vigil, garden bits

I’m finding movement rather difficult today – attending the vigil for Brianna Ghey outside the Guildhall last night was pretty much at the limit of what I’m capable of currently. WN article on the vigil archived at

At the end, I met up Melissa, Sue, Karen, and we chatted for some while (the photo is by Melissa). I walked up and caught a cab at Foregate Street. This morning, I’m distinctly stiff and painful – bloody post-covid recovery seems to be taking an age (it’s been eight weeks so far!), but I’m definitely improving slowly.

In the garden this morning there was another batch of purple crocus, and the ones under the tree seat are now starting to open.

email to my MP

Last night I sent

Dear Robin Walker,
it is very clear that His Majesty’s Government has departed very considerably from the manifesto on which it was elected. There is no democratic mandate for the financial policies now being pursued, which have caused widespread turmoil and attracted widespread condemnation. The current Prime Minister was appointed through the votes of a tiny number of Conservative Party members, and likewise lacks any shred of democratic legitimacy.
I would hope that you (as a self-described One Nation Tory) share my concerns both about the abandonment of the “levelling-up” on which your party won the last General Election, and about the financial gamble which has already threatened everything from the stability of sterling to the near-bankruptcy of some large pension funds.
This cannot go on. I urge you to use discussions with colleagues and Party members at the forthcoming Party Conference to seek a return to a responsible and fair financial policy. I would hope that you have sufficient courage to speak out, and if necessary to vote against the Chancellor’s policies in the House.
I don’t expect it to have much effect, though if enough people write similar letters his sense of self-preservation might kick in!


An article in The Guardian this morning ( – also on –  prompted a mini-rant on Facebook from me:

Well worth a read. However depressing it may be, seeing the worst of the Tory (and some nu-Labour) attacks on the worst-off members of society assembled in one place should surely reinforce our determination to get rid of chumocracy for all time.

It should not be “WELFARE”, but “SOCIAL SECURITY” – giving members of our society a decent and secure stake in its success rather than a grudging and imported American model of “barely enough to avoid actual rioting”. The sooner we accept that, the better.

historic rant

From Facebook Memories 9 years ago this morning, but disturbingly relevant today:

Irritated by assorted readers of “Which?”, I posted the comment below on the Which? discussion boards a few days ago. I’ve just noticed that it’s now “comment of the week” !
I said:
I’m sure plenty of posters have a lot to feel smug about, but the reality for many people is that there just isn’t enough cash for energy and food. If you’re on benefits, Some kind of phone and internet connection are essential, especially if you’re looking for work. Many of those unexpectedly out of work will have long-term contracts (for example, Sky or gymn subscriptions) that can take a year to cancel, so these aren’t always luxuries that can be controlled! I know – it took me eight months to work through such items when I lost my last job.
Before posting smug condemnations of the feckless poor, please stop and think. If you lost your job or became too disabled to work tomorrow (or if both of you did, if you’re in a two-income household), how .long would it take you to set yourself up to live on the dole? What would you do if the fridge or boiler broke? How long would it take before you were able to grow even basic salads to cut down on food costs – what’s the waiting time for an allotment if you don’t have a garden?
The lecturing and patronising approach that some people take to the very real problems of poverty is a real contributor to the marginalisation that many of us feel.

A good night for the Greens

In fact, an excellent night for us across England.

Dolls out of prams – ” Our team in Worcester reports Tory leader has gone home, expects party to lose several seats says ‘people have given their verdict on govt’, partygate was a big issue, and MPs need to think about who they want to lead them into next election. — Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) May 5, 2022″

We’ve won two of our three target wards here in Worcester, which is very good news. Tory voters seem to have stayed home en masse, rather than defecting to LibDems. Full results at…/elections/2022-elections – and I’m delighted that I very convincingly beat the LibDems to come 3rd in Rainbow Hill.

Rainbow Hill ward table of results


“Britons should buy value brands to cope with living cost crisis, says minister”

Yet another attempt by Tories to shift blame from this dreadful government! Many people have been buying cheapest possible brands for many years, as the only possible way of eking out inadequate social security payments or pensions. It’s deeply insulting to all of us to imply that it’s our fault for not being thrifty enough to manage to survive, or that we lack the knowledge to do so.

I’m lucky, in that my massively broke period was some years ago, but I will never forget the despair induced by fortnightly purchases of ASDA “value” frozen sausages at £2 for 40, walking a mile to save 15p on half a gallon of milk, or sitting in the cold dark because the electricity meter had run out and money didn’t come in to my bank account until the following morning. So please, no more attempts to load responsibility for inhuman living conditions onto those that this government has so dismally failed to offer any meaningful support.

Who are the candidates?

The Worcester News piece listing the candidates at the forthcoming elections is out. There’s a link (via the Internet Archive) here.

Only four candidates in the ward this time – great not to have the BNP standing! “The city’s Rainbow Hill ward will see one of four candidates elected with Parveen Parveen Akhtar for the Conservatives, Labour’s Zoe Cookson, Lib Dem Simon Cottingham and Nick Weeks for the Greens fighting it out. “


I’ve had quite enough of all the posts about how to save energy! Yes, we all need to do it. Very many of us have been doing so for a number of years, whether because of poverty or because of environmental concerns (or a mix). But I’m now feeling that a large proportion of such posts are in fact “blame-shifting” – they’re attempting to suggest that it’s our fault if we’re in fuel poverty, because we’re somehow not being sensible about minimising our energy use.
Yes, what individuals do has an effect, but overall it’s only small. What is needed (as with environmental pollution, plastics use, recycling …) is system change at local, national and international level. For energy use, that means investment in home insulation, heat pumps, solar panels, waste heat recovery and storage, and a whole lot more!
Do NOT let this government delude people who are doing their best into feeling guilty (unless you voted for them, I suppose). And, if you have local elections coming up in May, voting green might be good.

photo of Smart meter for gas and electricity