16 Apr 2010

Green party manifesto launched

Well it is worth a read - an impressive costed manifesto reviewed by independent economists. It shows how 87% of Britons will be better off with this 'recession-busting' manifesto.

Below I give some links to the national press coverage of the Brighton launch of our manifesto then cover the intro to the manifesto - the national Green party website has policies in brief but you can also download the manifesto from Green party website here or click: www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/resources/Manifesto_web_file.pdf

Manifesto in brief: "Foremost in the manifesto is a plan to introduce a "living wage" equivalent to 60% of net national average earnings - or GBP8.10 an hour, compared to the current minimum wage of GBP5.80 an hour. The party also advocates the creation of an extra million jobs and training places through a GBP44 billion package investing in renewables, transport, insulation, housing and waste management. On the NHS, the Greens would abolish prescription charges, re-introduce free eye tests and allow people in England and Wales to benefit from the free social care available in Scotland. For pensioners, there would be a "citizen's pension" of GBP170 a week for single people and GBP300 a week for couples. Most of the annual GBP110 billion cost would be covered by abolishing pension credits and ending tax relief on pension contributions."

In this blog I also include three cartoons sent in to this blog - the first below was a response to claims by the local candidates of the three main parties to be green on Points West earlier this week - see my blog here re the naughty Labour advert.

National news coverage of launch

In The Guardian we had:
- Peter Walker - Greens promise tax rise to boost public spending: “The best outcome for the party would be to hold significant bargaining power in a hung parliament, where any Green MPs would offer their support on a "case by case basis".
- John Vidal writes that the Green Party’s radical new policies would be a boon to the new parliament: “The policy wonks in other parties should start taking them seriously.”
- George Monbiot on other parties manifestos not being so green and saying: "All three parties want to rescue the economy by increasing consumption, while crossing their fingers and hoping that this won't clash with their environmental aims. So there's some truth in the claim made at the front of the manifesto launched this morning: "Only the Green party understands the need for a new economic and environmental settlement, in which our economy and our environment work with rather than against each other." Let's hope the Greens manage to stir the issue up a bit."
- Slick launch – Election blog: “There are multiple camera crews and TV lights and constant, clicking shutters, and a manifesto document with graphic design that rivals Labour's and outshines the Tories'. There are several designer suits in evidence, and very little facial hair.”
- Michael White - A manifesto for a low key life: “So it's a pleasure to read a document that starts off from the proposition that work should be satisfying, that life should be quieter and fairer, that quality time matters.” And a minute by minute blog here.

Pic - this was sent in response to the other parties pretence at being green

The Times says: “While environmental issues are still key — with pledges to invest heavily in public transport and nationalise the rail system — the party is also keen to also present itself as the party of social reform.”

Various online BBC coverage including Greens pledge for a fair society and Manifesto watch: Green Party at the BBC with the quote: “The fact that some of Fleet Street's finest had made the journey to the South Coast shows how seriously the party is being taken these days.”

Pic from Russ

Plus Daily Telegraph (embedded video footage and focus of coverage on tax rises), The Mirror and lots more - a better year in terms of coverage of the launch nationally. Anyway enough of all that here's the intro to the Green party manifesto by Caroline Lucas, Green Party Leader:

Intro to manifesto

Business as usual, brought to you by the main political parties, has given us a series of linked economic, environmental and social crises.Why would you trust these same parties to sort the crises out? The state of Britain in May 2010 cries out for fresh thinking and new progressive voices.

What have the other parties got to offer?

The financial crisis has torn the veil from the Tories’ ‘compassionate conservatism’.They will let the market rip, roll back the State, and hope that the voluntary sector will pick the pieces. It is hard to imagine a recipe more guaranteed to deepen inequality and destroy the planet than this – yet that is what David Cameron offers you.

New Labour has its back to the wall in the far corner of the last chance saloon. After thirteen years in power its fingerprints are all over the unjust and unsustainable economy that the new Government will inherit. New Labour is stimulating the economy through increasing consumption – exactly the wrong thing to do.

The Liberal Democrats – the ‘nice party’ – have just got nastier. The fig-leaf of higher taxes for the wealthy has gone, and Nick Clegg has imposed a ‘the state is a problem’ mentality on his party.

Unlike any of the other parties, we believe this is exactly the time to address the rising inequality which has so disfigured our society in recent years.We want to address the triple economic, environmental and social crises, and give every member of our society the opportunity to have a better life. Only the Green Party understands the need for a new economic and environmental settlement, in which our economy and our environment work with rather than against each other, for the benefit of all.

So I urge you to vote Green on May 6th for a fairer world.

Cartoon from Russ after a conversation about that great April fool programme about spaghetti growing on trees and the Tory logo

See our election broadcast here and here Martin Whitesides election video and in a new website find your Green party candidate here:

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