by Amelia Womack
Like almost half of the country, I woke up pretty devastated on June 24th. It’s now been a month since the result was announced, and we’re only just beginning to get hints of the ramifications – whether it’s the collapse in funding to research, or the threat of EU nationals here potentially being kicked out as they’re used as a bargaining chip for the Brexit negotiations.
All the confusion is made worse by the immediate crisis the Labour Party was plunged into. Many felt that Labour failed to speak up loud and clear during the EU referendum. But it has been exacerbated in the aftermath by the party being so wrapped up in its own turmoil – and they have so far failed to offer any clear response to the vote.
That’s just one of many reasons why the Green Party is needed now more than ever. During the vote – through the cross-party Another Europe is Possible and Greens for a Better Europe campaigns that myself and others set up – it was the Greens putting forward a positive, progressive vision for the EU. We were proudly defending environmental and social gains, and standing up for freedom of movement, in the face of a placid and often directionless Britain Stronger In campaign.
So in the wake of the EU referendum result, the Greens have to be at the forefront of defending the social rights and environmental protections that this country needs – and which risk being ripped up by the Tories in the face of a Labour Party in the midst of a civil war.
So it’s essential that the Greens have the team we need to stand up for the rights that are now in jeopardy. That’s why I’m re-standing for Deputy Leader.
Over the past two years, I’ve worked tirelessly to promote the Greens as a proudly progressive party, and to build on the ‘Green Surge’ – going up and down the country to help the Greens become stronger than we’ve ever been. I’m re-standing to continue that work and to take our party further forward in this crucial two years ahead, particularly as we may well have a General Election coming up.
It’s not always easy being a young woman in politics. But spending the past two years raising issues too often ignored by other parties – from pushing for a positive climate change agreement, to opposing cuts to women’s refuges and campaigning for Britain to take in Syrian refugees – whether in the media or in debates, in hustings and at rallies – all of this has only strengthened my resolve.
And to do all this work and more, it’s vital the Greens are campaigning at every level, with strong local parties to make this a truly national movement, in the midst of so many problems we need to face. I’ve focused on that over the last two years. And now I want to ensure the Greens are a united, progressive party going forward.
We can build on all this work, so I’m proud to be re-standing for Deputy Leader – because in the midst of all the crises we face, with a strong and united team we can, must and will be the voice for hope in this country.
The EU vote was dispiriting. But we can be at the forefront of the response to it, defending social justice and our environment where others won’t. After spending the past two years building the party’s grassroots and promoting the Greens as a major party of the left (and proudly, unequivocally of the left, too, unlike other parties), I believe I’m in a good position to lead this campaign.
Let’s not stop the momentum now – let’s build on it and, in the face of so much uncertainty, lead the push for a progressive way forward after June 23rd.
Amelia Womack is standing as a candidate for the Deputy Leadership of the Green Party of England and Wales. Amelia is currently one of the two Deputy Leaders of the Green Party. In 2015, she stood as candidate in the General Election for the Camberwell and Peckham constituency, where she received 10% of the vote and was the lead candidate in the Welsh Assembly elections for South Wales Central.
You can find out more about her campaign here.
Every Green Party member receives a vote in the forthcoming Deputy Leadership election, which will take place from the 25th of July to the 25th of August. The Norwich Radical have invited all candidates for Leader and Deputy Leader to submit one article to us on their campaign.