On Tactical Voting in Central Devon

I’ve spent a long time thinking about this. I’ve been the Green Party Candidate in Central Devon for the last two General Elections, and after some deep soul searching, am standing again this time.

Under our utterly unfair, archaic and obsolete electoral system, tactical voting is ONLY worth attempting in marginal seats with a sufficiently small majority AND where there’s a SINGLE clear challenger to the Conservative (whose vote was close enough last time to be worth backing this time). There are 100s of ‘what ifs’ that you can ask yourself, but I don’t believe that in Central Devon, attempting to vote tactically will be of any use.

In 2015 Labour, Lib Dem (and UKIP) all got around 7000 votes, and Tory 28,436. I got 4,866.

In 2017, the Corbyn surge, and the Lib Dem crash gave Labour 15,598 and Lib Dem 6770. Mel Stride 31,278 (54% of the vote). I got 1,531.

Last time I know there were loads of people who ‘tactically voted’ for Labour, and another load who did the same for Lib Dem. I suspect we’ll see the same thing all over again. I’ve seen apparently reputable tactical voting sites recommend the Lib Dems this time. I gather some suggest Labour. I’ve also seen one that says don’t bother, it’s a safe seat.

While I’ll be campaigning as hard as I can for what I believe in, and against the utter incompetence and fraud that the Conservative govt has and continues to perpetrate – I’m not telling anyone who to vote for, other than for what they most believe in.

It’s true that in the UK, we vote for a single candidate – not for a party of government, and still less for one of the leaders to become Prime Minister.  Right now I’m more concerned about the bigger global picture – the UK’s reputation in the world, which is being trashed by Brexit, and our ability to influence global policy towards the catastrophic climate catastrophe that looks increasingly unavoidable.

If I thought that my own vote for either Labour or Lib Dem had a chance of helping one of them to win here, and therefore help cause a #peoplesvote on #brexit deal or remaining in the EU, then I would vote that way, and would not have stood as the Green Party candidate. Green votes really do matter across the country, to show how strongly people believe in our policies, and in turn for the very practical reason of providing ‘Short Money’ to our MPs in the next parliament (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Money). Right now, every vote is worth 13.5p per year to the Green Party. In 2015, our 1.2 million votes across the UK were worth over £200k to pay for researchers in Parliament to support Caroline Lucas. After the 2017 General Election when lots of people voted for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party and the Green vote went down, two of Caroline’s researchers had to be laid off.  Don’t let anyone ever tell you that your vote is worthless or wasted! 🙂

A waste? No – your vote is worth 13½p per year (not as trivial as it sounds)

I’m the Green Party candidate in one of the safest Tory seats in the country, (54% vote in 2017) where opinion between Lab and Lib Dem in general, or as a tactical vote is divided – NB despite despite voting tactically being pointless here In the last two elections, lots of people who would prefer to
A conversation I’ve been having often in the last few weeks runs something like this:
Me: Do you know what ‘Short Money’ is?
Usual response: No, or is it something to do with ‘shorting’ in financial markets?
Me: It’s the money paid by the taxpayer to opposition parties to do their work in Parliament. It’s based on the number of MPs AND on the number of votes nationally. In 2015 when the Green Party got 1.2 million votes across the country, Caroline Lucas received over £200k per year in Short money, which was used to employ researchers across all areas of policy, which helped her be so effective as an MP. When the Green vote went down in 2017, 2 of these had to be laid off, as there was no money to pay them. In 2015 every 200 votes added £33.33 to this annual payment. George Osborn reduced it by 19% in the budget that year, but I’ve worked it out, and the value now is 13
½p per vote per year. This may sound trivial, but multiplied by a million or more across the country it’s a substantial amount which has been vital to the Green Party and will be to any MPs who get elected this time.
Usual response: Wow! that’s really interesting – why don’t more people know about this?

Why not indeed? Unusually, in this general election (2019), I’m in favour of tactical voting where it can work to prevent another Tory government, but in very safe seats with no clear challenger, there’s no point. Vote with your brain AND your heart for the party whose policies you most agree with.

Know that every single vote for the Green Party helps us to represent you in Parliament, even if we don’t have an MP in your constituency. If you want to help by even more than this trivial amount, you can DONATE or JOIN US.

More about Short Money here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Money

The Green Party Manifesto 2019

The Green Party manifesto for the 2019 General Election has been published today.

You can read it online here: campaigns.greenparty.org.uk/manifesto

Or download a PDF version of the Green Party Manifesto 2019 here (5.2Mb, 92 pages)

I’m still working my way through it – so far it looks like a worthy successor to the 2015 Manifesto, which was truly inspiring as a vision for the future of the UK.

Siân Berry, Co-Leader, Green Party of England and Wales writes:

“The Green Party 2019 manifesto is now here! If ever there was a time to vote Green, it’s now. Thank you to all our members who have helped make this ambitious but critical manifesto a reality, especially our dedicated Policy working groups.

Today, we’re proud to put forward a manifesto which puts us on track to make the whole country carbon neutral by 2030, while delivering social justice across Britain.

Ours is the most ambitious Green New Deal proposed anywhere in the world, and goes far further than other parties’ half measures or watered-down commitments.

While Labour falls back on the 2030 target, while the Conservatives continue to make things worse not better with road and airport expansion, while all the other parties are trying to catch up, we’re still racing ahead with the big ideas the future needs.

The Greens are clear about which path we must take as a country. And that’s why each and every Green MP elected this December will have the strongest manifesto as their programme of work for the new Parliament.

If you read this manifesto and feel inspired to be part of the Green movement, please join the Green Party. We are now 50,000 members strong and growing and we’d love to have you on board!

join.greenparty.org.uk

Thank you for all of your support.

Siân Berry”

I’m standing again

Andy Williamson Caroline Lucas GP Common Good.JPG

Well, a general election is happening, for better or worse! I’m proud to have been selected again as the Green Party candidate for Central Devon, and I think it’s high time that Caroline Lucas was joined by many more Green members of parliament. Westminster and the UK would be in a much better place if that happens!

Speeches during this 2017 campaign

There have been six hustings during this campaign, and at each one, the candidates were asked to prepare something slightly different, to a fixed time. I wrote out what I intended to say in each case, so for anyone who wasn’t there, here they are, in reverse order.

In Ashburton, on 6 June, we were asked to speak for two minutes on the two issues we felt were most important in this election. Here’s what I said:

“I’ve chosen two things which are over-arching, and which cut to the very core of what is wrong with Theresa May’s Conservative government, and where I believe The Green party, and others offer so much more. These things are RESPONSIBILITY and LEADERSHIP. 

The Tories are desperate to absolve themselves in government of responsibility for everything – they think it’s ‘efficient’ for prisons to be run by G4S, for Hospitals to be run by Virgin, or Circle (who gave it back when they couldn’t make a profit), or schools to be run by anyone with a cheque book and a logo. But people who work for those businesses don’t ‘love’ them, the way people once loyally served the NHS, or Schools, or even British Rail – and as a patient or passenger, I want to feel proud of a great public service, not just a share price. 

They appoint ATOS to assess disabled people as ‘fit for work’, thousands of whom have then died within weeks. ‘I Daniel Blake’ shows a Kafkaesque, inhuman nightmare. Now the home office is, VERY DELIBERATELY telling people who’ve lived here for years to get ‘ready to leave’ the country. Responsible? My Arse!  

The EU referendum and what’s happened since is, I believe the most monumental, destructive, incompetent failure of leadership that I have ever seen. The will of the people? A Democratic sham! Even after the result, the Tories seem determined, to turn it into the biggest British tragedy since the bubonic plague! Never mind Trump, it almost looks like it’s Theresa May and Boris Johnson who are working for Russia.

This particular leadership failure started with David Cameron’s fear of the UKIP bullies. It continued with Boris and Gove – who were clearly horrified when they found themselves on the winning side, accused by Michael Heseltine of creating the “biggest constitutional crisis of modern times”! And now we have in Theresa May, a ‘leader’ who refuses to engage with any issue – at all! Instead she just lies, and lies, and lies. It’s absolutely outrageous – and SHAME ON THEM.”

We were also asked to speak for a minute about ourselves, without mentioning politics:

One minute – no politics!
Scottish dad, American mum – both teachers in Nigeria. Biafran war. To Glasgow, I was born. 1967.
Four years in Deal, Kent, then to County Durham. Local primary, two comprehensives. Free viola, clarinet and singing lessons on the county music service – singing in the national youth choir, playing in loads of orchestras.
Got two As at A level so to Oxford to study physics, which I loved, but not as much as all the music. More choirs, orchestras and Jazz sax with some Honkin’ Hep Cats.
Married. Worked in London for Dorling Kindersley – hi-tech new media. Moved to Bristol – web, and interactive TV.
Divorced. Went travelling, Shetland, Cuba, Corsica, Mozambique, Russia, America.
Met eco-warrior on a train from Bristol.
Kidneys failed – Polycystic Kidney Disease. Dialysis and two transplants from living donors, so far so good.
Married eco-warrior. Moved to Ashburton. Daughter. Love food, cooking and making music.
Wouldn’t it be great to turn Ashburton Methodist Church into an Arts Centre? Time’s running out for that! And for me.

[More to come]

Coming to a door mat near you

centraldevon-GE-A5-back and front 400pxThis little flyer on the right should be coming though every letterbox in Central Devon in the next few days. On the other side is something you can put in your window if you like. It’s impossible to really explain things in just a few hundred words, so here’s my attempt to give a bit more context to everything I wrote on the right hand half. On the left are Green Party policies, and I’m happy to endorse them all. Again, they’re very succinct here – for more, see the ‘Green Guarantee‘, essentially 10 priority policies for this general election, or the full Green Party manifesto.

So, here’s the front page, broken into sections, with more about why I wrote what I did in each bit.  

AWCD-Front-2-pic and unity

I know that there is a huge number of people in this constituency (and nationally) who would far prefer any combination of Labour, Lib Dem and Green MPs to form our government to the Conservatives, who achieved full control on 36% of the popular vote in 2015. Our ‘first past the post’ electoral system is patently broken, archaic and unrepresentative. The only way within this, for the electorate in Central Devon to have a fair chance to cast a vote which counts, is to offer a binary choice between the Conservative and a ‘unity’ candidate representing these other three parties. Until we have proportional representation, this imperfect solution is the only way. I tried to persuade the local Labour and Lib Dem groups and candidates to agree to this, with a week to go before the deadline for registering as a candidate. In 2015, the LibDem (12%), Labour (13%) and Green (9%) votes were very close. Had we been able to agree on a single candidate, then I think the clear choice this provided would have had a very good chance to attract enough attention to stand a good chance of winning against the Conservatives (52% in 2015). For different reasons, both other parties decided against any such agreement. In this case, it’s almost certain that the vote will again be split 3 ways – as neither Labour nor Lib Dem has been close enough even to be a strong candidate for mass ‘tactical voting’ to give them enough support. On June 8, it seems inevitable that tactical votes will go in each direction. The Green Party has voluntarily withdrawn candidates in some 26 seats, where it looks like that could affect the result in a positive way. Here, that is not the case; my voluntary withdrawal would achieve nothing – so, as in the majority of seats across the country, the Green Party has a candidate here, and people should, I think, vote for whichever candidate most closely stands for what they think is important.

AWCD-Front-3-judgement

This is a general election like no other. Theresa May has called it opportunistically and unnecessarily. Her excuse was ‘Brexit negotiations’. It’s clear that it’s really all about political machinations within the Conservative party. And that’s nothing new. The  EU referendum only happened because The Conservatives were scared of UKIP attracting ‘their’ votes. They didn’t expect to win the election, and so would easily be able to drop this commitment if a second coalition happened. They went ahead with a referendum in the most incompetent way imaginable. The legislation and campaigns were a farce. And for the result to be declared ‘the will of the people’ and for the turmoil and suffering we see as a consequence is an outrageous thing to inflict on the UK’s population.

The Tory party incompetence is continuing through this campaign, in particular it’s decision to focus everything on one person, Theresa May as leader. Now good leaders are important – but they’re not everything. in particular, in our parliamentary democracy, any party could win this election, form a new government then ditch the leader and appoint a new one, without any recourse to the rest of us in the electorate. So the whole Tory campaign is utterly disingenuous, and frankly is infantilising us all.

AWCD-Front-4-laughable

For the EU referendum to be described as ‘the will of the people’ is clearly nonsense. As I predicted before the 28 June, ‘Brexit’ now overshadows everything, leaving no time for our government to deal with the really important issues of our time: the global threat from manmade climate change and the need for us to replace our dependence on fossil fuels with renewable, sustainable alternatives; and the global conflicts which are creating the biggest refugee crisis in history.

AWCD-Front-5-CarolineLucas

Historically, in party-blind polls about policies, the Green Party consistently comes top. But people say things like, “I love what they stand for, but the Greens will never win so it’s a wasted vote.” But when the Green Party DOES win, it has brought us people like Caroline Lucas, widely regarded as the most effective MP in Parliament, and Molly Scott Cato, MEP for the South West who is doing fantastic work, and who I hope will be elected on 8 June to represent Bristol West as an MP. I can’t promise to be equal to Caroline’s talent, but if elected I will do my damnedest to follow her example.

AWCD-Front-7-UK

The EU referendum has brought to the surface all sorts of competing and sometimes contradictory things. The tolerant, inclusive, country where ignorant bigotry and ‘fear of the other’ was regarded as unacceptable, which I have grown up in all my life seems different now, almost a distant memory. Clearly there are many people who feel abandoned, unheard, unrepresented, unfairly treated, etc, and who expressed this on 23 June 2016. I don’t believe that leaving the EU will solve any of these problems. In fact, I believe they’ll be exacerbated and we’ll be in an even worse place trying to sort them out. However, we are where we are. Article 50 has been triggered, and the next UK government need to carefully and thoughtfully do what is in the best interests of the country. I believe that the Green Party’s proposal to offer a second referendum on the outcome of these negotiations with the option to remain in the EU is what should now happen.

But it’s not just about the UK’s place in the EU. If a Conservative government is reelected on 8 June, then the NHS is under more threat than ever from predatory global companies who seek to profit from our pain and illness and a government set to continue the privatisation of NHS services to the point where integrated treatment in the patient’s best interests becomes impossible. Our education system is set to be further divided, into grammar schools, free schools, multi-academy trusts, etc – making choices for parents and children ever more unnecessarily complicated, without taking account of all the best evidence as what is really best for our future generations.

The above has been written quickly. It could do with some editing I’m sure. And there’s lots more to say that’s still missing. However, there are emails to answer (apologies if I haven’t got to yours yet), and hustings to prepare for tomorrow in Bovey Tracey, a daughter to collect from school, and a non-election-related event, this ‘Campfire Conversation‘ happening in Ashburton this evening to set up.

AWCD-Front-8-banner

Central Devon Hustings, June 2017

Here are the details I have so far about Central Devon hustings. I will attend all of these, and update this page as I find out more.

Sat 27 May, Bovey Tracey, 7.30pm

Venue: Church of Ss Peter, Paul and Thos, Bovey Tracey, De Tracey Park, TQ13 9EP
The organisers say, “We are inviting written questions in advance – may be submitted until 7pm on the night.”

Mon 29 May, Moretonhampstead, 7 for 7.30pm start

Venue: The Stable Room, Union Inn, Moretonhampstead

The organisers say, “We will be inviting members of the public to submit written questions from 7.00pm until 10 minutes before we begin.”

Tue 30 May, Okehampton, 7.30pm (doors 7pm)

Fairplace Church, Okehampton. Questions to okehamptonpioneer@hotmail.com by noon on Mon 29 May.

Mon 5 June – Crediton, Queen Elizabeth’s School, 6pm for 6.45pm

Venue: Drama Hall, QE Western Road Campus, Crediton
Doors open 6pm. Audience are asked to please arrive by 6.30pm, to be seated for prompt start at 6.45pm (tea/coffee and soft drinks will be served from 6.00pm, with proceeds in aid of QE students’ fundraising). We are aiming for the event to be finished by 8.45pm.

Sat 3 June, Bradninch, Guildhall, 7.30pm

Venue: Guildhall, Fore Street, Bradninch, EX5 4NJ

Format: 5 Minute statement from each Candidate; Open Mic questions for 1 hour; 2 minute sum-up from each candidate.

Tue 6 June, Ashburton Town Hall, 7pm.

Questions to jgordonjones@hotmail.co.uk, or to Sophie Richardson at No 14 Wine Bar, Ashburton by Fri 2 June.

Will there be a ‘Unity’ candidate in Central Devon on 8 June 2017?

Sequel to: We need a Unity Candidate in Central Devon for the General Election on 8 June

Since proposing this on Friday afternoon, I know of nearly 100 emails that have been sent by Central Devon voters to the constituency Labour and Lib Dem offices supporting the idea of a ‘unity’ candidate on 8 June. There may be many more. I hope to share some of them soon, for they put forward great arguments about why we need to do this now. In some, they admit that it’s not how they would normally like to do things – naturally, people who get involved in politics tend to think carefully about the issues, and there are good reasons why they choose one party rather than another. In deciding to join the Green Party several years ago, I did exactly the same. But the common theme is that right here, right now, in Central Devon in 2017, having to choose between three parties, when you’d essentially be very happy for any one of them to represent you in Westminster, and where all three are far preferable to an having a Conservative MP who has been a loyal supporter of everything that the Tory government has done since he was first elected in 2010. As a fellow voter, this is how I feel too.

I’m NOT trying to create a back room deal here. There is no ‘quid pro quo’ being discussed here. It’s also as public as possible and the response I’ve seen so far has been very encouraging. Over the weekend I discovered that it’s possible to register a candidate so that they appear on the ballot form as ‘joint’, ie representing 2 or more parties. This has happened in the past between Labour and the Cooperative Party, and Green and Plaid Cymru. I’m sure I saw a reference to a Green + Lib Dem joint candidate somewhere too. The law was made clear under the coalition government, though as far as I know, there’s never been a joint candidate representing three parties. We have the opportunity here to take our broken ‘First Past The Post’ electoral system, and do something different; to take a grown-up approach to politics rather than the usual childish tribal warfare, that really serves nobody well.

I believe that if we could make this happen here – BY 4pm this Thursday, 11 May! – it could have a truly renewing effect on politics here in Central Devon.

Under ‘normal’ circumstances, I would agree with those who say that everyone should have the opportunity to cast their vote for the candidate or party which most closely reflects what they want to see happen in this country. It’s why I stood here in 2015 for the Green Party, knowing that the best I could hope for was to increase the size of the Green vote, and perhaps to take our arguments to the half a dozen public hustings which happened. But this election is not a ‘normal’ one. It is being held at a time when our country is in a state of turmoil and division beyond anything I could have imagined. The governing party faces allegations of criminal electoral malpractice in the last election in 20 constituencies – a greater number than its parliamentary majority. It is now dealing with Brexit – the consequence of incompetent legislation and campaigns – which has now replaced the real important issues of our times (eg climate change and the global refugee crisis), and which risks breaking up the countries of the United Kingdom. All for what? So David Cameron could win a few votes from UKIP?

The Conservative Party has managed to govern this country on its own since 2015 having won just 37% of the popular vote, from 24% of the electorate. Never mind ‘strong and stable’ – in that time it has lurched from one disaster to another, endangering our education system, our NHS, our ‘United’ Kingdom and the respect we’ve always had from the rest of Europe and the rest of the World. Everything right now points towards them winning this General Election in a similar way. We have an opportunity here to make a stand against that by creating a clear choice, where normally there would not be one. Vote Conservative or vote for something different.

So far, the Labour Party has said publicly, and in an email yesterday to its members in Central Devon that it will not be part of a Unity candidate agreement. So far, the Lib Dems have in private made promising noises and say they are actively considering this suggestion. Both parties surely know that it is the only way for the people of Central Devon to have a clear choice where every vote will count. We don’t have much time. The deadline for nomination papers to be lodged is 4pm on Thursday. Where this has been done already, it’s still possible to change things so that a single joint candidate appears on the ballot paper. If you haven’t already, email the parties to let them know what you think – post about it on social media (here’s the Facebook version of this post). If you know other people who agree, then ask them to do this too.

Secretary of Central Devon Labour: Paula Frisby: paula.frisby@outlook.com
Central Devon Liberal Democrats: info@centraldevon-libdems.org.uk
South Devon Green Party: members@southdevon.greenparty.org.uk (I’ll see this one – so copy us in).

We need a Unity Candidate in Central Devon for the General Election on 8 June

I’ve been selected as the Green Party candidate again, to stand for Central Devon in the General Election on 8 June. However, I believe that Lib Dem, Labour and the Green Party should agree to stand a single candidate here against the Conservative incumbent. ‘A betrayal of democracy!’ I hear Theresa May claim. No. What we have right now is a sham democracy. ‘First Past The Post’ is clearly more broken than ever as an electoral system where the Tories on 37% of the national popular vote can rule by dictat, making decisions every week that the majority of the population find unpalatable. In seats like this one, many people don’t bother casting a ‘wasted’ vote. In the absence of Proportional Representation, this year it is time to put party tribalism to one side, and find a way to work together to do something about this. We have until 4pm on Thursday 11 May to do it (the deadline for confirming registration as a candidate).

In 2015, Conservative, Mel Stride won the Central Devon seat with 52%. UKIP, Labour and LibDem got around 13% each, and Green (me!) got 9%. You could say that that shows that no matter what, there’s a simple majority of voters in Central Devon who like the Conservative MP, Mel Stride and/or his party. How anyone can think that after seeing the last two (plus 5) years of Tory ‘control’ is beyond me. Theirs is a government of incompetence, vindictiveness and wrongheaded economic policies that are dividing our nation against itself and making the UK look ridiculous to the rest of the world which looks on aghast at what is happening here, and is horrified at the stories which come from their citizens who live, work and have families here. And don’t even get me started on ‘Brexit’, where the enabling legislation and campaigns for the referendum were frankly laughable if the consequences weren’t so serious. If Armando Ianucci had written it all as a plot for ‘The Thick Of It’ a few years ago it would have been regarded as too silly even for fiction.

This election is unlike any other. If the Conservatives win another majority, we face years of unpleasant turmoil for no benefit (even for the few people who will become financially richer). Our country will become a more unpleasant place. It doesn’t have to be this way. We can choose a different, more tolerant, progressive way to live where people cooperate with each other and with others around the world.

I believe that there is a huge number of voters here who just don’t bother to cast a ‘wasted vote’ for Labour, LibDem or Green. It has become more clear than ever before that a Tory government which can simply rule by dictat on the basis of 37% of the popular vote does NOT represent the ‘will of the people’. Nominations for the General Election close on Thursday 11 May at 4pm. I believe that by that time, the local Lib Dem, Labour and Green parties should agree to all stand behind a single ‘Unity’ candidate so that there’s a straight choice between Conservative and Not Conservative. It would be a radical thing to do. It would mean that EVERY SINGLE VOTE would count, just as it did in the EU referendum. It wouldn’t mean that Green, or Labour, or LibDem voters were throwing away their principles. Until we have a fair, proportional system of electing our government, something like this is the only option we have – in a constituency like Central Devon, of which there are many around the country.

I’ve been selected to stand on 8 June for the Green Party. In some parts of the country, Green candidates are standing down in order not to split the vote against the Tories. Here, that makes no sense. As it is, there is likely to be tactical voting on a mass scale for both Labour and Lib Dem – which will achieve nothing.

The only way we can hope for a positive result here is for there to be a single ‘unity’ candidate. I would willingly stand aside if we could agree on one, and I think I’d be supported by most ‘Green’ voters in doing that. But if we can’t agree on a single candidate, then I will stand, and mount as strong a campaign as possible for what I believe is important for the future of our society, and our children’s lives.

If you’re a member or voter for Labour or Lib Dem and you support this idea – email or call the Central Devon constituency office or speak to their representatives, or post on their social media groups that you’d like to see this happen. If it did, the rather pointless election on 8 June might end up creating something interesting that might lead to a transformation of our politics so that all our voices are heard and represented, because I don’t believe the Tories do it for us. Do you?

If you think the parties should make this agreement, here are some email addresses – please write to them all:
Secretary of Central Devon Labour: Paula Frisby: paula.frisby@outlook.com
Central Devon Liberal Democrats: info@centraldevon-libdems.org.uk
South Devon Green Party: members@southdevon.greenparty.org.uk

Andy Williamson video

Here’s an unrehearsed, unscripted film of me talking about various issues that I feel strongly about.

it’s easy to criticise for gross generalisations. So here are some things I wish I could have said more clearly:

I’m standing “because it’s time…” – so many things flashed through my head at that second that I couldn’t pick one. A mixture of all the things I see happening that I think are wrong; and all the positive things that we could do that would create a happier, healthier world for us all, and our children, and their children… (see the Green manifesto!)

Health and Social Care: Not ALL parts of the health service are contracted out to private companies (yet!), but there’s been a huge increase in what is, and it the results are often not good. A community nurse who watched this wrote: “I see a lot of elderly people receiving wonderful care and others less than satisfactory. Important not to tarnish with same brush and maybe more emphasis on care company owners creaming profits while dedicated care workers on minimum wage with little training and not being paid journey time btw clients” which I heartily endorse. There is of course much, much more about what is happening to the NHS that I could say.

Immigration: A glib response to what I say here could be, “So you think the UK has unlimited capacity to accept more people?” – of course I don’t think that, and neither does the Green Party.

There’s more, but if I wait to write it before posting this, it’ll never appear.