by Kat Boettge
Whatever the future holds we must work together for unity. After this dreadful referendum and the Brexit vote we must all pull together. The country appears divided, the young vs the older generations, the north vs the south, the “leavers” vs “remainers”. Such divisions, promoted by the wealthy and powerful, have helped them to avoid responsibility for their economic crimes and allowed the 1% to prosper at the expense of the 99%. Meanwhile the left is facing turmoil.
We, the Greens have an important role to play to work for hope not hate, for unity. The left must pull together to face current challenges and to offer creative and inclusive responses in language that our various audiences will relate to and understand. I completely support Caroline Lucas’s call to work with others, to campaign for reform, and to work towards electoral alliances.
This country has challenged the EU for lacking democracy. We should now call for PR and for democratic reform encouraging other parties particularly Labour to make this one of our joint top priorities. I believe that people would find encouragement, strength and hope in seeing the left and progressive standing side by side, overcoming tribalism and offering change and a belief that politics can be about cooperation. Whilst accepting the result of the referendum I also want to see us continuing to campaign with our progressive European partners for reform and for an increasingly united, fairer and democratic Europe.
As a Party we, the Greens, must also pull together, celebrating diversity, supporting minorities and liberation groups and valuing the autonomy of local parties under the umbrella of strong regional organisations. We have some very talented and committed people from different regions, local parties and from liberation/ interest groups. We can appreciate and respect differences whilst working collaboratively.
Sadly our current economic system and discourse lacks the understanding that endless growth is not sustainable.
Our message is unique, and the contribution we can make is vital. We understand that social justice and environmental protection cannot be seen as separate. We cannot achieve social justice without understanding our environmental limitations and resource inequality. We live on a finite planet. We must fight for our home for our kids and us all. Sadly our current economic system and discourse lacks the understanding that endless growth is not sustainable. We need to strengthen our message of integration of economic, environmental and social justice.
To begin to heal the country, we need to end austerity whilst prioritising to address climate change. I support the promotion of a Green New Deal using Green quantitive easing, to create a million climate change jobs in energy efficiency and replacing fossil fuels with renewables, insulating existing homes and buildings and building environmentally friendly housing in the interests of need not profit.
To begin to heal the world we must be part of an international movement committed to addressing issues of inequality, racism and ecological destruction, recognising in particular that those who have contributed least to global warming are its principal victims.
In the immediate here and now, we must redouble our efforts to resist the scapegoating of migrants and refugees and stand in solidarity with all victims of discrimination and exclusion.
As someone living in the Midlands, and as someone from a migrant community, I believe that I am well placed to support the leader(s) and am a suitable person to help unify and integrate all parts of our party and to play a role in working across parties for a strong Green voice. Natalie Bennett has done an excellent job in visiting regions and local parties, and I am committed to continue strengthening this valuable face to face contact with members, supporters and voters.
I am originally from Munich, Germany, but gained dual nationality last year. I am a single parent working as an integrative psychotherapist in Nottingham. I came to the UK almost 17 years ago, where I obtained A levels and both an Undergraduate and Postgraduate degree. During my studies I worked as a support worker helping individuals with learning disabilities, mental health problems, domestic violence and other difficulties around housing, benefits, social inclusion and accessing services. As a psychotherapist I work mainly with NHS clients.
As a migrant, as a single parent and in my professional capacity I have gained a lot of experiences of our unjust and unequal society. It was this sense of injustice which encouraged me to become politically active.
Kat Boettge is a candidate for the Deputy Leadership of the Green Party of England and Wales. Kat was previously the Regional Coordinator of the East Midlands Green Party and stood as the lead candidate in the East Midlands in the 2014 European Parliament elections, where the party received 6% of the vote. She also stood as a candidate for the Nottingham North constituency in the 2015 General Election, coming fourth, ahead of the Liberal Democrats. You can find out more about her campaign here.
Every Green Party member receives a vote in the forthcoming Deputy Leadership election, which will take place from the 25th of July to the 25th of August. The Norwich Radical have invited all candidates for Leader and Deputy Leader to submit one article to us on their campaign.