Abi Jackson - candidate for Heywood & Middleton - shares her thoughts at the start of this campaign

14 September 2014

Today the Green Party team were sat in Thornberries with some chunky chips when we received an e-mail to approve my running as a candidate in the Heywood and Middleton by election. Exciting times!

This will be the first time the Green Party has stood in my constituency and it’s actually me doing it. It’s a bit surreal at the moment but I am so chuffed that I get to stand in my home town where I have lived all my life. I get the chance to speak out on the issues that are important to the people ‘on the ground’. The people who are actually affected by policies dreamt up in stuffy meeting rooms.

It’s only three and a half weeks away! We’ve got Rochdale, Oldham and Saddleworth Green Party members and supporters coming together so we can make the most of this opportunity. I also know my family and friends will help with the leg work of leafleting in the area. Getting the word out that the Green Party are about real change is important at this point.

There seems to be this idea that all political parties are the same in the end. I think I used to think that actually. But when I was at university, I got really passionate about the way people were being negatively represented by politicians and the media: young people, unemployed, immigrants, whoever. So I started looking around for a political party that actually stuck up for people. A party that didn’t pick out scapegoats. A party that looked at an issue and said ‘Okay, we need to actively make more decent jobs available’, ‘we need affordable housing’, ‘we need to teach school kids relevant life skills’. It’s so much easier to blame a demographic for complex problems than to take on the responsibility of actually solving them.

Anyway, I fortunately came across the Green Party. Their policies really appealed to me. They just seemed sensible, logical. In fact, they are probably too sensible in that they don’t cause a great stir in the media.

Once I realised it’s not all tree hugging and saving the planet, which is of course important, I saw how socially relevant the party were. I could see how their policies could bring real change in Heywood and Middleton. I’m talking about opposing austerity, creating real jobs and introducing a living wage so that everyone can put food on the table and pay the bills.

I’m really excited to start getting out and speaking with the lovely people in Heywood and Middleton. However, I am in work tomorrow and it’s been a long day already so until next time, goodnight!


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