I have joined the Green Party to make a difference

Sometime ago I wrote a blog post explaining why I had left the Liberal Democrat party. For me the straw that broke the camel's back was their failure to act to stop the Conservatives damaging and ideological education policies.

As someone generally on the left of centre politically my natural "home" might seem to be the Labour party and I do have a lot of respect for many Labour party members. But Labour's failure to even challenge on education and its continuing belief in the discredited neoliberal economic polices has convinced me that that would not be the right choice.

I should say these are the policies of the leadership. I know many local Labour supporters do not go along with this and I wish them good luck in convincing their party to change their position. The same is true of Liberal Democrats and in Suffolk we should be particularly grateful for the small number of Lib Dems on the County Council who have "punched above their weight" and succeeded in providing effective challenge and opposition - together with Labour and the Greens - despite being vastly outnumbered by Conservatives.

Nationally and locally a broad coalition of the centre and left is the only alternative I can see to Conservative hegemony.

Of course I could stay like almost everyone a non-party member. Until recently that has been my position but I feel that there is too much going on I feel the need to challenge because of the damage being caused to local communities and particularly to children.

I feel that the Green Party offers a genuinely different choice and not just different flavours of neo-liberalism. I agree most with its policies and so I have decided to join and stand up for what I believe in.

Now we don't have local elections this year in Suffolk but the County Council elections are looming in May 2013 which will be a chance for people in Suffolk to choose something different. A council that doesn't cut or privatise all of our local services - selling off care homes, stopping rural bus services, closing waste depots and trying to shut local libraries.

The Greens in London have produced this excellent video for their local election campaign there focussing on children who don't have votes so seem to be completely ignored by almost all politicians. Decisions about schools seem to be made to suit adults rather than children be they politicians or, even, parents. In Suffolk the County Council removed the discount travel scheme for children without even consulting them and with no regard for the impact of the decision on them, their education and their well being.

As the video says, children can't vote but you can! The video is well worth watching.

I look forward to campaigning for a different approach to local and national politics. The three main parties seem to have the same policies on so many issues and many people end up effectively disenfranchised as a result. In any event I don't think the tribalism of politics helps to produce the right solutions to society's problems.

There are people in all of the mainstream parties that I have time for and think should be listened to. For example there is much our local Conservative MP Dan Poulter does that I support.

I know many people still think the Green Party is all about recycling and environmental issues. Of course these issues are important but the Party is about much more and offers a real alternative approach to economic and social issues.

Read more about the Green Party
Read more about Mid Suffolk Greens

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