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Greens were in action today, International Workers Day. We had our regular stall in South Shields in the morning and then joined the Tyneside May Day march and rally in Newcastle. Newcastle Green Party had a stall at the Monument and reported a good number of people interested in finding out about their local Green parties.

We are having lots of conversations with ex-Labour or extremely fed up Labour voters in South Shields who are pleasantly surprised by what we are standing for. And at the May Day rally today I found much acknowledgment of the strength of our manifesto. The fact that our manifesto promises an increase in the national minimum wage to 60% of average net earnings – a living wage; that it promises to repeal the anti-trade union laws and to work towards ensuring that the maximum wage in any organisation is no more than 10 times the minimum wage in that organisation.

There was a determination in the air to work together in the face of the onslaught that will come after the election. The best result would be a hung parliament with as many Green and left MPs as possible to wield as much power as they can in the negotiating that will follow. Greens in the London Assembly for instance held crucial casting votes and pushed Ken Livingstone’s leadership to adopt a number of Green policies. It would be great if along with several Greens, people like Salma Yaqoob of Respect were elected. The Birmingham Green party voted to stand down its candidate in Birmingham Hall Green to endorse her – reciprocity for Respect standing down in the NW region in the Euro elections last year to try to keep the BNP out. MPs like Salma working with Greens could add to the resistance to the big 3 parties’ agenda of cuts in public services, jobs and pay.

Out again canvassing tomorrow…..


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