The Green Party of England and Wales has leadership-team elections every two years. This time, the two incumbents are up for re-election. Caroline Lucas is unchallenged, but her running mate, Adrian Ramsay, is up against Derek Wall. Here is a list of reasons why I will be voting to re-elect Adrian (who is no relation).

1) Adrian has the humility of a politician who spends his time speaking with the people he seeks to represent and, the vision of one who understands the difficulties they daily face. When Adrian talks about political ideology, it doesn’t only come from the text books he read at university. His vision is left wing, and truly Green. It is built from the hopes and the struggles of the thousands of people behind the thousands of doors he knocks on every year.

2) Adrian has shown our party true leadership. He hasn’t lectured us that we must be better at explaining how Green politics is about working with communities to make people’s  lives better, he has shown us how.

3) We need to build capacity in the party. Across the country we were squeezed – badly in some places. While we are nationally jubilant at Caroline’s election, many of us are reeling from our failure to progress locally. If there is anyone who can teach us how to move forward, it’s Adrian. He had built the Norwich Greens from a gang of fifteen or twenty to a massive fighting force in the course of a decade. If the party is to grow, we have to learn how he did this.

4) We should be the party of the left. As the Lib Dems have been lost to the right, and Labour seem likely to chose a Blairite as leader, the gap on the left of British politics is more like a chasm. Being the party of the left is not primarily an electoral advantage – though it is. It is a chance to shape the vision of a whole generation of progressives. And that means the party needs to be able to articulate the aspirations and values of that new generation – to speak the language and shape the vision. Adrian’s political success has come because he doesn’t just speak the language of the academic left – though he can. He speaks the language of the progressive majority in this country, and works with people to build a vision of a greener fairer Britain.

5) Adrian is a great media performer. There are very few people who can be grilled by Paxman and always communicate the message they want to. Adrian gets it right pretty much every time. As we face increased scrutiny with our first MP, Caroline will need a deputy that she can trust. Adrian is that deputy.

6) Adrian is young, and it is the young that we must mobilise. Twenty-somethings today are in desperate need of political organisation and leadership. We bunked off school to march against the invasion of Iraq, or to Make Poverty History. We were the first British people to pay tuition fees, then top-up fees. We grew up understanding that climate change was not about atmospheric chemistry but a direct assault on our future. Our young parents got council houses, but sold them off. So we have to live year to year at the whim of private landlords. Thatcher cut taxes, and so failed to invest in the public services with which we grew up – or our parents pensions, which we must now fund.

And now we are grown up, laden with debt, unemployed, and ready to take our country back. When our parents voted for Thatcher, she told them that greed was good. But few realised that it was from their own children that they were being encouraged to steal. Now, as Thatcher’s babies grow up, in the teeth of another recession, this jilted generation is stirring. If our party is to change this country, it must give hope to and be the political expression of a generation the Tories believe they can lose to depression and unemployment. Our party will rise and fall with our success in mobilising the jilted generation. Adrian does not simply understand the struggles of Thatcher’s babies. He is one of us.

Adrian and Caroline are running a joint campaign. You can see their website here.

Adam Ramsay

About Adam Ramsay

Adam is Co-Editor of Open Democracy UK and a green activist based in Edinburgh. He co-founded Bright Green in 2010.