to inspire without the enormous burden of endlessly having to submit data.

And thanks, you certainly inspired me...


Promoted by Robbie Spence on behalf of Peter Banks, both of 124 Morant Road, Colchester CO1 2JD

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Being Green - #MyManifesto week three

Don't throw your love away - Love not Litter
My local rant about the weekend litter around the bins on Mersea has received more views, to date, than all the previous blogs below [read more]
Be Ye Transformed - Rich but not Wealthy  Part Two of my previous day's post as we still consider the ramifications of the forthcoming snap election whilst in the throes of challenging for the local county council elections [read more]

Equality not Inequality - Looking Through You
A reaction to the news of the snap election focusing on how inequality blights this country and increases poverty [read more]

What is Normal? Discover not Dismiss
Celebrating the diversity of the human condition. Therefore relishing campaigning for more support for those that need to rely on extra care - whether from disability, illness, old age or dementia and championing the many Guardian Angels in our midst [read more]

and from:
Being Green - #MyManifesto week two

Welcome not Waiting - transforming finances...
A criticism levied at political parties when they criticise a rampant austerity policy is “how will you pay for everything?”. For the Green Party some major contributions to the public purse seem all too obvious with the response “stop commissioning white elephants”! [read more]
Homes not Houses - Wherever I lay my hat, that's my home...
It seems every hamlet, town, village and city is under pressure to accept unsustainable housing quotas. The Green vision is for the creation of affordable, energy efficient homes rather than comply with excessive, energy hungry property developments. [read more]

Health not Wealth - Song for Nye
We need to recapture the vision of Nye Bevan and restore the NHS to its rightful place of a fully funded public service to all rather than a creeping privatisation primarily serving shareholders. It is abundantly clear the NHS needs substantial investment and appears to be feared by some members of the current government. [read more]

Trust not Terror - Mersea Island beach hut fire... My short report and photographs from the morning after. I support our police, military and emergency services receiving extra funding rather than the crippling budget cuts they are enduring. How much better would it be if our communities and the true public servants felt secure and valued? [read more]

and from:
Being Green - #MyManifesto week one

May the Fourth be with you...
One month until May the Fourth be with you when it will be: Essex County Council elections day too! [read more]

Travel not Traffic
The Green vision is to re-vitalise and re-own public transport as well as encouraging cycling and walking. Problems of congestion and parking are simply caused by too greater dependence on private cars and the more on the road the greater the air pollution. [read more]

Nature not Nuclear
Old nuclear has served its time but left a dangerous and lengthy legacy of radioactive waste. It is urgent and essential to invest in developing renewable technologies for the future of our country and planet. [read more]
Respect not Reject
In these politically turbulent times politically we need to be a country that offers empathy toward those who suffer from the terror of trafficking and war.


Promoted by Robbie Spence on behalf of Peter Banks, both of 124 Morant Road, Colchester CO1 2JD

Friday, 21 April 2017

Don't throw your love away - Love not Litter

I find it very difficult to be positive about litter! So, instead, I decided to respond to plenty of online ire about the litter near me on Coast Road, signed up to be one of Colchester Borough's Litter Warriors team and get my hands (well, gloves!) dirty. Now this is not a pleasant job at all but, as the saying goes, someone needs to do it otherwise, overnight, the seagulls and foxes transform the adjacent landscape into a piece of kinetic modern art worthy of display in the turbine hall at Tate Modern (just jokin').
I perceive there has been a cultural change in the attitudes towards litter in that there is a responsibility to want to dispose of litter but at the expense of abandoning the better practice of taking it home and, if no space left in the bin, piling it up alongside for volunteers, like yours truly, to clear up.

I'm not sure if there is an easy answer as it seems to be that piling it up is preferable to discarding anywhere. It begs the question: would removing bins make it worse or would that force folk to take their waste home? What I can say authoritatively is that the Island's food vendors must look beyond their forecourts to see how much the bulk of their boxes, rather than simple (news)paper wrapping, causes the bins to overflow far too quickly. Show responsibility where it is clearly due, please. I must stress that West Mersea Town Council is mindful of these issues and has recently changed the process around bin emptying. This has moved responsibility onto Colchester Borough's contractors and, since that contract commenced this April, has worked well. The exception was the incredibly mild and sunny weekend a couple of weeks ago, I collected 9 bags in total, 2 on the Saturday and 7 Sunday, just from the mess around the bin at Monkey Steps and the two bins by the Boardwalk... Rant over, to be continued! P

Promoted by Robbie Spence on behalf of Peter Banks, both of 124 Morant Road, Colchester CO1 2JD