Category: Blog

Tonight I listened to an inspiring group of Brixton residents who are taking the housing crisis into their own hands: setting up a Community Land Trust to build 300 homes for rent, owned by the community and let at rents linked to local incomes. Their challenge, as one board member put it, is to be seen as credible by the powers that be. Read More When the incredible is seen as credible

The problems with the EU, I was told, are made concrete in the Altiero Spinelli building. The Kipper MEP I was meeting was aghast that the main building of the European Parliament would be named after this Italian communist and passionate European federalist. Perhaps that’s why he didn’t share my worries about the World Trade Organisation, the G8, or the Basel Accords – he didn’t know or care about the names of their buildings. Read More Brexit: radicals unmoored

It is often said by party members that a particular strategy, tactic or policy should be debated at one of the bi-annual conferences. The most obvious recent example is the issue of progressive alliances.

Like most members I believe that the actions and statements of our leadership and senior politicians must be rooted in decisions taken democratically by party structures including conference, the Executive and Regional Council.

But we have to realise that politics isn’t a calm and linear business. You don’t spend two years moving from conference motion A to national strategy B and politician action C and then achieve desired result D. Read More Politics is more like jujutsu than tai chi

The word ‘politician’ is often used as an insult. In the popular imagination, politicians are loathsome, lazy liars. But I think they get an unfair rap, cheered on by a cynical media and misleading social media memes.

Read More In defence of politicians

I’ve been a Green Party member, activist and officer at local, regional and national levels for ten years. But the honour and joy of working full-time for two Green politicians is a rare one in so small a party. So I thought I’d share some lessons from those seven years, things I would never have guessed before I stepped through the doors of City Hall to work in the London Assembly in September 2009. I imagine that there is nothing very special about my experiences here; that similar things could be said of members and politicians in the Labour Party, or Green MEPs. 1. Greens show remarkably little interest in their politicians Once a month members of the London Green Party can quiz their Assembly Members and MEP about their work. But when the opportunity arises, almost nobody asks them a question. Before I worked with them I knew very…

Read More Seven lessons from seven years in City Hall

In May I set out five qualities I was looking for in the next leader of the Green Party. Having read their statements and listened at a hustings, I’ve now decided how I’m going to vote.
Read More Nothing endures but personal qualities

In politics, as in sport and Eurovision, we all like to fit the facts to our pre-conceived ideas. Tribes and factions interpret results as a vindication of their point of view.

Read More We need a grounded Green strategy

At our spring conference, the Green Party adopted a completely new set of housing and planning policies. These set out our big vision, and provide our politicians and manifesto authors with a starting point.

I’ve picked out five that I particularly like. Read More Why we voted for a new Green housing policy