The evening began with a chance for Shahrar and Mapesbury council candidates Lia Colacicco (me), Tim Storer and Johnny Wharton to mingle with local residents and candidates for other parties.
The highlight of the evening for me was the man serving the wine asking the sitting MPs for a £2 donation then cheekily asking “would you like a receipt for that?”
After a very short AGM we were called up to sit on the stage. The speeches began with the 3 party leaders on Brent council – as we had no sitting councillor Shahrar had no voice but was allowed an extra minute on his parliamentary speech. I don’t think he missed much - the 3 speeches were a straightforward competition for who has lived in Brent the longest and who really REALLY loves Brent the most.
Shahrar was first to speak for the parliamentary election. He started by thanking MapRA for including us – unlike the BBC debate. He added a refreshing note of passion to the proceedings as he spoke of Green values, and:
- why voters were right to trust us after the expenses scandal because we had warned about climate change long before it became perceived as popular to do so, therefore we could be relied upon to say what we believed;
- how our funding commitment to green jobs dwarfed that of the lib dems;
- the urgency of combating climate change for the sake of the impoverished and vulnerable around the world dying as we speak;
- and finally our commitment to properly funded and valued public services such as health, housing transport and education.
People should vote green to progress for politics worthy of the name.
People were generally very warm and positive to Shahrar, Tim, Johnny and me. We ended the evening with a convert, who said he would vote for us because we were “the nicest people” – even though he had told me earlier that there was no way he could vote for a party which is against fly-fishing!
By Lia Colacicco
Candidate for Mapesbury, and Co-ordinator of the Coalition for a Sustainable Brent Cross
Photo of Shahrar Ali, parliamentary candidate for Brent Central with Lia Colaccico by Claudia Evans (click to enlarge)