Foxes, virgins, Ed Miliband – something for everyone

Been meaning to do a round up for a while of various campaign sites you might be interested in looking at, especially now we’re most certainly in election mode. (It’s a bit like the first few seconds on a rollercoaster, as you go up and up and up the steep incline, and you know that there is absolutely no way you can avoid going over the top and down. Not that this should be taken as a sign I’m dreading the election. I love rollercoasters, but there are defnitely those moments when you think, why the hell am I doing this? Elections are the same.)

First up, www.edspledge.com – where you can keep up to date with the negotiations at Copenhagen, and Ed Miliband’s attempts to get a deal that is ambitious, effective and fair. Ed has also used this site to mobilise campigners on, for example, an open letter to David Cameron, calling on him to clarify his party’s renewable energy policy after Ken Clarke announced there would be no onshore windfarms built under a Tory Government. Ed made a call for co-signatories on Twitter and got 1000 names within an hour, with many more following. Perhaps he should do a similar exercise now that Zac Goldsmith, Cameron’s green guru, has declared that there won’t be any new nuclear power stations either? And while he’s at it, perhaps Cameron could also respond to suggestions (scroll down) that he’s getting just a little bit too close to oil and gas companies who are giving the Tories donations? Is that why he’s so quiet on green issues, this week, of all weeks?

Second up, check out www.backtheban.com. Some people have accused Labour of getting its priorities wrong in bringing up the fox-hunting issue again. Well it’s not us, it’s them: the Tories. They’ve pledged to bring in a free vote on fox-hunting if they’re elected, and for Cameron, formerly a keen hunter whose father and grandfather and generations before them were Masters of the Hounds, it’s personal. You can use the site to write to your local MP and candidates asking them to make their views clear. (My Tory opponent has said she supports there being a vote on the issue, but she will weigh up all the issues and take the views of her constituents into account before deciding how to vote, which presumably means that (a) she’s not definitely anti-hunting and (b) she has no idea that the vast majority of people in Bristol East are).

Thirdly, there’s www.globalpovertypromise.com, urging people to show their continued support for the UK’s commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on tackling international poverty, which is to be enshrined in legislation if Labour wins the next election. (There’s a draft Bill being brought forward in this session). Also on Facebook and on Twitter, @LabourCID and a blog http://lcid.org.uk/ (that’s Labour Campaign for International Development).

Finally, and this isn’t a Labour site, although it was started by me and a Labour activist, there’s a Facebook site for first-time voters, called Virgin Voters. The idea is to bring together young people who weren’t old enough to vote in 2005 and the MPs and candidates who are after their votes. It’s genuinely intended to be cross-party and it’s good to see young people already on there talking to each other. It was only launched last week, and not in a big fanfare way, but we’re hoping it will take off in the New Year as we start posting stuff on there and people start getting their heads around the fact that there’s a General Election coming… (And yes, I have now – just now – discovered there’s another Virgin Voters site, which seems to have a lot of members but nothing much has happened on it since the summer – we may have to merge forces!)

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