Batley & Spen by-election (continued)

I now know that there is another prospective candidate, but only one, so that my involvement means that there will be a selection. I infer from conversation with Andrew Cooper that he has considerable confidence in the other candidate. I do not take Andrew’s view lightly. (it is my inference, Andrew has not asked me to withdraw).

But why do I persist? My starting assumption is that in common with the Green Party consensus, the other prospective candidate regards Tories as the main enemy. Oddly enough, I do not disagree, but that leads me to a very different strategy.

In all elections at national level, the Green Party has split the ant-Tory vote, whilst no Conservative, however worried about their current stance, would ever consider voting Green. If selected, I shall attempt the obviously difficult task of explaining to former Conservatives why they ought to vote Green.

If it transpires that my opponent in this round actually agrees with me, the I shall withdraw my application, ( I live near enough to help whichever of us wins this contest). But if this is the case, I shall ask that my strategy should be a part of his campaign.

The central theme will be the seriousness of the threat to the Ecosphere. Greta Thunberg has sparked a world-wide movement recognizing this, and Extinction Rebellion (XR) has given it practical expression. I have not yet been arrested, but I have taken part in several XR actions. The closest to arrest was in October 2018. even before XR’s national launch. About 15 of us blocked Eastgate in Leeds for 10 minutes. The police arrived just after we had packed up. I have tremendous respect for Mina Jaff and Ozzie Algar who inspired so many of us at that early stage.

But I digress. For me, the threat is at least as serious as the one which made Churchill offer to involve his enemies in government, and they accepted. He promised ‘Blood sweat, toil and tears, but he did not mention the near 100% taxation on the personal incomes of his own supporters.

This time the taxation on the better off will not be to pay for armaments (though that may happen as well), but to prevent hardship when economic activity that we could previously take for granted no longer takes place. But this election will not see the immediate implement action of anything. It will only initiate a discussion. Although I feel a specific proposal is necessary, even that may get thrown out by something better in the discussion.

I do not need to win, just to get substantially more votes than the Green Party usually achieves, but especially from former Conservatives.

I shall discuss with party strategists who we should invite to take part in the campaign. Caroline Lucas obviously, but what about David Attenborough? Greta Thunberg has specifically ruled out being personally drawn into politics. System change, not climate change is valid, but without a specific political proposal it will not change anything. I was involved in setting up the Green Party in 1974, because I thought it had no alternative but to be political.

All I want to do is save the Ecosphere.

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