• Open Letter to the Management of Bhaktivedanta Manor
    We want to bring to the temple managements attention the shock and dismay felt by the undersigned community, regarding the temples hosting of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, leader of the Conservative and the Home Secretary Priti Patel during a general election in early December 2019. The head of the Communication department at the temple is quoted as saying “Bhaktivedanta Manor is a place of worship and spiritual education [and] therefore is not affiliated with any particular political party. However, we respect and honour all who want to visit here, at any time.” However, hosting a candidate during an election has been received by many as a political act. Boris Johnson stood in our temple room in front of Srila Prabhupada and in full view of Sri Radha Gokulananda, saying, "the values that you espouse here in this community..., I hope you don't me saying, since the election is only four days away, ...these are the values we wish to support in our Conservative party." He then went on to say that on Thursday, the day of the election, he wanted to "get Brexit done." He quoted his parties tag-line several times. This is a political speech at a very political time which we feel strongly that the Manor should not have allowed to happen. Many people have claimed that this is Lord Krsna's mercy, an auspicious event, a victory for ISKCON and Hinduism in the UK and a great favour bestowed upon the community and the congregation. However, many of us are upset, confused and angry. To allow them to make a speech exhorting their politics is unacceptable in our place of worship. The subsequent claim that the temple is not aligned to any one party is naivety at best and shameful at worst. Furthermore, if the values of these politicians are the same values that we hold as Hare Krsna devotees then we have moved very far away from those that Srila Prabhupada has given us. It is understandable that the Manor feels like hosting politicians is a positive thing for the community. Many of us know full well the struggle it has been to be regarded as a genuine faith group, to move away from the branding of 'cult,' but there are many, many other days that Johnson and Patel could have visited if their attraction to the temple and its perceived 'values' is real. But hosting them four days before an incredibly important election and allowing a campaign speech in the temple room is irresponsible, offensive and divisive. We need these actions to be considered so that in future; political speeches are not made in the temple room and the Manor holds true to their politically neutral stance.'
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  • Stop gambling companies broadcasting football
    For too many football fans, it’s not possible to watch a football match unless they have multiple bets. With betting companies showing matches for free as long as you place a bet, the link between football and problem gambling is made even stronger. By selling broadcasting rights to betting companies like Bet 365, the FA is fuelling a gambling addiction crisis. The NHS estimates that more than 400,000 people in England have a gambling addiction. It’s costing the UK £1.2 bn a year and has ruined lives. The FA should do the right thing and terminate the contract with all betting companies and not allow them to show live FA Cup matches.
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  • Rename A Stand In Fratton Park, After John Jenkins MBE.
    This is important because John Jenkins MBE, LOVED PORTSMOUTH FOOTBALL CLUB, he loved Portsmouth, and he loved his country. John Jenkins served his duty for his country in its hour of need, he risked his life, so we could all have a better life in Portsmouth, and in the UK. He has been awarded many titles including the Legion d’Honneur, however naming a stand in Fratton Park, will be a fantastic tribute to a great man.
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  • Reject the Corporate Takeover of The Edinburgh Fringe
    As shameful as it is to admit, I knew about the problems at The Edinburgh Fringe long before the stand I am making now. I've been going as a participant and punter since 2011 and have had first-hand experience for the exploitation, shocking work-practices and health and safety concerns that many people are bravely being open about. You only need to read some of the articles of people who say 'Cambodia have better working conditions than the fringe' https://www.edinburghlive.co.uk/news/edinburgh-news/edinburgh-fringe-whistleblower-says-working-16020203 - or the amazing work Unite have done around holding individual venues such as C Venues to account (and even getting the University to withhold their venues). I attended the Fringe Society AGM in August 2019 with a clear question; In the Articles of Association, it lists the powers of the Fringe Society under point. 4.1.2 to ‘to educate, support, advise, and encourage those who participate in the Arts’, SUPPORT is the word I want to concentrate on here, because I feel that this has not been publicly fulfilled as dozens upon dozens of participants in the Edinburgh Fringe have publicly declared instances of low pay, being overworked, harassed, ill-treated, who knows how many are too frightened to come forward. For example the case of Shira Kaliski, who was quoted in the Sunday Mail that the conditions working in Cambodia are better than the Edinburgh Fringe; quoted as living off ‘slave wages’ ‘working 17 hour days’ sharing a room with 3 other people, no food, in the whole month, just three days off’. I have witnessed scenes working at the fringe myself, and implored to speak out. Why hasn’t the Fringe Society supported these people under this point, why has there been no public show of empathy, I understand that society directors are asked about things beyond their control, but this issue is under the articles of association, you may say this isn’t from someone who has directly contacted you, but I am happy to sit with Shona McCarthy and any board members, the board chair to tell you and show you evidence of exploitation, negligence and actions which I am reliable informed of as illegal, I’ve endured and so have others. The great things about the Fringe Society is that we can meet here today in a supportive space, where chief executives and participants respecting each other as equals, that will listen to one another and work supportively towards positive outcomes, that is something to be applauded and championed, so please can you respond to the point; are you aware of the conditions participants are made to work in, confirm that they are illegal and do you offer empathy? I have indeed met with Shona McCarthy and have had a very good conversation about how to work towards a positive solution. The Fringe Societies powers are limited, which may be part of the problem. This petition is to show that many Edinburgh Fringe Creatives and Workers need to know that the only public face of The Edinburgh Fringe actually understands the importance of the issue, can show empathy and work towards meaningful action with the organisations who are responsible.
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  • Stop Flashing Lights causing Epileptic Seizures
    This is causing people to have seizures and causes great distress and difficulties for people who struggle with seizures.
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  • Keep the Red Button Service
    Many people, especially older folk, rely on the Red Button Service for news and information on a wide range of subjects. Not everyone has access to a mobile phone or the internet.
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  • Save our democracy from media bias
    Newspapers hold massive power - they are read by millions of people every day. But that power is abused when facts and opinions are mixed. Most papers answer to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), whose own rules say they must “make a clear distinction between comment, conjecture and fact”. But IPSO isn’t enforcing its own rules. Studies show that election coverage across many papers had a clear bias. Freedom of the press is crucial and newspapers can support whoever they like. But facts are facts - so news reports must be fair, accurate and clear. Sign the petition now and tell IPSO to act now to protect our democracy.
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  • Protect the BBC and other public broadcasters
    Our most cherished public broadcasters could be under threat. In the recent election, politicians hinted they would make moves to undermine Channel 4 and the BBC. Key figures in the Conservative Party first said they would review Channel 4’s broadcasting obligations if they win an election. Then, Boris Johnson hinted he would look at scrapping the BBC licence fee. Now that Boris Johnson is Prime Minister, we need to make it clear: strong public broadcasters are vital to our democracy. The government must take steps to protect the BBC and Channel 4 for future generations. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/28/ice-sculpture-to-replace-boris-johnson-in-channel-4-climate-debate https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/culture/news/108452/boris-johnson-hints-bbc-licence-fee-could-be-scrapped-if-tories-win
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  • Save the Victoria Hall
    The Victoria Hall and ancillary space, including the Prince's Hall directly below it, is not the Council's to dispose of: it belongs to the people of Ealing, who have benefited from its facilities since the 1890s. It is wrong that part of this Grade II-listed building should be demolished and the whole of the charitable trust area be subsumed into a hotel. The intended swap of the Prince's Hall with the Queen's Hall - smaller, and some distance away - would deprive the Victoria Hall of the services it needs to function as a public venue. There is no other community space left in central Ealing. The deal between Council and developers should not be allowed to proceed.
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  • Save the Victoria Hall from developers
    Victoria Hall is not owned by the council,it was built by public donations and safeguarded by creating a charity to maintain its status. Ealing council have applied to the charity commission to change the status so that it may be sold to developers. It is the only large viable space in central Ealing for Festivals,meetings,performances etc.
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  • Set up a new independent body to keep party leader debates and interviews fair
    Election TV events like debates and interviews are important in making sure all party leaders face the same amount of scrutiny, so viewers can have all the facts when they vote. This election has seen several instances of leaders not getting the same coverage - with Boris Johnson not having an Andrew Neil interview like other leaders did, and leaders not turning up to the climate debate. In Canada and the USA there are bodies that organise any leaders’ debate to make sure that they are fair. In the UK, party leaders and channel execs negotiate directly - meaning parties with more power end up with the upper hand. If we set up a body we can ensure in future elections all election debates and party leader interviews are fair.
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  • Stop BBC scrapping the Red Button
    The Red Button text service is so valued by older people who do not have access to the internet or a mobile phone, hence the many letters to the Radio Times letter page. This is a cheap but valued service.
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    Created by Barbara Orme