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Our next MP

From Mick Piggott

Friday, 9 April 2010

All of this leaves wide open the question: Who the hell do we vote for?

I’d bet a majority of the local electorate most positively do not want a Tory MP, regardless of whatever the hue of government we end up with. Probably a majority feel like me: we simply could not bring ourselves to vote for the appalling Steph Booth - not even to keep the Tory out. Nobody with even a dash of left/liberal social principles should vote for the Lib Dems: Clegg has nailed his anti-union colours to the mast, for a start; and all three parties supported the bank bail-out, which all three intend making us, the general population, pay for, leaving untouched the enormous wealth of the few. If Janet had been allowed to be our candidate, I don’t know many people who wouldn’t have voted for her. (Yes, there are plenty of Tories around, but I don’t want to know them!)

Just take a look at the Green party’s electoral policies. These are policies that we can all support, and policies that once upon a time would have been Labour policies, on the whole.

I feel we have no alternative, at least in our constituency: this time, we must vote Green.

From Kate Sweeny

Friday, 9 April 2010

Well thank you kindly Mick. There is a sense of the Greens providing the natural alternative/ antidote to the Torylabours in these parts. Whisper it - we are environmentalists but we are also a party of the Left!

Alan McDonald and I are having a “drop-in” session at Hope Baptist Chapel tomorrow (Saturday) from 2-4. Do trot along and ask us about our bigger picture.

From Paul D

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

A few points here. The first is that there is no evidence for the initial assertion that the majority of people do not want a Tory MP, Calder Valley was won from the Conservatives and was once considered a safe Tory seat. The second point about the "appalling Steph Booth" seems a little unkind, and given that she was chosen through mechanisms that most people would find anachronistic, the problem some people have with the outcome is neither here nor there - she’s the candidate, so either back her or don’t. Finally, the Lib Dems are by far the most highly regarded party in local politics, granted national party priorities are an issue, but if we judge the candidates who will represent us and not their party leaders then we can perhaps escape this increasingly Americanised and rather facile beauty pageant between the three leaders.

Moving on to the Greens, a party with limited local support, but who are increasingly ahead of the curve in terms of their policies on the economy and importantly on addressing consumption. They would address the obscenity of the banking bale out and include in their spending plans our irrational attachment to nuclear weapons. In short, they offer sensible polices that we desperately need, but which most of the public will not yet vote for. So we also need to be honest; they will not win this seat.

Given this likelihood, one could reasonably ask Greens to take a more strategic view, the Lib Dems, with their promise of electoral reform, offer a potential route to consolidation, the expansion of their support base and perhaps significant future gains. I think everyone should vote on the basis of their principles, their values, and with the intention of electing the candidate against whose name they place a cross. But our current system is unfair, to the Greens and to other parties, so their supporters could choose to look beyond their immediate interests, lending their vote to the only party who will deliver a fairer voting system. And I’ve never voted for the Lib Dems in a general election, I’m not a member of the party or active in it, but to me they’re the only sensible choice right now. There is a choice of course and if the Greens keep pretending there isn’t then we’ll all suffer for their electoral obscurity.

From Alan McDonald

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

I’m glad Paul D thinks the Greens have “sensible polices that we desperately need”.

My suggestion is, to go right ahead and vote Green if you think that way. Voters: why not follow your principles?

The better our showing (yes, I’m the local Calder Ward candidate for the Greens), the more whoever forms the government will take note, and steal a few more of our policies. Every one of the major parties has re-labelled a chunk of the Green New Deal as their own. Maybe they’ll soon cherry-pick our ideas about, say, 20 mph limits, or getting out of Afghanistan, or reversing NHS privatisation.

From Kate Sweeny

Thursday, 15 April 2010

A couple of points to make in response to Paul. I’m not aware that I or other Greens have claimed that there isn’t “a choice”…of course there are many choices, and under a more grown-up electoral system there would be a whole panoply of options. No problem with that!

Secondly, we do have things in common with the Lib Dems and our local ones are a fairly user-friendly bunch. However, it’s a different picture nationally:

  1. Nick Clegg wants “savage cuts” to public services.
  2. They won’t commit to proper nuclear disarmament
  3. Their Health spokesman is an enthusiastic supporter of “outsourcing”, or “privatisation” of the the NHS as we prefer to call it.

Some people will agree with all that, but the Green party doesn’t! If you are on the left and wondering who to vote for now that Labour is right wing, you must at least consider the Greens!

From Yvonne Sturrock

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Don’t be fooled by the Green Party.

See this Guardian piece

From Paul D

Saturday, 17 April 2010

It was when I got to the bit linking climate change, global pandemics and Bin Laden that I remembered how poor a paper the Guardian has become.

Like most of the press and television media, the content has become less important than comment, so we have journalists interviewing journalists on the BBC, Radio 4 spends more time reading out the views of the audience than interviewing experts, and the Gadgrind ditches journalism in order to provide a platform for personal opinion. I think we’re almost in a content free zone.

Don’t trust the Greens? I’d say we should all get out more, read more and avoid taking our lead from what we read in the press.

From Kate Sweeny

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

I hadn’t seen the Guardian piece so am grateful for the link.

Seems we can’t win with some people! First we were a “single issue pressure group”. That was never true, but at this election we certainly are putting more emphasis on our wider aims of fighting inequality and improving public services. So now that’s bad because we don’t give enough priority to climate change!

Well, there just ain’t no pleasing some folk. For the rest of you lefties though, there’s only one party standing in total opposition to privatisation, public service cuts, the bonus culture and runaway carbon emissions. Seems like we’ll be getting PR soon anyway, so why not practise voting properly?

The only wasted vote is a vote for someone or something you don’t believe in!

From John Mooney

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Bored? Very Bored?
Not being a contributor but occasional reader of the forum, I’m surprised at the lack of contribution to the election thread. Is this partly because Labour Party members are staying at home, under the duvet, until after the election?

Or is it that there really is no choice? Paul D suggests we vote for the Lib Dems - they after all only call for "savage cuts" to repay the bankers theft.

There is nothing to indicate that any of the local candidates for the big 3 parties distance themselves from the status quo i.e. that we should pay for the bankers’ greed.

But we know that Kate Sweeney and the Greens say we shouldn’t. Kate is known as a sound leftie. I’m not a Green but I think that’s where our vote should go locally.

Nationally (I mean in England), someone is going to win who will make us pay for the greed of the finance markets. Then we are faced with opposition to their cuts.

Surely we have more chance of mounting that opposition if there has been substantial opposition in this election. That means voting for left Labour candidates e.g. John McDonald, Respect, Trade Union and Socialist Coalition and left Greens.

Or we can sit at home being bored, very, very bored and somehow hope we are above the outcome of this election.