24 Nov 2006

PRINCIPAL SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED

Former Green Party Principal Speaker Keith Taylor commented: 'I congratulate Siân and Derek on their success, and wish them well over the next year."


NEWS: Green Party in England & Wales

PRINCIPAL SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED

Dr Derek Wall and Siân Berry have been announced as the two new Principal Speakers of the Green Party in England and Wales.

Their election puts two strong, grassroots campaigners into the Green Party's top positions, providing an ideal platform from which to seize on growing public clamour for political change and real action on issues such as climate change.

Both say they aim to recruit more members and activists into the Party from across the spectrum of single-issue campaigning and traditional party politics.

Siân Berry, 32, a resident of Kentish Town in North West London, is best known for her highly successful campaign against 4x4s which is credited for turning UK public opinion against 'Chelsea tractors' and helping to persuade London Mayor Ken Livingstone to charge gas- guzzlers a £25 congestion charge. She aims to encourage people who currently confine themselves to single-issue social and environmental campaigns to join the Green Party.

She says: "The only solution is to put Green politicians in power and that is why I put most of energy into getting Greens elected."

Dr Derek Wall, 41, is an economics lecturer and author, and is widely respected for his work promoting alternative, socially-based economic models. His most recent book, Babylon and Beyond, looked at the economics of the anti-globalisation and green movements and showed that alternatives to our current economic models are within reach.

He says, "For me, environmental concerns are vital but they can only be solved through social and economic change. That's what the Green Party offers the electorate."

The Green Party does not have a single leader but two Principal Speakers, who act as the party's figureheads, while fulfilling the public and media role undertaken by the leaders of more conventional parties.Standing unopposed as Female Principal Speaker, Siân Berry was elected in a vote at the Party's autumn conference in Hove on 24th September. The election for Male Principal Speaker was contested and was decided with a postal ballot of all members, which was announced today.(1)

Siân Berry said:

“I'm honoured to to have this chance to represent our party. It's by any measure a huge job – promoting the forward thinking ideas and work of our elected representatives from across the country.

"The government is still failing to take the lead internationally on climate change by cutting the UK's carbon dioxide emissions and it's time we stopped waiting. We have had nearly ten years of inaction from Labour, and now they are proposing cuts in emissions that don't go far enough, aren't backed up with annual targets and are not putting forward any of the solutions needed to achieve them.

"The Green Party is your only chance for truth and action on climate change. The environment is a political issue – and if you want to see change and action on climate change it's time to give up on trying simply to persuade the other parties with nice words and petitions. It's time to hit them in the ballot box instead and vote Green "

She added that, with elections next year, Greens would pass the 100 councillor mark:

"The other parties have all abandoned the principles of public ownership of essential services and of decent health, education and housing for all. If you still believe in a fair society, you now only have once choice – vote for Green councillors to make your voice heard."

Derek Wall said:

“I am pleased, flattered and surprised to be elected as Green Party Male Principal Speaker. I have dedicated my entire adult life to the promotion of green politics and regard this as my greatest challenge yet.

"Green politics is the politics of survival. Infinite economic growth is impossible on a finite planet. We must think deeply about how we transform our economy, our lifestyle and our political institutions.

"Green principles of ecology, social justice, non violence and grassroots democracy, are the only way forward for politics. The greenhouse effect is just one symptom of an unsustainable and unjust system.

"For me, environmental concerns are vital but they can only be solved through social and economic change.

"All those who oppose war, especially the suicidal conflict in Iraq, who believe that people are more important than profit, who oppose assaults on civil liberties and care about the natural world, should join the Greens and work for change."

“My success was inspired by the people I consider my mentors especially Nandor Tanczos, New Zealand MP who prefaced my book Babylon and Beyond, and the late Walt Sheasby who sadly died in 2004 as result of the Nile Virus, spread in California by rising temperatures. Walt’s commitment to the US Green Party and his activism must never be forgotton.”

Former Green Party Principal Speaker Keith Taylor commented: 'I congratulate Siân and Derek on their success, and wish them well over the next year."


ENDS


Notes for Editors:

1. Derek Wall was elected by 767 votes to 705 for Keith Taylor
2. The Green Party has 92 Councillors on 38 Councils, 2 GLA members and 2 MEPs. Where the green party contested an seat, it averaged 13.5% of the vote at the 2006 local elections


Biographies:

Siân Berry

http://www.greenparty.org.uk/individual/79

Derek Wall

http://www.greenparty.org.uk/individual/117

Books by Derek Wall:

Wall, Derek, Getting There: Steps Towards a Green Society, 1990. ISBN 1-85425-034-5

Kemp, Penny and Wall, Derek, A Green Manifesto for the 1990s, 1990. ISBN 0-14-013272-4
Wall, Derek, Green History: A Reader in Environmental Literature, Philosophy, and Politics, 1994. ISBN 0-203-41013-0
Wall, Derek, Weaving a Bower Against Endless Night: An Illustrated History of the Green Party, 1994. ISBN 1-873557-08-6
Wall, Derek, Earth First! and the Anti-Roads Movement: Radical Environmentalism and Comparative Social Movements, 2002. ISBN 0-203-26346-4
Wall, Derek, Babylon and Beyond: The Economics of Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Globalist and Radical Green Movements, 2005. ISBN 0-7453-2390-1

Green Party Press Office
020 7561 0282
http://www.greenparty.org.uk

Published and promoted by Jim Killock for the Green Party, both at
1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.

6 comments:

baris said...

Congratulations Derek.
my vote was for you and I'm glad you won. No need to say that your blog helped me to make my decision.
best of luck

Tom said...

Congratulations Derek. Been reading your blog and am yet another disillusioned ex-Labour Party member and former councillor. I'll be joining the party. There are lots of people like me out there and we need to increase membership and profile. I wish you and Sian every success, and I hope that the membership remember to support you in every practical way possible. This was well deserved. Reading your blog finally made me realise I have a party I can call home. The stakes are so high. I'll do everything I can to get former Labour friends and colleagues into the Greens. All the best.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations.

Jim Jay said...

Congratualtions Derek - is this time for a "Wall Levy" into the greens from the left do you think?

Anonymous said...

Well done Derek. Sock it to 'em!

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog finally made ME realise I no longer have a party I can call home.