Bristol Green Party celebrated its 500th member this month. The irony was that by the time the actual event occurred we were already at 565 members. Nationally, 1000 people joined the party over the last fortnight, many of them young people and students. And we are supposed to be living in a time of political apathy!
Here in Windmill Hill ward, we launched our residents' survey last weekend. The rain poured down and we only managed to survey five streets, but the response was phenomenal. Fifty surveys were completed and half of these said they would consider voting Green at the next election. Several offered to help out with the campaign!
What is causing this massive interest in The Green Party? There are a number of factors of course. The recent exclusion of The Greens from the TV debate has given us a huge amount of publicity and ignited public sympathy. But the Greens have been doing well all year, gaining a significant vote share at the May elections in Bristol, Liverpool, Solihull and Scotland, among other places.
My feeling is that we have become the only real alternative voice in UK politics. We have managed to convey that we are not purely about the environment, but that our policies are about supporting people too, in a sustainable and fair way. We are all born with equal rights to live on this planet, but inequality is increasing and wealth is being ever more concentrated in the hands of a few. Changing this is at the heart of the Green movement as much as looking after the planet we live on.
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