I'll be speaking tonight on behalf of Manchester Green Party at this event.
In note form, this is what I am going to say:
"This is the opening battle in a much longer war.
We are paying for the excesses of capitalism. The people are paying.
Immigrants are scapegoated while corporations skip national borders at their convenience to avoid tax.
People are paying bedroom tax as bankers bag their bonuses.
Customers pay through the nose for privatisation while the oligopoly utilities rake in the profits.
There are fundamental problems with the system. In a political decision to pass the buck on pain, it is local government who are being tasked with implementing these cuts. The cumulative effect 3 years of cuts is starting to bite deeply into their capacity to deliver key services.
£5bn worth of local services cut since June 2010, including the axing of 230,000 jobs.
Meanwhile the Bank of England purchases assets from Investment Firms, Pension Funds, Insurance companies and Investment banks through Quantitative Easing. And what a surprise – the Stock Market is hitting new record levels.
Quantitative Easing has also been used to buy Corporate Bonds, giving firms money to invest in their businesses. So why not local government?
We need a new round of Green Quantitative Easing
- To buy out the destructive legacy of PFI and end those contracts
- To purchase local government bonds to support the 500 or more local councils in the country and prevent further local cuts
- To finance a Green New Deal of £50 billion of public infrastructure spending to rebalance our economy and put people back into work
The only barrier to this approach is the vested interests that dominate our country. Armed with an alternative, we can rebuild our economy for the future.
But this is the opening battle in a much longer war. Climate Change is with us now and the costs will be crippling. All around the world we’ve been lied to and betrayed by successive governments who have done nothing.
This battle is about who will shoulder the cost in our much tougher future. We are drawing our battle line here to say that it will not be the vulnerable. It will not be the immigrants. It will not be the people.
Those institutions and individuals who have caused this social and environmental mess will have to bear the cost. They will cling on to the power they have. They will fight to protect their privileges.
But we will overcome them. We will innovate. We will use technology. We will bridge our differences and work together across political parties. We will win.
The future will be a fairer, flatter society united to tackle the immense adaptation we need for a rapidly changing climate. We will fight for it and we will win.
I look forward like you, to hearing our main speakers tonight but I welcome questions from colleagues and comrades in this open mic section."