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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 moment?

 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 resources.

 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?

 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.




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