As I said a few weeks ago at the end of my valediction to Tony Whittaker, one of the founder members of the Green party, “As long as I have the health and strength, I shall strive to achieve what Tony started”
I meant it, and I mean it.
It is already in my blogs that I wanted Andrew Cooper to become leader of the Green Party, so I shall not pretend otherwise now. However, an interesting question has been asked at hustings:
“Shouldn’t there be a decision first on whether we have joint leaders?” the sub-text being “The media might not like it – they want sole Leaders.”
On reflection, I am in favour of educating the media. Sole commanders who can make snap decisions in life or death situations are no doubt necessary in a competitive world prone to crises, but in a Green world where co-operation and persuasion are the norm, two or more heads will always be better than one. Guess who I have endorsed as a Deputy. I need more information before endorsing a female Deputy, but it will certainly help if we can work as a team. I ought perhaps to explain that Andrew and I are not a ‘slate’. I did not ask him to nominate me, but I am confident that we could work together closely.
I sometimes joke that I invented the Green Party. That is not strictly true. I only re-invented it a few months later. The founder members and I agreed that economic activity would have to be curtaiIed if the Limits to Growth predictions were to be avoided. Those predictions included a deep recession. I asked the founder members what were their social policies to deal with the hardship this would cause. How would they plan a ’soft landing’? Their answer: “We haven’t thought about that yet: first things first. Stop trashing the planet. Have you any suggestions?”
I didn’t. I was floored. But I did by the time I got home. That is why I have preached what we now call the Citizen’s Basic income morning noon and night ever since that evening in March 1973. I am a Humanist, but I understand those who feel they have been ‘called’. Achieving social justice within sustainable limits, with the Basic Income as a key part of the means to that end is my life’s work to which I am fully committed. Regular readers will be familiar with my answers to Basic Income doubters: See Dynamic Benefits (Sept 2009), Iain Duncan Smith’s own literature, as updated by the RSA Report. See also my blog, 12th June 2016, on the ‘Compass‘ Launch of the Basic Income,
Whilst the Green party is still fully committed to social justice, the problems of 1972 have not gone away. James Hansen’s research suggests that they might even be a bigger worry than the fate of Jeremy Corbyn.
I planned to attend the Birmingham hustings on 2nd July by breaking my journey home to Leeds from holiday in Cornwall, including buying rail tickets, but was prevented by the time change. I am hoping to ‘be’ at Cardiff on Skype. I shall attend all other hustings.
Once elected I shall set about reclaiming those 2.3 million 1989 voters – almost twice our 2015 tally. Analysis suggests they have mostly voted Lib Dem ever since, but the fact remains that in the 1989 Euro election the Green vote was uniformly proportional at 42% to the Conservative vote throughout England. I shall explain to those who probably voted Tory or Lib Dem in 2015, who worry about climate change, or this government’s support for insecticides which are killing bees, or fracking . . . that the Green Party is closer to their hopes and fears. May’s prompt ditching of the department for Energy and Climate Change should make them low hinging fruit.
But I can reassure those who still see all Tories as enemies (see my blog ‘Answering Katherine Meyles’ 21st Feb 2016), that there are two ways in which we must be socialist: sufficient redistribution to make sure everyone feels secure in a steady state economy, and the market should never have invaded health or education.
Progressive Alliance? From Labour’s point of view it made sense to try to destroy the Green Party wherever we seem close to a breakthrough, Brighton, Norwich, Bristol, Oxford . . . I am told that the sea change following the 2015 election result reinforced by Brexit will compel the Labour Party to co-operate with the Green Party instead. It might just work once we are seen to be taking votes from the Conservatives, but to do that we must approach them more in sorrow than in anger.
Greens don’t do coronations, right? But for those of you who believe the bookies, I have spent thousands of hours in elections thought to be foregone conclusions standing the ‘wasted vote’ argument on its head. If you don’t think you are choosing the winner, why not use your vote to tell them what you think is important?
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This is not an official communication on behalf of the Green Party