Two members of North Kirklees Green Party (NKGP) object to my saying they do not take climate breakdown seriously. As we are on the same side, I accept their complaint unreservedly. But how did I come to make this error? I remain perplexed and therefore angry. It may have helped if I had added ‘appears to’ somewhere.
I had two clues as to the stance of the NKGP. There were two contestants, Ross Peltier and me. They chose Ross. I only heard a verbal read-out of hIs application. I do not remember any reference to the mass of worrying information on social and conventional media, on how serious is the threat to the Ecosphere. His main point appeared to be that he was someone voters could easily relate to.
I do not merely take climate breakdown seriously: I am terrified by its implications. My intention was to use the by-election as an attempt to make climate breakdown the national focus of all parliamentary elections. So my second clue as to the view of NKGP was their decision not to pursue the election if Ross was not eligible. The reason given, that the election was ‘tainted’ pales into insignificance against my purpose., in my understanding of the threat.
I would have started with two of Greta Thunberg’s public statements:
“I want you (world leaders) to panic.”
“System Change, not Climate Change”.
Greta says she does not want to get involved with politics. Fine. She has done what no one else could have achieved: she has mobilized millions world wide. But ‘System change not clime change’ only becomes meaningful when it leads to some practical action. The reason it has not already happened is that available options are almost as frightening as the collapse if nothing is done in time.
But neither Greta nor any Batley & Spen voters need agree with any specific proposal. My proposal , taxes related to the ecological footprint of resources,, made acceptable by the security of an unconditional basic income, would only be a first bid. A by-election is unlikely to change the course of history on its own, but it could shift the focus of what matters most. So Greta would be approached, but only to reinforce what she has already said. My campaign would also have contacted David Attenborough, Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for the Future. Others may have emerged.
Why do I bother now? There will be other by-elections. The principle remains worth trying somewhere. Having lived in Batley for 46 years, and stood in several Parliamentary elections, I felt some connection, but after an absence of eleven years, perhaps nobody knew me. Also I would prefer to mend fences with people i agree with.
In passing, was Ross given the option of claiming that something said several years ago might be seriously out of date?