Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Change of address

This blog has moved. Please go to http://www.petercranie.blogspot.com/

Friday, 26 October 2007

Credit Where Credit is Due

In July, Liverpool's Green councillor John Coyne put a motion to the city council calling for ethical pensions on Merseyside http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/liverpool-news/regional-news/tm_method=full&objectid=19470807&siteid=50061-name_page.html. At the time, this was voted down procedurally, and therefore no change took place.

Three months later, and after some no doubt uncomfortable realisation by the Liberal Democrat administration that they had dropped a bit of a clanger here, the motion was brought back. Credit is due to the Richard Oglethorpe in asking John Coyne to jointly sign it, and as a result we had a unanimously agreed motion in the council chamber.

This is the answer to a frequently asked question for Greens:
"What difference can one councillor make?"

I also think a large bit of credit goes to Merseyside Stop the War Coalition, who have run a campaign on this for some time and backed the original motion. Electing Greens means new thinking and a willingness to challenge the status quo.

I think it is a shame that the media three months on has ignored John's role in this, but local people know who to thank for putting the original motion, and I'd like to personally congratulate John on a significant success for ethical politics in Liverpool.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Listening and Learning

I called in to see my old newsagent today (I lived in Toxteth up until 2006) as I was in town for a meeting with a Green colleague. Sadly, a couple of his nephews had been killed by an American bomb in Baghdad, a reminder that while our lives in England remain relatively unaffected by the war, there are still people being hurt in a very personal way by what is going on.

About a year and half ago, I listened to two residents of Baghdad, dentists by profession, talk about their everyday experiences in the chaos they now lived in at a press conference held in London (http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2523). One of these dentists recounted a story about one of his former Shia patients (he was a Sunni) only to later find the dead body of his patient dumped outside his premises, with a warning about who he should treat. Both of these men were well educated, polite and warm individuals, but what remains with me is their comment about how little the pain and suffering they were experiencing reached into our national consciousness.

Local shops often act as a hub for news and source of information about the well being of our local communities. I'm sure if politicians spent a little more time with their local shopkeepers (Harry Perkins in "A Very British Coup"?) we would benefit in terms of our knowledge and our ability to meet the needs of local people. I'm sure I'll come back to this point again and again.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007


Thanks for visiting the site. This is my blog about campaiging to become the first Green MEP elected in the North West region of England.

It will be tough proposition. In 2004 we gained 5.6% of the vote, and in 2009 we'll probably need 9% or better. The good news is that in the years in between, our councillor group in Lancaster has increased from 7 to 12, and we've elected John Coyne as our first Liverpool Councillor.

There is a lot of work to do and if you can help, then please join us.