You really don’t have to be an Eton boy to be a parliamentary candidate in Britain anymore. A couple of names spring to mind for example; Bradford West’s Labour MP candidate Naz Shah – whose life has been defined by extreme poverty and violence – and Manchester Central’s The Green Party MP candidate Kieran Turner-Dave.
Just 22 days before voters head for the ballot boxes, Kieran told TNT how he joined the party aged 22, before being “selected as a candidate in September, aged 23”.
Hoping to unseat Labour’s Lucy Powell at this May’s general election, Kieran has always been interested in politics. Spurred on by his opposition to “the divisive xenophobic rhetoric creeping into British politics (led by the likes of UKIP)”, he decided to “take an active role in the only party arguing for equality”, he explained.
As his party launched its General Election manifesto yesterday, with a call for a “peaceful political revolution” to end austerity and tackle climate change, the 24-year old candidate shed some light onto the 84-page document, entitled ‘For the common good’.
The party’s stance on the current living wage is to replace the national minimum wage with a Living Wage of £8.10, rising to £10 an hour by 2020. Perhaps an insight into the funding source would convince voters. Furthermore, would small businesses, compared to large corporations, be obliged to adhere to these Living Wage guidelines?
On housing, “500,000 new social houses to rent (and allow councils to use the profits to build more houses). We would also use Empty Property Use Orders to fill the UK’s 200,000 empty homes”, Turner-Dave revealed to us.
Should The Greens have their say, they would pursue a policy of “No forced evictions” to curb the surging homelessness in Manchester; a move they say highlights them as the only party pushing to “fight poverty and inequality” in the city.
In a time that sees a wider race to Number 10, the party is more likely to rub shoulders with the SNP and Plaid Cymru, and perhaps some left-wingers – Labour and Lib Dem MPs – should they be part of a coalition. However, “We ruled out joining a formal coalition, as we would not want to dilute our values like the Lib Dems did. However, we would agree to a “confidence and supply” agreement, where we would negotiate over issues on a vote-by-vote basis.
TNT News Yasin Chinembiri