The Final Act: Hustings Reaction, Transport, and Hoardings

Last Friday marked the day of my first hustings. It was an event I was eagerly anticipating, and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. I want to thank Moulton Club for their warm hospitality, and for accommodating me and my fellow Parliamentary candidates. Hustings are an extremely important part of any election campaign, as they present an opportunity to meet constituents en masse, test one’s public speaking skills and knowledge of party policy, and learn which issues are murmuring loudest in the collective local consciousness. It was a pleasure to participate in a hustings as a candidate, and I left Moulton Club at the close of play with greater confidence in both myself and Green Party policy than I entered with.

As a taster of how events unfolded, I enclose my one-minute opening address:

The Green Party believe in an economy for all, not the wealthy few, and investing money in services that need it most: our healthcare and public services, our educational system, transport, and the environment.

We believe in putting our country back into the hands of the people, in affording young people the chance to prosper, liberating the poverty-stricken, and guaranteeing a higher standard of care for the elderly and disabled.

We must not let Brexit cast a veil over the creeping privatisation of our public services; the threat to our environment posed by our departure from the EU; the injustice of our benefits and pension systems, and the cruel taxes targeting the most vulnerable members of our society.

It is time to be granular, not grand. Time to invest in rail networks, buses, cycle and walking routes nationwide, not HS2. Time to spend money on our NHS, not nuclear weapons. Time to empower our local authorities, and ensure wealth is distributed amongst communities, not corporations. Time to focus on renewable energy, not fracking and fossil fuels.

We must create a safer, less polluted society for the next generation. It is time to turn Parliament, and our environment, Greener.”

Over approximately the next two hours, my fellow candidates and I were questioned on a range of issues: housing (specifically, renting and buying a home), Brexit, abortion and assisted dying, support for disabled young people, schools and education, and fox hunting. I am sure my readers will not strain themselves imagining which of the aforementioned topics were the most hotly debated. I received some encouraging words regarding my performance, and head to this Thursday’s count buoyed by the experience, which was the most enjoyable of the campaign thus far.

With less than three days to go until the polls open, this will likely be my last major blog entry before the General Election. Now that I am approaching the final act of my first Parliamentary campaign, it only seems logical to return to the start–to why I became involved in politics in the first place, which I expounded on at the hustings, prior to my opening address. Bluntly: the environment and transportation. My ratiolate for the former is obvious, the latter, perhaps less so:

I fostered ideas regarding the reopening of long-decommissioned railways lines in my early 20s, long before I became involved in politics in on official capacity, or learnt that the Green Party desired to expand our existing rail infrastructure. I have melancholically wandered along countless dormant gullies and elevated rides with my hound, my mind ablaze with Rain, Steam and Speed, thinking it a catastrophe that the great rail exodus of the Beeching Axe was allowed to occur. Given the enormous rate of development in Northamptonshire, it would be a challenge (if not impossible, as is the case with the Nene line, due to the A605 that supplanted it) to resurrect decommissioned lines on their original footprints, but nonetheless, there is justification for investing in rail: from doorstep to destination, a journey from Kettering to Northampton presently takes me in excess of 1hr 15mins, and to Daventry, approaching three hours.

The East Midlands line presently runs from Kettering to Wellingborough en route to St Pancras, but, once upon a time, it whirled off west in the direction of Northampton. What a joy it would be to make that same journey by rail (and perhaps beyond to Daventry), now that I can safely lock up my bicycle at Kettering station, thanks to the secure–and very much welcomed–bicycle storage facilities East Midlands Trains now offer. If we are serious about improving the viability and convenience of public transportation, and reducing congestion and pollution on our roads by shifting both the general public and freight to rail, we must reverse the mass closures of the 1960s, and revolutionise our railways. But we must not get ahead of ourselves–the first step is renationalisation, and providing more affordable travel for commuters.

In recent years, I have used buses more and more frequently, in conjunction with a road bike I purchased last spring. I have a passion for improving public transportation, as it, along with renewable energy, is key to improving our environment, reducing congestion, and essentially streamlining people’s lives. I want Britain to return to a Golden Age of public transportation. My recent journeys to Daventry have given rise to some potential approaches to improving our bus services: with the threat of automation in mind, we could create thousands of jobs in the sector–and improve the efficiency of bus travel and the comfort of passengers alike–by reintroducing wardens to all services. Wardens would free up drivers to concentrate on driving (rather than collecting fares at stops, thereby improving journey times), answer queries regarding routes, police the behaviour of passengers, and maintain a clean service. Buses have a less than stellar reputation, and we must overhaul the fundamentals of the service to make it more attractive to potential clientele.

In regard to our environment, habitat fragmentation is something I have become increasingly more aware of since I became a member of Butterfly Conservation, began to volunteer for the Wildlife Trust (my apologies to the Wicksteed Work Party, as I was unable to attend last Friday’s surveying effort due to campaign commitments), and grew passionate about lepidoptera. With urban development and road-building a pressing issue, we must work to ensure that our resident wildlife is not threatened by shrinking–and progressively more isolated–habitats. We must enhance biodiversity in the countryside by investing in enviro-argicultural schemes post-Brexit and existing nature-rich sites, as well as establishing new reserves. Funding for conservation projects is always welcomed, but once cash flow ceases (typically after a few short years), projects quite predictably grind to a halt–often after good progress has been made with land management and stabilising populations. Funding models wth longer ‘tails’ must be considered, to ensure volunteers’ hard work is not squandered in the long-term. The Chequered Skipper butterfly became extinct in Northamptonshire in the 1970s due to changes in woodland habitat and land management, and will soon to be reintroduced to Rockingham Forest as part of the £4.6m Back from the Brink project. Let us hope it is successful.

Christopher Hodnett has generously supplied me with a lovely image of him accompanying his bespoke hoarding, erected next to the A43 in Moulton village:

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Its construction is as follows: “The bottom post, bolted to the fence, is part of gigantic coffee table that my son’s in-laws passed on to him and their daughter and which eventually ended up in my garage. The upper mast (which can be rotated through 360 degrees) is from an old rotary washing line. The notice board backing is from one of the children’s cheap MFI desks, the framing from some old racking and the glass (from recycled glass itself) is a piece left over from the old greenhouse before I refurbished it completely and replaced all glass panes with large plastic panels. Even some of the U-clips are from my modification on my trusty old Nissan Almera’s exhaust (which served me for 19 years) to avoid the high expense of having to replace the whole system.”

Do look out for his work of improvised engineering excellence–made from nearly 100% recycled materials–if you are in the area. I doth my cap to Mr Hodnett for his wonderful contribution to the cause. If anyone would like a Green Party poster (at no cost), please feel free to contact me at jamie.wildman@greenparty.org.uk. At this late stage in proceedings, they are, unfortunately, ‘collection only’!

My thanks to you, the reader, for glancing at this blog, and for your continued support: I received an email from a constituent only today praising my campaign for its visibility in Daventry (which I am extremely pleased about given our limited resources and manpower). I have enjoyed reading responses from petitioners regarding my stance on a range of issues these past few weeks, had some great conversations with residents on the leafleting trail, and met some wonderful volunteers along the way. I am endlessly grateful to have been granted the opportunity to stand as a Parliamentary candidate for the Green Party in this General Election. It has been an extremely positive, fulfilling experience, and is one I would recommend to anyone. Now it is time for a run, and to reflect on what a great journey this has been so far.

I believe in the Green Party and our policies, and I hope that you will put your faith in us on June 8th, too.

JPW

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Promoted by Jamie Wildman on behalf of Jamie Wildman, 52 Silverwood Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN15 6EH.

Leaflets, Hustings, Policy, and the Media

My, it has been a busy week. All 1000 leaflets (as insignificant a number as that is, but again, it is all we could afford on short notice) have been delivered across the constituency to residences in Crick, West Haddon, Long Buckby, Daventry, Old, Moulton, Brixworth, and Scaldwell. If you were looking forward to receiving a leaflet and have not had one drop through your letterbox, I can only apologise! Before distribution began on Sunday, I photographed one leaflet and its contents, and posted the images on Twitter. So, as something of a consolation prize, Daventry residents whose doormats were not graced with the presence of a leaflet, yet still desire to witness one in all its glory, can do so here.

I must thank Harry Mellor, Liam Duncan, Natalie Gorton, and Christopher Hodnett for their invaluable contributions to the leafleting drive in the constituency.

I appeared on BBC Radio Northampton’s debate on Saturday morning, which took place at Overstone Grange Farm, just north of Moulton village. This transpired to be less of a ‘debate’ and more of a mechanical Q&A session masquerading as a roundtable discussion. Five candidates crammed into a half-hour segment does not a comprehensive feature make. To label it a debate was to misrepresent it, and I look forward to the hustings in Moulton tomorrow evening, which, I hope, will provide an opportunity for more organic cross-party discussion. I do not wish for it to be a vitriolic affair, as I have now met all of my fellow Parliamentary candidates–each of whom are upstanding gentlemen–and I believe that we can treat each other fairly and with good grace, regardless of our political persuasions, as we are all, ultimately, people. I am not fond of personal attacks in politics, and shall not indulge in them, as I have the upmost respect the four gentlemen who fight for their respective parties alongside me on the ballot paper.

I was afforded a few minutes on the phone with a reporter from the Daventry Express on Tuesday, as, seemingly, were the other Daventry candidates. The outcome of these conversations (which were evidently not proofread prior to the article’s publication) can be found here. Essentially, that–and the aforementioned debate–is the sum total of media intervention in Daventry in the run-up to the General Election. Despite the indisputable power of the modern media, I was asked a total of seven quick-fire questions (one of whom by a schoolchild, who was the only person to mention an actual figure in his query) over the course of three weeks. Given the few resources I have at my disposal, I was anticipating a greater platform to circulate party policy to a wider audience than I have, in reality, been afforded. It seems I will have the greatest opportunity to engage with supporters and detractors alike in Moulton tomorrow evening, so do come along if you have a grievance to air. The hustings will be held at Moulton Club, 15 High Street, NN3 7SR.

Before I move on to parsing issues not explicitly outlined in the Green Party’s manifesto for this General Election, I would like to draw your attention to said manifesto, which can be accessed here, in addition to our new animal welfare manifesto, updated for 2017, here.

I have received petition and pledge emails from hundreds of constituents and dozens of organisations voicing their concerns on a range of issues that are deeply important to them, and have endeavoured to reply to each and every one. I will continue to do so as voting day draws ever nearer, so, if you would like to contact me, feel free to do so at jamie.wildman@greenparty.org.uk, and I will get back to you as soon as possible. The above animal manifesto outlines the Green Party’s stance on fox hunting (spoiler: the Greens are anti-hunting), but, rather than discuss the most publicised issues here, I want to spend some time discussing societal concerns that are not afforded the same amount of visibility.

I have towed the party line throughout my campaign, and do not intent to derail my chance at the polls by speaking less robotically, but nonetheless, I wish to talk candidly about LGBTIQA+ issues, amongst others. The Green Party is keen on providing refuge for LGBTIQA+ migrants, and the recent atrocities in Chechnya demonstrate just how important it is that we offer a sanctuary for victims of persecution the world over. Furthermore, closer to home, as Pride Month begins we must continue to work to stamp out discrimination and make tolerance a universal truth, and empower people regardless of their sexuality, gender identity, or intersex status. I am delighted and proud that the LGBTIQA+ community is represented by the Green Party in Coventry South by Aimee Challenor. You can read our LGBTIQA+ manifesto here.

My beliefs do not dissolve after polling day on June 8th: I will continue to fight for equality, irrespective of gender, sex, or ethnicity, as I desire for all unjustly oppressed people to live liberated existences, free of discrimination, bias, or mutilation. We are witness to ongoing humanitarian crimes and crises the world over, and they will not simply become an irrelevance once a new Parliament is formed.

Our social care system is not fit for purpose and needs an immediate overhaul. We live in a society that does not presently accord disabled people the same opportunities or level of care as able-bodied individuals. The Green Party would ensure that disabled young people are given every chance to succeed later in life by guaranteeing that every child with Special Educational Needs or Disability has access to a mainstream education, in accordance with the UN Convention for Persons with Disabilities. We would redress benefits injustice with a social security system that gives everyone confidence they will get support when they need it—including disabled people. Furthermore, we would significantly improve housing choice for deaf, disabled and older people by requiring all councils to appropriately plan for their housing needs and significantly increase the numbers of homes built to lifetime home and mobility standards over the next five years. To improve mobility of disabled people, a Green Party government would invest in low traffic neighbourhoods and safe, convenient networks of routes for walking and cycling, including safe places for learning to cycle, so people of all ages and those with disabilities can choose to make local trips on foot, by bike or mobility scooter. To fund these plans, we would cancel the Conservative’s new roads programme and instead invest £2bn in cycling and pedestrian routes.

Lastly, in regard to the sale of arms, on the BBC debate, Caroline Lucas rightly stated that, ‘selling arms to Saudi Arabia can’t be justified on the grounds of being good to industry’. It raises an important point: just because something is good for our economy, does not mean its continued existence can be justified–especially if it is immoral, contributes to conflict, death, and the displacement of people in foreign countries. We must take responsibility for our role in migration to the UK.

That’s all for now,

JPW

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Promoted by Jamie Wildman on behalf of Jamie Wildman, 52 Silverwood Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN15 6EH.

Green Guarantee and Campaign Updates

Firstly, as campaigning for the General Election resumes locally this morning, I wish to express my sorrow regarding the tragic events that unfolded in Manchester on Monday, and offer my sympathies and condolences to all those affected by the attack.

Our Green Guarantee was launched on Monday, formally announcing the Green Party’s ten key pledges for government. You can find a PDF of the summary here. I succeeded in distilling a majority of the Green Guarantee in my last blog post, but, in the following paragraphs, I shall focus on aspects of it that I did not previously address. In my next post, as promised, I will discuss the Green Party’s stance on issues not explicitly outlined in the Green Guarantee.

The Green Party are determined to create a more balanced, fairer society. As the Guarantee terms it: an economy for all. This means creating thousands of jobs by rebuilding public services, and establishing a network of community banks to ensure wealth is distributed amongst communities, rather than corporations. Working poverty would be abolished through the introduction of a radical 4-day working week, exploitative zero-hours contracts outlawed, and trade union rights upheld. I, personally, wholly support the introduction of a universal basic income, which is something the Greens have been advocates of for some time: UBI would increase financial security for all, and reduce the poverty trap endangering so many lower earners and disadvantaged people. Debt can be a colossal weight to bear–both monetarily and psychologically–and to tackle this, we would promote credit unions to free people from unjust and burdensome liabilities. These measures are not a golden key to righting the temperament of our country in one fell swoop, but are steps the Green Party would take to engender a happier, less downtrodden society.

There are wonderful policies scattered throughout the Guarantee: in regard to affordable housing, we would introduce a living rent for all through rent controls, provide more secure tenancies for private renters, and introduce mandatory licensing for all landlords. Additionally, we would launch a major programme to build affordable homes, including half a million new socially rented homes over five years, and start action to bring empty homes back into use (at the end of 2015, there were 610,123 homes recorded as empty in England alone, with 205,821 of them stated as ‘long-term’ empty, i.e. vacant for over six months). Lastly, we would reinstate housing benefits for the under-21s and abolish the detested Bedroom Tax.

The Green Party would lower the voting age to 16, pursue an ethical foreign policy, and a humane and compassionate immigration and asylum system. We would introduce a Green Industrial Strategy, a new Environmental Protection Act, and a Clean Air Act, and promise to protect the Green Belt, National Parks, SSSIs, and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Green Party is, at its heart, an environmental party, and we are staying true to our roots: climate change is still a top priority. Fracking, as I mentioned before, would be abandoned, along with coal power and subsidies for fossil fuels. Developing renewable energy technology would be our focus in the energy sector, creating many jobs in the process.

Lastly, I wholly support the Green Party’s pledges to grant mixed gender couples the right to civil partnerships, introduce job sharing for MPs to increase disabled representation in particular, close the gender pay gap, and work towards a 50/50 Parliament. Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron have appointed equal numbers of men and women to their cabinets in Canada and France respectively, and we should follow their lead.

I believe that just about covers the Green Guarantee! Now, to other matters: I want to say a huge thank you to those of you who have supported my fundraising campaign so far. As a result of your generous donations, I have been able to justify both the effort of commissioning a design for a leaflet, and afford the cost of having a run of 1000 printed. They will be delivered to me today in time for distribution over the bank holiday weekend and beyond. Residents of Crick, Moulton, and Daventry have kindly donated their time and offered to assist me in leafleting there, however any further volunteers would be warmly welcomed into the fold (no pun intended), as I also wish to target Long Buckby and Brixworth. If you think you can donate an hour or two to help out, please do contact me here, by email (jamie.wildman@greenparty.org.uk), or on Twitter at @jpwildman.

In regard to forthcoming media and public appearances, I will be participating in BBC Radio Northampton’s live election debate with other Parliamentary candidates in the Daventry constituency on Saturday 27th May at 8:00AM, and attending a hustings at Moulton Club in Moulton on Friday 2nd June at 7:30PM.

JPW

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Promoted by Jamie Wildman on behalf of Jamie Wildman, 52 Silverwood Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN15 6EH.

A Distillation of Green Party Policy

My apologies for being so quiet on the blog front. I have been beavering away in the background (watch this space for details of my as-yet unannounced media and hustings appearances, and leaflet distribution plans), but my physical efforts in Daventry have been curtailed since the official announcement of my candidacy, due to unrelenting chest and throat infections. I was belatedly diagnosed yesterday, and have been prescribed antibiotics. I should be back to full strength and traipsing around my constituency soon.

I wrote a brief letter to the Daventry Express a few days ago highlighting some of the key policies of the Green Party manifesto, and wish to expand upon them slightly here. I believe that the electorate is tired of the ‘blame game’ and political in-fighting, and would rather read about Green Party-specific policy statements that aren’t polluted by mud-slinging or hackneyed insults directed at other parties. It only makes for wasted column inches, and wasted airtime. So, to our bitesize, unmarred topics:

Brexit

Britain voted for the triggering of Article 50 in last year’s referendum. This, in itself, was not a commitment to leave the European Union, only a call for negotiations regarding the terms of our exit to begin. Once these talks have concluded, we should be given the final say on whether we stay or go in the form of a second referendum, which will allow us to compare the offer on the table to what we already have as part of the EU. Brexit is a major decision that the country is still divided over, and so, once a deal has been bashed out and the conditions of our exit made clear, we should be given the choice to accept or decline it. This, I believe, is only logical: you would not accept a long-term contract for a phone from your supplier, for example, without parsing the terms of the agreement first—so why is Britain expected to do the same regarding Brexit?

Transport

The High-Speed Rail (HS2) programme is a vanity project with a price tag of £56bn. With the crises gripping our NHS, education, and social services, we cannot justify spending an inordinate amount of money on a single railway line that will serve only a select, elite few. HS2 would be scrapped by a Green Party government. It is a time for hard truths: it does not matter how many roads we build and how many lanes they have—they will only become more congested and polluted unless we improve our road and rail infrastructure in a way that makes alternate, environmentally friendly modes of transport more attractive, and, most importantly, viable. The automotive bias in our country must be readdressed through the construction of complimentary cycle, tram, rail, and pedestrian networks. This means investment in bus services that are locally owned; the renationalisation, modernisation, and expansion of our railways (and, dare I hope for it, the recommissioning of old lines); more provisions for cyclists (safer, better-maintained cycle lanes; secure, street-level storage) and pedestrians through a £2bn investment programme; increasing diesel scrappage incentives, and free local travel for under 18s and students.

Education

Our system is failing young people: pre-schoolers, primary, secondary, and higher education students are all suffering. Whilst I was studying for my degree at the University of Westminster five years ago, my tuition fee was a little over £3000, and I had the benefit of a maintenance grant to supplement my income. Now, undergraduate tuition fees have risen to £9250 per year (and will soon exceed that price in line with inflation), and maintenance grants have been dumped. The Green Party would abolish tuition fees, reintroduce student maintenance grants* and Education Maintenance Allowance, and guarantee apprenticeships to all qualified young people aged 16-25. Schools are under enormous pressure at present: between 2015 and 2020, £5.2bn will collectively vanish from their budget. To tackle this, we would introduce a funding model and invest £7bn in the system to increase real terms spending per pupil (not just absolute spending), return all academies and free schools to local authority control, scrap SATs, and reduce class sizes to a long-term goal of 20 pupils per class at both primary and secondary level.

*In the long term, the Green Party would introduce a Basic Income for all British citizens, thereby rendering these grants unnecessary.

NHS and Social Care

You will, by now, be very much aware of the crisis gripping our NHS. My local hospital, Kettering General, has been placed in special measures, as its beleaguered staff are struggling to cope, and a number of the hospital’s services have been deemed ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission as a result. It is the same story across the country. The Green Party would repeal the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and introduce an NHS Reinstatement Act to roll back privatisation, to ensure that all health and dental services are always publicly provided and funded, and free at the point of access. We would also stop the inappropriate sale of NHS assets and further private finance initiative (PFI) contracts from being written up (in addition to buying out existing PFI contracts where viable), provide free social care for the elderly and all those who need it, and bring spending on mental health care in line with that of its physical equivalent.

The Environment

The Green Party is unapologetically opposed to fracking, much like it is the £110bn Trident nuclear weapons system, which would go on the scrap heap alongside HS2. We would introduce an Environmental Protection Act to safeguard and restore our environment, protect and enhance biodiversity, transition toward sustainable agriculture, and ensure protection for animals. Additionally, we would ensure that carbon reduction is considered in all stages of planning (both at a government and local authority level), ban bee-harming pesticides (neonicotinoids), phase out non-organic synthetic fertilisers, and cooperate with businesses and other countries alike to limit global temperature increases to just north of 1.5 degrees.

Bonus!

An addendum to remind constituents that the Green Party is seeking proportional representation (we received over one million votes in the last General Election, yet only one MP, Caroline Lucas, represented Green voters in Parliament prior to its dissolution), and to abolish the House of Lords.

I intend to write a subsequent post in a similar manner covering topics my letter did not: tax, housing, social issues, animal rights (which is something I have received an awful lot of emails concerning), and migration.

I also have a small blurb on my Green Party General Election candidate page voicing support for these issues, alongside my personal stance on other matters that are not hard-coded into the Green Party manifesto:

As a Green Party MP, Jamie would oppose HS2, Trident, and fracking, and support the renationalisation of our railways. He would fight to safeguard EU environmental legislation in the face of Brexit—given the catastrophic implications deregulation would have on our wildlife—abolish tuition fees, and strive for an end to the austerity measures and privatisation crippling our social services. He would join calls for proportional representation, the decentralisation of government, and the merging of County and Borough Councils into a unitary authority. Jamie would incentivise green transport and renewable energy solutions, demand investment in our public transportation networks, push for the construction of ecological, zero-carbon housing, and seek to tax unoccupied homes. Additionally, he would fight for the protection of green spaces and nature-rich sites, work to close the gender pay gap, and stand up for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people.

If you agree with our principles and my stance as a PPC of Daventry, I implore you to show your support by voting Green on June 8th.

JPW

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Promoted by Jamie Wildman on behalf of Jamie Wildman, 52 Silverwood Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN15 6EH.

A Personal Introduction to Your Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Daventry

Welcome to my campaign blog! 2221-2 copy.jpegMy name is Jamie Paul Wildman, and I am standing for the Green Party as their Parliamentary candidate in the Daventry constituency of Northamptonshire.

I officially joined the Green Party in June of last year, and stood in the Wicksteed Division of my hometown, Kettering, in this May’s County Council elections. Now 27, I have lived in Northamptonshire cumulatively for over 20 years, interwoven with spells in Poole and several boroughs in London, including Hendon, Camberwell, and Camden. I hold degrees in English from the University of Westminster and UCL, and am currently pursuing a career in lepidopterology and conservationism. As such, I am a keen lepidopterist, and volunteer on nature reserves in the Wicksteed area and wider county with the BCN branch of the Wildlife Trust, in addition to being an active Butterfly Conservation member. In regard to other pastimes, I am an avid runner, a music fanatic, literary critic, writer, bookworm, and cyclist. My loyal companion, a 7-year-old Border Terrier named Broc, will likely make the occasional cameo appearance on my social media streams.

You can find me on Twitter at @jpwildman for more regular updates. A short biography briefly outlining which of the current administration’s policies I fervently oppose, and the key issues I would tackle if elected Member of Parliament for Daventry is available on the Green Party website. I will go into more detail regarding these points–amongst many others–in the coming weeks, once the Green Party’s General Election manifesto is released to the general public.

Steve Whiffen stood for the Green Party in Daventry in the 2010 General Election, polling a 1.5% share of the ballot, and again in 2015–this time polling 3.5%, and gaining 1829 votes. I am optimistic that, in the coming election, we can build upon Mr Whiffen’s past successes. I have a deep, sentimental attachment to the Daventry countryside, and, to quote the great poet Stephen Spender, its ‘sudden hidden villages’. There is no-one on your General Election ballot paper with a greater desire to protect Daventry’s character, improve its infrastructure, and change its constituents’ lives for the better.

I will be circulating an email to Daventry’s Green Party members in the near future, as I would like to arrange a meeting (or meetings, if necessary) to canvass opinion, formally introduce myself, and arrange campaigning efforts and Green Party-related events across the constituency. As financial resources are very scarce for the Northamptonshire branch, I have established a Crowdfunder in case any existing members, Daventry constituents and/or Green Party supporters would like to contribute to my campaign. If you do not wish to donate money, you can do me a tremendous service by engaging digitally with my campaign: sharing this blog, my Tweets, and fundraising page on whichever social media platforms you have at your disposal will be just as helpful.

If anyone is interested in volunteering, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated, and help to ensure that we reach as many people as possible before polling day on the 8th June. Word of mouth is key. If you would like to become a member of the Green Party, you can do so here. You can follow the Northamptonshire Green Party on Facebook for updates on all of our county’s General Election candidates.

You can get in touch with me at jamie.wildman@greenparty.org.uk, leave a comment here, or contact me via a Tweet or direct message on Twitter.

I hope to see (or hear) from you soon.

JPW

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Promoted by Jamie Wildman on behalf of Jamie Wildman, 52 Silverwood Road, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN15 6EH.