More Green MEPs will achieve visible results

The Great Smog of 1952. The Great Depression in the 1930s. The Great War 1914-18. All these major historical events resulted in the deaths of many thousands of British and international citizens. All disproportionately affected the poor, the vulnerable and the weakest in society. Yet all were overcome and ended by campaigns, mass movement awareness and a desire for peace, prosperity and a healthy future. Furthermore, all three were only tackled when the wider public were made aware of the causes and consequences of the dangers:

          The Great Smog of 1952 resulted in 4,000 deaths in a week followed by legislation with the Clean Air Act

          The soup kitchen, breadlines and shantytowns of the Great Depression were a visible and real symptom of the social and economic breakdown

          The casualty lists and maimed relations returning from the Front were a visible and real manifestation of the horrors of The Great War.

But in 2019 – where is our visible evidence? Where is the manifestation of the climate crisis? Of the damage that humanity is doing to the planet? How can we convince the nation that radical action is necessary?

          We cannot see the CO2 unless it is on Al Gore’s hockey stick graph

          We cannot see the climate breakdown (the winds, the melting ice caps, the deserts) until it has already come upon us

          We cannot see the decline in biodiversity, insect life, forests – unless the scientists tell us and, more importantly, the journalists choose to print.

But the social impact, the inequality, the divisions in society: we see them on our streets, our schools, our neighbours’ homes every single day.

Climate breakdown and social breakdown are intrinsically linked. We humans are animals after all – we are inseparable from our environment. As the climate breaks down, we are witnessing society taking retrograde steps: more poverty and inequality; more political extremism; more social divides.

Greens understand that you cannot separate environmental and social justice. And so we work just as hard to build a fairer society as we do to stop the climate crisis.

Our Green MEPs in the UK have spent the last 20 years building a Better Europe for the people within it. Fairness, equality and accessibility can be achieved through support at a European level for the values we share – societal and generational justice.

More Green MEPs will build a fairer society, through prioritising worker’s rights, a decent minimum income and wages which mean an end to in-work poverty.

More Green MEPs will drive a Green New Deal to decarbonise or economy, ensuring a growth in jobs without robbing our planet of the finite resources it has.

More Green MEPs will pursue fairer taxation. We must reform our tax regimes at a European level, and ensure that large multinational corporations and wealthy individuals cannot use their privilege to avoid and evade their fair contributions to society. Green MEP Molly Scott Cato has spent 5 years cracking down on tax havens and corruption – just imagine what more Mollies and more Green MEPs could achieve!

More Green MEPs will defend the right to asylum and work for safe channels for migrants. Green MEP Jean Lambert’s work with the Migrant Rights Network and European Network on Statelessness has shown how Green MEPs can lead the way on developing fairer treatments for migrants and supporting vulnerable people as well as championing our right to Freedom of Movement – our right to live, love, work and study across all 28 nations. A right which Theresa May wishes to deny us – but Greens will always fight for our Freedom of Movement.

More Green MEPs will champion greater opportunities for our young people through affordable study and training, lifelong learning and schemes such as Erasmus. Generational justice and a fair future for all our young people is central to the compassionate politics we value.

And More Green MEPs will stand up against hatred, against racism and against extremism, Rarely has a European Election been so consequential – but across the continent we are witnessing the rise of populist and divisive politics. Green MEPs defend the rule of law against authoritarianism. Gerard Batten, Nigel Farage, Tommy Robinson – us Greens do not share your values of division, of hatred and fear. We are growing in strength – and we are taking you on!

Brexit has taught us many, many lessons. But surely, most importantly, it is that we have taken Europe and our hope for a fairer, greener future for granted for far too long.

No longer.

Where other leaders seek division, we value inclusivity. Where others predict despair, we bring hope. And where others promise to bring change through a misplaced nostalgia for the past, Greens are always looking forward.

But we cannot afford to waste any more time. The planet cannot wait. In 2018 the United Nations IPCC report said we have 12 Years to Save the Earth. And still the climate deniers protest: they say there is no science, there is no evidence, and there is nothing to see here.

And yet, in 2019, finally we have the visual evidence we have needed to demonstrate to the world that this is a Climate Crisis.

And the evidence is visual, it is tangible – and it is noisy!

In 2019 we have witnessed:

          The Youth Strikes out of our schools

          Extinction Rebellion on our streets

          And the incredible Greta Thunberg in our Parliament

Who would have thought it?

In the last three years, Greens across the country have listened closely to the reasons why people voted to leave the EU in 2016. Our politics is in chaos and the system is broken. It has badly let the people down. It is Greens who recognise there is much to be done in the UK to fix this – and that Europe needs Reform.

That is why the Green Party is the real party of change in these elections.

Now, in 2019, we must get More Green MEPs elected in the United Kingdom – and especially here in the South East.

Just imagine what a great message – and even greater work – they will do!

Vix Lowthion, launch of South East Green Party MEP campaign 25th April 2019   


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