Sunday, 16 May 2010

Rebirth after ten years in Ponteland

Press release from Northumberland CC about the relaunch of Ponteland Farmers' Market on 22nd May (guess which bits were in my original draft?):

Ponteland Farmers’ Market will be celebrating its 10th birthday on Saturday 22nd May with a change of venue and a full-scale re-launch.
The market is moving to the Merton Way Shopping Centre from its former base in the Memorial Hall, where it has been for most of the past ten years.

Market supervisor Robert Hindhaugh, says:
“We hope that this move to an outdoor location in Ponteland’s main shopping centre will help to rejuvenate the market. We already have bookings from a number of producers and can expect more to sign up if the market goes well.”

Producers booked for the day so far include:
Castle Bakery, selling fresh bread and pastries;
Curly Farmer Fine Food, selling cakes, pates, scones etc;
Middle May Lamb selling Organic Lamb;
Patterson’s of Eyemouth, selling fish and seafood;
Richard Dennis, selling fudge;
Vince Frain, selling plants, herbs, shrubs etc;
The Women’s Institute (WI), who will be trading from the Merton Hall; and
Zest Catering, selling pasties, chilli, homemade soups.

and with a bit of luck a local microbrewery

Words put into the Council executive member’s mouth by their press office:
“We are very keen to promote sustainability through self-sufficiency and farmers markets are an excellent way of helping to support local enterprises, as well as greatly reducing food miles.
“We hope that this re-located market will have the added benefit of bringing more visitors into the shopping precinct at Ponteland, thereby supporting local trade as well.”

There will be some added attractions at the market to celebrate its 10th anniversary including a special birthday cake, plus cooking demonstrations by the ‘Cool Food Dudes’ from Real Food Works.
(photo courtesy of NEEFM)

Saturday, 8 May 2010

It was a good result for us....

In the traditional words of the party hack "It was a good result for us"...

OK - it was slightly disappointing to get just half the votes I got at the last General Election, and slip back almost to my 1992 levels. And it was galling to be patronised again by the other parties - "You are doing a really brave thing - keep it up" - when I had graduated to being attacked and slated because I was beginning to make an impact. And - although I'm assured otherwise - I feel I've let down my supporters and donors by losing my deposit again.

Still and all, it was a good result for the Green Party - we've got an MP at long last! And media-willing, Caroline Lucas should carry the Green message into people's awareness. Her comment on the hung parliament and the FPTP voting system is a good beginning:

“The first past the post system has created a situation where people cannot vote positively for the candidate or party whose policies they most agree with. Instead, they are forced to vote in fear, working out how to vote to keep out the party furthest away from them in policy and values. This leaves us a grotesque democratic deficit and a poor basis on which to govern.”

Cameron and Clegg be warned!

Meanwhile - it's back to local activity and campaigning for me, but carbon emissions are still increasing - and at the risk of sounding like something from Flash Gordon - 'we've only three or four years to save the Earth'

Monday, 3 May 2010

I must be making an impact....

I gather that the yellow party are concerned that the 'five hundred votes that Nic gets' may be all that pushes them into second place behind the red party in Wansbeck.

This is fascinating on a number of levels:
i) they feel threatened by me: when other parties' feel safe they patronise me, they only attack if I'm making an impact
ii) of course, I'm going to get more than 500 votes (I sincerely hope!) - and from feedback I'm getting, I'm taking votes from the red party as well as the yellow.
iii) they still don't understand that green party policies are fundamentally different from yellow party policies

And of course - this time, with the real chance of a couple of Green MPs being elected - the national Green vote is going to be important. Green MPs with three million votes behind them would have a much louder voice than if we only got say half a million votes nationally.

So - vote Green in Wansbeck, it isn't a wasted vote - and as it says on my election leaflet "Don't settle for least worst - vote for what you believe in!"

Who do you hate? A voters' guide

Actually - this is a yellow party bit of frippery - but it is an interesting approach - and possible a bit too close to the truth to be really amusing.