Monthly Archives: December 2013

Cycle deaths in London

I attended a demo outside TFL HQ on Blackfriars Road, to highlight the sad cases of recent cycling fatalities in London, and the failure of Boris/TFL to take proper budgetary action to improve cycling safety.
Thousands of cyclists laid down their bikes and lay in the road in a symbolic gesture described as a “die-in” by the organisers, an informal group who set up the Stop the Killing protest
The concerns will not go away- and pressure is building on Boris to act.
There is a lot of anti-cycling sentiment out there, for which some cyclist behaviour does not help, but ultimately cyclists are vulnerable and it is time to stop blaming cyclists for the fatal accidents or incidents where they are seriously injured, and work to make London a safer, more cyclist-friendly environment.
A similar argument (but much better written) is made here by Caroline Russell of Living Streets
cycling playlist here




A postcard to Mr Clegg

In 2013, as requested by Save UK Justice campaign, I wrote a postcard to Nick Clegg, the then Deputy PM in the Coalition Government, and helped deliver a batch of over 3000 similar such postcards.

Lib Dem policy as approved at  party Conference, supported Legal Aid.

Dear Mr Clegg,

You are the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party, currently in Government in coalition with the Conservatives.

That Party is committed to savage, damaging and unsustainable cuts.
Your Party, to its credit and in stark contrast, has declared a Policy to support Legal Aid.
What are you, as Leader, going to do about it?
Yours sincerely,

Greg Foxsmith”. (Together with 3000+ other postcards and the Save Justice UK Campaign)
We finally received an answer from Clegg -published  by SaveJusticeUK here
The  response was woefully inadequate, sloppy, fatuous and factually incorrect. It was worse than a brush-off-it was a calculated insult. There were still some good people in the Lib-Dems, but it was now clear they needed to examine their consciences, and either change their leader, or change their party. They did not manage the former, although many did the latter, and the Lib Dems were decimated in the post-Coalition election of 2015.

Now, at the Lib Dem Conference (September 2016) the Lib Dems pass a motion “regretting” the legal Aid bonfire. (This regret is seemingly not shared by the ghastly Lord McNally, Lib-Dem minister and sidekick to Chris Grayling, who (along with Simon Hughes) should carry much  of the blame)

Sadly for those who support legal aid (and more importantly those who need it) this expression of regret by the Party Conference  comes  too late. Nick Clegg cannot say they were not warned.



legal aid playlist


1 I attended Lib Dem HQ in November, representing the LCCSA, to help deliver the thousands of save Legal Aid postcards as part of the postcard campaign organised by SaveJusticeUk.
Also attending from Islington was Ruth Hayes, (pictured with me outside LD HQ in photo above) from Islington Law Centre.
Ruth told me “the Law Centre knows the importance of Legal Aid to vulnerable clients, who without it will be denied justice. We are particularly concerned about the impact of the Residence Test, and changes to funding for Judicial Review.”
2 see also opinion piece in Lib Dem Voice here.)
There was also advice to act quickly from Lib Dem Lawyers -and we all know what happens to people who ignore legal advice….

War Child

This month (December 2013) I ran the Santa Run (10k dressed as Santa) for the brilliant charity War Child
A fantastic charity, and what better time to support their work helping the children who are victims of war than in the run up to Christmas, as we in the privileged West indulging in our annual orgy of consumption and consumerism would do well to remember.
I may have completed the race, but it’s not too late to sponsor me!
So be of good cheer, and don’t be a Scrooge- please sponsor me for this years Santa race to help the work of War Child.

It’s a great fundraiser, and a really fun event in which to participate or take part. It’s a surreal site to see so many Santas sprinting off , all raising money for good causes. I completed last years race in Greenwich which I ran for Greenpeace) ,and I’m looking forward to Santa Dash 2015!
Below are some photos from last years race, and this years event in Victoria Park.

Playlist of music recorded for WarChild