Sian Berry and Jonathan Bartley
The last two years have been the most successful ever for getting Greens elected, and we’re proud to have helped steer that course, but now let’s build even faster to win more power and real system change.
The last two years were the most successful ever for getting Greens elected.
Taking over in Brighton and Hove means we have gone from being the opposition on five councils to playing a part in running 18. We beat the Conservatives in the European elections, and doubled our councillors in just one election.
Our urgent task now is to occupy the space Labour is leaving and create a true mass-membership movement with the Green Party as its political wing. That means three strategic pledges from us.
First, we’ll be clear about our vision, making the links between the climate and ecological emergency and injustice. Only system change will do, and we will show by our actions that we are on the side of all those exploited by the current system.
Second, we’ll use the power Greens already hold to win more credibility through delivery. Support for local parties will get even better, building election teams, helping get hundreds of climate emergency motions turned into action, implementing system change from the ground up.
Finally, our party must broaden and grow. We’ll reach out beyond the core green movement and work with new allies as the political wing of a movement with people power and solidarity at its heart. Working together we’ll amplify the voices of migrants and refugees, workers, young people, disabled people, human rights campaigners and anti-racists.
And when people see Greens getting elected, working with communities and delivering change, they will vote for more of us at every level. Because we’ve followed an evidence-based strategy, we now have new target constituencies ready to develop fast and win more seats in Westminster.
Together we are the only leadership candidates putting forward a bold new vision for our party and a real plan. Please vote for us again as your co-leaders.
The Green Party must become serious about inclusion, serious about credibility and serious about winning elections.
I believe that the Green Party must become the effective political voice of the green movement – we cannot keep expecting other “progressive” parties to carry our cause for us. My vision for the party comprises three areas:
We must become serious about inclusion. We need to shake the stereotype of being a party for white, middle-class vegans, and ensure that everyone who shares our values, whoever they are, can find a home in the Green Party. We must do a better job of engaging with people from all backgrounds and walks of life and talking about the issues that matter to them.
We must become serious about credibility. Voters love the way we care about the environment, but we need to convince them that we can competently deal with everything else too. We need better answers to people who say we haven’t thought through how our good ideas will work in practice. We need our policies to be backed by experts, professionals, and the scientific consensus.
We must become serious about winning elections. We must compete and win under the First Past the Post system that we currently face, whilst also calling for the reform our voting system needs. This is a mountain to climb and will take serious focus and investment of time and resources, as well as clear direction and strategy, and the discipline to follow through.
My first year as Leader will be spent championing the reforms our party needs to become a potent electoral force in UK politics, whilst continuing to act as our primary spokesperson in the media.
Give me your first preference on 3 August and let’s take the fight for a greener future directly to the establishment parties.
Vote Shahrar Ali for action on the climate emergency.
CLIMATE JUSTICE MATTERS
Ten years is the time remaining for the Green Party to play a meaningful role in securing the transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to a net zero carbon economy by our target date of 2030. Globally, it is the poor and those least responsible for climate change who are most suffering their harmful impacts – deforestation, disease, malnutrition, food insecurity – today.
We should be front and centre of this battle for the future of our country and of our planet and all the beautiful species and nonhuman animals we share it with. Yet our political communications and our leadership team appear subdued.
Nor can we be proud of an election result in which the Green Party failed to achieve any significant breakthroughs. Compare and contrast this to when I was last a member of the leadership team. In 2015, we won over a million votes, and kept our deposits in 123 seats. In 2019 we won 800,000 votes but only kept our deposits in 31 seats.
My number one priority would be to fix this by helping to consolidate and energise the party. I would be bold and unapologetic about our vision and the system change required to do what’s scientifically necessary.
We must also get better at respectful disagreement and dialogue in the party and remember that more unites than divides us. I would reach out to the politically homeless: women voters and former Labour supporters. As your first BME leader, I would also be well placed to attract members and voters who are currently poorly represented, too.
We are on a trajectory of accelerating climate breakdown. Now we need to pull together as never before to avert catastrophe and universal death. As Leader, that urgent challenge will be my primary, all-consuming focus.
Voting for the GPEW internal elections for leadership positions and the Green Party Executive (GPEx) will run until 31 August. If you are a GPEW member, you can cast your vote on the GPEW members’ site.