25 Apr 2007

Peter for parliament

“The people of Oxford have an opportunity to make history - by
electing Britain’s first Green MP,” said human rights campaigner Peter
Tatchell today.

He has made history and pushed extra parliamentary struggle, he is one of our most important social movement activists...but great to see him running for us for parliament, here is the take from Outrage.

He was commenting on his selection as the Green Party’s parliamentary
candidate for Oxford East. The seat is currently held by the Labour MP
Andrew Smith.

“Support for Labour is falling. The Lib Dems are losing votes to the
revived Conservatives. This means a Green challenger could come though
the middle and take the seat.

“The Green Party already wins 20% of the vote in Oxford local
elections. All we have to do is persuade these voters, and a few more,
to vote Green at the next general election. In a four-way contest, the
Greens can win Oxford East.

“I am offering the voters a real choice: do you want a passionate,
independent-minded Green MP, or another grey clone from the Lib Dems,
Tories and Labour?

“Having taken on President Robert Mugabe, I’ve no hesitation in taking
on Andrew Smith and campaigning hard for Oxford East.

“Andrew Smith has supported nearly every negative, damaging Labour
policy, including the Iraq war, ID cards, foundation hospitals,
student top-up fees and attacks on civil liberties.

“It is time for change. The Greens offer a positive, progressive
alternative. We are the anti-war party that champions human rights and
social justice, as well as environmental protection and action against
climate change.

“The Green Party opposes Labour’s creeping privatisation of health and
education. We believe public services should serve the public, not
enrich private corporations. Our priority is more doctors, nurses and
teachers, and fewer management consultants.

“Climate chaos is the single biggest threat to Britain’s prosperity
and security. The Greens are the only party with serious, credible
policies to halt global warming.

“Labour plans to waste billions on Trident nuclear missiles, ID cards,
new road building and more nuclear power stations. In contrast, the
Greens would invest this money in energy conservation, renewable power
generation, affordable green housing and cheaper, safer and cleaner
public transport.

“I will soon start living in the constituency and getting involved in
local community campaigns, including opposing the destruction of
Radley Lakes and Walford Meadow, the privatisation of public services,
the shortage of affordable housing, and job cuts in the Oxfordshire
NHS,” said Mr Tatchell.

Welcoming Peter Tatchell’s selection, Green Party Principal Speaker
Dr. Derek Wall said:

"Peter has been a friend since 1988. From his citizen’s arrest of
Robert Mugabe to his work in OutRage! using direct action to promote
gay liberation, his record on human rights and social justice
campaigning is one of the most impressive in Britain. We are lucky to
have him as a candidate. I think he can win in Oxford East, a
constituency which includes wards like St Mary's where we already
receive 66 per cent of the vote.

"He is going to raise the game for the whole party. I think his
selection will be seen as a real turning point, making the party more
serious, more professional and more focussed on issues of justice. I
will be out knocking on doors for him and I know I won't be alone."

Cllr Matt Sellwood, who is Deputy Leader of the City Council Green
Group, added:

"Oxford Green Party is delighted to have Peter represent us at the
next General Election. He has a proven history of principled politics
and campaigning success. When combined with the local party's
electoral expertise, we expect an excellent result."

Further information:

Peter Tatchell – 020 7403 1790

Green Party Press Office 020 7561 0282

Web - http://www.greenparty.org.uk


Oxford is one of the Green Party's homelands, with 11 local green
Councillors, and more than 20 per cent of the vote at last year's
local elections.

Oxford East ranks in the top 20 per cent of constituencies nationwide
in terms of the Green Party's vote share, and is in the top 5 for the
South East region.

At the last general election, the Oxford East constituency received a
higher percentage of Green votes than any other constituency in the
Oxford region.

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