So this is Christmas?

The year was 1971, our world was in turmoil. The United States began a second decade of involvement in Vietnam, A Belfast Bar Bomb killed 15 people. Decimal currency was launched in Britain.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono sang to the world from their crumpled New York double bed, while we all intoned mournfully ‘So this is Christmas’. Fast forward half a century and start singing. The same song.

“War Is Over [If You Want It]” is a kind of love letter to humanity.  ‘If You Want It’ reminding us that, if we want a better world, we need to be the change we want to see.

But for 50 years no one took a blind bit of notice. And 2021 will wake to global challenges ballooning to dizzying heights. We still march to the drum beat of war, wrap our oceans in plastic, rasp our way through our oil-polluted lives and spray our crops and critters to extinction. And suddenly – BOOM – a Coronavirus pandemic rampages through our communities, unannounced.

And so this is Christmas, but not as we know it. Lennon’s 1971 song has our nearest and dearest of all ages celebrating the festival with us, as they have for centuries. The likelihood is that, in 2020, not many of them will be beating a path to our front door to have fun.

Lennon also wishes us a Happy New Year, hoping that it will be one without fear. Let’s hope, indeed, but don’t hold your breath. Instead, let us focus on the parts of our lives we have a fighting chance of changing: How we live. What we buy. What we eat. What we throw away.

Like so many other troubadours down the ages, Lennon laments how it’s all gone wrong. And yes, our world has certainly gone apocalyptically pear shaped,  largely because we are trashing it. In just nine years time, by 2030, we will need two planets to provide the resources for our consumption and absorb our waste. And that is about as viable as holding your breath and hoping.

The silver lining of the pandemic is that it has finally united us all, across the globe in conducting a massive reality check.

In the UK we find that a typical household spends over £2,500 each month. In December that same household spends a whopping £1,000 extra. On what? More stuff. Can we even remember what stuff we splashed the cash on last Christmas? No, we need to be cleverer than that, to think long term. So here is a Christmas wish list from a slowly choking Planet Earth:

Christmas cards: Make your own digital cards. If you don’t have a computer, persuade someone else to send yours off. Give the cash saved to local charities. Shop bought charity cards typically donate just 15p in the pound to charity, while you can give 100p in the pound to your local charity. It’s a no-brainer.

Christmas presents: Make jam, bake cookies, knit scarves, invent toys, plant seeds, dig gardens or walk dogs for someone who can’t. That’s your exercise sorted. Use your imagination, your personal stock of pent up talent will provide presents for all. Everyone will be thrilled with your offerings. Promise.

Christmas dinner: Treat the turkey to Christmas, let it live. Cook up all your traditional, mouth watering Christmas dinner trimmings and buy in one of those delicious veggie mains to top your culinary extravaganza. No one will complain. Guaranteed.

Christmas tree: Get a UK grown real one, it’s much more environmentally friendly than a plastic one shipped in from China, and it smells nicer. By reducing the emissions from transporting trees, and recycling them by chipping, real Christmas trees become climate positive – creating, while they grow, an environment beneficial to removing carbon from the atmosphere. Win-win.

Christmas entertainment: Head over to the internet for the vast array of virtual board games, from Trivia to Cluedo, to play with absent friends. Or create your own virtual Christmas party lounge with Mozilla Hubs and invite in friends and family. No internet? Play trivia games over your speaker phones or watch telly together, while staying on the phone. Eat chocolate.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono urged us to look back at what we have done since last Christmas. Not a pretty picture, so let’s start repainting our future.  There is no time like the present so best begin now. We can do this!

We will have reinvented the Season of Good Will to suit our Modern Times. Now let’s roll out our new sustainable lifestyle into 2021 and beyond. The planet – and your children and grandchildren will breathe a lot easier as a result.

On their behalf, thank you!

Why do London’s Greens oppose HS2?

I recently met up with Sam Willis from OnLondon. He wanted to know what I think of HS2. Read his full article HERE 

Meanwhile, here’s a taster:

It is perhaps unsurprising that someone of De Keyser’s political background might lack trust in the good intentions of the government. But her stance also reflects her peculiar position as a Green parliamentary candidate in one of the safest Labour seats in the country. “I’m the one-person awkward squad,” she says. “Where you have these big safe seats it’s really important that you have an alternative voice, otherwise no debate is ever had.” As she sees it, in safe seats the incumbent party gets complacent: “Their own people don’t ask them the awkward questions.”

Thanks to Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg, environmental issues have been pushed to the foreground of political debate. This might help the Greens  – oppositional, mistrustful of government and sceptical about development – to pick up voters and send a message to the Big Two parties. In the meantime, the battle over HS2 continues.

Why do London’s Greens oppose HS2?

So, What Do You Think Of The Show So Far?


190109-orange-rubbish-cu-1.jpgOnce upon a time when rubbish was rubbish, life was simple. You bought stuff and whatever you didn’t consume in some fashion, you threw in the bin. The Council sent it to landfill or to the incinerator. There was nothing more to know.

That was then and this is now. Today, our rubbish has become a thing. A topic for conversation: “What can I recycle in which bin? I’m totally confused”. “Recycling is a load of rubbish, I bet they just chuck it all in the incinerator anyway”. “Someone told me that it still goes to landfill, so why do we bother?” Good question…

LONDON 2012 ORBIT BCUIf you want the answer – and if you happen to be in London, just take a 20 minute tube ride from Tottenham Ct Rd to Bromley by Bow. You’re now in Olympic Park territory. Anish Kapoor’s bright red Orbit Helter Skelter sticks up above the trees, you pass a futuristic looking school with exciting murals emblazoned on the walls. You realise that you don’t actually know much about Bromley by Bow.

This is about as far from rubbish as you can get. Except that it isn’t. Proceed through a leafy glade and you find yourself right next to a massive gleaming light grey aircraft hangar. Except that it isn’t. This is a common-or-garden rubbish dump. Except that there are no smells? No smells at all, in fact. And no noise. Continue reading

Hold your breath, it’s pesticide season again!



Just as you thought it was safe to venture outside in the lovely spring sunshine, watch out for men in hazmat (short for hazardous materials) suits, often on small tractors, with spray guns.



No they’re not from  a new science fiction thriller being filmed in your lovely locality, they are most likely spraying glyphosate again.

Despite ever louder warnings about the unacceptably high toxicity of this chemical, the main ingredient in popular herbicides like Roundup, many local authorities are still plastering our borders and green spaces with glyphosate.

On 27 March, another California victim, terminally ill with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was awarded a multi-million dollar compensation payment from the manufacturer of Roundup, Monsanto, for their failure to warn him of the product’s carcinogenic potential. 

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My bid to beat Brexit and become an MEP for London

190319 #MagidAndMe

“Kirsten would be an amazing MEP!

She’s totally committed to Europe and fights hard for what she believes in.”

Magid Magid, Lord Mayor of Sheffield


190323 BREXIT MARCH TOM & KDKParliament has been Brexit-browbeating the people for a thousand days. And so, fed-up we got up, and marched. Bloodied, but unbowed. I kept reminding myself that I am campaigning to become an MEP candidate for London, while at the same time taking to the streets of that very city, alongside over one million other Europeans, passionately trying to rescue the UK from crashing out of the EU.

All pretty unreal, to be sure.

Frankly, I am also ashamed that it had to get to the point where we now find ourselves staring wide-eyed and ashen-faced into the abyss, before I got off my **se and threw my hat into the ring as an MEP candidate.


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Questions? Questions? What’s yours?


Until February 14, Green Party members in London are exercised by a whole bunch of question marks.

Who? What? Where? When? Why?

They’re picking their candidates for the Greater London Assembly, this massive city’s government. And they’re taking their task extremely seriously.

Together with 21 excellent candidates I am up for selection, but only 11 of us will get through the door.

So Green London members are putting their peers through their paces. And they want answers. If you have any thorny questions, send them my way!

Here’s a selection we have received in the last few days, together with my replies.

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Plastic Cup Final

Ok, so I’m not a natural cheerleader for faux continental coffee shops offering dizzyingly priced cuppas with names like Toffee Nut Latte Cream Frappucino, but credit where credit’s due.

On our troubled and challenged planet, anyone who does anything to lessen the climate carnage deserves a mention for showing willing, at least.

181231 GAIL'S K TWNSo this week’s High-Five goes to Gail’s Bakery for switching their disposable cups to fully biodegradable ones.

Of course, the environmentally conscious among us should all be bringing our own reusable drinks container but, by the time we’ve crammed our ready supply of canvas bags, reusable nappies, the water bottle and the packed lunch into our ecological rucksack, our reusable-made-from-recycled-materials-coffee-cup doesn’t always make it. Continue reading