People Worth Voting For: Caroline Lucas

We need reform of the electoral system and a clean-up of Parliament.

But we need to elect MPs who will change Parliament for good now.

We need voices of dissent in Parliament – not ‘Yes- men’ (and women) who are ‘on-message’ the whole time and controlled by party whips.

We need voices that are prepared to challenge and question.

We need voices that believe that change is possible.

We need voices that are different.

Derek Wall-

…the Party is increasingly confident of electing our first MP. Caroline is fighting it on a strong left programme of no cuts, no Trident, troops out of Afghanistan, no ID cards and job creation through a New Green Deal Programme. Taxes on the rich need to go up and we need to stop bowing down to the City of London.

Brief Bio-

Caroline was elected as one of the Green Party’s first MEPs in June 1999 to represent the South East of England region.

She was re-elected with an increased vote share in 2004. Caroline joined the Green Party in 1986 and has held many positions including National Press Officer (1987-89) and Co-Chair (1989-90).

She won the party’s second County Council seat in 1993 and served on Oxfordshire County Council until 1997. She was elected Principal Speaker each year from 2003 to 2005 and again in 2007. In 2008 she was elected Party Leader.

At a time when Green issues have risen up the political agenda dramatically, Caroline’s work has not gone unnoticed. She has received a number of accolades for her work.

Caroline received the Michael Kay Award from the RSPCA in 2006 for her outstanding contribution to European animal welfare and BBC Wildlife listed Caroline in their ‘Top 50 Conservationists’.

In 2007 and 2009, Caroline was voted Politician of the Year by Observer readers in their annual Ethical Awards and in 2008 was judged one of the Guardian’s top “eco-heroes.”

Policies

Fair pensions and care for older people- Greens think it’s unfair that people who have worked hard all their lives are eventually denied the pension they were promised, leaving many facing poverty and hardship.

Tackling the economic crisis – regulate the banks- Greens in Parliament will fight for a fair financial deal, with community banks, credit unions and mutuals providing realistic loans to families and small and local businesses.

Responding to climate change with a million new jobs- Greens think it’s unfair that the government stands by while unemployment skyrockets. We are fighting for an investment package to create over a million new jobs in low-carbon industries within 2-3 years.

Saving the NHS- The Green Party think it’s unfair that quality of care suffers when hospitals and surgeries are treated like profit-driven businesses rather than public services. It’s unfair that taxpayers fork out over £1bn every year on NHS private finance schemes.

Better public transport – affordable and reliable- If elected, Caroline will fight for a fair deal on public transport that benefits both climate and commuters.

A fair deal for young people – and their parents- Greens think it’s unfair that young people hanging around are seen as a problem, when all too often they simply have nowhere to go – and activities for young people are being reduced across the country.

Disability rights – an end to discrimination- Greens think it’s unfair that despite the Disability Discrimination Act, 11 million disabled people still face discrimination, disempowerment and exclusion in education, employment and public services as well as in social, cultural and political life.

Equalities- Greens think it unfair that individuals and groups with the most power in society claim their full quota of rights for themselves, whilst those with less power find their rights denied. Greens in Parliament would fight for all groups who find themselves discriminated against, are enabled to flourish.

National Not Voting Conservative Day

From the mighty pen/graphics pad/stone tablet of Beau Bo D’Or

I sort of love the story of Rebekah and James running around the Mail & Indy offices enforcing omertà. In a contest of lesser evils we can all agree the one outcome to be worked against is the ruling class cocktail club known as the Conservative Party getting in. I mean this is what they think is a positive ad, and Pol Pot removed life from those who refused to live. Neoliberalism is all we are being offered so at least let’s get the brand that doesn’t delight -quite- so much in destroying lives… and then blaming the victims.

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People Worth Voting For: Salma Yaqoob

If we want change, we have to engage. As the great anti-slavery campaigner Fredrick Douglas said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning.” That struggle is waged outside parliament, for example, by workers in trade unions campaigning for decent wages and conditions, by people trying to raise awareness and solidarity about climate change, or Third World Debt, or Palestine.

But that struggle can also waged inside Parliament as well. One of the great weaknesses of the anti-war movement was that while we had plenty of supporters on the streets, we had few inside the House of Commons. That needs to change. Parliament needs to be more representative of the people.

On May 6 this country will elect a new parliament. If you want Britain to be more committed to values of peace, justice and equality, you need to put politicians into parliament who will advocate on your behalf. But in order to vote you have got to be registered to vote. The closing date to register is April 20. The General Election is an opportunity to effect change. My advice would be, don’t waste it.

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People Worth Voting For: Derek Wall

“British politics has hit an all time low in the eyes of the public.  And for good reason. Our politicians betrayed us by uncritically following America into illegal wars, causing untold pain and suffering to families here and abroad.  They sat idly by as the banks recklessly gambled billions on the financial markets, creating the conditions for the current recession.  Too many have become tainted and discredited by sleaze and expenses abuse.

We need politicians who put the common good before themselves and their party.  Derek Wall is such a person.  He has a passionate commitment to social justice, both here and abroad. He has a long record of campaigning for a cleaner, healthier and balanced environment.

I am proud to support him and I urge you to do likewise.It’s no good just complaining about our current crop of MP’s.  It’s time to change them!Please give Derek Wall your full support and help elect an MP you could feel proud of.” – Salma Yaqoob, Respect Party leader and Birmingham Councillor.

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Electioneering

I can hardly contain the excitement…