Sunday, 14 June 2015

Penniless Peace Pilgrimage

Partly in honour of the Dalai Lamas 80th birthday. 

The penniless peace pilgrimage comes to Reading Tuesday the 16th June on its way to Glastonbury. 

I have taken part in similar walks in the past and it's a wonderful experience. To see the country in foot, with time to talk and think. 

In 2007 I joined a group walking from AWE to London, they had been across all of the UK. http://footprintsforpeace.footprintsforpeace.net/ 

Happy memories. 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Game of thrones influences


Some thoughts on reading the book for the first time. 

Influences from History:
King Robert Baratheon similar to Henry VIII; larger than life womaniser. Wife Anne Bolyn similar to Queen Cirsei Lannister, she was accused of having an affair with her brother and getting court jobs for her family. 

Romans, praetorian guard choosing the new emperor. Valyrian might be ancient Greece or Rome 
Ancient Egypt brother and sister marriages Pharos 

Influences from Fiction:
"Ser" Tales of King Arthur knights of the round table 
Khal Drogo of the Dothraki might be the desert from John Normans Gor series, perhaps Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoom novels. 
Dune house clan war 
Zombies from many stories 
LOTR obv 
Children of the forest = Elves 


Then I read this from the author George R R Martin, he cites many influences. 


Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Letter on what the EU has done for us

From the Guardian last year 

At last we may get a debate on Britain's relationship with Europe (Leader, 11 January). What did the EEC/EU ever do for us? Not much, apart from: providing 57% of our trade; structural funding to areas hit by industrial decline; clean beaches and rivers; cleaner air; lead free petrol; restrictions on landfill dumping; a recycling culture; cheaper mobile charges; cheaper air travel; improved consumer protection and food labelling; a ban on growth hormones and other harmful food additives; better product safety; single market competition bringing quality improvements and better industrial performance; break up of monopolies; Europe-wide patent and copyright protection; no paperwork or customs for exports throughout the single market; price transparency and removal of commission on currency exchanges across the eurozone; freedom to travel, live and work across Europe; funded opportunities for young people to undertake study or work placements abroad; access to European health services; labour protection and enhanced social welfare; smoke-free workplaces; equal pay legislation; holiday entitlement; the right not to work more than a 48-hour week without overtime; strongest wildlife protection in the world; improved animal welfare in food production; EU-funded research and industrial collaboration; EU representation in international forums; bloc EEA negotiation at the WTO; EU diplomatic efforts to uphold the nuclear non-proliferation treaty; European arrest warrant; cross border policing to combat human trafficking, arms and drug smuggling; counter terrorism intelligence; European civil and military co-operation in post-conflict zones in Europe and Africa; support for democracy and human rights across Europe and beyond; investment across Europe contributing to better living standards and educational, social and cultural capital.

All of this is nothing compared with its greatest achievements: the EU has for 60 years been the foundation of peace between European neighbours after centuries of bloodshed. It furthermore assisted the extraordinary political, social and economic transformation of 13 former dictatorships, now EU members, since 1980. Now the union faces major challenges brought on by neoliberal economic globalisation, and worsened by its own systemic weaknesses. It is taking measures to overcome these. We in the UK should reflect on whether our net contribution of £7bn out of total government expenditure of £695bn is good value. We must play a full part in enabling the union to be a force for good in a multipolar global future.
Simon Sweeney
Lecturer in international political economy, University of York

Monday, 1 June 2015

Wokingham Results GE2015

The Green vote went up by around 3.7 times! Not enough to save our deposit but a good result, thanks to all who helped and all who voted Green. 

Monday, 11 May 2015

Top Green results from GE 2015


Win
Brighton Pav 41.8% 22,871 1st
Caroline Lucas 

Second place 
Bristol west 26.8% 17,227 2nd Darren Hall 
Sheffield Cent 15.8% 6,999 2nd Jillian Creasy  
Liverpool Riverside 12.1% 5,372 2nd @MartinDobsonGP 
Manchester Gorton 9.8% 4,108 2nd Laura Bannister 


Hackney N a s w 14.6% 7281 3 
Norwich Sth 13.9% 6749 3rd 
Buckingham 13.8% 7400 3rd 
Isle of W 13.4% 9404 3rd 
Holborn and St Pancras 12.8% 3rd 7,013 
Lewisham Dep 12.5% 3 

Bath 11.9% 5634 4th
Hackney S a S 11.6% 5519 3 
Oxford East 11.6% 5890 
Bristol S 11.5% 5861 
Totnes 10.3% 4845 
Islington N 10.2% 5043 3rd 
Camberwell and P  10.1% 5187 3
York Cent 10.1% 4791 
Notts E 9.9% 3473 
Dulwich and w n  9.4% 4844 
Bethnal gr and bow 9.3% 4906 3
Tottenham 9.2% 3931 
Somerton and F 9.0% 5434 
Cent Devon 8.9% 4866 Streatham 8.9% 4421 
Newcastle u T E 8.7% 3426 
Truro and F .. 8.7% 4483 
Lewisham W ... 8.5% 4077 3 
Manchester Cent 8.5% 3838 
Leeds W 8.4% 3217 
Bristol East 8.3% 3827 
Manchester With.. 8.1% 4048 
Cambridge 7.9% 4109 4th 
Leeds Cent 7.9% 3558 
Bury St ed 7.9% 4692 
Islington S 7.6% 3371 
Vauxhall 7.6% 3658 
Portsmouth Sth 7.5% 3145 
Bournemouth west 7.4% 3107 5 
Bournemouth East 7.3% 3263 
Leyton and W 7.3% 2974 3 
Hereford and ... 7.2% 3415 
Plymouth Sutton... 7.1% 3401 
Brighton kemp 7.0% 3187 
Canterbury 7.0% 3746 
Leeds NW 7.0% 3042 
N Herts 7.0 % 3341 
Torridge and WDevon 6.9% 3941 
Henley 6.9% 3815 
Huddersfield 6.9% 2798 
Hove 6.8%  3rd 3,569
Reigate 6.7% 3434 
Chichester 6.6% 3742 
Exeter 6.5% 3491 
N Somerset 6.5% 3806 
Rushcliffe 6.5% 3559 
West Worcester 6.5% 3505 
Arundel and Sth D 6.4% 3606 5th 
Cardiff c. 6.4% 2461 
Walthamstow 6.4% 2661 
Tiverton and Hon.. 6.4% 3415 
Reading East 6.4% 3214 
Greenwich a W 6.4% 2991 
Wealden 6.4% 3623 
Sth Cambridgeshire 6.3% 3848 
St Ives 6.3% 3051 
Glasgow North 6.2% 2284 
East Hampshire 6.2% 3176 
Sheffield heeley 6.1% 2566 
Edinburgh E 6.0% 2809 
Richmond park 6.0% 3548 
Wycombe 6.0% 3086 
City of Durham 5.9% 2687 
Suffolk Coastal 5.9% 3294 
Southampton Test 5.9% 2568 
Kingston u H North 5.9% 2066 
Devises 5.8% 2853 
SW Wiltshire 5.8% 2985 
North Devon 5.8% 3018 
New Forest W 5.8% 2748 
Worthing West 5.8% 2938 
North Dorset 5.7% 3038 
West Dorset 5.7% 3242 
Bristol NW 5.7% 2952 
Belfast Sth 5.7% 2238 6th
Lewisham E 5.7% 2429 
Camborne and r. 5.7% 2608 Skipton and Ripon 5.7% 3116 
Ceredigion 5.6% 2088 
Hexham 5.6% 2445 
North Down 5.5% 1958 
Hitchin 5.5 % 3053 
Leicester Sth 5.5% 2533 
Lewis 5.5% 2784 
Chesham and a. 5.5% 2902 
NE Somerset 5.5% 2802 
Salisbury 5.5% 2762 
Cities of Lond and W 5.4% 1953 
Notts S 5.4% 2345 
Mole Valley 5.4% 2979 
Edinburgh N a L 5.4% 3140 
Hornsby and ... 5.4% 3147 
SE Cornwall 5.4% 2718 
S Norfolk 5.4% 3090 
SW Surrey 5.4% 3105 
NE Herts 5.3% 2789 
Havant 5.3% 2352 
Shipley 5.3% 2657 
Leeds NE 5.3% 2541 
Penrith and .. 5.3% 2313 
Salford and Ecc.. 5.2% 2251 
East Worthing and S 5.2% 2605 
Liverpool Wav.. 5.2% 2140 
Tunbridge Wells 5.2% 2659 
Ludlow 5.1% 2435 
Birmingham sel oak 5.1% 2301
Kensington 5.1% 1765 
Swansea West 5.1% 1784 
Bexhill and battle  5.1% 2807
Colchester 5.1% 2499 
SE Cambridgeshire 5.1% 3047 Wantage 5.1% 2986 
Witney 5.1% 2970 
Lancaster and F... 5.0% 2093 
Cheltenham 5.0% 2689 
West Ham 5.0% 2651 
Rockford and S... 5.0% 2195 




Saturday, 2 May 2015

Mock Election Results

What a great time at St Crispins School, all the candidates were there and I think all spoke well. 

Unlike the other hustings the school had borrowed the actual ballot boxes to give the students an experience as close to voting as possible. 

I think we were all surprised at the results, what a close contest. 

Minimum Wage


  1. The Green Party of England and Wales is calling for the minimum wage to rise to £10an hour by 2020. In an address to Greens' autumn conference, party leader Natalie Bennett said Britain was a low-wage economy and people deserved "a decent return on their labour".