Monday, 11 October 2010
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Sunday, 3 October 2010
Monday, 13 September 2010
We share the Earth with innumerable other forms of life. Only now are we beginning to understand how each species, each sub-species and indeed every individual creature, from the largest to the microscopic, plays it’s role in the ongoing evolution of this living planet we call home. Only now are we hearing, understanding and using words like ‘eco-system’, and ‘biosyncracy’.
The old ideas of anthropocentricity, from “dominion over the Earth” to “survival of the fittest”, are falling away now their error is revealed. In fact Charles Darwins final theory was ‘co-operation, not competition’. As single cell life forms became multi-cellular organisms, and multi cellular organisms became societal species, and mutually beneficial relationships between species and even between plants and animals, even between humans and bacteria, developed, so did this planet evolve, and every form of life with it.
The seperateness we humans have believed in, even celebrated, is an illusion. And it is a cruel, self inflicted and dangerous illusion. Just as we are learning from ancient scripture and cutting edge science that everything is interconnected, so we are beginning to see that the effects of this illusion of exclusion are not exclusive! It is our folly, but all creatures suffer because of it.
The only way forward for humankind now must acknowledge this fundamental truth, or there is no way forward. And this realisation is part of our evolution, that is why the greatness of a nation can be judged on it. From the Celtic web of life, through the Buddhas dependent arising, to Lovelocks Gaia hypothesis, it is now obvious that speciesism is just as ignorant as racism, sexism or any other prejudice.
It is now time to recognise all other creatures as our fellow Earthlings, on the journey through evolution with us, we are they and they are us.
Thursday, 2 September 2010
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Animal Rights Kent staged a protest picnic on Saturday 31st July outside the gates of Charles River, opposite Manston Airport. Charles River Laboratories supplies various rodents, from mice to rabbits, to the animal research community, including genetically modified species like the patented Immortomouse!
The picnic lasted from 12 noon till 2pm, without incident, and was to raise awareness of the cruelty that goes on in Kent in the name of so-called 'medical science'.
"A.R.K. believes that animal experiments are morally disgusting, but this view is increasingly backed up with science. The similarities between humans and other animals are enough to discontinue this barbaric practice, the differences are enough to render it useless. Animal research has held back vital treatments for years, torturing animals while people suffer and die. The whole industry is a fraud.
The best treatment is to stay healthy on a vegetarian or vegan diet with plenty of exercise."
A.R.K. are a collection of independent Animal Rights groups from around Kent. They take direct, non-violent action and work to educate and inform the public on the cruelty inherent in hunting, the meat and dairy industry, the pet trade and animal experimentation.
Sunday, 18 July 2010
Monday, 5 July 2010
PR = Proportional Representation
FPTP = First Past The Post
Nick Clegg is selling us short in agreeing to AV. Under the AV system, a more complicated version of the FPTP system, we will still have one party representing, not the majority, but the largest minority. No change.
Under the PR system, as used in Europe, every vote counts, and everyone is represented. We have Greens in the European parliament because some people voted for them. More people voted Conservative so we have more Tories in the European Parliament, but the Greens and UKIP, along with Labour and the Liberals and even the BNP are represented and have a voice. That's democracy!
The reason we don't have more Greens is because people who want to vote Green but don't understand the system don't vote Green, a situation made even worse in the FPTP system (If I had a pound for every time I heard "I'd like to vote Green but you won't win" I could have funded a much better campaign!!)
The compromise on the voting reform is compounded by the move to have less MPs. That means more people being represented by someone they didn't vote for, who effectively doesn't represent them. If anything we need more MPs, more parties, more people with a voice in parliament.
Under PR more people would vote, and more people would vote for what they really want. Or is that what the Government fear...?
Sunday, 13 June 2010
Nuclear power is not the Green alternative it is passed off as, and must have no
part in the future of power generation. Though the nuclear reaction itself is
carbon neutral, the mining, processing and transport of uranium is a massively
polluting practice and uses yet more oil. Because of the long-term costs of waste storage, nuclear power is inevitably more expensive than any other form of energy production.
The future of Britains energy requirements must lie in Microgeneration, decentralisation and energy efficiency. This, in turn, will create the much needed jobs in Shepway, Kent and the whole country.
Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of green house gas, to be
expanding airports when we should be cutting back on air travel is another
example of the industry's disregard for the environment and our childrens
future, not to mention the immediate effect on the local environment and wildlife.
Sunday, 6 June 2010
Kent Green Party is urging the public to write to their MPs in support of the Hunting Act. Steve Campkin comments:
"The Hunting Act of 2004 has led to 60 successful prosecutions of those who have attempted to break it. Opposition to hunting remains high, at 75% of the population and is a clear majority amongst the supporters of each of the three largest parties. In rural areas, opposition to Hunting is nearly as high as in urban areas at 71%(1).
" The new Coalition Government talks about a New Politics but, with this, they are ignoring the people, including high profile campaigns by Brian May, the League Against Cruel Sports, Vote4animals, and Vote Cruelty Free. Kent Green Party urges the public to write to their MPs in Kent and Medway to sign Early Day Motion 116 which supports the Hunting Act. They need to be reminded that they have no mandate for extending cruelty to animals."
"Repealing the Hunting Act would be a major step backwards for our civilisation to a barbaric age where killing for fun is acceptable. It is not. If we are to move forward into an age of responsibility, respect and equality we must not exclude animals and the environment, there must be no exclusions, that is what equality means. The Hunting Act must be strengthened, extended to all animals and, most importantly, enforced."
Ends c 237 words
FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Campkin, on 07964 867589. Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe on behalf of Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.
1. Vote Cruelty Free briefing on Hunting, May 2010.
Thursday, 3 June 2010
Early day motions (EDMs) are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons. However, very few EDMs are actually debated. Instead, they are used for reasons such as publicising the views of individual MPs, drawing attention to specific events or campaigns, and demonstrating the extent of parliamentary support for a particular cause or point of view.
An MP can add their signature to an EDM to show their support. They can also submit amendments to an existing EDM. Although majority of EDMs are never debated, the group of EDMs known as 'prayers' may be debated. Prayers are motions to overturn Statutory Instruments (laws made by Ministers under powers deriving from Acts of Parliament). Further information on EDM procedure can be found in the Commons Information Office Factsheet Early Day Motions.
Up-to-date and searchable information on EDMs is available from the Early Day Motions database. The database is updated nightly with new EDMs and signatures added to existing EDMs. To look at EDMs from any session going back to 1989/90, select the session you want from the pull down menu in the top right hand corner of the screen. For EDMs and signatures prior to 1989/90, please contact the House of Commons Information Office (020 7219 4272).
TRIDENT AND THE STRATEGIC DEFENCE AND SECURITY REVIEW
That this House welcomes the Government's intention to hold a strategic defence and security review; notes with concern the stated intention to conduct it without giving due consideration to the role of nuclear weapons in ensuring the defence of the UK; believes that not only does the commitment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty require nuclear weapons and disarmament to be considered within the framework of the review but that the threat of spending cuts to the defence and other Government budgets makes this all the more important; and urges the Secretary of State for Defence to ensure that the review includes both the UK's ongoing possession of nuclear weapons and the replacement programme.
TRAFIGURA AND SHIPPING HAZARDOUS WASTE TO THE IVORY COAST
That this House, concerned that due to the start of fresh legal proceedings in the Netherlands on 14 and 17 May 2010 concerning the multinational commodities trading group Trafigura, including allegations that UK nationals and UK firms may have been involved in illegal waste shipments and a subsequent cover-up and that payments were made to truck drivers in return for favourable witness statements and given that this is not being fully reported in the United Kingdom because of the chilling effect of the UK's libel laws, calls on the Government to launch a full inquiry into the allegations against Trafigura and to review the libel laws to ensure that this matter can be reported fully in the UK.
HUNTING ACT 2004
That this House reaffirms its support for the Hunting Act 2004 and notes that there have been almost 140 convictions under the Act; recognises that the vast majority of the public support the Act across all regional, political, social and religious divides; and therefore believes that any attempt to repeal the Act would be a retrograde step and out of keeping with a civilised society.
Sunday, 30 May 2010
The problem with Academies is that they will be run by businessmen, as businesses. The way you run a business is you create a 'Product' as cheaply as possible and then sell it for as much as you can get away with. Then you make cut-backs, while raising the price. Then you do it all over again.
Do we really want our children educated like this? If your child doesn't meet their 'targets', will they be excluded as not economically viable? It's not about education, it's about making money. That's what a business is.
As for the Tory claims of choice (another capitalist smokescreen for 'control') how does a poor family living next to an underfunded, underachieving school with no free public transport have any choice but to send their child to the underachieving school next door which is stamping out clone, drones and and factory fodder?
Again, the Tories plan to favour the favoured over the poor, keeping the poor uneducated. And if the schools, police, NHS, etc, are all to be run privately as businesses, what are we paying our taxes for?
All schools should be state run and funded, equally, to the highest standard possible. People don't want the illusion of choice, they want a decent education for their children at their local school. This would mean a generation of people able to think for themselves, which suits the Greens just fine!
Sunday, 16 May 2010
The problem is between 07:30 - 09:00 when people are taking their kids to Wye school and lorries are coming into Ashford from Faversham but, even then, it is apparently not so much of a problem to justify destroying even more of our countryside and evicting the wildlife.
What's more, the building of more houses would mean more cars and more congestion even with the new road in place.
So, instead of building more houses and a link road, which can only be financially motivated, how about a school for the children of Trinity estate, with a free bus service for the children who continue to attend Wye school, and a long term strategy to get lorries off the roads by transferring freight to rail?
Saturday, 8 May 2010
Lib Dems 12,581
Disappointing, I admit, but watching the analysis of the whole thing from a national point of view, not surprising.
The general consensus, talking to people on the doorstep and in the street, was that no-one voted Conservative, they voted against Labour, and no-one voted for Labour, they voted against Conservative.
Taken in this context, 1014 votes for the Green Party in Ashford is not a bad result! 1014 votes for a hippy in a cheap suit is, actually, fantastic.
Three of us, Chris Took, Jeffery Elenor and myself, walked from the count with our heads held high.
The annoying thing is that, policy wise, we could have walked it. VoteForPolicies showed that the Green Party have the manifesto the people want, and the candidates you can actually trust. With people voting for what they wanted instead of against what they didn't want, The Green Party could have won a lot more seats.
But Caroline Lucas becoming the first Green MP in Britain? Some you win, some you lose, and this time we won! From a historical and global point of view this was an essential result and, while we can all celebrate and pat ourselves on the back because we knew it had to happen, we must not forget why this had to happen. It's not about The Green Party, or Caroline, or some hippy in a cheap suit, it's about the environment, equality, animals, human rights and the future of the planet.
Caroline started off as an animal rights activist and CND campaigner in a Tory safe seat, and on Thursday she took that seat away from Labour, and she is probably the only candidate in the country that can say that every single vote she received was for her.
So now what? It's looking likely that we will have another election in a year or so, and in Ashford we've got the local elections next year, and Ashford Green Party will be there. In the meantime we've got a Green MP actually making a difference in the House of Commons. The future's looking good. Fair is worth fighting for, and the fight continues.
Monday, 3 May 2010
Protecting Animals in Democracy as the candidate to vote for to protect animals
in Ashford (http://www.vote4animals.org.uk)
Steve was the first candidate in Britain to respond to the campaign and the only
Ashford candidate that endorses all six points brought up by PAD:
1) Support the Hunting Ban,
2) Work for democratic reform on behalf of animals,
3) Support a Full Ban on battery cages for hens and prohibit de-beaking,
4) Support the reduction and elimination of animal experimentation,
5) Support the repeal of Section 24 of the 1986 Act and the application of
Freedom Of Information to animal experiments,
6) Support subsidies to sustainable forms of energy production that protect
animal welfare, and ensuring that biofuels (except true waste products) are not
supported through targets and incentives.
Steve said 'I am honoured to be endorsed by an organisation that works so hard
to protect animals, this really is a subject close to my heart and was one of the main reasons for getting involved with politics. When it came to deciding which party to join, the Green Party was the only logical choice."
Animal Rights in Kent (A.R.K.) will be hosting an information stall at the
Canterbury Climate fair on 15th - 16th May.
Saturday, 1 May 2010
1) Where does it come from?
2) Where has it all gone?
The answer to both questions is, of course, nowhere!! Money doesn't exist. Like so many other things it was made up, it's an abstract concept, some information stored on a hard drive somewhere. Which leads to the next obvious question
3) Why are so many people suffering and dying for it, or for lack of it? Why do we torture animals and pollute our environment for it? Why on Earth are we fighting wars over it? Are we insane?
The oil spill in Mexico at the moment is due to BP (again) putting the planet at risk to save money. People know that the world is in danger and the Greens are the only party that can do anything about it, but they're more worried about the economy.
And the Green Party has had to take this into account, so we've come up with a plan to save the planet, restore equality, help animals and save the economy. This means we can't meet the £200 Billion demanded by Greenpeace, but our £44 Billion investment in a Green New Deal frankly pisses over the Lib Dems £3 Billion, and spits on anything the others have to offer.
So I ask everyone to think about what the priorities are at this juncture in history: Will a strong economy stop the floods and droughts that are coming? Can we bribe the rising sea levels? Can we buy food that will not grow? And is this abstract concept worth killing for? I don't think so.
I live in rented accommodation, work 39 hours a week for £12,000 pa, get everywhere by bike and refuse to buy cheap crap made by children in 3rd world sweat shops. At the weekend my spare time and cash is spent protecting and defending animals, the less well off, campaigning for justice. I don't get paid for this, I pay to do it, because there are more important things than money.
On May 6th, please, say "Bollocks to the Economy" and vote for a fair future, vote Green Party. And we'll sort out the economy anyway ;-)
Here's a bunch of rich people who agree with me:
On a lighter note, popped into Muffin Break while campaigning today and got recognised! Took part in their Bean Poll and replaced their picture for "Others" with a high res pic of Caroline, so a bit of a coup there! I think that earns them a bit of free advertising.
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. The internet and sites such as blogspot and facebook are invaluable to my campaign, and even finding quotes lifted from my blog in the local press has not encouraged me to copyright it.
The internet is all about freedom of information and must stay as such as a forum for free thought and the expression of this, but it seems this is exactly what Big Brother fears. The powers that be, therefore, seek to circumscribe our rights to share information and 'watch the watchmen', as it were, whilst at the same time collecting data on us and watching our every move themselves.
Not only this, but the bill itself is flawed and unfair, even in achieving it's own aims. With people openly hijacking each others broadband and with public wi-fi this cannot possibly be policed effectively, nor should it be. The idea that I can have my connection severed because my neighbours are downloading naughty pictures is as absurd as it sounds.
Green Party leader Caroline Lucas has already addressed this in her online blog, as shall I. Even this e-mail is copyright, so you have my full permission to reproduce any or all of it, with my only request being that you give credit where it's due. ()
Our 2010 Manifesto, Fair is Worth Fighting For, clearly states: "(We would) Encourage greater sharing of intellectual property by reducing, but not abandoning, levels of patent and copyright protection."
PPC Ashford Green Party
http://www.stevencampkin.blogspot.com ...Thinking Allowed?"
"Think for yourself, Question authority." Timothy Leary (R.I.P.)
Monday, 26 April 2010
It occurs to me that any species sufficiently advanced enough to travel the distances required in the time frame required will be sufficiently evolved enough to have stopped behaving like that. The thing stopping us from having evolved that far is that we're too busy fighting, raping and eating each other to be getting on with exploring our extended environment. This planet has limited resources and burning those resources to travel a couple of miles to the shops to spend "Money we don't have on things we don't need" (George Carlin) is not a particularly efficient way of using those resources. As the Irreverend Bill Hicks pointed out, we can take all the money we spend on guns and bombs and use it to feed the hungry, house the homeless and together explore space, both inner and outer. Any species that can travel through space, in my opinion, must have already achieved this.
And that explains why they have never landed here: as a member of a peaceful, spiritual, spacefaring race, would you land here, where we enslave, ridicule or just plain murder anything different?
Let's reach for the stars, with our feet on the ground, and take a step forward for humanity. Failing that, Bill Hicks again: "Will you let the aliens land, please? They might be here to pick me up."
It was also suggested that I copyright this blog, but what's the point of publishing stuff if you don't want it put around. What's the point of having opinions if you don't express them and, who knows, maybe YourAshford actually gained me some votes. All I ask is that anything that is lifted from this is credited to Ashford Green Party, and we'll leave it there, on trust.
Moving on, Saturday was World Day for Animals In Laboratories (WDAIL) which involved a march from Cavendish Square to Parliament square, then on to St. Pancras where there are plans to build yet another Animal Testing lab. The March was attended by myself and Jake from Ashford Green Party, Mark Dawes from Camden Greens and Sue Baumgardt from Brighton & Hove Greens (Caroline usually attends but is quite busy at the moment).
EDM 1037, states:
"That this House is firmly opposed to the proposed dairy unit in Lincolnshire housing up to 8,100 cows that will be kept indoors for most of the year;
notes that the cows are likely to produce extremely high milk yields;
further notes that the key finding of a 2009 scientific opinion by the European Food Safety Authority is that breeding for high milk yield is the major factor causing poor welfare to cows;
believes that cows should be farmed in pasture-based systems as these enable them to express natural behaviours and are associated with lower levels of lameness;
further believes that the proposed unit is taking UK dairy farming in the wrong direction and that the way forward lies in the use of healthy robust herds with lower milk yields but higher net margins for farmers due to lower culling rates, lower heifer replacement costs and higher sale prices for their calves and cull cows;
and urges retailers and producers of dairy products not to source milk from such large-scale intensive dairy units where cows receive only minimal grazing."
A vote for the Green Party in Ashford would be a vote for Ashford to support this motion.
Monday, 12 April 2010
Well, that was a lucky guess, as animal rights is definitely near the top of my agenda, but I have never mentioned recycling, and I don't remember anyone actually asking me. I mean, I can, but what's the point? With YourAshford making stuff up I needn't bother campaigning on anything, they can do it for me!
"Oi, what's the hippy campaigning on?"
"Dunno, AR and recycling probably."
"Yeah, bound to be, he's a hippy!"
"Fair enough, I'll put it in!"
Thanks, guys. Incidentally, recycling is a bit lame in Ashford. I have to carry cardboard over to the local Sainsbury's, and plastic is not collected, even though Shepway manage it. Ashford has even stopped garden waste, despite being able to sell it as compost at the local tip. Could I get any? No! They were always sold out! Oh, well, local elections next year...
On the Aniaml Rights front here's a response I've just sent to an Animal 'Welfare' charity I wasn't impressed with. I won't say who it was, that would be wrong and naughty, I wouldn't want to frame them:
Thank you for your email.
I can tell you that I am against animal testing of any sort on moral grounds and
that is why I joined the Green Party. We are the only viable political party
with an animal rights policy.
We do not believe there is any benefit to be gained from torturing animals, in
fact it is a total waste of money and time and gives inconclusive and misleading
results. We would immediately ban all animal testing.
Many of the new chemicals and products are produced for financial reasons, not
for human health, so that companies like Proctor & Gamble and Pfizers have
something 'new' to sell us that, actually, we don't even need. The tests
involving animals are cruel and inhumane, especially the LD50 test, which does
not tell us if a chemical is safe but how dangerous it is or, more accurately,
how much the company can get away with!!
Many drugs and pesticides actually cause more harm than good, and I believe an
approach of 'prevention is better than cure' is far more humane and sensible.
The diseases we 'need' many of these drugs for are linked to meat and dairy
based diets and, of course, the chemicals used as fertilisers, pesticides,
cleaning products and beauty products that have already been tested on animals
and passed as "safe".
A programme of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement is slow and unnecessary,
and I would support any motion that calls for an investigation into the validity
of animal testing and/or the immediate banning of animal experimentation.
I hope this answers your questions but, if you would like me elucidate on this
subject, please do not hesitate to contact me.
PPC Ashford Green Party
http://www.stevencampkin.blogspot.com ...Thinking Allowed?
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Knocking on doors yesterday in Godington Park the general mood seemed to be that no-one's decided how to vote, except most people have already ruled out Conservative and Labour! So it would seem that the Green Party's challenge is to get our policies out there, as there are still some that think our one policy is "Save the trees, man!"
That's not our only policy...
The Green Party manifesto is out this week, and I'm in YourAshford this Wednesday, but many of our policies have already been voted on. In a "Blind Election", where people vote online for the policies without knowing which party they come from, the Green Party wins hands down! The simple message: The Green Party have the best policies, and that is what people should be voting on.
It's also interesting to note that we are the furthest left party available, the BNP are the rightest, and you can trace the popularity from left to right:
I was also disappointed to hear that Chris Took had to put up with heckling and abuse from the Conservatives and UKIP during his Q&A session in town yesterday. We turned up out of curiosity and to say hi, but we did not gatecrash, hijack, heckle or even wear our rosettes. Maybe the right wing parties are less secure with own policies and have to rely on aggressive and frankly childish behaviour. Chris and his campaign officer, Kelly, were very accommodating, and were quite happy to introduce me as the Green candidate, even though it was their day.
No, there will not be a Green/Lib Dem coalition, but that's no reason to not get on.
Conversational gem of the day:
"Good morning, we're representing the Green Party..."
"Yeah? Well you can sod off mate!!"
Friday, 9 April 2010
The Greens, on the other hand, want to raise tax and NI, but also raise the National Minimum Wage, so we'll all be better off whilst at the same time rescuing the economy, paying for a state pension of £170 and a Citizens' Income. And, with our Green New Deal, that's one million more of us in work and off benefits.
Now that makes sense!
Thursday, 8 April 2010
REJECT JUNCTION 10A
Steve Campkin, Green Party Candidate for Ashford, rejects the idea of
spending £100 million on Junction 10A. He says:
“None of us ever voted for Ashford’s expansion. As traffic conditions
within and around Ashford worsen due to housing expansion, the best
environmental policy for Ashford is to prevent further greenfield site
house building which will lead to more traffic congestion and air pollution(1).
“Construction of housing planned for areas like Cheeseman’s Green cannot
take place without an additional junction. Good! Ashford Green Party has
long opposed the construction of this new junction, believing that it will
be environmentally very damaging and that resources intended for it are
really needed for health care, schools, and facilities for the elderly and
“I urge people in the Ashford Borough to write to their General Election
candidates and local councillors opposing spending £100 million on Junction
FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Campkin on 07964 867589 Contact address:
37 Beecholme Drive, Kennington, Ashford TN24 9AA. Published for Kent
Green Party and promoted by M.Sansom, Gorewell, Old Wives Lees, Chilham,
Kent CT4 8BD.
1. Air pollution, mainly from traffic, kills about 24,000 people a
year in the UK and damages the health and quality of life of thousands of
Thursday, 25 March 2010
I don't like Budget day, it's got numbers in it, and I don't get on with numbers. So I'll keep it brief.
Listening to Jeremy Vine yesterday we were presented with two points of view: raise taxes or cut public spending. And I couldn't help thinking "What about re-distribution of wealth?"
Both scenarios amount to nothing more than robbing the poor to placate the rich, the very opposite of the Robin Hood Tax Mr. Darling cynically referenced. Why? Because the poor don't fund air-brushed election campaigns!!
So we're faced with cuts to the NHS, privatisation of the post office and a right-royal shafting to pay for it, while the bankers still get their bonuses, more troops are sent to kill/die/both in foreign countries and our redundant and possibly illegal nuclear arsenal is completely re-vamped (£97 Billion).
Because "we must protect the economy, it's suffering, it must be revitalised".
IT'S NOT A SENTIENT BEING!! WILL EVERYONE, PLEASE, STOP WORSHIPING THIS THING LIKE IT'S SOME MONOLITHIC, JEALOUS GOD?
"I am the Economy. Bow down, voter!! You shall suffer, but I am a merciful god, thus you get a choice of how to suffer! Mwa, ha, haaa!!!"
Or there's the Green Party. (Yes, Jeremy, there are more than three parties) Who will raise the national minimum wage, shorten the working week, actually create jobs, raise pensions (£170 pwk, £300 for couples) scrap Trident, oppose road building, and war, and introduce a real Robin Hood Tax, one that hits the target, saves the day and gets the girl!!
Probably got carried away with the analogy there.
Herne protect us!
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
With the date of the election still not officially announced the campaigning has already begun. It looks like we've got six candidates in Ashford (in order of personal preference):
Yours truly, Green Party;
an Independent as yet unconfirmed.
Chris Took, Liberal Democrats;
Chris Clark, Labour;
Damian Green, Conservative;
Paul Andrews, UKIP;
The BNP are apparently not standing.
Your Ashford will be doing a feature in their Q&A feature over the next few weeks, and I think I'm the first featured. It's out on Wednesdays.
And the Green Party General Election Manifesto is almost ready for release.
Ashford Green Party campaigning has been mostly via Facebook and e-mails to specific questions on policies. So far I've committed to IFAW, Vote Cruelty Free, BUAV, the Woodland Trust, CPRE, Save the Children, NSPCC and was the first candidate in the country to respond to PAD.
I've yet to respond to others, but have rejected Cancer Research for their stance on animal testing and am ignoring BASC.
"Dear Mr Campkin, will you support shooting?"
"Dear Shooter, I think you're talking to the wrong chap!!" I was tempted to say poke it up your arse and pull the trigger, but that would be rude. So I won't.
I fully intend to be out canvassing over the next four to six weeks, so if anyone reading this would like a personal call let us know.
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Steven Campkin, Green Party prospective parliamentary candidate for Ashford,
pledged “no return to cruelty” as he backed an IFAW in Action campaign to
protect the ban on the cruel sport of hunting with dogs.
Five years after the Hunting Act came into force in England and Wales, IFAW in
Action, a part of the global International Fund for Animal Welfare movement, has
published a new report ‘No Return to Cruelty’, and released a three-minute
compilation of video footage showing examples of hunting cruelty before the ban.
The new report and footage were sent to MPs and prospective parliamentary
candidates, urging them to remember the horrific cruelty inflicted on foxes,
deer, hares and mink before the introduction of the Hunting Act and to work to
protect the ban.
Steven said: “Hunting for so called 'sport' is barbaric and repulsive and has no
place in a civilised society. I fully support the hunting ban but would like to
see it better enforced, and would go further and ban any activity that exploits
animals. The Hunting Act was introduced because the majority of the British
public found it abhorrent that animals could be chased and ripped apart for fun.”
Conservative Party leader David Cameron has pledged to allow MPs a free vote on
whether to repeal the Act if he becomes Prime Minister. This is despite the fact
that a return to hunting would be completely out of step with the views of the
majority of the British public, including his own party.
Polling by Ipsos MORI* in September 2009 found strong cross-party support for
maintaining the ban, including almost twice as many intending Conservative
supporters backing the Act as those that want it repealed (62% vs 33%). Overall,
75% of the British public do not want fox hunting to be made legal again.
Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW in Action, said: “As a nation of animal
lovers, the majority of the British public have long opposed animal cruelty and
do not want the archaic practice of hunting with dogs to return to our
countryside. We urge everyone to visit our website and remember why this vital
ban was introduced.”
To read the No Return to Cruelty report and view the footage visit w where you
can also email your other local parliamentary candidates and ask where they
stand on the issue.
Ends apprx. 740 words
Sunday, 21 February 2010
Meanwhile I've been sat at home, unable to attend the conference due to work pressures, but answering the first slew of letters from constituents and NGOs. And it was those that reminded me why I got involved with the Green Party in the first place. I was protesting outside the Novartis labs thinking "this is pointless! What we need is representation at the political level."
I was unaware of Caroline Lucas' work in the European Parliament, and Animals Count and the Animal Protection Party didn't exist back then, but I've always believed if you think something needs doing then you're the person for the job so, that evening, I checked out all the political parties for their animal rights policies, to find that only the Green Party actually had one!! (I found out later that the Lib Dems had dropped theirs shortly after the Hunting ban came in, but I don't know how true this is.) So I joined, there and then. Best thing I ever did!
Since then my eyes have been opened to so many other issues that I almost forgot my original reason for joining, but these issues are symptoms of the same problem, and their is only one problem: fear!! And the powers that be feed off and manipulate this fear. Energy deficit, swine flu, terrorism, climate change, etc. Where's the hope, the optimism, the unquenchable fire in the human soul?
It's out there. All these e-mails I'm getting: "will you support us?" "what do you think about this?", "what will you do about that?!", they are from people who live in Ashford who care about Ashford, animals, the environment, child poverty, but not in a fearful way, in a way that gets them up and out and doing stuff, holding the powers that be to account, not just sitting there and taking it. People like me!!
The exploitation of animals must stop, we are animals. The rape of Nature must stop: we are a part of nature. The enslavement of the poor, wherever in the world they are, must stop now! For we only behave like this because we are in turn slaves ourselves: slaves to the capitalist system, to advertisers, to the bankers. To our own fears. And to a parliament full of politicians trying to use the system to line their own pockets, because they are also slaves to their own fears. Set them free, bless 'em, vote Green Party. Or, even better, join us! I've got vacancies...
Maybe I'm caught up in the whole "glass is half full" thing that accompanies seeing your team doing well, but that's when we get up and get stuff done. Positive vibes, man!! They work!
Friday, 29 January 2010
A) Try not to provoke him?
B) Do some proper research and consult the authorities?
C) Get some mates together, break into his home and slaughter his family, thus making yourself at least as bad as him?
George Bush, surely the worst neighbour in the 'hood, chose 'C', and Tony Blair chose to follow him. Turns out the bad neighbour in question was all talk with regard to his weapons horde.
Mr. Blair showed absolutely no remorse today, despite me shouting "Squirm, you bastard, squirm!!" Even more despicable, he said he would do it again, and mentioned Iran in connection to this. Apparently Iran might have weapons of mass destruction and may be a threat to the rest of the world. Sounds like a couple of countries I could mention...
And where's Mr. Bush in all this? Playing golf? Laughing maniacally, having crapped on the rest of the planet, and wiping his arse with Tonys' soul?
Dear Mr. Green,
Today Mr. Tony Blair showed no remorse for leading us into an illegal war, implied he would do it again even without the evidence of W.M.D's and warned, during the inquiry, that we must take a "tough line" with Iran.
In 2003 you voted "very strongly for the Iraq war" (source: theyworkforyou.com), and I am sure you regret that decision, but it seems, general election miracles notwithstanding, that you may soon find yourself in a similar position again. Can I ask you to assure myself and the people of Ashford you will not make the same mistake next time?
Ashford Green Party PPC
Is there any humanity in the house of commons, or is it just one big vivarium?
Saturday, 23 January 2010
I have not joined, but let me explain:
While my sympathies lay with Ben Neilsons family, I just do not believe longer sentences necessarily work, and that's the only reason. The criminal justice system in Britain is certainly one of the more humane, despite calls from the far right for the return of corporal and capital punishment, but it still doesn't actually tackle the problem: there are no evil people, just ignorance and stupid actions. Anyone who kills, from the soldier to the psychopath, from the slaughterman to the executioner, believes they are somehow justified, or exempt from societies rules.
This is why I believe in rehabilitation as opposed to punishment: Education, not Legislation. (And you can quote me on that). These people already hate society, that's why they do what they do, so punishing them is just going to make them worse. I'd like to make it clear that they MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH IT, but the focus of the criminal justice system must be on stopping them doing it again. They must be removed from society so that they cannot harm anyone else, but they must not be relieved of their responsibilities by just locking them away or stringing them up, as that would be "letting them get away with it", making us no better than them, and all at the taxpayers expense!
But I still think even this is missing the point, treating the symptom while ignoring the cause. Harsher jail sentences for paedophiles presupposes that children shall continue to be abused, and seems to me little more than a witch-hunt where we get to satiate the same animal instincts as drive the rapists, murderers and paedophiles themselves, using innocent children as bait.
This is not one of my more popular points of view!
But I'm not interested in being popular, (except on election day, of course) any more than I am interested in indulging my more base lusts, I'm interested in protecting children and creating a fairer society, and that rests solely in the realms of education.
Children look to their fathers (or equivalent) for guidance on how to conduct themselves within the 'tribe', girls looking for a blueprint of their future partners, boys for a role model of how to act and react. Later on in life the school system takes over and the teachers take on the responsibility of role model. People do not respond well to being told what to do, but look for those that lead by example, responding better to encouraged good behaviour than they do to punishment for bad behaviour, which just leads to frustration and resentment. (This generally applies to all social animals, such as chimps and dogs.) Taking this as a starting point we can start to 'fix' what Mr. Cameron calls our "broken society", and puts into action Gandhis words:
Sunday, 17 January 2010
The farm itself is a valuable resource for young people to learn self-sufficiency, organic farming and animal welfare, valuable skills with Climate Change and Peak Oil looming. I myself learned a lot from that farm while I was at The North School. It could also provide a valuable source of income at local farmers markets in these cash-strapped times where education is underfunded in favour of an illegal war.
The traffic problem has also not been addressed properly, with the danger at the junction of three roads and a petrol station brushed off by Kent Highway Services.
Furthermore, one has to question the wisdom of building yet more houses when we have around 400 empty properties in and around Ashford, and with so many people on the streets or in inadequate accommodation one also has to ask if all these houses the Government wants to build are going to be 'affordable'?"
There is currently a Facebook Group opposing these plans. Please join.
Friday, 8 January 2010
We've got 58 channels of snow. And if that's not enough there's some more outside. And people are still driving around in it!! It's times like this that community spirit really comes into it's own, as people check on each other, car pool to the shops to get the essentials and everyone is out shoveling snow off the public footpaths.
Any time now.
Well, there's a gang of kids throwing snowballs at slow moving cars, and their own dog, and people on the Jeremy Vine show complaining about the council not gritting paths and accusing those who have opted to not risk life and limb doing a non-essential job of being somehow lazy. The Economy, it seems, is far more important than your life.
I only live about two miles from my workplace, so I was happy to walk in, but I would certainly not blame others for not risking it, and the doctors and nurses and other important people deserve medals for what they go through.
I know there's a shortage of rock-salt/grit/whatever you want to call it, but what about the community payback scheme getting out there with a few shovels, what about the councils employing some temps through the agencies, and how about some good old fashioned community spirit?
More importantly, what about the energy crisis? Gas and electricity consumption has nearly reached record levels, just as we're trying to get emissions down, and with Cold Weather Payments barely covering what it will actually cost for some to stay alive, one has to wonder what we'll be doing in years to come, when Peak Oil hits, energy bills soar and winters get colder.
The problem is not the heating of your home, it's the heat loss, and the solution is to make it easier and cheaper to heat our homes. The Green Party proposes Free Insulation for every home and, indeed, this has been started where there are Greens on the council. This, combined with Microgeneration will mean heating our homes will be cheaper, easier and more environmentally friendly.
So, tomorrow I intend to go buy a spade and get the paths clear around my neighbourhood and see if I can't get some kind of community cohesion going on.
Do not turn off your heating!!!
Please, stay warm and stay active and don't feel guilty about having the heating on in this weather.
It's not a luxury, it's an essential.