Tag: Green politics

In politics, as in sport and Eurovision, we all like to fit the facts to our pre-conceived ideas. Tribes and factions interpret results as a vindication of their point of view.

As the election for the Mayor of London next year looms on the horizon, candidates are pledging to build more homes in the capital. But targets are no use to anybody unless they are backed up with a credible plan, and in London the biggest challenge is that the housing market is broken, dysfunctional, pining for the fjords.

Every so often I get a call from an estate agent. They aren’t looking to sell my home, but let it out. London is a rentier economy, and so rent controls are bitterly resisted.

What would you do with the money if you saved £1,100 on your energy bill? That question led me on a journey that completely changed the way I approached climate change policy.

I’m going to get out on the stump on Penge High Street, and I’m inviting other candidates to join me, after all but one of the open hustings for Lewisham West & Penge have been cancelled.

Years ago I held the obscure title of Spokesperson on Intellectual Property for the Green Party. With the fuss yesterday about our policy on copyright, and the strong likelihood of some attempt to change that policy at our autumn conference, I’ve tried to reach back into that part of my brain to explain some of the thinking behind shortening copyright terms.

Every time I hear someone say “nobody likes paying taxes”, I want to shout: I do! My taxes pay for a civilised society, for schools and roads we all need, and for support to those who face hard times. Tax dodgers aren’t just depriving the public purse, they are also shirking their moral duty.

In all the fuss about Natalie Bennett’s unfortunate media interviews, for which she has penned this very strong and courageous apology, we have seen this idea talking hold that governments can cost policies down to the last penny. The Green Party always puts forward broadly costed proposals, but the direction of travel is equally important and needs more attention.