Green Thanks: post-election letters

Green thanks

THANK you to everyone who voted Green in the general election and for helping Ellie Chowns in North Herefordshire achieve one of the best Green results in the country.

We’d also like to commend our opponents on their campaigns and to thank Herefordshire Council officers for their very efficient administration of the election.

It was tough for us to see the Green vote squeezed by tactical voting both locally and nationally.

But, despite this squeeze, the Green Party gained more than half a million votes across the country. Regrettably that won us just one seat – Caroline Lucas was returned as MP for Brighton Pavilion with a much increased majority.

In contrast the Democratic Unionist Party, which looks set to prop up Theresa May, had 10 MPs elected on fewer than 300,000 votes.

This is another clear indication of the unfairness of the First Past The Post voting system used to elect MPs.

A system that means millions of votes are wasted and which leads people to vote tactically instead of for their best candidate.

A system which can allow the Conservatives to form a government when only 29% of the electorate voted for them.

Under a Proportional Representation system, as used, for example, in Germany, parliament would more closely reflect the wishes expressed by voters, and far fewer votes would be wasted.

As a way of countering the unfairness of the voting system, Greens across the country sought in this election to make alliances with other progressive parties.

Green candidates stood aside in dozens of marginal seats to help better placed progressive candidates, Labour or Liberal Democrats, to win.  We took a hit for democracy and made a difference.

Unless progressive parties build on this and continue to work together, making local tactical alliances and pushing for electoral reform, the country will be stuck forever with a parliament that is not representative.

This is a dreadful prospect and we invite all who share this concern to become politically active and fight for change.

DIANA TOYNBEE Hereford & South Herefordshire candidate

ELLIE CHOWNS North Herefordshire candidate

The Green Party

published in Hereford TImes and Ross Gazette w/c 19 June 2017

Summer socials

Wednesday 23rd August – Summer Social and Quiz at 7.30pm. De Koffie Pot, Hereford

Tuesday 12th September – North Herefordshire Green Party AGM at 6.30pm followed by Bring and Share meal, at Canon Frome Court.

Wednesday 11th October – Hereford & South Herefordshire Green Party AGM at 7pm. De Koffie Pot, Hereford

All walks, bike rides, teas etc. are fundraisers for the Green Party and we ask for a minimum contribution of £3.00. Children free. Non-members are very welcome. If coming by car please try to share transport where possible. Many thanks to those who kindly host these events. We are always interested in new areas to walk in, or new social/fundraising ideas so please contact us on 01568 780886 if you would like to hold a walk and tea or any other fundraising event.

Post Election Celebration

Join us for our Post Election Celebration and Thank You.

We did OK in the face of strong national trends! We learnt a lot, and built strong foundations for future success, especially at local level. And we had two fabulous, hard working candidates.

So come along to thank them, and allow us to thank you at a green knees upthis Friday 16th June.

All members and supporters welcome, whatever role you played -including keeping things going at home to allow others to campaign! 7pm onwards at Canon Frome Court, HR8 2TD. Bring and share food and drink.

Walk and tea at Whitbourne

Join us for a walk and tea with Kate and Paul Lack at Whitbourne near Bromyard this Sunday.

As a change from campaigning and elections, join us for a pleasant walk and tea in this lovely border country between Herefordshire and Worestershire on Sun 18th June. A scenic route along the River Teme, with Kate telling us about the history of farming and landscape use in this area. Meet at 2.30pm at Colbridge Cottage, Whitbourne WR6 5RT. tel. 01886 821978.

All walks, bike rides, teas etc. are fundraisers for the Green Party, as well as being pleasant social occasions, and we suggest a minimum contribution of £3.00. Children free. If coming by car please try to share transport where possible. Non-members are very welcome. We are very grateful to those who kindly host these events, many thanks.  Could you host a walk and tea or other social/fundraising event? If so, please ring 01568 780886 or email folley.farm@btinternet.com.

A message from Ellie Chowns

THANK YOU so much for your support, your activism, and your votes. I feel really proud of what we’ve achieved in North Herefordshire. We got 5.5% of the vote – one of the highest Green vote shares nationally, and more than three times the national Green average of 1.6%. Although we lost some votes, the decline here was much lower than nationally, and of course we saved our deposit! The Green vote was squeezed hard everywhere by the growth in the Labour vote. Of course I am sad that the Green voice hasn’t been heard strongly enough in this election, since our messages on climate change, on wildlife, on Trident, on voting reform and so on are still not getting the attention they deserve. But I am also very pleased that so many Green ideas have been adopted and promoted by Labour, with such great success!

In North Herefordshire – a very safe Tory seat – Labour came second with 18.9%, a completely unprecedented result for them. All credit to Jeremy Corbyn and Labour for proving everyone wrong. I’m amazed that Theresa May thinks she can continue as PM having shot herself in the foot so completely; and I am horrified at the thought of her coalition of chaos with the reactionary DUP. Heaven knows what the coming months will bring. But I can promise this: I will continue to stand up for Green principles and ideas; I will work to hold Bill Wiggin and the chaotic Conservatives to account; and I will certainly stand in more elections!

It has been an absolute pleasure and privilege to represent the Green Party in this election. Locally we have run a fantastic, high-energy, high-visibility, high-quality campaign. We’ve been a credible, effective opposition to Tory cuts and hard Brexit. We’ve offered an inspiring vision of a better, greener future: investment in public services, serious environmental protection, and an economy that works for everyone. And today’s results show, yet again, that we urgently need political reform so that everyone’s vote counts.

Now more than ever, Green voices in politics are needed. If you’re not already a member, please consider joining the Green Party. Thank you again to everyone who helped with this campaign. You have been BRILLIANT!

A thank you from Diana

THANK YOU so much for your confidence and support over the past 7 weeks. I’m disappointed not to have delivered a better result. I’m really proud of Ellie in North Herefordshire, who got one of the best Green results in the country.

Thank you to those of you who spent so many hours leafletting or canvassing. Our campaign was professional, principled and passionate – people saw that, and I know that our time wasn’t wasted.

Our 2015 and 2017 campaigns, three county councillors, and ongoing commitment, have demonstrated to Herefordshire that we are competent, hard-working and really care, and we can continue to build on that (after a rest!). I could not be more proud of the campaign we ran, or of the AMAZING team we are lucky enough to have in Hereford. I could not have felt more supported, and appreciate every word of encouragement, every card delivered, and every conversation engaged in on behalf of us all.

I literally lost count of the number of people who told me ‘I love Green policies, and I think you’re the best candidate, but I’m not voting for you’, and this was reproduced around the country. It’s obvious why Green supporters have voted Labour, but it’s been pretty galling when people say a Green vote is wasted here, and go on to vote for a candidate who clearly wasn’t going to beat Jesse either!

Even though this result has been hard for the party nationally, and the thousands of activists who have thrown themselves heart and soul into working for the common good, we are genuinely delighted to see progressive politics back in the mainstream, and very proud of our role in this. It’s so exciting to see young people getting engaged, Tory lies and arrogance backfiring, and national debates continuing about the sort of politics we want.

Caroline and Jonathan have received massive admiration in the media for their outstanding, eloquent, principled campaigning. More and more prominent commentators are calling for an end to the scandalously undemocratic electoral system. PR has to be one of our main campaigns now – not just for the Green Party, but for democracy, and to move beyond the reductive red-blue boxing ring. Democracy needs diversity, and in a fair system there is plenty of room for all. The tide is turning!

Here in Herefordshire we will continue to be active in opposition, exposing Jesse’s voting patterns, protesting cuts, and pushing the local council to be more transparent. And of course we will continue our work for the health of our people, society, public services and nature.

We can all be proud to be members of the most progressive party, and the only one that understands that our natural environment has to be at the centre of political decisions.

I stood for parliament, but I’m just an ordinary member, and would love to get together more with others so we can build our confidence and courage. Please get in touch, with feedback on the campaign, ideas for activities or campaigns, or anything else. Green policies, and the Green way of doing politics, is needed now more than ever, and we have come out of this campaign with increased respect. No-one else is doing what we do, so let’s keep campaigning with pride and courage.

Best wishes, and good heart

Diana