South West MEP Molly Scott Cato visited Glastonbury recently to catch up with the town’s Green Mayor and Green Deputy Mayor, Cllrs Jon Cousins and Emma George. It was a great photo-opportunity, and – obviously – a chance to discuss the impact of the Brexit vote, and Molly’s ideas about where she believes we need to go next.
“Many people are feeling a profound sense of sadness at the prospect of the UK, or England and Wales at least, leaving the EU. I share this feeling and remain convinced that our future would be much safer and more prosperous inside the European Union. This is not the result that Greens wanted; many activists and Green Party members worked tirelessly for many months to campaign for the UK to remain in the EU. Personally, I worked as hard as I know how, travelling the region, making the arguments and listening to people on both sides.
“People are understandably searching for reassurance and the referendum result has prompted a plethora of reactions and ideas about what we should do now. Many people feel that the referendum was won on a false prospectus, and was a vote against something that had been turned into a bogeyman and with no alternative on offer. I agree with this.
“I was also profoundly shocked by the tactics of intimidation that were used during the campaign, and the inability of people to listen to views they did not share. Being able to do so is the basis of democracy and I feel our most important task now is to stand together to defend democracy and the standards of public debate that we have traditionally enjoyed. We must stand with communities across the UK to fight racism, xenophobia and discrimination; stronger communities can help heal the divisions caused by the referendum campaign.
“I believe that the calls for an immediate rerun of the referendum would be undemocratic and add strength to the argument of those who say their voice is not heard. However, this voice was only one of opposition, with no clear sense of what the alternative to EU membership might be. I therefore believe that it would be valid to allow a second vote in the future, when it is clear what the alternative to EU membership would look like.
“Although many of the debates during the referendum campaign were focused on European issues, underlying it was a power grab by senior politicians seeking to move our country radically to the right. Since people from both right and left voted to leave the EU and there are a wide range of views about how we should proceed post-Brexit, the result has no weight in terms of what happens at Westminster. Also, because the Prime Minister has resigned and Brexit will bring huge political upheaval, including the possible breakup of the United Kingdom, people should have a chance to have their say on the sort of country we want to build together. This means that in my view an early general election before the end of year is inevitable.
“Greens will be campaigning hard for democratic reform in the UK and for changing our outmoded electoral system to one that is truly representative. We will explore possibilities for electoral alliances and pacts where we can agree on a progressive programme and commitment to proportional representation.
“I thank those of you who worked so hard to preserve our place in the Union that we value so much and I appreciate the very many messages of support and solidarity that you have sent. These are dark days but by showing each other compassion and by standing together strongly in support of a revitalised democracy we can find a way to build a stronger and more peaceful country.”
To link to Molly’s website, click HERE
On 23 June, the UK goes to the polls to make a big decision: whether or not to remain a member of the European Union.
Greens believe that we must work together to address our greatest challenges, such as limiting climate change, stopping international tax avoidance and securing our future peace and security. It is essential that we make the case for the environment in this referendum campaign – as the establishment parties will not make it, because they are in hock to their corporate and wealthy individual funders.
We need your help so that the Green Party can make the responsible case for the UK remaining a constructive part of a Greener Europe, and to help us elect more great Green Councillors across the South West, like those featured in this short film.
Please donate what you can. here:
Any surplus funds raised and not used for the Greener In referendum campaign will be split equally between the South West’s 2019 European Parliamentary election campaign fund and Green Party South West’s day-to-day budget for supporting Green Party activity in the South West.
The Glastonbury St. Mary’s By-election will take place on Thursday, 11th February. The Polling Station is at Glastonbury Town Hall; it will be open from 7 am to 10 pm.
Your Green Candidate is Paul Lund; the prospective eighth Glastonbury Green Town Councillor – his election giving the Greens a working majority; ensuring that we can continue to improve the way Glastonbury is governed; to make Glastonbury a strong participatory democracy, with more community involvement and engagement.
Green canvassing is well underway, with local party members drumming up support across the ward. Door knocking is a key part of the process, as we are keen to listen to resident’s concerns, ideas, and thoughts about the future.
One of the things that residents have been telling our canvassers is how they’re particularly impressed that Paul is the only local standing for election – living as he does in the St. Mary’s Ward, on Glastonbury’s Redlands Estate – and, as a result, they know Paul is familiar with many of the important issues that they feel strongly about.
Paul’s background is as a social entrepreneur and environmentalist; he is the founding director of The Sustainable Environment Company CIC. He is also a seasoned radio producer, and the director of the Glastonbury Festival Sound Archive.
A green activist and campaigner, Paul is an energetic member of our community, and – over the years – he has been involved as a volunteer in many of the Town Council’s projects.
In 2012, Paul was responsible for the creation of the Council’s pioneering ‘Charter for the Environment’.
In 2015, he played a major role in the successful campaign to revive Glastonbury’s Fairtrade Town status.
He is a key member of the Council’s Promoting Glastonbury Committee, and earlier this year made history by becoming the first non-councillor to hold the office of Deputy-chair for a Town Council Committee.
And if that wasn’t enough, Paul is currently developing Glastonbury’s new Tourism Strategy…
All these things he does in a voluntary capacity; for the love of Glastonbury – no wonder our South West MEP Molly Scott Cato said: “Paul is just what Glastonbury needs!”
That is why we have chosen Paul Lund as the Green candidate for this crucial by-election.
Glastonbury is of national interest; and the Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett came to our town to officially announce Paul’s selection – saying, “I have great pleasure in introducing Paul Lund; we have a fantastic Green councillor group here in Glastonbury – let’s strengthen it”.
With your support, we can; let’s Vote For Real Change! #VOTEPAUL2016
Some important information concerning Polling Day, 11th February 2016
On Polling Day, the last time a re-issue of spoilt or lost postal vote can happen is at 5 pm;
The deadline for emergency proxy applications is at 5 pm;
Last time to alter the Register of Electors (the ‘Electoral Roll’), due to clerical error or court appeal is at 9 pm.
Promoted by Jon Cousins, West Mendip Green Party on behalf of Paul Lund both at 3 Hood Close, Redlands, Glastonbury, Somerset. BA6 8ES
Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader, stopped off in Glastonbury before Christmas, on her way to the Paris climate talks, to formally announce Paul Lund as the Green candidate for Glastonbury St Mary’s by-election on February 11th 2016.
Natalie said “I have great pleasure in introducing Paul Lund; we have a fantastic Green councillor group here in Glastonbury – let’s strengthen it”.
Dr Molly Scott Cato, South West Green MEP, who was visiting Glastonbury with Natalie, also heralded Paul’s selection saying “Paul is just what Glastonbury needs”.
The Greens have been gathering pace in this area over the last few years and are keen to consolidate their position on Glastonbury town council.
A Public Meeting for the launch of a new report from The Resilience Centre: ‘The power to transform the South West’
How to meet the region’s energy needs through renewable energy generation.
GLASTONBURY TOWN HALL
+ AVALON COMMUNITY ENERGY’s PIONEER SHARE LAUNCH!
* Learn about this unique opportunity to invest in community-owned renewables for Avalon!
* Help transform our local energy economy!
Molly Scott Cato – Green MEP for SW England
Andrew Clarke – The Resilience Centre
Sonya Bedford – Head of Renewable Energy, Stephens Scown Solicitors
Tom Hathway – South West Young Greens, University of Plymouth
Chaired by Jon Cousins, Deputy Mayor of Glastonbury Town Council
Hosted by Avalon Community Energy and Molly Scott Cato MEP
MEP Website: www.mollymep.org.uk