Monday, 19 April 2010

Ex Labour Councillor Stands as a Green

Hi, my name’s Lucy Craig and I was a Labour councillor for 12 years on Haringey Council. On the whole it was an experience I enjoyed. Working as a politician at local level, I loved getting real results for real people. It didn’t happen all the time, but enough to make me feel I was doing something worthwhile! However, my growing disillusionment with New Labour meant that after 12 years of working hard for residents and the local party, I decided not to stand for re-election in 2002.

At the time I still felt reasonably optimistic that those of us who felt that New Labour had lost track of the party’s original egalitarian and progressive principles might regain some influence in the party. However, that was not to be and still shows no sign of happening. Then, after a membership of 25 years, in 2005 I was expelled from the party for publicly advocating ‘tactical voting’. I believed that a Labour Government with only a small majority would be forced to be less arrogant and would have to take more account of the electorate and back-bench opinion - this was perceived as a ‘crime’!

However, I am now involved with local politics once again. I haven’t re-joined the Labour Party. I am now in fact an activist for the Green Party. Together with my Green Party colleagues – including many other ex-Labour members and supporters – I am working towards getting the first Greens elected to Haringey Council. Our neighbouring boroughs Hackney, Islington and Camden all have Green councillors and I think it’s time Haringey did too.

Why? Well, we clearly need a fresh, honest approach to politics in this borough. For too long, the politics of tit-for-tat insults and political point-scoring between Labour and the Lib-Dems (and before that the Tories too) has meant that the people of Haringey have been getting a raw deal. Witness any full Council meeting – it resembles small children bickering in the playground!

I am confident that Greens will rise above this and address the local issues that really matter to you. Encouraging transparency and discouraging overspending on consultants and spin. Encouraging cross-party co-operation rather than name-calling. Championing the environment and public services in a manner you can sadly no longer expect from other political parties.

So, if like me, you are tired of and disappointed by Labour and indeed the other ‘grey’ parties, please, nevertheless, come out to vote on 6th May. Don’t waste your opportunity to try to positively change things – come out and vote Green.

PS If you’re still labouring under the illusion that the Green Party is a ‘single-issue party’, take a look at the party’s website for the full range of its policies and/or to become enthused about how our whole economic system could be changed for the better take a look at!

Lucy Craig is standing as a Green Party candidate in Alexandra ward.

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