14 Oct 2007

On tour!

I am packing in meetings in Bath, Bristol, Birmingham, Croydon, London and Monmouth over the next fortnight, so may be catch me if you can.

I must admit I enjoy meetings on economics in particular and generally get to hear some interesting comments and discussion, certainly the people at the Twickenham Green Party meeting on green politics and growth made me think, a week or two back.

First up the Green Left meeting on having a single leader, I am seriously bored with this debate and having got nervous the pro leader camp are now insisting we could have a co-leader, this is not on the table in the referendum, it is a vote for or against, I am incidentally worried by the excesses of the New Greens (renew your membership on line and get a string bay is the latest mad scheme) and am really worried that Caroline Lucas is fronting this as some kind of soft left Kinnock figure who will make the change palatable before being discarded for the Green versions of Smith, Blair and Brown...I hope am wrong about this, she has such a strong record as a radical Green but I fear a future of string bags,soft focus environmentalism and personality politics.

[ I GLAD TO SAY THAT CAROLINE HAS INFORMED ME THAT SHE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE STRING BAG RENEWAL SCHEME, WHICH OBVIOUSLY RELIEVES ME A LOT, I AM CERTAINLY HAPPY TO SAY THAT MY CRITICAL COMMENTS ARE MEANT AS ANALYSIS AND NOT AS HAVING A GO AT ANY ONE INDIVIDUAL...)

There are certainly some very effective and radical people involved with the pro leader camp, Chris Haine who is a Green Party activist in the North East is very impressive and of course so is Ann Were who is of course the leader of the Green Party in Wales.... may be Bob Crow and Ann Were as co-leaders might tempt me with the right mix of focussed intent and assertive action, seriously folks I am unconvinced that the leader will give us a lift, the shallowness of conventional party politics based on media battles about who struggles to the top as Richard III is not something I would like to see....any way on to business.



Green Left debate 'Should the Green Party have a leader?'
Tues 16th Oct
The Grayston Centre, 28 Charles Square, London N1 6HT http://www.greenempowerment.org.uk/meetings.shtml

Thursday 18th we are having a celebration dinner in honour of Joel Kovel to mark his work and activism for ecosocialism.


Saturday, 20th October its off to talk about the Greening of Bristol at the East Bristol Green Party Conference at the Trinity Centre,Old Market from 11.30. it will be very nice to be back in Bristol, lived there in the late 1980s through to 1994 in Easton, St Pauls and St Werburghs....a fun city and with a strong Green Party presence
Green Party Principal Speaker Derek Wall is to address Bristol's Green Future - a community event hosted by Bristol Green Party. As well as giving a talk, Derek will also take part in a workshop on local politics, alongside Bristol's Green councillor Charlie Bolton.

But the day is about much more than just politics. It's intended as a celebration of local action, and the power of Bristol communities. Other workshops will tackle transport, education, the transition movement, community growing and housing. There wll also be apple pressing, green mapping, a photography exhibition and much more.

Local groups due to take part include Transition Bristol, Friends of Bristol Suburban Railway, Sustrans, Greenbank Chocolate Box, alternative educators and Eastside Roots Community Garden Centre.http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/east/index.htm



Tuesday 23rd October, 7.30pm The Shire Hall Community Room, Monmouth, Monmouth Green Party, Green economics and green transport from Derek Wall plus 'The Gwent Levels and the proposed M4 toll road Is it worth it? with Julian Branscombe Chief Executive of Gwent Wildlife Trust.


Wednesday 24th October Bath University 6PM and Bath Green Party 8pm 6pm : Meet at Bath Uni 8W 3.22

6.15 : Talk hosted by Bath Uni One World society. Room booked for 2 hours, holds about 80.

Green Economics plus questions.

The meeting is only open to Bath uni staff and students.


8.30 : Meeting with Bath Green Party activists at The Rummer.



25 October 7.30pm Public meeting of Birmingham Campaign Against Climate Change

Birmingham City Council Rooms 3&4

Speakers:
Colin Challen MP (Chair of all-party Parliamentary committe on climate change)
Derek Wall (Principal speaker, Green Party)
Roy Wilkes (Manchester CCC)
David Wasdell (International coordinator, Meridian Programme) http://www.campaigncc.org/local.html


Saturday 27th October, 3.15pm-4.30 CEDAR HALL
Global future or globalised disaster?

Alan Mackinnon, Derek Wall, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Salma Yaqoob, chair: Carolyn Jones

Communist University, Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, Croydon CR0 1BD http://www.communist-party.org.uk/index.php?file=unive

here is a letter form Ann Were, from the Western Mail which makes some relevent points about the Lib dem love affair with motorway building and shows I can unite with leaders if they do solid stuff (please please get rid of the string bags, Jim!)

Best is not that good

SIR – It always makes me smile when politicians such as Chris Huhne MP announce “new” and “radical” policies to combat climate change (Western Mail, Thursday Essay, September 20.).

The only new Lib-Dem policies worth their salt have been lifted almost entirely from the Green Party’s Manifesto for a Sustainable Society.

These include proposals for government-funded, Wales-wide home insulation schemes, strident taxes for gas guzzling vehicles and feed-in tariffs to encourage investment in renewable technologies.

But, worse than that, Mr Huhne is clearly ignorant of the issue of energy supply as it relates to Wales, as he suggests that we should investigate the possibility of building a barrage across the Severn Estuary.

He is obviously unaware that this option has been under investigation for the past 20 years or so but, because of the ecological disaster that it would cause, environmentalists are almost unanimous in their condemnation of it. He also talks about reducing emissions from road transport, but his party’s elected representatives continue to support road building schemes, such as the proposed M4 bypass which, history tells us, will result in more cars, more congestion and more emissions.

Finally, Mr Huhne is proud the Green Alliance rated the Lib-Dems the most environmental party, but he omitted to say that only the main parties were up for consideration. The Green Alliance stubbornly refuses to even talk about either the Green Party or Plaid Cymru.

To be the best of a bad bunch is not that good really, is it?

ANN WERE

Leader of Wales Green Party, Monmouth
http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/letters-to-the-editor/western-mail-letters/tm_headline=monday-24-september-2007&method=full&objectid=19835898&siteid=50082-name_page.html

6 comments:

Sue Luxton said...

Derek, not sure what your point is about co-leaders, the motion does allow for co-leaders and to suggest otherwise is misleading:

Section 8 PARTY LEADER AND DEPUTY LEADER

(i) There shall be a Leader and Deputy Leader or Co-Leaders of the Green Party. They shall be voting members of the Executive.

(ii) The Leader and Deputy or Co-Leaders will be the primary public faces of the party, responsible for presenting Green Party policy and promoting its electoral activity and campaigns to the public on a daily basis.

(iii) Candidates for Leader and Deputy Leader or Co-Leader shall have been a member of the Party for the three complete years preceding the date of close of nominations, and shall be required to complete a standard application form. Nominations of candidates must be supported by the signatures of a minimum of twenty members of the Party.

(iv) Two members of opposite sexes may together stand for the office of Leader in order to hold the post as a job share. The post of Deputy Leader may not be held as a job share. In the event of the election of two people job sharing the Leader post, they shall be known as 'Co- Leaders', no election for Deputy Leader shall take place, and the duties, responsibilities and votes of both posts will be held by the Co-Leaders. Members standing to be Co-Leaders may not simultaneously be candidates as individuals for either Leader or Deputy Leader.

What's your problem with the string bags?! Surely you're not suggesting that people would join the party purely for a string bag? Should we perhaps be offering greater disincentives to the public to prevent them from joining the Green Party so we can keep it as marginal and cliquey as it currently often seems to be?

I'm afraid this post exemplifies for me why although you got my vote last year you most certainly didn't get it this year! It's ranty, dismissive and patronising to all those with a different stance to you on the leadership issue. I also thought it was inappropriate for a principal speaker who is supposed to act primarily as a 'mouthpiece' for the party rather than pursue their own agenda and make disparaging remarks about other candidates for/members of GPEX. Or maybe it was a joke and I'm missing the humour?!

Douglas Coker said...

Derek you wrote "First up the Green Left meeting on having a single leader, I am seriously bored with this debate and having got nervous the pro leader camp are now insisting we could have a co-leader, this is not on the table in the referendum, it is a vote for or against, I am incidentally worried by the excesses of the New Greens (renew your membership on line and get a string bay is the latest mad scheme) and am really worried that Caroline Lucas is fronting this as some kind of soft left Kinnock figure who will make the change palatable before being discarded for the Green versions of Smith, Blair and Brown...I hope am wrong about this, she has such a strong record as a radical Green but I fear a future of string bags,soft focus environmentalism and personality politics."

I am puzzled and concerned by this rather garbled para. Bored – really, that’s a strange thing to say when you seem to have strong feelings. My understanding is that the pro-leader “camp” has always had differences as to exactly the form of leadership they advocate. “New” Greens, “excesses”!! What are you talking about? String bay? Ehhh! Caroline Lucas/Kinnock what? Have you read or listened to any of her recent speeches? If you are going to post on this I suggest you do it when you’re feeling rather calmer and considerably more rested. Don’t do the ah hom thing – surely you are above that! I think you should take this para down. It does you no favours at all.

Douglas Coker

studentmedic said...

Blimey! Busy schedule (as ever I suppose...)

Agree totally with your worries. Hope to make it to the debate, even if it is tempting to not bother: rehash of arguments that even I, as a relatively new member, seem to have heard 1000 times.

While the motion allows for co-leaders, it doesn't mean that the membership will have a choice of leader+deputy vs co-leaders unless people choose to stand as co-leaders!! (How many exec positions now are there candidates for as jobshares at the moment?!)

studentmedic

Edward Gibbon said...

Derek,

You are worried Caroline may sell out.

You work for a £20, 000 a year crammer. It is your job to educate rich kids so they can get into better universities - to turn wealth into privilege.

You say no one should fly, and criticise those who do, but you often talk about your trip to Venevuela. Did you swim?

You are worreid she may sell. You did long ago.

Edward Gibbon

jimkillock said...

Hi Derek

Offering a an organic cotton string bag that cuts out use of plastic bags (something you have campaigned for on this blog) seems very green and reasonable to me.

This offer has prompted 80 people so far to sign up via Direct Debit. That is worth around £17,000 to the party. Would you really prefer that these people were not given a small reason to respond to an email, and let their memberships lapse?

Jim
Jim Killock's Green party blog

Anonymous said...

Why celebrate an anti-semite like Joel Kovel? Do you agree with his racist Jew hating? There is nothing green about advocating for Israel's destruction as Kovel does.