green party

Green Party ‘trade unionist’ PPC “doesn’t need to join a union”


simon cross

For all the points of disagreement between myself and the Green Party candidate for Rochford & Southend East (and there are many), I do not believe that our views on trade unionism is substantially one of them.

Those who are friends with Simon Cross on Facebook — which is where he seems to do the bulk of his “campaigning” these days (mumble mumble armchair activist mumble -Ed) — will know that he frequently attacks the Labour Party as not supporting the unions, rants usually containing his slogan “Who cares? Greens care!”.

Readers may be surprised to learn, then, that Mr Cross is not a member of a trade union. They may be more surprised that he sees neither problem nor inherent contradiction in that position.

Read on…

On Jon Fuller, and the Green Party in Southend


jon fuller

The Green Party in Southend are, to be honest, a bit of an odd bunch.

I know, pots and kettles. But this is a blog which I’ve spent a good long time trying to get right. See, there’s an election coming up (You may have heard something about it… -Ed), and as I have repeatedly stated, my aim with the political wing of this blog is to shine a light on what those who will be on the ballot paper are actually offering.

This is because there are some groups who actively benefit from a lack of awareness of what they want. UKIP, for instance. Their gains in May came, I would say, from a general lack of awareness of their policies, beyond the obvious, and of their people. Since then I like to think I have shed a light on who the purple-and-yellow band in Southend actually are. I leave readers to make their own judgements based on that information.

The same general ignorance is true, I would say, of the Green Party. They are fielding candidates in both Southend constituencies: Simon Cross in Rochford & Southend East, and Jon Fuller in Southend West. I will turn my beacon of scrutiny on Simon in good time (for now, this provides an interesting view), but I want first to focus on Mr Fuller.

Jon Fuller is chiefly an environmental campaigner, so far as I can tell. He is heavily involved with South East Essex Friends of the Earth, and a vocal voice against Southend Airport. That seems, though, only tangentially related to his standing for election.

Read on…

Debating debatable debates


leaders debates

I’ll lay my cards out straight off here; I’m not much of a fan of party leaders debates in the run up to general elections. We have a parliamentary, not a presidential, system in which we do not elect our heads of government. We elect our representatives to parliament.

What would, in my opinion, be more helpful would be 650 individual debates, one in each constituency in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. That way people can see the candidates that they can actually vote for going head to head, and make the best choice for their local area.

Time was, these were called hustings.

That, however, isn’t going to happen. Unless David Cameron feels he can somehow chicken out of the debates completely, some variation upon the head-to-head party leaders’ debates of 2010 will be happening.

So what would be the best arrangement?

Read on…

Splitting the vote: Vote Green, get UKIP


green ukipBack in 2011, at the AV referendum, I supported the Alternative Vote. Despite all of the propaganda against it — President Clegg? Seriously? Even with AV, who is going to be voting for Nick Clegg now? — I was firmly in favour. As an electoral system, First Past the Post is inherently unfair, particularly the level to which election results can be distorted by split votes to give a result contrary to the wishes of the majority of the election.

This has, I think, been made borne out through a few recent election results.

Read on…