Interview with Keith Taylor, Green Party Principal Speaker
Are you disappointed to come third or pleased to gain 22% of vote?
"How could I be disappointed when the Green vote here more than doubled since the last General Election. Our vote in Brighton was the highest the Greens have ever achieved at a General Election. That's fantastic, because it's not simply a protest vote but a positive vote for the green vision. The signals it sends are very encouraging for the Green party because there are council elections in 2007 at which we'll be expecting to have a significant increase in the size of our councillor's group.
"The Greens aim to think global but act local: we don't have the resources to stand in all the seats, but we are doing best where we have elected councillors in city halls and people are seeing the difference that we make.
"The First Past the Post Electoral System has let down the people of Brighton Pavilion, where we demonstrated significant support but where Labour ran a campaign of frightening people about the prospect of a Tory victory here.
"The campaign also shows that money spent nationally plays an important part in sending the message that there's only a three way choice – that message has been proved wrong, at least here."
Should there be limits on campaign funding then?
"Yes, there should be a strict cap on political party expenditure and there should be state funding we believe, because we don't have our noses stuck in the corporate trough. All our money comes from individual. McDonalds, Shell or BAT are not sponsoring us, and it would be a falsehood to say that those corporate donors don't expect some payback from the parties they sponsor.
Did the Greens suffer from the fact that environmental issues were so low on the campaign agenda?
"This election was a missed opportunity to raise the issue of climate change, which represents negligence on the part of the Westminster parties. The disgusting Tory campaign was trying to find scapegoats, whilst the Lib Dems are as always wedded to private enterprise and economic liberalisation.
"There is no doubt that climate change is happening and that we can make a better world through taking action now. It is not the action of responsible politicians to tell people that we can increase consumption in way that we continue to do. For example, New Labour is trying to treble the size of the aviation industry in 20 years, but aviation is the fastest source of emissions. The reality is that at the moment we are subsidising rather than taxing aviation." OR