Thursday, 6 December 2007

Lead candidate's report, Dec. 07

Working as lead European candidate for the Greens here in Eastern Region Green Party is exhilarating, and it’s getting more so all the time. There are so many new local parties setting up all over the East of England and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting such a wide variety of people. All these people are driven by thought of bringing a real positive difference to their local area by having Green Party members elected to their parishes, councils and (crucially) even to Parliament(s). I’ve witnessed the number of Green councillors in the East of England grow ever year since 1999. That’s why I know we’re on the brink of something very special here, and I am proud to be a part of it.

The excitement comes from knowing how quickly success can come when there are dedicated Green Party members, campaigning hard for the values they believe in. In Norwich, where I am a city councillor, the first two Green councillors were elected in 2002. Now, just five years later, we have 10 city councillors; just five less than the ruling labour administration. Norwich has already seen the benefit, with vastly improved recycling facilities (though still far short of our utimate goals), support for local shops and new carbon reduction targets. We are now only a few seats away from running the council – and all this in just a few years.

I can now see what started in Norwich happening all over the region. In Colchester for instance the Greens are on the verge of breaking through onto the city council, with Peter Lynn polling 32% of the vote in Castle ward in the last local elections. I have visited Colchester twice in the last four months, to speak to a local Party meeting and to help at a ‘Green Action Saturday’. The canvassing I did on the latter occasion convinced me that the electoral success of the Green Party elsewhere in the region is now about to be repeated in Colchester.

The Green Party now sits on more Councils in the Eastern Region than in any other region in the country. That is why we are now naturally thrilled about an additional prospect – electing a Green MEP to represent the East of England in Brussels. Much of our work involves changing things at the local level, but many of our policies urgently need be taken to an international level, such as serious measures against climate change and fairer trade rules (fair trade, not free trade, should be compulsory).

I was selected earlier this year as the Eastern Region’s lead candidate for the next European elections in June 2009 and I have already started campaigning hard. Caroline Lucas from the South East and Jean Lambert from London have already made great achievements as Green MEPs, including vastly increasing our media profile nationally from anything we had before. The elections are held using proportional representation, and with an ever growing number of Green voters in the east, we have every chance reaching the estimated 11% of the vote that we need. If we do better than this, there is even an outside chance that the second candidate on the list, Colchester’s Peter Lynn, could join me in Brussels.

All the time I am hearing from new activists from yet another city who are beginning their campaigns to get Green Party candidates elected onto their local authorities. By sharing advice and knowledge and supporting each other all these local parties are bound for success. The political landscape is changing and it’s an incredible feeling to be at the forefront. This is a feeling shared I believe by virtually all our activists who are investing their time in the Green Party because they can see now what we can achieve and the benefits it will bring. Whether it’s another elected councillor or someone delivering leaflets whenever they can, we are all realising the same dream.

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1. 2. 3. Rupert's Read: Lead candidate's report, Dec. 07 4. 12. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 23. 24.

25. 26. Lead candidate's report, Dec. 07 27. 28.

29.

Working as lead European candidate for the Greens here in Eastern Region Green Party is exhilarating, and it’s getting more so all the time. There are so many new local parties setting up all over the East of England and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting such a wide variety of people. All these people are driven by thought of bringing a real positive difference to their local area by having Green Party members elected to their parishes, councils and (crucially) even to Parliament(s). I’ve witnessed the number of Green councillors in the East of England grow ever year since 1999. That’s why I know we’re on the brink of something very special here, and I am proud to be a part of it.

The excitement comes from knowing how quickly success can come when there are dedicated Green Party members, campaigning hard for the values they believe in. In Norwich, where I am a city councillor, the first two Green councillors were elected in 2002. Now, just five years later, we have 10 city councillors; just five less than the ruling labour administration. Norwich has already seen the benefit, with vastly improved recycling facilities (though still far short of our utimate goals), support for local shops and new carbon reduction targets. We are now only a few seats away from running the council – and all this in just a few years.

I can now see what started in Norwich happening all over the region. In Colchester for instance the Greens are on the verge of breaking through onto the city council, with Peter Lynn polling 32% of the vote in Castle ward in the last local elections. I have visited Colchester twice in the last four months, to speak to a local Party meeting and to help at a ‘Green Action Saturday’. The canvassing I did on the latter occasion convinced me that the electoral success of the Green Party elsewhere in the region is now about to be repeated in Colchester.

The Green Party now sits on more Councils in the Eastern Region than in any other region in the country. That is why we are now naturally thrilled about an additional prospect – electing a Green MEP to represent the East of England in Brussels. Much of our work involves changing things at the local level, but many of our policies urgently need be taken to an international level, such as serious measures against climate change and fairer trade rules (fair trade, not free trade, should be compulsory).

I was selected earlier this year as the Eastern Region’s lead candidate for the next European elections in June 2009 and I have already started campaigning hard. Caroline Lucas from the South East and Jean Lambert from London have already made great achievements as Green MEPs, including vastly increasing our media profile nationally from anything we had before. The elections are held using proportional representation, and with an ever growing number of Green voters in the east, we have every chance reaching the estimated 11% of the vote that we need. If we do better than this, there is even an outside chance that the second candidate on the list, Colchester’s Peter Lynn, could join me in Brussels.

All the time I am hearing from new activists from yet another city who are beginning their campaigns to get Green Party candidates elected onto their local authorities. By sharing advice and knowledge and supporting each other all these local parties are bound for success. The political landscape is changing and it’s an incredible feeling to be at the forefront. This is a feeling shared I believe by virtually all our activists who are investing their time in the Green Party because they can see now what we can achieve and the benefits it will bring. Whether it’s another elected councillor or someone delivering leaflets whenever they can, we are all realising the same dream.

30. 31. 32.