Brexit

Women’s Equality Party – Doing politics differently

Earlier this year I took a deep breath and put myself forward as the Women’s Equality Party candidate to stand in the 2020 elections to be Mayor of London.

As someone who had almost given up on politics ever representing someone like me, and not really imagining myself as a politician, it was a bit of a scary thing to do, but I felt the time to sit on the sidelines had passed. It’s not just that so much is going wrong, it’s about how much could go right if we work together. We have enough resource to make all our lives better, there are so many opportunities out there, we just need to focus on the right things, and work collaboratively to create change. I am so excited to be part of the Women’s Equality Party and to lead our campaign for a better, more equal London supporting and being supported by our wonderful leader Mandu Reid.

One of the most exciting things about our party is that it was founded to do politics differently and work collaboratively to drive change. Anyone who believes in equality can be part of our movement – even if they’re already a member of another political party. We’re the only party not only to allow dual membership but to encourage it, as part of this approach. Other parties talk about working cross-party and building alliances, but sometimes they put their own and or their party’s political advantage ahead of the public interest. Our leaders need to be bold and show that there is a better way to do things.

That’s why yesterday I showed my support for Jo Swinson MP, the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, by joining her party. As a longstanding WEP member and now LibDem member, I would like to welcome Jo and ask her to consider allowing members of her party to join our party and work together, to stop Brexit but not only that, to fight together for a better, more equal future.

Our country is facing an awful and unprecedented crisis. We are not going to solve it using the same old style of politics, the same old entrenched, tribal divisions. There is a way forward, one that brings people together around the things that unite us rather than the things that divide us. Collaboration, working with others to make life better for everyone can give us a bright and hopeful future, one where we *all* have the chance to live our best lives.

From Bletchley to Brexit – an utter disgrace

From 2008-2011 I ran the successful campaign to save Bletchley Park. As part of that campaign I met and got to know several of the codebreakers including Captain Jerry Roberts and Mavis Batey who was only 18 when she made major codebreaking breakthroughs. The work that was done by 10 thousand people at BP, 8000 of them young women shortened WW2 by 2 years saving 22 million lives. 10000 people working around the clock for years making sure that we can enjoy the freedom we have had all of our lives.

Bletchley Park to me epitomises what is best about Britain and the British. People from all different backgrounds coming together around a common cause, working for years, in secret, with no real personal reward or recognition for what they have done. Incredible people in incredible times. 

To me Brexit is the opposite of this. Brexit epitomises the worst of Britain and the British. People from privileged backgrounds seeking to manipulate others, to pit people against each other for their own personal gain. Selfish people creating a selfish atmosphere in selfish times.

At a time when other countries, like China for example are building infrastructure across the world with the Belt and Road programme, buying up land, building roads across Africa and Asia, lending large amounts of money to countries that possibly won’t be able to pay it back, we in the UK are showing the world quite clearly that we are unfit to be incredible pioneers as we once were, working en masse, working in collaboration with other countries, building the alliances that we have enjoyed up until now.

We are now operating in a global marketplace. There has never been so much opportunity in the world for us to create products and services that we can sell around the world. Technology is rapidly changing the way we connect with each other, the way we trade, the way we live our lives. It is creating social change through connecting us together with others that care about making change happen. #blacklivesmatter #metoo it’s incredible that through one word, one hashtag we can create global movements that are changing the world for the better, empowering people who previously had no voice.

Technology brings amazing opportunities for jobs, education, connections with people around the world to solve global challenges, but in the UK we  just look backwards and complain about how it’s taking away jobs.

In less than 100 years we’ve gone from seeing the best of British to the worst of British. I’m utterly ashamed of what’s happening here now with Brexit, to me it feels like the UK at a pivotal time in history with all the amazing opportunities that are out there, is committing suicide in front of the world. At a time when we should be joining together and collaborating with other countries to make the world a better place to live in for us all, we are throwing away opportunity under the lie of making Britain great again. What an utter disgrace.