This is a superb post from our Haltenprice and Howden candidate, Shan Oakes:
Everyone has heard a lot about the various candidates in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election. You might like some feedback about how people in the area are feeling. The Green Party has been doing a lot of listening on the campaign trail. We’ve met very many people on their doorsteps, in bus shelters, in the markets, in shops, on buses and trains, in car parks, in pubs, in dramatic thunderstorms, and in blazing sun. It’s a privilege to be able to discuss the big issues with voters – so that’s one advantage of the election – and most people seem happy to take a few minutes to have their say, and listen to some Green Party views too.
But, the striking message from voters is that they are fed up - not only with this by-election (which many feel has been an unnecessary waste of public money) but also with politics and politicians in general. They say there is no difference between the old parties who do not listen to the people themselves. They express feelings of anxiety and deep disappointment about the state of Britain. Several people have spoken about wanting to move abroad just to get away from this country. There is a general feeling of real anger and despair.
Almost everyone with whom we have spoken has agreed that our government has taken us wrongly into wars (for oil), that ‘defence’ spending is out of control, that our governments have encouraged the domination of giant corporations, and that the social and natural environment is being decimated as a result. People agree that profit is driving what goes on in Britain (and increasingly across the world) rather than values we can be proud of. Nearly everyone agrees that things will only get worse if we continue to be taken down the same path.
So is there any hope? Yes there is. Green Party policies boil down to real local democracy so that we can PLAN our way into an oil-free world by discussion at LOCAL level. When people have the chance to hear this idea, they are highly enthusiastic about it. They can see it is a real way forward – the only way forward - because nobody wants the alternative - a totalitarian state which controls us all from Westminster or elsewhere. It is possible to regain our freedom only if we stand up for freedom.