Mischa Borris, Hackney North & Stoke Newington, Green Party
link / contact details for potential supporters
what do you think is the most important issue in this election?
Dealing with inequality & discrimination (whether economically, of opportunity
or in societal attitudes, here and abroad); climate change; the
"War on Terror" and its associated effects. These are the most important issues
for me, but they are not necessarily the most important ones for
voters, who will often vote on the issues they perceive as more closely
affecting their everyday lives, like public services and taxation.
why did you make the decision to stand in this constituency and for this
party (as an independent)?
I've been a Green Party member and activist since 1987. Its policies accord
with my own concerns and beliefs. I live in my constituency.
what kind of vote are you expecting on May 5th?
Good. Hackney North is one of the highest Green voting parts of the
country. We got 7.7% last time and hopefully our percentage will run into
double figures this time.
aside from the vote what are you hoping to get out of this campaign?
More awareness of Green policies amongst voters in our target areas, as a
springboard to the next Council elections. The odd interesting
conversation. Hopefully a little bit of fun and enjoyment as well. Relief when
it's all over.
in your view what is the greatest threat to our civil liberties at the
Labour and the Tories!
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 in very rare circumstances after all other options have been
exhausted, as an act of defence against a greater aggressor (the war against
Nazism being the obvious example) or to people from genocide (e.g. Rwanda).
There is very little left to privatise in this country, if you had your
way what would be brought into public hands?
Public transport, water, the running of the NHS, prisons and other public
services. I am tempted to say renationalise electric and gas as well, but
until there is much more investment in sustainable sources of energy, that would
mean I couldn't sign up (as I have done) to get my supply of
electricity from a company that does have a real commitment to renewables. The
privatisation of public housing should be stopped. I am opposed to Foundation
Hospitals and City Academies.
Some environmental campaigners have started talking about nuclear power as
a way to bring down CO2 emissions - what do you think of this?
It's stupid - environmentally unsustainable. Nuclear power stations take
an enormous amount of energy to build. And then what do you do about the
waste? Burying it or dumping it at sea is akin to sweeping it under the carpet
- it will still be there, even though you can't see it. We need more
investment in renewables, better energy efficiency and less use of scarce
Asylum and immigration will be central issues in this election. What
action on this issue would you like to see the next government push
Stop the demonisation of asylum seekers and migrants, emphasise the facts
(such as that only 0.4% of the population are refugees), give asylum seekers the
right to work, don't restrict legal aid, put more resources into the decision
making process to make it fairer and more civilised. Honour our obligation to
those fleeing torture and persecution under the 1951 UN Convention. Deal with
the reasons why people become refugees and migrants like poverty, environmental
degradation, tyranny - only then will people not feel compelled to leave their
homes and families. Oppose arms sales and encourage a fair trade practice.
What question do you wish was on this list but doesn't appear?
What's your attitude to animal rights?
Answer: Animals are not disposable and we should stop treating them as though
they are. We should respect them as fellow inhabitants of this planet and be
compassionate. We have no right to use them for any purpose that suits us.
They are sentient creatures, the same as us; the only difference really is that
they are weaker so we have been able to oppress them, in the same way that we
have oppressed (and continue to oppress) the weakest members of our own species.