Monday 2nd December 2019 was a landmark moment in my life. It was the first time that I had attended a hustings event as a general election candidate. The event was very well hosted by St Mary’s Church in Andover.
Although, as many people know, I have spoken to a huge variety of audiences all over the world on topics related to technology and statistics and data, I have never been as nervous as I was as I approached the church. However, I soon got into my stride and I am pleased to say that my opening speech was met with rapturous applause. It really resonated with the audience, who, like me, are fed up with British politics as usual.
Here’s my Opening Speech
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Lance Mitchell and I am proud to have been selected as the Green Party candidate for North West Hampshire in this election.
Having moved to the area when I was posted to Barton Stacey as a military surveyor in the Royal Engineers in 1976 and having met and married a Longparish lass in 1979, I’ve been connected to the area for over forty years. I am well and truly locally connected.
I am the candidate who is best qualified to represent local people and local issues.
Why am I standing for Parliament?
This may seem like a huge paradox, but I am standing for Parliament because I am fed up with politics. I am fed up with politics-as-usual. I am fed up with all the bickering and squabbling and name-calling between people who are supposed to be running this country.
I am not alone. Millions of us are fed up with politics-as-usual and with the media who report it. We don’t trust either.
British politics is well and truly broken. The country is in a mess.
Green politicians ARE different and we CAN be trusted. When other parties have twisted and turned with every change of wind direction, WE have always been consistent in our messages.
I am passionate about building a fairer Britain, tackling the enormous poverty problem that is causing suffering for so many millions. We have to work TOGETHER on resolving this rather than witness further squabbling among the elite politicians while ordinary people continue to suffer.
Official ONS figures show that 4 million children are currently living in poverty. Those children are unlikely to leave school with 5 GCSEs, girls are taking days off school because their families cannot afford menstrual products and they are forced to share PE kit. There are now more foodbanks in the UK than there are branches of MacDonalds.
We need politicians who will work TOGETHER to mend our broken country.
As you know, the Green Party have always led the way in taking action on the climate emergency. I am really happy that most of the other Parties have joined us in getting serious about THE most important issue facing mankind today. If elected, I will be delighted to work with them to take immediate action. It is not going to happen unless we all collaborate, working TOGETHER on our common goals.
Finally, everyone is fed up with the huge amount of time and public money that has already been spent on Brexit, achieving nothing. I don’t want to waste any more of your time or mine talking about that this evening.
The policy of the Green Party has always been that we should retain our membership of the EU and lead the way in much-needed reform.
To be fair to both Leavers and Remainers, we should put whatever withdrawal agreement our new prime minister comes up to a People’s Vote so that we can either approve it or deny it.
At the end of this evening, if you agree with me that decades of doing politics in the same old way, haven’t worked and that we need a totally new approach for a better Britain, please consider voting for me on the 12th of December.
Huge thanks must go to St Mary’s Church for hosting and organising the event so well and for making all four candidates so welcome. As a techie, I was very impressed with the AV system.