Saturday, 30 June 2007

Lots of really good work being done in Knowle West

Letter writer RL Smith persists in his negative view of Knowle West, attempting to defend himself by replying to my criticism of his prejudice (see June 16 blog entry). I've sent a reply to his latest letter - this debate has run for some time in the local press now, with letters criticising and supporting him. My latest letter said:

I'm afraid I'm not at all persuaded by RL Smith's defence of his position on Knowle West. He feels it is acceptable to insult the area in one breath whilst in another he attempts to absolve himself with a 'caveat' ('Knowle West', Bristol Evening Post letters, June 28). The fact is that he has had little good to say about Knowle West and has had his view skewed by his personal bad experiences. This is unfair and clearly justifies me previously saying his views are unbalanced, unfounded and unjustifiable.

A balanced view would indicate problems caused by a small minority, like many areas around the country have, and also point to some of the excellent work being done by Knowle West's people such as the Knowle West Media Centre on eg green issues, those involved in 'community courts/justice', those campaigning against drugs and others - all regularly reported in the local papers.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Saving Planet Earth/Jet around the world - two sides of our society illustrated

It was nearly one o'clock on Sunday 17 June and I'd just finished watching 'The Politics Show'. A trailer for the new BBC 'Saving Planet Earth' season, with great images of polar bears, wolves, elephants.... really got my attention as it dealt with how what's happening to endangered species is telling us loud and clear that things are going very badly wrong and that we need to make urgent changes accordingly.

I was floored by the trailer that, almost seamlessly, followed - one about the National Lottery: Jet Set 2012, centring on the 'fantastic' prize of jetting around the world on a luxury trip! No mention of the environmental costs of course.

How ironic is that! Two very different sides of the BBC, and of our society, in the space of seconds! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Labelling of and prejudice about the area I was brought up in

Regular letter writer RL Smith's labelling of 'Knowle West' as an area with a reputation for crime and other problems ('Knowle West's location and name is no mystery', Bristol Evening Post letters, June 16) is unfounded, unbalanced and unjustifiable.

Its simply wrong to take the actions of a small number as representative of several thousand people. Its a clear sign of his prejudice that he has done so.

As a toddler I lived in Willinton Rd and then spent all my years in primary and secondary school living in Exmouth Rd and attending Ilminster Ave and Merrywood Boys' School, clearly in the area called Knowle West by many people, before living in Redcatch and then Somerset Rd in Knowle but outside Knowle West.

Having spent my formative years in the area labelled by RL Smith, by his logic I should be involved in crime in some way or be causing society some other problem, but I'm not. I've twice been a Green parliamentary candidate have two degrees and a higher degree and work as an academic for the Open University - just one of the many and varied people brought up in Knowle West.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Caroline Lucas, Green MEP - Politician of the Year!

The Green Party website today reported the following:

Caroline Lucas 'Politician of the Year'

GREEN Party Euro-MP Caroline Lucas has beaten Gordon Brown and David Cameron to be named 'politician of the year' in the 2nd Observer Ethical Awards in association with Ecover.
The MEP, who serves on the Parliament's Environment, International Trade and Climate Change committees, was chosen ahead of the other two shortlisted politicians by readers of the Observer.
She was presented with the award last night at a central London ceremony hosted by TV presenter Simon Amstell.

She got my vote in the contest! Caroline is a great role model for any aspiring green campaigner. Well done to her! Find out more about her work at: