17 Jan 2010
Electioneering for Caroline with Hugh Kerr
I had tremendous fun electioneering for Caroline Lucas with Hugh Kerr.
Hugh is a member of Solidarity, Tommy Sheridan's Party in Scotland but got in touch with me to say how impressed he was with Caroline's work in the European Parliament and wanted to do some work to support her campaign.
He has given her this great endorsement:
"As a former Labour Member of the European Parliament, I urge all voters in Brighton and Hove to vote for Caroline Lucas. I have watched Caroline in action in Brussels, Strasbourg and Britain and she is one of the most exceptional members of [the European] parliament of our time. She would make a superb MP for the people of Brighton Pavilion." Hugh Kerr, Labour MEP for Essex West and Hertfordshire East, 1994-99."
He agreed to come and help with the election effort over the weekend, his son who lives in Seaford has joined the Brighton and Hove Green Party.
He is a bit like a genial Scottish version of Tom Baker, enormous fun to be around, he was out and about with his son and mine Vince, leafleting Hollingbury with the Green Party newspaper.
He was expelled by Tony Blair from the Labour Party when he was an MEP in 1999 and was for a time a member of the Green Group. A badge of honour if you ask me, not that I have ever been a member of the Labour Party, infact I joined the Greens when they were the Ecology Party back in 1980.
A veteran green socialist he told me how he once managed to persuade Harold Pinter to head a Green-Alternative election list in Scotland, but while Harold agreed (can you imagine him writing the election literature in the style of The Caretaker or The Birthday Party) this was gently vetoed by Lady Antonia Fraser, Pinter's wife.
He also told me that in retrospect he thought that Caroline and Jean had shown that you could do great things without the participation of the traditional left, which might even get in the way.
He is of course on the left but also green to the core, he was particularly pleased that he had canvassed a voter who had a chip fat powered car who was supporting Caroline.....Hugh is no advocate of dodgy biofuel. Good for him.
Wonderfully funny modest person, be very good to run into him again and a good reminder that some people have been pushing green left politics for a long time.
I really think that Caroline can do it and become the first Green Party MP but don't leave it to the likes of me and Hugh, it will need an army of helpers.
The Eco Centre opposite the train station in Brighton houses the Green Party HQ, there is election work going on every day, if you just make a trip and leaflet for an hour it would help.
For the General Election Pavilion campaign we have a number of ongoing and interesting opportunities for press, research and political volunteers in our Brighton office.
We also need help with leaflet deliveries and door-knocking all year round, and hold regular 'Action Days' in the Brighton Pavilion constituency.
Sign up to our email list for regular updates on ways you can help on the ground.
Sign up now or contact Alex at: 01273 766670 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or want to find out how you can get involved.
And if you want to catch up with me, 7pm friends meeting house, Brighton, snow permitting for a showing of Venezuela: Inside the Revolution on wednesday 20th.