Greenleaves meeting 30th March 2019
Attendence: Annabell, Stuart, Mark, Leslie, Michael. Apologies: Meghan,
We introduced ourselves. We then discussed our views about the situation.
Leslie: The Withdrawal Agreement is worse than remaining. Defence implications are very serious. If it becomes the only option we would prefer to Remain and fight again. We don’t want to agree any Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) either.
Stuart: In principle a deal would originally have been a good idea; but not the WA. Now thinks we need no deal or nothing. Too much water has flowed for us to get a good deal in the short term.
Annabell: Legal advice shows that May's ‘deal’ is dreadful. We want No Deal. What is our green vision after brexit? We do not want freedom of movement.
Michael: trading relations should be controlled democratically. There are actually too many trade deals. These create too much trade, too much traffic. VAT should be reduced. We need a higher min wage, and actually enforce it. Norway option is not popular among the left in Norway. Second vote in principal doesn't scare him. Objection from LR: may be no leave option in such a Second Referendum.
Conclusions from the discussions
We want some programs to be protected: Erasmus, Common travel area, fin services badging, protection from migrations, etc etc
We've had the Peoples vote. We don't want to be dragged back into the EU against the view of the majority in the 2016 referendum.
We have no problem with migrants but we are not happy about employers contracting labour from other countries undercutting locally agreed minimum standards in the UK.
General Election: we don't want another GE - as it wouldn't resolve anything.
In principle we don't want a Euroelection. We noted that Candidates being selected now for Greens.
We are not going to support the Green Party on this issue. We don't have a collective position in favour of candidates of various parties for the forthcoming Euroelection. Those of our members that are also members of the GP will not be campaigning for other parties.
Our relationship to the Green Party.
LR: Some of us want to campaign against the GP's position on the EU. Should we register as a political list? LR hugely disappointed with Caroline Lucas whipping up prejudice against leave voters. He will campaign against the GP in the euroelections
MG: GP is surprisingly undemocratic. But Labour intolerable. Is going to stay a member of GP. A: Green Voter but not wanting to join. S: He was for Brexit and environmentalism before Green Party was visible. Won't join GP.
MH concluded that we are about as formally related to the GP formally as Greenpeace. Place of dialogue. Not a ginger group of the GP. Don't want to be part of forming another political party focussed on opposing the EU.
We discussed meetings.
Set them in advance. Preference for London. We discussed a fare pool for Leslie. We could use Zoom for remote conferencing. Possible meeting in Yorkshire.
A: We should have been celebrating last night!
Inside the party
green-leaves.org is under our control – we could move our membership software from groupspaces.
MG: GP Leadership is too dominant in the party. He is putting together a motion that would see a shift to delegate conferences. He wants to see a more democratic party.
Jenny has been persuaded to support revoke art 50. She doesn't like the bullying and nastiness of the current debate. Sharar Ali (a Green party leadership candidate) has said that Greens ought to honour the result of the referendum that we, as a movement, had helped to call for. Paul Kingsnorth is another Green figure opposed to EU
MG will look at the registered party status for our group.
I would like to invite you to a Meeting. I intend to hold this at Willow Walk Public House 25 Wilton Street London SW1V 1LW.
Please let me know if you are able to attend.
Our next events are as follows:
Today Wed 13th March 4-6: lobbying outside the Commons for the 'No Deal' vote
Thur 14th March 4-6: lobbying outside the Commons for the 'A50 Extension' vote
Sat 23rd March 1 - 5pm: leafleting the Peoples Vote demonstration
Fri 29th March 1 - 5pm: participation in the Leave Means Leave demonstration
Sat 30th March 10 am: meeting to either celebrate or to decide what to do next! Please email in and we will tell you the venue.
Please call Mark or Leslie if you would like more details - it would be great to see you.
The most momentus few hours of this whole campaign are now upon us. There could easily be a defeat for the Peoples Vote campaign later today when their article 50 extension amendment fails. With Theresa May's deal already dead - that leaves people like us in the driving seat. Those of us that wanted to leave will finally get our way. We have the initiative. We have to offer the positive vision.
Some of us will be demonstrating at the Commons. If you are free in the afternoon and make the journey please feel free to come and join us. 0795-7176355
But if not please join in on social media to make a positive call for an Independent trade policy. What is it that you would like to see? An end to live animal exports? Removal of protectionism against third world? Localisation of tax policy? Remove tariffs from items that we import but that we don't make? Restore parliamentary oversight of these powerful trades treaties? Save the £39bn? End CAP and CFP? Restore VAT policy to UK?
Now we need the voices. We are unifying around the hashtag #indyref
Please join in!
We tweet at @Greenleavesorg
#GreenLeaves #glvlog #lexit
Twitter https://twitter.com/GreenLeavesorg @GreenLeavesOrg
Green Lexit Blog https://theblueanchor.wordpress.com/
We have very few takers for a meet up tomorrow. However alot of you have been in touch. The consensus of emails and telephone calls that I have received are calling for JustLeave or CleanBrexit. Nobody wants to support Theresa May's deal.
If we are faced with a Peoples Vote as elaborated by Caroline Lucas, we will have to decide to either vote for Thersa May's plan, or stay in the EU. Your reactions to this scenario have been either despondancy, opposition and or even anger.
We are in communication with the wider campaign against the Prime Minister's Chequers proposals. The consensus there is that the May offer is a Fake brexit. They are stuck inside an MP lobbying operation. They would like our suggestions.
I am very keen to hear from you if you have a particular angle that you would like me to take to the wider campaign. JustLeave or CleanBrexit are the hashtags I am using on Twitter GreenLeavesorg. Leslie meanwhile is doing stuff on facebook.
Please do feel free to phone or email.
I am very concerned about the latest moves in the Commons. There is a strong call for a Deal, even if that means mortgaging our future so completely to the EU that it would perhaps be worse than remaining in the EU as full members. Meanwhile there was a call from our ex-leader Caroline Lucas MP yesterday that demanded a referendum choice between Deal or Remain.
I want to test opinion within the Greenleaves group about how we should pitch our opposition to these two proposals. I would potentially be available to run a meeting on Sunday afternoon in central London. Perhaps we could arrange Skype. Would anyone be available to discuss these issues with me?
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
New Green - leaves.org twitter account set up - search for us using Green - leaves.org Please follow us!
Mark Hill and Leslie Rowe
Just a quick note to all Green Leaves members who are still in the Green Party of England & Wales. If you have not yet voted in the Leadership elections, please vote now for Leslie Rowe, your Green Leaves candidate. His video can be seen here:
Please encourage as many of your friends and colleagues to vote for Leslie and share his video. The establishment candidates (Jonathan & Sian) are apparently still touring the country on their campaigns, funded by the Green Party.
The likelihood of Leslie winning is not high, but every vote gleaned is a vote for sanity in the Green Party.
Just to confirm that Leslie Rowe, Green Leaves treasurer, is a candidate for leader of the Green Party. Apparently you can vote if you are a member of the the Green Party on the 29th July 2018, so if you are not currently a member perhaps you & your friends might want to think about joining so that you can vote for a candidate committed to accepting the EU referendum result?
Earlier this week I floated the idea that Green Leaves should contest the leadership election of the Green Party in an effort to publicise our point of view. Although I received several e-mails in support of the idea and none against, there were insufficient Grean Leavers who were still members of the Green Party to be able to nominate anyone as a candidate or realistically go forward with this idea.
It's a pity, but there it is, but thank you to all who replied and please keep up your campaigning to stop MPs and unelected Lords from undermining the biggest democratic vote on an issue in UK history.
Do we want to stand a Green Leaves candidate for the Green Party leadership? As one member put it, without a choice there is no democracy. It looks as though there is a pre-arranged succession, with Jonathan & Sian being nominated as new joint leaders with a mandate to continue trying to get the EU referendum re-run.
I believe this is probably our last opportunity to put our view across to the Green Party membership as to where the Green Party's priorities should lie (climate change not EU). Each candidate has 1000 words which will go to all members. David Malone, who was a credible candidate last time and shares many of our views, has told me he is not standing this time around. I am willing to put my name forward (I have the time being retired), but I am happy to support any other person willing to stand. If I have read the rules correctly, we only need ten members of the GP to agree and be willing to propose (there is an online system), so please will you let me know your views either by replying to this e-mail or privately to email@example.com? We have to decide ASAP, so please will you reply saying whether you:
(a) think it is a good idea;
(b) whether you want me or another to stand;
(c) whether you are a member of the Green Party and willing to propose the agreed candidate?
The number of people to whom Green Leaves can now e-mail has been drastically reduced by the new data protection regulations, so it is important that we get YOUR feedback to this idea, so please will you e-mail me ASAP?
If you have sympathetic Green Party friends, then feel free to forward this e-mail.
Due to recent EU legislation, we are obliged to ask you to confirm whether or not you wish to remain on the Greenleaves mailing list. Please will you reply to this e-mail before the 25th May 2018 to confirm or otherwise that you wish GreenLeaves to keep your contact details on our database. (No other information is kept in our records).
It would also help if you copied your reply to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do not reply, we are obliged to remove your details from our database. I am hoping that enough supporters reply in the affirmative to keep GreenLeaves ticking over, until the fight to save Brexit begins again in earnest. With this incompetent Tory Government, expect to be on the barricades sometime late in 2018, so it would be good to have your continued support until then.
We thank you in anticipation and for your support during the EU referendum campaign.
Message from Leslie Rowe.
The time to take action to avoid the Tories selling out the country over Brexit is now. Please share your own views of a Green Brexit with your friends and neighbours. We need a Green Leaves action group to take our view forward.
If you are interested in more direct action please get in touch.
Please see our facebook page and add your ideas and comments (https://www.facebook.com/greenleaves2016/)
We need social media experts on other media like snapchat.
Many thanks for your past support: but we need to repeat the campaigning we did in 2016 or we will see the Tories sell us out once again.
Conference would not be conference in the Green Party (of England and Wales GPEW) these days, without an establishment motion attacking Brexit, preferably with as little debate as possible.
If you were looking for policy initiatives at the 2017 Autumn conference this week, you would have been disappointed. Interminable debate on internal structures, but no debate on the situation in Catalonia or North Korea. Indeed emergency debates, including a motion by me criticising the failure of the EU to sanction Spain over its contravention of the European charter of human rights in Catalonia, were hidden away on the BACK of the notice board, so few received the minimum 50 signatures.
The establishment did manage to get a new device called a "Late Motion" into the final agenda, titled "Campaigning against the EU repeal bill".
A confused motion, it simultaneously called on GPEW to oppose, suspend and amend the EU repeal bill. The EU Repeal Bill does two things. Its primary objective is to transcribe EU law into UK law. Its secondary objective is for the Tories to enact the "Henry VIII" proposals to use fast track statutory instruments, so that Tory ministers can make all the decisions on Brexit.
I attended the workshop on the motion and helped to convince the meeting to propose an amendment deleting the call for a campaign to oppose the bill, but keeping the call to amend the bill to take away the Tories' power grab.
But when would this motion be discussed? No one knew. Standing Orders committee told me that it was "unlikely to be called". The final day of the conference (Tuesday) was sparsely attended compared to the weekend. The final business of the day was a plenary session mainly looking at "A" motions (reports from committees): as dull as ditchwater: people drifted off to catch trains. The plenary session was due to end at 3.45 pm. At 3.40 pm, the chair of the meeting suddenly announced that the "Late Motion" would be discussed. Luckily there were enough people in the room to propose the agreed amendments, except for one.
So it was down to me to propose the final amendment to the final paragraph to replace "oppose" with the word "amend" :
"Conference instructs the GPEX campaigns coordinator to develop a campaign in conjunction with the Party's parliamentarians to "oppose" the EU Repeal Bill".
ALL the amendments were passed. So conference has spoken. Our "parliamentarians" are instructed NOT to oppose the EU Repeal Bill, but to "amend" it to remove the "Henry VIII" powers. If our "parliamentarians" do oppose the bill, then they will be thwarting the will of conference.
If you were at the Green Party conference, you would have witnessed a further resurgence of "Project Fear" now being resurrected by EU vested interests. In this case it was a speech by Green MEP Molly Scott Cato, who outlined a dystopian future for the UK after Brexit without providing a shred of evidence for her predictions. (See her website for the speech made on Sunday 8th October 2017).
So, I would like to propose a different view of the UK in the year 2030, an alternative to the doom and gloom predicted by Molly, using the same examples she used, but with a completely different outcome. (This article already posted on Facebook).
The Japanese companies that provided nearly a million jobs since the Tories trashed our manufacturing sector in the 1980s, embraced with open arms the opportunity to work with the National Investment Bank and help manufacture goods and services in the UK after Brexit, rather than import them from low wage economies. Indeed, the "site here to sell here" policy introduced by the Progressive Coalition Government (elected by proportional representation) has meant that the majority of the new electric vehicles sold in the UK are now manufactured in the UK, rather than imported and the number of British manufacturers, particularly of components for renewable energy, has increased. (Vast savings also made by the cancelling of the foreign owned Hinkley Point nuclear power station and state investment in offshore wind farms and tidal barrages).
Led by Government owned banks, like RBS and the National Investment Bank, the expertise of the City of London has ensured that banking employment has increased, again with the help of the "site here to sell here" policy which helped to control and localise finance and abolished the right of commercial banks to create artificial debt (positive money). In addition, the aggressive anti-tax avoidance policies introduced after Brexit has outlawed institutions based in countries that actively encouraged tax avoidance like Luxembourg and Ireland and led to a big increase in tax revenues; (also boosted by the introduction of the Robin Hood tax on unnecessary financial transactions across Europe).
As environmentalist Colin Hines described in his book "Progressive Protectionism - taking back control", the UK has re-introduced tariffs, quotas and capital controls, to curb the power of big business to play countries off against each other and threaten to relocate unless the UK bends the knee to open borders and global competition. Similar tactics to those used by China to become the largest manufacturer of goods in the world.
Naturally, leaving the EU as well as the democratisation of the World Trade Organisation (the WTO) has meant that economic growth is no longer the driving force of the UK, but instead a focus on improving the quality of life of its citizens. So free trade deals, like TTIP, like CETA and indeed like the EU single market, are no longer considered necessary.
A Government subsidy to facilitate a switch to more organic vegetable production in the UK, as well as the ability, now that the UK has left the EU, to support agriculture in the developing countries of Africa, has left the UK awash with fresh, healthy vegetables and fruits. Similarly a big increase in animal welfare legislation, banning the factory farming methods so prevalent in the EU as well as banning the use or import of meat adulterated with unnecessary hormones and antibiotics, has led to a big increase in the quality of meat production.
New localism policies have improved prospects for local firms, such as local dairy farms producing milk under higher welfare standards. As a result the health of the nation has never been higher, especially after the big increase in spending on the NHS, paid for in part by the savings made in not having to pay contributions to the EU budget. (There is still debate as to how much that exactly was!)
The un-enforced environmental health standards of the EU, such as for air quality, have been replaced by legally binding UK environmental standards and a big increase in jobs at the Health and Safety Executive.
The border problem between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland was quickly solved by a unification referendum and the abolition of the border, as Ireland was re-united at last. Indeed relations with all European countries has improved as the UK has stopped stealing staff trained in other countries and instead vastly increased its own investment in training, particularly of doctors, nurses and vocational jobs. With the abolition of tuition fees, universities have once again become centres of learning and not just businesses.
So, no Molly, Brexit does not necessarily mean the Tories continuing in power for the next 13 years. Indeed, we can and should replace the unpatriotic Tories, (whose only concern is to help their foreign paymasters in big business) with a patriotic Government that uses Brexit to put the UK, and its people, first.
Leslie Rowe October 2017
There is only one message worth sending today: make sure you vote tomorrow (preferably Green, but tactically if you need to), encourage all your friends and family to vote and please, for the sake of the NHS and the environment, please don't vote Tory!
Can I welcome our new members and apologise for the wait: I have been travelling in Europe!
This election continues to be a difficult one for Green Leavers. For those of you tempted to vote for the Tories, purely on their promise to go for a hard Brexit, can I suggest two things?
First, when have the Tories ever kept their promises?
Second, you will have noted that Theresa May is too scared to debate with Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas in public. How is she going to be fare against Machon and Merkel? For all his bluster, Corbyn is at heart a Euro-sceptic. I trust Keir Starmer over Boris to negotiate details, anytime. And where will the Tories leave the environment, if they win? Follow Trump out of the Paris agreement?
I think the case for voting for Green values at this election is overwhelming, as is the case for tactical voting, because of our undemocratic electoral system. But hey, who am I to say? What do you think? Online debate?
Finally, whatever you do, ensure you vote and vote for what YOU believe in. And get the young folk in particular to get off their backsides and vote. Remind them that people died for their right to vote.
Yours in solidarity,
Treasurer Green Leaves
This is a difficult general election for Green Leavers. On the one hand the horror of another Tory administration, who will no doubt make it a priority to complete their privatisation of the NHS and continue to bankrupt our country, both financially and morally.
On the other hand, A Green Party leadership who are blinded by the false promises of a failing EU.
You will all be making individual choices locally on who to support, based on your local priorities and the corrupt first past the post voting system. The important point is to be active and continue fighting for Green principles and a sustainable economy. Please share your thoughts and actions, so that we can chart the future for Green Leaves after the general election.
At present, I am paying for maintaining this Green Leaves site, but in the longer term we need to decide whether to have a membership fee or fundraising to put Green Leaves on a more permanent footing.
Finally, if you want to keep up with the Brexit negotiations and take part in the poorly publicised public consultations, please go here:
Thanks again for your support and bravery during a difficult time for all Green Leavers. Solidarity and developing our message are important, so please tell us what you are doing for the elections (both local and national) and give us your vision for the future.