Graham Sowter stands for Greens in Ribble Valley

27 May 2017

 

 Graham says,

This is an unnecessary election called by the Conservatives to take advantage of disarray in Labour. I believe that the Tories want a vote before the inevitable Brexit recession takes hold.

 

This constituency is one of the safest Tory seats in the country; yet in 2015 I got 4.2% as a first-time Green candidate.. Voting isn’t only about electing an MP; it can also be used to send a powerful, positive message about the kind of values you hold and the kind of country you wish to secure for yourself and future generations. An increased Green vote in Ribble Valley would help to send that message to the country.

 

Greens believe that we should be looking at issues that will concern us in the next three to five decades, not the next three to five years.

 

We are faced with grotesque and growing inequality. You or I may be financially secure, but we should all feel uneasy about increasing numbers who are not. The evidence is all around us: food banks are not a mirage The proportion of owner occupiers is declining fast. How does one save for a deposit and obtain a mortgage on a zero hours contract?

 

As usual, I expected that very little would be said about the environment in this election: I have been proved right so far. For the Green party the environment must be the central issue for any government that is serious about a safe and prosperous country for present and future generations.

 

Economics and ecology are intertwined. Climate change might develop an unstoppable momentum.

This is dangerous for rich and poor Whilst it’s easy to be gloomy, we should strive to be positive and devise strategies to reduce our dependence on carbon-based fuels and products here and abroad. We now rely on imports for over 40% of our food, so typhoons, floods and encroaching deserts are not just problems for others; they will eventually affect us all.

 

The scientists who really understand the issue tell us that even to stand a chance of moderating climate change, we must leave 60-80% of coal, oil and gas reserves in the ground. There is no rational case for fracking.

 

We must change growth patterns away from consumption based on novelty, status competition and built-in obsolescence towards more durable or repairable products. We must reinvent systems of agriculture that are more sustainable and enable us to keep the world’s soils in good heart. We should encourage import substitution in both foodstuffs and manufactured goods.

 

Finally a plea for more grown-up politics where we exchange ideas, not insults; where we put forward rational, considered arguments, not sound-bites or empty slogans and where we reject character assassination. If you would like a political system that encourages creative thinking, and is prepared to take the long view of the kind of society we need to build, vote Green.