Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Funny what people vote on

When I was canvassing yesterday I spoke to a lovely old fella on the doorstep. He told me he hadn't decided who he was voting for yet but it was probably between the Greens and Labour.

As you do we fell to chatting about politics and the conversation quickly turned to Ancient Rome. After a lengthy discussion on Sulla he looked at me and said "Do you know what, I think I will vote Green this time."

I'm not sure how representative he is, but after giving it some thought I can exclusively reveal that our next newsletter's lead item will be entitled "Scandal as Labour silent on decline of Roman Empire".

I tell you, we can't lose. Tackling the issues that Crofton residents most care about!

Monday, 22 March 2010

YES to housing NO to highrise

I mentioned the controversial Loam Pit Vale development in a previous post but thought I'd highlight the fact that, according to the NewShopper, a group of protesters have been kicking up a fuss with one woman chaining herself to the gates.

She said: “We call on the council to stop patching up unworkable schemes and enter into fair and open discussions with local residents about what they would like to see.

“We hope that all the other political parties will now pledge to call an end to these ill-fated unsuitable schemes to Croydonise Lewisham. Stop throwing good money after bad.”

Not sure about poor old Croydon getting singled out but certainly agree with her point. I'm very pleased to see local residents taking action to make sure their voices get heard.

As I said before "I've never heard a convincing reason from Labour as to why they voted en bloc for a proposal that seems so ill conceived." It doesn't seem local residents have either.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Some other London Green Party blogs

This site is one of a number of Green Party blogs around London and I thought people might be interested in knowing about a few of the others.

Round Lewisham we have, of course, Green Ladywell and Green Telegraph Hill, as well as our Mayoral candidate's blog Dean Walton. There's quite a few others further afield, I may have missed a few off but these are the ones that have come to hand, do tell me if I've accidentally snubbed someone!
Obviously there a number of members who run their own personal blogs (like me) but I thought I'd leave them off this list for now and keep it to more 'official' blogging, if there is such a thing.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Sights of Crofton Park II

I pass this sign most days.

It's probably my odd sense of humour but I always imagine it's a permanent reminder of a historic football score. "Oh yes, that was the time Peckham beat Catford 2-1 in the Crofton Cup" I say to myself.

Yup, just me then, as always.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Blythe Hill Fields

When a 'field' has its own wikipedia page you know it has made it as a field and is regarded by other fields with a mixture of admiration and jealousy. Blythe Hill Fields also has its own festival and friends group of course and it is undergoing some improvements.

Not only has there been recent hedge planting there is a whole overhaul of the play area going on. This set of works is due to be finished around the end of April and I'm curious to see what it looks like in the end.

As you can see it's difficult to tell right now how it's going to turn out as some of it is still a pile of rocks or muddy patches - however, it certainly looks like when the work is finally done (and we have been waiting a while) it could well look very nice.

First I had to sneak past a sign telling me to go no further, ahem.
Spot the dry stone wall.

A pile of stones full of potential,
potential to become more walls anyway.

Lots of machinery and a ship, untouched by the works.
Let's see what it looks like in April.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Sights of Crofton Park

I was staring up at this bit rather splendid creation the other day and trying to work out exactly what it was saying. A skeletal figure sat atop the globe in cool shades and triumphantly waving the Union Jack. It's difficult not to see it as a comment on the British Empire.

If you're keen on the old days of the Raj you might see it as a bit of black humour, the Empire dead and only it's bones to remind you of its past splendors. If, like me, you're critical of Britain's past role around the world you might chose to see it as a comment on how the Empire brought death and exploitation with it across the globe.

Whatever you think it means I love the fact that someone has gone to the trouble to put a fun into their community.

The skeleton is not alone of course. Other items on the roof include a huge gorilla and a rocket, whilst inside lurks a large shark on one of the walls.

My question to you is where did I take this picture? No prizes available but the kudos of being first, but what greater prize could there be?

Monday, 8 March 2010

Peace and Justice

I had a good time yesterday at the Lewisham Peace and Justice event at the Albany. I didn't get to see much of the music although did catch a bit of the wonderful Strawberry Thieves socialist choir, who were great fun. The discussions, films and debates earlier in the day were engaging, interesting and moving by turns.

It was difficult to watch the slide show from Guy Smallman who is a photo journalist who has been reporting from Afghanistan. I've got great admiration for the man who has refused to be an embedded journalist and wonders around Afghanistan without British troops chatting to villagers, Taliban and all sorts. Many of the stories he had to tell and show us were very strong stuff about civilian casualties (I think they used to call them collateral damage, a clinical term for dead children) and the economic destitution that Afghan people live in now.

The film and discussions on Palestine and also on Love Music, Hate Racism were more optimistic and inspirational. There was lively discussion through out and when I presented my short film (for the eco-bit) I only wished we'd had more time for discussion about climate change, capitalism and what on Earth we're going to do.

One thing that a few people asked me was whether they could get hold of the film so I thought it would be useful to post a link to where you can watch it online, or even download it for free.

What I liked about The Story of Stuff is that instead of looking for one particular bad person to blame it looks at how environmental degradation is built into our economic system, and therefore if we're to change what's happening we can't rely on single solutions to act as a magic bullet but we have to assess what we're producing, how, why and who for.

Well worth a look.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

More pot holes

Due to the cold weather there's been quite a few new pot holes opened up around Lewisham, and existing holes appear to have been made much worse. Blog reader Jonathan has brought to my attention the shocking state of the roads up round the Blythe Hill Lane / Montacute Road junction.

I went down and took a few pictures today as the council has already been made aware of the problem but there does not seem to have been any movement as yet.

Mind you the Envirocall number isn't always the easiest experience (I was waiting for over ten minutes today trying to get through for instance). However, this is one of the best ways of reporting problems which you can do at 020 8314 7171 - this is the same number for pest control, discarded mattresses, abandoned vehicles and pot holes.

You can also go online at to report issues - which also allows you to download photos.

There's certainly been a lot of hole filling going on over the last few weeks, so hopefully we'll see some of this dealt with as soon as possible and we'll see if following up on residents' complaints will do any good. Fingers crossed!