We must oppose neo-liberal policies be they austerity or privatisation, and offer a realistic alternative for a society not motivated by individual greed but focused on the common good.
Over the last 15 years we have developed a true manifesto that is attractive to a clear majority of people in the UK. The real issue for the Greens is how to build trust and get that across. I see that as the principle role of the Leader - not to direct policy but to successfully advocate what we stand for.
Promoted and Produced by David Williams as part of his campaign for election to the post of Leader of the Green Party. This is not an official communication from the Green Party of England and Wales.
While for many years I was an active member of the Labour Party, in 2003 I left, not simply because they had launched the Iraq war but because they had adopted the philosophy and policies of Thatcherism. They were, and still are, more interested in power than social reform. The need for real change is too critical now for inertia, and only the Greens offer hope.
I have been a Parliamentary Candidate three times: Colne Valley in 1983 and Rochdale in 1987 and 1992. I was a Labour and Coop councillor for 20 years in Rochdale and held many important leadership roles including Chair of Education and Chair of Economic Development. I was Chair of the Co-operative Party in Rochdale for many years and an acknowledged advocate of cooperative principles.
If elected leader, I would prioritise touring the country inspiring and building the Party. We must make those all-important breakthroughs in specific areas and it can only be done from the bottom up in effective teams.
We must not retreat into promoting only a simple ecology message. We are a political party not an environmental pressure group: we must fight both for people and for the planet, with a full range of policies. A drift to the right would be a disaster for our membership and future prospects.
We should retain our sensible left of centre stance and promote policies that are needed for a
sustainable tomorrow. I am not opposed to working with other parties on specific issues where there is agreement such as fighting for PR or a general progressive alliance, but the devil is in the detail and any deal would have to be clearly in our interest.
After joining the Green Party in 2003, I became a local councillor again, and over the last 10 years I have held the offices of Leader of the Green group on Oxford City Council and currently Leader of the Green Group on Oxfordshire County Council. I am a good public speaker and because I understand our policies and those of our opponents am strong in debate. I have appeared on the TV locally and nationally many times and have the skills of handling the media at all levels and across a very wide range of subjects.
I’m standing as leader because we need a debate on the direction of the party post-Brexit. I am a great supporter of Caroline Lucas who is an excellent MP. However, as a democrat I don’t believe we should have ‘coronations’ of leaders: now is the time for a rigorous discussion about how we create the equal and long-term sustainable society we all want to see.
We must maintain our position as the guiding light to a better tomorrow. It is my sincere belief that I have the experience, the commitment, and the skills to lead the Green Party.