Sunday, September 8, 2013

Blackberry Picking in Victoria Park

Waking up to a blue sky, my family and I decided to go blackberry picking in Victoria park. Although clouds had covered the sky by the time we got out, the park, characterised by its fabulous orange fountain and plenty of wildlife, did not disappoint.


We began by the bridge and picked the fruits furthest away from the ground.  We looked in several locations and found lots of juicy berries in lots of places.Eventually, we came back near the bridge and I sat on the railings to reach the best, almost unattainable fruits. Luckily I didn't fall off!


Friday, September 6, 2013

Syria and Social Justice in Britain

Whilst the elites of the West suddenly decided that Bashar Al Assad has gone too far by using chemical weapons, (despite the fact that Britain sold them to Syria people are still  attempting and committing suicide out of fear of the bedroom tax.

The disastrous policies of austerity suck the hope out of ordinary people, as the Tory dementors who thought them up most likely intended.

I haven't done much. I haven't done enough to oppose the demons of austerity, but tomorrow I shall be protesting in Ashford town centre against the proliferation of pay day loans, financial traps traded by money predators who prey on those in need.

Let's follow the lead of Yorkshire and ban the loan shark lenders!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hi everyone!
I know I haven't written on this blog post for a while, but after catching the twitter bug again, I thought I might make a quick post.
Basically, I have spent the last month at home, to relax and revise. I have been fairly focused but have also had nice days out with family in London and Brockhill Park.
Going back to Durham on Monday, to give myself a week to write a lit essay in German (uh oh). Then I will have my final exams. Four years have gone quickly!
If I was on facebook with you, you will have noticed that I've given it up until I finish my exams.
I hope you are all well!
Jake

Monday, May 2, 2011

The farmer and the cunning fox

Once upon a time when animals could speak, there was a cunning fox who was killing chickens every week because he was a sly, sadistic fox. The helpless chickens called out to the farmer's little daughter, asking for help. So the farmer's daughter said to her daddy, "Daddy, can you save the poor chickens from the nasty fox, pwease pwetty pwease". So Mr Farmer went out with his flame thrower and razed the farm to the ground, killing most of the chickens but accidentally missing the cunning fox. So for the next seven years the farmer took his flamethrower across Europe, causing collateral damage to chickens between Devon and Madrid and always missing the sly fox, who was actually sent by the Devil himself to cause mayhem across Christendom.
On an unrelated point the farmer had a constant supply of eggs and fried chicken, which he sold in his inns which could be found across Christendom.

Seven years later, the farmer's daughter told her daddy that she remembered that the same day a witch gave her a strange looking toadstool to eat which was why the chickens were talking to her, so maybe there wasn't a sly fox after all. But unfortunately for the chickens the big bad wolf came onto the scene and started killing chickens by the hundreds. So the farmer sent his son to Eastern Europe with a second flamethrower. Then, coincidentally a year later, when there weren't enough chickens in Christendom to produce enough eggs to both sustain the chicken population and make omelettes, the farmer's brother managed to shoot the cunning fox dead with his trusty shotgun. But the threat of potential foxes was still there, so he had to continue on his noble mission against the wily coyote, I mean fox, um, wolf, for the sake of chickenkind.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Keep Chilmington Green

On Saturday the 4th of September I joined several others in the town centre to campaign against the proposal to build between 3500 and 7000 dwellings on Chilmington Green. Chilmington Green is a green-belt area which is home to several species, including water voles, great crested newts, hares, snakes, badgers and bats. Destroying the habitat of these species would have a detrimental effect on the biodiversity of Ashford and its surrounding regions, thus contributing to a great loss of natural wealth.
There is more evidence that the proposal would be unsustainable, because: the houses would be built near a flood plain; the council admits that only 35% of the housing would be affordable; only between 600 and 1000 jobs would be provided for perhaps 14000 people; and there could potentially be an extra 10,000 cars on the road.
The council also seem to have no obligation to carry out the plans, since they were the plans of the defeated Labour government and under the coalition, there is no obligation to continue the plans to develop Ashford as a boom town, so the council seems to have little mandate to continue with this project, whilst the government is talking about cuts. Why should it be acceptable to cut frontline services but to go ahead with a billion pound investment which is entirely unsustainable and opposed by the local residents of Chilmington?
It’s a sad fact that neither the Labour, Liberal Democrat or Conservative (or UKIP) parties in Ashford are willing to oppose these plans.
However, Steve Campkin from Ashford Green Party has put his heart and soul into protesting against these plans and was the only person out of the political parties to respond to the requests of Max Frohnsdorff, the instigator of the campaign.
Paul Bartlett, the leader of Ashford Council, said ‘that too much work had been put into the scheme to call if off but he said he was happy to look at the "density, shape and number of houses".
Having taken part in petitioning, it is clear that this is not a clear cut case. A bricklayer, whom I spoke to, asked me whether I knew the real facts of this country, namely that the country needs four million new houses and that last year, only 100,000 were built. So, he is not getting enough work. Clearly, there is a need for better social housing and more widespread employment. However, on the one hand, I do not agree with the construction of the proposed houses for the reasons outlined above, and on the other hand, I oppose the plans because only 35% of the houses are supposed to be affordable and because I believe that such decisions should be made much more democratically, in consideration of those whom the decision will affect the most and within an ecological framework.
For me, this is an example of how working people are forced by those in power to carry out alienating jobs, which destroy the community and the environment, because they can find no other employment. Surely it must be possible to make sure that people have a decent standard of living, have a worthwhile occupation and are contributing through their actions to community building and sustainable development.
So, will the campaign succeed? Well, at the moment we have approximately 1200 signatures and need 10,000 for the council to have to take notice. However, luckily, committed activist Steve Campkin is involved and it looks like Keith Taylor, Green MEP, may be helping out too. At the very least, I hope that the landowner is paid a decent amount of money for his land, considering the amount of money put into the project. However, if all else fails, there is the possibility of direct action, of directly confronting the bulldozers, if they come to destroy the land.
I strongly believe that we must oppose this proposed development. So, if you want to get involved, please sign the petition and perhaps contact me at jake.pentland@gmail.com or Steve Campkin at steve.campkin@greenparty.org.uk at to get actively involved.
Think global act local. Protect the environment from needless development.
Keep Chilmington Green!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

No nuclear

We are living in the perfect time to rid ourselves of nuclear weapons and nuclear power in general.
I am not an expert on such things and there is little point in me trying to present an argument, but I thought it was worth mentioning that a party political response already exists, which is all the more pertinent, considering that we are expected to swallow a bitter shock doctrine of austerity cuts and also because a new film has come out.
This is an incredibly important issue, which needs to be debated in public. There is too much implicit 'consensus' at the moment. So, whatever your opinion, please think about this incredibly important issue, an issue which could one day determine the very existence of life on earth.

Animal Rights

You may know that I am a vegetarian, but might not know why. Well, here's a summary of how I became one:

My parents at one point were vegetarian in the sense that they didn't eat any dead animal. After my mum gave birth to me, she craved fish, so I grew up in a 'pesco-vegetarian' family. I had never liked the idea of killing things, but it was only when I reached the age of about sixteen or seventeen, that I really thought about these things deeply. It was the same idea when I got interested in certain ideas, such as yoga and buddhism (I don't claim to be a Buddhist or to know anything about Yoga) and also when I joined the Green Party. After going to Climate Camp in Kingsnorth (admittedly only for one day), I saw a vision of peace and vegetarianism, which has attracted me ever since.

In the November after my seventeenth birthday, I became 'fully' (at least according to Western standards) vegetarian.

It was only very recently that I first took part in an animal rights' protest:

That was a very powerful and interesting experience and I hope to go to one again soon.

Incidentally there was one which happened very recently,
and there will be some more soon.

You might be asking me why I care about animal cruelty when so many terrible things happen to humans.

Well, in my opinion, caring about animals doesn't mean that I won't care about people too. Quite the opposite.
My ethics are based on the idea that all living things have the capacity to suffer, since we all come into being (perhaps by birth), live,and eventually die. In that sense, I am equal to a chicken. Just as I don't want to suffer myself, nor do I want any animal to suffer, and obviously not any human.

I also believe that humans have a flawed relationship with the planet, an essentially exploitative relationship and that to remedy many of the problems on earth, this relationship must be changed.

Whether or not you believe in animal rights, the fact that, for example,

"in December, Bell & Evans will open a $25 million plant to replace its current plant, which processes 800,000 chickens a week. The new plant is a third larger and will boost production to 1 million chickens a week, according to the company."

must be a cause for concern. When perhaps before, although cruel, animal exploitation was chiefly for survival, this appears to be an addiction, a disorder, an illness.

As is the utter disgrace that one million chickens, members of an exploited species, which lose their dignity and integrity for the sake of human desire, were left to die in a heat wave
Now some party politics. The U.K. has a Prime minister, who, according to this article, written before he came to power, is totally in favour of hunting,

His argument is,
"I always thought that the ban was a mistake because I think it is very difficult to enforce."

Surely it is harder to enforce, for instance, the 'war on drugs'in Afghanistan.

If you support animal rights, or simply want this craziness to end, I recommend that you at least support, if not get involved in 'Animal Rights in Kent' and at least consider the Green Party in future elections.

For more information written by much more experienced people, visit:

Animal Rights in Kent

and blogs such as:

http://stevencampkin.blogspot.com/

and

http://stuartjeffery.blogspot.com

All views expressed in this blogpost are simply my own views. If I make a mistake, whether factual, grammatical or stylistic, I am the one to blame