Vote for what you believe in, not tactically, says Kettering’s Green Party candidate
Kettering’s Green Party candidate Jamie Wildman has said he hopes voters back the party they believe in, rather than voting tactically.
Mr Wildman, who is from Kettering, said a remain alliance between the Brexit-opposing parties of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens where only one remain candidate would stand was not discussed
But he said: “I would never have stepped aside.
“I believe too much in standing up for what I believe in and giving people locally the opportunity to vote in what they believe in.”
Mr Wildman said the issues he would like to champion for Kettering are law enforcement, health and the environment.
He said: “[The Green Party] just seem to be really progressive in terms of their other policies as well, a lot of things around renationalising the National Health Service and green transportation and moving away from carbon combustion engines towards renewables, recyclables.”
When trying to expand on the social policies of the Green Party and what was meant by renationalising the National Health Service, Mr Wildman consulted his laptop.
Mr Wildman said current commitments, including a PhD, means he has not been able to devote 100 per cent of his time to election matters but said: “When you stand to be an MP, you have to go in believing that you’re going to win and be prepared to commit to that position, and I absolutely would.
“But obviously I can’t make everything else disappear in the meantime.”
After a brief survey of the polices, Mr Wildman said: “The Green Party are completely opposed to the Conservatives’, Labour’s and Liberal Democrats’ policies of introducing market forces and competition into the NHS - a process which is placing the interests of corporate profits ahead of the nation’s wellbeing.”
On law enforcement, Mr Wildman said he spent two days with Northamptonshire Police in July and said: “I repeatedly heard that they struggle with a lack of resources.
“They’re incredibly stretched.”
Mr Wildman said he thought about 20,000 police officers have been lost since 2010 and said the Greens are proposing to increase funding for police to build up officer numbers.
He said he felt policing was an important local issue due to county lines drug gangs and associated knife crime.
The Green Party is known first and foremost for their environmental agenda and Mr Wildman said: “The Green Party really accords with my beliefs on that front, because it’s always been central to their agenda.
“I’ve always felt that’s really, really important.”
Mr Wildman said his conservation work through studying for his environmental science PhD to re-introduce the chequered skipper butterfly to Rockingham forest has given him a better understanding of environmental issues.
He said: “I’m concerned about where our country is headed in regards to the environment and climate change, this is a colossal issue.”
Mr Wildman said that he is worried that existing protections for the environment in EU law will not be sufficiently recreated in UK law post-Brexit and said: “Essentially, when we leave the EU, we have a blank slate for environmental policy and I believe that our current administration is one of the worst equipped, going by their record, to build a sufficient replacement.”
Another big goal of the Green Party is to become carbon neutral by 2030 and Mr Wildman said this would be achieved through £100bn investment over a decade. He compared the cost to the forecasted £88bn cost of HS2.
Mr Wildman said: “If that’s justifiable, if people don’t bat an eyelid to £88bn on one rail line that’s not going to benefit the rest of the country while the rest of our rail networks are struggling, then I don’t see what the issue with investing £100bn on the environment is.”
The Green Party have only ever had one MP but Mr Wildman said: “I think anything can happen in politics. I’ve always been an eternal optimist.”
He believes as younger people who see the climate and environment as a massive issue come of voting age, they will perhaps vote for the Green Party and someone like him with an environmental background.
Mr Wildman also said the election is not just about Brexit and said to those considering voting tactically to “vote for what you believe in”.
He said: “Forget Brexit, this is a climate election, vote for what you believe in.
“Brexit could go on in perpetuity and at the cost of everything else that you hold dear, so get someone in parliament, get a party willing to fight for what you honestly believe in.”
Standing against Mr Wildman is the Conservative candidate Philip Hollobone, who won the last election, as well as Labour's Clare Pavitt, the Liberal Democrat Chris Nelson and Independent Jim Hakewill.