Hello, I’m Martin this is why I want to be your MP. I grew up in Hartlepool and felt the pride we have in the industrial achievements of Teesside. I shared the pain as old industries shrank and died.
Green Party policies can make Britain a better place. Especially in the North East. Middlesbrough and Cleveland have suffered more than most from austerity. Strangely, it’s ordinary people who have been most affected – the richest 1% just keep getting more. The Green Party thinks that is wrong. And austerity has been used as an excuse to hack at public services or hand them over to business.
Take the NHS. It was built as a public service and that’s what it should be. Just being free isn’t enough. Businesses exist to make money. The NHS should exist to look after people’s health. Most health professionals want to commit to providing a public service – they don’t want to make more money for the already rich.
Some people say we can’t afford the NHS. But the American system costs twice as much. People who have experienced both say the NHS is better – regardless of cost.
The deficit is a concern, but it isn’t as important as fixing the problems. On Teesside we need high quality education to ensure everyone has relevant skills. Combine that with an industrial policy to promote creation of the goods we really need and the deficit will look after itself.
It’s been proved that spending money on improving housing has multiple benefits. And it pays. Houses with poor insulation and inefficient heating leave people cold and damp. That causes ill health. Fixing the problems saves more in health spending than it costs. There are plenty of other examples of things we can do to make people’s lives better, improve the environment, and save money. All at the same time.
Good quality housing ought to be affordable for all, to rent or to buy. It could be, if we concentrate on a sensible mix of social and private housing. Developers prefer greenfield sites, but they should only be used as a last resort.
Teesside is being short changed over transport. Many politicians are seduced by the hugely costly HS2 vanity project. It might get as far as Leeds! Meanwhile Teesside is in line for some cast off London Underground trains. The Green Party favours investment in local transport including both trains and buses.
Of course the Green Party is especially concerned at the damage inflicted on our planet. The future for our families is at stake. It isn’t just global warming, although that’s a big worry. People die from pollution, agricultural runoff is poisoning the oceans. These problems are getting urgent, yet only the Green Party advocates vigorous action.
There’s a lot to be done that other parties just won’t tackle. I’m asking for your support so that we can start making things better. If we take the right decisions, we can have a rosier future.