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Nic Best, Wansbeck, Green Party

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what do you think is the most important issue in this election?

It should be climate change - because that's the biggest problem facing the planet. Then you could say that climate change was largely down to our dependency on oil - and that is one of the current root causes of war and oppression which are generating refugees and terrorism. And the oil-dependent global economy is largely defining the UK economy and any flexibility in budget setting. So - in a sense, addressing climate change will sort out terrorism, asylum-seekers and the UK tax burden, which are likely to be the main issues in the election.


why did you make the decision to stand in this constituency and for this party?

This constituency: because its my home, because it reinforces my vote in local elections (I'm an elected District Councillor)

This party: because they have a good track record of getting green and multigenerational socialist messages across, because I've been part of that process since 1989, and because my local party is really supportive.


what kind of vote are you expecting on May 5th?

Realistically 2.5 - 3% of total


aside from the vote what are you hoping to get out of this campaign?

Maintain profile of Green Party in region

Recruit members

Reinforce my vote in the simultaneous Northumberland County Council elections


in your view what is the greatest threat to our civil liberties at the moment?

The powers e.g. internment without trial being assumed by government as part of the 'war against terrorism' which is drifting us towards a police state.


Blair has taken us to war three times since coming to power (not including the occasional ad hoc bombing raid) in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. Can war ever be justified?

Yes - but always as a last resort - even Churchill recognised that!


There is very little left to privatise in this country, if you had your way what would be brought into public hands.

All basic services should be provided by state or the local community for public benefit not run by accountants. This applies to both private sector (water, electricity, gas) and quasi-private sector (rail, post etc). It's the mark of civilisation that the strong help the weak.


Some environmental campaigners have started talking about nuclear power as a way to bring down CO2 emissions - what do you think of this?

Bl**dy ridiculous idea! We do not have any way of safely disposing of nuclear waste - and the extraction of uranium from ore generates CO2 anyway. But we do have the reduce CO2 emissions by 85-90% by 2045 - and we can't do that if we're tied to 'standard' 3% economic growth targets


Asylum and immigration will be central issues in this election. What action on this issue would you like to see the next government push through?

A single action would not address the root problem - what is needed is a little media management. A little bit of truth about asylum-seeker numbers and refugees globally and in this country - the actual costs of asylum-seekers etc plus what the life of an asylum seeker is like is this country would change public opinion, and allow a sensible, generous policy to be developed fully.


What question do you wish was on this list but doesn't appear?

A question about the 'Make Poverty History' campaign would have been interesting - especially given how phoney it is given current EU trading practices and WTO rules. The government is kidding us when it pretends that poverty can be alleviated if developing nations getting more involved in global trade.


April 2005


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