The imminence of climate collapse is highlighted by the IPCC report, and by the warnings that even that understates our predicament. COP26 is due, but that will be just words and promises of distant action. There is no time for posturing, but only for action, action that requires a strong, focused and effective Green Party.
Our focus will be on the core concerns of the Green movement and the Green Party:
- our home, the Earth
- campaigning to protect the health of our home
- campaigning to elect Green councillors and MPs to help bring this about
To do this we will need to bring the Green Party together:
- exploring the ways to deal with the issues that divide us, because there is more that unites us than divides us
- ensuring a culture of openness, transparency and productive engagement with one another.
And we need to work on the goals, and this will involve campaigning on issues, and campaigning in elections.
Both of us have been involved in campaigning, but what Tina has demonstrated is how to build a grassroots campaign, turn it into a movement opposing fracking, and to win.
Martin has been a principal authority councillor focussed on green issues, and has worked locally and regionally on elections. We recognise that it is the work of volunteers in local and regional parties that has produced our electoral gains, and pledge our support to the work of local and regional parties in building the Green Party and Green Party representation.
- When I discovered that Martin would be willing to run with me as co-leader, any concerns left me. I have the utmost respect for his length of service to GPEW and more than anything else, his honesty and commitment to fairness.
- What Martin brings with his rich party knowledge, I will add my experience of environmental campaigning. Although my actual career has focused primarily on communications as a reporter in Hong Kong, broadcaster in Luxembourg, writer in Spain and copywriter in the UK, it is this last decade in the environmental movement that has provided more useful skills including; movement building, working across divides, creatively addressing problems and ensuring a presence in every arena relating to the issues; from financial and political, to grassroots and neighbourhoods.
- As a campaigner I co-founded the group ‘Nanas UK’, bringing together a specific demographic that could and would commit to the task required – stopping fracking. UK Nanas helped raise the profile of the anti-fracking movement by touring the country, hosting and attending events, taking part in actions and securing endorsements and media coverage from Emma Thompson, Vivienne Westwood, Bez (Happy Mondays), Mark Ruffalo and of course, the Green Party. Our campaign continues until there is a full ban on fracking both here in the UK and across the world. I believe ‘Nana’ is a transferable skill in this GPEW leadership campaign.
- My roles within GPEW include running in two general elections against George Osborne in Tatton and Mark Menzies here in Fylde; the purpose being to raise the issue of fracking in key areas with Conservative MPs who were driving it. I am currently co-chair of Blackpool & Fylde Green Party and up until Brexit, was employed as Social Media Officer for Gina Dowding (former) MEP for the North West; an incredible role that took me to Brussels and allowed me to participate in a host of activities including participating in the plan for a North West Green New Deal.
- The declaration of a Climate Emergency must lead to mobilisation and it is the Green Party that needs to lead the way.
- Greta Thunberg accurately said ‘our house is on fire’ and I see the Green Party as the only political party that has the extinguisher (and that we need to set the example by getting our own fires under control).
The Leaders of the Green Party are out there facing the world on behalf of the Party, communicating our policies, taking part in the development of policies, working with our members, in political campaigns and electoral campaigns, and this requires particular qualities and particular experience.
- To the role and to the partnership with Tina Rothery I think bring both personal qualities, and experience.
- My 50 years of political experience began on the loose left, before joining Labour and then the Greens. I have run elections and campaigns, and stood in elections at every level from Parish Council to Europe. For 12 years I was a member of Leeds City Council working mainly on environmental issues, winning the argument against waste incineration, running the Peace Unit, pioneering Green purchasing, acting as Chair of UK Nuclear Free local Authorities where my campaigning work took me across Europe, and on a speaking tour of Japan. It has involved public meetings from a handful to hundreds of people, hustings, some of them broadcast, television and radio interviews (in French in Benin). My media experience is extensive, and meetings have been challenging. I have trained other candidates in effective response.
- Work in the Green Party at local, regional and national levels has given me an understanding of how the Party works, and an idea of how it should work. Representing the Party has given me an understanding of policies, and what often helps, an understanding of the principles underlying the policies.
- The more personal qualities that I bring have been impressed on me by the responses I have had since declaring my intention to stand – stability, patience, calmness, knowledge, strength of purpose. A balance to the mercurial qualities that Tina brings to the partnership. Together we can make the Green Party the political force that it should be.