If we started now, what would the Green Party in England and Wales look like?

At the Autumn 2017 conference in Harrogate, a decision was made to set up an urgent and holistic review of how the party operates.

During the autumn of 2017, a group – also known as a Commission – was established. The process was one of members being invited to apply to be either one of two joint chairs or to be members of the commission.

The process of selection concluded late in 2017 and on 6 January 2018 the members of the commission began its work with an initial meeting.

My name is Martina Weitsch; I have been a member of the Green Party since February 2014 and have recently (in September last year) moved to York. I am slowly beginning to become more active in the local party. Unpacking has taken its time.

I applied to become a member of the commission because I think that both my political and professional background could be useful for the work and – probably more importantly – because I care about the effectiveness of the Green Party in UK politics at all levels. I’ve been involved in environmental issues in one way or another since 1970 and have become more and more convinced that a sustainable approach to how society is organised (and by that I mean one that supports people and planet at a level where living standards are safeguarded at a decent level and where the economy is structured in such a way that the planet can sustain that) is essential and the most urgent issue for us to deal with.

So now I am a member of the commission and at the York GP AGM I introduced myself to those present and was invited to do so here for all local party members.

The point of this is: the commission is approaching this work as a deep and serious listening exercise. We want to hear from party members (activists, those elected to public office, and those less active but no less committed) about your views and your concerns.

We are not structuring the questions at this stage; we want to hear from members first to get a sense of what is important, where the tensions are and what ideas may come out that could be taken forward. We will be conducting a research phase when we will do interviews, and whilst we are making a selection of people (both targeted and random) to interview, I’m very happy to hear from local party members in addition to those interviews to feed your views in.

This isn’t the only chance you’ll have to contribute and engage with this process, but for now, please feel free to email me if you want to contribute. Please give me a phone number where I can reach you and we can then set up a chat.

I hope to be conducting a workshop later in the Spring which will be open to all members (this may be York specific or geographically wider) but not everyone will be able to come to that. So do contact me now if you would like to.

Looking forward to hearing from you –

Martina Weitsch

Email: mweitsch1953@gmail.com


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