Natalie Bennett writes in The Independent:
Voters saw me taking part, with Leanne Wood and Nicola Sturgeon, in what were two gender-balanced leaders’ debates. They were a sign of a new grown-up approach to politics that offers a positive alternative to the pointless, destructive sparring of Prime Ministers’ Questions. They’ve seen a different type of politics is possible, and it is in their hands, your hands, to deliver.
The Green Party is standing in nearly 95% of seats in England and Wales. We’re aiming to send a strong group of MPs to parliament, where the polls suggest that we could have a massive influence. And we’d use that influence to do everything possible to ensure that we don’t have a Tory government.
Those Green MPs will consider supporting a Labour administration on a vote-by-vote basis, with a focus on reversing the disastrous, failed policy of austerity that has made the poor, the disadvantaged and the young pay for the greed and fraud of the bankers. We’ll fight to get rid of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons. And we’ll push for a sensible energy policy focused on the exciting business and community opportunities provided by renewables, combined with a focus on providing warm, comfortable, affordable-to-heat homes for all.
And we’ll continue to be the voice of reason, compassion and fairness in the destructive immigration debate that has sadly seen the Tories and Labour chasing after Ukip, rather than standing up to them. That’s been both morally reprehensible and politically stupid – helping to legitimise Ukip’s poisonous message. Although perhaps it’s not surprising that the current and former parties of government don’t want to explain that the entirely legitimate concerns about low wages, about our housing crisis, and about crowded schools and hospitals are not caused by immigration, but by failures of government policy.
We do have wages that are far too low, but that’s because we have an inadequate minimum wage, inadequately enforced. (And the Labour Party’s offer, of £8 an hour by 2019, is barely any kind of improvement.)
We have a housing crisis, caused by the failure of the market and the major developers to build homes, plus the loss of the public asset of council homes thanks to Right to Buy.
The NHS has been battered by reorganisations, bled almost dry by for-profit companies, and denied the investment it needs.
And our schools have suffered years of Michael Gove.
Britain has the wealth and resources to do great things. We can build an economy that gives everyone their fair share of the world’s sixth richest economy. We can create a humane, caring society that supports everyone’s needs. And we can be a world leader in tackling the threat of climate change.
Voting Green today is a chance to ensure Britain lives up to this potential.
Every Green vote will help to tug British politics in this direction, to indicate that the British people want real change.