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Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Clacton By-Election : Reasons to Vote Green

Chris Southall (see above) has been nominated as the Green Party candidate in the up and coming Clacton by-election, following current MP Douglas Carswell's move to UKIP from the Conservatives. While the media narrative may focus on the UKIP vs Conservative Party battle, there are many reasons why voting Green is the best option. The Green Party, both nationally and locally, have policies which are broad based and aimed at a wide range of the electorate.
Many people in the wider area of the Clacton constituency have genuine concerns about over-development and urban sprawl. They don't want housing estates dumped in inappropriate places or their countryside to be concreted over and buried under unwanted developments imposed on them from on high. Only the Green Party has concern for the environment and our countryside running through its entire political DNA. We support the provision of more affordable housing but on brownfield sites and in places where they are wanted. We believe in localism and right of local people to determine what is best for their own communities rather than having to be passive bystanders as their countryside is swallowed up. If you live in a rural area or village, voting Green is the safest option if you want to preserve the countryside for future generations.
However we are much more than a single issue party. The Green Party is well aware that many voters in Clacton face diminishing real incomes, low wages and economic insecurity. We understand that many people are attracted to UKIP because they believe that their legitimate concerns about jobs and wages are being ignored by the other parties. People are right to be concerned as the Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour are indeed led by people from similar backgrounds with very similar political attitudes and who, as Mr Carswell has described the Conservative leadership, "are not on our side". Conservative columnist Matthew Parris, writing in the Times, summed up this attitude towards Clacton residents with his comment:

"Clacton is going nowhere, its voters are going nowhere, its rather sad and there's nothing more to say. This is Britain on crutches, this is tracksuit and trainers Britain, tattoo parlour Britain, all our yesterdays Britain. I an arguing - if I an honest- that we should be careless of their opinions."

However voting UKIP is not the answer because their only solution is to leave the EU and reduce immigration rather than to address the genuine root causes of low wages and job insecurity. The Green Party however has policies in place that will genuinely challenge the political establishment on poverty, rather than just scapegoating Brussels and immigrants. These Green Party policies include:

1) Raising the minimum wage to £10 an hour by 2020.

2) A guaranteed Citizens Income for all, in order to reduce crime and push wages up, thus removing the 'poverty trap'.

3) A cap on rents to ensure that housing is affordable.

4) The abolition of zero hours contracts.

4) A job creation programme in the Green Economy , particularly renewable energy.

Green Party policies offer a genuine alternative to low wages and job insecurity. By voting Green you will be joining the real people's army, one that will tackle the root causes of economic decline while at the same time defending our countryside and our natural heritage. At the same time you will be voting for a party that is open to people of all ethnic backgrounds and believes that people are people and of equal value.

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