My name’s Christopher Were and I’m the Green Party candidate for Monmouth (in Wales). I’d be happy to answer your questions. I’ll be reasonably brief since I’m sure other Greens would like to add their take on these.
‘Do you think that appearing on a live TV debate with the other parties would be beneficial to the party?’
Yes. Generally speaking any air-time helps gain exposure for the party. If UKIP has taught us anything it’s that, even if that exposure is negative, and even if they’re ridiculing you on public television, just being there benefits your party. Nigel Farage receives a massively disproportionate amount of air-time, much of that is him explaining various gaffs, mistakes, being ridiculed and all of it benefits him and UKIP.
‘How might the Greens stand up against the likes of UKIP, considering their recent rise in the media?’
I often feel that the Greens and UKIP are put into comparison too often. Admittedly we’re both smaller parties who have seen a great deal of growth but that’s where the similarities pretty much end. People who are likely to vote UKIP are also likely to be on the opposite end of the political spectrum to potential Green voters. You won’t really find a Mark Reckless in the Green Party.
That being said, as a party we’ve noticed a lot of what they say goes unchallenged. A key example being, of how their policy of a 25% flat income will affect the British public, in that it would drive up the cost of living massively (like more than you could likely imagine).
‘Given the opportunity, with which parties would the Green’s be most willing to form a coalition?’
Traditionally coalitions have been a death sentence for junior partners in them. This isn’t just true of the Lib-dems but of coalitions across Europe. Where as I can’t say one way or the other what will happen, in the past in local government, we’ve worked with other parties on a policy-by-policy basis. The benefit of this strategy is that you don’t end up with a situation where a vote for the Greens turns out to be a vote for another party. It’s very imperative to us that a vote for the Greens is a vote for the Greens.
‘How well are the other parties managing to implement environmentally friendly policies?’
A good example of where Greens regularly butt heads with other parties on environmental policy is in the London Assembly. It’s a worryingly regular occurrence to see Jenny Jones (one of our Green AMs) call Boris Johnson out on nonsense and superficial policy ideas on tackling pollution in London, which are often designed more to look busy than to actually get the job done. And it’s not just the conservatives that pull these types of silly tricks.
Another tactic that you often see with ‘larger’ parties, is that nationally LabLibCons can be seen to be taking the environment seriously, while their respective local authorities end up putting off the implementation of these policies with ‘plausible deniability’. They effectively avoid having to be held to account for their own pledges.
Finally, seriously… rich tea or hobnobs with tea?
Let’s be honest here: Rich teas are the poor man’s digestive and the digestive is just the poor man’s hobnob. You also need a biscuit that doesn’t risk breaking off in a dip and a hobnob is a good candidate for that.