Sam Murray

Image credit: Sam Murray

As the government continues its negotiations over Brexit – both with the European Union and the UK parliament – the possibility of the UK participating in the forthcoming European Parliament elections is becoming more and more likely. In light of this, regional Green Parties have begun the process of selecting candidates to fight those elections.

Bright Green is inviting all those standing to be Green candidates for those potential elections to write a short article, outlining why party members should select them. One of these candidates is Sam Murray, and this is what he had to say:

This year’s European Elections are not until May, but we are already seeing incredible acts of political bravery from young people across the continent. It’s been over a month since Belgian school children started their climate strikes, over a month since Greta Thunberg called out millionaires in Davos for not doing enough to fight the climate emergency, and over a month since the Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) launched its bravest most ambitious election platform in its history. It is on this platform I’m running to be selected to the London Green Party European list.

Across Europe, Young Greens have taken the remarkably brave decision to run for election. In the Netherlands Kim van Sparrentak, is out on the streets protesting weekly for action on climate change. In Malta, Mina Tolu has broken social taboos around abortion calling for debate on this issue sending tremors of progressive politics through the heart of the Maltese political establishment. These are but a few of the many young candidates powering the European green wave.

This election it’s not good enough for Green Party candidates to say they are European and want to stop Brexit. We must project a vision for what Greens can do to change Europe and be clear in what we as MEPs would deliver for the people of London.

I have never had the courage to run for public office, but coming from the young green family in Europe, and being part of constructing our vision for Europe, I have never felt more empowered and inspired to participate in the London Green Party MEP primary. Since 2015 I have been involved in international green politics through the Federation of Young European Greens, the board of which I was elected to last year.  With them, I have worked on developing a manifesto for the European elections, calling for a social, sustainable, and welcoming & inclusive Europe.

Building a strong campaign

I want to run in this election to be a voice for young people across London, to validate their belief in Europe as a collective hope for something better and to act to empower them to make changes in their own communities and to fight climate change. At a time when young people are politically engaged, but not voting, Greens need to present MEP candidates who look and sound like them. To achieve this in part we must progress votes and candidacy at 16.

We also need to push for progressive policies to lift the impact of austerity on young people. We need UBI trails to support young people in finding their path to employment, to ensure EU nations properly resource and act on the Youth guarantee meant to help bring opportunity. We need to ban unpaid internships and need to ban discriminatory youth wages to ensure employment equality. Age should not be a barrier to an income.

We need to be loud and clear as a movement that nobody is illegal, and we won’t accept the vilification of migrants and refugees. As the grandson of a Hungarian refugee I feel passionate about protecting those fleeing unimaginable horrors and see migration and multiculturalism as something integral to our cultural development as a continent.

Finally, as my fellow candidates and I agree, we need more ambitious policy to tackle the global climate crisis. We need to move to 100% renewable energy. We need to look at radical ideas like shared European renewable energy storage to lift people out of fuel poverty.

So many young greens this year are doing the scary thing, running for election, to protect the future of our planet and fight for the young people of today. I want to join them and with your vote fight for our common good.

All articles from those seeking to be Green candidates for London in the European Parliament elections can be found here.

About Sam Murray

Sam Murray is a Green Party activist from London. He currently sits on the Federation of Young European Greens executive committee, and previously served one year as a co-chair of the Young Greens of England and Wales.