Rupert Read gets Green Party “shadow” public services portfolio –
and calls for major re-nationalisation programme
Norwich City Councillor Rupert Read has been appointed to an important national post in the Green Party.
The Green Party of England & Wales will announce on Thursday April 9 that Dr Read, a Norwich Green Party councillor and lecturer at the University of East Anglia is the party’s new national spokesperson on public services – a key area of policy for the Greens.
Councillor Read has greeted his appointment by immediately stressing the party’s determination “to fight for accountable public services, and to keep pushing the radical and ethical agenda on public services that separates the Green Party from the big three parties.”
Speaking from his home in Merton Road Norwich today, Rupert Read condemned the government’s plans to continue privatising public services. He said:
“The Green Party wants public services which do what it says on the tin: serve the public, not simply oil the wheels of a business.”
Threat of privatisation
He said: “The most immediate threat to public services is the plan to part-privatise the Royal Mail, which would mean reductions in both jobs and standards of service.
“That’s why the Green Party wholeheartedly supports the campaign of the Communication Workers Union to keep the Royal Mail in public hands.”
He said the Greens were urging the public to remember this is a political issue, driven by the decisions of politicians and parties, and privatisation should not be regarded as inevitable: “If you want to keep the Post public, then put the matter into the hands of the Green Party. Sadly, none of the other three parties are committed to running the Royal Mail and the Post Office as public services, and so the universal ‘one price’ postal service across the nation is now at risk.”
Promise of re-nationalisation
But there’s much more at stake than that, he continued: “If nationalisation is good enough for the banks, then why isn’t it good enough for the railways? Everyone knows that you can’t have a proper railway system without having it run as one combined service, for the public good. Labour talk about joined-up government; but they haven’t even got a joined-up railway system!”
The Green Party also favours bringing the utilities (water, gas and electricity) back into public ownership and public control. Said Cllr Read: “It’s mad to have essential services that form a ‘natural monopoly’ in private hands.”
Need to defend British public services in the European Parliament
Rupert Read is standing for the upcoming European Parliament elections. If just one in ten voters in the Eastern region vote Green on 4th June, Rupert will join the three dozen existing Green Party MEPs who have already done a great deal to fight for public services across Britain and Europe.
Cllr. Read concluded: “Were it not for Green Party MEPs such as Britain’s own Jean Lambert, the European Parliament would have forced through a bill that would have made it impossible to stop health services being privatised. Here in Britain, we all love the NHS. If you want to keep the NHS public, there is only one choice on June 4th: vote Green.”