The Green vote was much healthier at a local level. We got 11.9% in the locals compared to 1.4% in the generals. This was exactly 8.5 times the general election result and it’s symbolic of how much the general election focus and the FPTP system squeezes the smaller parties’ votes.
If we look at a simple share of Hull’s 90,900 local votes it gives seats as follows: 7 LD, Lab 9, Con 3, Ind 1, ED 0, BNP 0, NF 0, UKIP 1, Grn 1.
Compared to 8,11,2,1,0,0,0,0.
We have to live with the latter results. But I could have coped with the former.
A whopping 673 people voted Green in Avenue ward (12%). That really is brilliant, thank you very much. Please don’t be backward in coming forward! I’ll be pleased to meet you all!
This local vote almost matched my first MP stand in 2005 (858). And we beat the Tories into 4th place! Always nice! The turnout was a creditable 60% and the general election basically doubled the local vote!
With a poor Green vote of 478 for MP (1.4%) many green supporters from 2005 (858 votes) clearly felt they had to vote Lib Dem to oust atrociously NuLabourite Diana Johnson. And you nearly did it too!! Just 641 votes in it slashing her previous 7146 lead. Btw, if we have another general election soon I shall think twice about standing.
Now that we have the Lib Dems as power brokers, can we hope they do the right thing?
Green candidate results:
Bransholme West (243)
Bransholme East (72)
A fine result for James in Bricknell, a high score for Greens there, 261 (3.3%) and where 2 were elected. Once again, if only we knew all our supporters! A fantastic start too for Zoe in Drypool with 228 (4.8%). She really garnered lots of support in a short space of time. Normally you could expect about 60 votes for a first stand with no history and there she is in triple figures.
Same too for Mark in Bransholme West. Coming out of nowhere (not that King’s Park is nowhere!) to pick up 243 (5.2%). The double vote for two councillors will have helped, but so too did a platform full of policies to fight inequality in society.
Lilly gained a respectable first 72 votes in Bransholme East, always going to be tough territory with people proud of their existing two independent candidates.
Susan once again took a reliable 165 votes (4.2%) in Myton from the Labour stronghold.
All this gave us a memorable total of 1642 Green votes for Hull all told.
Memorable for being the year that Hull helped start the Civil War!
It didn’t start with the workers’ memorial but it was compounded by the clap on the back from the Labour Hull East candidate.
The memorial was for a friend, Ray Jessop, who died on Dec 7th. He fell from a tall ladder on subcontracted work for Hull City Council. Had he still worked for the council he’d probably be alive: health and safety would have dictated scaffolding for the 30’ job. A victim of privatisation.
At any other time of year it strikes me as unlikely that that the two Labour MP candidates (and likely winners, the bookies tell us) would have turned out for this. Ray, given the choice, wouldn’t have had them there (but he did have a soft spot for Caroline Lucas!) Afterwards one of the candidate-barristers went out of her way to introduce me to a London reporter and the other candidate-barrister assumed he and I were on the same side… Now, encouraging me, of course, does no harm, especially if my 1 or 2 thousand votes come from Lib Dem supporters and not Labour ones. And indeed the Lib Dems have targeted Hull North and are putting up a great orangey-diamondy type show.
The Hull East barrister and I conversed about the Greenpeace action, last time round, when activists climbed Prescott Towers to hold it to ransom: we’ll go away if you let us put £10,000 worth of solar panels on your roof! Needless to say Prezza wasn’t going to bow to such eco-terrorism. Anyway, the subject of supporting Labour came up so I made it clear I didn’t. And the barrister said: “So you’d prefer a Conservative government? I see.” I said I probably would and didn’t think they (Lab) deserved another term.
But the arrogance of the safe Labour seat prompted me to write 10 good reasons to ditch Labour and vote Green.
But clever isn’t it? How our system backs us into a corner to choose one or another false positive, especially after the betrayal of society by Labour in the 90s where now we have our own Pepsi or Coke candidates to choose from.
But Ray had no time for them. Ray stood against war. Ray stood against Trident. Ray was sometimes the only person who came up with me to Menwith Hill to protest the American spybase, commended for its service during America’s wars, calling Blair a poodle, wearing his outrageous colours and T-shirts, far-removed from the charcoal suits of the politicians (or the police force). Ray wouldn’t bow down to them or play their silly games of who to vote for.
But he did want a different society; one which looked after those who need it; one where riches were spread through the community; one in harmony with the earth; one where even the lowliest animals were respected and, in his case, never eaten; one which never went to war and certainly would not lie itself into one; one where countries looked after their citizens first and even looked out for each other’s citizens; a just world, a sustainable world where we learned where the boundaries were, where we made our own energy and not take other people’s. He could never see it happening though because he knew how wealth, greed and power subvert people.
But he never really gave up hope.
And neither do we.