Chas Peeps is my nom de plume, a nod and a wink at my real identity but cannot go closer to allow me to post forthright opinions. I am 55 years old and I am a property professional, working in the field of “hard” facilities management. My working life has involved five years in construction and the remainder as a building surveyor which opened my eyes to the very real level of poverty for millions of forgotten people and communities in the UK.
I have a background of activism in the green and labour movements and have experience of being a party officer (press officer, political education officer and constituency secretary), conference delegate and elected councillor.
I am a trade union steward in UNISON.
I am horrified how our political system in the UK has become dysfunctional and unfit for purpose. There is now a mushy consensus where every one of the main political parties chases the centre right vote. This is the inevitable result of our first past the post system of elections where each party tries to design its policies to win over the floating voters in the small number of marginal constituencies throughout the country to deliver a majority of Parliamentary seats. Meanwhile, the gap between the haves and have-nots is getting wider and wider. Too many people in the UK now have to choose whether to heat their homes or eat. Food banks cannot meet current demand. This country is in a crisis which is becoming structural and permanent rather than a result of the credit crunch and the economic depression that followed.
I believe that the interests of the majority of people in the UK are no longer being served by a self interested, middle class political elite who either don’t know or don’t care about the suffering that their policies are causing.
After a great deal of soul-searching, I finally decided to rejoin the Green Party that I had reluctantly left for the Labour Party in 1991. It feels like I have come home to a small but principled party that occupies a lot of the libertarian left ground that Labour abandoned many years ago and to which it shows little sign of ever wanting to return.
With no chance of ousting the political elite through the ballot box, all bets are off as to what may happen next…..