Meet Joe Taylor, the Green Party candidate

5 mins read
Joe Taylor, Green Party candidate - Credit: Emily Travis Photos

Joe Taylor is the Green Party candidate in the Battersea constituency for the UK Parliamentary election on Thursday 4 July 2024.

To provide more information about the main candidates, we have partnered with the community website and invited them to answer our questions. We hope this will give you an opportunity to learn more about their concerns, proposals, and how they can assist Battersea residents.

Could you introduce yourself to our readers?

My family and I have lived in Battersea for six years and we love it here. Since my daughter was born nine years ago, I’ve spent as much time as I can trying to stop climate breakdown to give her and all young people a viable future. That’s why I’m running in the general election for the Green Party – the only party that takes the climate crisis seriously.

Tell us something about you our readers may not know.

My day job is in the music industry, managing songwriters who mostly write songs for big DJs. 

We hear you co-managed the British entry for Eurovision a good few years ago – what lessons would you draw from that experience that you would use as an MP?

I didn’t expect to be reminded of Eurovision during this election campaign but my first hustings was at South Thames College (in our neighbouring Putney constituency) and my encounter with the Workers Party candidate did remind me somewhat of my encounter with Lordi, the hard rock band in monster costumes who won Eurovision for Finland in 2006, as I explained in this Twitter thread.

Joe Taylor, Green Party candidate – Credit: Emily Travis Photos

What do you think of Wandsworth Council’s efforts so far to ‘go green’ – which has seen a decent push for electric vehicles, more comprehensive recycling, and cycling?

Wandsworth Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 but nothing that either administration, Conservative or Labour, have done since suggests they understand what “emergency” means. Everything we hold dear is under threat, not on some distant timescale but in the lifetimes of most people alive today. We need a World War II-sized mobilisation to change almost every aspect of life in Battersea and Wandsworth as well as the UK as a whole. I campaigned for food waste collection and now we have food waste collection, but it’s a tiny step when the challenge facing us is so huge.

With the busiest station at the heart of Battersea, public transport is used by the vast majority of people in the area. What would you like to see improved for that in Battersea?

The truth is we need to see every urban area including Battersea becoming pretty much car-free this decade. So we’re going to need more public transport and for it to be cheaper, and more pedestrianisation and provision for active travel also.

Housing is also a local concern.  Recently we have seen some proposal for massive schemes exceeding local plan rules – which justify their scale on the grounds that they also affordable housing.  Where is the right balance between providing the social housing we need, and making sure that our urban environment remains one people want to live in?

The Green Party is pledging to provide 150,000 new social homes each year, some of them new builds. All new builds will be built to Passivhaus standards or similar, meaning they will require minimal heating and cooling. The fact that it’s still legal in 2024 to build houses with poor insulation and gas boilers – which will soon have to be ripped out – shows how reckless our current government is, and how little regard they have for the future. How dare they call themselves conservatives?

In general, I think our focus should be on making better use of the buildings we’ve got by retrofitting them (something the Green Party is very serious about) and making sure they are permanently occupied.

In the 2016 EU referendum there was a 70 % remain vote here, one of the highest in the country. There is still a lot of strong feeling about Brexit – but how relevant is it as an issue in this election?

The Green Party is in favour of rejoining the EU, rejoining the customs union, and restoring free movement. Sounds good to me as long we can keep a laser focus on avoiding climate breakdown.

The situation in Gaza is a concern for many voters, and specifically in London where many have a strong view. What do you think should be the government’s position?

The Green Party would end UK military co-operation with Israel, reinstate funding for a UN agency for Palestinian refugees, and support international investigations into war crimes allegations. We will continue to push for a ceasefire, the release of hostages and a long-term settlement to bring security to both sides. In general, the Green Party is a voice for peace and for disarmament. Shockingly, it is often the lone voice in English politics advocating for these things which every human being should be working towards.

The environment has become a bit of a political football, getting tangled in arguments about onshore wind farms and even wokeness. What would you do as an MP to keep people focussed on the facts, and avoid it becoming a point of division where everything gets bogged down in politics and nothing gets done?

The first thing we need is for political leaders to stand up and be honest about the scale of threat facing us. Then we need a Churchillian response – the whole of global society must unite to survive, but if some countries won’t do their bit, then we must do more, not less.

You have built a lot of your campaign around climate change.  In a time of financial pressure and global tension – why should voters focus on this above all else?

Because otherwise we’re going to lose everything we hold dear.

The Green party is sometimes seen as a bit of a single-issue party, maybe someone you would vote for to make a point but not someone you would trust to run the country.  Is this fair?

I actually think the party should be even more focused on climate and nature than it is currently. The Green Party’s target for this election is to win four MPs, not to run the country just yet sadly.

And finally – why should our readers vote for you?

Vote Green for a liveable future and a kinder, fairer world where we look after each other and live in harmony with nature. But even more importantly, come and get involved in the new Battersea People’s Assembly, which will take place at Battersea Arts Centre on Sunday July 7th at 2.30pm. It’s time for us, the people of Battersea, to come together, get to know each other, organise and prepare for the challenges ahead. If you elect me as your MP, I will work to bring about the decisions of the assembly.

Joe and some of the Green activists at the count – council election – Credit: Joe Taylor

Links and social media

Find his appeal on Video here:

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CJI editor and Clapham Junction Action Group co-founder and coordinator since 2008, Cyril has lived in Clapham Junction since 2001.
He is also funder and CEO of Habilis-Digital Ltd, a digital agency creating and managing websites and Internet solutions.

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