Last sight of Jacksonville, the airport window mural It is hard to believe but it was one year ago today that I last set foot on American soil. One of the last things I saw of Jacksonville was the graphic on the airport window shown here and so it seemed a suitable header for this post. I had been over in the USA again to break up the seven months of separation that Tina and I faced before she arrived in the UK, to take over evidence for her visa application, and to help its completion. This final visit was bitter-sweet. It was wonderful to see Tina, the boys, cats and her family again, and good to know that while still a few months away, the next time we saw each other would be over here ready to start a life together. Yet it was sad to say goodbye to an area that had provided great friendships, and had been a happy home for six months in 2009. There was the uncertainty of when I might see Jacksonville Beach again.

The “Shack”, as we called the apartment on 10th Avenue North in Jacksonville Beach, looked a forlorn shadow of its former self, many of Tina’s possessions now packed away ready to travel back with me. During this final visit I took a lot of video footage of that place and made it into a short film, a record of what was our first home together. It was a poignant moment when I set off for the airport from it for the last time. There are times when I miss it, times when I have a flashback, and I hear the breeze through the window blinds, the swish of palms trees swaying outside, and the comforting creak of the front door as it closed behind you. Having the ocean so close was something we never tired of or took for granted, and I certainly benefited from the warm climate and near guaranteed several hours of sunshine throughout the year. In the last few months I have taken up cycling to work. While the weather and environs bear no resemblance to Jacksonville Beach whatsoever, and I don’t envisage ever travelling to work in shorts, t-shirt, and flip flops, I pull up at the bike locker at my workplace and it reminds me so often of locking my bike in the rack behind the Shack having just done a grocery run. I’m transported back there.

Another important thing that six months in the Shack gave me was friendship. Living in that apartment block and having the communal garden at the front introduced me to many great people who shared the residence and became part of my life there. Life is good for Joey and Agent FangI miss them all but the two main characters of the piece were Joey and Michael, and I confess that I haven’t kept in touch as much as I’d have liked or should have done. That’s something I need to work on, and can only apologise for. Joey’s occasional emails are no substitute for the amusing notes under the door and the banter that followed, while Michael’s thoughtfulness and generosity were matched by his fine company up the Ritz bar as we supped $2 beers. I hope one day they might visit here so I can return the hospitality.

But overall I’m not sure I could have taken to life in the USA. Their concept of society is far more individualistic than here, and other than the weather and close proximity to the beach, Tina and I felt we would have a better quality of life in the UK. It was for that reason that on 15th July 2010 Tina and two of her boys arrived at Manchester Airport complete with nine suitcases and the important Fiancee Visa. Hadley and Molly cats had arrived in the UK a couple of weeks before, enduring a transatlantic trip and a near four hour drive from Heathrow. Initially frazzled by this ordeal, by the time Tina and the boys arrived the cats were settling in and seemed happy with their new home. The boys were soon settling in too and making friends in the back streets. We made some day trips to the Lake District, Wales and the east coast, and eventually got them into local schools.

The main event of 2010 though was of course at 4pm on Wednesday 8th September when Tina and I married at Temple Newsam House in Leeds, and had an exceptional reception at the Queens Hotel. I have to say that going drinking the night before with the Best Man, Maid of Honour, and Tina’s nephew Joey was not ideal preparation for the big day. I felt decidedly unwell until around 2pm, and was still writing my speech at midday. The Happy Couple - photo by S Finney Putting on the suit was an epic struggle, and the journey to Temple Newsam was a tad fraught, arriving about 15 minutes before kick off, and only a few minutes before the bride! Still it left little time for nerves, the service went perfectly, and we had such a glorious location for our photographs. We were joined too by wonderful guests; family and friends, including Tina’s Mum, Dad, Step-Dad, eldest son, nephew and best friend Paula. All who attended contributed to an amazing day, one I shall never forget. But there was no rest for the newly married couple as the following day we hired a mini-bus to take the American contingent to my parents’ house to see the area I was raised (cut short by a huge tail backs on the M6), then the next day we took a tour of the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District. We squeezed in a trip on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway and an afternoon in Howarth before the last of the American party left these shores, and I returned to work the next day completely knackered and in need of another holiday! (Alas my next decent holiday actually came almost six months later).

It’s been a year of other firsts. First family Christmas all together in Leeds. The first time the boys have seen snow. The first Valentine’s Day Tina and have actually spent together. Thankfully another stressful application form and visit to the UK Border Agency in Sheffield ended well, Tina and the boys being granted an “extended leave to remain” residency permit, allowing them another two years in the UK, and permission for Tina to work.

Away from the personal life things have got busy in my political life. Discussions started in October about forming a city wide Leeds Green Party. As someone who had the trust of both Farnley & Wortley and Headingley Green parties I was asked to be Acting Chairperson while these meetings took place. After some deliberation over the new party’s constitution, we eventually held the Inaugural Meeting of the Leeds Green Party on 24th February 2011. I had the honour of being elected to the position Coordinator & Chairperson, a member of the Executive Committee. It’s currently all hands to the pump as local elections approach, aiming to retain one the Green councillors, and add some more if possible. Once the elections are over I am looking forward to helping the Leeds Green Party progress, get involved with campaigning, and recruiting new members to the cause. Caroline Lucas Green Party Leader and IA couple of days before the Inaugural Meeting I attended a photo opportunity arranged by Cllr Ann Blackburn with Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas, as she passed through Leeds on her way to an event in Huddersfield. I was the “photographer”, but had the unexpected privilege of travelling to Huddersfield with Caroline, which included an opportunity to speak to her alone for quite a while before the train arrived. From watching TV appearances I suspected that Caroline would be approachable and without “airs and graces”, but you never know whether a party leader is gong to have a bit of an ego or attitude. I am happy to say Caroline was as friendly and genuinely interested in people as she comes across in the media, and it was a memorable and enjoyable few minutes with her discussing the situation in Leeds and the formation of the new party. I wouldn’t expect Messrs Cameron or Miliband to travel without an entourage, or to engage so comfortably with a complete stranger. The speech she delivered in Huddersfield was also a passionate and articulate piece of reasoning, and seemed to be supported by the majority of the attendees. All in all a day I won’t forget in a hurry, particularly as it was so unexpected. Now it’s back to the bread and butter, the graft of leafleting in Farnley & Wortley ward.

Family, work, and Green Party commitments make time very precious these days. Writing a blog has been pushed down the order of priorities. I don’t expect that I will be able to post with the regularity of past, or as much as I’d like, but I intend to get back into blogging. It is something I enjoy, and I hope others do too. Watch this space for any future noteworthy events and commentaries on life.

It’s a while since my last blog post. This is because since returning from the USA I have been busy with a combination of working around the house making improvements, and getting involved with local politics. Weeks of leafleting where happiness was a loose letterbox and a few nights of canvassing finally culminated in the events of 6th and 7th May.

I had three main roles in the elections:

1. To help the attempt to get Cllr Andy Parnham re-elected in the Leeds City Council Farnley & Wortley ward.

2. As Cllr David Blackburn’s Election Agent, I was helping the bid to get him his best result in the Leeds West parliamentary constituency in the General Election. His previous best was 7.5% and the first target was 5% which would mean his £500 deposit would be returned.

3. One of the key helpers in my best mate Dave Procter’s bid to get as many votes as possible in the Leeds Central parliamentary constituency. He was standing on a Independent Green Left ticket. Independents always struggle, the system is skewed against them and retaining his deposit was the main target but getting past 200 votes would have been a huge achievement.

Aims 1 & 2 were interrelated as the Farnley & Wortley ward is one of the 4 that make up Leeds West constituency. Many of the leaflets we delivered had a message from both Andy and David.

Election day, Thurs 6th May:
I was up at 6:15am and down at the car hire centre to collect a car at 7am. I drove home, went out to vote myself, had leisurely breakfast pouring over the Guardian’s election coverage, and went to get a haircut in case I was going to be seen on the national media! ;-) I picked David Blackburn up at 10am and we went round to the campaign HQ, aka a Green Party member’s terraced house. David Blackburn Green Party PPC Leeds WestFirst duty was to collect an elderly couple and give them a lift to their polling station so they could vote. The rest of the day was spent driving around 32 of the 38 polling stations to see how many people had turned up to vote in hourly increments. We kept bumping into the Labour candidate (and eventual winner) Rachel Reeves who was accompanied by outgoing MP John Battle. We seemed to be the only parties doing this. The dash around the polling stations was punctuated by a short break to wolf down a chip butty and to slurp a cup of tea. Then it was back on the road.

Later in the evening we took to the streets again, David bellowing “Vote Blackburn and Parnham your Green Party candidates. Vote Green Party today” on a loudhailer out of the window. It was cold in the car as a result! My next sustenance came about 8pm when a cheese and tomato sandwich didn’t touch the sides. I also bought a packet of Hobnobs to keep me going, and in the interests of health, a banana and apple. At 10pm when the polling stations closed we went off to David’s local pub, he had a couple of pints for Dutch courage and I stuck to orange and passion fruit juice as I was driving. We also had a couple of games of pool with his chums. At 11pm we set off to the John Charles Centre where they were holding the count. We were on the indoor bowling “green”, and the other counts were on the indoor athletics track.

The first duty was to verify the local election ballot boxes. The voting slips were counted to make sure the numbers matched the figures collected by the Presiding Officer in the polling stations. The votes were then resealed in the ballot boxes ready to be counted at 10am on Friday morning. As the votes were validated the parties’ “tellers” (volunteers permitted inside with an official pass) are allowed to witness the process and at the same time attempt to note down the mark from the individual slips. This is to give some early indication of the way things might be going for your candidate. It didn’t look good for Andy Parnham.

Then came the main event. The General Election ballot boxes were brought to the tables. First the numbers are verified, with voting slips being batched into 50s. Then these are separated out into different piles based on candidate. Finally these piles are sorted between the counting staff and counted. No wonder this process took until about 4:30am. Like before our tellers, myself included, tried to get an idea of how David Blackburn had done. David Blackburn V for victory!When I wasn’t doing that I was wandering around getting intoxicated by the atmosphere. It was a mad frenetic affair with people rushing about, on mobiles, laptops, all with party rosettes. I also met up with Dave Procter to see how his vote was going. Not brilliant but we were laughing about it, doubting he’d make three figures. In the other large room was the stage and media camp. All the major players, BBC, ITV, Sky were there with cameras ready to capture any upsets. I spoke to the BBC’s Michael Crick several times about what was happening in Brighton where Green Party leader Caroline Lucas had a good chance of becoming the first Green MP. For a well known reporter Crick was very pleasant, no airs or graces, and talked to me in a friendly way and showed genuine interest when I might have expected an aloof distance. I think he was as excited by events as I was. I also saw Ed Balls the unpopular Labour Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families who many thought might lose his safe seat to the Conservatives. I was stood about 5 feet from him when he was suddenly swooped on by the media, questioning and cameras flashing. I was in the way of some of the shots but had nowhere to duck out of it! I was also acknowledged by Fabian Hamilton (Labour MP) who remembered me from when I looked after his pc when he was a councillor. There was Hilary Benn, another government minister, and I also spoke to Andrew Carter the Conservative Leader of Leeds City Council. I was exhausted but loving every minute. Rumours broke that Caroline had indeed taken Brighton Pavilion, but these were unconfirmed. Rumours then broke that Ed Balls had lost to the Conservatives. There was an electric atmosphere. Feeling a bit faint I forced down an over priced and unimpressive cheese sandwich from the canteen, washed down by a much needed coffee.

Eventually about 4:45am the first result was in. It was ours, Leeds West. David Blackburn took to the stage with the rest of the candidates and the Lord Mayor Judith Elliot read out the result. As expected Labour’s Rachel Reeves won easily. David polled 1832 votes (4.7%) which was not enough to get back his £500 deposit. So that was a disappointment. David and the entourage went home but I hung around to see the rest of the results. Ed Balls hung on by 1101 votes, a slashing of his majority, and he gave a bombastic speech which the Conservative supporters tried to shout down with cries of “Off! Off! Off!” I had a ringside view right behind the cameras on the front row. It was soon Dave Procter’s turn. Hilary Benn was returned easily as expected but Dave got a very creditable 409 votes and gave a short but passionate speech. I stayed until the bitter end to hear all of the results and left the centre about 5:45am. It was on the way home in the car that I heard live on the radio that Caroline had won and become the UK’s first Green MP. I was screaming “yes” and punching the air in the car, lord knows what the car in front must have thought.

A very knackered Election Agent at 5:45amI had to have the hire car back at 7am, but luckily I caught a bus soon after and was home for 7:25am. A bit of breakfast and one last look at the results service on the BBC and I went to bed, 25 hours after I’d got up! I managed about 3 hours sleep before I woke up again. I’d booked the morning off but was expected in work in the afternoon. I rang up and asked for it off on flexi which was thankfully granted. I’d have been neither use nor ornament if I’d gone in.

The Aftermath:
Despite an impressive 2563 votes, Andy Parnham did lose his seat, coming second to Labour and squeezed by a much larger turn out due to the local elections being on the same day as the General Election. Ironically the local Labour group increased their seats to 48 meaning the previous Cons / Lib Dems / Morley Borough Independents coalition no longer has a majority, which could lead to a potential Labour-Green administration in Leeds. Nationally the Green Party were squeezed by a high turn out and voters choosing the three main parties. Our key target seats of Norwich South and Lewisham Deptford saw an increase in the vote but were not taken. Caroline’s result was the high point of the day.

Despite the mainly disappointing results nationally and locally I loved every frenetic, tiring minute of election day. I’m probably in the minority when I say I’d love to it all again sooner rather than later!

Green Alternatives to GlobalisationConsidering the global economic crisis that has been unfurling over the last few weeks, I guess it’s timely and appropriate that I’m currently reading the so far excellent book “Green Alternatives to Globalisation: A Manifesto” by Michael Woodin and Caroline Lucas.

Arguing that globalisation increases poverty, undermines democracy and destroys the environment, the authors attempt to demonstrate the urgent need for a new approach, namely economic localisation, which is based on the Green principles of equity, ecology and democracy. So far I’ve read about the critique of globalisation, and I’m about to start the section that prescribes the alternative and the necessary solutions. It’s a very accessible book, easy to understand, interesting, and enlightening. It highlights some of the important counter arguments to globalisation which largely get swept under the carpet by the economic elite who attempt to portray the current path as being an unquestionable consensus, and not merely the latest incarnation of capitalism.

Here’s a few excerpts, firstly a definition:

Globalisation
Noun: 1. the process by which governments give away the rights of their citizens in favour of speculative investors and transnational corporations.
2. The erosion of wages, social welfare standards and environmental regulations for the sake of international trade.
3. The imposition worldwide of a consumer monoculture. Widely but falsely believed to be irrevocable.
(From the dictionary of ISEC – International Society for Ecology and Culture)”
[1]

Here’s part of the introduction to what the alternative may be:

Adding a few environmental clauses here or a social clause there will not alter the fundamental nature of the beast. The bottom line is that a planet of finite resources and increasingly unmet social needs cannot sustain an economic system that is driven by corporate and interests and based on ever-increasing free trade and international competitiveness… The drive for international competitiveness is one of the greatest obstacles to achieving higher social and environmental standards and the whole raft of Green policies needed for a more sustainable society. As soon as proposals like this are suggested, corporations put the brakes on by claiming it will reduce their competitiveness, and threatening to relocate.

Greens believe therefore that rather than trying to make dog-eat-dog economic globalisation a little bit kinder and a little less ruthless, it can and must be replaced by an alternative that challenges its insistence that all economies be contorted to the end goal of international competitiveness, and its emphasis on beggar-your-neighbour reduction of controls on trade and investment.

Economic localisation is the antithesis to economic globalisation. This involves a better-your-neighbour supportive internationalism where the flow of ideas, technologies, information, cultures money and goods has, as its end goal, the rebuilding of truly sustainable national and local economies worldwide. Its emphasis is not on competition for the cheapest, but on cooperation for the best.” [2]

George Monbiot also wrote an interesting piece on the global market turmoil in the Guardian yesterday arguing that the economic crisis is petty by comparison to the nature crunch. However they have the same cause.

[1] “Green Alternatives to Globalisation: A Manifesto”, Goodwin & Lucas p.18
[2] “Green Alternatives to Globalisation: A Manifesto”, Goodwin & Lucas p.68


Highlights of Dr Caroline Lucas’ first speech as Leader

While most of the world’s attention is currently focused on a prominent election campaign in the United States, almost unnoticed in the Brunei Gallery of the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) a historic moment in British politics was taking place. On 5th September The Green Party of England and Wales elected Dr Caroline Lucas MEP as its first ever leader.

Formed as the Ecology Party in Coventry in 1973, it changed its name to the Green Party in the 1980s and until this month the party has had two elected principal speakers, one male, one female, but party members voted to change the system late last year. On the 30th November (my birthday!) 2007 the Green Party announced that almost 50 per cent of the party’s membership voted in a referendum, 73 per cent voted in favour of switching to a Leader / Deputy Leader or Co-Leader structure, 27 per cent voted to stay with the principal speaker system. Green Party Principal Speaker Dr Lucas said at the time:
I’m delighted about this result. The party can now move forward together and onto the job in hand. We have an urgent green message to communicate and many votes to win. This is a fantastic day for the Green Party and will help ensure we have a party that is understandable, recognisable and effective. But we now need to demonstrate to all our members, regardless of which way they voted, that this is not about weakening our principles, it’s about strengthening our effectiveness.”

The other Principal Speaker Derek Wall added: “We need a Green Party which is effective and empowering, doing things differently from the top down traditional politics that turns voters off. The result of this referendum challenges the Party to create a leadership structure that is true to green ideals. It has put our future leaders on notice that the membership expects a more focussed, more effective party, with a leadership team that is truly accountable to the membership in a real and effective manner.”

So in London last week in the first leadership election Dr Lucas defeated her rival for the leadership, Ashley Gunstock, by a landslide margin of 2559 votes to 210, and Adrian Ramsay was elected unopposed as the Green Party’s first-ever Deputy Leader.

“I am deeply honoured to have been elected as the first leader of the Green Party“. she said.
I am also delighted to have Adrian Ramsay elected alongside me as our party’s first Deputy. His work for the past ten years in Norwich, transforming an inactive party into the largest group of Green councillors in Britain is truly inspirational. Britain needs Green leadership now. None of the other parties has the vision or the courage to tackle the real challenges we face today – the accelerating climate crisis, and Victorian levels of inequality.”

We need a Green New Deal to tackle the impact of rising prices and increased unemployment. We need to invest the proceeds of a Windfall tax on massive energy company profits into making the homes of ordinary people warmer and fuel bills more affordable. As Leader I will work tirelessly to get our positive Green message across to the public, and to see more Greens elected to deliver social and environmental justice in towns and cities across the country”.

Dr Lucas’ first task as leader was to deliver a passionate speech where she also set out plans for a Green New Deal. The “Green New Deal” report, authored by a panel including Dr Lucas, Co-director of Finance For The Future Colin Hines, SolarCentury boss Jeremy Leggett, Guardian Economic Editor Larry Elliot, and former Friends of the Earth chief Tony Juniper, calls for public investment in green-collar jobs in areas including renewable energy. Lucas also backed a programme of free insulation for every home in Britain to create jobs, cut fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions.

In her speech Dr Lucas attacked the profits of energy companies saying:
Take a simple idea like a windfall tax on the grotesque profits that companies are making from the growing energy crisis. These are corporations whose profits have increased 6-fold in just 5 years, on the back of a double windfall – from rising oil and gas prices, and the £9 billion worth of carbon trading permits they were given by the government for free. Just three companies – BP, Centrica, and Shell – together made £1000 profit every second over the first 6 months of this year. Every penny on the price of oil means a surge of cash into the bank accounts of the world’s petro-giants. Where does it come from? The pockets of working families, students, the elderly and the disabled. For every 10% that the price of fuel rises, another 400,000 people are plunged into fuel poverty.”

These corporations are robbing from the poor to give to the rich and they know it. And it’s about time they learned that in a progressive democracy, there is no place for robber barons.”

Proposing a Green New Deal in response, Dr Lucas said:
When the world faced economic depression back in the early 1930s, it was President Roosevelt’s New Deal that got people back to work with a massive investment in infrastructure. Today we stand on the brink of a triple crisis – a combination of a credit-fuelled financial meltdown, accelerating climate change, and soaring energy prices. We need a Green New Deal in response.”

The core would be a 21st century project to make the nation’s buildings truly energy efficient, with local authority bonds being issued to raise the necessary funds for a major investment in insulation, efficiency and renewables, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process.”

Dr Lucas also hit out at the main Westminster parties and the record of the Labour Government and current Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
None of the grey Westminster parties has the courage or commitment to carry through the kind of green energy revolution that we urgently need. Reducing demand. A massive investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy. It can be done. But it means real honesty, and real leadership. Instead, we have a Prime Minister who says that climate change is the greatest threat we face -but at the same time gives the go-ahead for a massive expansion of aviation, and prepares plans for a new fleet of coal-fired power stations. We have a Prime Minister who says that he feels your pain on energy bills. But instead of levying a windfall tax on oil profiteering, he rushes off to Saudi Arabia to beg the profiteers-in-chief for just enough more oil to keep us dependent. And we have a Prime Minister who insists that his government is taking a global lead on climate change, while throughout his time in Number 11 and Number 10, carbon emissions have been not falling, but rising.

Labour, and the Tories persuade themselves – and try to persuade us – that cutting carbon emissions is painful or depressing or elitist. As if warm houses and reliable public transport are somehow unpopular, or only matter to the comfortably off.

In a few years, people will look back bewildered and angry that – knowing what they knew in 2008 – none of the other main political parties in Britain confronted the most critical issue of our time.

Dr Lucas went on to argue that the Green Party does not push the kind of materialism that leaves people unfulfilled, kills the human spirit and destroys the natural world. She feels that more people are now realising that the pursuit of possessions doesn’t always make them happier, and that the richness of our lives isn’t about just how many things we own. However the old parties don’t know how to respond to this change, and she maintained:
They’re simply not up to the job. Their advisors only give advice they think is ‘politically realistic’ – in other words, advice that won’t require any major transformation of the economy or business as usual. Advice that says ignore the facts – you can have your cake and eat it – forever.

Dr Lucas accepted that it was a hard task ahead and while she had been elected party leader, she needed all party members to show leadership in the challenges they faced. It was also a good chance to ridicule the Conservative Party’s cynical adoption of “green” policies.
Do we want leadership like the Tories? The PR professional. The marketing man? Politics as a fashion show. One month green is in, but now it seems green is out. Flying was out. Now it’s in again. Motoring the same. A leader who is everything to everyone – until election day. Then it won’t be the focus groups who make policy. It will be the oil companies, the arms industry, the businesses who want to sack staff without compensation, who want to cut regulations that protect workers and the environment. Leadership for the elite.

We have to show that politics doesn’t have to be that way. That you can have a leader, and have true democracy within the party. That you can have leadership that truly represents the values of the Party and the needs of the country – not one small section of it. Leadership that can help the party come together, to stick to its principles not sell out in pursuit of power.”

Dr Lucas spoke of the encouraging progress in the London Assembly and one other crucial result in those London elections namely finishing ahead of the BNP. She called this achievement. “A vital moment for the state of our national politics, at a time when people feel so betrayed by the cosy Westminster village, that the BNP can present themselves as an alternative.” She went further claiming the Greens were not done with the BNP yet, adding:
Every time they wrap themselves in the Union Jack, we should be there to remind people that, bigotry, violence and racism have no place in this country.”

Dr Lucas finished her speech with a rallying call, asking the party to take a responsibility for making a real difference to the lives of others and the future of the United Kingdom:
We need to work ever harder, reach out to those new members, forge new local parties, do all that we can to rally people to our banner. But to meet that responsibility, we also have to stay just as we are. Honest with ourselves and with the people. True to our principles. If I thought that the role of leader was power at all costs – a new Labour pact of selling the party’s soul – I would never have stood for leader. And you would never have elected me. The Green Party has always had its leaders. Thousands of them. And that is how it must stay. So until we meet again – lead on.”

Green councillors now play their part in councils across Britain, like in Norwich where at the local elections in May they achieved an historic breakthrough by being the first Green Party to become the official opposition on a city Council, in doing so winning more seats than Labour across the entire city, and more votes than any other party for the second year running. The Greens have two MEPs and two members of the London Assembly, Darren Johnson being Deputy Chair of the London Assembly. At the next General Election Dr Lucas will be standing as a parliamentary candidate for the Brighton Pavilion constituency hoping to make history as the first Green MP. From tiny acorns great oak trees grow, and personally I hope that in thirty years time the Green Party are an established popular political force for the good of British politics, the country, and indeed the world. In electing Dr Lucas as leader they’ve made a good start.

Dr Caroline Lucas’ full speech transcript