Let’s do it.

At the end of my last lesson today we were having a discussion about politics in this country and what my thoughts were – something I’m very grateful for. The typical defeatist arguments were there “How can you do everything you’ve said you want to do?” but for me the one question stuck in my mind was “Why local buses? Why local issues? There are more important issues in the world”. I was a bit offended and disturbed by the narrow-mindedness of such a question.

Let’s put this into perspective, I’ll use my bog standard local issue of buses:

  • Frequent buses on the road that fit in with people’s lives (like the ones we see in Southampton) would lead to less cars on the road.
  • Less cars on the road mean less Co2 emissions, meaning we would be doing our part on a small, but important, scale to reduce climate change.
  • People who financially cannot afford or physically use a car have a cheaper alternative than if they called for a taxi.

There are many more knock-on effects from just this one, apparently small, important issue. I find it incredibly worrying that people who are of my generation have this defeatist, individualistic mentality. A friend of mine, much more “radical” than I, said that me and her wanted the same things – but we had different ideas about how to achieve it. What I believe in is local democracy, I believe that power should be decentralised to the lowest possible level. I believe that local communities should have the power to decide what is best for them in everything. Including their health, education and other public services (notice the word PUBLIC there). I believe that things like transport, the NHS, energy, The Post Office should be nationalised AND decentralised for the reasons why I have already mentioned. I believe that buying local should be a much more desirable option than importing millions of tonnes worth of food, which we end up wasting enough anyway. I believe businesses like Amazon, HSBC should be made to pay the right amount of tax (by the way it has been estimated that tax avoidance costs the UK £80bn or so a year).

All in all, it’s about the people, it’s about bottom-up approaches to our problems. Democracy I believe is the way forward to achieve it, it’s not perfect at the moment – but WE CAN FIX IT, in fact I am going to argue that it is The Green Party that is giving faith to people who are fed up with the current system, giving people hope instead of fear and giving people a real alternative. What I find absolutely appalling is this insane demoralisation of young people who do not believe we can do it. Just look to Greece, Syriza has been making some wonderful progress so far since being elected not too long ago. They are showing that it’s not all doom and gloom, and so too will The Green Party.

What I am offering Fareham is an alternative, to austerity, to pessimism and to the system that divides us socially and destroys our environment. People are waking up from the complacency and defeatism that they have previously succumbed to. There is a way to change the system and it’s not out of the barrel of a gun – it’s a cross on the ballot paper.

Let’s do it! Let’s go Green for Fareham!

Thank you for reading,

miles

Miles

I’m supporting Fareham’s local pubs and breweries

I am pledging my support for local pubs and breweries.

The three pledges are highlighted in the Manifesto for Pubs and Real Ale by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, which sets out a package of reforms they are seeking from the next Government. These important pledges are to:

 

  • Support well-run community pubs
  • Promote Britain’s breweries
  • Represent pub goers and beer drinkers.

 

Tim Page, CAMRA’s Chief Executive welcomed my support, saying:

“We are delighted that Miles has pledged his support for pubs, breweries and consumers. As, on average, 31 pubs close each week it is absolutely vital that our elected representatives recognise and champion the value of these important community assets, and work to protect them.

“CAMRA is urging the next Government to act to ensure that pubs are better protected in the planning system, that large pub companies treat their licensees fairly and that beer duty is set at a level which supports UK brewing.”

I am proud to be campaigning for pubs and real ale. Well-run community pubs play a crucial role in local life and make a massive contribution to the local economy – with each injecting around £80,000 to the local area every year. If elected, I will continue to show my support in Parliament.  I’ve grown up with politicians breaking their pledges, I don’t aim to be one of them!

Thanks for reading

miles

Miles

Fareham needs an alternative

As the Welborne hearings continue, it is becoming more and more clearer that it is completely undemocratic. As our own Prime Minister, David Cameron, said “it is up to the people of Fareham to decide” – seems to be I’ve never been asked if I wanted it!  It also appears to me that the people of Funtley and the surrounding communities have never really been consulted properly.

This time last week, I attended a demonstration organised by Jason Mudge – who is a local hero as far as I am concerned.  For the first time I  (or my family who’ve lived in the borough for nearly 60 years) can recall, there has never been such fierce public opposition to anything directly affecting our town.

Some of our councillors seem to be adamant in building Welborne, they say that it isn’t in their hands and that there is “nothing we can do” – but the last time I checked, we live in a democracy don’t we? Not some absolutist totalitarian regime that is hell bent on clogging up our roads, packing up our schools, our surgeries and destroying vital farmland. Fareham was named the most car dependent town in the entire UK, and the M27 was labelled as “the worst for traffic incidents” – what good will this monstrosity serve if we just keel over and allow these people, who are supposed to represent us, to go ahead with this?

Already we have heard of councillors in the North Fareham ward breaking their silence and saying that they are opposed to this development, and they have my respect for that – they had been effectively gagged up until this point and it’s a brave thing to do, but in my opinion – if David Harrison had been elected in May he wouldn’t have been dormant and actually spoke out about this as early as he could.

Fareham needs an alternative, this universally complacent attitude has been  going on too long, the people of our town need a brighter, Greener alternative that when chosen by the people will work for them tirelessly.

It is time we stand up for our town and take the “Green Plunge”.

Thank you for reading,

miles

 

 

 

 

 

Miles

Going Green? Go Grindey!

Autumn Conference 2014

Well I came back Sunday, so I feel this to be a bit late. I’ve spent last weekend up in Birmingham for the Green Party’s Autumn Conference, it was held at Aston University – the hotel was lovely and so were the staff there, a truly welcoming atmosphere. I met some lovely people as well and got some very important business done!

This was “my spot” at the conference, right at the back in the middle.

Others from South East Hampshire joined me up there, which was quite nice! When I arrived on Friday I sat through one of the best speeches I have ever heard, from Natalie Bennett – an absolutely fantastic speech was given, I could tell I was right in choosing the Green Party to support. We then followed a rather unnecessarily heated plenary about the Standing Order’s report, however it did pass.

In the evening I spent some time in the bar chatting to a few friends of mine from other parties, got chatting to a few Young Greens – it was very nice! Then the welcoming event by the World Animal Protection group, of which Natalie was there so I kinda had to take…

 

a selfie!

 So then the next day, as I was having my breakfast – Natalie then joined me for breakfast, we had a lovely chat about all the things I was doing and what was going on in general, it was rather nice and it was a truly humble experience. I did have to kind of call my mum and let her know what had just happened, her reply? “NO way! That’s so cool!”. Amazing.

Caroline Lucas about to give a speech on Saturday 6th Sep

Saturday had the Plenary from hell, I kid – it was quite fun and well done, so a brilliant congrats to the chair of that. We had a good and healthy debate about Nuclear Energy, a couple of Young Greens voted for it but the majority (including myself) voted against it and in the brief pause between absorbing what just happened and getting on with the plenary I just went “HA!” at the back of the hall. 

In the evening I flocked back to the Bar and was joined by the rest of the South East Hampshire lot who had popped up to conference, which meant…

…another selfie!

So that was quite nice, meanwhile I had been trying to get a drink out of Keith Taylor MEP – since he tweeted back in February he’d get me one! I also had a chat with the Bristol Greens, seeing as where Bristol is the uni of choice for a certain friend of mine – Some really nice guys.

I met a lovely couple of people called Sally and “Vip”, very warm and welcoming bunch those two are – good sense of humour too! They were doing a stall about sustainable technology, so plenty of literature to give to mum when she’s talking about Apple! 

Overall I had a fantastic time, met some lovely people and I’m feeling really inspired – I wonder what interesting things might happen next year…

 

Thanks for reading!

 

miles

Miles

Gaza Rally in Portsmouth

I’d figure I’d write my version of accounts of what happened at the rally in Portsmouth today, since I don’t think there’s been any proper coverage of the events where I was.

The entire procession was a mainly peaceful occasion, there were many of us at the rally – there were some great speeches made, including one by the Coordinator of the South East Hampshire Green Party.

Some incredibly good points were made, how we were there to support the Palestinian civilians and how we condemn the bloodshed of this whole thing. After a while we went on a march near the train station. I thought I’d give it 5 minutes before something happen, then lo-and-behold there were about 10 EDL thugs attempting to cause a fight with a Israeli flag and just shouting. After the police sorted them out we continued with members of the public filming and smiling at us.

This van shot out police officers quicker than you can shout “cops!” – they showed up 5 seconds after the EDL skinheads caused a fuss. Top marks.

Anyway the whole thing came to an end around two-ish, I had a lovely chat with a man called “Mr Molar” (he called himself that). I then spoke to a nice lady (whose name I’ve forgotten – I’m dreadful with names) who told me that I was inspiring and that there should be more people like me – I told her that I was very grateful for her kind words, and then finally I spoke a couple of our new members and then we left.

Very peaceful.

Thank you for reading,

miles

Miles

When the Greens come a-knockin’

We’ve been canvassing for the nearly 4 months now and the reception has been incredible, 49.5% of the people we call on have a problem – they are responding well to my canvassing. One person said they hadn’t  even voted in the last 20 or so years and they were going to make their next a Green Vote! The people of my home town have been incredibly gracious towards me and my aim of representing all the residents of the local community. Being a 2nd Generation Warsash Resident (only having moved to Locks Heath/Park Gate two years ago), attending Primary School at Hook-with-Warsash – I have a personal history with the village.  I still frequent down The Silver Fern often with my friends, and I still see my Grandparents often. I feel as though I should give back to the community that gave me so much growing up.

Since November, I have been talking to local residents about local issues – the issues that affect people in their daily lives, and I am hugely grateful for their time that they’ve taken to talk to me. As of now I will fight for local people’s right to be heard, one resident along Newtown Road said to me:

Finally a breath of fresh air! Until you came along we never saw a candidate for anything come to our door and actually speak to us.

At the last Warsash Resident’s Association meeting, I confronted Cllr Trevor Cartwright when he was discussing Yellow Lines. I said that I’d been speaking to resident’s throughout Warsash, and how they were quite rightfully fed up with the Council-sponsored kettling of students parking places. I also told him that residents don’t feel as though he’s taking their concerns seriously, and that no legitimate consultation was taking place. He quickly stated that 6 people had written to him/Fareham Borough Council, and that’s apparently the go-ahead to do anything anymore, when a ridiculously small number of people in a largely populated area actually take the time to write in. It’s hardly democratic or fair, from my notes I can count at least 16 people who are fed up with double yellow lines and want to see some sense put into councillors. They want Parking Permits! That’s common sense.

The fact of the matter is that myself and The Green Party share common ground when it comes to local issues, consultation is key when it comes to the things that matter. It seems there are dark clouds of complacency surrounding the Tory Party in Warsash, are they really trying hard enough to represent those who they were chosen to represent?

The people of Warsash are calling to be heard, and Warsash I’ve been listening!

Thank you for reading,

Miles Grindey

Green means GO!

There is a great deal of cynicism in the UK these days, and quite rightfully so! I mean who wouldn’t be cynical about politicians, political parties and indeed candidates after all that has happened, the lies, the deceit and the overall “Image” over “Substance” culture? Many of the people who go to my college seem to think that Green Party (or Greenpeace Party as someone thought it was) is just a bunch of vegan hippies trying to put up wind farms all over the place.

The Green Party is not JUST about the environment, it’s a party that prides itself on inspiring social change, a party that so desperately attempts to improve social justice wherever our members are in power and it’s this great deal of ignorance and lack of insight that is allowing the elite in politics to have their way with the public and push people who genuinely want to do good to the side. 

Over the past couple of Sociology lessons my class watched Michael Moore’s great documentary “Capitalism: A Love Story” about how banks and lobbyists had invaded their political system and indeed how alienated people WERE (emphasis) feeling disenfranchised with the whole system. I was surprised to see two things, one the distinct lack of interest from the majority of the class about what has happened to OUR society and two the fact no one (apart from myself and perhaps a couple of others) felt anguished by how easy these people with a ridiculous amount of money were able to get away with it so quickly!  All in all I feel as though I’m the only one willing to do anything about it. While it is true that I am standing in the Local Elections next year and that my issues will be purely local ones, but to bring about sustainable change it must be achieved through baby steps. One foot at a time. 

To get politics across to college students is a very difficult struggle, with many accusing the likes of me doing this for personal gain.  It is these accusations which, if it weren’t for my thick skin, would cut me deep so much that I’d give up my dream. I am determined no matter what to do something different, big or small – I want to do something that will enlighten people of all generations to fight the system when it doesn’t go our way. We are supposed to alter the system to fit our needs, but nowadays we’re being shaped to fit the needs of the system. Where did we go wrong? The short answer for you is “I’m not entirely sure”. This culture of either spouting hate at everyone with a rosette, “bending over and taking it” or following the trail of thought of “Mummy and Daddy” is highly damaging. I don’t blame people either, in the last 30 years we’ve lost people who mean what they say and say what they mean. I think that an ever growing proportion of people are forgetting how to think for themselves and that their whole thought process comes from adverts and what the media tell them.

One thing from my experience is that if you want to see change, think of things as a traffic light. Labour (Red) is stop, the Lib Dems are something you probably shouldn’t chance and Green means go! 

Thanks for reading,

 

Miles Grindey

 

Havant is aware

Last night I attended a public meeting on Fracking. Now for those of you who don’t know what fracking is here is a brief description for you:

Fracking or hydraulic fracturing enables natural gas extraction from shale plays that were once unreachable with conventional technologies.

(From http://www.what-is-fracking.com)

It was a very good meeting, with a very impressive turnout. Councillor Ray Bolton made an appearance and so did the aide of David Willetts (who was busy in the Commons with the Syria debate). 

Image

Ray Bolton speaking to the meeting.

I had heard from many people the case for and against Fracking, and I feel that the case against is definitely stronger. Why? Primarily because I have seen evidence (much like the same way the government had seen ‘evidence against the Assad regime’ on YouTube) of people in America turning their taps on and being able to set fire to the methane that comes out of the taps.

Multiple sites across the UK have been confirmed, one being along the M27 (Towards Cosham and Portsmouth) and so I believe that it is right that we should inform the local residents of areas that would be affected by fracking about the dangers.

Image

Local resident of Balcombe speaks about the dangers of fracking and how the residents of Balcombe feel about it

The meeting had several key speakers, many of whom had been/come from Balcombe. They all had interesting and very informative things to say, many of which did wash very well with many of the people attending the meeting. A man there who asked the Councillor about his views on fracking was most displeased when the councillor failed to give a direct answer, soon after the councillor attempted to leave but when a resident of the local areas had said that she wanted to ask him a question, the aide of the local MP ran out to go and grab the departing councillor.  

The councillor came back in soon after being told that there was someone who had came to talk to him directly about fracking. After the councillor (yet again) failed to give a direct answer to how he would properly deal with the situation, he soon left, and she warned him the people “will rise up”. Very inspirational woman and I have the upmost respect for her.

As the meeting drew to a close, local residents I spoke had some really interesting things to talk about. One person said her family had been working with water for generations, and that her father used to tell her off for wasting water, and hearing about how fracking could contaminate the water supply only sent alarm bells for her – and clearly she wasn’t the only one!

The Green Party has always condemned fracking, with Caroline Lucas being arrested at Balcombe and various other Green Party people, it’s so obvious that there are people around who do care about the issues and are willing to properly stand up for them, even after they are given a position of some power.

I just think, there’s got to be a better way than Fracking, something renewable is better than this.

Thank you for reading,

Miles Grindey

Image

Terry Mitchell (left), Me, and Tim Dawes (right)

 

 

Lee-on-Solent Big Beach Clean

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the “Big Summer Community Beach Clean” at Lee-on-Solent. The whole idea of this event was to bring the community together to make the beach cleaner and a much safer place to visit, not just for us but for the wildlife in the area. I was contacted by Graham Smith about a week or so beforehand about the event and I made it my personal obligation to attend and help out. 

Squeaky Clean

Mission Accomplished.

There was a fantastic turnout, with support from members of the Fire Brigade showing up, some local artists, charities, the local resident’s association, local artists and the Marine Conservation Society.  Seeing how much we made a difference that day reinforced the idea that the same sort of event can be done in Warsash. 

When I went out to do my part in this anti-litter campaign, I was astonished to find (opposite a playground to be precise) broken lightbulbs. I could only imagine the horror of any parent whose child stepped on any of these unnecessary hazards, so I made it my duty to make sure that this was placed in my plastic bag to be binned appropriately.

At any events like these people need to be both optimistic and enthusiastic about their part in cleaning up damage that careless individuals do to areas frequently visited by the public, and fortunately we had our secret weapon to get the community motivated, Manuela. If we had more people like her we could certainly drive a change around Britain. Not only would our streets be clean and litter free, but I can certainly see people being listened to and fairly represented.

At Lee-on-Solent

Exhibit A.

If there was one thing that can be taken away from this it is this:

“Find a bin, put it in”

Thanks for reading,

 

Miles Grindey

(#findabinputitin)