Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Lambeth Greens marching for refugees this Saturday

This Saturday (12 September) Lambeth Green Party is joining forces with other Londoners to show solidarity with the refugees fleeing to escape the prosecution and war they face in their home countries.

With communities all over Europe stepping up to tell their leaders that we cannot stand by and let millions suffer, it is critical that we tell our government that their actions so far have fallen short.

The march starts at 12 o'clock at Marble Arch and will be progressing towards Downing Street.

Lambeth Green Party will be meeting on the corner of Green Street and Park Street at 11:30am so that we can join the main march as a group.

Let's have a great turnout so that we can show David Cameron and Theresa May that we need a humane and comprehensive response.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Lambeth for a Cool Planet’s Walk for Clean Air

On 13 September we will be joining Lambeth for a Cool Planet’s Walk for Clean Air. Please come down to show your support and raise awareness of Lambeth’s disgraceful air quality.

Air pollution monitoring across Lambeth paints a dire picture of the quality of air we breathe. The borough has some of the worst air pollution in Europe. On Brixton Road annual EU limits for Nitrogen Dioxide had already been reached by mid-January 2015 and levels across Streatham are exceeding the EU safe limits by up to 100%.

This has many negative health effects. It affects lung development in children and can cause respiratory illnesses, especially for older people, those with asthma, and those living or working near busy roads. Over 100 deaths annually in Lambeth can be linked to air pollution.

We will be meeting at 2pm on the 13 September at the top of Rush Common (just below Holmewood Road, SW2) and walking down to Windrush Square to call on Lambeth Council to take steps to put an end to this silent killer. Please come and join us.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Green Party mayoral candidate hustings on their way to Lambeth

We are hosting a hustings event for the Green Party mayoral candidates on 20 July at the Herne Hill United Church (Red Post Hill, Herne Hill, SE24 9PW) from 7pm.

We want to maintain momentum in the 2016 London elections after our recent election successes. In London, our vote share tripled in the General Election with a 7.1% increase in Lambeth, and membership continues to surge across the city. We can have a huge impact in 2016 so it is essential that we pick the right candidate to lead the campaign. Please come and join us to hear what the candidates have to say. The hustings are open to Green Party members from all London parties.

Six candidates have put themselves forward:
  • Jonathan Bartley, convenor of the Lambeth Green Party, is our work and pensions spokesperson and was the Green parliamentary candidate for Streatham in 2015.
  • Sian Berry is a Green councillor for Camden and works as a road campaigner for Campaign for Better Transport. She was our parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Highgate in the 2005 General Election. 
  • Tom Chance, our spokesperson for housing, is joint-coordinator of the London Green Party. He  was our parliamentary candidate for Lewisham West in 2015.
  • Benali Hamdache is our equalities spokesperson and chair of LGBTIQ Greens.
  • Rashid Nix, who was our parliamentary candidate for Dulwich and West Norwood in 2015.
  • Caroline Russell, our spokesperson for local transport, is also an Islington councillor. She was our parliamentary candidate for Islington North in 2015.
2016 is a real opportunity for us to shake up London's politics, come and hear what the candidates have to say to see who you think can make the most of it.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Join us on 13 July to support Cressingham Gardens

On Monday 13 July we will be joining the residents of Cressingham Gardens to protest against the "disgusting" decision to demolish the estate against their wishes.

We will be meeting outside Lambeth Town Hall (Brixton Hill, SW2 1RW) at 5.30pm ahead of the Cabinet meeting which starts at 7.00pm. Cressingham Gardens residents are meeting outside the Rotunda (Tulse Hill, SW2 2QN) at 5.40pm and marching from the estate to the Town Hall.

Cressingham Gardens was highlighted during the General Election leaders interviews as an example of how Labour was out of touch and failing to listen to what ordinary people wanted.

This decision follows a long consultation process which began with Council Leader Lib Peck’s pledge, which has now been shown to be entirely false, that Labour would “not do anything to the estate that doesn’t command the confidence and support of its residents”.

The demolition of the estate will result in a net loss of affordable bedrooms and concerns have been raised around the use of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to fund the redevelopment. Through this procedure the SPV, rather than the Council, can ultimately decide the rent levels for any social housing.

Lambeth Green Party will continue to support residents and champion their Judicial Review proceedings against Lambeth Council. Please join us on Monday to show your support for the residents.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Greater London Association of Trade Union Councils Conference - London Against Austerity

On Saturday 4 July 2015 the Greater London Association of Trade Union Councils is holding its 'London Against Austerity' conference at Islington Town Hall.

The conference aims to bring together Councillors, trades unionists and community organisations in opposing austerity.

If you'd like to attend please register here. The event information is below:

SATURDAY 4 JULY 2015, 10.00-15.30
Islington Town Hall, Upper Street, London, N1 2UD
Nearest Tube/rail: Highbury & Islington

Buses: 4, 19, 30, 43, 271

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Join us on 20th June to oppose Austerity

On Saturday 20th June 2015 the Lambeth Green Party will be at the End Austerity Now National Demonstration to oppose the harsh and unfair cuts that are set to continue under the Conservative Government. Please come and join us.

After the Conservatives swept back into power with an increased majority, cuts to vital public services are expected to be deeper and wider. It is now more important than ever to show we will not take this lying down. The more who join us on the streets, the louder the message we send to the Government.

Under the Coalition Government the NHS recorded its worst ever performance, with accident and emergency units recording their worst crisis in over a decade. Funding for mental health fell by 8% whilst demand for services has increased by 20%. There has been a 19% year-on-year rise in recorded use of food banks. Over 300,000 children have been forced into poverty since 2012 and this figure is expected to rise. 60 deaths have been linked to benefits cuts. I could go on...and on.

With more cuts on the way these dire circumstances are only going to get worse, hitting the poorest and most vulnerable hardest. 

We need to send a message on 20th June that we will stand against austerity. Please join us. For some food for thought read Paul Krugman on 'The Austerity Delusion' here.

We are holding a Lambeth Green Party campaigns meeting to organise for this protest soon, details will be posted on the Facebook page.  We will also be having a mobilising event at the White Lion, on Streatham High Road on 2nd June.  End Austerity Now are holding their next meeting on Tuesday 26th May from 6:30pm at the Bread and Roses pub in Clapham.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The Big Green Jammboree - in pictures!

The Green Calendar is absolutely packed. Not content with campaigning on issues such as air pollution and housing, attending hustings all around the borough and going out to show support for our community at events such as Reclaim: Brixton, the Greens of Lambeth are also fast becoming a one stop shop for quality entertainment. We've held a film night, we've got a vegan cooking workshop with the award winning Tony Bishop-Weston coming up in May, and last week we were down at the Brixton Jamm putting on a musical extravaganza!

We teamed up with Jamm's label, Hostage Music to deliver a truly bodacious night with performances from the Vex, Shame, the Corduroys and Rob Love from Alabama 3. From our side we'd like to say an absolutely huge thank you to the incredible talents that are Blasby, Rachel D'Arcy, Hornman and the Discount Orchestra. One of the night's most memorable moments came well after midnight, (when sadly the photographer had gone home) the Discount guys had absolutely everyone (including our very own candidates and Councillor!) swinging around in a frenzy of speed-folk gypsy-stomp. We wanted to deliver a pre-election knees up for everyone who's put so much time & effort into campaigning, and it's safe to say that's what was delivered.

Here's what happened...

Hornman are one of those bands you absolutely have to see live. The bass lines ripple through the floor, the melodies wrap around you and your feet move before you've told them what to do. They don't need to be told, you're dancing. And moreover you're having a fabulous time. The vocals are ethereal and the funk is infectious. Once again, Hornman, we salute you!

Don't believe me, ask the crowd... They loved it!

Mary was there, highlighting the Green cause and raffling the night away...

And who but our very own Scott Ainslie to announce it? 

At this stage we'd like to say another massive thank you to Brixton Cycles, who donated the extremely generous top prize... making this local business owner extremely happy!

Brixton Cycles are facing their own struggle and an uncertain future as their current premises face demolition. They're London's oldest, worker-owned, community focused bike shop. They have our full support, please lend yours and follow updates on www.facebook.com/brixtoncycles or @SAVE_BC on Twitter.

Meanwhile, next door, there were some spoken words from the legendary Potent Whisper on the Arches and the future of Brixton. It resonated with the crowd...

 This was followed swiftly by Rob Love & friends...

And we finished on a high note, the absolutely unforgettable, genre-defying gods of dance floor stomp; the Discount Orchestra!

Thanks to everyone who came, details of upcoming events are available on Twitter & Facebook:


We hope to see you soon, and we leave you with a competition. Go to www.hornman.co.uk and download their EP (for free!) to win tickets to Boomtown Fair and/or Wildheart festivals!

Monday, 9 March 2015

Time to Act 2015

"Here we are, with just nine months ahead of those critical climate talks in Paris. It’s not nine months to pressure our leaders to act. We have nine months to act ourselves. Nine months to become the leaders we need." - Naomi Klein

Lambeth Greens at Time to Act on Saturday with Caroline Lucas

2014 saw climate action taken by a range of groups; from community-lead grassroots organisations such as the Nanas of Lancashire to well established organisations such as Green Peace. The climax of the action came on the 21st of September, when nearly 400,000 people took to the streets in New York ahead of the U.N’s Climate Summit on the 24th. In London, a solidarity march drew a further 40,000 people, and thousands more held marches in cities across the globe. From this we can see that it’s not just climate which is changing; while climate sceptics and other such dinosaurs still choke out their death rattles (“we’re dependant on fossil fuels, the warming we see is natural!”), 97% of scientists have reached a consensus that human induced emissions are driving an unprecedented rate of climate change, and we the people are determined not to simply accept this, but to Act.

6 months later, Saturday 7th March saw a further 20,000 people march through the streets of London. What were we calling for? The same action we were calling for prior to the 2014 Climate Summit, the action we’re calling for still.  We have a clear understanding of what such action would look like: the transfer of investment away from fossil fuels and into renewables, improved public infrastructure to support a move away from private vehicles, insulating homes & public buildings, rethinking the livestock industry and the insane quantities of animal product both used and wasted by the West every year. It means, crucially, a complete reorganisation of our global economy. And that’s the bit that scares people. It’s not just an Inconvenient Truth, it’s one which is directly oppositional to the ideology of the small group of people who govern almost every aspect of our daily lives: it goes diametrically against the interests of the multinationals and big business globally.

On a national scale, we know that our government is hesitant. What action they have taken is insufficient. We know also that this is in no small part due to the funding all big parties receive from big business, and that inaction is the by-product of their own self interest. And here we see how climate change begins to drill into issues within all factions of our society and political system. While big business holds the purse strings to the parties, the parties are unable to make sound decisions based on science and in the interests of the people. 

We need a government which recognises its obligation to plan not just for all sections of society today, but all sections of tomorrow’s society too, and to do so in a democratic and unbiased manner. In the words of Caroline Lucas, MP, speaking at the march, what we have today is “a refusal on the part of most politicians to stand up to fossil fuel lobbyists, listen to the scientists, and act in the public interest.”

That said, it’s not all doom and gloom. Time to Act 2015 had one theme running throughout which made it an absolute pleasure to attend, that theme was Hope. As 12 year old Laurel, a truly inspiring speaker at the event said; there are more of us than there are of them. And we have a voice, a voice now raised and united against climate change. And this is where the Green Party comes in: we are the only party not funded by big business and taking a strong stance against climate change. To borrow words, again, from Lucas: “In coming together we help build the climate movement and inspire others to join us.”

See 12 year old Laurel’s rousing speech here.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Five things you can do now to make a difference...

I joined the Green Party last year and am passionate about the values it stands for and the possibility for change. But it's hard to know how you can make a difference when it feels like the electoral system is rigged against us (all of us!). Well, of course, I think people should vote for what they believe in but I've also found some other ways that I think we as individuals can start to make a real difference and be heard through our actions as well as our votes...

1. Change energy supplier - money talks so what better signal to send than to switch to an energy company that is committed to supplying 100% renewable energy. In this year's Which? survey revealing the best and worst energy companies for customer satisfaction, the two companies that came out on top were Ecotricity at one and Good Energy at two.

2. Be mindful of what you buy - we are so lucky in Lambeth to have so many incredible local shops and markets. It really makes me sad to see how society in general is so obsessed with consumerism and since going to see The Minimalists on tour last year in London I've been happily de-cluttering and not spending on superfluous things. So, I would encourage everyone to think about what people and things are adding value to your life and then try to live more consciously.

3. Eat less meat, fish and dairy - after watching the screening of Cowspiracy with the Lambeth Green Party this month I've had my eyes opened to the impact agriculture has on the environment. Already fascinated with nutrition and using diet to manage symptoms of my own chronic health condition, I'm now happily working my way through the recipes in Ella Woodward's new book, Deliciously Ella - cooking that is healthier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly, what's not to like about that!

4. Show kindness and be thankful - as cheesy as it might sound to some, I really do believe in building a society for the common good. All too often, especially in London, I have found myself rushing around, unable or incapable of stopping to appreciate the small things. Well, a couple of weeks ago I went to a workshop with the Museum of Happiness at Roots and Shoots in Kennington. It reinforced a lot of the things I've learnt over the last few years, that living in the moment and showing gratitude and sympathy towards people around you, really can have a significant impact on your own health and well being.

5. Show that you care about people, community and the environment - media success is measured in views and engagement. A really simple thing you can do is read articles that sound interesting and if you really do find them interesting share them on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat - wherever is authentic for you. The more that other people, the media and organisations can see that we care about these issues, the more notice they will take.
And in the run up to the election, data analysts will be watching even closer than ever to see how our clicks will influence the results in May.

I wanted to write this after listening to Donnachadh McCarthy, author of The Prostitute State, at last month's speaker dinner. He reminded us of Mahatma Gandhi's famous quote and it's something that keeps sticking in my mind...

'be the change that you wish to see in the world'

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Labour's relationship with tax avoidance

“The world is not run from where you think. Not from border fortresses, not even from Whitehall. The world is run from Antwerp, from Florence, from places you have never imagined.”- Hilary MantelWolf Hall

And twas ever thus. But today it’s not Antwerp and Florence but Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. Today it’s not Henry Percy and the landed aristocracy the money men have by the balls, but the Labour Party.

In 2013-14 the Labour front bench accepted over £600,000 of research help from the multinational accountancy company PricewaterhouseCooper to help form policy on tax, business and welfare. Streatham MP and shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna had research support from PwC between September 2013 and January 2014, and again between June and September this year, with a total value in excess of £60,000 - that’s more than double the average salary for his constituents.

‘So what?’ You may ask. 

Despite the rhetoric of Miliband’s crackdown on overseas ‘tax havens’ his party continues to be influenced at the highest echelons by firms like PwC where tax avoidance and is at the heart of their mission. 

According to a public accounts committee report published two weeks ago the top tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Kevin Nicholson, misled MPs over complex Luxembourg financing structures the accountancy firm helped to set up for scores of multinationals to avoid tax.

These companies infiltrate the policy making process, help design the HMRC’s tax laws  and then advise their clients, individuals and big businesses, on how to avoid paying this tax. How else do companies such as Amazon, who, despite a UK turnover in the trillions contribute less than £10m to the treasury, get away with such fraud? 

UKUncut is leading the fight against tax avoidance in the UK, but with the ‘Big Four’ consultancy firms so firmly entrenched in the political process of the ‘traditional’ parties, without a change to the political system, there will be no change.

In what way is the multi-billionaire tax avoiding Topshop owner, Philip Green an appropriate man to advise the government on austerity. In a country where one missed appointment at the Job Centre can lead to benefit sanctions and DWP is targeting ‘benefit cheats’, blatant fraud is acceptable so long as you’re a millionaire or a multi-national company.

Is it any wonder that politicians continue to inflict drastic cuts to public services, the NHS and the welfare budget, cuts that disproportionately harm the poorest in society, while the richest in society receive tax breaks? 

When the party that is supposed to represent the workers is on the payroll of parasitic ‘big business’ there is a serious issue about the ability of these predatory firms to exert such an influence at the heart of politics. Is it any wonder that people are disillusioned with the political establishment?

The Green Party alone is not funded by big business. We rely on the generosity of the general public and individuals, who are passionate about our values, to make donations. Last year a £7,000 donation from one of country’s richest men was rejected because he is not a full UK taxpayer.

Only the Green Party is not in the pockets of profiteering capitalists; only the Green Party offers a real alternative; only the Green Party offers the chance to change!