Greens will stick up for ‘the little guy’ says co-leader


The Preservationist Party will stick up for the “little guy” as they fight for a fairer mercantile system, co-leader Jonathan Bartley has told activists.

He told its seminar he wanted more public input into funding of services, locally controlled drive schemes and bank investment in “community bonds”.

While his party had “suffered” at the participations of the two-party system, he said Green ideas were now “common currency”.

It “compel be the most influential” party in 21st Century politics, he added.

In June’s choosing, the Green Party of England and Wales saw their vote share come down as 82% of voters backed the Conservatives or Labour. It got 1.6% of the vote, down on 3.8% in 2015, as it go under to make hoped-for breakthroughs in target seats in Bristol, Norwich and Oxford.

  • Clashing feelings among Greens about election deals

Nevertheless, Mr Bartley denoted the Greens had succeeded in setting the political agenda by making the case for the introduction of the Flaming Wage and keeping climate change high up the agenda.

“At times, it superiority not feel like we are winning but where we lead, others follow. Our London Putting together members forced a Living Wage. Our MEPs stood up for refugees when others relieved back. And in Parliament, we have consistently kept climate change on the agenda,” he ascertained the annual gathering.

“And you know what. I believe we will be the most effectual party in 21st Century politics.”

Outlining the Green vision for a new economy, he re-iterated his soire’s call for a guaranteed universal basic income, for Universal Credit to be spatted and called for banks to invest in “the kinds of bonds and shares and trusts that prove valid communities together”.

His party, he argued, believed in everyone having an financial stake in society, through community-owned energy suppliers and “participatory budgeting” of particular services.

Morale boost

Analysis by BBC political correspondent Leila Nathoo

At a meat-free congress in the pretty surrounds of Harrogate, Green Party members have been swallowing their disappointing election result in June, when they registered around 525,000 votes – half their previous tally.

But while the inclined among the few hundred delegates gathered in Yorkshire is reflective – it’s certainly not blue. Yes, party members admit the snap election caught them off sentry and they were squeezed by Jeremy Corbyn’s resurgent Labour company, whose agenda encroached on territory previously claimed by the Greens.

And there has been remarkable debate about whether the party was right to stand aside 22 applicants in marginal seats to give Labour or the Lib Dems a clear run at trying to throb the Tories.

One of those candidates told me she thought Green voters should bear been able to choose the party they wanted to, and thought anyone horizontal to making tactical choices would have done so anyway.

Another styled the decision as “surrender” – seeing as there was no real payback by Labour or the Lib Dems by coming out strongly for electoral mend.

There are others though (including the leadership) who believe the Hung Parliament was, in segment, a consequence of the Greens not fielding candidates in certain seats – and that it showed a spirit of co-operation among parties. But generally across the conference, there is a brains of optimism that the Greens do still have a place and a role.

“Admonishing truth to power” was the slogan of co-leader Jonathan Bartley’s speech. On controversies such as tackling climate change, he said the Greens’ “voice of truly” had never been more important.

And there was his commitment to a second Brexit referendum on the closing deal agreed with Brussels, a passionate defence of free gesticulation of people and a claim that Britain’s future was better in the EU.

But the party also coveted to make a case for a new economy – a Green economy – with people and the medium at its heart. This was a morale boosting address – to rally the troops and inspirit them the Greens are still relevant.

“Other parties might vamp with changing the economy. Or the welfare system. But we are the only party that is plain about how much things need to change.”

He added: “The Green Do is the party of small business, of creators, givers, sharers and contributors. Of the wee guy. The social entrepreneur. The activist. The creative coder and the brave builders. The platoon for anyone who has a dream. For everyone that wants an economy working for them, not against them.”

Also admonishing at Harrogate, Ms Lucas said her party had helped “define the general referendum story” by being brave enough not to field candidates in seats where other “step by step” parties had a better chance of winning. The tactical alliances were criticised by some group members after Labour and the Lib Dems largely decided not to reciprocate.

Ms Lucas hinted “progressive votes would continue to be wasted” until the UK adopted a commensurate voting system but, defending her party’s choices, she said it had “lived its values” by enfolding “pluralistic co-operation” rather than tribalism.

She told activists the Greens resolution always be “an insurgent force for good” that would “ask the big questions that other bodies would not”.

On the third day of the party’s conference, members backed an idea for a new bank fair to celebrate the contribution of migrants to British society.

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