Why I’m standing as a Green Party General Election candidate

We are in a period of seismic shift, both globally and domestically. Historians will probably undertake their usual partitioning of time and declare that the watershed occurred with the financial crash of 2008. Some will argue that it stretches back to the horrific events of 2001.

Regardless of the start date, it is clear that the world is changing and it is changing quickly.

Old and longstanding societal structures are being challenged by new technologies which have disrupted businesses across the globe and even the labour market, giving rise to brand new industries and the gig-economy.

These structures are also being challenged by new globe-spanning methods of communication. You only need to look at the rise of Trump on Twitter to see this new age of “mass communication” at work.

This is why the Tories message of “strong and stable” is so powerful, because it speaks to a fear that the world is changing in a way which supposedly will impoverish and diminish this country and its inhabitants.

The message of fear — fear of the immigrant, fear of the benefits cheat etc. — has successfully been instilled in the population by the current government for seven years now.

Underneath this is the idea that there is not enough to go around. That only the “strivers,” the morally deserving, should have a slice of the economic pie.

I believe this is simply not true.

There is absolutely enough, the fundamental problem is the unequal distribution of wealth and resources.

“I am afraid that if you don’t find peaceful domestic solutions to our inequality and social problems, then it’s always tempting to find other people responsible for our problems.” Thomas Picketty

Instead of “strong and stable” (what does that mean really in a country that has been explicitly divided by the actions of a certain party) the current status quo is dangerous because it offers only a stagnant and regressive future for this country.

The British people deserve a country which is ambitious and hopeful, a country which embraces the future and provides for all.

I joined the Green Party because I fundamentally believe in the common good. I believe that the needs of the many should outweigh the desires of the few.

I decided to put myself forward as a Green candidate for the General Election (which was then confirmed through a vote in our local party) because I could no longer sit by and watch everything I believe in either be dismantled or disregarded.

A short and not exhaustive list of some of those things…

  • A freely available and fully funded NHS
  • The scrapping of tuition fees
  • A welfare state which protects and supports all those in need
  • Environmental protections
  • The creation of an ambitious “green” economy

I am proud to be part of a party which is open to a progressive political debate, which is willing to stand down in seats in the best interests of the people, as we have done locally in York Central.

Most of all I am proud to represent a party which recognises that there is another way of doing things.

We don’t believe in playing games. We believe that progress, prosperity, and people’s rights are more important than party politics.

Our values are what drive us and guide us.

Which means that at this election — in fact, at any election — if you vote Green you know what you are getting.

Whilst we are indeed fighting against an unfair electoral system, every Green vote is a clear signal of support for Green policies and values.

Find out more about Bethan Vincent on her blog