“Kirsten would be an amazing MEP!
She’s totally committed to Europe and fights hard for what she believes in.”
Magid Magid, Lord Mayor of Sheffield
So, I didn’t manage to get through the eye of the EU needle this time, but Magid Magid did!! And I’m incredibly proud to have worked hard together with a brilliant bunch of Green friends to more than double the number of our Green MEPs from 3 to 7.
Huge congratulations to them all. That’s a result!!
Telling tales from the European election in Brexit land
Posted on 25th May 2019
Tellers, say Wikipedia, help their parties identify supporters who have not yet voted, so that they can be contacted and encouraged to vote, and offered assistance—such as transport to the polling station—if necessary. In as far as this increases turn-out, it can be said to be “good” for the democratic process, since a higher voter turnout is generally considered desirable.
In my time I have sat on wobbly plastic chairs / stood in soggy puddles / leaned on rough brick walls for hours-on-end in a multitude of polling stations across the land, at a variety of elections for all manner of Councils and Governments, as a teller, collecting voter numbers on behalf of a pick-n-mix bag of political parties.
And I can now confirm that the Friday 23 May UK election for the European Parliament was nothing like any other election I have been a part of. From the outset it was clear that voters considered this to be a second Brexit vote, not the General Election for the European Parliament, which it actually was.
The tone among the small band of tellers, representing the differently coloured parties, is always friendly and jovial. Political differences are set aside for the day and everyone shares the numbers they manage to collect. And biscuits. And Werther’s Originals.
As a teller, you’re strictly not allowed to chat with voters, other than to ask for their voter number, but the rules seemed much more relaxed this time, almost as if the official watchdogs considered this election a bit of a joke.
And the political parties seemed to agree with them. I only ran into two Labour Party tellers throughout the entire day, the rest of the time I was bimbling around the polling stations on my own, sporting my bright Green rosette. Apparently there were a few Liberal Democrats knocking about, but tellers for the Tories, the Brexiters, the Women’s Equality people, Animal Rights activists and an assortment of independents, all stayed at home.
To pass the time during the 7am – 10pm long day, tellers become dab hands at conducting their very own private exit polls, simply by people-watching.
First up: The seasoned voters, who know the ropes. Generally happy to pass on their voter number to the tellers. They know that if they don’t, some fresh-faced political activist with a clipboard will just be banging on their door at 9pm, urging them to leg it down to the polling station in their slippers.
Next in line: Many more first-time voters than usual, from 18 year olds to the 30 somethings, who clearly had not voted before; “How long will this take?” What do I need to do?”, “I’m a bit nervous about all this, actually”.
Many became mightily offended when asked for their voter number, clearly calculating that the tellers must be from MI5 or Europol or something. “No you certainly can’t have my number!!” they’d scowl.
Total turnout may prove to be around the usual dismal UK level of 30-odd percent, but this time it was definitely a different thirty percent.
A kindly polling station official, out for a breath of fresh air told of how people were asking him “which party is for Leave and which is for Remain?”, of course, the official’s lips had to remain sealed. “Well, if you can’t tell me, how the **** am I supposed to know who to vote for?” Good question mate.
Third up: A large number of #givethekidsyourvote families with kids and dogs in tow. Now, this is genius! Basically, as this whole Brexit / Europe thing is about our children’s future and as they can’t yet vote, their parents vote for them. Ask your kids what they want to vote for and then put your cross where they want it. I like that. A lot. It’s probably anarchy.
And finally: The most distressing folk to turn up in their droves to cast their vote, the dutiful continental European citizens living in the UK, only to be summarily turned away, with no explanation, because of a monumental bit of bureaucratic bungling. Apparently, there are thousands of them being denied their opportunity to vote. If this does, indeed, turn out to be clerical cock-up in some complacent Whitehall office, the British authorities ought to be in deep doo-doo. Oh, they already are.
Denying eligible citizens their vote is illegal and a very serious offence. If this is you, head for #DeniedMyVote on twitter or the very useful the3million website. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. While I did not agree with https://.remainunited.org and their tactical voting advice during the election campaign, if they are now picking up this case, they deserve our full backing!
So, what will be the outcome of the UK’s European election day? With so many first-timers, clearly regretting not turning up to the Brexit referendum, and a sizeable number of anarchic #givethekidsyourvote families, all of them more likely than not Remainers, my conclusion is that Remain will carry the day over Leave in this round. Even if Nigel’s Brexit Farrago claims the pointy hat on the night.
But this wasn’t a second Brexit referendum, and the result, whatever it is, won’t make a blind bit of difference to our Brexit mess. It is, however, bound to colour the tone of the debate. Until the next time we vote.
And the Greens will have done well!
A European election message from Kirsten and what you can do!
As I write, Extinction Rebellion are hosting their final meeting in Berkley Square, to celebrate the return of the nightingale. Down the road, parliament are still at sixes and sevens about Brexit – yes, funny old world we live in.
But together, we can do something about it. Amid the turmoil, we have a real chance to offer voters, fed up with indecision on the things that really matter, a new alternative.
The polling is looking good for the Green Party and I am deeply proud of every environmental campaigner, who has never stopped shouting about a climate emergency.
On the Brexit front, Caroline Lucas has been unwavering in our demands for a People’s Vote on any deal, in an attempt to end the current chaos of government.
Greens are launching the strongest pro-European movement anywhere on the continent. We are proud Europeans and we believe we are stronger IN Europe. Stronger together when standing up to the global threats of climate change, corporate greed, aggression, corruption and inequality.
CLEAR ON BREXIT
STRONG ON CLIMATE CHANGE
FAIR ON THE ECONOMY
A Green Wave of optimism is sweeping across Europe with the European Greens seeking to build bridges, not walls, standing up for freedom of movement, refugees and action on climate breakdown.
As one of the strongest Remain boroughs in the country, it seems only right that Camden should be represented on the list of candidates for the EU Elections in London. We have a strong and diverse London-wide team of 8 candidates, that reflect the population of London, and we’re keen to get our message out to every Londoner registered to vote.
As you well know, the Green Party do not have large political donors, we rely instead on individual donations to reach every Londoner.
We need to raise over £40,000 to deliver a freepost letter to every registered voter in London – just under 4 million people. Any excess funds will be spent on keeping as many London households as possible informed throughout the campaign. This is our best chance of Londoners hearing from us and being aware of what we in the Green Party stand for.
We started our London Green Party crowdfunder a couple of weeks ago and I’m pleased to say that we are 50% of the way there.
You can help us reach our target by
Donating to our crowdfunder if you can
Sharing this with any Green supporters you know
Finally, do make sure you’re registered to vote by 7th May for the EU elections on 23 May. Any EU citizen from any member country can vote, more information HERE
Your support will be a real help to the campaign – so thanks for considering!
And if you have questions or suggestions, please send me an email to email@example.com
Kirsten de Keyser
MEP Candidate for London
Brexit, is it local or is it global?
I am completely mystified at the row about whether, or not, Camden Councillors should debate Brexit or even voice a view altogether. (We must be told Tories’ Brexit view, Ham & High letters, March 28).
Last October, the LibDems demonstrated outside the temporary Council Chamber in order to be allowed to debate Brexit. The Council’s Tory leader had declared that the full council meeting, about to take place, should not be distracted by foreign policy.
Such utter nonsense frankly beggars belief. Eurostar lives in the Borough of Camden and its management is crucially dependent on what happens with Brexit.
The HS2 project is currently progressing at pace in Camden. Whatever your thoughts about that, the project was, in no small part, designed to improve the access from continental Europe to the north of Great Britain. So where goes Brexit, so goes that idea.
Camden’s brand new Crick Institute relies hugely on seamless, superfast transport of isotopes from the continent and will be massively impacted by any disruption caused by Brexit.
According to the Council’s own figures, There are 24,000 residents in Camden who were born in EU countries, as well as 36,000 EU citizens who work in our borough. They rent, shop, pay tax, volunteer and generally contribute significantly to Camden’s quality of life.
Now, come again and claim that Brexit is not a local Camden matter. Of course it’s a Camden matter! Denying that is a total abdication of our councillors’ responsibility as our elected representatives.
Green MEP Candidates confirmed
Nothing is impossible, so we in the Green Party got our ducks in a row early, ready to take part in the EU election on 23 May.
And I have been selected to contest one of the eight London seats in the European Parliament.
The background: In 2016 a third of the British electorate voted to leave the European Union. Right or wrong, calling a referendum at all was certainly unwise.
The pitch: The country is now split and we need to reunite it.
- We must find a solution for remainers and fix the failures Leavers voted against. These are not failures of the EU, they are failures of Westminster
- We must get migration right, introduce the kind of regulations other EU nations already have.
- We must stop companies importing cheap labour, not only unfair to foreign workers, but it destroys our jobs market too.
- We must safeguard the Euro billions invested every year in Britain’s nations and regions.
- We must ensure that we keep Europe’s economic engine room in London. It provides us with 20% of our national income.
- We must maintain the EU’s far more ambitious environmental policies and high standards of food production. No chlorinated chicken or hormone reared beef for us!
So why vote for me?
Vote for me because I am your ideal candidate. I am a European Brit to the core, and always will be.
Born in Denmark, I have lived and worked in Spain and Italy and have long since made the UK my home.
I can get by in most Western European languages, I understand how Europe works, and what doesn’t work. And I know how, together, we can fix it.
Let’s not behave like a wrecking ball, we’re bigger than that!
So please vote for me and let’s secure for our children the British European future they long for.