Get Red Pepper's email newsletter. Enter your email address to receive our latest articles, updates and news.
(photo by Global Justice Now on flickr)
This election threw up all sorts of surprises, but one key story was the squeeze on small parties and how their results gave extremely different outcomes.
The DUP were rewarded richly for their 292,316 votes. Despite garnering over 200k fewer votes than my party, they have ten MPs in Parliament and a deal with the Government sweetened with over £1bn.
Sadly I’ve been left with no new Green colleagues in Parliament, moreover a cut in the Green Party’s overall vote – in part because of my Party’s decision to stand aside in some marginal constituencies to push for a fair voting system and so many local members wanting to help beat the Tories – means the funding for my office has been cut.
That funding cut means jobs in my office are at risk – because the amount of money my office receives correlates with the number of votes the Green Party gets through a system called ‘short money’. Less money means my ability to hold the Government to account is constrained. My staff work behind the scenes to skewer Ministers with Parliamentary Questions. Just this week they helped me drag information out of the Government over a report which is said to show Saudi Arabia funding extremists here in the UK.
My staff scour Government files looking for wrongdoing. They keep an eye on the frackers, the tax dodgers and the arms companies. Without my staff, there would, quite literally, be no English party resources dedicated to questioning the logic of endless airport expansion or opposing plans to plough billions into Trident nuclear weapons.
Think for a moment about how much money the Government has to force through their policies. They’re backed by billionaires already – and have the power of the civil service at their fingertips. Holding Ministers like Gove and Johnson to account on issues like environmental protection and Saudi Weapons deals is already a case of David Vs Goliath, but with fewer staff it’ll be even harder.
I don’t just oppose bad Government policies – I also try to bring new ideas into Parliament. In the coming weeks and months I want to push forward on issues like the Universal Basic Income and a shorter working week – using my position in Parliament to push for truly radical ideas that would transform this country for the better.
As MPs from other parties know I am also willing to work across party lines on campaigns. That’s why I’m fully behind Jeremy Corbyn in his campaign on public sector pay, it’s why I worked with Stella Creasy last week on the Northern Irish Abortion amendment and why I team up with the SNP in defence of freedom of movement.
But whether I’m ploughing a lone furrow or working with a cross-party team I need my team around me to help.
And that’s where you, the readers of Red Pepper, come in. I know that many of you won’t have voted for the Green Party in the last election. But I hope that you’ll consider giving my office a small donation so I can be a sharp thorn in this this Government’s side – focussing on issues that really matter, but are sometimes ignored by others.
I want to hold the Government to on Brexit – ensuring our environment and workers are protected.
I want to visit Yarlswood detention centre, and expose the injustice there.
I want to scrutinize every single major Government policy on the environment.
I want to force Britain to the table on talks to ban nuclear weapons – and I want to build an alliance to stop Trident replacement.
I want to be constantly standing up to this Government and ultimately I want to be part of a movement that replaces these tired Tories with a progressive alternative.
If you share my politics, even if you’re not in my party, please do consider donating here.
The Spanish state is seizing ballot papers and raiding meetings, write Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte – but it is being met with united resistance
The crunch executive meeting ahead of Labour conference agreed some welcome changes, writes Michael Calderbank, but there is still much further to go
Dipesh Pandya speaks to documentary film-maker Sanjay Kak, who for 30 years has been working outside the mainstream to tell a story rooted in the struggles of those excluded by India’s militarism and its narrative of neoliberal growth
Jeremy Gilbert on how radical Labour politics can be inspired by the utopianism of the counterculture
Disasters have unequal impacts – it's the poor and marginalised who suffer most. David Harvey writes on Hurricane Harvey
Survivors of the fire are still relying on thousands of community volunteers, writes Dan Renwick - but the failed council is plotting a comeback
What if it's not us who are sick, asks Rod Tweedy, but a system at odds with who we are as social beings?
The people could reach a democratic and non-violent solution if they were freed from US meddling, argues Boaventura de Sousa Santos
A decade after the start of the crash, economic power is in our hands – we must take it, writes Ann Pettifor
Don’t let Uber take you for a ride
Uber is no friend of passengers or workers, writes Lewis Norton – the firm has put riders at risk and exploited its drivers
Acid Corbynism’s next steps: building a socialist dance culture
Matt Phull and Will Stronge share more thoughts about the postcapitalist potential of the Acid Corbynist project
Flooding the cradle of civilisation: A 12,000 year old town in Kurdistan battles for survival
It’s one of the oldest continually inhabited places on earth, but a new dam has put Hasankeyf under threat, write Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson
New model activism: Putting Labour in office and the people in power
Hilary Wainwright examines how the ‘new politics’ needs to be about both winning electoral power and building transformative power
What is ‘free movement plus’?
A new report proposes an approach that can push back against the tide of anti-immigrant sentiment. Luke Cooper explains
The World Transformed: Red Pepper’s pick of the festival
Red Pepper is proud to be part of organising The World Transformed, in Brighton from 23-26 September. Here are our highlights from the programme
Working class theatre: Save Our Steel takes the stage
A new play inspired by Port Talbot’s ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign asks questions about the working class leaders of today. Adam Johannes talks to co-director Rhiannon White about the project, the people and the politics behind it
The dawn of commons politics
As supporters of the new 'commons politics' win office in a variety of European cities, Stacco Troncoso and Ann Marie Utratel chart where this movement came from – and where it may be going
A very social economist
Hilary Wainwright says the ideas of Robin Murray, who died in June, offer a practical alternative to neoliberalism
Art the Arms Fair: making art not war
Amy Corcoran on organising artistic resistance to the weapons dealers’ London showcase
Beware the automated landlord
Tenants of the automated landlord are effectively paying two rents: one in money, the other in information for data harvesting, writes Desiree Fields
Black Journalism Fund – Open Editorial Meeting
3-5pm Saturday 23rd September at The World Transformed in Brighton
Immigration detention: How the government is breaking its own rules
Detention is being used to punish ex-prisoners all over again, writes Annahita Moradi
A better way to regenerate a community
Gilbert Jassey describes a pioneering project that is bringing migrants and local people together to repopulate a village in rural Spain
Fast food workers stand up for themselves and #McStrike – we’re loving it!
McDonald's workers are striking for the first time ever in Britain, reports Michael Calderbank
Two years of broken promises: how the UK has failed refugees
Stefan Schmid investigates the ways Syrian refugees have been treated since the media spotlight faded
West Papua’s silent genocide
The brutal occupation of West Papua is under-reported - but UK and US corporations are profiting from the violence, write Eliza Egret and Tom Anderson
Activate, the new ‘Tory Momentum’, is 100% astroturf
The Conservatives’ effort at a grassroots youth movement is embarrassingly inept, writes Samantha Stevens
Peer-to-peer production and the partner state
Michel Bauwens and Vasilis Kostakis argue that we need to move to a commons-centric society – with a state fit for the digital age
Imagining a future free of oppression
Writer, artist and organiser Ama Josephine Budge says holding on to our imagination of tomorrow helps create a different understanding today
The ‘alt-right’ is an unstable coalition – with one thing holding it together
Mike Isaacson argues that efforts to define the alt-right are in danger of missing its central component: eugenics
Fighting for Peace: the battles that inspired generations of anti-war campaigners
Now the threat of nuclear war looms nearer again, we share the experience of eighty-year-old activist Ernest Rodker, whose work is displayed at The Imperial War Museum. With Jane Shallice and Jenny Nelson he discussed a recent history of the anti-war movement.
Put public purpose at the heart of government
Victoria Chick stresses the need to restore the public good to economic decision-making
Don’t let the world’s biggest arms fair turn 20
Eliza Egret talks to activists involved in almost two decades of protest against London’s DSEI arms show
The new municipalism is part of a proud radical history
Molly Conisbee reflects on the history of citizens taking collective control of local services
With the rise of Corbyn, is there still a place for the Green Party?
Former Green principal speaker Derek Wall says the party may struggle in the battle for votes, but can still be important in the battle of ideas
Fearless Cities: the new urban movements
A wave of new municipalist movements has been experimenting with how to take – and transform – power in cities large and small. Bertie Russell and Oscar Reyes report on the growing success of radical urban politics around the world
A musical fightback against school arts cuts
Elliot Clay on why his new musical turns the spotlight on the damage austerity has done to arts education, through the story of one school band's battle
Neoliberalism: the break-up tour
Sarah Woods and Andrew Simms ask why, given the trail of destruction it has left, we are still dancing to the neoliberal tune
Cat Smith MP: ‘Jeremy Corbyn has authenticity. You can’t fake that’
Cat Smith, shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs and one of the original parliamentary backers of Corbyn’s leadership, speaks to Ashish Ghadiali