Saturday, 5 March 2011

Three Greens Compete for London Mayor Nomination

The Green Party in London will be selecting its candidate for Mayor over the next two weeks. Here are the candidates' statements (in alphabetical order):

Shahrar Ali
I'm standing for selection as the Greens' Mayoral candidate to provide voters with a strong, Green, alternative to business-as-usual politics. As a lifelong Londoner, I advocate radical, Green solutions to the everyday problems faced by us all. Elected Greens thrive on service to the people, whether by investing in public transport, holding the police to account, or realising sustainable jobs in renewable energy and waste - to promote quality of life for all without harming the planet. There's more to politics than a rerun of the Ken and Boris road show: we need Greens!

I want to get elected not for its own sake, but in order to pursue the Green Party's noble aims. I'm not afraid to take on government administrations, opposition politicians or big business, or to form alliances when strategically necessary.

Siân Berry, the Green Party's Mayoral candidate in 2008, says: "Running for Mayor is tough: it's an uphill battle competing for space and attention with the other candidates. I have no doubt that Shahrar's drive, personality and detailed knowledge of London's issues will do the job of standing out for the Greens and standing up for our values."

Farid Bakht
I want Greens to move beyond their comfort zone and build a coalition around students and young people, the one in three Londoners of foreign origin and over a hundred thousand small businesses starved of credit by banks.

My priority is to widen our appeal to people from all communities including the working class within London". Why is it that white working class people don't generally vote for us?

I want to demolish the myth that we are a white, middle class party interested only in a narrow agenda not in tune with people's everyday lives.

We need to demonstrate we are the real opposition to three very similar parties by playing a central role in the anti-cuts movement.

We need to attract Londoners with our message of environmental and social justice, our humane approach to immigration and our commitment to free education, health and council housing.

Half Basque, half Bengali, and born in Hackney, I was brought up in London. I am married with a nine-year old daughter and live in West London.

Jenny Jones
My vision for London is of a sustainable city with less inequality between rich and poor. To achieve sustainability, we must introduce measures to tame the traffic, create a planning system that enables small businesses to thrive and encourages green measures such as affordable zero carbon housing, develop a single waste authority that rejects incineration, and reduce total carbon emissions by 90% by 2050 with annual targets.

To lessen inequality we must commit to reducing poverty to a less shameful level through policies such as the London Living Wage for all companies, decreasing pay ratio differentials in regional and local government, and increasing affordable housing. This can be done through strong partnership working with the boroughs, and with campaign and community groups, and by lobbying the government to stop tax loopholes and guarantee that the richest pay their fair share of taxes.

Finally we must ensure the police are fully accountable to their communities as well as fully representative. The May 2012 election will be an opportunity for us to explain our alternative to the disastrous cuts programme of the coalition government and explain that going green creates jobs, saves money and protects the planet.

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