Monday, 4 May 2015

Why You Should Vote Green

by Alfie Parrack


Before you read this (optimistically hoping for a view or two) I urge you to visit https://voteforpolicies.org.uk/, as the site states, the results may surprise you. 

Followed by http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2015/manifesto-guide, 

Anyway, back to the main message.

It’s time politics put the people first. Year after year we hear the same lines dragged out with a few minor alterations and year after year we see the gap in British society widening. 

It’s time politicians acted on the issues which matter to those who give them their power. 

Keeping the NHS free to all, renationalising the rail service, as well as immediately cutting public transport fares by 10%, and replacing the minimum wage with a living wage are all measures we, the Green party, will take to ensure that there is help for those who need and deserve it most. 

In order to protect and safeguard a healthy and habitable planet for us to live on, we must act to ensure that the global target of a net temperature increase of no more than two degrees is met and sustained. 

This can be achieved through measures such as home insulation programmes which will simultaneously reduce carbon emissions, heating prices and deaths amongst the poor and the elderly, who shouldn’t have to choose between eating, and heating.

For the past five years, ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ has brought us record levels of student debt, half a million people relying on food banks just to survive, child poverty rates (up 13%), inflation where prices rise 3 times faster than wages as well as the axing of 600,000 Public Sector workers, who were helping reduce the workload on NHS staff amongst others, allowing them to offer a high standard of care. 

Meanwhile, whilst minimum wage rises have been below inflation every year of Tory rule, the bankers who are responsible for the financial crisis which saw so many lose their livelihoods have seen their bonuses jump 64% in the last year with more than £35 billion paid out in bonuses alone. 

If this is what the government achieved in 5 years, I dread to think what they could do in 10. 

Whilst we constantly listen to the Tories harking on about the deficit, they feel the need to sanction the replacement of Trident at a cost of £100 billion, enough to fully fund A&E services for 40 years and cover tuition fees for 4 million students. 

The main criticism aimed at the Green Party is that they haven’t got any way to fund the brilliant and exciting pledges they have. This is frankly ridiculous and insulting, funding would be raised via increased taxation of the tobacco and alcohol industries, the non renewal of Trident, as well as money saved on the vast expenditure wasted on non-renewable energy sources. Furthermore, the interesting avenue of cannabis legalisation has been pursued and researched by our party, with initial decriminalisation likely to be trialled followed by legalisation. On average, cannabis consumption in the UK amounts to over 36 million ounces a year, making it worth £6.8 billion a year, just under half the size of the British tobacco industry, on top of this, all prisoners currently serving sentences related to cannabis possession and/or intent to supply would be released, resulting in an annual saving of approximately £51.2 million, based on the 1,139 prisoners currently serving stints due to this as well as the £45,000 per year per prisoner it costs to house an inmate.

Vote for change. Vote Green. 

1 comment:

  1. My oh my oh my. Where to start?

    An immediate cut on public transport fares, while promised with a subsidy, would most likely lead to economic U-turns from the then-bankrupt Greens, and would be diabolical for the funding of continuing railway improvements, not least as well resulting in cuts to rural bus services which would harm the least economically connected in our society.

    As per usual, the student debt example is wheeled out as some form of public scandal. Yet the deal negotiated for by the coalition gives a consistent and guaranteed source of funding for universities, and the so-called `debt` may not actually be paid off at all by some graduates. A young and right-leaning caller on a recent programme of Radio 4's World at One put Natalie Bennett to point on this, who was forced to cut off the well-informed caller.

    If the Greens wish to fund all of their policies by taxing alcohol and cigarettes, then feel free to tax goods which are clearly already in decline, and claim that the UK can be weaned off of non-renewable energy sources within a five year parliament and a growing population. The Green Party seems to be hallucinating if it thinks cannabis legalisation would be good for the country, for all I see is a significant fall in road safety and significant increase in petty crime.

    Economically the Green Party looks like a food bank that receives infinite donations, most callously claiming inflation is a bad thing where actually the BoE's target rate is actually 2.0%.

    If the Green Party is willing to ignore the experts on the economy, who and what else are they willing to ignore?!?


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