Gulnar Hasnain: A European vote for the Greens in London is a clear choice against both Brexit and climate change

Gulnar Hasnain: A European vote for the Greens in London is a clear choice against both Brexit and climate change

As has been has pointed out on this website, London politics is changing fast as the European elections approach. Green Party London Assembly Member Caroline Russell and I have found that a wide range of Londoners are shifting towards voting Green. Individual reasons vary but, in general, people know they will be making a clear choice to oppose Brexit and against climate change.

That clarity is important. People are fed up with political fence-sitting and attempts to please both sides of a debate by being tricksy with words. They’ve had more than enough of policy-by-opinion-poll.

They know that we Greens are on the right side of history, maintaining our opposition to austerity and our determination to act on the climate emergency through thick and thin. They know we are the only party to have put celebrating freedom of movement – that crucial right for Britons to roam the continent for work, pleasure, and life – at the heart of our campaign. They know we are the only party that has consistently, reliably and loudly opposed Theresa May’s hostile environment for migrants. And we have spoken up for refugees, even back when the Labour Party was producing a mug promising “controls on immigration”.

In general elections, many have been held back from voting Green by an undemocratic electoral system. Happily, that’s not the case with Thursday’s European elections. Since 1999, when the current proportional voting system was introduced and Jean Lambert was elected as London’s first Green MEP, there has been a Green representing our city in the European Parliament.

After two decades of dedicated service, Jean is now standing down and Scott Ainslie is leading our team, with a strong chance of stepping in to replace her. With your vote, we can win at least one Green MEP for London, and have a chance of winning a second – a special reason for me (pictured right, above), as the second candidate on the London list, to ask for your support.

We need to make sure that the voices and experiences of Londoners are heard in the European Parliament in Brussels. That’s something I’d passionately like to work for – not just for the citizens of today, but of tomorrow too.

As Greens, we have always taken the ecological and climate emergency seriously. We’ve not only been warning about greenhouse gases for years, but also plastics, the collapse of biodiversity and air pollution. As we steadily win more votes, we have been able to wield more influence and take greater action on these issues across London, the UK and Europe.

We believe in working across borders to solve the world’s big problems. That makes our current strong showing in the polls very exciting. Our English MEPs should be joining a big group in the European Parliament, as German, French, Dutch and many other countries’ Green candidates are also polling well.

If you are thinking about voting Green, or you haven’t voted before, then have a look at our manifesto to read our policies for yourself. This builds on the Greens’ hard work over the past five years, when our MEPs have been forging real change in the European Parliament on big issues including stamping out corruption, supporting refugees and reducing pollution.

Our slogan is Vote Green. For Now. For the Future

There may be much you don’t like about politics today. There are many good reasons not to like it. But a Green vote on Thursday is a chance for you, personally, to make a real difference to London, the UK and the rest of the planet too.

The full list of Green Party candidates for the London region can be found here.

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