The Gerrard Chronicles 2004 - The Campaign Trail

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The 'Republic' campaign for an elected Head of State took an organisational step forward this year. Graham Smith replaced Ken as webmaster & inauguarated a necessary injection of youth into the outfit (which was why Ken handed over). Meanwhile, Ken was interviewed by an Austrian Radio youth programme about his presidential campaign & the young royals. We also took part in an educational film on Monarchy & Republicanism for Westminster University with Margaret Tyler, the extraordinary 'loyalest royalist', who's house is a museum of royal memorabilia.

Part of Margaret Tyler's collection


Chris Smith is standing down as our MP & getting a Life. The Barrister, Emily Thornberry asked us if we would support her & Ken asked if she had a web site, without bothering to say, "Yes". No, so Ken set up one on the spot. While she was nominated by every ward, the usual conspirators wanted the Number 10 nominee, Mary Wimbery, instead & the largely ignorant membership nearly put her in. But Emily won by 2%. It would have been a disaster, splitting the party & handing the seat to our neo-Fascistic Liberals if Mary, who has been highly divisive in the past, had won.

Emily & family

The park the Council wish to ruin by giving the childrens' playground to developers.


We set up a savagely worded but non-party web site called “Concerned Citizens’ Campaigns” to highlight local problems that the Liberal PPC, who is deputy leader of the Council, has the power to fix but which she ignores for political reasons.

The Angel killing zone where Liverpool Road meets Upper Street & which an independent survey said, "Close!"

There were three obvious ones: the City Road Basin, where greedy developers want to build on the childrens’ playground; the City Road Crossing at Colebrooke Row, a death trap & another pedestrian killing zone where Liverpool Road meets the Town Centre & which an independent survey said, "Close!". We, the “Angel Association” & “Living Streets” co-operated on these.

Avis has done all the non-web work, pushing very hard on the City Road Crossing & harassed the Council into at least saying they will do something, the evidence for which was not apparent by time we went to press. PPC Emily is also backing us. Avis has also successfully pursued the theatre developer to give a starting date for it in the New Year. He did commission a drawing of the theatre from Avis, as it might appear from Islington Green, for which she was adequately paid (right).


...nearly died last year & the person responsible tried to become our PPC! Ken chased her off. Charter 88 survived & entered into useful liaisons with some other groups but the constitutional outlook is not good, with the Geordies rejecting a Regional Government, partly because they were not offered real power.

THE BUSH ELECTION result was the worse because we had no real way of affecting the outcome, despite enormous e-mail traffic across The Pond. Someone please help the planet. God won't. He's an American neo-Con. Good late news - the election was stolen & the lawyers are on the case.


On the afternoon we came back from the "Living Streets" conference, we went to both Islington North's Garden Party at Jenny Rathbone's & to Georgette Djaba's (she was Ken's mayoral bid campaign manager). Fun can be hard work! But the hard-working Rob Marchant left St. Peter's Ward to live in Barcelona with his Spanish wife.

Avis & Michelle Hanson

Georgette (right)

Rob & Mrs


In November, we had the traditional Fabians Xmas Dinner, this time with Hilary Benn, the Minister for Overseas Development, to speak, which he did cogently & completely off the top of his head. He did not duck too many of the questions, either.

Hilary Benn & Avis

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Contact: Ken Baldry or Avis Saltsman, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)020 7359 6294 or e-mail him or her
This page's URL: Last revised 30/11/2004
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