Batley & Spen by-election: An appeal to Ross

Here is a suggestion for the text of your freepost leaflet:

This by-election can be transformed into a mini-referendum on

                                Climate change

Greta Thunberg says “System Change, not Climate Change”

This is far more important than one MP among 630

David Attenborough keeps issuing warnings about loss of species etc, etc. Besides Greta’s ‘Fridays for the Future’ school strikes, Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists are prepared to go to prison because they regard climate breakdown as important. There have even been hunger strikes.

Greta is reluctant to become political, and declines to specify what system change means in practice. Fine. That is my job, not hers. I joined the Green Party because I cannot see how political decisions can be avoided.

System change has not already happened because none of the possible ways will be popular.

I suggest a twofold approach: taxes based on the ecological footprint of resources, but with an unconditional basic income to give security as the economy contracts to what is sustainable. But this is only a first bid. You don’t have to agree to this, just vote Green to start the discussion. Make Climate change the issue that the government should be most worried about. The right answers will emerge from that discussion.

You don’t have to go on strike, risk imprisonment, or go on hunger strike, or even agree on how. just



for a world safe from Climate Breakdown

Ross is busy right now. So he hasn’t had time to respond. Here are a couple of other points which cannot fit on a leaflet, but which I had hoped to discuss with him.

Eco-footprint taxes are not strictly current Green Party policy, but they are consistent with it. The unconditional basic income is – it was in the 2016 General Election Manifesto.

In the European elections in 1989 the British Green Party achieved 15% of the vote, trouhout England, a far higher share than they have reached since. The other commonly forgotten fact is that the Green Party vote that year was, in England, (less so in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) proportional to the Conservative vote. One reason was that the well-off are more aware of the climate threat than those with more immediate problems, but they did not realize that high taxes might be necessary, as they were in 1940, when we also faced a formidable problem.

This should have been worked on long term. In Batley & Spen we do not need to draw attention to this aspect, but I believe we should concentrate whatever doorstepping person power we have in the Birstall & Birkenshaw ward, which regularly elects Conservative councillors

In so far as I am aware of Ross’s platform, he does not make any connection with Greta Thunberg or Extinction Rebellion. who have the same aims as the Green Party. Please tell Ross if, like me, you think he should reach out to them.

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