The Green Party launched its manifesto on 14th April. What is very clear from it is that, from the Green Party point-of-view, on so many issues the other Parties really are all the same.
There is only one Party at this election which will:
1. Bring the railways back into public ownership.
2. Slash rail fares (paid for by scrapping the government’s road-building programme).
3. Oppose airport-expansion full-stop, and support taxing air-fuel fairly (at present, incredibly, it doesn’t get taxed).
4. Take seriously the limits to growth, and work for a post-growth economy and society that prioritises sharing fairly.
5. Oppose ‘free trade’ deals, because they only work for large corporations, and they create a race to the bottom. Substitute localisation for globalisation. In particular, oppose TTIP, the anti-democratic US-EU ‘trade’ deal.
6. Phase out nuclear.
7. Inaugurate a renewables revolution, massively investing in tidal, solar and wind, putting our country on the road to being carbon-free (paid for by scrapping all fossil fuel subsidies and all nuclear subsidies).
8. Changing the law and economic incentives to make community-renewable-energy – rather than private for-profit renewable energy, the norm in this country, as it is in Germany (thanks to the Greens).
9. Insulate every house and public building in Britain.
10. Bring in a Personal Carbon Allowances (aka carbon-rationing) scheme, so that we are all committed to reducing our climate-dangerous emissions to sane levels.
11. Back animal rights.
12. Keep our NHS public, and in fact reinstate the NHS as a public service (which technically it has not been since the 2012 Act).
13. Keep a major bank (RBS) in public hands forever, to act as a permanent secure retail bank, as a public service, and to act as permanent competition for private providers.
14. Bring in monetary reform to phase out debt-based money.
15. Make the minimum wage into a living wage.
16. Over a ten-year period, phase in a Citizens Income scheme, to end wage-slavery and to ensure that the post-growth economy works for the common good.
17. End all zero-hours contracts.
18. Restore the highest rate of income tax to 60%, the level it was set at by that socialist firebrand Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
19. Bring in a Wealth Tax, as argued for by Thomas Piketty
20. Replace Council Tax with a Land Value Tax.
21. End austerity
22. Bring in a congestion-charge for Cambridge, as part of the only plan there is to reduce traffic and air-pollution levels in Cambridge
23. Oppose GM crops and shift public subsidy instead to organic, to biodynamic, to permaculture, to agro-forestry; to innovative non-toxic ways of feeding ourselves
24. Defend the Precautionary Principle against constant attacks from the old parties and from partisan interests in agribusiness
26. Scrap tuition fees
27. Take the private sector out of education – turn academies and free-schools back into being under local democratic control
28. Scrap Trident
29. Take a wholistic approach to the whole terrain of politics – e.g. seeing and taking seriously the inherent links between education policy, transport policy, health policy, food policy etc.
Every Party is itself a kind of coalition. Not every Green Party member agrees with every last one of these items. But if you agree with a majority of them, then remember that no other Party in England stands for a single one of them. If you are sympathetic with the majority of the items on this list, then it’s clear: #VoteGreen2015!