The ‘communique’ from the Partie Verte Tunisien from the training event that I ran last week, funded by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.

Parti Tunisie Verte                                                                   Tunis, le 23 octobre 2012

Séminaire du Parti Tunisie Verte et du Parti Vert Anglais et Gallois

Le 20 et 21 octobre 2012 s’est tenu à Mahdia (Tunisie) un atelier de travail organisé par le Parti Tunisie Verte et le Parti Vert Anglais et Gallois.
Cet atelier a été animé par deux camarades délégués du Parti Vert Anglais et Gallois, des responsables des fédérations, des membres du bureau national et du coordinateur national du Parti Tunisie Verte. Ce séminaire a été soutenu par la fondation « Westminster » pour la démocratie.
Un débat démocratique et franc s’est engagé entre les présents sur les thèmes suivants : 
La vision d’avenir du « Parti Tunisie Verte »,
La structuration des partis et leur rapport avec les autorités politiques,
Les alliances envisagées,
Le recrutement des militants et adhérents,
L’expérience Anglaise et Galloise en matière de financement, 
Les rapports avec les mass-médias ainsi que les associations de la société civile et leur valeur politique et idéologique,
Le soutien des Verts Européens et du Parti Vert Anglais et Gallois au Parti Tunisie verte.
Suite à ce séminaire, une proposition importante a été votée par la majorité des présents. Elle consiste à renforcer la direction collégiale et à élargir la démocratie de base. « Tous les secrétaires généraux des fédérations feront parti dorénavant du bureau national, première instance politique du Parti et la création d’un conseil fédéral composé par des membres élus de chaque fédération (un membre par fédération) ».

Le Coordinateur National 
Abdelkader Zitouni

Green Party Leader to Visit UEA

I’ll be doing a photocall with @NatalieBen at the start of this event: 

The Green Party society at UEA are hosting a speaker event with the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, Natalie Bennett. Natalie Bennett was elected leader of the Green Party in September 2012, having previously worked as a journalist during which time she edited the international newspaper The Guardian Weekly. 

Natalie will be delivering a talk on fair pay at 3.30pm in Congregation Hall 01.20 on Wednesday 31st October.

#GreenParty announces its MEP candidates, with a clarion call for clean politics

The Green Party is the first to announce its candidates for the 2014 Euro-elections. The Green Party’s list of candidates for the 2014 European elections in the East of England will be officially announced this weekend at the Green Party’s Regional Annual General Meeting in Cambridge. The list as follows:

 

Dr. Rupert Read of Norwich, Co-ordinator of Eastern Region Green Party, is 1st on the list – followed by


C’llr. Mark Ereira-Guyer of Suffolk County Council;

Jill Mills of St. Alban’s, who  represents Eastern Region on the Green Party’s governing body;

C’llr. Ash Haynes of Norwich, one of the 15 Norwich Green City Councillors;

Eroica Mildmay, renowned anti-Tesco campaigner from Sheringham;

Marc Scheimann of Luton, long-time Green campaigner;

& Robert Lindsay, former Times journalist, of Babergh in Suffolk.

 

Leading the Green Party’s list of candidates here in the East of England is Rupert Read, who in 2009 came within just 1% of becoming the Greens’ first MEP in this Region. Rupert, a friend of famous independent anti-sleaze campaigner Martin Bell, is a teacher who went to a comprehensive school and now teaches at the University of East Anglia.

 

Rupert Read said: ‘The Green Party is different from other Parties, because we do not allow any corporate donations, except from ethical companies. This means not only that our elected representatives are free from the temptations of greed but more importantly that our policies are created with people—not big-money interests—in mind. We’re about clean energy, a cleaner environment; and we’re about reforming the EU and the economy, and about maintaining higher ethical standards in public life.”

 

Dr. Read concluded: “Greens do politics differently. You won’t find careerist politicians in the Green Party! We join the Greens because we want to make a better world for people. Green politics is clean politics: we are here to clean up British and European politics. Green candidates have a clean record and honest intentions. We are going to show people that there is a positive alternative to other Parties.”

 

Party-funding reform proposals for the real world

 

 

Why should the public purse fund a two-party political elite?

  

A new report that I’ve co-authored, on party funding, argues that the problems of a failing political system need urgent attention and that only then can the question of equitable party funding be resolved. 

 

The report, published by the independent think tank Green House (that I chair), is being launched on 13th October, at a conference in London timed to mark the exact 40th anniversary of the meeting that led to the creation of Britain‘s Green Party. Strangled by the Duopoly argues that if we take the needs of voters as our starting point, instead of simply serving the existing party system, this will take us beyond isolated discussions of how parties are funded to the wider crisis of UK democracy – including questions of electoral system, participation-rates and corporate power:

·         We’re at the point where twice as many people don’t vote for the two main parties as do, despite the fact that only these two parties can lead a government.

·         The ‘marginal problem’ is getting worse; the number of Labour-Conservative marginals has fallen from an average of 160 in the period 1955-66 to just 86 in 2010-16. As the number falls so fewer and fewer voters exert greater amounts of power and are courted more and more intensively by elite parties.

·         This leaves our democracy unable to respond to rapid social, economic, demographic and environmental change, governed instead by two parties deeply rooted in the 18th and 19th centuries.

·         Polling indicates that where ordinary people favour state funding they do so to the extent that it takes away the influence of the big funders – and that clearly includes the Trades Unions.

·         There is nothing contradictory about the public being opposed to both large donations and to increased state funding. Seeking to end the corrupt culture of the big donors and refusing to give further money to the governing parties that have ceased to represent anything more than a small minority of the population is a consistent position and one that dove tails with low electoral turnouts.

 

The Green House report recommends that:

1. any state funding for political parties must be based primarily on parties’ membership levels and be paid to constituency parties, not central party offices

2. local government be afforded the level of autonomy that it enjoyed until the 1980s

3. the Milliband donation cap of £5,000 be adopted

4. theTrade Union levy be made an opt-in.

5. those parties in receipt of state funding offer a genuine participation in policy creation to members, including subsidized access to party conferences.

6. that voters, in the same way that Trades Union members can donate to a political levy to the party of their choice, should be able to donate a ‘per-vote’ contribution to the registered party or to no party at all if they do not wish.

 

It is our contention in this report that any reform of party funding that does not include these measures will be little more than window-dressing and – as such – a time-wasting precursor to the next funding scandal.

To read the full report visit:

http://www.greenhousethinktank.org/page.php?pageid=publications

                              

This Report will be launched at the Green House conference, The future of green politics in the UK on 13th October.   University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London. 9.30am to 5.00pm.  For a press pass please contact email Sarah Hards at events @ greenhousethinktank.org. The conference is being held 40 years to the day after the so-called ‘Club of 13’ first met. This was the group of people who formed the PEOPLE Party, which was later renamed the Ecology Party and later still became the Green Party.  Contributors include Caroline Lucas MP, Roger Scruton, author of Green Philosophy and Michael Jacobs former special advisor to Gordon Brown and visiting Professor of Climate Change, LSE.