19 Aug 2007

My debate with Caroline Lucas on Radio 4 today

Sunday Radio 4, The Westminster Hour Principal Speaker, Derek Wall will be debating with Caroline Lucas MEP on whether to change the party's structure to alter the title of Principal Speaker to that of Leader. Caroline will be arguing for a single or Co- Leaders whilst Derek will be maintaining that the current structure of Principal Speakers more accurately reflects the non-hierarchical nature of the Green Party as per its philosophical basis. Both Derek and Caroline are united on the need for Green Leadership but Derek will be showing that the Green Party has leadership based on empowerment, decentralisation and consensual decision making.

Caroline argues:
“This referendum offers us a vital opportunity to demonstrate that alternative models of leadership are possible - not top-down and authoritarian, but inspirational and persuasive. Given the scale and urgency of the Green message, we owe it to ourselves, and to the electorate, to make our Party as effective as we can - I believe that developing authentic leadership models is a major part of that process.”

Caroline Lucas MEP, South East England

How could I possibly disagree, I don't.

Derek Wall, Principal Speaker:
"Leadership is vital. We must have effective voices. However, conventional leadership with a single leader has been disastrous for political participation. It almost always comes with commitments to water down the message, to remove real debate and participation. It turns ordinary members into observers."

Support green empowerment which is against a single leader.http://www.greenempowerment.org.uk/index.shtml

Or go to green yes that wants a leader and a deputy or co-leaders http://greenyes.org/

When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often, that person is crazy. David Barry.

I have no idea who Dave is but found this amusing.


weggis said...


I listened to that debate. You lost.

If there is one thing that age has taught me it is – don’t argue with women.

At one point Caroline is complaining that the principal speakers keep changing and then she says that a Leader would be elected every 2 years and can be recalled within 2 years. Caroline herself stood down last year and Sian is not on the list this year.

Q. If we can’t find anybody who is willing to take on the principal speaker role for the long term, how are we going to find someone willing to be Leader for the long term?

Q. And what happens if we keep electing different Leaders? As we did last year when you took over from Keith?

Leadership is often a question of everyone else taking one step back.

But then there is Penguin “leadership” where each in turn takes the blast of the cold wind. Collaborative leadership. We all have a role to play.

It seems to me that this is all about Marketing. Getting the message across. That depends not upon an individual’s title but upon the skills of the individual themself.

If the Principal Speakers have not managed it to some’s satisfaction, then given that any potential Leader would come from past, present or potential PSs, where is the gain?

It may not be working very well at present, but it ain’t broke so it doesn’t need fixing. But it does need tuning.

The question for me is this: Is the proposal a Fix or a Tuning? When I figure that out, I will know how to vote.

MikeS said...

I listened to the debate. I thought that Caroline sounded as though she was going to explode with rage. My, she is desperate for the leadership isn't she?

The greens shouldn't want to be like the other parties, people are fed up with that type of politics.

And as we should all know, winning seats sutainably is acheived by hard graft on the ground, not promoting demi gods.

weggis said...

The Leader

I wanna be the leader
I wanna be the leader
Can I be the leader?
Can I? I can?
Promise? Promise?
Yippee I'm the leader
I'm the leader

OK what shall we do?

Roger McGough


Anonymous said...

This exchange would have been amusing if it wasn't so depressing - two leading Greens fighting like cats in a bag. Why on earth should anyone vote for you if you can't even run a small party with some degree of coherence?

I also felt that neither of you was being very straight with the voters/listeners about the real divisions in the Green party. As far as I can tell this organizational stuff is just a stand in for so many other division - although I guess we got a whiff of what really divides you the exchange of social movements...

And yes, to any neutral listener Caroline Lucas absolutely wiped the floor with you - she doesn't have the quality or personality of a Tommy Sheridan, but you don't sound like you're really cut out for political leadership (speakership) at all. Perhaps stick to writing books?

weggis said...

Hey Anon, was that a deliberate choice of words – “two leading Greens”? I mean “leading” which is what this debate is all about. That’s a debate not a cat fight. This is democracy in action. Only wish we had a bit more of it elsewhere. It’s healthy.

Question is? Leading in what direction? Up a cul-de-sac or into the mainstream? And which one is which?

I agree that Derek does not fit the bill, but he is a good man and has a contribution to make, as do we all. Let’s not forget that.

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