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Friday, 23 July 2021

Leadership Election - Green Party England & Wales 2021

Announcement of intention to run as Co-Leaders Green Party England & Wales 2021 - Tina Rothery and Martin Hemingway:

These upcoming elections for Leadership come unexpectedly and at a crucial time for the Green Party; we face the ever-growing climate emergency and if ever there was a time for a strong, focused and effective Green Party, it’s right now.
As Co-Leaders we have very different skills, knowledge, work and life experiences to bring to the role; what we do share though, is the determination to unite and lead the Party with common sense, for a common purpose.
Our focus will be on the core concerns of the Green movement and the Green Party:
- campaigning to protect the health of our home, the earth
- campaigning to elect Green councillors and MPs to help bring this about
Our focus will also be on bringing the Green Party together:
- exploring the ways to deal with the issues that divide us, because there is far more that unites us: the health of our home and the health of our Party, matter to every member.
- ensuring a culture of openness and productive engagement with one another, so that our diverse membership can feel informed and involved.


About us
Tina Rothery:
When I discovered that Martin would be willing to run with me as Co-Leader, most of my concerns left me. I have the utmost respect for his length of service to the party and more than anything else, his honesty, integrity and commitment to fairness.
What Martin brings with his rich party knowledge, I will add to with my experience of environmental campaigning. Although my actual career has focused primarily on communications as a reporter in Hong Kong, broadcaster in Luxembourg, writer in Spain and copywriter in the UK, it is this last decade in the environmental movement that has provided the more useful skills: movement building, working across divides, creatively addressing problems and ensuring a presence in every arena relating to the issues; from political, to grassroots and neighbourhoods.
As a campaigner I co-founded the group ‘Nanas UK’, bringing together a specific demographic to commit to the task of stopping fracking. UK Nanas helped raise the profile of the anti-fracking movement by touring the country, hosting and attending events, taking part in actions and securing endorsements and media coverage from Emma Thompson, Vivienne Westwood, Bez (Happy Mondays), Mark Ruffalo and of course, the Green Party. Our campaign continues until there is a full ban on fracking. I believe ‘Nana’ is a transferable skill in this GPEW leadership campaign 😉
My roles within GPEW include running in two general elections (George Osborne in Tatton and Mark Menzies in Fylde) and I am currently the co-chair of Blackpool & Fylde Green Party. Up until Brexit, I was employed as Social Media Officer for Gina Dowding (former) MEP for the North West; an incredible role that took me to Brussels and allowed me to participate in a host of activities including participating in the plan for a North West Green New Deal.
Greta Thunberg accurately said ‘our house is on fire’ and I see the Green Party as the only political party that has the extinguisher (and that we need to set the example by getting our own fires under control).



Martin Hemingway:
This election was not expected. Standing in it was not a realistic plan until conversations with Tina coalesced into a determination that something had to be done, and that we were the team that could re-establish the credibility of the Green Party in the face of the climate crisis.
I bring to the partnership fifty years of political campaigning experience, including 12 years as a councillor on Leeds City Council, the second largest council in the country. Experience in formulating and carrying out policy; experience of a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations, experience of meetings, hustings, television and radio, including a speaking tour of Japan as Chair of UK Nuclear Free Local Authorities.
In the Green Party I have been a lead Euro candidate, coming close to election in 2009, a General Election candidate five times, a City Council candidate many times; all with hustings, meetings and extensive media work. Some of my past interviews are on YouTube.
Perhaps also of importance I bring over ten years of active involvement in the governance of our Party, as a member of GPRC, and as a member of SOC. Experience of many of the problems in the Party, but experience that has brought me close to a lot of members, and has, I trust, demonstrated my honesty. Preparation of agendas for Conference has brought me close to policy concerns of members, and involvement on the equivalent committee for the Global Greens conference widened the range of concerns.
I bring nearly twenty years of work in my local party and in my region, in roles ranging from Local Party Support to Co-ordinator, getting to know my own region and its local parties well.
I started out as an archaeologist, and a PhD on the period of the last glacial maximum gave me an early introduction to climate theory. I retrained to teach Geography, and then retrained in Law, including Legal Practice. I have taught in schools - mostly in deprived areas, in university, in adult education.
This is us and we look forward to the election ahead and hope we can earn your vote.

    
                





Monday, 19 July 2021

Extinguishing Fires...

 


I'm on social media quite a lot and since Green Party Leaders made public statements recently (Jonathan's resignation then Sian's public statement about not standing again) the other parties have been relishing sharing what looks like a breakdown of our Party.
A busy decade of climate campaigning means I didn't pay as much attention to the discussions on sex & gender that now seem to have reached an intolerable level; involving abuse and harm from/to members of our party – and we are of course losing support - just when planet and politics needed us most (as Greta says: "the house is on fire" - and we're the ones with the fire extinguisher!)
IF we can't resolve this internal issue, then it is impossible to expect to be trusted with all the others.
Perhaps it's that we need to change HOW we discuss and resolve divisive subjects? I had thought/trusted/hoped we had procedures in place that would facilitate this but can't see evidence.
This must be so difficult for hard-working Councillors, MP & Lords to manage the messaging coming out. I think consideration for them is being lost along with our standing.
A reconcilliation needs to happen or this will go on causing further harm and taking more energy from members who all share at least one goal: dealing with the climate and ecological crisis. Time is running out and right now we need to put everything we’ve got into making change actually happen and we CAN do that if we took all of the energy, time and commitment we are clearly capable of – and work on what unifies us rather than what divides us. .......................................................................................................................................................................
*picture of one of our 'Green Monday' events that happened EVERY week at the anti-fracking site: Preston New Road Rolling Roadside Protest. Countless members trecked the country to come in support every Monday for nearly 3 years. We are amazing ❤

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Moments at 16...

 Was dropping my 16 year old granddaughter at her friend's house just now and she was telling me about how her day went yesterday. Then she said I wasn't to worry cause it was alright in the end but:

"Grandma - an old man came and sat next to me at the bus stop - but right next to me and started talking to me - he asked if I'd heard of 'virtual worlds' - I said yeah."

At this point I waded in with the usual response of telling her she shoud not have spoken to him or should have got up and moved away... she said she felt it was safer to pretend not to be scared as she was uncomfortable and not sure what he would do. She continued:

"He said I'd be great in a virtual world because I had a nice voice and most of the girls in there were really men. He said the people joined to have virtual sex. I was really scared inside and said I had to go to the shop for cheese for my mum."

That last line upset me so much - poor little thing trying to find a polite way to get away from what amounts to a sexual predator.

She also said she just kept hoping he was only "one of those old men who do this". Wow... at 16 she's already settled into that acceptance we get that about predators being a fact for a young girl's life. I wondered how many other 'oh it was nothing in the end' situations she'd encountered?

She said she got up and so did he... he walked alongside her as she went to the shop but didn't go in. Once inside she called her friends and waited till they got there so they could wait with her for the bus - thankfully they came.

...

The saddest part of this...  was that she just talked about it in a sort of matter-of-fact way and that broke me to think how acclimatised we are and how we have (by nature) made them ready for this INEVITABILITY!

There are 9 females over 3 generations in our family and there's never been a time I can recall when we didn't 'talk them home' when they were out alone in the world - it's so damned natural and it shouldn't be.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Urgency of Focus

 It looks like COP26 climate talks will go ahead in November in Glasgow and there's a great deal going on with environment/nature/climate/divestment groups as we try to make this COP actually count - to force urgent issues onto the table and make its outcomes legally enforceable.

Lockdown has hindered campaigning for this precious planet but hopefully not for much longer - we really don't have the time to spare 🙁 I'm posting this to let other green climate campaigners know that along with
COP26 Coalition
, anti-fracking movement, divestment and other green, enviro-focused groups across the world, we're looking (via too many Zoom meetings lol!) to strengthen our numbers. If you can get involved or want to keep updated, you can sign-up/follow
COP26 Coalition
,
Greens CAN
or
Nanashire
who are part of this.
Green climate activists are vital in what's to come...
The
Green Party Against Fracking
campaign proved the value of our activists - not doing it for any political motivation - just because it's what we as Greens needed to do. The people-power was amazing (every Monday from Jan 2017 - Dec 2019 in the case of
Preston New Road Rolling Roadside Protest
) and even saw
Jonathan Bartley
camp with us in a muddy field. Speakers came:
Caroline Lucas
,
Amelia Womack
,
Jenny Jones
,
Natalie Bennett, Sian Berry
and so many more and it was about being the 'boots on the ground' and the advocates for the cause that mattered.
Over 10 years of anti-fracking campaigning brought
solidarity from like-minded and supportive others and absolutely made a difference; the unions, political groups, environmentalists, divestment campaigns, NGOs, residents' groups, faith groups etc. and maybe because we never asked if we all agreed on all the other issues we face, as we stood shoulder to shoulder... we proved enduring and effective.
One issue together at a time seemed a useful approach - no need for discussion on political party affiliations or favourite football teams, no discussion on which 'god' was best etc. just a clear laser-focus on the threat we faced and the campaign we launched in return.
There's a great deal wrong right now and so many campaigns trying to tackle the multitude of issues we face. Even if most of the issues emanate from the same system, the urgency for each campaign will be prioritised differently by each of us depending on our knowledge/focus.
There's a lot we can be divided by - but when we come together, narrow our focus at that time and act with such solidarity and determination - our party and its amazing network of climate activists, is a thing to be so proud of.
See you at
COP26 Coalition
?
...
*just popping this here for a starter request - getting COP26 to actually BAN fracking, not just pause it - we get no peace without a ban 🙂

Saturday, 27 March 2021

CAN-do

 I used to think politics was too awful to even consider, let alone get involved in; then I watched the government choose austerity and cut funding (or not match what was needed) to services that are vital to us all - the NHS, education, elder care, environmental protection, youth and disability services, local transport - and the list goes on. 

All the while also witnessing the use of creeping-privatisation, over-priced contracts to 'preferred' suppliers, private finance initiatives (loans) and clear evidence of short-term profiteering at the expense of our long term needs.

Campaigning to expose and address these clear abuses of power, is (to me) an obligation - once you know, how do you just accept? I find it impossible to accept the suffering that comes with a corrupt government.

I joined the Green Party of England and Wales in order to have a 'political wing' to my campaigning/activism and to focus on what I consider to be the most pressing of all the threats and problems we face - the wrecking of the planet. If we can't breathe the air, access and drink the water or grow our crops in depleted soil - NOTHING else will really matter because we won't survive.

Within the Green Party are various people and groups focusing on all the different issues we face - sadly too many to apply energy to it all. For me, it's about the planet and how we stop harming it, start healing it and get it (and all of us) flourishing as it should. 

I spoke with a 'green' group that's grown out of the Green Party - the Climate Activist Network (Greens CAN). The (political & physical) actions they're planning, thankfully reflect the urgency of where we're at as a planet and a species... time is short and we need as much unity as we can get, to force the solutions. 

If you'd like to find out about upcoming actions you can be involved in locally/nationally/internationally or just want to know more - you can follow on TWITTER, the Facebook PAGE or WEBSITE

All life on this planet is at risk if we can't succeed in getting the worst of the short-term profiteers out of power.

ps... if you aren't currently concerned about the viability of life on earth, do watch 'Seaspiracy' - it's not pleasant but it is fact x




Leadership Election - Green Party England & Wales 2021

Announcement of intention to run as Co-Leaders Green Party England & Wales 2021 - Tina Rothery and Martin Hemingway: These upcoming elec...