27 Oct 2006

More Green Party history

off line for a couple, don't worry I haven't been kidnapped by Ron Hubbard, here is some more history!

The Party only had about 400 members in those days, a mere dozen of whom seemed to live in London, so candidates were obviously few and far between. So ‘green’ was I that I didn’t even know that as an ILEA teacher, I was not in fact permitted to stand as a candidate for the GLC!” Jonathon Porrit in Seeing Green. 1984

Well 1977, the first Ecology Party constitution is agreed (has anyone got a copy, this would clear a few questions that I have been asked), Jonathon Porritt is about to join...

At the 1977 Birmingham Conference, the first Ecology Party constitution was ratified. Ironically, its author, Jonathon Tyler, was to spend much of his time as a Party member attempting to amend his own constitution, a process that led to his disillusionment and eventual resignation after the ‘Maingreen’ affair. The Party has generally generated more heat over constitutional debates than policy differences.

During the conference, Shepherds Bush comprehensive teacher and old Etonian Jonathon Porritt joined him on the NEC.
After being lent a copy of The Ecologist, Porritt became a subscriber and noticed advertisements “exhorting me to join the Ecology Party”. He wrote for further details, only to be informed by Clive Lord that the Party was out of literature, but Lord suggested that he join anyway. “I did, for no particularly good reason, and a couple of weeks later found myself press ganged into standing as a candidate in the 1977 Greater London Council election. The Party only had about 400 members in those days, a mere dozen of whom seemed to live in London, so candidates were obviously few and far between. So ‘green’ was I that I didn’t even know that as an ILEA teacher, I was not in fact permitted to stand as a candidate for the GLC!”, Porritt recalls [18].

Porritt was the only 'Ecology Party' candidate in the whole of London, bizarrely two PEOPLE candidates contests seats in Havering..perhaps this didn't know about the name change!

After gaining 1.9% of the, albeit illicitly, in ward, Porritt scraped onto the Party NEC by a single vote. His twenty votes, a mere eleven less than the top scorer with thirty-one, illustrates the small number of members active in the 1970s. Porritt’s victory was to have serious implications – hostile to the bleak doom mongering of its survivalist origins, he worked to provide the Party with an attractive image and effective organisation. Along with his ally, Hampstead economist David Fleming, Porritt’s vision was of an effective, radical yet electoral Party. Porritt was closest, may be, to the ecological wing of the Liberal Party.

David Fleming is still writing about oil and congestion, here is his thoughts on why oil prices will kill or at least maim the car here.

Here is his bio from FEAST magasine
David Fleming read History at Oxford from 1959 to 1963, and then worked in manufacturing (textiles), marketing (detergents), advertising and financial public relations, before taking an MBA at Cranfield in 1968. From 1977 to 1995 he practised as an independent consultant in environmental policy and business strategy for the financial services industry. He edited a manual on the formation and management of investment funds in the Former Soviet Union, which was published in 1995. He was the Ecology (Green) Party's economics spokesman and press secretary between 1977 and 1980. It was at this time that he started to develop the concept of his forthcoming book The Lean Economy. In order to research the economics underlying the concept he took an MSc in economics at Birkbeck College, University of London in 1983 and a PhD in 1988. He was Honorary Treasurer and then Chairman of the Soil Association, the UK's leading advocate of organic farming, between 1984 and 1991. He has been a regular contributor to Country Life, and has published in Prospect and other journals, and in the academic literature. He was editor of The Countryside in 2097, published in 1997, and gave the 2001 Feasta lecture.

Here is his FEASTA paper on a lean fuel future.

reveals the Porritt GLC result!
1977 41,377 37.0
H.H. Sandford Con 10,359 67%
I.J.C. Peddie Lab 3,468 22.7%
P.R. Vandekar L 645 4.2%
NF 372 2.4%
Hon. J.E. PorrittEP 298 1.9%
J. D’Arcy SPGB 102 0.7%
B.D. Lake Ind 67 0.4%


Anonymous said...

And the PEOPLE candidates' results are here: http://www.election.demon.co.uk/glc/glchv.html
Not bad for the time and place.. does it show how restricting the names "Ecology" and "Green" have been?

Derek Wall said...

thanks for this, probably shows importance of good local candidates,

anybody know anything about people in Havering...would be good to find out more, its all a bit ignored by history,

Anonymous said...

I can't see any PEOPLE Party candidates, though there was a People and Agrarian Party. I think that was something else though...


Derek Wall said...

By 1977 elections the name had been changed to the Ecology Party

When Keir Starmer was a Marxist.

Canvassing in Brighton back in 2017 to support Green Party MP Caroline Lucas’s re-election efforts, I knocked on a door and came acros...