Green Lords candidates hustings questions: my answers
[These are my answers to the official hustings questions that Green members have asked those of us applying for possible nomination to the Lords as Greens:]
Question 1: The purpose of the House of Lords is to scrutinise and amend legislation drafted by the House of Commons. This is highly technical work, as are the rules governing procedures and processes within the House. Could you tell us how your background and work experience have given you the skills to work with draft legislation as a Green peer, and what those skills are?
· I've served two terms as a Green Councillor (and am now stepping down). I've been involved repeatedly, often under great time-pressure, often at length, in drafting/amending motions for Council, policy, Committee recommendations, etc. . My experience as a politician working with draft local 'legislation' will greatly help in the Lords.
· I am a much-published philosopher of language. So I am used to engaging in extremely detailed some might even say nit-picking work, over tiny nuances of meaning, intent, sense and otherwise.
· For more directly-relevant information, see: http://rupertsread.blogspot.com/2011/02/green-party-house-of-lords-candidate.html
Question 2: Are you in favour of abolishing the monarchy?
Yes. For some detail on how, see: http://rupertsread.blogspot.com/2011/02/new-proposal-for-green-future-how-house.html
Question 3: Do you agree that promoting workers' co-operatives is an important aspect of laying the foundations for a green society? If you do, how would you work for this in the House of Lords?
I am an active member of the Co-operative movement, and formerly belonged to a workers' co-op (in a grocery). The most important way in which as a Lord I'd work to promote workers' co-ops is: by amending (and introducing!) legislation easing the way for co-operatives and reducing the scope for big-business. E.g: I've been instrumental in successful motions at Conference to expand the role of mutuals and co-operatives in the financial sector, and radically to reduce the role for private commercial banks. Ultimately, legislation revoking the right to limited liability in corporations which behave unethically will be the best way of 'nudging' people toward workers' co-ops as an alternative.
Question 4: How would you support growth in renewable energy provision and wide-spread conversion to electric cars?
I was instrumental in the move toward ESCOs in
In terms of electric-cars: Here, great care is needed. A fleet of electric-cars would be better than a fleet of petrol-cars, provided that they were run on renewable energy (and not, e.g., on nuclear-based-electricity!). But do we want to devote precious time and money to pushing for electric-cars, or instead to focus on (e.g.) planning-policy to drastically reduce the need to travel? On balance, I'd favour the latter.
Question 5: If elected, what will you do, if anything, to further the cause of the immediate abolition of the House of Lords and the creation of a democratically-elected second chamber of the British parliament?
Unlike most Green candidates for the Lords, I have made crystal-clear my strong commitment to working as a Lord to abolish the Lords (http://rupertsread.blogspot.com/2011/02/green-party-house-of-lords-candidate.html ). For detail on how I'd do this, see http://rupertsread.blogspot.com/2011/02/new-proposal-for-green-future-how-house.html