“Why Green? By Hannah Ellen Clare”
YH welcomes Hannah Ellen Clare to our growing band of bloggers.
In 2009, upon re-election to the Young Essex Assembly, I then stood as a member of Youth Parliament and represented the town at two annual sittings of Youth Parliament and in the House of Commons debates in October 2010.
I knew however, that my career in youth politics would be short-lived, and that one day I would have to move on from being apolitical to being a member of a party if I wanted to continue my involvement in politics. But none of the big three appealed to me.
I knew from my experiences as a youth councillor that the Conservative Party weren’t the option. When they took control of Essex County Council they made cuts to the services that I cared about the most, and when they took control of Harlow Council they tried to implement a youth mayor, which would undermine all of the good work of Harlow Youth Council.
Labour were similarly out quite quickly, because I didn’t think they were true enough to their previous socialist values. I didn’t believe that in their time in power they had changed enough about society, and I didn’t see the point of being a member who was disenfranchised from the start.
For a while, I toyed with the idea of the Liberal Democrats. While their ideology was closer to the right than I would like, they still presented strong progressive policies like the abolition of the House of Lords and scrapping of student fees. But I soon realised that none of these presented a viable enough option for me.
It was then that I looked on the periphery of politics and here is where I found the Green Party of England and Wales. In recent years, the party has been growing, electing its first county councillors in Essex last year and it’s first MP in Brighton in 2010. But more importantly, the party is fighting for what I believe in.
One of the first things that struck me was their transport policy, which promotes renationalisation of the railways, and would solve a lot of the problems I fought for as a member of the Young Essex Assembly. They also fight for social justice and an equal society with policies like the citizens income which gives fair benefits to all members of society, rather than the means tested system we currently have that often fails those who need it most.
They also fight for a fairer system of politics, with an elected head of state, an elected second chamber and a proportional electoral system, meaning that the richer people who currently dominate politics due to our traditions are removed from positions of such power that they can guarantee on from birth.
Of course, most people will know the Green Party for their place in representing environmental concerns in British politics and this is important too, particularly with the threat of fracking, which will damage our planet and our area more than we are being led to believe.
On a local scale, I know the impact that the Green Party would have is vast. They are committed to protecting public services from cuts, so our libraries continue to stay open. They will provide more social housing, so that more people can be provided with the council housing they truly need. They will invest in creating a local economy, by supporting local businesses and local people.
So why green? I believe that they are the only option for the society that we truly need. So many people are rejecting politics because they don’t believe that politicians represent them and they’re right, because the current system of politicians we have don’t represent us in parliament at all. We need politicians who stand up for local people and local interests and the only place these will come from is the Green Party.
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