the personal and the political

It was shortly after 9.15 on the morning of Friday 4 May, 1979. We were gathered for the first lesson of the day. Our teacher asked us, a class of ten-year-olds, what important event had happened in the news. My hand was one of the first in the air. ‘Britain’s first woman prime minister!’ What … Continue reading the personal and the political


for a leaderful green party

The Green Party of England and Wales has published its list of candidates for a variety of official positions, including Leader and Deputy Leader. When current co-leader Caroline Lucas announced she would not be standing for re-election*, two names quickly emerged as front runners, seeking to continue the existing co-leadership model: current co-leader Jonathan Bartley … Continue reading for a leaderful green party

german election #2: greens, jamaica and dealing with the afd mindset

A month on from the German election, this post reflects on compromises and risks as the Greens continue Jamaica coalition talks, and also gives a personal take on how to respond to an emboldened and increasingly vocal AfD-mindset. the greens: could jamaica be a compromise too far? One of the biggest and thorniest topics up … Continue reading german election #2: greens, jamaica and dealing with the afd mindset

time for greens to abandon ‘leftwing populism’?

The debate about the future direction of the Greens continues. Much of the post-election discussion was preoccupied with the pros and cons of the progressive alliance strategy (all with the benefit of hindsight, of course). But what about the policies? Was the Green manifesto too leftwing? Not radical enough? Big questions, especially with local elections … Continue reading time for greens to abandon ‘leftwing populism’?

after the election: which way for the greens?

A week on from the General Election and the road ahead still unclear, what should Greens make of it all? With the exception of co-leader Caroline Lucas’ deservedly brilliant result in Brighton, it’s fair to say the hard work and passion that went into a particularly tough campaign wasn’t reflected in the results. Naturally there now … Continue reading after the election: which way for the greens?

state of play: reds, greens and reds

The recent election in Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), delivered a bitter blow to centre-left parties. The ruling Social Democrats (SPD) achieved their worst ever result: just 32.2% (-7.9%), while their Green coalition parters were reduced to 6.4% (-4.9%). For the Left Party it was an election of mixed fortunes: on the one … Continue reading state of play: reds, greens and reds

lines in the sand: greens and the progressive alliance

The recent parliamentary by-election turned out to be something of a game changer. Not only did the Lib Dems defeat Tory-turned-‘independent’ Zac Goldsmith, but the Greens, by deciding to stand aside, demonstrated how a Progressive Alliance might work in practice. The idea is that parties with a broadly progressive policy agenda set aside their differences to strategically … Continue reading lines in the sand: greens and the progressive alliance

brexit, democracy and ‘the people’

'Enemies of the people' and 'The judges versus the people'. Headlines like these, in the Mail and Telegraph respectively, not only give a flavour of, but also create the outraged response to Thursday's high court ruling that parliament alone has the authority to trigger article 50. This (rather hurriedly-written) blog lays out some of my personal … Continue reading brexit, democracy and ‘the people’

reaching out: what’s on your mind?

Jeremy Corbyn is confirmed as the leader of the Labour Party, with an increased mandate, after a contest that seemed to be mainly about MPs vs grassroots members and Westminster vs everywhere else. Now Labour has to overcome two big challenges: bringing together its own membership and transforming its grassroots supporters into voters. Both are … Continue reading reaching out: what’s on your mind?