Backing the Greens in Peterborough

There are just hours left now to donate to our parliamentary crowdfunder:

Local Greens are helping voters to get Green Party councillors elected onto Peterborough City Council. You can vote Green all over Peterborough. We raise money to pay for leaflets so that local people know they can vote for us. You can vote Green in Peterborough and North West Cambridgeshire constituencies. This all costs money.

Go here to see how we are doing.

Contrary to what the public assumes, our activists work for free: they volunteer. If you can’t volunteer, a financial contribution is the quickest and most effective way to support us. Back our Crowdfunder now.

In between our big appeals, go here for other ways to donate to our campaigns and keep our activists busy.

Disappearing tracks and a livestream murder

Equipped & trained to livestream a hustings to the public but prevented from doing so on 28 May 2019

I don’t remember dreaming last night. I often dream. But last night I slept that dark recovery sleep which comes night after night when you have been sleep deprived for a long time. Like Guinness. Dark and deep. No images. But something important got stitched together in the night. As I swung out of bed I knew exactly why I had got so cross yesterday about the livestream being cancelled during the hustings at the St Johns Hustings on Tuesday. Anger is never a good thing, but  it is the most important directional kick and motivator available. Incredibly powerful. Understanding it and reflecting on it matters: I always try to do that. I was puzzling about my feelings when I went to bed. But it took a whole night’s sleep to alert me to what had made me incandescent with fury yesterday.

I’d been looking in the wrong place for the answer.

Last night’s sleep brought me back to another painful memory. I am very aware of other candidates’ emotions: I’ve been upset several times. The way candidates are treated is very important. One party leader at the Tuesday railed against his candidate’s exclusion from the platform. I couldn’t help but sympathise. Candidates need so much support and help in doing what they try to do. It is impossible not to see the hurt and pain which they encounter on the way. During the night two memories of anger and a feeling of me personally being badly let down connected themselves together. I’d been reflecting on yet another occasion (yes standing for election is full of drama and high emotion!), but of course: it wasn’t that occasion which mattered.

Nearly the same thing happened before. Of course it did. I was told years ago at another hustings that a professional recording would be made and that it would be broadcast but it never was. My performance on the platform was pretty awful. But the broken promise was what mattered to and hurt me.

That’s why I was nearly incoherent yesterday on Twitter. Do go and have a look.

This morning I am calm. I realise this is a rerun of what has happened before. There is a pattern. The murderer of tracks may have struck before.

The trouble with getting upset about things is that you can’t always confront the actual problem so you embalm it in a better buried place in your consciousness in order to “move on”. This is especially true if you are a directly affected and traumatised candidate. But as it happens, this week I have a huge advantage. I am not the candidate. True I am in recovery from having been the candidate in two very exciting and over close together elections. But I am deliciously and delightfully free of the specific challenges which every candidates faces: including having to put a lot of very important things on one side in order to deal with the urgent things. And I can sleep. I am looking after another candidate. But I am not him. I can reflect. I can think. Bliss.

A high level of disappointment between what was promised at an event and what is delivered is why I now go equipped with a camera and even a crew if I can assemble one and try to report on the event as well as perform (when I am a candidate) at a hustings. Of course this is entirely because it has happened before. My behaviour is totally conditioned by the occasion which sleep brought back to me. I’d somehow excluded it from my thoughts yesterday even though it was the causative event of my current behaviour. You can only know what it is like to do both jobs if you’ve done it. Candidates shouldn’t need to perform as candidates and as reporter. Multiple reasons why not, including obvious bias.

It isn’t an accident that I’ve never been elected. For me that is never, has never been the most important thing. A functioning democracy is far more important to me. I was aware when I started my blog things didn’t work properly in Peterborough.

Well here’s a very important example of things going utterly wrong. If you have an election, voters need to see the candidates as soon as possible so that they can make as good a decision as they possibly can.

Anything which supports that process is contributing to the workings of democracy. Huge numbers of people not directly involved in the party political processes help the democratic process to work as well as it can. They often don’t get a thank you. The vast majority get absolutely nothing in return. We need more of them and they need to be supported and feel far more empowered.

Anything or anyone which obstructs that needs to be identified and exposed.

Nobody and nothing should have had the power to murder the livestream on Tuesday.  The host of an event is in charge and a candidate at a public event is in a public place. So how was that even possible?

So today I’ve decided to stop yelling frantically on twitter, get out the meditative garden fork which is my blog and ask people what they can tell me about these recordings and who stops them being broadcast and why. And if they are used, who uses them. Comments are open if you can talk openly (you can comment anonymously too). But you are very welcome to use my contact form (see top right) if you can’t talk openly.

Public Spaces Protection Order in Peterborough

news briefing

This is the latest public domain news on this topic which could be of interest to people involved in any or all of the following campaigns (all of which I support and would be happy to speak on to community or campaign groups, and residents associations)

  • getting rid of PSPO legislation entirely
  • getting rid of #BridgeStreetBan on Bridge Street (illustrated) so that cyclists can decide for themselves whether or not to dismount (yes it certainly does require cycle training) #Sustrans #bikeability
  • introducing 20mph speed limits, nicely, with community engagement  without bumps #20sPlenty
  • securing a useable cycle route through Peterborough city centre where the perfectly obvious place has been cluttered up with street furniture – this requires a strategic decision on whether or not cyclists should be diverted away from the shops in a city or calmed down (speed and manners) and invited into a welcoming retail space


  1. Reported 18th March
  2. Schools4ClimateStrike took place in Cathedral Square on 12th April
  3. REDACTED VIDEO Reported 16th April
  4. 12th April for about two weeks @HowellOWGreens Cllr Julie Howell tweets Please note comments addressed to her about the legislative framework.
  5. Reported 25th April
  6. Reported 1st May implications for neighbouring authority (btw Peterborough City Council is not the only one)


If you have information which you believe could be added to this, or otherwise helpful, please use the Contact tab, top right to let me know. Or you are very welcome to comment publicly below.

NOTE: If you are considering using a lawyer or want to take the council to court (with or without a lawyer), please don’t comment publicly: you might prejudice your own court case by doing that.


Blame won’t pick it up

Last night, Councillor Fitzgerald (who lives in Orton Longueville and represents West ward (and before that a Bretton ward) ward decided to blame residents of Central and Park wards on Twitter and not only that, but to pick on the newest Labour councillor in Park Ward (who as he explains wasn’t there to respond).

Fitzgerald cited a fly-tip “heat map” which shows fly-tip incidents in Peterborough unitary authority area over the past three years as “hot”. The heat map was discussed in cabinet but all this particular councillor took away from the meeting was a magnificent opportunity to blame the Labour Party on Twitter for the hot spots.

Given the recent resignations of Cllrs Mahabadi and Ferris from East and Park wards respectively, and especially noting what  they said in their resignation address, you’d expect him to think for a minute or two before launching into his usual blame game. But apparently not.

I certainly

won’t be

handing over my contact details to an organisation which has no address on its website, whose location is variously the world, London, and whose “editor” refers me to a script writers’ agency. Even if I agreed with the campaign. I think this organisation is just a bunch of shy Tories (Conservatives). Happy as ever to be corrected, of course: just add your comment. If these paid for and targeted facebook ads are indeed only showing up in Labour Party constituency voter feeds, as has been suggested, how can that be done without access to the electoral register, and if you have access to the electoral register, who provided it to you? and why don’t you have the courtesy to provide electors with an imprint (What’s that? See below)? The mini pictures expand if you click on them. Incidentally, Peterborough isn’t a Labour Party constituency any more, because our MP has been ejected from the Labour Party and is currently an independent.         

What is an imprint?

The imprint is the little bit of text which tells you who is sending you this election material (yes, I think it is), on behalf of whom or which organisation, and where you can find them. This enables voters to get in touch. It also enables voters to see how much money is being spent on a campaign and who is donating that money (because election expenses and donations over a certain sum have to be reported after a certain date). Here are extracts from published guidance about imprints. You can find more here .