30 Nov 2007

The Great Green Leader Vote

Here in the 'bat cave', its an anxious day, will the Green Party members vote to get rid of the post of Principal Speaker and wanting a bit more chavismo or chavisma in the Party replace it with 'El Jefe' or 'La Jefa'?

Well I am a bit self interested here....but I think it is easy to garner support for a proposal which, to my mind, is 'simple, neat and wrong' any way its up to the Party members, so I will see what they decide today. My party right or wrong as they say.

However, you know you must be doing something right if there is a whole Guardian leader calling for the abolition of your position. 'Is it cos I is left' one has to wonder.

However come what may I will keep on speaking out for radical green politics, I think given the choice of being leader and spending more time with my vegetables, its going to be quality time with the carrots and onions. I think a leader would confuse the PR role which I like, with the having responsibility for everything in the party which is bad enough for the much put upon Party chair Richard Mallender who funnily enough has the title of party leader. A poisoned chalice indeed and one that would keep anyone too busy for it to be comfortable, I would have thought.

On the leader debate have a look at my thoughts here may be.

Any way Jonathon Porritt and 'Jenny' Kemp argue the toss here in the BBC here:

"It is not enough, apparently, to have to transform the entire world so we can all learn to live sustainably, they also want to take on the challenge of transforming the media.

"I think setting out to transform the way the media does work is just completely stupid. To take an idealistic view that says we are not going to play the media game, is like writing your own political suicide note."

But Jenny Kemp argues playing the media game - and having a single leader - is not just wrong in principle, but likely to backfire in practice.

It seems to me it's not about image, it's about the political process, how we change politically to the sort of society we want
Jenny Kemp
Former Green Party chairwoman

She points to the recent fate of the former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell.

"The media obsessed with his age and with the colour of his socks - and not with the policies of the Liberal Democrats.

"It seems to me it's not about image, it's about the political process, how we change politically to the sort of society we want."


Anonymous said...

Is it cos you is left? No, it's cos you're utterly self-indulgent and unwilling to take responsibility for your principles and do your best to make sure they are put into practice. Anyone can preach, say the right thing - it takes someone of real courage to actually change people's lives for the better. Caroline, Jean or Sian could do it - you could not. Indeed, the best argument against a leader is that you - an utterly uncharismatic, whingeing, absurd figue - could get the job.

Derek Wall said...

Glad to know that the power of calm argument is not dead!

Unknown said...

screw the carrots! as you said yourself in an interview, politics is about power, that's why you're in the business, so go and get some! and if you end up being corrupt well im sure the onions will tell you, but i'd rather have an apparently uncharismatic, whingeing and absurd figure as leader than Darren Johnson.

Anonymous said...

Dear John,

if I may?

I don't know if Derek is “utterly uncharismatic, whingeing, absurd figure" because I've never met him. However I suspect that those who voted him into his present role did not find him to be so.

I do find his blog to be very useful as a source of organizing and policy tools and indeed inspirational. On the basis of the miles he covers annually to promote your Party and the general political work load he has carried generally over the years I think you’re lucky to have him.

I'd like, however, on behalf of all utterly uncharismatic, whingeing, and absurd figures, such as myself, to take umbrage at your attack on us.

In my various roles with the Green Party of Florida I have frequently been described as absurd. Indeed it has been my absurdity that has won us some of our finest victories for when, frustrated with my absurdity, competent people have stepped forward and done a far better job of what ever I was failing to and then went on to do even greater work for us.

Indeed let me add that it has been the perception of me as being an "utterly uncharismatic, whingeing figure" who needed urgently, in my many roles over the years, to be urgently replaced, that provoked the many totally dynamic and positive folk we now have in positions of servant-leadership to shoulder the burden.

However we in the USA do look to you Englanders for guidance and example.

Although we in our small way have tried to promote "utterly uncharismatic whingeing absurdity" through electing our present Democratic controlled House and Senate and, of course, the President himself, I feel that when we come to utterly uncharismatic, whingeing absurdity we will never ever be able to equal your great national leaders - Mr. Brown and Mr. Cameron and whichever “Orange Book” ex-public schoolboy the next LibDem Sacrificial Victim will be.


Anonymous said...

The trouble with returning to the carrots and the onions is that in the end you'll end up with the turnips running the show. Hang on in there - now's the moment for a serious debate about what having a green leadership might mean. At least so far the debate, broadly speaking, has been held in a pretty serious and principled way - notwithstanding rightwing trolls who would like reinstate orderly hierarchical society and put would-be revolutionaries firmly in their place under the control of 'charismatic' leaders. I can't help thinking that the route that is now being pursued will only lead to some sort of cash/sleaze/scandal within a few years. The trouble with our so-called national political leaders is that they've failed to provide any honest leadership at all and instead have concentrated on moulding media images out of tons of cash, making them hopelessly compromised and dodging all the important questions...This is a very sad day for the party and a massive distraction from the real work to be done.

Anonymous said...

It is exactly the kind of crap which John says which is making me seriously considering my membership of the party. I am afraid that I am very much in a progressive minority within this party and the outcome of this ballot perhaps shows this. We are going down the same mistaken route as all the other major parties and this may bring us success electorally (although I strongly doubt it) but at such a cost that we may as well not even bother: we'll just be a green lib-dem party.

I am certainly not a Jean-ite, a Caroline-ite or a Sian-ite. Derek comes up with radical, fresh ideas which should be respected. If the green party isn't going to be radical, different and left then we might as well give up here and now.

Self-indulgent: that doesn't sound like Derek to me... perhaps those who point fingers should look at themselves... what a self-indulgent rant you have written John (and I have taken the moral low-ground by following you!)

A disgruntled member

Anonymous said...

I'm actually a Labour member, though was once a Green. The whole absurd hippy tendency is why i left - social justice has absolutely nothing to do with crystal healing, herbal medicine, organic food and hemp handbags. I despise the whole self-indulgent middle-class conscience-sop of the whole organisation; I joined the Greens for their social policies, but soon found they were far more interested in animal rights and anti-GM than anti-poverty and practical policies to reduce human suffering. I would far rather compromise my principles to get some of them into practice than maintain my ideological virginity at the price of impotence. Derek Wall and his ilk will never, ever contribute anything to improving the lot of people in this country; he would rather be right than help people: not solidarity, and certainly not 'doing as you'd be done by'. When you lose the links with the Labour movement, you lose those values of compassion and caring that are at its very core; for me, joining Labour was like coming home, and made me immensely proud. It's a huge part of my family's history, and I'm now ashamed I fell for the Greens rhetoric. However, I am a big fan of Caroline and particularly Jean Lambert - they'd both make wonderful Labour MPs and would do a hell of a lot more for the people they purport to care about. Grow up, Derek, and learn to take some responsibility for your values.

Anonymous said...

I only joined the party in September, but I was ready to become an active member of the party because I saw it as offering a radical political alternative that might bring about some positive social change.

I'm aware of the arguments of the Yes campaign, but I can't help feeling that the Green Party has just sold out. Perhaps things will carry on much the same, but to me the Green Party is no longer my party.

Thanks for all your work as Principle Speaker, Derek (is that still your title for the time being?). I have much respect for you. However, after today I shall have to reconsider my membership. Sure I'll still vote Green, but I'm not sure I want to be politically aligned with the GP any longer.

Keep it up, Derek

Anonymous said...

It may be a sad day for the party, but even if it ends up with a single leader and media figurehead, it is to the party's credit that it has modelled an alternative for so long.

Unknown said...

re: john

if you're all for social justice, why have you joined the labour party?

Anonymous said...

I was very relieved to see that when it came to the vote the Green Party in England and Wales Membership saw sense and voted Yes. I can understand you concern for your leftist values Derek but in all honesty time is running out for the world. Drastic measures must be taken now to stop the disaster which is looming just around the corner.

Greens need to be elected NOW so that they can change things NOW. Your leftist principles will stop them from being elected and therfore you will in the long term do more damage than good.

Derek Wall said...

I am not convinced that El Jefe will give us a vote spurt and the leftism is to protect the butterflies as well as the global working class...I just don't see capitalism as ecologically viable, so it is ecosocialismo without apology.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the exploitation of capitalism is not ecologicaly viable but how can one expect to change that without getting people into those corridors of power where they will have the power to change things?

It's better to jump inside and get your hands dirty than stand outside and stamp your feet.

The Greens in Ireland have shown that this can be done and we are really starting to see some Green Legislation pass through the Dail.

Besides the vote has been taken and the result given. Only time can tell the run of things to come.

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