Warwick’s own Green Party politician is really beautiful
He told us we can change the tide of politics
Even though I have come to realise that student politicians are mostly weird anoraks, I was still determined to find some relatively normal people out there who want to sit on those shiny green benches in the House of Commons.
So, I met with Benjamin Gallaher, the Warwick second year history and politics student standing as the Green candidate for Coventry South on 7 May.
It really could have gone either way. Ben could have been a ruthless wannabe who read Hansard before bed and watched PMQs rather than TOWIE in his spare time, but instead we found that he’s actually a rather decent, seemingly sane chap.
He isn’t pretentious, he has no obvious Machiavellian streak, and he’s actually fairly straight talking, so why, unlike the rest of Warwick, is he trying to break into politics rather than selling his soul to the City, we wondered.
Well, it turns out that Ben is a product of the politically apathetic times in which we live. He’s idealistic, he’s bored of the tired politics of Westminster, and he’s concerned with the cost of living in twenty-first century Britain.
His attitude may strike a chord with many on campus, with a recent survey finding that 21 per cent of Warwick students are set to vote for the Green Party.
“Politics is something I’m passionate about… I want to change things in society and politics is the best way to do it”, he told us.
Ben was also adamant that despite being only 21 years old, he does indeed have enough life experience to be an MP.
He told us, “I’m from a single-parent background. Mum was in part time work, housing benefit and it still didn’t provide enough for the family. So from the age of sixteen all up to the age of nineteen I was always in work, so I’ve experienced what a lot of vulnerable families have experienced”.
Though there’s no doubting his passion, Ben admitted that his chances of sitting next to Carolina Lucas were rather slim, especially considering the fact that among his opponents is incumbent Labour heavyweight Jim Cunningham.
Ben didn’t seem too saddened by this. He said: “I started off as just a name on the ballot paper, but I’ve received a lot of support and I’m really enjoying it… my parents are really proud, even my Thatcherite dad has offered support… standing could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.
Though it’s unlikely that Ben will sit in the Commons after the election, he expressed his wish to see the implementation of a £72 a week ‘citizens’ income’, one of the Green Party’s flagship policies.
He ended the interview stressing the importance of getting young people to vote, “we have got the capacity to change the tide of politics… To see the political alternative and look outside the box”.
Still not sure on who to vote for? Find out whose policies you align with here.