by Simon Ashley Cross
Never was it more important to have common sense for the common good in politics. The Green Party is having it’s biannual leadership contest and very much against the grain of the unscheduled bun fights of the other large parties there is no infighting, no bullying and no bricks thrown. The party will continue to respect our members and offer them a fair choice.
In the current political atmosphere it is very important that we offer an alternative to many more years of Tory austerity, inequality and environmental denial and the party standing at the forefront of this is the Green Party of England and Wales. It is important that everyone in the UK takes note of the damage caused by 40 years of ignoring environmental warnings and that serious action is taken now. This action has been made more difficult after the frankly ludicrous decision to close the Department of Energy and Climate Change but everyone has it in them to do their bit. This could be in the form of non violent direct action, protesting and marching or even taking simple steps to reduce consumption or to move to a vegan, vegetarian or lower meat diet as these measures have a very serious impact when embraced by larger swathes of people.
Change can only be delivered with the concerted will of the public.
Turning to politics, the only way to make a radical change in our society is to completely change the system by which we elect government. Proportional representation, lower voting ages, more locally devolved power and enfranchising diversity groups would be the best way of future governments being representative and fair. We have to take every opportunity to fight for our rights not to have government ‘done to us’. Once again, I would entreat people to march, protest and form groups to gain representation for the things which matter most to them. Change can only be delivered with the concerted will of the public.
I would make a final point and this I believe in most strongly. The talk of another female Prime Minister looks good on the surface because it challenges the idea of grey suited men controlling our lives but beneath the veneer, the current PM is likely to prove disastrous. This Prime Minister delivered the snoopers charter, votes regularly to support austerity, famine and war and has made very poor appointments in the Foreign Office and the Treasury followed by the criminal mistake of closing the Department of Energy and Climate Change and lumping the environment in with trade and industry. A bad example of promotion of diversity.
We need people in office who represent our large and largely overlooked minorities. If you look to LGBT+, BME, disabled and disenfranchised feminist groups and if they harnessed their collective voice and power they could get behind a single party or a centre and left alliance and their votes would carry that group to power. This would mean that we could see a black female PM, a wheelchair bound home secretary of a transgender equalities minister. This kind of representation would certainly give us a truly representative government and dare I say, one which may do what the electorate craves and listen and act for the 95% rather than pander to the privileged rich.
I am standing to be Leader of the Green Party looking to bring environmental and social justice to the fore and to support and promote diversity within our government, media and across public life. It is important that no living thing ever be overlooked because these policies are what has got us here. It is probably incumbent on the people of Britain to support and fight for equality and fairer society but this needs a collective shift to the left and there are those, from the Green Party to Left Unity, TUSC to the Peoples Assembly, together with large and small pressure groups, who fight for this every day. But we all need the support in every way possible to make a better future.
Simon Ashley is a candidate for the Leadership of the Green Party of England and Wales. Simon stood for the Green Party in the 2015 General Election for the Rochford and Southend East Constituency, picking up 5% of the vote.
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.