'In our first 100 days as leaders, we will meet with the UK’s leading progressive thinkers and movements to understand and promote the best ideas for a low-carbon future'
Amelia Womack has been the deputy leader of the Green Party since 2014 and is a candidate for Green Party Co-Leader.
Tamsin Omond is a British author, environmental activist and journalist and is also a candidate for Green Party Co-Leader with Amelia Womack.
This is a pivotal time: for our communities, our planet – and for the Green Party. Our party has a crucial role to play in seizing the possibilities for change opened up by the COVID crisis and pushing for the action we need on climate chaos in the months and years ahead. There has never been a greater need for dynamic, radical leadership, rooted in community – and that is what we are offering.
Our priorities, if elected, are clear. We want to establish the Green Party as the go-to voice on the climate, building a platform from which we can push the government for stronger action on climate chaos, and inspire millions of members, voters and supporters. We want to ensure that the Green Party is on the right side of history, standing up for trans people, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and defending the rights of all those who are marginalised. And we want to build on the brilliant work of so many elected politicians, up and down the country, to turn our Green Party into a transformative political force.
With local elections in the Spring, we have a vital opportunity to capitalise on the historic gains we made earlier this year and build a strong foundation ahead of the next general election. As leaders, we will visit target parliamentary constituencies and work with the local campaign teams to build media and organising strategies; visit target campaigns in every region ahead of the 2022 local elections; and build on the successes of programmes like Campaign School and Target To Win to ensure that we run the strongest and most dynamic election campaigns we ever have.
We know that voters are weary of politicians second-guessing and triangulating for votes – and want politicians who stand up for what they believe in. One of our most urgent tasks as co-leaders would be to challenge the expected austerity budget, which would see the government punishing the poorest and most vulnerable in society and pushing our public services further into crisis. The Covid pandemic has laid bare the failure of our crumbling economic system – but instead of pushing for an alternative, the Labour party has retreated into empty flag-waving, attempting to appeal to an imagined centre ground. Just as we did in 2015, the Green Party must be the voice for the alternative: we knew then that austerity wasn’t the answer, and we must say it loud and clear again now.
As co-leaders, we will be working to build that alternative. In our first 100 days as leaders, we will meet with the UK’s leading progressive thinkers and movements to understand and promote the best ideas for a low-carbon future; solidify our relationships with campaigning groups, from grassroots organisations to big NGOs; and give a platform to the policies we already know people want – like a wealth tax, a four-day week, and putting the railways back in public hands.
We know that these policies are popular, but in the past people haven’t trusted the Green Party to deliver them – or heard enough from us to know what our policies are. As co-leaders, we will meet with journalists and news editors to work towards better and fairer coverage of our ideas. Both experienced media performers, we will establish the Greens – and us as leaders – as the go-to voice on climate issues. And with COP26 just around the corner, we will use the summit as a ‘Green Surge’ moment, taking the opportunity of greater media coverage on climate issues to grow the party.
We have work to do within the party, too. Divisive culture wars have damaged relationships and prevented us from working together towards the future we want to see. Our priority is to ensure that everyone – particularly those from marginalised groups – is able to contribute to our party, by supporting all members to learn about equality and diversity issues, and developing a proper process for dealing with hate speech. We know that everyone in the Green Party believes in a future free from inequality or oppression – and we hope to bring the party together to make that future a reality.
This is a huge moment for the Green Party, and we are so excited by the possibilities ahead of us. But the scale of change needed is enormous, and for that we will all need to get stuck in. Join the Green Party, vote for Amelia and Tamsin, and then work to elect Green leaders across the country – so that we can create real political change.
Left Foot Forward is offering a platform to all of the Green Party leadership candidates