Category: Blog

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…

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.

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.

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.

In three and a half years, my local shopping parade has gained an Italian restaurant, a Persian cafe, a fancy wine shop, a retro furniture shop-cum-cafe, and most recently a microbrewery pop-up bar.

I love them, and the transition town market up the hill, and all the other nice changes to my new area. I am part of the gentrifying forces that are pricing me out of the area.

As the election for the Mayor of London next year looms on the horizon, candidates are pledging to build more homes in the capital. But targets are no use to anybody unless they are backed up with a credible plan, and in London the biggest challenge is that the housing market is broken, dysfunctional, pining for the fjords.

Every so often I get a call from an estate agent. They aren’t looking to sell my home, but let it out. London is a rentier economy, and so rent controls are bitterly resisted.

What would you do with the money if you saved £1,100 on your energy bill? That question led me on a journey that completely changed the way I approached climate change policy.