The Green MP candidate for Cambridge, Rupert Read, was joined today by Tony Juniper, leading environmentalist and ex-director of Friends of the Earth, to launch the party’s local manifesto which called for a “real future” for Cambridge.
Focusing on the key issues of transport and health, the manifesto sets out radical, yet achievable, Green solutions for local issues that will be put to the public ahead of May’s elections, in which Green candidates will be fighting every council seat.
Tony Juniper was the Green candidate for Cambridge in the 2010 election and achieved the third best result for the party across the country. Today he announced he was pleased to be ‘handing the baton’ to Dr Rupert Read.
Rupert is a fantastic candidate and a dedicated campaigner. He is a man of the greatest integrity and is certain to inspire many people across Cambridge.
The local manifesto includes plans to re-vitalise local democracy in the city. Transport will also be a key part of the campaign. The party’s acclaimed transport plan for Cambridge includes proposals (under the strapline ‘Getting Cambridge moving’) to champion cycling and walking in the city as well as using innovative ideas to improve public transport and reduce congestion.
Nationally, the Green Party is seeking to offer an alternative to the privatisation and austerity narrative of the other parties, which according to Rupert Read have been “undermining the NHS and public services”.
Launching the local manifesto to members of the public and local supporters, Dr Read called for an end to ‘tactical voting’ and said:
If you have ever considered voting Green, if you like most of the public you agree with our policies, now is the time to make that count and vote for what you believe in. The Green Party has a real chance of winning here and with it can create a fairer and better Cambridge.
As the long awaited summer evenings arrive with the turning forward of the clocks this weekend, the Cambridge Greens are calling for an overhaul to the system of time changes in the UK. The Green Party want British Summer Time to start earlier in the year and to end later, a compromise, proposed by me, your local MP candidate, that would offer people 2 more months of lighter evenings.
This system would have the advantage of bringing lighter evenings for an extra two months a year, whilst not making the mornings any darker than they are now in mid-winter. It would mean that the crucial travel-to-school time would remain in daylight. We think this is a good compromise between the status quo and the idea of extending BST year round, which would make the mornings too dark, particularly in the north.
The sun rises early and sets early here in the east, so we tend to have fewer daylight hours in which to work and play than anywhere else in the country.
Lighter evenings would reduce road casualties and crime, which is why the emergency services favour keeping Summer Time for longer. Less consumption of domestic energy would save householders hundreds of pounds a year, and would also boost the region’s domestic tourism.
Greens across the country will be seeing in the longer evenings by taking part in Earth Hour, a worldwide initiative encouraging people to turn their electric lights out for an hour to signal their commitment to creating a sustainable future.
I will be observing Earth Hour with other leading lights of the English and Welsh Green Party at a fundraising dinner in London.
Dr Rupert Read, Green MP candidate for Cambridge, joined renowned author and Dr Allyson Pollock and other health campaigners at a packed meeting last night to call for an NHS Reinstatement Bill.
The audience at the lively meeting in Cambridge city centre, co‐hosted by Cambridge Greens and Keep Our NHS Public, heard from expert Dr Pollock on the privatisation of the NHS and why it must be reversed.
She was joined by Dr Read who welcomed her and set out why the Green Party believes in a well funded and fully public national health system. Speakers from Keep Our NHS Public and the NHS Frontline discussed the challenges facing the NHS and the battle to keep services in public hands.
The event could be not more topical in the run up to May’s crucial election’s with the future of the very NHS at stake. In the last week the £780 million worth of health contracts were handed to the private sector and the NHS is now the biggest issue for voters. Voters in Cambridge were keen to hear from experts on the subject, with Cambridge itself at the heart of the battle for the future of the NHS.
Cambridge was the location for the disastrous experimentation that allowed Circle Healthcare to run Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Now a controversial PFI style deal has been announced to fund the building of the Papworth Hospital development in Cambridge.
With these issues in mind Dr Read called for the privatisation of the NHS to be reversed. He said:
Successive Labour, and Conservative/LibDem governments have incrementally privatised the NHS. This is why Caroline Lucas MP of the Greens has proposed the NHS Reinstatement Bill, penned by Professor Pollock, to bring back the National Health Service. Only the Green Party can be trusted on this issue, only we will turn the neoliberal tide that has swamped the NHS.
If you missed any of the terribly important and moving talks and speeches, whether you were at the Green Party conference in Liverpool or not, you can catch them all again (or for the first time!) on YouTube.
If you want to know more about me, about my political views, and why I think Cambridge needs a Green MP, this will be worth your while.
If you can’t watch the whole interview, here are some highlights:
Why I joined the Green Party: http://youtu.be/dBOmWo5laJg?t=1m
The gap between the richest and poorest, and what I would do about it:http://youtu.be/dBOmWo5laJg?t=1m44s
What’s the altenative to austerity: http://youtu.be/dBOmWo5laJg?t=3m9s
The use of nuclear weapons: http://youtu.be/dBOmWo5laJg?t=4m16s
The housing crisis in Cambridge: http://youtu.be/dBOmWo5laJg?t=6m17s
Regulate illegal drugs, or not? http://youtu.be/dBOmWo5laJg?t=9m30s
Renationalising the railways and profitability:http://youtu.be/dBOmWo5laJg?t=15m20s
Economic growth: http://youtu.be/dBOmWo5laJg?t=17m29s
Green New Deal: http://youtu.be/dBOmWo5laJg?t=19m25s
Fair pay: http://youtu.be/dBOmWo5laJg?t=25m30s
Running the country on renewable energy:http://youtu.be/dBOmWo5laJg?t=29m21s
Enjoy it, and please share it!
ACC Liverpool Friday 6th – Monday 9th March
Green Party members and councillors will be travelling to Liverpool this week for the national party Spring Conference which is being held in a new larger venue due to the increase in membership of the Greens.
In Eastern Region, total membership has now exceeded 5,000, an increase of another 1,000 since mid-January.
Along with record high membership, the Greens are also continuing to enjoy their strongest ever run in the polls. The BBC Poll of Polls has the Greens currently on 7%, double the level of support over most of the period of the current parliament (since 2010).
In the Eastern Region, and across the UK, the Greens will be standing a record number of parliamentary candidates and a high number of local election candidates for the May 7th poll. There will be full slates of Green parliamentary candidates in Norfolk and Suffolk, and selections are underway which could deliver full slates in other Eastern counties. Overall, the Greens are expecting to stand in up to 90% of seats.
Key seats for the Greens in the East will be Norwich South (Councillor Lesley Grahame) and Cambridge (Dr. Rupert Read), with strong campaigns in other seats aiming to increase Green vote share in an election where outside their stronger areas, the Lib Dem vote is expected to be vulnerable to the Green surge.
Green Party parliamentary candidate for Cambridge Dr. Rupert Read said
This is set to be the biggest Green Party Conference to date and as ever will be an open and democratic event. On Saturday March 7th, I’ll be speaking alongside Molly Scott Cato MEP at a fringe meeting on the economy. Greens believe that there is more to society than just measuring it in financial terms. I will be talking about how quality of life really matters, not quantity of money or the amount of “stuff” we own; and about how there is enough in this country to go around: if only we shared it better. The Green Party wants to bring in a wealth tax, so that the richest 1% pay their fair share towards our public services. We also want to crack down on tax dodging by corporations and the super-rich.
On the afternoon of Sunday March 8th I will be attending a session on dealing with the far-right and talking about my experiences of combating UKIP xenophobia. There are lots of voters who are fed up with politics. Our job is to present a more positive way to express a voice for change – by voting Green.