Leslie Rowe has submitted his nomination to be leader of the Green Party in England and Wales. Here is the statement accompanying that application.
Have you looked out of the window lately? You know as well as I do that climate change is not a campaign for the future, its effects are being felt here and now.
That is why I am standing for leader of the Green Party. I want the Green Party to focus on climate change, on localism, democracy and economic de-growth and not on the EU. Prior to the 2016 EU referendum we, in the interests of democracy, faithfully promised to accept the result. We should do that now and move on.
Our basic message has long been of replacing a pro-growth consumer society with a society wedded to conserving our environment. We have been told many times that if the world wishes to avoid exceeding the 2°C rise in global temperatures that will trigger non-reversible climate change, then the wealthiest countries, including the UK, have to adopt a de-growth strategy for a limited period.
"Having even a 50/50 chance of keeping the planet under a 2-degree level of warming is incompatible with economic growth," author Naomi Klein said at the 2014 Leipzig De-growth conference.
We should return to our roots and actively campaign for a UK de-growth economic policy, a beacon for the rest of the world to follow.
In the Green Party policy statement, EU100 we state "In our Green vision for Europe we seek to replace the unsustainable economics of free trade and unrestricted growth with the ecological alternative of local self reliance and resource conservation, within a context of wider diversity."
This is totally at odds with the declared aim of the EU for continuing Economic Growth. In his opening statement laying out his vision for the single market, the President of the European commission, Jean Claude Juncker put economic growth as the main goal of the single market.
There is no evidence that this policy will change in the foreseeable future.
In fact, economic policy in the EU is controlled by the unelected and secretive Eurogroup. As Yanis Varoufakis said in his book "Adults in the Room" ..."democracy had indeed died the moment the Eurogroup acquired the authority to dictate economic policy to member states without anything resembling federal democratic sovereignty" (page 237). It is the Eurogroup who continue to force privatisation on Greece and other EU states.
So it is time for the Green Party to campaign not for the EU and continued growth, but for a sustainable future based on de-growth and meeting the societal needs of the British people.
We can carve out a unique position by opposing ALL UK free trade agreements (including the EU single market) and focus on reducing the out of control UK trade deficit by supporting sustainable UK manufacturing, agriculture and fisheries. This may lead to the UK leaving the World Trade Organisation (WTO), but it would re-balance the UK economy and give us a unique position in UK politics.
Campaign to embrace localism in our procurement policies for schools, hospitals and other public institutions, making it a virtue of buying local, preferably organic, food and other supplies.
Step up our opposition to the creeping privatisation of the NHS, especially now that the Tories would no longer have the excuse of EU neo-liberal policies on procurement. Campaign to use the extra money for the NHS in tripling the number of training places for doctors and nurses, reintroducing bursaries and abolishing student fees.
Point out that leaving the EU does not mean that we have to leave the European Court of Human Rights, which is a separate and older institution. Indeed we can champion the Court in our opposition to Tory attempts to water down our rights.
Campaign for a progressive UK Government, supporting universal basic income and Positive Money; to reverse the neo-liberal economic policies favoured by all successor governments since Thatcher, both Labour and Tory.
Campaign to re-nationalise the UK railways and utility companies unhindered by EU Directives such as 2012/34/EU establishing mandatory competition in a Single European Railway Area.
Solve the Northern Ireland border issue by actively campaigning for a referendum for a United Ireland.
Renew our campaign for the abolition of the House of Lords and the creation of a new elected senate of the regions.
Actively campaign for more local democracy with proportional representation, a new independence referendum in Scotland and greater autonomy for Wales.
In this way we can renew and invigorate the Green Party by following a more radical agenda. If you agree, please vote for Leslie Rowe as GPEW leader.
Leslie Rowe is a retired accountant who stood for election for the Green Party in Richmond (Yorks) in the general elections of 2005, 2010 and 2015, the European Election of 2009, along with many other local council elections. He has been a Green Party member since 2003 and is a former treasurer of Yorkshire and Humber Greens and Richmond (Yorks) Green Party.
Promoted and Produced by Leslie Rowe as part of their campaign for election to the post of Leader. This is not an official communication from the Green Party of England and Wales.
Voting is open to all paid up members of the Green Party in England & Wales as at the 29th July 2018.