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.
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.
As the debate about the next leader of the Green Party shapes up, I’ve been thinking about what I’m looking for in leadership candidates.
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.