Friday, November 24, 2006

Congratulations Derek

The Green arty have elected Derek Wall as the new male principal speaker. He stood as a socialist, and marxist, so this is a significant vote.

His main opponent Keith taylor is a much more conventional and conservative figure, but with a high profile as he is a councillor in Brighton.

The Green Party does not have a "leader", and instead has two principal speakers, one male and one female. Only the male position was coontested, and Sian Berry was elected unoppsed to the female poistion.

The final ballot results were:
Keith Taylor 705
Derek Wall 767

Derek also won the first round voting with 657 first preference votes.


Ed said...

This is great news!

Jim Jay said...

It's also worth noting that Sian Berry, the female principal speaker is also a member of the Green Left and a veteran of direct action protest - just as left as Derek, although certainly in a different mold.

AN said...

Thanks for that JIm.

As some people know, i toyed with the idea of joining the greens last year very sriously, but decided against it.

However, Derek's vote is an important factor to bear in mind, that the Green party now contains one of the largest constituencies of organised socialists - even if many of them would not define themselves in those terms.

Sean said...

Andy - like you, I have spent a number of months thinking about joining the Greens. A week or two ago I took the opposite decision to you and joined. I did so after having finally decided that the Respect initiative had gone irretrevably down the pan. Being an active socialist is a bit like having sex - it is possible on your own, but far more satisfying and productive if done with other people who are congenial and who generally like to do it the way that you do. As you point out, the Green Party now contains one of the largest - I think possibly the largest - groups pf people who share not only our general politics but a committment to openness and democracy.

Snowball said...

This is good news.

But Socialist Unity supporters are always very keen to tell the rest of us to 'face reality' and 'tell the truth to the class' and so I was wondering about Andy's statement that 'the Green party now contains one of the largest constituencies of organised socialists' in the country.

How on earth does this vote signify that, given if it was omov system, that only 767 people voted for Derek Wall?

Or was that vote from elected delegates?

Matt Sellwood said...

>How on earth does this vote signify that, given if it was >omov system, that only 767 people voted for Derek >Wall?

Because most other constituencies of organised socialists in the country are much smaller than that?

Sad, but true! The fact is that two leftists now speak for a national political party of 6,000 people. Not bad.

(unless we're sticking to the fantasy that everyone in RESPECT is socialist, or everyone in the Labour Party, etc etc)

Snowball said...

Yes, as I said it is good news.

But if there are really 6000 members of the Green Party, how come less than 2,000 people appear to have taken part in the leadership election?

Matt Sellwood said...

Because internal postal ballots don't interest everyone, fascinating though they might be to you or I. :)

I can assure you that Party membership is currently floating between 5500-6000, though I couldn't give you exact figures.


P.S. You can check this out because, unlike the SWP and other leftist groups, the Green Party has to give proof of membership numbers to the Electoral Commission. So, for the same reason that RESPECT can't lie about its membership numbers, neither can the Greens.

Phugebrins said...

"how come less than 2,000 people appear to have taken part in the leadership election?"
I was asking that myself. Looking at it, many things: First, the principal speakers simply aren't the same as conventional leaders. They don't choose or shape the direction of policy, though they have some say in tactics. Second, GP politics is far more heavily centered on local action and issues than on one-size-fits all manifestos, so even if the PS were a leader, it wouldn't make so much difference. Third, the competition was between two good candidates, and many may not have found anything to compaing about between them. Fourth, there were some ballot issues: Keith Taylor didn't get his in on time, and some people didn't think he should have been on the ballot. A few people who would otherwise have voted for one or the other may not have do so in protest.

Jim Jay said...

1 in 3 for a postal ballot (take note: all members entitled to vote regardless of closeness to london) is actually pretty normal and certainly UNISON would go head over heels with joy at such a turnout.

I believe that's better than Labour gets in its postal ballots but that's from memory so it may be wrong...

Jim Jay said...

oh and snow ball the words "one of the largest" rather than "the largest" are quite important in AN's sentance I think

AN said...

Perhaps it is also worth adding that I know a couple of socialists - long term members of the greens - who voted for Keith Taylor.

On the basis that, in their opinion, he is a better person to front the Green party to the press. Which is not a criticism on their part of Derek, just an appreciation of people's different strengths. And that is what the PS job is!

Martin Ohr said...

Surely there are still more socialists in the labour party than the greens by any measure. Derek Wall doesn't describe himself as a socialist, merely a marxist. This can mean lots of different things to lot's of people. From debating with him I'd say it's more of a sociological analysis of the world rather than politics on his part. Class struggle is very low on the agenda of Derek Wall and lower still in the Green Party

Obviously I'd like to be proved wrong, but I have no hope that the Green Party are anything other than another liberal bourgois party -more like the old SDP than anything else -just look at what they are doing in Leeds.

Jim Jay said...

Derek does describe himself as a socialist. Although he more frequently uses the term ecosocialist.

And Leeds does not represent the national party seeing as almost everyone in the party disapproves of the decisions the Leeds group have made.

AN said...

Martin, your argument is confused becasue I have never claimed tat the Green party is a socialist party, nor that the socialists in the Green Pparty are THE lergest group of socialists - but rtaher that they are ONE OF the largest constituencies of socialists.

Your argument is further contentious, becasue you argue that while the Green Party is a bourgeois liberal party (which it may or may not be), by implication you are arguing that the Labour party is not a bourgeois liberal party?

There is also the question of whwther or not socialists can acheive more in the green party, the labouor party or in neither of them. i remian unconvinced by arguments to join the Greens or Labour.
Labour has changed a lot, hadn't you noticed?