6 Mar 2010

Porritt launches Stroud Green party campaign

Thursday night saw the Sub Rooms packed - well over 200 people came to hear three speakers discuss 'What would a sustainable future look like?'

Photos: from the evening

There was much common ground between Rhiannon Colvin, young activist who had been to the Copenhagen summit, Martin Whiteside, Green Party parliamentary candidate, and Jonathon Porritt, environmental writer, campaigner and long term Green party member.

Martin Whiteside gave a great speech that led on the theme of equality. He said: “A sustainable future in Stroud would need to be much more equal - with limits on excessive wealth among a few and a better minimum wage and pensions for the many. it would also have better and cheaper public transport, walkers and cyclists taking precedence over cars; locally owned banks and energy generators; produce grown, made and mended locally. The change needed is massive but many Stroud people are already trying to make change happen”

Jonathon Porritt gave an inspiring talk that was also full of lots of realism. He said that business as usual is not an option - climate change has made us consider the upper limits of what the atmosphere can contain. The Green Party must celebrate those limits and create a better understanding of them - and push other parties for a proper distribution of the wealth in our society.

Rhiannon Colvin was wonderful and a real boost of enthusiasm for some of us who have been campaigning long - she urged us as individuals to act now, “The profit model is not the way forward. We can create positive visions for a different world.”

Martin Whiteside added: 'We need to recognise that there is a clear distinction between the Green view of a sustainable future and all the other parties who continue to fiddle while Rome burns - the system itself is failing - we need to change it.'

One interesting part of the debate was in question time when a David Drew supporter who was supporting Caroline Lucas in Brighton said we should get behind David Drew here.

There was lots of interesting debate which I will save for another blog - suffice o say the obvious answers were all expressed like the Labour Party would never have got support if people hadn't supported their radical approach when they first begun, that Caroline Lucas would never stand a chance this year of being elected if we'd always stepped back for Labour, that Greens don't take just Labour votes we have ex Tories, ex Liberals and more, that unless you vote for what you believe in you will never get it, that David Drew is ultimately a Labour supporter and supports key issues like nuclear power and ID cards that Greens do not, that Labour policy is about evermore economic growth and someone needs to show the absurdity of that and that Ed Milliband said he knows what needs to be done for climate change but can't do it because of not enough public support - at least a Green vote shows him otherwise. I could go on but this will make for a post in future!

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