Nothing like a good tidy up. Thanks to all who made suggestions for improving the layout.

Busy at work and university but looking forward to this Saturday’s climate march, The Wave . If anyone from around Kingston / Surbiton is keen to go but doesn’t know anyone else going, a few TTK members and others are meeting up at 11.30am on Waterloo Station concourse by the ticket barriers closest to Platform 10. All welcome!

There is an ongoing debate amongst social and environmental activists as to how effective such marches are. Pessimists – or realists? – point to the million-plus people who mobilised in the UK alone on the first London march against the Iraq war in 2003, asking what difference they made to the decision to go to war. Harder-line activists might suggest that a family-friendly march, stewarded by the police, will never have the shock value or achieve as much as proper direct action such as stopping a coal train en route to a power station.

My take on this is that, given the extent of the national media’s role in setting the political agenda, and the fragmentation of media consumption as a result of technological and social changes, a single high-profile national action, appealing to as wide a demographic as possible and therefore reported by everyone, is sometimes the only way to show that a critical mass of people care about an issue. It’s oversimplistic to say that because the Iraq march didn’t stop the war, or the climate marches haven’t resulted in emissions reductions yet, these activities were pointless. Would the groundbreaking nature of the Climate Change Act 2008, or the heat felt by the government over the need for the Iraq inquiry to be public, have been as acute if not for these marches? We don’t know but I strongly suspect not.

So – see you there on Saturday?

To discuss any issues around Kingston, politics or both, just comment on this post and I’ll get back to you, or feel free to email me at any time at
Twitter: majeedneky