You’re gonna get fracked hard by the Conservatives.

Fracking, it seems to have fallen out of the public eye – for whatever reason. But the fact remains that this is not the answer to our energy needs. I mean, I’m not keen on being able to set fire to my tap water. That’s just the bare minimum of what is wrong with the process. Near Blackpool, fracking was deemed to be the cause of earthquakes that occurred. MEDACT even released a report on it stating that the chemicals involved in the fracking process have the potential to cause cancer, lung diseases and birth defects on newborn children.

Here’s what a senior Conservative politician had to say:

 

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Yes, the leader of Fareham Borough Council really said that. Here’s a link to his tweet.

Suella Fernandes (The Conservative’s candidate for Fareham) had this to say about fracking on her website:

“I therefore believe that these regulations will provide suitable protection against any health risks, so I support them.”

Across the world we’ve put our faith into the regulations set onto the fossil fuel industry, yet they don’t always work… I’ll just leave this here.

Caroline Lucas said that the Conservative’s manifesto was “a car crash for the environment” – I’d personally go one step further and say this is a multiple pile-up on a dual carriageway for the environment.

When it comes to our environment and who best to protect it, when it comes to protecting our green spaces, when it comes to protecting animals from the pollution as a result of fracking – it is always the Green Party that has done so.

The Green Party will make sure that our air is breathable and our water is drinkable. Fracking is too big a risk to take for yours and your family’s health.

The Green Party today also released our Green Guarantee which you can view here.

The Struggle of Young Voter Registration

I’d thought I’d take some time to comment about my experiences of trying to raise awareness amongst older-residents in the areas of our area. It occurred to me that I’m talking to a completely different world view with an obvious generational divide between us. Here I am, 22 years old, standing in front of groups of people who have possibly been retired for some time. When I start talking about ensuring the rights to democracy and encouraging the youth in the community to register to vote, I feel like I’m hitting a brick wall.

  1. If you know of young people who can vote – send them here (register to vote – deadline is Monday – May 22nd)
  2. If you are part of a community organisation or group – let people know you are voting and explain why. Regardless of your political views or your age. It’s a privilege you’ve had, let’s pass it on to the next generation.
  3. Take action now, if you’re a parent and you want a better future for your children. If you are a lecturer at a college or university, if you run a youth group or organisation – send an email, a text, slide into their DMs, just take action.

Fareham can’t afford to have our future without a voice on June 8th.

After all we have to live with it longer.

Fareham’s Green Surge

I’d like to start by thanking every one of you who voted for me and The Green Party. I’d like to also thank the support I have received over this campaign from family, friends, supporters and people within our community. The Greens are a growing force in Fareham. The Green Party has been building on successive local elections to effectively tripling our votes in the general election. Let me give you some perspective:

In 2010 – we received 790 votes. In the early hours of Friday, 8th May 2015 – we received 2129. This is a clear sign that people, now more than ever, are going Green. This has laid out a huge foundation for our future campaigns and we are determined to build on this.

As I said at the count, Suella – I wish you well, I hope we will hear from you over your next term. However, this election isn’t the end of our efforts. This isn’t the last you have heard from me or The Green Party, we are here to stay. This is a new era of Fareham’s history.

I urge you reading this, if you have considered joining Green in the past. Do it now. If you have ever considered donating to your local Green Party to help with the production of newsletters, leaflets, badges, banners. Do it now. Because the Green Party will be fighting in next year’s local elections and we will be fighting hard. You have the chance to be part of the team that stands up for Fareham and provides our town with a future we can all be proud of.

Keep voting Green, Fareham deserves better, and so do you.

Thanks for reading.

Miles

The Greens take the campaign to Sarisbury

Today was a first for me, I leafleted Sarisbury Green with a supporter. I’ve never delivered leaflets outside of Warsash/Locks Heath before. It felt good. It felt like we were giving people the chance to look at an alternative to the sheer complacency and arrogance of elected representatives to simply ignore people and just put out a leaflet claiming that they “don’t just stick newsletters out during election time” but in actual fact that’s the only communication between representatives and the people they are meant to represent.

I’ve lived in Sarisbury for 8 years and you are the first candidate for any election to come to my door

(Resident in Sarisbury who spoke to me today)

The fact is that quote above defines what is wrong with Fareham and the way things work here. Our representatives are getting too cosy with their positions that they put each other in. No one has held them to account, until now. It wasn’t until The Green Party campaigned in Fareham that we put the issue of public transport on the table. A resident in Sarisbury was, quite rightfully, appalled that Fareham was named THE MOST CAR DEPENDENT TOWN IN THE UK.

The Green Party and I have had our ears to the ground, listening to what you have to say. We’re not waiting around to get elected to take action for you. We’re already fighting the issues that plague our community. Last year, after many residents in my home village of Warsash raised the issue of yellow lines, I went alongside residents to get rid of them down my street – and WE WON.

As I’ve said many times in this campaign, a vote for the Green Party is a vote for proactive representation.

We can do much better than this.

Thanks for reading,

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Miles

Let’s do it.

At the end of my last lesson today we were having a discussion about politics in this country and what my thoughts were – something I’m very grateful for. The typical defeatist arguments were there “How can you do everything you’ve said you want to do?” but for me the one question stuck in my mind was “Why local buses? Why local issues? There are more important issues in the world”. I was a bit offended and disturbed by the narrow-mindedness of such a question.

Let’s put this into perspective, I’ll use my bog standard local issue of buses:

  • Frequent buses on the road that fit in with people’s lives (like the ones we see in Southampton) would lead to less cars on the road.
  • Less cars on the road mean less Co2 emissions, meaning we would be doing our part on a small, but important, scale to reduce climate change.
  • People who financially cannot afford or physically use a car have a cheaper alternative than if they called for a taxi.

There are many more knock-on effects from just this one, apparently small, important issue. I find it incredibly worrying that people who are of my generation have this defeatist, individualistic mentality. A friend of mine, much more “radical” than I, said that me and her wanted the same things – but we had different ideas about how to achieve it. What I believe in is local democracy, I believe that power should be decentralised to the lowest possible level. I believe that local communities should have the power to decide what is best for them in everything. Including their health, education and other public services (notice the word PUBLIC there). I believe that things like transport, the NHS, energy, The Post Office should be nationalised AND decentralised for the reasons why I have already mentioned. I believe that buying local should be a much more desirable option than importing millions of tonnes worth of food, which we end up wasting enough anyway. I believe businesses like Amazon, HSBC should be made to pay the right amount of tax (by the way it has been estimated that tax avoidance costs the UK £80bn or so a year).

All in all, it’s about the people, it’s about bottom-up approaches to our problems. Democracy I believe is the way forward to achieve it, it’s not perfect at the moment – but WE CAN FIX IT, in fact I am going to argue that it is The Green Party that is giving faith to people who are fed up with the current system, giving people hope instead of fear and giving people a real alternative. What I find absolutely appalling is this insane demoralisation of young people who do not believe we can do it. Just look to Greece, Syriza has been making some wonderful progress so far since being elected not too long ago. They are showing that it’s not all doom and gloom, and so too will The Green Party.

What I am offering Fareham is an alternative, to austerity, to pessimism and to the system that divides us socially and destroys our environment. People are waking up from the complacency and defeatism that they have previously succumbed to. There is a way to change the system and it’s not out of the barrel of a gun – it’s a cross on the ballot paper.

Let’s do it! Let’s go Green for Fareham!

Thank you for reading,

miles

Miles

Going Green? Go Grindey!

We need to talk about mental health.

I am backing calls for better provision of support for local people in mental health crisis. Mind, the mental health charity, is calling for local services to deliver on their promise to improve the support for people who are suicidal, self-harming or in psychosis.

Last year, national and local governments, and leaders of key services in England, including health, police, and voluntary organisations, signed the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat, an agreement that sets national standards for the care of people in mental health crisis. The Concordat aims to make sure that no matter where someone turns, they get the help they need and don’t fall through the cracks between different services. Key organisations in Fareham have since come together to sign their own local declaration agreeing to achieve the Concordat standards and are now preparing a local action plan to deliver them. [NB a small number of local areas have already done action plans – you can check progress on your local area here: www.crisiscareconcordat.org.uk]

Mental health is an issue that is often overlooked and brushed aside.  One in four constituents will experience a mental health problem this year and countless more will be affected through friends, family, work colleagues and other people in their lives. More needs to be done to ensure those who suffer from mental health problems get the appropriate treatment they need. Just look at the amount of young people going through and coming out of the educational system with mental health problems, it’s disgraceful.

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said: “In a mental health crisis, your mind is at melting point. You may experience extreme anxiety, have suicidal thoughts or even a psychotic episode. It can happen to anyone. When you’re in crisis you need compassion and understanding, no matter who you turn to for help – whether it’s health and ambulance services, the police, social care or voluntary organisations.

“Signing a local Concordat is the first step in improving services but we need to see these good intentions translated into better services for everyone in crisis. We need the next government, and the next set of MPs, to provide clear leadership and resources to make sure the Concordat’s standards are achieved and local action plans delivered so that excellent crisis care is available everywhere.”

Thanks for reading,

miles

Miles

I’m supporting Fareham’s local pubs and breweries

I am pledging my support for local pubs and breweries.

The three pledges are highlighted in the Manifesto for Pubs and Real Ale by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, which sets out a package of reforms they are seeking from the next Government. These important pledges are to:

 

  • Support well-run community pubs
  • Promote Britain’s breweries
  • Represent pub goers and beer drinkers.

 

Tim Page, CAMRA’s Chief Executive welcomed my support, saying:

“We are delighted that Miles has pledged his support for pubs, breweries and consumers. As, on average, 31 pubs close each week it is absolutely vital that our elected representatives recognise and champion the value of these important community assets, and work to protect them.

“CAMRA is urging the next Government to act to ensure that pubs are better protected in the planning system, that large pub companies treat their licensees fairly and that beer duty is set at a level which supports UK brewing.”

I am proud to be campaigning for pubs and real ale. Well-run community pubs play a crucial role in local life and make a massive contribution to the local economy – with each injecting around £80,000 to the local area every year. If elected, I will continue to show my support in Parliament.  I’ve grown up with politicians breaking their pledges, I don’t aim to be one of them!

Thanks for reading

miles

Miles

Going Green? Go Grindey!

I have been selected to stand for Fareham

Well this has been an exciting week to say the least!

Members of the South East Hampshire Green Party have nominated me, a 19 year old Itchen Sixth Form College student, as their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Fareham constituency at the next general election, to be held on the 7th of May 2015.

 

As you may know from reading this blog, I have  grown up in Warsash and at the time of the next election, I will be just 20 years old – making me quite possibly one of, if not, the youngest candidates in the UK. I have previously has stood for election in 2013 and 2014 in my home ward of Warsash. I have recently become the Chair of the Warsash Residents’ Association and have been campaigning on local issues such as Public Transport and have demonstrated against the proposed development known as “Welborne”.

 

I’ve grown up in Fareham and I want to see to it that the people of Fareham are actually listened to as opposed to being managed like cattle. It is time we had someone in Parliament who will fight against destructive developments like Welborne, who will fight to renationalise our trains and get proper links to places of work, hospitals and schools, someone who will fight for the next generation and scrap tuition fees, someone who puts people before profit. All my life I’ve heard people crying for an alternative, and here I am.

Let’s rock.

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Miles