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Lesley Hedges, Colne Valley  (West Yorkshire), Green Party

 link / contact details for potential supporters   01484 641445 for meetings   0793 947 3269

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

Peace & Global Warming

 why did you make the decision to stand in this constituency and for this party (as an independent)?

I believe in the Green Party's aims of social and environmental justice. Damage to the environment affects poor people more, whether that's in the UK or the world, so I don't believe it's possible to separate the two.  They won't put a nuclear power station in the posh bits of Surrey or Solihull. People on low incomes including pensioners and single parents more often depend on public transport and other public services so it's fair to make them good quality as well as benefiting the environment.  Likewise energy saving in the home.

I live in Colne Valley and believe in local politicians who have to live with their decisions.

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

Save the deposit for the first time here.  Get in ahead of the Tories (our lead candidate came ahead of 2 tories and 1 labour in last locals).
Increase votes so we have a mandate to demand that whoever wins takes green issues seriously and doesn't use them as empty election promises.  Firm basis for getting council seats and an MP next time.  Also I am hoping that in the local school mock election the Green candidate wins.

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

Lots of publicity for our policies - many people still don't know all we stand for eg human rights, end to racism and homophobia, decent education without SATS.

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

Fear of terrorism and ID cards.

 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?

If UN sanctioned and peacekeeping only.  Eg we need to do something soon about DRCongo - 3 million deaths is 3 million too many, let alone rape, child soldiers, chaos and disruption of communities.

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

All essential services including NHS, transport, water, energy, & services subsidiary to those like IT and cleaning.

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

Ridiculous.  Expensive, dangerous, lousy health and safety record for employees and surrounding areas (including those in range of sea and air
currents - ask people in Dublin what they think of Windscale/Sellafield), long-term damage to environment and waste that our children's children's
great grandchildren will still be dealing with.

 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?

Make it illegal to put both in the same sentence.

Asylum seekers : Take decisions away from the home office - asylum seekers are not criminals.  Faster but quality decisions.  Make sure they get the health care they need.  No enforced testing.  No quotas.  Let them work but without enforcing it.  Increase educational opportunities and personal development plans that will help them either settle or contribute to rebuilding their country if they return.

Immigration : encourage integration but that does not mean bland multiculturalism; increase social capacity in all areas with a lot of people
on low incomes whether UK origin or other; tackle racism; make sure no racism in system so it's easier for white people to enter country; improve statistics so we know how many people leave - underestimates at present.

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

How will you tackle racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination.

Increase education and effective laws on discrimination and prejudice, including to cover the media.




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