Friday, 23 February 2007

Brush with the media

This week was a bit different. On Weds I was interviewed by a nice journalist from the Financial Times. He'd got my name through Head Office and local Foe as being a environmental campaigner who lives in Edgbaston constituency. Edgbaston is apparently a 'swing' ward when it comes to close elections so they wanted to do some case studies on what people think of Gordon Brown as chancellor and as potential Prime Minister. My interview was about my thoughts from a green perspective.

It was one of those things, where at first I thought, great, what an opportunity to get my views out there. Must say yes. A millisecond after saying yes though, reality sank in and I starting thinking what a heavy subject it is, how many people might read it, what if Gordon Brown reads it - aaaah, I generally weirded myself right out! So thought I'd better get my facts straight....

The main problem was I couldn't actually think of many green things that Brown has done. I had to get digging. In the end I did find some positives: higher land fill taxes, the fuel tax escalator (later abandoned), the Stern Report, grants for some energy saving installations etc. But overall it's not too impressive considering he's had nine budgets to change things. I think it's been a big missed opportunity. So I mentioned some of the not so good things and things that he'd have to do for me to take his green credentials seriously.

We chatted for about half an hour or so, and I've no idea how much or what will be printed. It will go out when the pre-budget report is launched. They want a mugshot which should be amusing. So far, not too scary then. Plus I have a PR friend who's been trying to get their company in the FT for years with no success. I somehow managed it without even trying!


Monday, 12 February 2007

The First One

so I was nominated to write the very first birmingham friends of the earth blog as i was ranting in our campaigns meeting, and in some danger of causing the meeting to go over the new strict half hour limit ( this is our new exciting format designed to stop us all getting tired and bored listening to each other rant, and instead get on with actually DOING things . . . . like writing blogs . . . . hmmmm) so anyway, we heard all about a stall that phil and nigel had done at the opening of the new Co-op bank in Solihull. Or was it Sutton Coldfield? somewhere begining with S on the edge of Birmingham? apparently the punters had form-filling fatigue due to all the bank accounts they were opening and couldn't be pursuaded to fill in Big Ask postcards about climate change
but still, its the Co-op bank innit? its good, its ethical, its miles better than all the other banks and half paid for the tindall report. We like to be associated with the Co-op bank, and they like us - with all our green integrity I guess. The ranting ensued when it was suggested that the goodness of the Co-op might actually extend the the quality of their service - which it doesn't, well certainly not smile anyway, who take ages to reply to emails *edits rant, as would be bad form to be boring here too*

but its not all about quality of service is it, its about that reflected Goodness, and making a responsible choice about what your tiny bit of cash is being used for, and just adding your tiny bit of support, saying 'i care about this', well, a bit anyway - all those tiny tiny choices that we try to make everyday, hoping they'll make a tinytiny bit of difference, maybe influence one other person to think again, maybe maybe

all feels a bit tenuous sometimes? a bit unlikely? but its what we do isn't it, and hope that our form-filling fatigue won't stop us responding to yet another consultation, or our ranting won't exhaust our energy for pursuading and cajoling our councillors and MPs into making braver choices, and we'll carry on emailing and writing even when we don't get much response

it is important . . . isn't it?

and now I feel the need to go and DO STUFF, true to our new plan, and will sign off - I hope this will be the first of many blogs from BFOE!