So with one day to go I thought I better post about my thoughts on the election before the whole thing passes me by in a whirlwind of media-fuelled madness.
Firstly, this was posted on Twitter by my good friend Nick, and it’s pure gold. Trust Brighton & Hove to nail the anti-rightwing vandalism.
So, as you’ve probably guessed – like hopefully a load of people in Brighton & Hove will be doing – I’ll be voting for the Green Party on Thursday.
I live in Streatham in South West London and I’m pretty sure that labour MP Chuka Umunna is going to win the seat in my constituency – and he’s kinda cool so I don’t really mind. Jonathan Bartley of the Green Party is getting my vote on Thursday because he’s ‘an MP who gets things done’, he’s a community activist and gets stuck in with helping real working people so he actually might have an idea of what it’s like to lead a real working life.
I know that the Green Party will not win this election but at least my vote will accurately reflect the things that I believe in:
- A publicly funded health service, free at the point of use
- An end to privatisation
- A focus on mental health, and making the resources for this a priority
- An to end austerity, and instead implement a new wealth tax on the top 1%, a Robin Hood Tax on the banks, and the closure of tax loopholes
- A minimum wage of £10 per hour
- A cap on rent – especially here in London!
- A huge reduction on tuition fees (or scrap them all together)
- A better system for teachers and teaching (my mum is a teacher and she’s fed up with the bureaucracy and rigidity of the curriculum)
- Cheaper transport – train fares have gone through the roof
And most importantly for me:
- Protecting the planet. The government must take serious action against climate change because as much as we must try as individuals to live sustainably, it is impossible to get everyone on board around without creating nationwide policies and global pacts. Fracking is a waste of time – we need to ban it entirely and focus this money and energy into renewable technologies before we destroy the land we live on. In fact, we need to phase out fossil-fuel based energy generation all together.
You could call my vote a wasted one, but I don’t see it that way. The more people vote for Green Party in this election, the more the new government (whoever they will be…) will have to listen to a huge chunk of the public who care about the planet and are concerned for its future, and subsequently the more likely environmental issues will be at the forefront of parliamentary decision-making.
That’s my two cents out of the way.
One more thing I have to share with you. I popped home to North Wales this bank holiday weekend to see my mum. We visited my grandma on Sunday after she’d been to her Catholic church, and she gave me a letter which was entitled ‘The General Election 2015’ and was addressing ‘Catholics in England and Wales from their Bishops’.
Now, I’m not religious in any way, but this letter seemed to strike a cord. Apart from the bit where the Bishops are casually reiterating their homophobia with a mention of the ‘true Christian understanding of marriage’, it seems that a lot of the values within this letter align with Labour and Green Party policies. Eg. Where do you candidates stand on directly helping the poorest and most vulnerable people in the UK and also helping them to transform their lives? and What are the views of your candidates on tackling climate change and supporting sustainable development? Yes Cardinal Vincent Nichols, represent!
But obviously all this went way over my G’ma’s head, as she’s voting for the tories.
Check it out… the last question in the letter asks: How in the light of the Gospel, can my vote best serve the common good? Is this a huge nod towards a Green Party vote? Green Party: for the common good…
Anyway, regardless of where your values lie and what you believe in, please vote tomorrow – we all have the power to make a difference so let’s not let that be wasted. If you’re thinking of not voting, watch this captivating video by Owen Jones for The Guardian.