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Green is the new black!

NaomionZP1Apathy allows governments to get away with a whole host of things we may not like, and allows the far right to prosper. Naomi Aptowitzer says it’s time to get active and get green!

Traditionally, the black vote has always geared more towards Labour because of its stance on workers’ rights, immigration and equal rights. Now it is the Green party who stand up for human rights, campaign against global injustice while at the same time fighting on local issues.

The rise of ‘New Labour’ has seen old labour and its policies being marginalised; pushed to the side for new shiny policies and laws that favour the rich, favour war, and favour self-interest in much the same way as the Conservatives did in the late eighties early nineties.

Once Labour got into power we continued with ‘more of the same’. Instead of more investment in education there was more privatisation. Healthcare did not become more for the people, it became less social and more enterprising.

Contracts awarded under the Conservative government did not revert back into public hands but instead Labour took the capitalist model and re-packaged it calling it ‘the third sector’ or ‘social enterprise’, encouraging firms to put forward private tenders to run elements of the public health care system.

What happens is profit gets put before people, cutting corners becomes endemic and there we have it – C dif, MRSA and E coli coming to a hospital near you all because Labour tried to follow a capitalist market led system which is failing the people by putting profits first.

As we approach 2010, unemployment is up 4% in one year, interest rates are at their lowest in 300 years, and we are currently at war with two countries Iraq and Afghanistan – and this all under the watch of a Labour government.

Yes, the government can be credited for introducing new equality laws but look at race hate crimes that are now on the rise. New forms of discrimination when challenged are now disguised in ‘political correctness gone made’. White people make up 90% of the population in the United Kingdom yet so many are increasingly feeling their way of life is under threat.

As I was so kindly reminded of when riding my electric bike minding my own business when three white men driving a white van shouted out “you f**ing ni**er!…Enoch Powell was right!”.

The fear is back again, scared their homes, livelihood and culture is slowly being eroded by immigrants, Muslims, Jews, Eastern Europeans, Blacks, Chinese anyone who isn’t of Danish, French or German origin.

Yet those on the receiving end of the attacks still find real institutional racism still goes largely unchallenged. In fact it is endemic in the very institutions that financially rely on compulsory user contributions by way of a licence fee regardless of representation.

Black, Asian or any other non-English but British citizen pays their licence fee or income tax and has to learn that the BBC an organisation has invited an openly racist but legitimate party BNP on to air their racist views on BBC1’s Question Time. The BNP stands for British National Party. Well if you are born in Britain then you are a British national by virtue.

So why can’t I join? Because my skin colour does not allow me into the party which is solely regulated not by nationality as in being British is the criteria but by skin colour. If this is not a reason to vote Green in order to really eliminate racism through defending human rights then I don’t know what is!

‘Don’t vote Tory, Lib or Labour do us all a great big favour….vote Green’ was the slogan shouted out on a recent campaign to get people voting. At the last count only 35% of the population of a borough tend to mark their cross in the box there needs to be a desperate re-think on how we get people to come out and vote in the first place.

The first obstacle we often face is people aren’t registered to vote. There is a myth that by registering you somehow get linked into all these snooping databases that can come and chase you for un-paid council tax. That no longer exists so come on folks no excuses. It really is quite simple. Just ring up your local council and tell them your address and ask them to send you an electoral registration form.

The second obstacle faced is lack of candidates to vote for. Well if you don’t vote for someone than you bl**ng well better vote against them.
This is how parties like the BNP have been allowed to gain seats at the European elections because not enough people voted for someone else. It’s called voter apathy.

I don’t need to remind you of the struggles faced by women in this country only 100 years ago to gain the right to vote or the struggle down in South Africa where 87% of the people could not vote. Or even America where once you enter into the penal system you automatically lose your right to vote. So your vote is precious. You can affect change in your own local community.

You can determine how money is raised and how it is spent. You can object to un-ethical use of public money, in effect, your money and who it is spent on. Ethical procurement is where councils and public services buy in from local companies first, then larger companies with ethical investments and good CSR, environmental policies and can that their business practices are less harmful to people and the environment.

That these businesses are not linked to arms trading, oppression of poor people, and other murky practices such as land/water pollution and people displacement.

These are everyday issues that local councils face, that you and your vote can have a direct impact on. Why would you vote for a party that buys goods and services that damage the environment where your family’s culture and traditions came from? How can you support such destruction? Only if you don’t know it exists. So use your vote wisely. Value your vote and use it wisely.

Remember not be fooled by false hope and short term gain. The best example of when the s**t hits the fan is the recent case of bankers squandering huge amounts of money in the stock exchange, gambling your pensions and guess what they lost! And it was your money!

How did this happen we were all left wondering. Luckily you don’t have to look back that far, just cast your mind back to the eighties early nineties when building societies, and utilities were being sold off. Remember the term ‘windfall’? you don’t hear that nowadays.

We wanted rewards then but failed to think about the future when it all became profit making. We cannot afford to let the health service go the same route nor education. We must protect these last bastions of public life in order to safeguard the wellbeing of our children’s futures and our grandchildren’s future too.

Let us not forget it was not just the Blue Tories who got caught being selfish and greedy by claiming expenses they were not entitled to from the tax payer but high profile Lib Dems Orange and new Labour Red party members were also caught with their nose in the trough.

When it comes to the environment in which we all live in, these parties can only look to the Greens with envy. For those who don’t know much about the Green Party, you are allowed to use toilet paper and you can brush your teeth, you don’t have to wear sandals or be a vegan.

So all in all I believe it’s time for a new colour…. so what will you be wearing next spring?

© Naomi Aptowitzer October 2009

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