THE BLOG

Let's Be Frank: The Result of The General Election Was Devastating

26/05/2015 18:45 BST | Updated 26/05/2016 10:59 BST

During the campaign, I met so many people desperately in need of a change of government. People whose basic rights were viciously undermined by the coalition, people forced to live their lives in an unnecessary state of struggle. We didn't just need a change of policy, but a radical change in the attitude of the government. We needed a government that recognised that alternatives to austerity are possible, that rejected the scapegoating of migrants and the unemployed, and that understood that by fighting for equality we work better as a community and as a society. Sadly, we didn't get it.

But in many ways, when I think about the campaign, I am proud. I am proud because the Green Party stood unwavering against the austerity rhetoric pumped out by the other main political parties, despite a political climate deeply hostile to the new kind of politics we offer.

I am proud that our messaging was bold. That we defended migrants when others wouldn't, offered genuine alternatives to cuts and focussed relentlessly on inequality. We talked about climate change - but we didn't lecture people on lifestyle changes; instead, we talked about tackling fuel poverty through proper home insulation, and empowering communities to take control of their energy supply. We talked about the need for real political reform, and the need to return power to local communities.

And as a result, we achieved our best result ever - more than tripling our 2010 vote share and winning over a million votes.

Over the next few weeks, while the Labour party is picked apart by vultures like Mandelson and Campbell and the Liberal Democrats enter a long period of much-needed soul searching, the Greens are going to form the real opposition - continuing to offer bold and radical policies, and campaigning harder than ever against the regressive direction of travel in British politics.

As deputy leader of the Green Party I have several key priorities for the first 100 days after the election.

I'm going to work with Caroline Lucas MP and others to offer a real alternative to the austerity offensive that the Government are about to embark on. We're not going to stand idly by while they dish out further cuts, and we'll continue to be a voice for the most marginalised in our communities.

I will champion a Green Party campaign in the upcoming EU referendum that fights for a Europe which works for people and planet and not multinational corporations, while ensuring that we remain in the EU.

I will work towards the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in November and December this year. It's not going to be easy to keep legally binding climate targets central to the political agenda during these times of austerity. But I am seeing more and more people engaging with politics as a result of the impending climate crisis, and as the Green Party we have a role in ensuring that the message that capitalism and climate change are inherently linked is communicated. We must remember that electoral politics is just one form of political engagement, and as a party we will continue to petition, demonstrate and be activists on this issue.

And finally, I will continue to build our party for the years to come. I'll visit the ten constituencies where we did best - and speak with members about what worked and what didn't. And I'll spend time in Cardiff, London and Edinburgh where assembly elections will define next year's politics.

The election this year has cemented the Green Party's role at the top table of British politics - and we'll never again retreat to the margins. Our goal in the next five years is to replace the Lib Dems as the only real alternative to Labour's half-measures and the Tories' vicious austerity and privatisation programmes.

It's not going to be easy. We don't have the money that the other parties do, but with thousands more members joining in the last few days, it's clear that we do have the people power. I don't know about you, but I'm dedicated to the fight that we're facing.