Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Downshifting? Easy Does It!

I am delighted to announce that my new book on downshifting,
Downshifting Made Easy: How to plan for your planet-friendly future is now available for purchase.
It is one of the first six books in the new ‘Made Easy’ series that my publisher, O Books, is launching at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday June 1st at Watkins Bookstore near Leicester Square in London.
Click here to find out more about the launch. It’s a free event, of course, so if any of my blog readers happen to be around I would love to meet you there.
The aim of the O Books ‘Made Easy’ series is to condense into small, inexpensive and easy-to-read books as much useful information as possible on a wide range of interesting topics.
The aim of Downshifting Made Easy, like that of my book The Lilypad List and so much of my other writing, is to inspire people to live more lightly and joyfully on this beautiful Earth.
In particular, I want to convince my readers of three key things that I have learned from my own experience and from that of many ‘downshifters’ I have met. These are:

- You don’t have to move house in order to downshift to a greener lifestyle

- Downshifting is an inward, spiritual process as well as an outward, practical one

- Once you start downshifting, your life gets steadily more satisfying and more joyful

Please break some (virtual) bubbly against the bows of this little book as it sails down the publishing slipway. And please share this post widely.
Thank you.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Definitely Voting 'YES' tomorrow

I lived in Australia for 35 years. At election time, I usually voted for a minority party that reflected my true beliefs In other words, whatever one was the greenest. At the same time, I knew that one of the other of the two main parties would almost certainly win. And I definitely had a preference for one of those (the Australian Labor Party) over the other.

Under the Australian system of preferential voting, I could express my loyalty to the party of my choice by voting for them. And at the same time I could indication my preference for the ALP. So that if it was a tight election, my vote would still count. In other words, my vote truly did express what I wanted.In full.

Here in England, under the FPTP system, if I vote for my party of first choice (the Green Party), which has a snowball's chance in hell of winning in my constituency, then in terms of the battle of Labour vs Conservative, mine is a wasted vote. I have no way, here, of expressing my full wishes. I am hobbled.

The UK Tories are telling people that Australians don't like their system. I believe that is a total lie. In all my 35 years there I never once heard anyone express a wish to switch to a FPTP ballot. A lot of people - including me - did say that proportional representation, like many European countries have, would be an even better way to choose a government. And maybe we'll even manage that, eventually. Meanwhile...

Brits are a conservative bunch and don't take kindly to change. I can hardly dare to hope that they will flock to the polls tomorrow to vote 'YES' and change this antiquated and unfair system to a fairer, more flexible and more democratic one. But oh, it would be so wonderful if they did!