Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Voters have a progressive alternative to Labour

As the Green candidate for the by-election in Haringey's Alexandra ward, I have spent much of the past week canvassing the streets for support. If there is one thing that I have learnt, it is that disillusioned Labour voters genuinely do want the option of voting for a progressive centre-left party. This, by definition, excludes the Liberal Democrats.The unfolding global financial crisis has exposed the vulnerabilities and follies of neoliberal global capitalism. Therefore, many of the assumptions and truisms around which the three main political parties have converged have been effectively disproved. However, Greens have been arguing for years that neoliberal globalisation is economically and environmentally unsustainable.Unsurprisingly, all three of the grey parties are beginning to gesticulate in a vaguely leftish fashion. However, the voters aren't buying it. Many Alexandra ward residents are educated and well-informed professionals who are able to make independent judgements about politics and current affairs. They are even sometime characterised as 'Guardian-reading North London intelligentsia' to quote one local newspaper.Knocking on doors can sometimes be a challenging exercise for a candidate. Still, I have been inspired to keep going by the large number of disillusioned Labour voters that I have met during the campaign. They desperately want to be a able to vote for a party that prioritises sustainability and quality of life issues over GDP growth. Furthermore, it hasn't escaped their notice that the Lib Dems have espoused privatisation and tax cuts.I will have to wait until next week to find out if they are actually prepared to walk into a polling booth and vote for me. However, they have the option of a progressive centre-left alternative to Labour.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Haringey Greens fight to save local GP surgeries

Haringey Greens turned out in force at a meeting organised by the Better Local Healthcare campaign on Monday 22nd September. The meeting was called following a decision by Haringey Teaching Primary Care Trust to relocate local GPs to polyclinics. Such a measure could result in the closure of several of the borough’s GP surgeries.

The meeting was addressed by a panel of experts which included the academic Colin Leys, local GP Dr Helen Pelendrides and healthcare campaigner Kate Wilkinson. A number of local Green Party members, involved in the campaign, also contributed.

Pete McAskie, Parliamentary Spokesperson for Hornsey and Wood Green, emphasised that the Greens are the only mainstream political party committed to defending the NHS from privatisation and fragmentation.

A key theme that emerged during the meeting was the rather disingenuous way in which unpopular reforms are imposed on local communities. Therefore, James Patterson, the Green Candidate for the Alexandra Ward by-election, raised questions about the effectiveness of existing scrutiny mechanisms.

Anne Gray, Parliamentary Spokesperson for Tottenham (pictured above), suggested that action should be taken when doubts about the probity of private companies involved in healthcare services come to the fore.

Many attending the meeting expressed their frustration with the way in which the main political parties have managed healthcare issues locally and nationally. However, the meeting allowed Haringey Greens an opportunity to demonstrate their political ability and commitment to defending local healthcare services.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Alexandra Ward By-election

James Patterson –
Green Party candidate for the Alexandra Ward by-election on Thursday 9th October
James Patterson is a local resident and experienced campaigner. He works in Higher Education and has recently completed the MSc in Global Politics at Birkbeck, University of London. As a former Labour Party member, James believes that only the Greens have the policies and vision that can deliver on social justice and environmental sustainability. If elected as Haringey’s first ever Green Councillor, James would use his knowledge of the political process to support the Save Ally Pally campaign and oppose the encroaching privatisation of the borough’s health services.
James is standing in this election in order to offer local voters a genuine political choice between the grey politics of the three main parties and a real Green voice on Haringey Council.
7 Good Reasons to Vote Green
The local Green Party were against the sale of Alexandra Palace to a leisure company from the outset, so we are pleased that this deal has fallen through. I will campaign to ensure that this historic building is only used for appropriate activities.
Greens are committed to ensuring that local people have access to local postal services. Therefore, we are campaigning for the re-opening of the Alexandra Park Road Post Office.
Recent research by the Green Party has revealed that Haringey’s system of ‘co-mingled’ recycling actually increases the borough’s carbon footprint. The Greens are campaigning for separated recycling that really is environmentally sustainable.
I will campaign for semi-fast trains to stop at Alexandra Palace on the service to Kings Cross.
Haringey Green Party is campaigning against the encroaching privatisation of local health services and the closure of GP surgeries across the borough. The Green Party believes that public services should be publicly owned and be publicly accountable. I will campaign in Haringey to reverse the drift towards privatisation of our essential services.
Greens are committed to defending the ethos of public service at all levels of government over promoting the interests of multinational corporations, which all of the main parties are now committed to.