This post is being sent out because today Green World magazine and NW ballot papers for Euro candidates and a GPRC rep are being sent out.
A brief disclaimer to start with. Our rules prevent candidates cross endorsing one another, so this blog is to raise awareness of those standing in the ballot for our list places 3 to 8 in the North West. I’d urge everyone to read their statements, or if you were at hustings in Lancaster two weeks ago, to vote according to who you think would make a strong team. Brief biogs are in alphabetical order to ensure that there is nothing prejudicial about order!
Laura Bannister – Former co-chair of Manchester Greens, volunteers for the Trade Justice Movement, likes to drum with the trade union band at protests and marches. She has impressed me with her campaigning record and organisational skills.
Lewis Coyne – former convenor of Liverpool School Students Against War, Local Party support officer in Liverpool, good media experience and in the 30 under 30 national Young Greens scheme. He has impressed me organising election campaigns in Liverpool.
Richard English – comes from a politically Irish family in Dublin and works as a barrister, specialising in representing those who have mental health problems, and active in his local community. He impressed me by ringing me up to discuss the campaign.
John Knight – a trade unionist, involved with Macclesfield’s Transition Town movement and a keen walker and cyclist interested in countryside access and conservation. He has impressed me by securing a regular media column for us in his local newspaper.
Deyike Nzeribe – the current chair of Manchester Greens and an experienced target ward candidate in Hulme. Active in a national black activists network (BARAC) and the MEEN. He has impressed me with his thoughtful, intelligent approach to politics and campaigning.
Jill Perry – former co-ordinator for FoE in West Cumbria and a very experienced media person. She stood as an active list candidate (no5) in the Euros in 2009. She impressed me then by organising a very well publicised election tour of Cumbria.
Jake Welsh – our local party support for Lancs and Cumbria, as well as the Election Agent for Central Lancs Greens. He is an eco-socialist, involved in campaigns on animal rights and social justice. He has impressed me supporting local candidates in the NW.
Ulrike Zeshan – formerly the Equality and Diversity rep for the North West, she is multilingual, including three different forms of sign language and has an interest in European Politics. She impressed me by being able to speak Urdu and other languages.
I would also like to mention, in greater length and more fluent terms, two people who are not standing this time, who both would have made an outstanding contribution to the list.
Firstly, I must start with John Reardon, who is our target candidate in Carlisle and who would also make a superb MEP (one day). However he is incredibly busy being a Deputy Headteacher now, as well as all the target campaign work needed to win a council seat there. Our loss in the NW is Carlisle’s gain.
Secondly, I also feel very grateful that Clara Paillard, an independent trade unionist, with impeccable green campaigning credentials, also applied to join the list, as an independent. Now it was my view that the constitutional change we made after the Euro Elections in 2009, enable us to have mixed lists (which would include independents on our lists). That wasn’t the view taken by GPRC in their decision to interpret the constitution. I think we would have benefited hugely by showing the Green Party do things differently in politics, as we make clear in our philosophical basis, but that wasn’t to be this time. Clara would have made an outstanding speaker and advocate for green politics and social justice, and enable us to connect with a much wider audience than usual. I’d like to thank her for taking the time to submit her statement and apologise that she was not able to stand for us. It is something I think we need to address.
While I regret that our members don’t have these final two candidates to also consider, I would like to raise the point that for the first time in the North West, we have a really difficult lower list selection. There are some very talented candidates, two of whom will end up as reserves, when in any other previous selection process they would certainly have been ranked highly in the list.
We have eight candidates for just six places and it is difficult to think how to rank them. I have an idea of who I will be voting for positions 3 to 5 on the list after reading the statements and seeing candidates in action at the NW hustings but not yet an order. I honestly have no idea who I can leave out. It is a very difficult choice to make. If your ballot paper has arrived today, then I urge you to spend some time reading the statements and make your vote count. We must give everyone on the list the strongest possible democratic mandate.