Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Normal service resumed

Apologies for the sudden silence over the last couple of weeks. Partly, this is because Green Party activists and supporters are out all over the capital, delivering hundreds of thousands of leaflets about the great work that Jean has been doing over the last decade in the European Parliament.

If you can help with distribution of leaflets - even if you only have an hour or two to spare - please do get in touch with reelectjean@hotmail.co.uk

Meanwhile, Jean continues to work hard across London. More details to come soon - but for now, here are just two examples, one from last weekend, and one from the weekend to come!


Jean Lambert to join celebrations of 250th anniversary of Mary Wollstonecraft’s birth

Jean Lambert, London’s Green Party MEP, will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mary Wollstonecraft, the mother of feminism, by taking part in a debate about the position of women in politics today.

The discussion on “Political Power for Women: How Far Have We Come? Why Does It Matter?” will take place at 7pm on Saturday 25 April at the Newington Green Unitarian Church, Hackney.

Jean Lambert MEP will join other prominent female politicians, the London MPs Diane Abbott and Emily Thornberry, for the debate, which will be chaired by the journalist Suzanne Moore.

The event forms one of a series to mark the birth of Mary Wollstonecraft, author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, the seminal treatise first published in 1792, which argued against the received attitudes of women and femininity, and called for women to develop, and be credited with, their own intellectual faculties.

Wollstonecraft was also an educationalist: central to her argument in the Vindication was a call for girls to be granted the right to a rational education. The passion and foresight of her work made her an icon for the feminist movement.

Jean, a former teacher and a longstanding campaigner for equality, said:

“Women have made great strides in politics, but are still hugely underrepresented, with just one in five MPs and one in four MEPs being female.

“I am proud to be celebrating the achievements of Mary Wollstonecraft, who was a true inspiration to women of her time and indeed to many people now. She was prepared to stand up for women’s rights and challenge the status quo in a way that that no-one had done before.

“Still the glass ceiling exists for many women when it comes to career opportunities and the gender pay gap often starts with first jobs, despite the fact that women’s educational achievements equal or outdo those of men.

“I encourage anyone who is interested in discussing the role of women in modern society to come along to the debate – it should prove to be a lively and empowering evening.”

Profits from the Mary Wollstonecraft celebrations will be donated to Stop the Traffik, the worldwide movement to combat people trafficking.


Jean Lambert, London’s Green Party MEP, will join local Greens for a walkabout in Kingston next weekend [Saturday 2 May].

Jean will be meeting residents and discussing the key issues for the borough. Education is one area of concern. Kingston’s schools are hugely oversubscribed, and in March the council admitted that it faced a multi-million pound bill to tackle the shortfall in primary school places.

Efforts to address this have meant that money has been diverted from improvements to existing school buildings, and many local schools are now dependent on temporary classrooms.

While plans for a major Tesco store next to Tolworth station have this week been cancelled, the process of redeveloping the town centre has proved controversial. There has also been anger over the council’s handling of its new waste collection system.

Jean Lambert MEP said:

“There’s been a lot of anger locally about priorities. People have felt they are not being listened to. These local issues will be familiar to many Londoners, but I’m looking forward to hearing what effect they have had on daily life in Kingston, and how people would like to see things change.

“I’m also looking forward to discussing the Green New Deal with local party members. A report recently found that the recession will hit London harder than the rest of the UK [1], and as fears about the economy continue to grow, now is the time for us to be considering the sort of practical measures that will help us not only to recover from the downturn but to put better, more stable systems in place. Greens think locally – as individuals struggle with the impact of a global recession on their own lives this grassroots approach is more important than ever.”

Chris Walker, the Green Party Parliamentary candidate for Kingston & Surbiton said:

”It's great that Jean is taking time to visit Kingston as we are concerned about many of the issues she's campaigning for in the European Parliament, like improved public services, human rights, better housing conditions and new green employment opportunities.”

John Johnson, Employment Spokesperson for Kingston Green Party, welcomed the opportunity to discuss local Green solutions to the recession with Jean. He said:

“Green Party policy would create thousands of local green jobs in saving energy, reducing waste, repairing and reusing products and services for good local value for money.”

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