Monday, October 06, 2008

Vote Green to get Green in Kentish Town

Camden Green Party are currently contesting a winnable council by-election in Kentish Town. All the signs are that the Greens will be able to improve on their previous second place and actually win the seat - although unfortunately nothing is guaranteed in this world.

Our candidate, Victoria Green, is the only contender that actually lives in the ward and her record as a community campaigner makes her a good fit with the other three Greens on Camden council, who have a deserved reputation as excellent local councillors.

In December 2006 the Greens clinched second place in the ward with 28% of the vote to the Lib Dems' 37.5%. However in May, the Kentish Town Lib Dem vote fell to just 600 (from over a thousand), and is likely to fall further after their ‘local’ Councillor moved to Arizona and continued to claim allowances, something that eventually caused the by-election.

All of this means that, with support, Victoria Green is well placed to win the election on October 30th. But she wont be able to do that without some help and I'm trekking down to London this weekend to lend some support - which made me think - I might as well let people know about this and see if I can rally a few London and non-London supporters.

On Saturday we're meeting from 10 a.m. on Kentish Town High St. (I'm told you go out of Kentish Town tube station and turn left, "you can't miss us") where the street stall will act as a organising hub for door knocking, leafleting and other activities in the area which will go on into late afternoon. If you've not helped out the Greens before this would be an ideal time to dip your toe in the water, meet the candidate and take in the fresh London air... oh, hold on... make that bracing rather than fresh.

I'll leave the last words on this to the Lib Dem Chair of Camden Council's Sustainability Task Force Alexis Rowell;

We've got another [by-election] coming up in Kentish Town because our Arizona Kid, Philip Thompson, has resigned to do a PHd in the States. We shot ourselves in the foot over that. The story made it into the national media because he moved to Arizona before he resigned as a councillor. I'm delighted for him that his academic career is going so well, but I do think he should have announced his intention to resign at the point at which he decided to do his PHd abroad.

The Greens ran us very close in Kentish Town during the last by-election there and I expect them to be the main rivals this time. I'm told we identified more potentially Green voters in Kentish Town during that by-election then than any Lib Dem local party in the UK had ever identified before. So I guess it will turn into a referendum about how much the current Kentish Town councillors have done to support policies to mitigate climate change and how much we as an administration have done to push sustainability. Interesting!
It's important that we continue to build the momentum with electoral successes where we can get them and winning one seat in a new ward can quickly turn into three in a couple of years time - so we're sowing good seeds for the future. See you there!


Peter Cranie said...

Good on you Jim - get down there. I campaigned in the last Kentish Town byelection, and we do get a really positive response.

I hate to be pessimistic, but it is quite possible the Lib Dem will go very dirty on this one to keep us out. If we get established in a second Camden ward, they will be very concerned.

scott redding said...

Is this the thin edge of the wedge ... will all candidates have to have the last name of Green?

First Green: Is your name not Green?
Michael: No, it's Michael.
Second Green: That's going to cause a little confusion.
Third Green: Mind if we call you "Green" to keep it clear?

Anonymous said...

Let's get the seat, and then another for good measure. If they won't use the power afforded a third party, we will!

Natalie Bennett said...

No Alexis isn't, so far as I know, a Green in disguise. But sometimes he's obviously a very, very unhappy Lib Dem....comes from trying to be small "g" green in the current Camden administration I guess.

Anonymous said...

I have my cllr surgery in the morning and a man coming about insulation at lunchtime, but maybe I'll pop up and help after that. Is it leafleting or door-knocking? Natalie - is someone getting the call for help out on our London list? And London Facebook list?

Jim Jay said...

Peter, I think if anyone could go dirty on this one it would be us - but we wont of course, cos we're lovely to everyone.

Scott, you were only allowed to keep your name because people got coventry and redding confused... keep your head down lest your spotted.

And Sue - yes it would be nice to see a good gang of people out this Saturday - although when I chatted to Victoria she seemed confident about numbers (oh!)

scott redding said...

I liked the use of "Arizona Kid" by Alexis. That would liven up politics, if we all had Western-movie nicknames.

Noel Lynch said...

Camden Green Party are one of the most efficient in the country.

They got their candidate selected on the Monday. Wrote, and laid out their leaflet on the Tuesday. Graham Lee printed it on Wednesday and it was delivered to the whole ward (over 5000 homes) on the Thursday!
This was essential as the expenses limit kicked in at midnight on Thursday, and for once, we will be matching the other parties pound for pound, right up to the limit.

The first leaflet - see above - is A3 tabloid size with twelve articles and five photos. It takes the fight right to the others with articles like "Lib Dems, Labour & Tories voted to close police stations"

This is one that we can win, but it will be a battle - the LDs are hard to beat in a by-election. A win here would snowball, not just in Camden, but across London.

Please pile in and help! Six more leaflets are planned as well as stalls, canvassing, knocking-up, media and phone calls.

Jim Jay said...

What would yours be Scott?

Noel - are we going to put any of our leaflets on the Camden site? Be nice to get a sneek preview.

Incidentally I'm very impressed with the quality of London leaflets, booklets etc. they really help you feel like you're a member of a proper political party! ;)

scott redding said...

I'm the Canada Kid (tumbleweed of medical marijuana rolling by).

Voice of Camden said...

Interesting. But why on Earth did the green party leader vote to close the Torriano Pub?

Jim Jay said...

Hi Phil (Voice),

I'm probably not the person to deal with this, but I do know some of the detail.

Unfortunately it seems that the Lib Dems are putting it about that one of our councillors voted to close the pub when in fact she voted on a compromise that would *save* the pub - whilst giving some concessions to the developer.

She feared (and I can't say how wisely) that by rejecting the developers outright people could be left in aposition where they get all their own way down the line. By trying to head them off at the pass with a motion that would ensure the pub stayed open.

This kind of dirty tricks on the part of the Lib Dems could well back fire on them when people realise the truth. It one thing to say there is a difference of opinion on whether there should have been any compromise - the Lib Dems are certainly sincere in wanting to keep the place open - it's quite another to state that this Green councillor voted to close the pub down when she voted for a plan that explicitly kept it open!

Anyway - I'll try to get someone to give a more knowledgable answer.

Nice blog by the way.