Awake in the early hours and unable to sleep I have been struggling for a possible group name to rally around in our opposition to the concreting over of the South of Wokingham.
A comment a few days back from a fellow Councillor about Robespierre and "the French wouldn't put up with this" got me thinking along the lines of the "Gilets Jaune" and their Yellow Jacket protests.
The group "Gilets Verts" already exist, which is a bit of a shame as that was my first thought for a group identity. But the wearing of Hi Viz jackets to the forthcoming "consultations" strikes me as having much to recommend it:
It is an immediate visual statement.
It is easily achieved.
It can be put on or put away very quickly.
It need not be expensive.
It can be "customised" with your own choice of words.
Now some people may be getting anxious at this point about shades of "Rent a Mob" and visions of violent clashes with the Police. Far from it! This is England and it is "England's Green and Pleasant Land" we are striving to protect. Let's face it. Most of us are probably Middle Class, Elderly or Retired NIMBYs. Because we are currently the people with the most to loose, and the greatest opportunity to fight back? Maybe further down the line we can raise awareness among the younger members of our community but for now, I think, it is mostly "Grumpy Green Grandparents" but that possibly lacks a certain pizzazz as a name?
This is a Grassroots movement. We are looking for Green Shoots of change in the post COP 26 era. WBC have their offices at Shute End Civic Centre. Could "Green Shutes" be the answer to the Group Identity? Not necessarily putting the Green Party into Shute End, (Or even any particular political Party. The Lib Dems don't appear to be any better than the Conservatives on this issue and who votes Labour in Wokingham?). But it has a bit of a ring to it, short, memorable, to the point? Maybe the "Green Shoots" is enough? Or maybe you have a better idea altogether for a collective identity we can rally around? Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or add your comments to this Blog.
As for how to get hold of your High Visibility Jacket, if you join the "Adopt a Street" scheme you get a Jacket, a Litter Picker, and get to contribute positively to your local environment! (I personally recommend it). Alternatively I think the likes of Lidl and Halfords sell them :-)
At this point it may be a bit too much to get the current Executive out of Shute End before they have foisted their plans to destroy our green fields on us, but to push for a real awareness of the Climate Emergency? To get our politicians to commit to something more than just lip service to Green policies? An indication to the powers that be that we have our sights on their performance in office? That THEY ARE VULNERABLE? This is achievable.
Difficult to have a full discussion here, but how about a very English Public Meeting at a nice friendly Village Hall. with a nice cup of tea? Watch this space!