Yesterday I joined Green party members from across the County and Ricky Knight, the number one on the Green Party list for the European Election in the South-West, to collect signatures for the Friends of the Earth petition against a monster incinerator near Stonehouse.
Photo: Some of the campaigners in Gloucester joining Ricky in green
Ricky then spoke at a lively public meeting in the evening in the function room at The Bell in Southgate asking: ‘Are all Politicians the Same?’ Euro candidate Ricky Knight said: "It was great to come again to Gloucester and share my enthusiasm for Green party policies to deal with the threats of climate change and global recession. Now more than ever we need these policies to be translated into actions. We have a real chance here in the South West to elect a Green Euro-MP on 4th June."
Ricky Knight, who has given up his job as a teacher for the last 30 years to campaign 24/7 to get elected, said: "I've found my natural home in the Green Party. The SW can be a hub for green energy creating green jobs. The very fact that a monster incinerator for Gloucestershire's waste is even being considered shows how out of touch some politicians are with issues of sustainability. There are much better ways of dealing with our waste and we need to be investing in these for ourselves and future generations."
You can see more of the press release I sent out here with quotes from me and others. It was particularly good to meet up with Ricky again - I was forwarded an article in his local Devon paper that shows how inspiring he is - a privilege to have as our Green party candidate - and indeed one on whom future generations will need to depend on. So please think about voting for him on 4th June.
Retiring teacher set to devote time to politics
A TEACHER with a passion for languages and the environment is retiring from the classroom — so he can fight in a European election campaign. Ricky Knight, 59, from Bishops Tawton, spent his last day at Pilton Community College on Friday last week, where he planted a Rowan tree to commemorate his 24 years at the school.
After spending the past three decades devoted to teaching — and just as he was starting to teach some of the grandchildren of pupils he taught in the 1980s — he has decided to devote his energies to politics, as a Green Party candidate for the European Parliament. Mr Knight, who is a Barnstaple town councillor, was surrounded by pupils from his Year 8 tutor group, some with tears in their eyes, who told the Journal he was "funny", "brilliant" and "always had a smile on his face".
He was born in Fremington and brought up in Barnstaple, Bishops Tawton and Croyde before he graduated with a degree in European Studies from the University of East Anglia. He took a postgraduate teaching qualification in Bristol in 1979 and took his first teaching job at Braunton in 1980 before joining Pilton in 1985.
He said it had been a "privilege and pleasure" to work as a teacher for 29 years and he looked back with fondness on numerous exchange trips to Germany as well as his involvement in extra-curricular activities such as rugby and music. "I've seen many changes in education over the years," he said. "And the job doesn't get any easier, but it remains rewarding. For every kid that gives you a hard time, there are 30 who give you a wonderful time. Kids have changed over the years; they are much more self-confident and questioning and they are a lot more difficult to motivate. They expect a lot more from teachers."
He was delighted the school had won "specialist language status" and had started teaching Latin, Greek, Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, and Russian. But Mr Knight, who has long been an environmental campaigner, will not be putting his feet up.
For the next few months he will based at a Green Party HQ in Bristol where he will be fighting an election campaign to become a member of the European Parliament (MEP). He is well-known to people who follow local affairs in North Devon for his vocal support for wind farms and his stance against the Iraq war, not to mention his views on many subjects related to the environment. Pilton headteacher Mark Juby said Mr Knight was an "icon" of the school, before adding: "
He has been an inspiration. He had amazing energy and knows his children really well and has really moved the school on in terms of language. He is irreplaceable."