Polling card arrived this morning.

I’ve spent the last five days printing assorted stuff for other Green Parties in near-by constituencies – over 16,000 bits of paper, each of which needs to go through the printer twice (ie once for each side), giving a total of nearly 33,000 sides. Not exactly brilliant for arthritic wrists and thumbs!

Needless to say, I won’t be voting for the incumbent hereditary Tory, “Private” Walker, son of Baron Walker of Worcester. Since he started feeding at the Government trough, he’s been nothing but a payroll vote ..

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printer

make votes matter

Emily had organised a “Make Votes Matter” stall outside the Guildhall yesterday, and I’d said that that I’d pop down and help for a bit. Arrived about mid-day, and stayed until packing up at 1345. A couple of spells of light drizzle slowed things up, but it was generally pretty busy – the “Brexitometer” and the “Make Votes Matter” board were full of stickers of people showing their views.

Emily had a hat decorated with the white/green/purple plait round the crown, which looked really good. Sadly, I didn’t take a pic of it.

For some reason, there seem to be photos of me chatting to Councillors – Marjory (our new Green City Councillor) and Matt (Green County Councillor). I very much like the latter photo, and have stolen the bit of it showing my head to be my Facebook profile pic!

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Local Elections

Yesterday (Thursday 2nd May) was Local Elections day here in Worcester. We elect a quarter of the City Councillors every year, and this year there was no election in my ward of Rainbow Hill. However, the next-door ward of St Stephen has been the Green Party target for the past couple of years (we already have one Councillor there), and there’s been a massive effort put in.

So I set my alarm clock for 0515, and struggled to get up. I’d packed the bike top-box with essentials the night before, and set out a thermos etc ready. I was on the bike by 0645, and speeding my way down the very steep Merrimans Hill to St George’s Primary School, one of the polling stations. I arrived comfortably before it opened at 7 – the polling clerk was friendly, and brought out a chair for me.

The first slot I did (0700-0900) was very quiet, with only about a dozen voters turning up. Two elderly friends met up, and spent twenty minutes standing next to me discussing the failure to deliver Brexit, the perceived failures of Westminster, and “the Council” (though they seemed unable to distinguish between City and County …). An uncomfortable amount of tact was needed! At least the rain held off – though maybe it might have moved them on a bit quicker.

Matt Jenkins turned up five minutes early, so it was back up the hill (electric bikes are wonderful) for a bacon butty breakfast. A quick peer through the window at progress with next door’s fence, and some more work on this blog, and back down to the polling station for midday. This time round the weather was much less cooperative, and much of the time was spent lurking under an umbrella! My relief turned up 15 minutes early, but then went off to Sainsbury, and back home for an umbrella, so actually took over at bang on the appointed time of 1400h.

Heavy rain back up Merriman’s Hill, and I was soaked when I got home. Front room full of bike on charge, umbrella, jacket, high-vis vest etc all spread out to dry!  An hour’s snooze, and by the time I woke up the fence people had been rained off – I later had a text from Rupert to say they’d be back on Friday.

More playing with historic entries to this blog all evening. Despite getting up early, I stayed up to follow the results on the Worcester News website (it’s a bit of a Tory rag, but it’s all we have!).

Marjory gets it for the Green Party

YIPPEE !

Being over-tired (and slightly zombied having taken a tramadol because my back was – not unexpectedly – playing up) I stayed awake until all Worcester results were in. It’s left us with “no overall control” – Tory 17, Labour 15, Green 3. So, Greens holding the balance of power again, as we did for most of last year (until Louse unbelievably defected straight from the Greens to the Tories!). Green share of vote massively up, and Andrew Cross came within 34 votes of getting Warndon South, a “development ward” which he’s been working incredibly hard.

Green Party tweet pic
Brexit is getting very scary! I’ve been listening to the TRB track “In the winter of ’79”, and wondering what the winter 40 years later will hold in the way of deprivation and civil unrest.

Time to cheer myself up with a couple of Communards albums, I think.
"Power in the Darkness" lp cover

Bollocks Bus

Well, the Bollocks Bus successfully avoided the Black Hole that causes the disappearance of so many buses in Worcester, but fell prey to the eddies of our tame Time Vortex which affects all such vehicles! Still, it wasn’t much over 45 minutes late, which by Worcester standards counts as “on time”.

Great to see a very fair sprinkling of Green Party stalwarts there.

bollocks bus a

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bollocks bus b

Rock Against Racism, Hope not Hate, etc.

This morning I got an e-mail which said (in part)

Billy Bragg and The Wakes have got together to put on a benefit for HOPE not hate, and I’m able to offer you exclusive early access to some tickets.The gig is going to be at ULU Live, at Student Central in London.”

It is now almost exactly 40 years since I went up to London, and stewarded my first gig at ULU. I subsequently became Vice-President (Services) and helped organise & worked on a large number of benefit gigs for Rock Against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League over the following few years.

It saddens me beyond belief that four decades later we still need benefit gigs for those fighting against intolerance – be it the National Front, British National Party, English Defence League or whatever label the racist extreme right is currently hiding under.

EDL 2

I was delighted to see a very high level of policing – virtually saturation – at the demonstration against the EDL today. I thought the Officers behaved impeccably, showing a lightness of touch while being present in sufficient numbers to discourage any untoward incidents. Many thanks.

Thank you to #Worcester from us and Chief Superintendent Mark Travis

A successful operation in #Worcester today – demonstrators are now making their way out of the city and roads and retailers are returning to normal. A big thank you to everyone from us and Chief Superintendent Mark Travis

Posted by West Mercia Police on Saturday, 1 September 2018

EDL

Rightly, the closest we were allowed to get. Not exactly a massive EDL turnout for a “national” march and demonstration and the “Battle of Worcester”! I think they were outnumbered several times over – which is as it should be.

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Trump demo

Reasonable turnout in Birmingham today – a few hundred at the designated demo area in Victoria Square in a very slight drizzle, and the number probably swelled to a thousand during the impromptu march round the central area.

Lots of signs, including home-made ones (always better than the mass-produced-lefty efforts).

I got back to find that Worcester has obviously had decent heavy rain (which I completely avoided), as several plants have been temporarily flattened by it.