Archive for the ‘Candidate’ Category

New Labour Leader to Affect Electoral Reform

September 8, 2010

This month a crucial decision will be announced in Manchester which could affect the fate of electoral reform for a generation.

In just a few weeks we’ll find out who the next Labour leader is – and just how committed that leader is to renewing our democracy.

We’re going to need a united front to win this referendum on AV. We’re going to need people of all parties and none standing up and telling the political class that it’s no longer credible to spin us a yarn of the ‘new politics’ when we don’t even have a fair vote.

Manchester is the location for the Labour Party’s major annual conference and I am inviting you to join me in turning Albert Square purple on 28th September at 6pm. We will gather with banners and placards to demand that the Labour leader stays true to their commitment to fairer votes.

The Labour leadership candidates have made some promising noises so far, but certain interests within the party are urging them to abandon the cause of reform and sit out the referendum in the hope that change will be defeated. We can’t allow the same tired voices to prevail.

Join us in Manchester to demand a commitment to campaign for a Yes vote from the future Labour leader:

There are already many reformers in Labour making the case for ditching our broken voting system. Together with them, let’s show the future leader our strength of feeling.

We did it all across the country in May and it made a difference. We can make a difference again. Whether you are a Labour member or just someone who cares passionately about the need to change our politics – I hope you will join me on the 28th to show some purple solidarity.

Come to Albert Square in central Manchester, bring friends and wear purple.

Let’s take the last ever tactical vote – and win this referendum!

All the best,

Billy Bragg

Australia elects its first Green MP…

August 22, 2010

…and the UK’s first Green MP broadcasts congratulations to Melbourne celebration party

Yesterday Australia became the second Commonwealth country this year to elect its first Green Party MP – and in a show of solidarity from the other side of the planet, the Australian Greens invited Britain’s first Green MP to broadcast a live message to their celebration party in Melbourne.

Caroline Lucas, the new Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, congratulated Adam Bandt (1), the new Green Party MP for Melbourne, who like Caroline won the progressive vote to take a seat from a Labour party. Caroline today spoke of her delight in the Australian Greens’ success:

“It’s excellent news for Australia, because the Greens are the party nowadays offering the socially progressive policies as well as the best environmental policies.

“And it’s excellent news for the world, because with a stronger Green influence we can expect Australia to be pushing harder for a proper global agreement on climate change.”

Adam Bandt had been expected to take the house of representatives (lower house) seat of Melbourne from the Labor Party. This seat covers the inner city suburbs of Melbourne and had been held by Labor since 1900.

According to an official from party leader Senator Bob Brown’s team, “This seat has been Labor’s heartland, but now many of the progressive voters of Melbourne have become disillusioned by Labor’s conservative stance on refugees, climate change and gay marriage as well as many other issues.”

The early indication is that Adam Bandt polled 52% of the vote “after preferences”, the vote being held under the AV (additional vote) system currently under consideration for the UK house of commons. Mr Bandt may even find himself in a “balance of power” situation.

Green Party campaign won progressive vote

As with their English colleagues in Brighton Pavilion, the Australian Greens won the Melbourne seat through an effective targeting strategy and a strong message to progressive voters on social issues, as well far stronger environmental policies than the bigger parties were offering.

The Australian Greens had been polling at 13-16% of the national vote over the last 6 months, and this held up during the election campaign. At the time of writing it’s too early to tell how many new senators (upper house representatives) the Greens will gain, but a vote of this size could mean five new seats in the senate. This would bring the number of Greens in the upper chamber, which is elected under the single transferable vote system, to ten.

An Australians Greens insider said today as the votes were being counted:

“Even if we only get two or three new Senators all commentators agree that we will hold the balance of power in the senate. This means we will have a much more influential role in the parliament and in amending and moving legislation. Senator Bob Brown, leader of the Australian Greens, has had unprecedented media attention during the campaign with good coverage of our health, education, transport and environmental policies.

Norwich Campaign to Form First Green Council

August 17, 2010

The Green Party is campaigning become the largest party on Norwich City Council in a mass by-election on September 9 and is aiming to form the country’s first Green administration.

Our Party have a great opportunity to become the largest party at City Hall in local elections taking place on Thursday 9th September.

For the last two years the Green Party has been the second largest party at City Hall, just two seats behind Labour.

On 9th September there are elections taking place for a third of the City Council seats – one in each ward. The elections are happening at this time following a decision of a high court judge to cancel the previous Government’s plans for unitary status for Norwich.

Key Green Party policies for the Council include:

•providing more support to initiatives such as Buy Local that stengthen the local economy and support independent businesses
•helping more residents to save money on their fuel bills and reduce carbon emissions through home insulation and renewable energy schemes
•making more council decisions in public, after finding out and considering local residents’ views, and responding to residents’ enquiries more efficiently.

Lots of members from around the country have been visiting Norwich for a couple of days or more to lend a hand and learn from the well-oile…d party machine there.

Help is needed at all times but particularly before August 26 (when postal voting starts) and in the last week before 9 September. Accommodation can be provided and travel costs reimbursed if requested in advance.

Contact 01603 611909 or

If you can’t make it in person, any donation you could give would be very well used – cheques should be made payable to ‘Norwich Green Party’ and sent to Steven Altman, 27 Clarendon Road, Norwich , NR2 2PN. Or signup on the pledgebank (34 contributors needed to meet the target!)

Caroline’s appearance on Question Time

June 27, 2010

1) If you haven’t seen it yet, or want to watch it again, the BBC’s iPlayer link until Thursday for Caroline’s appearance on Question Time

2) We’ve press released two things on the G20 meetings in Toronto, one from the European Green Party, and a joint release from Jean/Keith as our MEPs:

European Green Party –

Jean/Keith on G20 and coal subsidy –

3) If you want to follow some of the news from the G20, the lead progressive news website in Canada is rabble (, and the main newspaper in Toronto is the Toronto Star (

Earls Barton Election Policies

June 16, 2010

Jonathan Hornett, is standing in the Earls Barton By-election against Conservative, Lib Dem, and Labour candidates. The seat was held by Lucy Payne, an independent and the other two seats in the ward are held by a Tory and a Labour Councillor.

Here are some of the policies Jonathan is standing for, these also feature on his leaflet:

Free Insulation – We’re proposing free insulation for every home that needs it. Carbon emissions from homes were a staggering 21% of total emissions in the UK in 2005 and this programme alone can cut that by 25%. We’ve done the sums, looked at the timescale and we know it can be achieved within five years.

A Living Wage – The minimum wage is really a poverty wage. Every calculation shows that a real Living Wage – what we really need to provide for ourselves and our families – is at least a pound an hour higher. Greens have won a Living Wage for workers around the country, and now we want more people to benefit.

Free School Meals – At a time when the health of our children is cause for mounting concern, we want our kids to know what good food is and at least once a day, sit down to a proper balanced meal. So the Green Party would provide a free lunch in all state schools in England and Wales every school day, to every pupil.

Affordable Homes – The single biggest financial hurdle for many of us in this country is the cost of getting a roof over our heads. Quickly followed by keeping it there. The Green Party will use tough planning rules to make sure developers include truly affordable housing – for rent not just one-off sales – in all new developments.

Safer Streets – More than half the people unlucky enough to be hit by a car doing a seemingly harmless 35mph, die. We happen to think that people on foot and on bicycles have just as much right to feel safe on the streets where they live as car users, so we’ll introduce a 20 mph limit in residential urban areas, including villages.

Green Energy For All – Solar water heaters will typically save you £40 a year. And the average solar electricity installation can save up to £200 on your annual electricity bill. Never mind the CO2 you’ll save which is likely to be well over 1 tonne. That’s why we want to give as many people the chance to make their own renewable energy.

About Jonathan Hornett – He’s 36, and has lived in Wellingborough for 7 years. He is married and has 2 children, 1 of whom goes to the Hardwick schools, where he is a parent governor. He work as a retail manager and he also runs a Whist Drive. His first priority, if elected, would be improving our local environment. He will help and support all local people, groups, community residents associations and Police in making Earls Barton and Northamptonshire safer, cleaner and greener.

Make a difference to Earls Barton – Vote Green!

Leading Worcester LibDem Defects To Greens

May 14, 2010

A leading Worcester Liberal Democrat has this week resigned from his position of Chair of the local group to join the Green Party.

Alex Kear, who had been Councillor for the Claines ward for several years, has become the latest of many to turn their backs on the LibDems since their leader Nick Clegg and Conservative David Cameron took office.

Mr Kear said “I have waited a long time for the big change in British politics to come but is simply hasn’t happened. I am that annoyed with the LibDems I am now prepared to contest a LibDem seat. The Clegg effect has gone the wrong way. He is too comfortable with David Cameron.”

“I want to belong to a really progressive political party and for me the Green Party ticks all the boxes. I was inspired by Green Party’s Caroline Lucas’s win in Brighton and I am relieved to be doing the right thing.”

Further leading figures within the Worcester LibDem group are expected to follow Alex Kear in the next few days.

Louis Stephen of Worcester Green Party welcomed the move, saying “Hundreds of thousands of LibDem supporters voted tactically last week and are now faced with propping up a Conservative government. The Green Party is now the only mainstream party who are for scrapping Trident and want to see full Proportional Representation introduced. As a former member of the Liberal Democrats myself I welcome Alex Keer to the Green Party with open arms.”

Caroline Lucas: first Green MP’s first day in Westminster

May 12, 2010

Green Party leader’s first day as MP coincides with first day of Cameron premiership

Caroline Lucas, newly-elected as UK’s first Green MP and leader of the Green Party, will be attending at the House of Commons for her first official duty as a new member of parliament this morning.

Around this, Caroline will available for photographs, outdoor and studio broadcast interviews and also one-to-one interviews with selected outlets.

Outline itinerary

Photocall at House of Commons 1230 (exact location TBC).
Outdoor broadcast interviews on request, College Green, from c. 1245.
Studio interviews from 4 Millbank, some slots available from c. 1300.
1:1 interviews by negotiation, in Westminster, some slots available during the afternoon. Interviews by phone a possibility.

Sad News

May 11, 2010

Today we had the very sad news that Cllr Phil Gordon of Leicester Green Party and Leicester City Council has died.

Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

The Green Party have sent the following tribute to the Leicester Mercury:

Matt Follett, former Green councillor in Leicester, and current member of the party’s national executive, said: “Phil was not just a colleague, but a real friend. He was one of the nicest men I’ve ever met, not just in politics but in wider life. He was one of the few people I knew who got on with everybody. He was an inspiration in how he conducted himself in his public role and was very proud to serve his ward. It’s very sad for his family, and for us all.”

Will the Lib Dems Blow Their Chance?

May 11, 2010

Caroline Lucas, Green Party leader and the UK’s first Green MP, today issued a firm warning about “the Lib Dems’ tendency to backtrack on promises” and called on Nick Clegg to insist on serious electoral reform as a precondition for any coalition deal with David Cameron’s Tory party.
Caroline Lucas MP said today: “Nick Clegg has a unique opportunity to make history. Most people in politics are familiar with the Lib Dems’ fickleness, but this is the one time when the Lib Dems must hold their nerve.
“Nick Clegg must not wobble. If he fails to insist on genuine electoral reform, he will quite possibly condemn the UK to many more years under an archaic and unfair election system.”
During the general election campaign Ms Lucas said the Lib Dems were “not the party of change, but the party of changing its mind.”
Green Party role in a hung parliament
The Green Party leader has not yet said what role she may be prepared to play in a progressive coalition should the Conservatives and Lib Dems fail to reach agreement – but it is understood that in any case the new Green MP would want to play a constructive role in fighting for electoral reform.
In a statement issued on Saturday Caroline Lucas laid out her position:
“These are uncharted waters for all politicians. But this only makes it more important that Nick Clegg makes his decisions based on the clear steer given to him by voters.
“In this election, the British people have brought in a House of Commons in which a majority of MPs are from parties which support reform. A clear majority of people in the United Kingdom voted for reform of our political system.
“Therefore, any arrangement between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives must include genuine and comprehensive reform of the political system.
“A commission, inquiry, or any other delaying tactic will not be acceptable. There should be a referendum before the end of the year which includes options for a genuinely proportional system, not the self-serving system of AV, which is even less proportional. The people should be asked what voting system they would prefer. That is proper democracy.
“The first-past-the-post system has created a situation where people cannot vote positively for the candidate, or party, whose policies they most agree with. Instead, they are forced to vote in fear, working out how to vote to keep out the party furthest away from them in policy and values. This leaves us a grotesque democratic deficit and a poor basis on which to govern.
“The Liberal Democrats must not be seduced by the trappings of power. The people have voted for reform: Nick Clegg must not betray them.”

Green Party Wins!

May 7, 2010

Caroline Lucas wins!

Greens in the East Midlands were celebrating this morning as the news was announced that party leader Caroline Lucas had won the Brighton Pavilion seat.

The election of the first ever Green to Parliament represents a truly historic moment. Hundreds of thousands of Green voters across the country now have, for the first time, a voice in Parliament, and genuinely progressive views on issues such as the economy, health, and the environment will now be heard.

After the result was declared, Caroline Lucas said: “The emphatic support of voters in Brighton Pavilion show that they do want to support a party whose values represent fairness, social justice and environmental well-being. They have shown that they are prepared to put their trust in the Greens, despite the overwhelming national media focus on the three largest parties and a voting system that is fundamentally undemocratic. I feel humbled by their trust in me, and I am excited by this vote of confidence and I’m looking forward to the challenging task of fully representing the voters of Brighton.

“This victory is no accident: it is the result of the hard work and commitment of thousands of Green Party members and supporters not only in Brighton but from right across the country over the past months and years. It is their work and support that has helped deliver this win, and the victory is as much theirs as it is mine.

“Thanks to the confidence that the voters of Brighton Pavilion have shown, Green principles and policies will now have a voice in Parliament. Policies such as responding to climate change with a million new ‘green’ jobs in low-carbon industries, fair pensions and care for older people, and stronger regulation of the banks will be heard in the House of Commons. I will also use my influence as an MP in the city of Brighton & Hove to push for affordable housing for the city, a new secondary school for the city, and greater backing for the city’s creative industries.

“Finally, as this election shows, the first-past-the post voting system used for general elections is utterly discredited. I will be strongly backing calls for a referendum to replace it with a form of proportional representation that properly reflects the needs and views of 21st century voters. If a form of proportional representation is introduced, the Green Party is confident that its true level of support nationally can be represented properly.”