Image: Green candidate for Congleton, Rich McCarthy
This article was first published on 11th September 2019
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With politicians in Westminster currently wrangling over whether/when to call a general election, the Green Party in Congleton has prepared itself and announced its candidate.
Greens in Congleton have chosen campaigner and local resident Rich McCarthy to stand in the general election, which may take place within the next few weeks.
Alsager resident Rich said: “I come from Warwickshire but have lived in Cheshire East for more than 10 years.”
Rich went to university in Aberystwyth and then Glasgow, studying Maths, Energy and the Environment.
Following this, he worked as an environmental volunteer, and then for five years with a Scottish charity, Energy Action Scotland, training people to carry out home energy audits and promoting energy efficiency for affordable warmth.
He then met his wife, became a teacher, moved to Dumbarton, got married, became a father.
“Now, having left teaching, and having experienced a period of foster caring, I am in the enviable position of being a house husband,” Rich explained.
“Our society is not fair”
Rich said: “In the last ten years, the government has removed vast swathes of our social estate; the backbone of life in Britain which is there to support us all – rich or poor – in small or large amounts, depending on our need and at different stages in our lives.
“We must replace that with a proper end to austerity – not just for an election year 2019/20.
“We need more resources for education; for children’s and adults’ mental health; for an NHS with fewer pills and quick fixes, and more physiotherapists and osteopaths; for a law system which can properly represent those of us without a six figure bank balance; for libraries and public spaces; for the police; for local councils and their staff; for the civil service to be able to effectively support our government and MPs; and for services for the elderly that allow them to continue to live in their own home, a protected home, or in a home specifically tailored toward their needs.
“All of this we need to do, and so much more.”
“We need to stop the constant privatisation of our country,” says Rich.
“This privatisation has ‘given us’ much lower levels of effective service, made us poorer and, unsure about our jobs and our lives, prevented us from knowing who we need to contact about fixing or improving things, and has made huge profits for a very few.”
Rich told us: “In Britain, we are hugely responsible for climate change.
“Historically, we have emitted more carbon dioxide per person over the last 200 years than any other nation in the world.”
He added: “Most of that carbon is still there and creating havoc with the world’s climate.
“So now we should lead the way in demonstrating that we can live in a carbon-free society where we derive all our energy from renewable sources.
“This will be a transformative change, because it requires us to change our habits as well as to prioritise the use of our limited resources – like steel, concrete, and rare earth metals which will needed to build the renewable generators to provide us with that energy.”
‘The Green Party way’
Rich concluded: “The Green Party way to do this is to make our nation fairer and more democratic – to encourage us all to take part by having a more representative voting system, and to have more decisions taken locally and fewer decisions overridden by government ministers.”
“It is to encourage people to make the right decisions through sensible and realistic uses of taxation to provide an effective backbone for our society.
“It is to make us a society with the time and the resources to care again about our neighbours and communities rather than only being able to focus on family and friends.
“I want you to elect me as MP for Congleton to pursue this ideal. We collectively in the Green Party and in our communities have the ideas, the knowledge and I hope the commitment.
“What we need to start things off, is for you to give us your vote.”