notes from JK

Why to vote for Caroline & Adrian

[Apologies to non-Green party member readers, this post is about the Green Party’s leadership contest, which is held every two years]

Caroline Lucas and Adrian Ramsay are seeking re-election as the Green Party’s leader and deputy, and I’m supporting them in their campaign.

Our party’s leaders must be serious, frontline politicians. Some have been arguing in the webosphere that Caroline and Adrian are too busy to do the job properly. I disagree. Of course they are busy, they are high profile, respected Green politicians – a credible and hard working leadership team, who’ve delivered results.

However they do not have a fraction of the office and staff support that other party leaders have. This is due to our more limited funds but also inexperience in supporting our leaders. We need to work to provide better support for them, not elect less busy leaders with less experience or profile! (Jim Jepps touches on this in his post)

Ultimately I believe that if they are to lead us as a party, they greatly benefit from being publicly elected representatives who understand the hard choices that need to be made when in office. And, as just two votes on the national party executive, they have a strong track record in improving the party’s position in terms of membership, finance, profile and elections (Peter Cranie makes the case in more detail).

Let’s discuss the support and structures we provide them at conference in September. In the meantime I’d encourage new and old members alike to vote for Caroline and Adrian, for another two years of growth and increasing influence.

4 replies on “Why to vote for Caroline & Adrian”

The ‘some have been arguing’ refers to me but isn’t quite accurate. I made some specific points about being a lone MP and leader of the party – points that I think Caroline would have some sympathy with.

I have seen no one arguing that Adrian is too busy to do the job, just because they are running as a slate does not automatically mean that every argument that applies to one candidate applies to the other. In fact you’ll note I gave a blue sky thinking example that it might have been better had Adrian run for the leadership role.

I need to make that clear because one person tried to make out my comments were an attack on Adrian and it just does not bear scrutiny (or it was a very poor attack that suggests he should have run for leader rather than deputy!)

Just to outline my point in brief, we need to discuss what we actually want from our leader. Do we want them to speak to Green Party members across the country? Do we want them to come up with campaigning initiatives for the party? Do we want them to ensure that the different sections of the party (councils, activists, rural members, etc) feel part of the party and have a say over the direction of the party?

I’m sure we could could all come up with a list of similar questions. When we start coming up with an idea on this we have to, as you say, make sure the leadership team has the resources to deliver what we’re asking, and we select people who are capable of delivering.

My heretical point about Caroline was simply that she is amazing. Her brilliant commitment to being the best constituency MP she can be as well as the best member in the House is more than two full time jobs in themselves. Since her election she has provided inspiration to members (and non-members) but she has not provided the party with concrete, practical leadership, how on earth could she?

If we don’t mind that then fine – otherwise we need to think about the consequences of having the two toughest jobs in the party done by the same person simultaneously.

Hi Jim. Just for clarification the ‘some have been arguing’ wasn’t referring to you – it was to some comments I had read but I can’t remember where I saw them, on blogs or elists!

I hope my post made it clear that I didn’t see your post as an attack at all, but as a valuable contribution to the debate on the structural issues surrounding our leadership model which are very real indeed. One could argue that Caroline has provided practical leadership in her contributions to national party executive decision-making. But as one of many with an executive vote (is it 13 now?) it’s hard to so clearly pinpoint Caroline’s work there compared to the obviousness of her high media profile. That’s not to say that more can’t be done, it definitely can be!

“Ultimately I believe that if they are to lead us as a party, they greatly benefit from being publicly elected representatives who understand the hard choices that need to be made when in office.”

Sounds very Liberal Democrat to me. Also ignores that role they need to play up and down the country getting grassroots activism going. Will take a LOT of time if done truly properly, hence why Derek would be better.

I’m not sure I follow… why does my comment sound ‘very Liberal Democrat’ to you?

The party is more than a leader and deputy, we have staff and elected national executive officers who can all play a part in party building. That’s not to say that Adrian and Caroline haven’t been around the country a fair bit in the last two years!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.