Hello. Some of you may know me. My name is Ashley Gunstock and I’ve lived, campaigned and stood for The Green Party in the Leyton & Wanstead area, since 1998.
Therefore, although I don’t represent one of the so-called ‘major’ parties, I hope that you will listen to what I have to say, in the next couple of minutes, because I’m going to simply cut to the chase about what exactly is going on in this room today.
We now have a centre right; a centre left and a centre left/right, left right party fighting for our votes, using all sorts of cynical political incentives to get into power. Labour, which mostly keeps banging on about how it’s going to save the NHS and introduce slightly fairer taxation, may merely cut just slightly less than the Conservatives & Liberal Democrats, who have lost all credibility after their 5 years of appalling coalition government. But Labour will, along with the others, continue with one insane austerity programme or another. And of course we have UKIP, with its two major media spotlight policies on Immigration and The EU which, no matter how it dresses itself up, is the party for right-wing protest and cannot really be taken as a viable option.
And so now for some common sense. The Green Party, believe it or not, is not just about the environment. Environmentalism is the ideology from which our policies stem, just as socialism was for the Labour Party; Liberalism was for the Democrats and Capitalism has always been for the Conservatives, until fairly recently now that the others have jumped on the bandwagon. Yet Environmentalism is the overarching umbrella for genuine socialism, true liberal thought and honest (not rampant) enterprise. We believe that our governments have, for far too long, been taking us in completely the opposite direction to the way we should be heading. The Greens would not cut but invest in keeping and creating jobs in the Education, renewable energy, home building and public transport sectors, as well as The NHS – in short, recreate that little old concept of a true & just society. And it is all possible and affordable.
The Green Party has – for the last 45 years – and will continue to put pressure on our governments, to do what is ideally right for us all. We have been successful in no small measure to date. We have been growing in influence at all levels of government and, with the recent Green surge, are growing in large numbers too. In addition to all of the above we also insist on the electorate being given the opportunity of exercising its democratic right, to vote on a referendum on the ‘UK in or out of Europe’ question. So, instead of accepting the ‘same old, same old’, join us and register a worthwhile vote of protest for a real alternative and change for the better. Vote Green on 7 May. Thank you.