Stephen Wood, a high profile Green Party activist has today announced that he is leaving The Green Party and joining ‘Ed Miliband’s Labour’.
Stephen was Secretary of the local Brighton party when Caroline Lucas became Britain’s first Green MP and has previously Chaired the LGBTIQ Greens. You can read his reasons for leaving in full here.
I post this message here because, despite disagreeing with his decision, I can see why he would be tempted with this move. I have met Stephen a handful of times and I have admired the pragmatism within his radical progressive politics.
At the very least I hope this acts as a wee wake up call for those active within The Green Party. A simple message can be taken from Stephen’s article that I would fully endorse. Strengthen internal structures to ensure the party remains fully democratic in both its decision making and decision implementation.
Also, no-one likes petty party politics. I know other parties don’t exactly hold out olive branches to Greens, but Green Party activists must try to rise above this. Stephen’s point about the strain of thought within the Greens that “arrogantly presumes that the Greens have the monopoly on progressive ideals” is an important one. Almost this exact phrase has been said to me by both people within the Labour Party and without.
Even if Greens don’t think it’s true, it is something that must be acknowledged to be a common perception.
It is also worth highlighting the cross-party nature of many of these problems (poor internal democratic structures, putting party before principle, power corrupting etc). Hopefully those reading this from all political persuasions will take note.
Lastly, a note of good luck to Stephen. I genuinely hope his progressive voice is heard within the Labour Party.
For balance: Natalie Bennett, the Leader of The Green Party, has just tweeted this blog in response. It is the story of Pauline Ward and why she left Labour to join The Green Party. Enjoy!