Stroud District Green Party has welcomed the local roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations and has warned that the principle of ‘freedom of speech’ is being misused by anti-vaccination groups to promote dubious and selective information that stokes fear and distrust of science, medicine and public health measures.
Professor Molly Scott Cato, a Green candidate for Gloucestershire County Council, said: The Green Party has always upheld freedom of speech and the right to protest, but a balance has to be struck and we must ensure that debate is based on facts and not on misinformation spread by those who wish to create divisions in society. I, for one, am looking forward to enough of us getting vaccinated so that I can visit my elderly parents again.”
Local Green Party activist and healthcare worker Kate Crews added: “We hope we are turning the corner and will defeat Covid in 2021 as vaccinations are rolled out. We can all play our part in reducing the spread of the virus by seeking out and following sources of information that we can trust. So it is important that if people have questions about the virus or vaccines, they go to the NHS or their local surgery for answers."
She went on: "We have nothing but praise and admiration for the phenomenal efforts and dedication of healthcare and other frontline workers, including teachers, who are exposed to the virus on a daily basis. Stroud District residents of all political persuasions should come together to support them and help to beat Covid by enabling the vaccination programme to go ahead as quickly as possible.”
Meanwhile, the Green Party is warning that this third lockdown will be “incredibly tough” for many people. Martin Whiteside, leader of the Greens on Stroud District Council, said: "Isolation, financial crises, hunger, domestic violence, mental health and children struggling with online learning are realities for many people. Local businesses also need more support. I will be working with Council leaders of all parties to ramp up our efforts as a Council. Greens are also urging government to provide a Universal Basic Income to enable people to get through this crisis in a fairer way. Meanwhile we can all do our bit by looking out for our neighbours, family and friends and by staying safe ourselves."