Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Guest Post: Bradley Allsop on Greens or UKIP?

Bradley Allsop explains why a Green vote is better than a UKIP one...

The past few months have seen a lot of attention on UKIP in the upcoming European elections, where the right-wing party are expected to come first or second.

Some are jubilant – I mean, they're sticking up a finger to the establishment and ridding us of an over-bearing EU in one stroke, aren’t they? Wrong.

If people want real change, and a party with a holistic vision of a fair future- then Greens are the only choice. Here are five reasons why a Green vote is a better vote than a purple one.

1. Green MEPs actually do something - Out of some kind of misguided belief that voting in the European Parliament would only “encourage” the Europhiles, Farage seems to actually take pride in his atrocious voting record in Brussels – compared to Greens who have the highest turnout out of any group. Whatever your views on the EU, we’re not going to leave it until at least 2017- so surely you want those elected into the European Parliament to actually try and fight your corner? Green MEP’s have already fought for caps on bankers’ bonuses, tougher regulation on City speculator’s, and measures to tackle youth unemployment- using their time in Brussels to actually help people. They’re also the only party talking about the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) - one of the biggest threats to democracy we face.

2. Climate change - UKIP are climate change deniers. The party’s 2010 manifesto promised to end the teaching of climate change in schools. Climate change, and the impending energy crisis if we do not switch to renewables, are two of the biggest problems we as a species face. The Greens are committed to tackling this head on, so we can all live in a cleaner, more sustainable way, preserving the beauty of our world -  while UKIP opt for the “bury your head in the sand” technique. This also highlights a key reason to stay in the EU - it has already passed legislation concerning carbon emissions, recognising that climate change is not something any one nation can tackle alone. We need international cooperation of the sort that the EU can give us.

3. What you see is what you get - The Green party works in a far more democratic way that the other major parties. Conference (where any member can put forward a proposal, proposals that are voted for by ordinary members) is the highest authority, and there is no “whipping” of Green candidates and officials. As long as we adhere to what is decided by everyone at conference, we are given relative autonomy to fight for what we believe and do what we think is right. What you see is what you get with the Greens, a party not mired in scandal like certain other parties seem to be…

4. Fighting for the unrepresented - The Greens have fought tirelessly for the forgotten, on local, national, and international levels. We want the minimum wage to become a living wage, whereas UKIP want to impose a flat rate of tax – something which only benefits the rich. We have fought for LGBTQI rights, whereas UKIP blame them for the weather. We have made steps at conference and within party structure to have more BME candidates, whereas UKIP officials have told them to go back to “black land”.

5. Hope not fear - The Greens are offering a fair and bright future for everyone. UKIP are offering an ever-more divisive future, fraught with an ‘us and them’ mentality. The threats we face as a species demand cooperation between us all, not division. The Greens recognise problems with the EU and seek to reform it so it works for the hundreds of millions within it, whereas UKIP just seek to isolate us, and draw us into a stagnant culture devoid of variety. The Greens are calling on you to hope for better, whereas UKIP are asking you to fear the worst.

If you want to give the establishment a good kicking on the 22nd, don’t vote for a party of not-so-closeted racists led by a former stockbroker and ex-public school boy. Vote for a radical alternative to the mainstream parties – the Greens.

(This post was originally published on the Young Greens website HE|RE.)

Picture from the incomparable blogger, Another Angry Voice

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