We had a fine day out at the launch of our Green party candidates for the European elections, which took place in Bristol recently. The Green Party in the south west is very close to its first MEP.
With just 0.7% more of the vote than last time we’ll be electing the first Green from the south west in May’s European elections.
How fitting, then, that our search for more voters took place on Bristol’s Floating harbour! Unlike other parties the Green Party is very clear that we do need Europe, but we must reform it, and that there should be a choice in this for voters. Our MEPs are part of the 4th largest group in the European Parliament, and we’ve been very influential, challenging corporate vested interests and protecting environmental and social legislation. With more members, hopefully including the first SW Green MEP after May 22nd’s election, we’ll be able to press for much better decisions on many vital areas of life.
Lead candidate for the Greens, Molly Scott Cato, spoke eloquently about the top three areas where change is needed: the economy and banking system, farming, and the energy sector. As she pointed out, the banking system perversely costs us money – vast sums, and starves businesses of money to grow, while rewarding casino banking. The Common Agricultural Policy has rewarded large landowners while not sharing the benefits of food production, backing food from family farms or securing environmental benefits for communities. And in the energy sector, despite EU targets and (even modest) ambitions, our own government has failed to back renewable energy targets even while we have the best resources around us. She contrasted that with the political leadership in Germany, and the community ownership model in Denmark, while have led to steadily growing renewable power supplies, free from fossil fuel problems and rising prices from scarcity. This failure to invest has cost us jobs and benefits across the region and damaged businesses.
Backing Molly and the other candidates on board, leading environmentalist and former government adviser Jonathan Porritt also criticised the Coalition Government for dismantling the entire infrastructure that was there to ensure sustainable development in decision-making, which was designed to make sure policies and projects take account of social, economic and environmental factors and the needs of future generations.
So a vote for the Green Party on May 22nd will be a real way to make a difference in Europe for the region.
At the European level we have a common manifesto with other Greens
The Young Greens have developed their own Youth Manifesto:
Redland candidate Martin speaking to SW regional candidate Molly