By Jess Staufenberg
Green Party candidate Davy Jones has held a launch party to mark the start of his general election campaign in Brighton Kemptown.
Speakers at the event included his youngest and oldest supporters, the Green Party’s national leader Natalie Bennett and a fireman – as well as Caroline Lucas, who appeared by video link.
Dr Lucas said: “You don’t have to vote for UKIP and for the xenophobic Little Englander angle. We are a real alternative from the grey cosy compromise of other parties.”
Mr Jones reminded his audience that people thought that the Brighton Pavilion MP would never be elected under the first-past-the-post system but had been proved wrong.
He said: “Caroline has repeated how different it would be with another Green MP in the House. Let’s get another radical voice in there.”
Asked why voters would choose him over Nancy Platts, the Labour candidate for Brighton Kemptown, Mr Jones said that he thought Ms Platts was in the wrong party.
He said: “She is in a party nationally which does not represent what she stands for and which will whip her into submission.
“What on earth is the point of another MP who is going to be whipped?”
The audience watched a satirical Punch and Judy campaign video made by puppeteer Gari Owen and Mr Jones suggesting that two-party politics was dead.
Green supporter Grace Bindell, 93, quoted Albert Einstein on humankind’s illusion that it is separate from the Earth, adding that only the Green Party had a vision for the planet.
Some audience members felt that Green Party candidates were suffering from unpopular decisions made by the minority Green administration running Brighton and Hove City Council.
Mr Jones said: “It’s a shame Labour didn’t take our offer of running the council together.
“They knew it was going to be hard and they wanted to see us skewered.
“The problem is that Whitehall micromanages. It’s ridiculous. The rest of Europe finds it hilarious.”
Mr Jones’s election agent Neil Stevenson said: “The Greens took over the council at the worst possible time. It was a poisoned chalice.”
Mr Stevenson added that some people associated the council with the Green Party and blamed candidates for council decisions even though those candidates were not involved in making council decisions.