Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Political Representation and Fighting the Cuts

Thank you to all comrades who have supported me in this election campaign. Unfortunately I have not made it onto the list, I came 12th. The establishment candidates rose to fill the top positions on the list as expected.

I am encouraged by the kind words of support I have received both from comrades from within the Green Party and also those who I have been working with in the campaigns to fight the cuts.

As an ecosocialist my intention to stand for the list was based on the need I believe for political representation of the working class and the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. This is why I wanted to stand on an anti-cuts platform and also why I pledged to take no more than an average workers wage if elected to the Assembly.

I also signed the candidates pledge produced by the London Young Greens calling for all means necessary to bring about political change. Real change cannot only come through the ballot box, it is vital we build a mass movement to oppose the cuts and the attacks on the working class being implemented by political representatives of parties both in and outside of central government.

So my focus remains on building local and national anti-cuts movements. This coming week alone I will be building for and marching on the 26th. I hope to see many comrades at the assembly point in Kennington Park at 11am and then who knows. Tomorrow I will be supporting the picket line at the Vauxhall Campus of Lambeth College, where I am currently a part-time student. I will also be taking a message of support and solidarity to the postal workers at Nine Elms sorting office who are facing losing their jobs.

Beyond the 26th we need to keep the momentum of our campaigns going and not allow the movement to be closed down by petty bureaucrats and politicians who betray the people they are supposed to represent. I will continue to give my support to Lambeth Save Our Services and to Coalition of Resistance, beyond that we must ensure that we have candidates in all elections who are fully committed to fighting against the cuts, and for a real alternative founded upon peace, ecology and socialism.

In solidarity
Andy Hewett

Friday, 4 February 2011

Andy for the London Assembly

I believe the strength of the Green Party is that it links environmental and social justice. I am standing for the Assembly to aim to bring those radical, dynamic politics to London.

I was proud to stand on our 2010 general election manifesto as Parliamentary Candidate for Greenwich and Woolwich. With the help of my local party I managed one of the better Green Party votes in London. I believe we can be more successful in the Assembly elections if we offer Londoners a truly alternative vision.

That means campaigning for affordable public transport – and challenging the mayor's plans to end the Western Congestion Zone and hike up public transport fares.

That means arguing for bike hire in the areas where Londoners live.

That means arguing for well-insulated affordable housing for all Londoners. We must work to reduce the scandalous amount properties standing empty in London and to increase the social housing stock. We must oppose housing benefit cuts which will lead to Londoners losing their homes and having to leave their communities.

We must defend equalities, protecting the democratic rights and civil liberties of Londoners – without fear from assault due to race, gender, sexuality or disability – and freedom to protest without draconian policing.

London needs investment in health, education, housing and transport. Reduced investment impacts most on young people, women and people from ethnic minorities.

We must be an anti-cuts and anti-privatisation party, supporting Londoners whenever they challenge cuts to services – be it students demonstrating against tuition fees and the abolition of EMA, or tube workers defending their jobs, terms and conditions.

I support efforts by Londoners to establish small local concerns and to manage them co-operatively, for example local food growing projects. However, the language of co-operation and mutualism cannot be used to camouflage damaging reductions in our public services.

I pledge to oppose public sector cuts. I will support workers and trade unions in their fight for jobs, pay and conditions, and not cross picket lines.

I have served the Green Party on both GPeX and GPRC, and at the European Green Party working on the social dimension of the Green New Deal. I am Co-Chair of the Green Party Trades Union Group and on the Coalition of Resistance national Steering Committee.

I have worked with campaigns supporting migrant workers and against police violence. I am fully active in my local anti-cuts campaign and supported students and Young Greens in the recent demonstrations against fees and cuts.

I currently live in Lambeth and am a part-time student at Lambeth College. Previously I worked in retail and e-commerce for twelve years but having suffered redundancy I also understand the hardships faced by those on benefits.

Originally from South Wales, I gained an MA in Zoology and have lived in South London since 2004. I am a member of the GMB union, and CAMRA. I enjoy music and reading, and am a member of the Swansea City FC Supporters' Trust.