I`ve heard a rumour that we in the UK have an election coming up. In light of that, let`s continue to ignore political parties and see what some other organisations are doing.
1) Race Relations - The Runnymede Trust
The Runnymede Trust are publishing a series of books by MPs representing the main UK political parties, in the Political Platforms (also known as the Runnymede Platforms) series. Publications to date are ;
Dominic Grieve QC MP - Conservatism and Community Cohesion
RT Hon John Denham MP - Labour and Cohesive Communities
Lynne Featherstone MP - Race Equality and the Liberal Democrats
2) Democracy / Constitutional Reform - Unlock Democracy
UD have issued their own Manifesto and are now looking at the policies of the main political parties, to see which comes closest to their aims. They will publish their findings fairly soon, no doubt. It will be interesting to see how the different parties fare.
3) Democracy / Constitutional Reform - Power2010
Power 2010 have launched their Power Pledge, advocating various reforms. They ask supporters to visit their site and send a letter on these matters to all their local candidates (not just the incumbent) .
4) Transport / CPRE
CPRE and the other parties to the Heathrow court case have scored a significant victory. While the judge was at pains to make it clear that his ruling didn`t rule out the provision of a third runway and sixth terminal, but it is clear that any future Government will have begin the public consultation all over again, but in a revised form, before they can even think about proceeding. Full details of the ruling can be found at the CPRE web site.
5) Transport / Brake
Road safety charity Brake have a number of ongoing campaigns - visit www.brake.org.uk/campaigns. Often overlooked - perhaps regarded as a bit `worthy but dull` - this organisation has come a long way since it was formed in the 1980s as `Brake - The Campaign for Safer Lorries` - I recall that it was heavily backed by the trade union I was in at the time and it`s been interesting to see how it`s developed over the years.
6) Environment / Beauly Denny
Pylon Pressure have echoed the call made by Ramblers Scotland to make the Beauly Denny powerline an election issue, calling on supporters and sympathisers to lobby their MPs / MSPs on the issue.
Save Our Valley, Tripping Up Trump, Mr Peckham`s Pit Pony Petitions, Save our Waterways etc are, of course, ongoing but with no developments since I last mentioned them.
8) Trade Unions / Heath and Safety
The trade union movement will be marking International Worker`s Memorial Day at various locations around the country on Wed 28 April 2010. I will return to this theme in the not-too-distant future.
9) And Lastly...
With an election on the way, politicians and pundits will have little interest in regional matters outside of key marginal seats, and grassroots groups will find it even harder to be heard. I always like to buck a trend when I can, you can keep up to date with life in parts of the Midlands and the North with these listings ;
5 April 2010 - Yorkshire Snapshot
5 April 2010 - Derbyshire Snapshot
17 March 2010 - Snapshot
all of which can be found at http://bookshelvesandbrownale.blogspot.com/.
Yugoslavian Medal for Bravery
10 months ago