Vote for me in PudseyLeeds, Politics · · 13 minutes
Hey! I’m Quinn (pronouns: they/them) and I’m standing as your Green Party candidate in Pudsey for the general election on 12th December 2019.
I’m here to give you a real alternative to the same old blue or red.
I’m a 37-year-old non-binary* small business owner. I grew up in Yorkshire and I’ve lived in Leeds for 9 years.
This city is amazing. We do things differently here and I think the rest of the country could learn a lot from us.
Politics has been getting gradually less fun these last few years. I know it’s possible to do politics in a way that is kind, is based on evidence, involves listening to people you disagree with, and most of all in a way that is fun to engage with.
Trans and non-binary people are 1 in every 100 people in the UK. But we have never had a publicly trans or non-binary MP. So much is said about us in the press recently, and our own voices are often lost in the noise.
The Green Party
Why should you vote for me? Why should you vote for the Green Party?
The Green Party isn’t a single-issue party focussed entirely on stopping the world burning (although, y’know, that’s pretty important!)
We have a comprehensive and radical policy programme, revamping every aspect of government. We’re the only major party to publish every one of our policies online, all year round. Check them out!
The EU is far from perfect. In fact, it’s a bit of a mess.
Let’s be honest, though. We helped make that mess. The EU was built by all its members, and the UK has always had one of the loudest voices.
If we stay in, we can acknowledge the great things the EU has done for us: Freedom to live and work in 28 countries! No more war in Western Europe! Real action on climate change and tax dodging!
If we stay in, we can fix the bad stuff together with our European friends.
The Green Party wants to Remain. We’ve always said that. But the Brexit process has been started. We owe it to the millions who voted to Leave to give the UK a real choice between a deal and remaining. But we’re going to make sure everyone knows why we want to Remain!
The climate crisis
The climate catastrophe is coming. Scientists are predicting that it will be too late by 2031. We need dramatic action now if we want to save the planet.
Personal responsibility like cutting down on single-use plastics is great and all, but the only way we’re going to fix it is with big big changes to the system.
We need to regulate the activities of big business. We need an end to fossil fuel consumption and investment. We need to produce goods that last to end the cycle of consumerism. And we need to make sure the billionaires are paying their taxes.
Guess what we can do with all that extra public money we get from taxing people properly and ending the endless growth cycle?
The NHS and public services
For 9 years now, the government’s “austerity” programme has been delivering tax cuts to the ultra-rich in exchange for massive sweeping cuts to the NHS, to education, and to local services like the fire brigade and social work.
Austerity has harmed disabled people by cutting the benefits of people who couldn’t go back to work. It’s caused homelessness and starvation to reach epidemic levels, and now you can’t even see your GP when you call.
This mess is entirely the government’s fault. Not anyone else’s. And the Green Party wants to reverse the effects of austerity, with massive investment in public services.
Especially the NHS: we’d stop the big selloff, we’d make sure the NHS was truly free and available for everyone, and we’d take mental health provision much more seriously that previous governments.
Universal Basic Income
We shouldn’t be arguing over who gets benefits and who doesn’t, and cutting them off as soon as people even get a nibble of work, allowing employers to take advantage of people.
There’s plenty of money to go round! (See the aforementioned tax-dodging billionaires.)
Everyone should get enough for a basic standard of living, so we all have our dignity even in unemployment.
A transport revolution
You live in the north of England. You don’t need me to tell you how rubbish transport is up here.
We’d scrap the current single-minded HS2 plans and spend the money on a real transport revolution, with frequent electrified and affordable rail connecting the north, and priority for cycling and pedestrians everywhere.
We need people to get out of their cars, but we can’t expect you to do that unless we provide you with something better.
And yes, of course we’d bring the railways back into public ownership, so they’re only accountable to passengers and not shareholders.
Rights and equality for the people who need them
Let’s stop blaming migrants for everything, eh? A Green government would never use distorted facts about immigration to score political points.
Disabled people have been treated very poorly by recent governments. We would restore the independent living fund, and improve housing and conditions for carers so that everybody gets a chance to live the best life.
There’s still, sadly, a long way to go to achieve equality for women. The Green Party is at the forefront of the movement to get misogyny classified as a hate crime, and we’d start the process of dismantling the male-dominated economic system and media.
The whole process of affirming trans people’s gender needs a major overhaul, allowing people to formally declare their gender without having to go through a years-long medicalised process. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and providing access to reliable information and support for trans and gender-questioning people is essential.
Dismantle nuclear weapons
We have loads of other policies and I would love to hear your thoughts on what is important to you, but in this last paragraph I’d like to draw your attention to the issue of nuclear weapons.
If you’re on the fence about nuclear weapons, give this video from science blog Kurzgesagt a watch. This is why the Green Party thinks dismantling nuclear weapons is not up for debate.
Isn’t Pudsey a marginal seat?
Yeah. Yeah it is. And I won’t blame you if you decide you need to vote tactically in this election.
But if you actually don’t like the Tories, and you don’t like Labour, maybe consider giving your vote to someone who will stand up for what you believe in. Voting for the second-worst candidate doesn’t feel like democracy.
We desperately need the voting system to change so that tactical voting becomes a thing of the past, and in the future the Green Party would be open to one-off deals with major parties who promise to change this. In Pudsey, this time, no such deal was forthcoming.
The Green Party needs your vote, even in marginal seats, to ensure that our policies are still taken seriously (and shamelessly adopted by the larger parties), to ensure we continue to be invited to TV debates and have party broadcasts, and to ensure our MPs get a decent amount of Short Money to spend on standing up for these policies.
And we know from experience that us standing or not has very little impact on Tory/Labour marginal races. There’s definitely not one party that all our votes would go to if we dropped out. In the absence of a Green candidate, a lot of people who would normally vote for us just feel completely disenfranchised, rather than lending their vote to another party.
Get in touch with me
You can find me on Twitter (@pedantic_git), you can find the Pudsey Greens on Facebook, and you can always email me on my campaign email address:
As people get in touch with pledges for me to sign up to, I’ll update this section with the pledges I have signed.
- Accessible rail travel
- Amnesty International - promote and protect human rights in the next Parliament and beyond.
- Dignity in Dying - I support a government inquiry into overturning the blanket ban on assisted dying
- Freedom from Torture - A Safe Place
- #Invest2EndAbuse - ending domestic abuse through proper funding
- LGBT+ Manifesto
- MEND Muslim Manifesto - all pledges except 2, 9, 21 which I support in principle but with caveats, and 8 which is contrary to Green Party policy. Please contact me if you’d like to know more about my positions!
- Scrap 6 Months - because we support a universal basic income, I support everyone having access to benefits without a wait of any kind
- PAFRAS - a pledge to support and improve refugees and asylum seekers’ rights
- Refugee Action - stand with refugees
- Refuge - Violence Against Women and Girls
- RNIB Manifesto
- TellMAMA - pledge to stand against anti-Muslim hate
- Trussell Trust - I support replacing the benefits system with a universal basic income, and government assistance for emergency food programmes
- Unicef #TeamChildren
NHS and healthcare
- Alzheimer’s Society - Demanding Action on Dementia
- BMA manifesto for health
- bpas My Pledge, Her Choice
- Bowel Cancer UK manifesto
- Carers UK manifesto
- Macmillan Cancer Matters
- Mind - Press play on mental health
- Pancreatic Cancer UK - Demand Survival Now
- Rethink Mental Illness manifesto
- Royal College of Nursing manifesto
- Together for Short Lives manifesto
- #VoteSEND - making disabled children a priority
- We Own It - NHS Trade Pledge
- YoungMinds - Act Early
Brexit and democracy
- Future Generations pledge
- Leeds for Europe - I pledge to vote for a confirmatory referendum and to campaign enthusiastically for Remain in that referendum.
- Simpol - pledged to support this novel international treaty process in principle
- #tradedemocracy - ensuring impact assessments on new trade deals, and that Parliament gets a say on all deals
Community and green space
- Animal Aid - I have signed pledges 1, 2 and 3. I take the concerns in pledge 4 seriously but if elected I would need to hear the evidence from both sides before pledging to support it.
- Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament - I am committed to complete unilateral disarmament of the UK’s nuclear weapons arsenal.
- Compassion in World Farming - all 7 pledges
- Fairtrade All-Party Parliamentary Group
- Jubilee Debt Campaign
- League Against Cruel Sports - Strengthening the ban - I have signed up to all the pledges except regarding custodial sentences. I agree fines are inappropriate but the Green Party believes the evidence that community and/or restorative sentences are better for rehabilitating criminals in many cases.
- ONE Pledge
* Non-binary means I'm neither male nor female. My pronouns are singular they/them instead of he/him or she/her. Non-binary people sometimes consider ourselves to be transgender, as I do. This isn't something I chose to be - it's something I realised about myself and something I know, deep inside, to be true.