Sophie Wilkinson | Contributing Editor | Thursday, 16 April 2015

We Read The Green Party Manifesto So You Don’t Have To

We Read The Green Party Manifesto So You Don’t Have To

The Debrief: Green spaces, a fur ban, a stop to media sexism and the immediate erasure of all student debt all made it into the Green Party manifesto...

The Green Party have released their manifesto, which is basically a list of politicians’ promises that will win you over in the election and hopefully actually come true should you vote them in. But what’s in the Green Party’s policies for you? We read the 84-page booklet so you don’t have to, and here are their top 21 promises:

1. Tuition fees

Scrap them and cancel all the money anyone owes to the Student Loans Company

2. Jobs

Zero-hours contracts will be banned, and the Greens promose to ‘make equal pay for men and women a reality’ ‘Require 40% of all members of public company and public sector boards to be women.’ Plus, they’ll ensure that no company owner earns more than ten times the amount as their lowest-paid member of staff and ‘encourage greater diversity among entrepreneurs’

They will also introduce ‘anonymised CVs so that Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and female candidates are not excluded before the interview stage because of their identity.’

3. Internships

The Greens will ‘ensure no unpaid full-time internship lasts more than four weeks,’ and create more apprenticeships for young people.

4. Renting/Homes

They promise to ‘Make renting affordable and possible again for young people…keep Housing Benefit for under 25s’ and also ‘take action on empty homes to bring them back into use’.

They’ll also explore what rent controls could do to improve renters’ lives, and changing the definition of ‘affordable housing’ so that it matches what people can afford instead of how much landlords are charging.

5. Public transport

As well as focusing on a total rehaul of the system so that rail, bus and tube companies are once again public property, the Green party will ‘Prioritise public over transport, electrification of the transport system and access over mobility’. To do this they will ‘extend free local public transport to young people and students… this would encourage the habit of using public transport among young people early on.’ And more cycle parking and technology to help lorries avoid knocking into cyclists.

6. NHS

They promise to ‘Provide accessible local community health centres’ and everyone experiencing ‘a mental health crisis…should have safe and speedy access to quality care, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.’ Special attention would be paid to mothers before and after pregnancy, minorities and ex-servicemen and their families. Addiction treatment would be improved and there’ll be a focus on the physical health of people with mental problems.

7. Green Space

‘Aim to ensure through planning that everyone lives within five minutes’ walk of a green open space. Oh, and rubbish will be tackled like this: ‘reduce what we use, reuse it when we have finished with it and recycle as a last resort’

8. Sex Education

‘Provide mandatory HIV, sex and relationship education – age appropriate and LGBTIQ inclusive - in all schools from primary level onwards.’’

9. Food 

‘Increase localisation of the food chain and encourage direct sales via local markets.’ ‘A ban on the production and sale of foe gras.’ And ‘mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses’ – we wonder who could buy the rights to watching that TV programme?

10. Immigration

Open doors to EU residents and no restrictions on foreign students, allowing them ‘to work in the UK for two years after graduation’. The UK under the Greens will ‘not simply accept people just because they are rich’ who have been ‘buying propery, bidding up prices all along the housing chain.’ Oh, and they’ll support migrants’ efforts to learn English (or Welsh) by giving them free lessons – should they want them.

11. Minorities

The Greens have a lot on this. They will teach equality and diversity in schools, tackle problems with’ institutional racism in the police force and the wider criminal justice system.’, ‘Implement a UK-wide strategy to tackle violence against women, including domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse, female genital mutilation and trafficking’, and will set up a Equalities Committee in the House of Commons.

12. Crime

Criminals will be rehabilitated through education and work so that they do not re-offend

13. Women

The Greens have a lot on this, too. They will ‘work to change attitudes towards rape’, ‘listen to girls and young women about relationships education and about sexism in the media. And about that, they’ll ‘take steps to tackle media sexism, starting with working with retailers to stop lads mags and other pornography from being sold in supermarkets and newsagents.’

Oh, and the laws against you being passed over for a job because you’re pregnant, or might be pregnant will be enforced. And and it’ll be illegal to stop a mother from breastfeeding in public.

They’ll also ‘ensure consistent, long-term funding’ for Rape Crisis Centres across the country, and will ‘work to change attitudes towards rape’

14. Animals

There’ll be an end to monkey-owning ‘An end to the keeping of primates as household pets’, oh and this one on dogs: ‘end puppy farming by banning the sale of young puppies unless the mother is present’

15. Terrorism

Seriously, the way the Greens can pay for everything is because they're going to scrap Trident (read more about that here)

16. The Arts

The Greens pledge ‘Support initiatives to make the arts and sports accessible to all’ and set targets to get more women, ethnic minorities and disabled people playing sport and better broadband for all ‘this in particular will encourage video-conferencing, helping to reduct both business and family travel.’

17. The youth vote

The Greens will lower the voting age to 16, and increased number of youth services like youth clubs, councils and non-curricular education and training. They also want to ‘‘Support the right of young people all over Europe to go to other parts of the EU to work and broaden their experience.’

18. Representation

They want 50: 50 parliament of men: women.

19. Clothes and going out

They’ll ‘ban the import of fur products’, but don’t think about taking home your new clothes too easily, as there’ll be a tax on plastic bags and ‘unnecessary packaging’. The Greens will also make it cheaper to go out: ‘reduce VAT on the tourism industry e.g. meals, drinks out, accommodation and live performances’

We’ll let you know about the other manifestos as and when they come, but for now, make sure you're registered to vote: gov.uk/register-to-vote

Tags: General Election 2015