30 May 2015

Mayoral and GLA nominations for Green candidates open on June 1st

The London Green Party's selection process for the 2016 London Mayoral and London Assembly elections opens on Monday June 1st.

All members of the London Green Party are entitled to take part as both candidates and voters. Candidates will need nominations from at least 10 national members of the London Green Party.

Each person nominated will be asked to provide relevant biographical details and a statement making the case for their own selection in their own words.

The name order on the ballot paper will be by lot and candidate statements will be published in the same order.

The ballot will require voters to cast preferences for the candidates and their will be provision for negative voting through the choice of 'Re-open Nominations' (RON).

The London Federation of  the Green Party will hold one hustings for the Assembly List and one for the Mayoral selection.

In addition the Federation will hold an online internal hustings to increase the participation of the wider membership.

Local parties are encouraged to hold hustings, perhaps in conjunction with neighbouring local parties, as long as they make a reasonable effort to invite all nominees.

The London Green Party has agreed the need for gender balance in the London Assembly list so that at least one of the top three should be a woman, at least two of the top five men and at least two women, at least four of the whole list should be men and four women.

Nominations will be kept open for a week longer if there are fewer than this at close of nominations to enable additional candidates to come forward and this will continued week by week as necessary.

Similarly the London Green Party has agreed the need for ethnic balance in the Assembly selection list and will attempt at least two self-defined ethnic candidates in the top 5, and at least 4 in the list of 11.

There will be similar arrangements to those to achieve gender balance through extending the nomination period.

Neither of the two existing Green London Assembly members, Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson, are standing again.

Full details are available on the London Green Party website LINK

28 May 2015

Natalie Bennett and Caroline Lucas on the Queen's Speech

Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, was speaking at the demonstration marking the Conservative Government's Queen's Speech, at Downing Street today.

Earlier Caroline Lucas had given her intial reaction to the Queen's Speech:


26 May 2015

Anti-austerity demonstration on Wednesday, defend trade unions Saturday

The General Election result demonstrated that the anti-austerity message failed to get through to the English electorate with the Green Party and TUSC getting nowhere near the kind of breakthrough achieved by the SNP in Scotland and Plaid Cymru in Wales.

There is some comfort in the Spanish election result with Podemos doing well and the win by Ada Colau in Barcelona who was a leading activist in the anti-eviction Platform for Mortgage Victims but the grim truth for us is that we face 5 years of pro-austerity Tory government with no sign of an anti-austerity leftist standing for leadership of the Labour Party.

Ada Colau celebrates in Barcelona

Podemos celebrates in Madrid
In this context, as in Greece and Spain, people are turning to the task of building an anti-austerity coalition and a strategy involving direct action, civil disobedience and new non-sectarian ways of organising that arise from local struggles.

The big People's Assembly Against Austerity demonstration in Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens at the weekend (see below) which was supported by the Green Party demonstrated that there is an appetite in this country to build such a movement.

The Radical Assembly organised by Brick Lane Debates brought together more than 1,000 activists the previous week and it will important that they and the People's Assembly work together.

Here is the Brick Lane Debates statement and proposal for the General Assembly:
Why we have called this meeting:

The general election result has created a crisis. A hard-right austerity regime has taken power with the support of barely one in three voters and one in four of the adult population. The rich are celebrating: the stocks of banks, multinational companies and property developers are soaring. The rest of us will be made to pay.

The reaction has been massive. Thousands of people have joined angry anti-Tory protests, and thousands say they are coming to meetings to discuss what to do. A space has opened up for something that is truly democratic, bottom-up, radical, and based on mass action from below.

Our hope and aim is the creation of a new joined-up radical left movement or network. The movement will be shaped by all of us in the days ahead. But our initial proposals are:

• A movement made up of groups which keep their independence but come together to support each other’s campaigns and plan action.

• A movement rooted in real, localised campaigns and wider struggles, especially those in which the people themselves organise to fight back against injustice and oppression.

• A movement united on every issue – on unemployment and unaffordable rents, on fracking and climate change, on tuition fees and student debt, on the gentrification of our communities, on the privatisation of the NHS, on the violence and racism of the police, on the criminalisation of the homeless and the poor, and so many more.

• A movement controlled democratically, from below, with a loose federal structure which can accommodate an expanding number of independent radical groups and assemblies within it.

• A movement united around broad anti-capitalist aims, these to be formulated by the constituent groups, but agreed by general assemblies.

• A movement which aims to grow and unite people in active struggle against the system.
The People's Assembly is planning further action leading up to the big June 20th demonstration and beyond but it will be important that we are not limited to national demonstrations that like the Grand Old Duke of York lead us up to the top of the hill and down again with little to show for the effort. Action will need to be taken at local level.

Speak Out Against Austerity, Harelsden, Saturday
Progress and success will need to be measured in concrete gains: government measures thwarted, evictions prevented, developers forced to build truly affordable housing,  privatisation defeated, rather than just how many people take part in a march.

The People's Assembly is organising a protest on Wednesday May 27th 'Protest the Queen's Speech - End Austerity Now' assembly in Downing Street at 5.30pm.

The PAAA say:
The Queen's Speech May 27th will set out the the government's legislative plans for the parliamentary session ahead. What can we expect? Massive cuts to welfare, more attacks on immigrants, attempts to limit the right for unions to take strike action, more free schools and academies, abolishing the Human Rights Act and an extension of 'right to buy' ending social housing as we know it. Please do all you can to come down to this important protest.
Then on Saturday  May 30th the PCS union are holding a demonstration in Trafalgar Square, 'Hands Off Our Unions' at 1pm:
This government is attempting to extend the anti-union laws. They want to make it impossible for unions to take strike action. New proposals include imposing a ban on strike action unless at least 40% of union members vote in favour of strike action - hypocritical for a government who gained less than 25% of the populations vote.

This rally is also in support of PCS members in dispute at the National Gallery, striking over attempts to privatise sections of the service.
All this builds up to what is hoped to be a huge demonstation against austerity on June 20th LINK:

18 May 2015

Shahrar Ali on anti-war politics under the new Government and Garden Party fundraiser

Book Garden Party tickets here:

DEFY THE TORIES. Street meeting & leafleting Saturday 23rd May

DEFY THE TORIES. Street meeting leafleting Saturday 23rd May

Half a dozen sixth form students from Bristol schools, called a demo against the Tories and 4,000
came onto the streets. We're suggesting bringing this spirit of defiance closer to home with a Speak Out
 - street meeting and mass leafleting for the 20th June Anti-Austerity demo. If you agree, and I've already
spoken to Pete, Martin and Suj, this event will be called by Brent Fightback. We'll invite Brent Anti
 Racism Campaign and Brent Housing Action to take part and any other individuals or organisations who
 want to be involved. The suggestion is that we ask people to assemble next Saturday May 23rd at 2.00 pm
at the Jubilee Clock in Harlesden. We'll have a PA system and lots of leaflets for the June 20th demo. 
We'll have an open mike and people can bring placards to show how they feel about the election.

Are you all happy for Brent Fightback to organise this? Will you be able to take part?

In the morning, I'll create a Fightback Facebook event and send out emails to the whole Fightback list. 
I hope everyone will share, tweet, forward etc etc.

14 May 2015

Greens thank Brent voters for their support

This letter was published in the Brent and Kilburn Tines today.  Thanks to all our members and supporters for their help during the campaign. We will be letting you know details of our next meeting shortly.

We are writing to thank all the voters of Brent who took the bold step of voting Green at the General Election for an alternative vision for our country based on a transformed economic system and a commitment to equality, social justice and human rights. In total 1,157,613 voted for us across the country and it is an indictment of the first past the post system that this got us only one MP, the amazing Caroline Lucas.

We would also like to thank the many people who wrestled with their consciences over whether to vote Green, on the basis of 'Vote for what you believe in', or to vote for the Labour candidate in order to prevent the Conservatives gaining a seat. We know from conversations, phone calls, Facebook postings and emails that this was a hard decision and one that is a product of our unfair voting system.

It is likely that the General Election outcome and its manifest unfairness in terms of seats versus votes will result in calls for a fairer voting system and we welcome this. Meanwhile the support we have received forms a solid foundation for the 2016 London Assembly and London Mayoral elections where every Green vote will really count.

The Green Party is not just a party for elections so we will continue to take part in the many struggles that will result from the election of a Conservative Government hellbent on further austerity, privatisation and dismemberment of the welfare state.

Shahrar Ali (Green candidate for Brent Central)
Rebecca Johnson (Green candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn)
Scott Bartle (Green candidate for Brent North)

8 May 2015

Detailed Brent election results

Our thanks to everyone who voted Green in the General Election and to all those who helped with the campaign.  Clearly we were squeezed by the two main parties but the results provide a base for the GLA and Mayoral campaigns where we will have the advantage of a fairer voting system.

These are the detailed results:

The fight for a fairer, greener future - and justice today - continues

After an evening of shocks and surprises the Green Surge continues to roll on.

Today we call for a fairer more proportional voting system.

Caroline Lucas has grown her vote share in Brighton Pavilion by 11%, winning 22,871 votes and retaining her seat.

Across the country, over a million people voted Green – more than four times as many people than at any other General Election.

We came second in four seats, including Bristol West, where Darren Hall received the biggest ever upswing in a General Election in England and Wales – taking the Green vote up 23% to 26.8%.

Greens also retained around 100 deposits and beat the Liberal Democrats in 126 seats. In 2010, they beat them in just one.

Natalie Bennett, who won a record result in Holborn & St Pancras, said:

"The Green surge has only just begun. Retaining Caroline Lucas, our wonderful Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, and recording at least four second-place finishes puts the Greens firmly on track to make further electoral breakthroughs.

I am immensely proud to have led the party into a General Election where we have been able to stand more Green candidates than ever before, recorded our best ever share of the vote and saved more deposits than ever before.

Our astounding membership surge in the last year, which means the Green Party now has more members than both UKIP and the Liberal Democrats, has helped deliver tonight’s fantastic results for the Greens from Hackney to Sheffield.

The Green Party are the only party that truly stands up for what they believe in and I am delighted to see our commitment to deliver a fair economy, a public NHS and a safe climate has resonated with so many voters. The people have demonstrated their desire to see real change for the common good.

These election results show that the political landscape has fractured and we now live in an era of multi-party politics where the politics of the future no longer has to look like the politics of the past.

The fact that we have achieved over one million votes yet not been rewarded with more MPs draws into sharp focus just how unfair and outdated our winner-takes-all voting system is.

Our fight for a fairer, more democratic voting system – one which recognises the will of the people rather than entrenches the established order - begins today.”

Caroline Lucas said: “In 2010, Brighton Pavilion showed that a different kind of politics is possible. That you can stand firm by your principles and still be elected.

And in re-electing me tonight Brighton has made history again. I couldn’t be more proud to be an MP of this wonderful city. I’m completely honoured to be able to represent it again.

But there’s not a moment to lose. Amid the most savage, targeted austerity cuts in modern history, and with parties set on wringing 'every last drop of oil' from the North Sea, even as climate change accelerates - the urgency of a strong, clear Green voice in Parliament has never been greater.

We will hold Parliament to account and push for real reform – starting with proportional representation, for a politics that looks far more like the people it’s supposed to represent.

And we’ll fight for a fairer, greener future – and justice today.”

With over 1 million Green votes only resulting in a single Green MP please share our call for a fairer more proportional voting system.

Join our call for #FairVotesNow

6 May 2015

Why you shouold vote Green in 6 short & snappy videos

As decision day approaches here are six short videos that support the case for voting Green tomorrow.

4 May 2015

5-party-welfare-debate Tuesday 5 May 2015

5-party-welfare-debate Tuesday 5 May 2015

Tuesday May 5th Daily Politics debate BBC2 2pm BBC News 8.30pm(1)

Presenters Andrew Neil and Alison Holt 

Participants — in alphabetical order of surname

  • Jonathan Bartley Green Party
  • Suzanne Evans UKIP 
  • Rachel Reeves Labour
  • Iain Duncan Smith Conservative 
  • Steve Webb LibDems

See also

.Vote for Policies online interactive portal (5)


acknowledgements to