By Shahrar Ali
I love this party. That’s not a phrase I’m afraid to use about it. Because every institution has a soul and that’s something, if you re-elect me, I would like us to keep in touch with.
It’s very important for us Greens, you see, because we go into politics not as a career but as a vocation. And although our critics might accuse us of idealism – by which they mean naivety – we’re nothing of the sort. We’re objective. We understand that we’re at the last chance saloon. If we don’t get a grip of sleepwalking into climate change oblivion then who else will?
So let’s be bold. Let’s not sell ourselves short.
This buzzword, “progressive alliance”, we’ve been doing it all the time. We have always been campaigning politicians, looking beyond narrow political confines, that’s what we’re about. We will always look beyond those party political divisions.But let’s not sell ourselves short at the same time. Because last time I checked nobody else was saying those things in that holistic way with the ambition of root and branch change of the economic system.
So what will you get with me? Accountability. That’s an important word and we’ve got to practice what we preach.
When Jo Cox was murdered we were the last people to say we weren’t standing in the by-election. Why is that? Because we’ve got accountability. We had to wait. It wasn’t just the leadership team saying “no we weren’t going to”. We had to wait for the local party to say that. And that’s very important.
Let’s avoid governance by press release. Let’s make sure however tempting it might be to issue something suddenly that we respect the grassroots of this party. One person, one vote.
And if you elect me as Deputy Leader again you can be sure that I’ll be raising that voice, not as a sycophant, but as somebody who is diligent and respects my fellow leadership companions, as an equal.
And I will lead by example, as one amongst equals.
Shahrar Ali is standing for Deputy Leader of the Green Party. He is currently one of two deputy leaders of the party and, in 2014, became in the process the first BME deputy of a UK parliamentary party. He is author of Why Vote Green 2015 and narrowly missed out on winning a seat on the London Assembly in 2016.
You can find out more about his 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.
Header image via Bradford District Green Party.