Newbury News Ltd. Print-Digital-Social

Greens lose out to 'red surge'

Paul Field disappointed as 37,000 vote for Benyon

Greens lose out to 'red surge'

GREEN Party candidate Paul Field has said that Britain needs to change following the election result.  

While Mr Field received the best vote percentage share locally at the Thatcham Town Council
by-election, it was a different story for the General Election.

He received a total of 1,531 votes, which represented a 1.5 per cent drop on the 2,324 from 2015.

Mr Field said that the party had benefitted from a “Green surge” in 2015, but had lost out to a “red surge of Labour votes” this time around. 

“It’s not a wonderful result, but neither was it a disaster,” Mr Field said. 

“We are recognised locally as a proper political party, on this occasion we lost out to the Labour Party.”

However, he said that he was disappointed with 37,000 people being “prepared to buy into the Conservative story” by giving their support to Theresa May and thinking that was best for the country.

“They thought seven years of economic failure and increasing fractions in society was worth voting for, that’s worrying,” said Mr Field.

“If they are only voting for Richard Benyon they need to look at what he would be signing up to.

“He’s completely compliant with the Conservatives. His track record shows he’s a good boy.”

Mr Field said that Mrs May’s decision to call the snap election and the ensuing result had “ruined her career as a serious politician”.  

When asked about the deal struck with the DUP, Mr Field said: “That’s going to go well. What could possibly go wrong? It’s a desperate act.” 

But taking a more positive stance, Mr Field said that the DUP “were not fans of austerity” and might tone down Mrs May’s “ridiculous rhetoric on Brexit” and address how Brexit would affect the Irish border. 

He added that the DUP’s “18th-century approach” to issues such as same-sex marriage could not be taken seriously and he hoped the alliance would be “more about investment in schools and our society”.

On the possibility of another General Election, he said: “I can’t see how this Government can survive.

“Does that mean I want another one? No, we lost a lot of deposits. It’s cost us a lot, we can’t afford it, that’s the painful truth. I think they will hang on as long as they can.”

The Greens have long called for introducing proportional representation and Mr Field said that the current system had failed again. 

“Many people fell for the trick of tactical voting and people felt that they couldn’t vote for what they believe in. That doesn’t create a democracy that we can believe in.

“I think we are a lot closer to PR than we realise. I’ve never been represented by somebody I supported. My voice has never been heard in Parliament.

“It would mean that parties would make principles they could stick to rather than promising things in the short-term.

“They are blowing on the winds of popularism instead of having the deep roots of principle.” 

Former justice and education secretary, Michael Gove, was appointed Secretary of State for the Environment in the Prime Minister’s cabinet reshuffle.  

“How bad has the problem got to be that Michael Gove is the answer?” Mr Field said. 

As previously reported in the NWN, Mr Field announced that he was stepping down as the headteacher of Basildon Primary School because he could “no longer lie to parents” about the impact of Tory cuts to education. 

“I don’t like making personal attacks, but goodness gracious me, an utter disaster on every level.

“The damage that he (Mr Gove) has done to my profession; I fear what he could do to the environment.” 

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000