I am angry. You’ll find me shouting at the TV or radio. It just isn’t getting any better.
Too many times we have been encouraged to blame people who don’t fit the easy picture of British society. We hear that there are “Skivers and Strivers”. The seedy corners of the media pitch-in with attacks on the disabled dependant on benefits to live but now valued less than the “hard-working family”. It’s a polluting mantra of division and distraction: And worse the insidious and the nativist hissing: “look over there, it’s that immigrant’s fault. Blame him!” It makes my blood boil. But then I draw strength and look to turn negatives into positives.
We Greens see the world differently. First, last and always we work for the common good. And, although still few in numbers, we see the future in terms of closer cooperation to bring greater benefits. And that passion and purpose is growing.
While we value an individual’s efforts for their family, we also know that public service and public ownership is sometimes the best way to serve our communities. When there is no “market solution” public policy leadership is required. The shining example of cooperation in Britain is the NHS. Our collective will to ensure health care is a right, and not a privilege. The unspoken agreement that to profit from others’ pain is a vulgarity we reject. Yet it is under threat. Why? Because it is the crown jewel the rentrists that want access to all tax-based revenue streams. What Bernie Sanders calls “socialism for the rich”.
I am inspired by the political courage that has changed the face of our nation. Like, 19th century Lancashire mill workers who won their “half-day holiday” – a triumph that “invented” the weekend. And the women of the Suffrage Movement that won equality in voting. In this area we still a way to go. People may now have equality but sadly not all votes are equal.
I am a passionate European citizen and still deeply in mourning at the EU Referendum result. But I am still fighting the EU’s corner and will argue that Brexit can be stopped. I firmly disagree with those who loudly argue that this is somehow an affront to democracy. The deceit peddled in the 2016 campaign is a worse crime perpetrated on democracy. I will simply continue to seek to speak freely.
And on carbon-use, we need to see our practical policies raised in the public’s mind. Build on the successes of our air quality campaigning. But also focus on how individuals can reduce their carbon footprint especially in an economy of rising energy bills. The UK’s older housing stock is terribly inefficient in energy use and should be in the frontline for our personal carbon responsibility.
I will make our case, widen the holes in the opposition’s arguments, and represent the Green movement with responsibility, conviction and as much energy as I can find. I say to myself everyday, Stand Up For What Matters.