Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Freedom of Information and the Digital Economy Act 2010

Dear Mr.,

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."

Yours sincerely,

Steven Campkin
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


I've just recieved an e-mail with a link to an article on Stephen Hawking (from the Simpsons) about Aliens. He claims that we should stop trying to contact life from other planets as they will just come here, strip our planet of resources and bugger off. Now, I'm not entirely comfortable with picking holes in theories from people like Hawking and Einstein (I disagree with Einsteins theories on time travel), or indeed Ms. Robinson (disagree at your peril!!) but it seems to me we're already trying to do that ourselves, and this is my problem with the whole theory: Prof. Hawking and Ms. Robinson are judging the aliens on purely human terms.

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."

Animals and Journalists

Having read my previous blog the guys at YourAshford decided to react by re-stating that I am fighting a general election campaign on recycling by lifting a quote from said blog, subtly letting me know that they read it. Friends and supporters were utterly bemused that I found this hilarious.

Touche guys!

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

Journalists and Animals.

YourAshford reported last week that "...Green Party candidate Steven Campkin (that's me, btw) will be campaigning on animal rights and recycling."

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."

"You sure?"

"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:

Dear *****,

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.


Steven Campkin
PPC Ashford Green Party

http://www.stevencampkin.blogspot.com ...Thinking Allowed?

Sunday, 11 April 2010

I'm constantly surprised and dismayed by how many people won't vote Green because we won't win. It seems to me to be a self fulfilling prophecy, that if everyone who said that did vote Green we'd probably win.

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!!"

Fair enough.

Friday, 9 April 2010

CONning themselves?

As I admitted a while ago, I'm not entirely comfortable with numbers, but it occurs to me that the Conservatives wish to cut public spending by sacking lots of people, thus denying these people the right to pay tax and forcing them to claim benefits...am I missing something?

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

Junk Shun 10, Eh?


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
young people.
“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