John Adams Market Drayton Hustings 2019

John Adams

Opening Statement

Good evening everyone. I’m John Adams and I am the Green parliamentary candidate for North Shropshire. I’ve lived in North Shropshire since 1987 and worked at Harper Adams for more than 20 years. I have a long term interest in sustainable development and particularly in the science and politics of climate change.

Tonight I’m going to ask you to cause a political earthquake in North Shropshire on December 12th, not because I’m desperate for power and publicity like some politicians, but because it’s the right thing to do.

So, my aim tonight is to persuade you to change what you think is possible; to persuade you it’s time to vote for a Green MP in North Shropshire.

For all our sakes, this election must be the climate change election. The climate emergency is the defining issue of our time and is far more important for our future well-being even than Brexit. Climate change will have a negative impact on every aspect of our lives however fast we act to reverse it, and Brexit is likely to make that even harder. However, by changing what we think is possible we can act fast enough to prevent catastrophic impacts. During questions later I hope to persuade you that the Green party position on Brexit provides the most sensible way to settle the issue and move on.

Now I realise this constituency has elected Owen Paterson to be its MP for the last 22 years, which I think is too long, but I know asking you to vote Green is a bit of a challenge!

Why should you stand with the Green party and vote to do something very different this time? Because the values that underpin Green party politics are very different from other parties. I’d like you to think for a moment about how you see the state of the world today, and ask yourself how that picture compares to the world you’d like to see? I’m guessing that you would see two very different worlds? That’s actually where we are today. We’ve arrived at the crossroads where we have to choose between the Green party’s vision: the road to a safe, fair and hopeful future; and the road our politicians are currently leading us down: the road to nowhere pleasant. If we continue with politics as usual the future is surely a downward spiral of more environmental, social and economic breakdown. So we think it’s time to take a different road to a very different future.

It didn’t need to be this way. We are at this crossroads now because our politicians haven’t been honest with the public. And that’s a major problem: if we don’t even know when we are being lied to, how can we properly decide who to vote for in the general election?

Successive governments haven’t been brave enough to challenge powerful and wealthy interests determined to continue business as usual. They haven’t listened to the science and implemented policies needed to keep us safe. They should have started the transition to a fossil-free world twenty years ago. Fortunately the Green party has done the homework and is the only party ready with credible policies for this critical moment in human history.

Although the Green party won’t form the next government, it’s really, really important to maximise the number of Green MPs in Parliament. This is the opportunity for you to convince the next government that adopting transformational Green policies can reward them politically. The votes of more Green MPs, especially if no party has an overall majority, could make all the difference to the future.

So I feel a huge responsibility to challenge Owen Paterson, because I’m convinced that the policies he promotes will take us down that wrong road because they are completely inadequate for a time of climate emergency. His decision not to appear at the Oswestry environment hustings on 4th Dec. speaks volumes about his lack of concern for the environment. Does he feel so safe that he can afford to ignore any voters who care about the planet?

The Green party is offering voters carefully considered and costed policies under the banner of a Green New Deal to transform the unsustainable economy we have today, to reverse climate change and environmental damage, while creating a fair and just society at the same time. The Green New Deal aims to create more than 4million jobs by 2030 in transport (by upgrading rail capacity, cycle ways and footpaths), in industry (decarbonisation R&D grants + skills), in housing (new social housing, insulating and retrofitting existing homes), in energy (by doubling capacity of the energy grid and investing in renewables) and in agriculture/forestry (by doubling woodland cover to 26% from 13% and starting transition to sustainable farming).

The Green party believes the climate emergency must be the overwhelming priority for the next government. The public hasn’t been told the truth about climate change, and the Green party is the only party “mature enough to tell it like it is”, to borrow a phrase from Greta Thunberg.

Science tells us that humans are changing the Earth’s climate faster than Nature has before, and this rapid change is a real threat to the future of human civilisation. Half of humanity’s carbon emissions have occurred in the last 30 years, and the wealthiest 10% of the population are estimated to be responsible for 50% of annual global emissions. Climate change has no political affiliation and will affect everyone on Earth. We all need to come together now like we did in WW2 and act collectively for the common good.

There are people who don’t want you to believe there’s a climate emergency. They can’t deny the overwhelming scientific agreement any longer, but now they’ll claim it’s impossible or too expensive to make the necessary changes without destroying the economy. We think they are wrong. In fact our continued dependence on fossil fuels makes it impossible to carry on with the current economic system without destroying the economy and the planet along with it. Business as usual will be much more expensive than acting now. Now is the right time to vote for a Green New Deal to transform the economy and our relationship with the natural world for the future of young people most of all.

There is no time to wait another five years before deciding to change course. So, every voter, each one of you, has enormous power in this election to determine the kind of world we will experience in the future.

This election is truly the climate change election so please register to vote, read the Green party manifesto at https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/, vote on December 12th and even if you previously voted for another party, vote Green this time for real and honest action on climate change, for a binding People’s vote to settle Brexit and for a fair society. Thank you.

Imprint: All election material printed, published and promoted by Emma Bullard on behalf of John Adams (Green Party of England & Wales)

 

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