Vix Lowthion

Image credit: YouTube screengrab

As a Green candidate in these EU elections, I’ve spent the last 3 weeks travelling across the South East of England. Oxford, Brighton, Portsmouth, Southampton, Dover, the Isle of Wight – we have some truly wonderful parts of the world right on our doorstep.

However, turn the corner in any street, any lane, any square and you can witness huge pockets of appalling poverty. Green MEP Keith Taylor’s report – Escalating Hunger in the South East – documented the scale of food bank dependency in the region – rising 15% in a single year.

Yet the 20 page UN report by Professor Philip Alston, published this week, paints an even more damming picture of the last nine years of Conservative government austerity cuts. He states that 14 million people in the UK live in poverty – that’s one fifth of the population of the country I call home.

It’s no wonder that in the 2016 referendum, given a vote and an opportunity to make clear their anger with this social and economic inequality, that millions of voters – many in the poorest pockets – voted to send a clear message to Westminster that they were angry with this ‘harsh, uncaring ethos’ and voted Leave. It was the ultimate gesture of rage, frustration and fear of the lack of control that poverty and public services cuts was affecting on their daily lives.

But it isn’t only through voting for Leave, UKIP and Farage that we can protest at the establishment and the leaders who have failed to support us. We can protest at the growth of poverty, austerity and social inequality by voting for a party of hope and positivity. We can make a protest – by voting for the Greens.

Greens understand the position of being outsiders and understand the vital demonstration of speaking truth to power. But Greens also offer hope – that through bold, radical and long term solutions we can tackle head on the challenges we face. Together. Whether that is the raging economic disparity, or the social divisions, or the rise in political extremism.

Greens are bold. We are brave. And we care. For those who feel that successive governments and politicians have left them behind you can make a vote of protest. A positive one. You can vote Green.