13 Nov 2007

Every night seems to be another night with the new Venezuelan Ambassador, just back from an excellent meeting with Venezuela Analysis editor Greg Wilpert who was very candid about what is right and wrong with the Bolivarian revolution, full report fingers crossed tomorrow...still challenging those who want to reduce magnificant green politics to the usual UK conventional politics dross of career politics, image and ignorance! thus this item....if you support my stance the bear unfortunately gets it.

"Far from being 'leaderless' the Green Party is run by an executive elected by the members, has a conference which decides policy and has two principal speakers who put forward policy to the public. This level of democracy and accountability is unusual for a British political party but this is no reason to reject a model that gives members power. I am calling on Green Party members to defend our unique form of internal democracy by voting NO in the leader ballot." Derek Wall, Principal Speaker.

Dear member

If you haven’t yet voted in the referendum on having a single Green Party Leader, then we’d like to urge you to vote NO.

We are all committed to seeing the Green Party’s support and influence grow stronger, and we dedicate much of our lives to making that happen. The Green Party is making real progress. We have doubled our number of councillors in the last four years, through the dedication and hard work of local activists. But we believe that to adopt a more conventional structure, with a single Party Leader, would be a step backwards - abandoning the distinctiveness that attracts many of our most committed supporters and party workers.

We are all being told that many people outside the Party believe we should have a single Leader. But do those people actually support what the Green Party is trying to achieve? And do you think they appreciate the sort of obstacles that stand in our way, and the levels of commitment it takes to overcome them

In the early nineties the Party changed its structure because we were told that media attention and success would follow if we did. But the promised success and increased profile didn’t come, and over the next few years the Party grew weaker rather than stronger - losing members as it did so.

We believe passionately in the Green Party's commitment to participatory democracy and that we must actively demonstrate a model of collective leadership to wider society. The massive problems facing humanity can only be addressed by empowering people to contribute to the solutions we so desperately need - not by deference to distant leaders.

Those people who most want to see the fundamental changes that are needed to create a Green society, are those who are most opposed to conventional power structures. Over 300 members have now signed a petition against the current proposals, including many elected members, party officers, activists and new members.

The Green Party is widely respected for having principles that we’re prepared to stand up for. Let’s not start throwing them away.

Please vote NO

Jenny Jones, London Assembly Member, Southwark Councillor and former GPEx Chair
Derek Wall, Principal Speaker
Penny Kemp, former Executive Chair
Jonathan Dixon, Scarborough Councillor and lead Euro candidate for Yorkshire & Humber
Romayne Phoenix, Lewisham Councillor
Dr Shahrar Ali, London Policy Coordinator
Peg Alexander, former Principal Speaker
Andy D'Agorne, York Councillor
Margaret Wright, former Principal Speaker

For more information, please visit: http://www.greenempowerment.org.uk

"Compared to other British political parties, we have effective leadership without the added burden of a figurehead leader who will make up policy on the hoof, get into embarrassing situations, and generally make our Party a hostage to his or her shortcomings. Why change the leadership of several talented people for the questionable option of one person who may or may not be able to represent us all?" Jenny Jones, London Assembly Member, Southwark Councillor and former Executive Chair.

"The 'leader' issue is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between people taking initiative and having 'a leader'. It is both inevitable and inherently healthy that people take initiative (and so give a lead) whenever they feel able: that is good Green politics and we should encourage and enable it as much as possible." Ron Bailey, Parliamentary and Community Campaigner.

"I do not want to be a member of a political party in which celebrity is more important than policy. We will get a lot more media attention from the election of our first member of parliament than we will from making someone the leader of the party. What's the point of all the work we're doing if the Green Party is just to end up a clone of its mainstream rivals?" Claire Stephenson, Norwich Councillor

"We can only transform society by transforming politics itself. To take our radical vision forward we need people to take ownership of their actions, not have them delegated to a supposed authority. Genuine leadership empowers by example not diktat." Shahrar Ali, London Policy Coordinator.

For more information, please visit: http://www.greenempowerment.org.uk

Published and promoted by Tim Turner on behalf of the Green Empowerment Campaign
c/o Green Party, 1A Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ

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