The Norwich Radical is embedded in our home city. We seek to be a platform for debate and discussion of progressive and radical politics within Norwich. We know that the ballot box is only one of many ways of making change, but that elections play a major role in shaping and determining the future of our political landscape. In light of this, we got in touch with candidates standing in the Norwich City Council elections on May 5th, asking for their views on the biggest problems facing Norwich, and their vision for what the Council can do.
by Gunnar Eigener, Green Party candidate for Sewell Ward
I joined the Green Party just prior to the last General Election. I’m not sure why it took me so long to do so. Like many people, I spent years on the sidelines watching government after government cultivate a financial system in their favour, allowing their corporate financiers and allies to get away with crimes that the ordinary person on the street would be charged and imprisoned for. I’ve seen inquiries cover up the misdeeds of establishment figures. Like others, I have stood by and listened to the devastation caused by unbalanced political policies and seen the gradual loss of frontline services. I think part of the problem was I didn’t know where to turn. It’s hard to find optimism in the sordid world of politics.
I read the Green Party manifesto for the last election. I was almost sure that they had read my mind when compiling it. It spoke to me of a desire to make the world a better place without the need to bring down and rebuild society. It examined what’s wrong and proposed ways to fix the many problems we are faced with. It wasn’t perfect. Some of it seemed almost a bit outlandish, a bit leftfield at times. But thinking about it, I realise that the problems we have are not new and neither are the solutions that are put forward to resolve them.
The need for new solutions is paramount but many people have a hard time accepting that something radical needs to be done. I’m one of those people, no sense in denying it. Who doesn’t find comfort in familiarity? The problem is that we are part of a time when comfort is pushing the planet and its resources to the very edge. If we allow what’s happening to continue, comfort will most definitely become a thing of the past. For many, that is already the case and for those for whom comfort was never a choice, it seems an even further distant dream.
The problem is that we are part of a time when comfort is pushing the planet and its resources to the very edge.
I believe firmly that everyone deserves the same chance and opportunity to live a meaningful and happy life. I joined the Green Party because I didn’t want to join a party content with repeating the same errors that have led us to where we are now. I don’t want to be part of the same cycle that brings back round the same problems for each new generation that the previous generation had to endure. Governments, councils and all the obligatory groupings that make up the establishment have a duty to use this country’s resources responsibly so as to prepare a foundation on which the people are able to create and build a good life for themselves, their families and their communities. Too much is wasted, too much is spent on personal visions and legacies.
Those with too little are expected to pay more while those with such an abundance of wealth get away with contributing too little. I don’t believe that those who work hard and are successful should be targeted or penalised but that everybody pays their fair share. The Green Party is about building from the ground up to a society that is fair to all, not a chosen few but for everybody.
I won’t claim that I can change the world from the position of a councillor. A candidate shouldn’t make promises that they don’t know if they can keep or not. A city councillor is limited in their sphere of influence. But Sewell Ward would be my sphere of influence and I will use everything in my power to work towards making a difference, to making the lives of those in need better, to making life more comfortable.
The Green Party is about building from the ground up to a society that is fair to all, not a chosen few but for everybody.
I can’t do it on my own. People need to meet me half-way, well not half-way but as close as they are able. Let me do the rest. Some might say that there is little I can do. I would suggest that they might remind themselves of how much a small mosquito can annoy and get the attention of a human being. It is my intention to find everything that is wrong and point it out to all, to force the hands of those who would prefer to do nothing, to force into action those who sit idly by.
The Green Party is an alternative to the constant bombardment of marginalisation by the other political parties and movements who want to impose their blueprint on society. The Green Party wants participation from the public in deciding society’s future. The Green Party doesn’t look to its corporate sponsors for guidance because it doesn’t have corporate sponsors pouring money into its coffers and deciding its politics. The Green Party simply wants to create a better and more sustainable society for us all to have an equal part in. That’s why I joined the Green Party.