I’m not afraid to hope for better.
With politics the way it is right now, I understand that it’s easy for people to despair. With various public services on the brink, with real wages falling, with Brexit putting so many important things at risk, it’s understandable that many people are thinking of damage limitation and picking the lesser of two evils when they vote.
My message is that we must hope for better than that. Recent events and elections in Europe have shown us that the best way to combat rising intolerance and hateful politics is by being bold and having the courage to stand for what you believe in.
And this country can do so much better. Speaking at a recent hustings in Cambridge I was asked about my values, about the values that drive me and make me desire to succeed in politics. I talked about how I value equality, justice and fairness.
What makes me positive about our future is that I believe that most people in the country share these values. The patients I care for, the people whose doors I knock on, the colleagues I work with, share these values. We can build a much better and fairer country together. It’s our broken politics that holds us back. So let’s change that.
We trust people and believe in giving you power over what matters to you.
Which is why we would reform our electoral system to end the scandal that means that the votes of millions of people don’t count, giving you real power.
It also makes no sense to ‘Take Back Control’ and then deny you any influence over what happens next with Brexit. This is why we will offer you a vote on the ‘Brexit’ deal, with the option of remaining in the EU.
We would create an economy which ensures secure, good jobs for people and allows us to bring in the funds we need to sustain quality public services. It’s not ok that in this country the poorest 10% pay more of their incomes in tax than the richest 10%.
We will ensure big corporations and the richest individuals pay their fair share. We would look at creative ways of establishing a solid tax base, by introducing a 2% annual wealth tax on the richest 1% of individuals and extending a ‘Robin Hood’ financial transactions tax.
Rebalancing our economy defeats the argument that we cannot afford to sustain quality public services.
I have seen firsthand the poisonous consequences of this argument. I work for the NHS and have worked in social care. We are one of the world’s richest countries and can afford to care for people properly. But we need to ensure our public services remain truly public and that the money we invest goes where we need it.
This is why we will reverse NHS privatisation by supporting the NHS Reinstatement Bill. We can then ensure funding supports our NHS workforce rather than supporting investors and shareholder dividends. We will scrap plans to cut £22bn from the health budget and invest the funding needed to address years of shortfalls.
We will also answer the desperate calls of teachers and parents by investing properly in education and our children’s futures. We will end the regime of primary school’s SATS testing so our children can are allowed to enjoy their early year’s.
We believe that taking action to prevent uncontrollable climate change is an absolute necessity.
You cannot have a strong and stable economy on a ruined planet.
We already know the majority of fossil fuel reserves cannot be burnt if we are to limit global warming. Given this, the Conservative’s desire to frack our beautiful countryside is horrendously negligent.
Taking action to prevent climate change can also be hugely beneficial for people. We would start by launching a nationwide programme of retrofitting to insulate 9 million homes. This would create good jobs, end fuel poverty and reduce the scandal of excess winter deaths at the same time. We would ban fracking and switch subsidies urgently away from fossil fuels to capitalise on the huge potential we have in this country for renewable energy.
We would end the stranglehold of the Big Six energy companies and hand power, in both senses, back to communities by investing in and prioritising community owned renewable energy schemes.
It’s also vital we protect biodiversity, wildlife and clean air for our population. Which is why we would introduce a Clean Air Act to enshrine people’s right to breathe clean air. We would also champion an Environmental Protection Act to safeguard our right to a safe environment, currently guaranteed through our EU membership.
These are our Green Guarantees to you, amongst so many more. You can read the rest here; https://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/gp2017/greenguaranteepdf.pdf
This June, don’t be afraid to hope for better. Every vote for us is a vote for a hopeful, confident and caring future. We want to do politics differently and voting for us supports that.