Alex Phillips for Green Party Deputy Leader

With the news this Thursday that Alex Phillips, a Hove Green councillor and former co-chair of the Young Greens, is standing for deputy leader, the party has been given an excellent opportunity to broaden its reach – to the millions of people who are realising that Tory cuts aren’t working and that Labour’s won’t either, to the millions of Northerners taken for granted by a complacent opposition and to anti-cuts activists across the country who a looking for a viable left-wing party.

Alex is an eco-socialist. This is key to keeping the Greens firmly rooted where we should be – on the left, where there is a huge political space at the moment. I saw Alex speak at conference earlier this year and she spoke with conviction and principle, traits reflected in her stance on the Brighton budget.

Her campaign website can be viewed here – http://www.alexfordeputy.org.uk/index.html (you can sign up to support the campaign too) – and contains her main platforms – to listen to grassroots members, a key public figure, to refuse to retreat to our environmental comfort zone in the media but talk about social issues, and to grow the party so we can be a party capable of engaging a passionate activist base to win elections.

Fighting for working-people has led to a huge growth in membership since Caroline Lucas became leader, and Alex looks set to continue this, while at the same time ‘broadening our supporter base’.

Central to her suitability for the post for me is her concern with the public perception that we are a middle-class party. This needs to change, but it can only do so if we recruit working class people – and more than that, encourage working-class people to stand and speak both in the party and in the public domain. As Alex puts it on her site, ‘we still struggle with the perception that we are a white, middle-class, heterosexual party. This can only change if we truly broaden the range of voices voters hear’.

It’s a point that can’t be laboured too much. We have to be seen as a party for a North which has been betrayed, and for working-class people in the South who are fed up with a Tory/Lib Dem false dichotomy (writing as someone who’s lived in Cornwall for much of my life). With a Lib Dem vote collapse, we can’t leave it to the Tories or Labour to pick up those lost voters.

A Green Party with a proud socialist deputy leader would inspire the generation radicalised by the austerity agenda, and could not a real dent in the consensus, whether it’s full on caustic cuts or Labour’s ‘caring cuts’. Let’s grasp the chance to pick such a deputy.

Though Alex is the first declared candidate, and without wanting to speak to soon, she’d be an excellent figurehead to develop strategies for the Greens to build and to escape our comfort zones and public perceptions. Nominations only officially open on June the 1st, but already I think I know who I’ll be supporting. The unofficial campaigning begins now. Twitter and online hustings may prove decisive.

On a side note – the party’s constitution requires that we have a male/female split between leader and deputy. Does this clear the way then for Adrian Ramsay and his (probable) bid for leader?

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5 comments

  1. I’m slightly baffled at the idea that voting against the whole of the Green group running B&H Council is a good advert for her candidacy.

  2. It got the very firm of what was ultimately just less than a third of conference which, in the world of internal Green elections, could swing it her way.
    If the leader is a guy (Adrian Ramsay and Peter Cranie being mooted as most likely) then all Alex has to do is beat any other female deputy candidates and I doubt that any more will emerge from the same base of support on the left of the party (note: I believe the party is solidly on the Left so members on our left are really really on the left!).

  3. Perhaps a good advert because doing the right thing when those around you are doing the wrong thing is one of the most courageous things a person can do? End of the day B&H greens promised to fight cuts. Alex kept her promise and that behaviour should be rewarded.
    I consider my self on the far-left of the party, but don’t see valuing honesty and integrity as a particularly radical position.

    1. I think the B&H Greens live in the real world, did fight cuts as best they could and Alex let them down, showing she is not a team player. Also helping maintain some kind of myth that Greens could magic money from no-where. Or should have resigned and let the Labour Party take over. What a brilliant ad that would have been for the Green Party, vote Green but don’t worry, if anything difficult comes up we will resign rather than get our hands dirty. However because I think she did the wrong thing there doesn’t mean I wouldn’t vote for her, even if more candidates emerge, which up to now they haven’t. Think she looks like a brilliant candidate in every way. If I vote for her, which I probabaly will, its despite what she did in Brighton, not because. I know others who feel the same way and are watching closely what she says/posts.

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