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Green Liberal Democrats – the way forward in 2019?

July 11, 2019 7:10 AM
By Kevin Daws
Originally published by Green Liberal Democrats

(What follows is a personal opinion)

It is not an overstatement to say that 2019 has been a momentous year for the Liberal Democrats and the Green Liberal Democrats with the party achieving its best set of local election results since the 1990s and the best European Parliament Election results for 25 years.

The number of Green Liberal Democrat members will soon pass the 800 mark and our followers on various social media platforms is growing apace.

During the LibDem Leadership race both Jo Swinson and Ed Davey have, understandably, been pitching for the 'Green Liberal Democrat' vote which shows how seriously they take both the Green Liberal Democrats as an organisation and also the 'Green' agenda.

For those of us who were involved with the Green Liberal Democrats at the time of merger in 1988 there is a sense of Deja vu because we have been here before. In the late 80s and during the 90s the Green Liberal Democrats hugely influenced the Liberal Democrats policies but for some reason the party did not fully commit to the 'Green Agenda' and those policies were ignored or watered down and in some cases reversed.

Now we are presented with an opportunity to get the Liberal Democrats to put the 'Green Agenda' at the front and centre of what we stand for, so what can we do to try and ensure that all Liberal Democrats commit to the 'Green Agenda'?

I do not pretend to have the full answer to this question but I think that the key thing we need to do is to get the message out there both within the party as well as to the public:

  • What is the 'Green Agenda' and why is it important? GLD posters
  • What is the 'Green New Deal' that we keep hearing about and what is the Liberal Democrat version of this?
  • Why are children involved in School Strikes against Climate Change?
  • Why are young people actively engaged in Non-Violent Direct Action and disruptive activities?
  • Why is there a renewed sense of urgency about Climate Change and the 'Green Agenda' since the IPCC Report was published last October?

I think an important element of what we need to do as Green Liberal Democrats is communicating with people and convincing them that the 'Green Agenda' is not just important, it is vital, and we need to act now - to coin a phrase The Time is Now!

  • Now that our membership is rapidly approaching 800 the Green Liberal Democrats need to set up Regional Groups or Branches
  • We need to look at how we engage with, and actively involve, young people?
  • We need to make every effort to ensure that the 'Green Agenda' is being discussed regularly by every SAO and AO within the Liberal Democrats including every local party
  • We need to look at how we engage with external organisations whether they are pressure groups, charities or trade unions
  • We need to look at how we take the Liberal Democrats and the 'Green Agenda' into our workplaces; our communities; our professional bodies; our hobbies and interest groups, in fact, into every part of our lives.

Bill Shankly, the former Liverpool Football Club Manager, was once quoted as saying that "Football is not a matter of life and death, it is more important than that.

Following the publication of the IPCC report on Climate Change I think we can safely paraphrase Bill Shankly and say that "Climate Change is not a matter of life and death it is more important than that!" The reality is that we are now talking about the life and death of the human race if not of the planet itself.

The Time is Now for all Green Liberal Democrats and all Liberal Democrats to take action to make a real difference.