Meet Ben Parker – Green candidate for Edinburgh South West

Meet Ben Parker. The Green candidate for Edinburgh South West tells us about his background and why he’s standing for election to join Caroline Lucas in Westminster.

Ben Parker, Green Party candidate for Edinburgh South West

I grew up in a small market town in North Yorkshire with my parents and older brother before moving to Edinburgh in 2015 for university. Having graduated earlier this year, I’m now happy to be settled in the South of the city where I live in a flat-share with two of my best friends.

Like many recent graduates, I work 2 part-time jobs to pay the bills; as the Shop and Volunteer Manager at the One World Fairtrade Shop in Princes Street, and as Volunteer Coordinator for a Scotland-wide disability housing charity. I enjoy both roles and it’s satisfying knowing that I’m working on projects which help to make the world a better place.

I’m standing in this election because I’m deeply worried about climate change. We know that we have just 10 years to tackle the climate crisis and we know that it’s going to be my generation – and those afterwards – who are going to be left to pick up the pieces unless we take action now. For years we have seen other parties fail to grasp the severity of the crisis we are facing and I’m sick and tired of waiting for change.

But I don’t just want to see us tackle climate change in an abstract sense – I want to make sure that Westminster sees the climate emergency as an opportunity to create positive change across Scotland and the rest of the world too. The Green New Deal we are proposing is about investing in the public sector and making people’s lives better by creating thousands of good quality, well-paid jobs. The establishment parties have foisted on us a decade of failed austerity politics which has done nothing but ruin our public services and punish the most vulnerable members of our society. I’m proud to be offering a different and kinder politics for people across Edinburgh South West.