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The Climate Emergency

 

This is THE climate emergency election, and it goes without saying that the Green Party are at the forefront of the fight against climate collapse for decades.

We were warning about the imminent dangers of carbonisation when the other main parties were busy bailing out the bankers.

It was a Green Party councillor who introduced one of the world’s first climate change emergency motions and the first in the UK https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carla_Denyer

It was Caroline Lucas who first proposed the Green New Deal in 2008 only to be ignored by pretty much every other political party until now https://www.carolinelucas.com/latest/caroline-hails-green-new-deal-budget-as-way-out-of-economic-problems

Our policies and proposals on care for the environment and the de-carbonisation of our economy goes far further than those of any other party. We have very ambitious plans and yes they will require a huge investment, both in terms of finance and resources.

But the existential threat to all of us from climate collapse demands urgent and ambitious action. We have 10 years to deal with these issues before we could be at a tipping point. If that happens, whatever we do won’t be enough https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/09/tipping-points-could-exacerbate-climate-crisis-scientists-fear

We have to push forward boldly now to make up for all those years when we did nothing. Where we simply paid lip service to green issues and ticked the environmentalism box without really meaning it.

It’s about more than encouraging solar panels and electric cars. We’re calling for a radical and fundamental re-alignment of our economy and society so that everything we do from now has climate action at its heart.

I believe this is the only way we can ensure that future generations actually have a future.

If you want to protect that future for yourself, your children and their children, a vote for the Greens will send a strong message to government that we are serious about these issues.

Even if you don’t think the Greens can win, a large swing to the Green Party will make the other parties sit up and take notice, like they have already done on so many other issues the Green party have campaigned on for decades.

A Green vote can really make a difference, and we need to start seeing that difference in everything we do.

If not now, when?

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Here We Are Again!

Under the statue

It’s a Thursday so it must be election day!  It seems like elections are almost a weekly occurrence now.  Brenda of Bristol must furious!

Joking aside, I must admit I was surprised to find myself thrown into another election so soon after winning 3 local council seats in May.

But it seems that our strong and stable government can’t manage to hang on for any longer than a coupe of years at most these days, even with the so-called fixed- term Parliament Act!

This just goes to show how desperately we need electoral reform in this country, a system by which more than one party can contribute to the process of government and more than one set of opinions can be taken into account.

It seems that, far from our first past the post system giving us a government of unity and decisiveness, when it comes to the most monumental political upheaval in a generation, we simply can’t agree on anything!

In those circumstances we have to go back to the country and hope that the numbers stack up differently afterwards.  Somehow I suspect they won’t.  While we cling to our broken 2 party state, we will just see-saw backwards and forwards between opposing positions.

On the key issue of Brexit, Labour are still offering a confused position, saying they would re-negotiate the deal with the EU and then put it to the people.  That’s a great in principle, but in practice it means Labour will presumably be rooting for their new deal in any subsequent vote.  That, by any sensible definition, makes them a party of leave.

The Libdems simply want to ignore the 2016 vote and treat Brexit like it never happened.  Whilst that’s an attractive prospect for those of us who would rather remain, it’s not a way to resolve the political schism in our country at the moment.

The 2016 result was hardly decisive as it showed a split right down the middle of the argument.  We could probably have run the vote again the following day and got a different result!

The only way to properly heal this country is with a second referendum as soon as possible after the election.  No more deals being negotiated, no more simply pushing the Brexit button out of expediency (as the Tories would have us do), but a properly informed, final say on the direction this country will take and what is in the best interests of everyone.

Personally, if that second vote still comes out as leave I’m done on the subject of Brexit.  I’m quite happy to let the chips fall where they may and shift my focus to trying to prepare the country for what I think will be the most damaging decade in history since the last war.

But to those who say we shouldn’t have a second vote, I’d point to the fact that we’re now having our third national vote since 2015!  If ‘the will of the people’ really was the main driving force in our democracy, we’d keep the government we voted for in 2015, regardless of the wishes of the government at the time.  But we haven’t.

So if we can have 3 general elections in 4 years, why not a confirmatory vote on something that was decided by a small minority three and a half years ago, when we didn’t know what we know now? Something that could impact on all our futures and those of generations to come.  Why is that to be decided on just one vote?

I really don’t know why anyone should object to the idea of a People’s Vote.  If the will of the people hasn’t changed, the result will be the same. The only reason I can see that the Brexit contingent would object to another vote, is that they think they will lose it.

In which case they know in their heart of hearts that the mood of the country has changed.  They know that the vote in 2016 was probably a fluke, and they’re terrified of the genuine will of the people being followed now.  they simply want to railroad us all into the abyss before anyone realised what’s happening.  That’s no way to run a country!

So let’s get on with this election and I hope vote in some more Green MPs who can influence Westminster enough to resolve the national insanity we seem to have thrown ourselves into over Brexit.

We don’t need to get Brexit done.  We need to do away with it once and for all!

 

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Thanks Once Again

I didn’t think I’d be here writing a second thank you post so soon after the last one. In fact I didn’t really expect to be doing this all again. For someone who isn’t a natural politician, I thought in 2015 that once in a lifetime was enough.

But we did it all again and I have to say I enjoyed most of it as much as I did last time.

I will admit though that the come-down from this campaign has been much harder given that I failed to build on the vote achieved last time. In fact it was reduced, mainly by virtue of people believing they were voting for Jeremy Corbyn.

I do have to say, as I said numerous times during the campaign, Labour had no hopes of winning in this constituency. The Labour candidate is also no supporter of Corbyn. In fact I support him more than he does!

So those previously loyal Green voters who switched this time to Labour really did nothing to help towards a Labour victory in Westminster and have arguably done some damage to the Greens.

The number of votes cast in a general election does count for each party. Not just in electoral terms but also in terms of how much government money is given to that party to continue to be part of the democratic process, something known as ‘short money’. We also have the deposits in each constituency, which at £500 a time is money that a party like the Greens, who don’t have large corporate backers, can ill afford to lose.

Over the whole country the Green vote fell by roughly 50% and that was certainly the case in Banbury. As a result there may well be a lot less chances to vote Green next time we have an election, especially if that’s any time soon. Much of the funds generated in this election will go towards leaflets, deposits and other expenses. The reduction in ‘short money’ will be something of a blow too.

So your vote and your support for the Greens really matters, whether we win or not. Labour won’t face the loss of their deposits and, with hundreds of MP in Parliament and now hundreds of thousands of members, they won’t be short of funds either.

Please remember that next time you think about abandoning the party you say you otherwise support. We’re only here because of that support, and when it’s removed we quickly lose the ability to give you the choice to vote Green in the future.

Every one of those 1250 people who took the trouble to support a party they truly believe in and give me their precious vote yesterday has my personal thanks.

I am of course disappointed that there weren’t more, especially as there were over twice that number just two years ago when our policies were just are relevant as they are now.

The dash to Labour was perhaps understandable in the context of Jeremy Corbyn’s popular appeal, but in a constituency like Banbury and vote for any of the progressive parties would have sent a message of hope and defiance just as effectively as one for Labour.

Sadly, in solidly safe seats like Banbury it’s very unlikely that one party will ever loosen the stranglehold being applied by The Conservatives, so we have to work together as the Greens have done in other constituencies.

Whilst I congratulate Sean for achieving an impressive increase on his vote share, he was still some 12000 votes away from a win. All the time Labour and the Conservatives continue to reject the electoral reform proposed by Greens and the Libdems we’re very unlikely to see individual votes changing the outcome of elections like these.

I’m very pleased on a national level to see The Conservatives on ever more shaky ground and I hope all the other opposition parties in Westminster will work together to thwart what will probably be a severe and extreme right coalition between the Tories and the DUP. I think we see now that this election was less about the good of the country and more about Theresa May clinging on to power at any cost.

As always, it was truly depressing to see the Conservative vote increase in number in a constituency that should be acutely aware of the damage they are likely to wreak on public services, the NHS and in particular the Horton Hospital which is now very likely to be completely downgraded or closed if the Conservatives maintain power.

Thanks to everyone who worked on my campaign and to the other candidates for a clean and well fought fight. I hope going forward, progressive parties in Banbury may work more closely together to achieve real social change and electoral reform, that way we can ensure every voice and every vote counts in the future.