As part of our 2019 General Election coverage, we have contacted each candidate standing in Northfield, Bromsgrove, Edgbaston and Selly Oak constituencies asking them to contribute to this election’s ‘500 Words’ series.

Each candidate has been invited to describe themselves and their campaigns in their own words. Their submissions will be published without editing, in the order that they are received. Should they be longer than 500 words, they will be cropped.


Joe Peacock • Green Party • Birmingham Selly Oak

The politicians we’ve elected over the past few decades have failed us.

They have presided over an unprecedented disaster, pursuing policies which run counter to what all the scientists have been telling us. As Arnold Glasow said: “One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognise a problem before it becomes an emergency”. We now have a Climate Emergency, so our politicians have failed this test.

This December, it is time to elect a new generation of politicians. We need new leadership. We need politicians who are brave enough to make radical changes to our country that will benefit everyone.

That’s why I am standing for the Green Party. I am a lifelong campaigner for a better society; I have marched against war, against nuclear weapons, against damaging infrastructure and for action on climate change and providing protection for the most vulnerable in our communities.

We are proposing that we spend £100bn a year to give this country a chance to transform itself into one that not only meets international commitments on reducing our ecological impact, but which also creates a better, fairer society in which nobody is left behind. We all need clean air to breathe, a warm, safe home to live in and access to employment opportunities in a society that cares for everyone. Only investment on that scale will deliver this.

We cannot continue allowing those who deny scientific facts to be in charge of our future. You wouldn’t trust a builder who doesn’t believe in the laws of gravity to build your house, so why trust politicians to build the society we live in when they deny the facts of climate science, or fail to act on them?

By transforming Birmingham into a truly pioneering eco-friendly city, we could also tackle so many of the other problems that blight our communities now. If we want safer, more harmonious neighbourhoods, we need to provide equality of opportunity and hope for a better future to all of the people living there.

Britain and Birmingham led the world in the industrial revolution two hundred years ago – it falls to us now to lead the Green Revolution. I want to see this city showing the world how to do it, not lagging behind. Every policy we pursue from now on must be measured on its ecological impact above all else. Nobody can benefit from making the planet uninhabitable.

Labour have had their chance, but their commitments to tackling this emergency are not strong or coherent enough. You cannot continue to support building new roads, more airport capacity and propping up outdated models of industry and deliver on commitments to reduce emissions quickly enough. As a Green Party MP for Selly Oak, I would stand up for our city and the planet.

We can’t remain stuck with old attitudes when we need to build an economy that protects the environment rather than consumes it, and one which values social progress and wellbeing. If you agree, vote Green in 2019.


 

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