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GPEX Leadership Hustings

Greens of Colour hosted a hustings

To see the recording of the hustings click here:

Following the hustings, we asked candidates to answer the questions that were not answered on the day in written form below.

We also strongly suggested that they stick to a maximum of a 150 word limit for each question but we did not edit their response to fit this word count. We asked this so members did not have to read pages and pages of candidate responses.

Please see below the written questions:

Q8: "Given that 25% of the UK population are Disabled, and People of Colour are a majority, what actions are you taking to better understand and practically support Disabled People of Colour at a UK national level?"

 

Shahrar Ali

There is unfortunately still a lot of prejudice around disability and the proportion of disabled affects age groups differently. From 8% of children, rising to 19% for those of working age, then as great as 46% for pension age, Greens have a whole series of policy programmes to protect against unfair disadvantage to disabled people, their families and their carers in the UK. We must be proactive in our support for pupils and students in pre-school, primary and tertiary education – making sure they have the specialist support they need (e.g. Special educational needs support). We must also protect disabled against workplace discrimination, ensuring that all reasonable adjustments are made and that employers operate guaranteed interview schemes for qualified applicants. Finally, there is much work to be done in fully integrating pension-aged people into society, through intergenerational mentorship programmes, as well as making sure their basic needs are met. Disabled people of colour, statistically, face double disadvantage in life opportunities and more must be done to overcome institutional racism as a necessary step.


Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay (joint candidates*)

It starts with changing the language we use. Often terms like “minority” are used. That’s an artificial construct, instead we should use the language of liberation. 

We want to see liberation groups better supported within the party. We’ll champion funding, training and staff support for liberation groups like Greens of Colour and Green Party Disability Group, so that they have a platform to campaign on issues at local, regional, national and international levels.

The Greens of Colour ‘5 Demands’ campaign was an excellent example of this. We’ll back campaigns like these to help raise their profile.

The Green Party Disability Group have also been doing great work recently, including motions to Autumn conference.

We will consult with liberation groups regularly to tell us what they need and how we can help. And encourage local parties to do likewise, listening to diverse members when they say that something isn’t right.


Ashley Gunstock

In answer to Q8 & Q9, I am all for inclusivity which is the fundamental reason why I joined The Green Party and what it demands. Therefore, as Leader, I would actively campaign to promote our policies which upholds the rights of the individual and admits no discrimination of any kind.


Martin Hemingway and Tina Rothery (joint candidates*)

We have answered question 8 and 18 together

It is not the role of the Leaders of the Party to determine policy – we are a Party that is led by members in relation to policy making. This does not mean that the Leadership team should not be promoting policy, arguing for policy, and regarding this as a significant focus of current work.

The national social care budget has lost billions over the last decades, both as a result of the effect of austerity on national and local authority budgets, and due to a lack of concern for those requiring support under previous Labour and Conservative administrations. The recently proposed NI levy, with its prioritisation of the health care sector – focussed on maintaining a healthy workforce – will not even start to fill the shortfall created by previous cuts.

Disability – and half of social care is not for adult social care – is linked to poverty, both because poverty increases the risk of becoming disabled, and because disability increases the cost of living. The GPEW needs to be focussing on social care as a priority, and non-adult social care as a significant priority since this demands changes in public perception of disability as well as in providing appropriate support. Disability, is also, as question 8 indicates experienced disproportionately by people of colour, and this is linked to a disproportionate likelihood of suffering economic, educational and employment barriers experienced by people of colour. The changes that need to be made to deal with public attitudes to disability need to be linked to our work on racism.

Those working in the sector are poorly paid and often lack appropriate training. As question 18 indicates a significant proportion of the workforce is composed of people of colour, many of them women, many of them also dependent on the benefits system including Universal Credit themselves.

It is essential for the well being of those working in the sector, as well as those supported by the sector, that training is improved, that pay is improved and that the value of their work is reflected through these things. This should involve the minimisation of private sector provision where the need to generate profit affects the quality of life of those supported, and the working conditions of those in employment.

 


Tamsin Omond and Amelia Womack (joint candidates*)

We have launched our campaign to be focused on intersectionality. Racism, able-ism, class, sexuality and gender all work into specific intersections that lead to further oppression by society. Of course, these intersections vary amongst people, creating a unique experience of oppression for everyone, as well as the diverse society we live in. We have committed to work with people who represent different liberation groups to ensure that we are listening to the wealth of experiences in our party, in order to increase its diversity and challenge the structural oppressions in our society, because this is a necessity.

We will also challenge any austerity agenda that disproportionately harms disabled people, and work to ensure that there is investment into communities that undoes the systems that make people disabled by society.

Please see our liberation manifesto for more: https://www.womackomond.green/news/a-manifesto-for-liberation-2

Q9: "Given that 15% of the global population are Disabled - that is, about 1.2 billion people - where People of Colour are the majority, and are disproportionately harmed by climate change: How as a Leader are you going to act in the UK to make sure that we are globally supporting, empowering and uplifting the voices of Disabled People of Colour?"

 

Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay (joint candidates*)

We want to see more diversity through the Green Party, and empower people to grow their platforms under our banner. That starts with getting more disabled people, people of colour and disabled people of colour elected. 

We need to ensure being a candidate is accessible. Target to Win is a fantastic tool to win elections, but door knocking and leafleting shouldn’t be a barrier to getting disabled candidates selected and elected.

We also want to ensure diversity in our high profile Greens, e.g. making sure our empty spokespeople roles are filled by diverse candidates. We’ll work with the Green Party executive to make that happen.

And it is important that the Green Party of England and Wales strengthens links with our sister parties, especially in the Global South, who are at the forefront of fighting for democracy and justice in the face of climate change. We support the party sharing our skills, resources and knowledge, e.g. by inviting delegates to our conference, and making sure International Committee has the resources to engage with groups like Global Greens.


Ashley Gunstock

Q9 answered in Q8 


Martin Hemingway and Tina Rothery (joint candidates*)

(9,17,20 answered here)

Motion E3 to Autumn Conference 2020 referred to in question 17 is a good start point.

It “Calls for the UK government to establish an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice” and “Supports the calls from campaigners for the Government to commit to a holistic process of atonement and reparations, which adequately addresses Planet Repairs solutions to the ecocide arising from the climate and ecological crises, taking into consideration various proposals for reparation in accordance with the United Nations Framework on Reparations.” It further instructs “the campaigns and external communications coordinators to prioritise advocacy in pursuit of these two calls.”

The first point we want to pick up on is that the motion instructs members of GPEx to advocate/campaign on an issue. GPEx must recognise that campaigning on issues is an important part of what we must do, and that where the instruction comes from Conference it cannot be ignored. As members of GPEx we will support the calls for the Party to campaign on issues including the adequate provision of financial and staff support.

Secondly the focus of the motion is on the same complex of issues raised by the other two questions, and on the responsibility placed on those who have profited from colonialism, imperialism, unfair trade, and the immoral trade in people; and who are primarily responsible for the historical emissions that have created the current climate crisis to accept that responsibility, act on it, and as part of reparations pay for it.

This is one of the strands that we have highlighted elsewhere as needing to be addressed by COP26. Beside refusing to accept undeveloped future solutions (fairy tales), and refusing to blame China and the other countries to which we have exported our emissions, we have to accept this responsibility.

As noted elsewhere disability is linked to relative poverty, and global vulnerability to the consequences of climate change is also linked to national and individual poverty. The issue then becomes one we have so far had no questions on – international aid and its application.

The nations of the Global North have a duty to the global population, as well as a clear self-interest, in preventing the negative effects of climate change, and this is a core part of the campaigning of any Green Party. However they also have a duty to mitigate the effects of climate change which fall disproportionately on the population of the Global South. This will involve infrastructure, land recovery, reduction in the demands that breed deforestation, supporting local agricultural practices, diversification away from fossil fuels, acting on corruption and the tax avoidance practiced by multi nationals, on environmental degradation – the list goes on, but the core point is the acceptance of responsibility on the part of the nations of the Global North.

Question 20 has a narrower focus. Globally agriculture is a major contributor to the production of greenhouse gases (c.14%) – in particular methane and nitrous oxide, with livestock responsible for 80% of these emissions. Current projections are for a decline in meat eating in the Global North, and an increase in the Global South. There is a complex of issues that need to be addressed in relation to establishing a global sustainable food system, and we pick out only a couple here.

The production of crops (increasingly GM) in parts of the Global South to provide proteins and fats in the diet of animals in the Global North takes up productive land contributes to deforestation, and consumes fossil fuels. The lack of support for local small scale solutions using traditional techniques seen as effective in both East and West Africa (Songhai in Benin is a good example) as distinct from large scale schemes that send profits back to the North.

Our focus will be on campaigning for a shift from meat based diets, a shift towards localism to enhance diet and reduce transport costs. This will require action in relation to finance, taxation, education in the context of there being one shared home for which we all have shared responsibility.


 

Tamsin Omond and Amelia Womack (joint candidates*)

As part of our Liberation Manifesto we have committed to an education programme that supports international voices on intersectionality being told through people’s lived experiences. Global Greens conference is coming up, and it’s a further opportunity to be working internationally on our shared priorities.

 


Shahrar Ali

It is generally those least responsible for the worst impacts of climate change who are most forced to suffer the consequences (whether rising sea levels or drought) yet least able to afford remedies to deal with it. We must avoid manufacture and sale of arms, which invariably end up being used on some of the most marginalised societies in the world – and warring conflict will itself result in disfigurement and disability to many of those innocents caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Patriarchy coupled with religious fundamentalism also results in horrific consequences for women and girls made to endure FGM. Work-related injuries are also commonplace in sweatshop industries in faraway lands, fuelled by the West’s insatiable desire for yet more stuff. Nothing short of a rejection of global capitalism and its wholesale replacement with a just system of carbon-priced accounting and trading will be necessary as part of a solution that lifts disabled people of colour out of exploitative labour and into secure, fulfilling livelihoods. 

 

Q10: "Should the Green Party of England and Wales allow corporate donations to enable us to elect more Green Members of Parliament to Westminster? Or are we content with trying to get more members elected to lower tiers of government? What is the candidate/s’ preferred choice?"

Ashley Gunstock

As I said in my opening statement at your recent hustings, the time has also come to revisit our policies on party funding. Our refusal to accept corporate donations is clear and principled, but puts us at a huge electoral disadvantage. When you consider that the Liberal Democrats received over 30 times more in donations than the Green Party in 2019 and the Brexit Party over 15 times more than we did, is it any wonder that we find ourselves hopelessly outgunned at election time, or that our hopes for significant gains so often fail to materialise? I therefore believe that we should unashamedly seek investment from ecologically and socially ethical companies. 


Martin Hemingway and Tina Rothery (joint candidates*)

The way the question is phrased begs various questions. 

  1. Is the only barrier to electing more Green MP’s a lack of money? If we had more money we would be able to put more money into campaigns, but without change to the electoral system to make all votes matter will this make any significant difference. What we need to be doing is changing and tapping into voter behaviour, and this requires a focus on our messages. Here more money may help, but more important is a focus on access to the media, and the public mind.
  2. Asking ‘are we content’ with electing councillors implies that this is not an important activity. Local councils are important in themselves and we know that having a green voice at the table is important in spreading our message. Having local councillors may also be a factor in shifting the vote in parliamentary constituencies, although we know from experience that people vote differently in local and national elections, and that even when well placed, we may often be well behind the current MP.
  3. The final part can be taken in two ways – do we think the focus should be on parliamentary or local council elections; do we have a view on taking corporate donations. On the first we need to be campaigning on issues, campaigning to elect local councillors (mayors etc), and campaigning in Parliamentary elections, including with a focus on target and development seats. On the second we are not opposed to seeking external support from companies or unions, but this must require the establishment of clear ethical criteria, and their consistent application. 

 

Tamsin Omond and Amelia Womack (joint candidates*)

We are looking at ensuring that we are accessing new funding streams. In the last three years Tamsin has raised £1.5million for organisations that they have worked for, and by electing us, we would look at these funding streams for the Green Party. We however believe that it's essential that donors share the same values as we do, and we will always follow the party’s policy on major donors.

We want to prioritise our spending into winning more seats in the next General Election. The step to achieve that is to ensure that we continue to win more council seats that proves to voters that we can get elected and the difference we make when we do.


Shahrar Ali

When I was deputy leader, we did have some differences of opinion around matters of this sort and I would always go back to our due diligence for accepting donations and insist that it be followed to the letter and the spirit. We have a high reputation for political probity and mustn’t risk damaging that by short-circuiting or bending our own rules, especially when the temptation may be great. This doesn’t mean that corporate donations are out of the question (just as promotional deals with companies may not be), but I do expect us to keep a blacklist of companies that we simply will not choose to associate with and I would like us to take extra care about more subtle promotional deals and tie-ins, which I regard as equally problematic (especially as regards sharing of member data).

 


Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay (joint candidates*)

Green Party policy on corporate donations is clear: businesses that are ethical are allowed to donate, e.g. Ecotricity and Good Energy have a track record of giving. 

We can do more to encourage donations from ethical businesses. To do that we have to demonstrate our electoral capability and seriousness as a party. We believe we are the leadership team to do that.

Adrian has extensive fundraising experience as the CEO of two environmental charities and from his time as Green Party Deputy Leader when then record funds were raised for the 2010 election. He has built fundraising plans and led on directly engaging with donors, frequently raising five and six figure sums.

Carla also brings experience running crowdfunding campaigns for the 2015 and 2019 Bristol West General Election campaigns, and representing the Green Party to major donors locally and bi-nationally.

The party has a strong professional fundraising team and we would support their work to take the party’s fundraising strategy to the next level.

But we must continue to set a clear line: contributions from businesses that don’t pay a fair wage, have unethical supply chains, have a poor environmental record or who evade tax would not be welcome.

 

Q11: "When a co-Leader or deputy leader representing the Green Party of England and Wales, says or does something harmful / offensive to a particular community, what would you do to hold them properly accountable?"

Martin Hemingway and Tina Rothery (joint candidates*)

Members of the Leadership team are (a) members of the party (b) in a position of special responsibility that makes any comment on their part higher profile than that of another party member. This latter responsibility they must be aware of at all times and not just when formally representing the Party.

As with any dispute the first step must be making contact and setting out the concern – it might be that this was inadvertent, and that an apology, and some training/guidance will prevent any repetition. The complaints procedure would also require that mediation be attempted before any further steps are taken.

As members of the party members of the leadership team are subject to the party complaints procedure, and this track could be pursued. As members of the Leadership team they are subject to recall either by GPRC, or by members of the Party. However we would expect that if something seriously harmful to the image of the Party had occurred this would be dealt with without the need for formal steps.

One must bear in mind that in relation to party policy the leader can differ from policy as long as they state clearly what party policy is.


Tamsin Omond and Amelia Womack (joint candidates*)

Our party has structures and systems for the members to hold leaders accountable, and leadership don’t have any influence over those systems. We have also pledged in our liberation manifesto to learn from diverse communities to ensure accurate representation of the party's values. 


Shahrar Ali

National spokespersons, including our leadership team, are bound by codes of conduct and serious contraventions should be dealt with in the normal way. Our External Communications Co-ordinator and GPEx have also put in place support structures to help anticipate and deal with any occasional mistakes. I have ample experience of helping to overcome negative news stories alongside our Press Office. For example, during the 2015 general election campaign, I was once given the job of getting us out of trouble regarding negative reactions to comments Natalie had made about the rights of terrorists. I used a live BBC interview to explain our party policy in current context and helped protect the reputation of both the party and our leader. More recently, Jonathan made damaging comments about halal meat – for which he subsequently apologised, but only after repeating them. I think you can rely upon me not to make serious errors, but of course we all make mistakes occasionally and it’s important to learn from them in a culture of support and responsiveness. 


Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay (joint candidates*)

As leaders we want to be accountable to our membership and we will work closely with our liberation groups. 

We hope that harm is never done by leadership. And we have to take steps to avoid it. That starts with equality training for the leadership, executive and staff team. We’d like to see that embedded. 

If harm is done we want to see robust processes to address it, with mediation and reconciliation as the start. Our liberation groups and Dispute Resolution Committee could be empowered 


Ashley Gunstock

I would insist on hearing what is the situation between the from both parties and also inform them that, as it is a serious matter, it would have to go through a Green Party tribunal for censure.

more to put together processes that break down barriers and build a path back into trust and reparations.

 

Q17: "What actions are you taking or do you intend to take to support the Green Party of England and Wales 'Reparations for the Transatlantic Trafficking of Enslaved Afrikans' policy, adopted in 2020?”

 

Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay (joint candidates*)

First of all, it is essential that we are communicating this policy in the press and media. In 2019 Amelia wrote an article on the importance of reparations for all the generations that have experienced untold trauma as a result of the slave trade and it’s 500 year impact on Black communities in the UK. This was hard to pitch to the press, despite the fact that at the time Cleo Lake was removing portraits of slave traders off the wall of Bristol City Hall. The world has changed since then, our policy has become clearer, and we have a real opportunity to be the only party that’s promoting this step towards justice.

We will also work to support councillors in declaring local motions on reparations in their council chambers and support Greens of Colour in any work you are working on to take it to parliament.

Tamsin has worked on securing the UK Parliament to declare a climate emergency and went on to help Parliaments all over the world to do the same. We will use this knowledge and experience to support Greens of Colour to deliver your campaigns.


Shahrar Ali

I have been active on this campaign on an annual basis, supporting the campaigns and marches or speaking at actions organised by Stop Maangamizi in Brixton. Here’s an example of press activity around this in Evening Standard carrying my quotes as Deputy Leader https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/reparations-march-hundreds-take-to-the-streets-of-brixton-calling-for-amends-for-generations-of-slavery-a3309246.html. This excellent motion to conference has also been the focus of a collaborative statement in Tower Hamlets facilitated by our local Green Party.

 


Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay (joint candidates*)

We need to get the message out! We would like to see more reparations motions passed by Green councillors on their local councils, as has already happened in Lambeth and Bristol. This requires more collaboration on what reparations look like at a local level. We also want to elevate the voices of Greens of Colour spokespeople on this important issue.


 Ashley Gunstock

I would follow up the Lambeth council motion to press the government to establish a commission to study the impact of our country's involvement in this awful episode in our history and demand that just reparations are made.


Martin Hemingway and Tina Rothery (joint candidates*)

We have answered questions (9,17,20 answered on Q9)

 

Q18: "Current UK social care policies are particularly debilitating to lower income people, and many People of Colour are involved in delivering care as part of the gig economy. What actions are you taking to improve Green Party of England & Wales social care policy?"

Shahrar Ali

I will continue to speak out against this government’s harmful policies, most recently the national insurance income tax proposals for social care, which will disproportionately impact lower income households. I have a particular interest in campaigning against and exposing the negative impact of Covid on many of these workers, in social and healthcare itself. Here is a recent article https://greenworld.org.uk/article/bame-life-chances-covid-inequality-and-death


Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay (joint candidates*)

We need an ‘NHS for social care’ - one that pays staff a living wage and provides care that is free at the point of use. 

This should be a prominent part of our offer at the next General Election. It is clear now that the other parties won’t do this.

The false divide between “health care” and “social care” has created decades of disadvantage. Our care services must be fully funded and they must be seen as a career. Staff must be treated better, and part of that is about supporting unions. Carla gave vocal support to the Sage Care Home workers striking with United Voices of the World earlier this year. 

 


Ashley Gunstock

Again, if I were Green Party Leader, I would campaign for the implementation of our policies to promote social care and welfare for all who are in need, without discrimination.


Tamsin Omond and Amelia Womack (joint candidates*)

As per the party's structures, we would support a policy working group to be established that is led by people affected by social care policies to be the voice for our policies. This enables the leadership to have evidence based policies that analyse the gaps in society left by our failing government. 

In the past, Amelia has connected into working groups such as the Drugs Policy Working Group to ensure that she is communicating the policies as they evolve and ensure that she is calling out the problems in society that are not being addressed.

Martin Hemingway and Tina Rothery (joint candidates*)

We have answered question 8 and 18 together

 

Q19: "We're seeing an intensification of violence against women across the globe - such as rises in femicides, toxic masculinity in so-called 'involuntary celibacy culture', domestic violence, female genital mutilation, and forced marriage during the pandemic. How do you think the Green Party of England and Wales should aim to tackle this, and what would your personal policy aims be as leader”

 

Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay (joint candidates*)

Tackling misogyny and ending violence against women and girls is a core tenet of the Green Party’s commitment to social justice. 

As a Councillor, Carla campaigned with ACORN community union to secure better safe housing for domestic violence survivors. Many Green Councillors are making changes like this. We can support more Greens to do so by working with the Association of Green Councillors, Green Party Women and others, providing premade campaigns on tackling violence against women and girls 

We also think as leaders we have a responsibility to challenge the rise of far right toxicity, including ‘incel’ culture. It is important to know when to engage with people on social media, traditional media and real life; and when to recognise that engaging with bad faith actors only stokes division and provides a platform for hate. Carla faced this decision in 2019 when invited onto a panel with Carl Benjamin, a far right YouTuber who stood for UKIP in the European Parliament 2019 elections and had made threats of sexual violence towards an MP. Carla refused to share a platform with him, calling on the organisers to replace him with another of the party’s candidates.

Finally, we should work with Green Parties in the Global South to challenge FGM. We can support these parties to grow their voices via our international work, and ensure our campaigning here on the issue is authentic.

 


Ashley Gunstock

This is a dreadful symptom and reflection of how low our society has become. It will take a good deal of work to repair the damage that has been wreaked by this government by its inaction to deal with violence against women. Support systems must be implemented and/or strengthened for those who are most vulnerable, along with stronger sentences for these crimes and a programme to educate those who have little or no respect for the rights of women's and how they should be allowed to feel safe and protected.


Martin Hemingway and Tina Rothery (joint candidates*)

Male violence against women, linked to violent attacks elsewhere, and to the activity of a range of groups – as highlighted by Laura Bates in ‘Men who hate Women’ – has been highlighted by the recent attack in Plymouth.

Government needs to work in three ways, and the GPEW should be pressing these issues.

Misogyny is a hate crime, and part of recognising it as such is to link it with the approach to other hate crimes in terms of police action. There may also be a role for the flawed PREVENT programme, with its current racist focus on the Muslim community. PREVENT needs to be repurposed, with animal rights and environmental campaigners taken out, and with misogynist radicalisation given a significant focus. This is an area in which government action can be straightforward. The problem exists and we need actions not words.

Linked to this the government needs to be pressuring the social media companies to modify algorithms that direct innocent enquiries rapidly to extreme content that will earn them more money. The companies have been resistant and taxation must be used as a means of focussing their attention (as well as taxing them properly anyway).

The third track is through direct inclusion in education in schools which has been shown to be effective in changing male attitudes, and the provision of facilities that bring young people together. Perhaps the most significant statistic here is that 600 youth clubs closed between 2009 and 2016 – victims of austerity.


Tamsin Omond and Amelia Womack (joint candidates*)

Amelia has previously worked to make misogyny a hate crime, to address issues of misogyny before it exposes itself as violence against women. She has worked cross party to secure better funding for councils in supporting women to leave abusive relationships during lockdown. She has also challenged austerity that has led to the deviation of services that support women and victims of violence.

Our feminism will always be intersectional and international, and we have put these aspects in our liberation manifesto.


Shahrar Ali

Firstly, it’s important that your primary spokesperson carry the authority of party policy and not indulge in personal mission statements. I have that self-discipline and knowledge of policy to be able to speak authoritatively on political topics, as deputy leader for two years and having held several roles as national party spokesperson (international, home affairs and currently policing and domestic safety). I have been proactive on supporting campaigns to end violence against women and girls and not afraid to call problems according to their proper names (e.g. FGM). The recent Plymouth mass murderer was characterised as having links to grotesquely misogynistic networks, including “incel” ideology – which does raise the question of terroristic extremism as an aggravating feature of what he had perpetrated and whether we shouldn’t therefore put more policing resource into prevention measures in future.

 

Q20: "The climate emergency is now 'Code Red for Humanity'. The white-led environmental movement is finally starting to admit the huge climate impact of industrialized animal agriculture e.g. through deforestation, and methane & nitrous oxide emissions. How will you ensure that Global Minority (North) countries take decisive action for a just, sustainable global food system, that respects and fully meets the needs of the Global South Majority?"

Ashley Gunstock

Quite simply, by continuing and strengthening our campaigning in the promotion of our all inclusive and climate catastrophe combatting Manifesto.


Martin Hemingway and Tina Rothery (joint candidates*)

We have answered questions 9, 17 and 20 together


Tamsin Omond and Amelia Womack (joint candidates*)

Amelia and Tamsin have written a COP Manifesto that analyzes the inequalities created by the global minority.

“Social justice must be global as well as domestic.  The world’s richest nations have consistently failed to fund loss and damage and to meet financial commitments pledged at COP. Despite our responsibility for the harm of colonialism, slavery and historic emissions - the UK has shamefully cut overseas aid from 0.7% to 0.5% of national income. We will redress the solidarity gap, pledging our share of the £100billion that has been promised at previous COPs and proposing a Global Green New Deal and climate reparations to the countries harmed by exploitative colonial practices.”


Shahrar Ali

The Northern countries continue to take far more than their share in terms of so many resources, food production being just one example. I would strongly promote our Green Party policy on moving away from animal farming and towards plant-based food production. It remains the case that many UK farmers are frightened of green politics, feel under threat, and greatly resent being told what to do by people sitting in offices in cities.  There is a lot of work to be done to get them on board with policies to reduce livestock farming and promote environmentally constructive practices.  Current UK Government guidelines are moving in this direction, but too slowly, and I believe this is an area where the Green Party is particularly well-placed to press for more rapid change.  


Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay (joint candidates*)

The industrialised agriculture system dominant in the Global North has had a major impact on climate and on natural habitats around the world, often at the expense of sustainable local food systems for people in the Global South. 

There can be no climate justice without racial justice and global economic justice. The Global North must support and fund the Global South to undertake a just transition to a sustainable and compassionate global food system. Reparations should be part of solving the Climate and Ecological Emergencies at the global level. 

Any global climate deal that doesn’t do this misses the mark. We’ll demand more of any plan that doesn’t boost a zero carbon planet with Green jobs for everyone. This is our opportunity to bring equality, good paying jobs and justice to all corners of the planet.

 

 

Q21: "How would you encourage the Green Party of England and Wales to practically engage with and attract people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities?"

Martin Hemingway and Tina Rothery (joint candidates*)

We recognise that there is a long history of prejudice against GRT communities and that continuing anti GRT prejudice is widespread in Europe. It is important that two motions are coming to Autumn conference from the GRT community – one to establish a working group to work on party policy, and the other to add to PSS a working definition on Anti Gypsy Roma Travellerism. We will be supporting these motions and doing what we can to support the work of the Working Group, and the publicity around these issues. It has been encouraging to see the unity of a diverse range of groups who are standing together against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that seeks to penalise and prevent protest; uniting previously unconnected campaigns and enriching the co-operation between them. Utilising these shared threats (to protest and planet) to build better networks and co-operation is something to keep building on.


Tamsin Omond and Amelia Womack (joint candidates*)

In our Liberation manifesto we have specifically out-lined the need to be telling the lived experiences of GRT communities through our education programme. We are also committed to speaking against the new policing and crime bill that criminalises nomadic lifestyles. 

We should be highlighting how GRT communities experience environmental racism as traveller sites are often places in places where there are levels of toxic waste or air pollution that homes for other communities would ever be allowed there.

We’d also work with Green councillors who want to win back historic stopping sites that have been closed to them by the Criminal Justice Act.  

We would also work to prioritise pro-GRT motions at conferences as an important way to ensure that we are providing effective and robust support for communities.


Shahrar Ali

Racial violence and discrimination against the Roma and wider travelling community is a big issue.  I am extremely concerned about the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts bill currently making its way through Parliament. Not only does this bill have grave implications with regard to our right to protest, it also has potentially very negative implications for travellers. One of my first acts, if elected leader, will be to speak out strongly against this bill, pointing out the implications and the hardships it would inevitably lead to if passed. I have already begun the work of speaking out against these abuses of state power in my role as spokesperson for Policing and Domestic Safety.


Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay (joint candidates*)

We want the Green Party to be at the forefront of fighting for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller rights. It starts with fighting the Policing Bill. So many of the public are unaware that this bill will criminalise traveller lives - we have to get this message out clearly. It is a gross over-step of government powers that threatens human rights. If it passes we should work with the communities to expose their mistreatment and demand change.

We have to elevate the voices of Gypsy, Roma and Travellers themselves, and encourage our spokespeople to use their platforms to work collaboratively with GRT communities to build public outrage against this bill. 

We’d also like to support more training for our councillors so they are more aware of the needs of the GRT community.


Ashley Gunstock

I believe that The Green Party does try to engage with people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities and, if I were leader, we would continue to do so but with a stronger emphasis on how our policies support all minority communities.

 

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