I was interested and (pleasantly) surprised by the Green Party Leadership election results announced here last night. Obviously, Caroline Lucas was re-elected unopposed without a problem. But what was interesting was the Deputy Leadership result. My close colleague and friend from Norwich C'llr. Adrian Ramsay won with a massive 75% of the vote, eclipsing Derek Wall who polled just 25%. Given that in 'the old days' before we brought in the new Leadership model Derek BEAT Party luminaries Keith Taylor (MEP) and Darren Johnson (AM) in successive years to take the Party 'Principal Speaker'ship, and given that Derek ran a vigorous campaign and aimed to win once more, this election result has to be taken as a strong vote of confidence in the electoral success represented by an icon of Norwich Green Party, and as a moving on from days of yore in the Green Party. Like me, Adrian is a radical: he is (as Derek himself pointed out, in a generous concession speech) a man of the Left, and also very radical in areas such as animal rights; but the 'Green Left' would-be-'faction' that _Derek_ represents has I think been knocked back by this unexpectedly decisive outcome.
I think in fact that this may well be the end of an era. The Party has made clear now with this vote that it is a professional Party that is going to elect its best elected politicians to its most senior public-facing posts. In that regard, this has been I think a welcome watershed moment for the Party.
It is too late for factions. Just as it is too late to be a pessimist. Rather than factions or purist pessimism, what our Party needs is to capitalise on and build on its success in places like Brighton and Norwich, and move swiftly to obtain and to exercise real, radical political power with responsibility - before it is too late.