Friday, 29 January 2010


You know of a neighbour living a few streets away, he has a bad reputation and he may have some weapons in his house. He may not. You feel something needs to be done about him. Do you:

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:, 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?

Steven Campkin
Ashford Green Party PPC

Is there any humanity in the house of commons, or is it just one big vivarium?


Saturday, 23 January 2010

Sense and Sensibilities: The Criminal Justice System.

I've just been invited to join a group on Facebook calling for a "review of minimum sentences applied to violent crimes".

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:

"We must become the change we wish to see in the world".

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Letter to KM re: North School Farm

"Ashford Green Party is utterly opposed to the plans for 25 new houses on the current site of the North School Farm in Essella Road.

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

Snow. Snow snow, snow. Snow? Snow, snow.

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.

Any minute...

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.