The Green Party released their manifesto today so I thought I would have a look and see what it said, as I have done with the Labour, the Scottish Liberal Democrats, and Conservative manifesto’s.
Highlights for myself include:
•Phase in a 4 day working week (a maximum of 35 hours) and abolish exploitative zero hours contracts.
•Reform taxation to include a wealth tax on the top 1% of earners, investing in more staff at HMRC so they can work more effectively, and reinstate the higher level of corporation tax for large businesses.
•An Environmental Protection Act to safeguard and restore our environment, protect and enhance biodiversity, promote sustainable food and farming, and ensure animal protection.
•Tough action to reduce plastic and other waste, including the introduction of Deposit Return Schemes, with a zero waste target.
•Introduce proportional representation (PR) for parliamentary and local elections, and votes at 16.
•A living rent for all through rent controls and more secure tenancies for private renters, an end to letting fees and the introduction of mandatory licensing for all landlords.
•End mass council house sales and scrap Right to Buy at discounted prices.
A referendum on the detail of whatever deal is negotiated for Britain’s departure from the EU, with the option to reject the deal and remain in the EU.
Like the Labour manifesto, there is a lot to like in this one too, and unlike the hypocrites that are the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party support a referendum on any Brexit deal and another referendum on Scottish Independence, no Willie Rennie rubbish here. The manifesto has a lot of things that I have always cared about and I continue to be more and more impressed by the Green Party.
I totally agree with votes at 16 and PR, totally agree with rent controls, totally agree with a major reform of all taxation, totally agree with not renewing Trident, the list goes on. While it is fair to say that the Greens will not get the wall to wall free coverage of the other parties, and will be subjected to greater scrutiny, I understand why people would, and do vote Green.
A few blogs ago in Betrayal or Pragmatism I discussed the decision of the Scottish Greens to only stand in 3 constituencies in the General Election in Scotland. They have been accused of propping up the SNP Government in Holyrood and helping their SNP masters. All a bit rich coming from the other parties who are funded by their rich masters, and as we saw in the coalition, the Liberal Democrats will sell their souls for the extra Ministerial Salary.
The Scottish Greens have given their reasons for not contesting all 59 seats and will not endorse any candidates in the 56 they are not in. I said at the time “I am not so sure if I agree or not, there would be a temptation not to vote at all if my preferred party or candidate withdrew leaving only other party candidates, even if they are pro YES candidates”.
My view hasn’t really changed, I vote Green on the list for Holyrood elections and have always ranked them in local council elections, there is no Green Candidate standing in Dundee West at the General Election so I will vote for a YES candidate, but the decision not to stand Green candidates I imagine will upset some Green supporters but maybe I’m wrong. Either way I like their manifesto and that won’t surprise many people, it is a left manifesto that is more Labour than Labour have been since the 1980’s.
You can check it out here The Green Party Manifesto