20 years before I joined the Green Party I was voting Green. I instinctively understood that respect for the natural world was being lost, and that there was only one political party who not only shared my concerns, but had coherent plans to overcome them.
As a long standing human rights activist, it became apparent to me that the rights of humans were inexorably linked to the rights of the planet. I sat down and read the Philosophical Basis of the Green Party and joined up the same day.
The clamour for self-betterment in our country has led to a form of material selfishness which is destroying the very earth on which we depend for survival. It is not sustainable to keep buying ‘stuff’ then discarding it and buying again. I believe we have lost the art of caring, maybe because we never knew we had it.
In a time when everything we bought and ate was produced locally, organically and through the labour of people we mostly knew, we did not need to actively care about the environment because instinctively we knew they were essential to our lives. Life was not driven through the medium of making more money.
50 years later almost everything has changed. Food comes in plastic wrapping whether it comes from the farm down the road or a thousand miles away; meat is not regarded as something which, like us, lived and played in the sunshine; energy is not produced by the blood and sweat of our neighbours toiling in the mines.
It takes up to 4 years to get certification to farm organically (which everyone once did by default). It takes zero years to be allowed to spread all manner of harmful artificial substances on the land. Matters of common sense have been turned upside down.
We urgently need to redress the balance, and that is why I joined the Greens. We urgently need to stop continuous burning of oil, coal and gas if climate warming is to be stopped. We urgently need to break the bond between our government and the fossil fuel industry. We urgently need to stop seeing privatisation as a cure for everything. Privatisation has got us into a very sticky fix, and it’s not just rising sea levels, floods and droughts. Our prisons, health services, and banks are vulnerable to the ever rising demands of shareholders who only recognise improved services if it improves profit.
I will not stand by as forests are cut down, wages are minimised and waters rise. That is why I am standing as your candidate. I will work all the hours to improve our education, our health and our economy, and I will make sure it is done in a sustainable way which reaches out to the generations to come.
If you want more of the same old tired politics, don’t vote for me.
In the final analysis, someone needs to stand up to protect the economy from ever more senseless boom and bust, and to reshape our education system so that it serves our young people properly, and equips them for the important task of living within the boundaries of one planet. I will stand up for these things and more, like a health service which promotes health as well as treating the sick, an energy supply which brings constant income to our communities, more money for innovation and investment in a truly resilient economy.
Maybe you think it can’t be done. But I assure you that wherever Greens are elected , across the world, we get things done.