Dear Green Left,
Here is a statement from Caroline Lucas and myself in response to recent e-mails about the election process. The ERO for the election is happy for us to send this statement to this list because of the allegations that were made about Caroline. The ERO has asked, however, that we don't participate in further debate on the issue on the list after the statement has been circulated. In these circumstances, I would ask that the moderator of this list lets this message through as soon as possible (I am not on the list myself).
Dear fellow members,
Joseph Healy has circulated a personal record of a meeting that took place on 10th May in London. This record was incomplete and misleading, and was not approved by those in attendance. However, we absolutely assert the right of party members to meet and discuss ways of making the Party more effective – surely that is the job of all responsible politicians.
As leadership candidates, of course we are encouraging strong candidates to stand for GPEX positions, and nurturing the talent and enthusiasm we have in the party. We are sure that we are not the only people who have been talking about who might stand for the Executive and encouraging potential candidates to put themselves forward. For example, in a public article in January, Sean Thompson argued that Green Left should be encouraging as many of its members as possible to stand for GPEX.
That is the right of Green Left – and as Leadership candidates, it is our duty as responsible candidates as well. And we will be completely open about who we are supporting and voting for in the Executive elections. A suggestion has been made about the potential misuse of party finances. We would like to make it absolutely clear that of course no party funds are being spent on the campaigns of any individual candidates, and that this has never been considered. We find it quite extraordinary, as well as deeply offensive, that this suggestion should have been made on the GPRC list. Moreover, on our websites we are both encouraging members to donate money to the party – the web-links provided are for donating directly to the party's central funds. The next two years are a crucial time for the party, with both the European and General Elections taking place. We face a huge challenge, and need to make more progress over the next two years than in the last twenty. We want our party to engage with all of our members, the wider Green movement and the British public, not just our internal activist base.
The wider public needs to hear from us, and recognise that there is a genuine alternative to the grey politics of business-as-usual – Green politics, based on our radical policies on social justice and the environment. We look forward to healthy competition, genuine debate about how we achieve our goals and, above all, to positive campaigning in the leadership and Executive elections. Members need to be involved in that debate, and be given the opportunity to judge which candidates are in the best position to help ensure the party's future success.
If any members are unhappy with any of the candidates, we hope they will take the opportunity to stand in the elections themselves to give members that choice. The internal elections taking place over the next two weeks are crucial to internal party democracy and involving the members in deciding the party’s priorities and direction. But we must not allow these elections to lead us to become too internally focused. We need all our elected representatives, all our Executive members and all our members to be focused on the task in hand: taking our message to the heart of British politics. We need to focus on breaking out of the political fringe to achieve real influence. Our task is urgent, and the stakes are high.
Caroline Lucas MEP Cllr Adrian Ramsay
There has been a lot of discussion on the Green Left list as to what transpired at the invitation only meeting at Gaunts House in June and the previous ones in other years. I do not have the answers to this but some parts of the jigsaw can be put together from the minutes of this pre-meeting of many of the same figures who met at Gaunts one month later. Several leading figures in the party are referred to, including three members of the Executive. And a clear strategy for having a slate and the ‘Leader project’ is revealed. In the interests of transparency and democracy I am now making them available on this list. Like any good investigative journalist, I cannot reveal my source at present. Members can put questions to some of those mentioned who are standing for leading positions in the party. My impression is that the meeting took place in London at ULU. Once again it was invitation only.
making leadership work
10th May 2008
update from SOC. 5 minutes
MW reported that SOC is revising the Leadership regulations, and we should have a more positive approach to campaigning for the leadership elections.
ACTION> SOC to contact Green World about Membership Data Statement/Opt-out.
update from ConfComms. 5 minutes
Jon Nott and Dean have met with ERS: counting ballots over weekend will incur further cost. Perhaps better to count in house so results will be available on Saturday for announcement Sunday and speech on Monday.
MW reported that conference is in London at a prestigious venue and ConfComm are trying to organize a lot of central, reasonably-priced accommodation in order to increase turnout and accessibility.
ACTION: next GPEx meeting: 31st May. Matt F and Matt W to take proposal for accommodation to GPEx
fundraising for leadership team. 10 minutes / Daily running of leadership unit 10 minutes
Caroline expressed her belief that there must be some money for Leadership office, ideally 2 or 3 staff, because BPav is the priority and is extremely time intensive. We need to think of a range of funding options in order to do this.
Sarah suggested the Greens for Parliament fund
Jim argued that Caroline should be the figurehead for what Jon is delivering, which will automatically give an impression of a step-change in progress.
Sarah suggested a European scheme for democracy that could fund research. Matt Wootton suggested that money for a political assistant for Caroline could be
hypothecated under the Greens for Parliament banner, for example raising £3 a month from 1000 people would create £36k p.a. This could be raised during a canvass for Caroline as leader.
It was suggested that perhaps national party subscription rates need to be augmented and/or general fundraising increased.
It was reported that there is a "Westminster fund, run by GPEx.
It was also suggested that a private body could simply raise money then donate.
It was suggested that the Caroline for Leader campaign could employ an assistant, that could be then paid for by the party. This also could be raised during a canvass for Caroline as leader.
No firm conclusion reached.
Euro and General Election campaign planning. 10 minutes.
Gpex/Leadership elections personnel. 20 minutes.
It was agreed that Darren was happy to perform the role of Deputy, and Adrian Ramsay felt that Darren was a more appropriate person to do that. It was confirmed that Peter Tatchell does not wish to stand. Caroline said that she was not looking forward to the role of Leader because of the time commitment, and needs more assurances, including competent people standing for GPEx.
Matt Follett said that some people could perhaps be persuaded to stand for GPEx, including Roger C-0. Ben Duncan (as an inactive person), (name removed at request of individual)...
Sarah felt that Richard had improved as chair, but Jim said that he was still unhappy with him. It was agreed generally however that a confrontation was more unhelpful and probably more dangerous than simply keeping Richard onside.
Sarah said that Chris Haine was not interested in any role except as a job-share with Sarah for Elections Co-ordinator.
It was suggested that (name removed at request of individual)... could stand as a job share with Tony Cooper, on the premise that (name removed at request of individual)...went to GPEx meetings, not Tony.
It was agreed that Caroline should talk to Khalid and suggest he does not restand. Matt Follett suggested Dave Lane from Leicester could stand for Finance. Jon Nott noted that Khalid's successor should meet and be endorsed by Khalid.
ACTION: It was agreed that Jim and Matt W would be responsible with Malt Follett for corralling the GPEx candidates and overseeing the process.
"Greens for Parliament". 10 minutes.
Gaunts. 5 minutes.
Greens for Parliament and Gaunts were discussed in the garden.
ACTION: Darren and Sarah agreed that they would launch Greens for Parliament at the AGC Conference at the end of July.
Mark phoned Ralph and established that there was definitely now no possibility of having the previous set of OMA trainers.
ACTION: It was agreed to go ahead with a Gaunts event anyway and try to integrate an OMA component if possible
Motions to conference - in particular the 5 year rule, and what happens to ext comms in euro and the general election years. 15 minutes.
Caroline encouraged Jim to stand next year for Ext Comms. Jim mooted an idea he had to amend the 5 year rule, and there was general agreement to support it.
Gpex accountability proposals - Manifesto of Professionalism (Matt Follett). 10 minutes.
See separate paper