New Young Greens co-chairs elected – UK Green news round up week 34
Rosie Rawle and Thomas Hazell elected co-chairs of the Young Greens of England and Wales
The Young Greens of England and Wales have got new leadership. After a ballot of Young Greens members, Rosie Rawle and Thomas Hazell were elected as the Green Party youth and student branch co-chairs. Rawle was re-elected to the role, and Hazell defeated incumbent co-chair Liam McClelland.
Speaking on her election, Rawle said:
It’s an absolute delight to have been re-elected as Young Greens Co-Chair. In the last year, young people have been rising up, demanding that political leaders stop gambling away our futures. The Young Greens has such a role to play in this growing movement – in calling for action on climate change and a Green New Deal, in fighting for migrant rights and standing up to the far-right, in pushing for a truly transformed economy – and I can’t wait to see us get there and I can’t wait for the year ahead!
Hazell joined Rawle in celebrating the Young Greens as a radical strain within the Green Party. Speaking to Bright Green, Hazell said:
The Young Greens, now more than ever, need a vision of hope for young people. It’s time for us to rise up against climate change, Brexit and the far right. I’m so excited to have been elected co-chair, and I’ll make sure that we stay a powerful and radical political movement.
In the first round of counting, Rawle received 187 votes, Hazell received 60 and McClelland received 32. In the second round after Rawle’s transfers, Hazell received,120.32 votes and McClelland 59.04.
Alongside the co-chairs, seven other members of the Young Greens executive were elected on 25 August. A job-share of Matthew Hull and Rowan Van Tromp was elected as treasurer of the Young Greens. Five non-portfolio officers were also elected:
- Nannette Youssef
- Rebecca Mulvaney
- Isabella Moir
- Tyrone Scott
- Alex Nettle
The election results were announced at the annual Young Greens Convention, which also heard talks from Green Party of England and Wales co-leader Sian Berry, Green MEPs Magid Magid and Ellie Chowns, and anti-Brexit campaigner Femi Oluwole.
Greens condemn Jair Bolsonaro over Amazon forest fires
The Amazon has been burning. And it’s a direct result of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s policies.
And prominent Greens have been strong in their condemnation of Bolsonaro. Green MEP for South West of England and Gibraltar hit out at Bolsonaro and called for the European Parliament to reject Mercusor – a proposed trade deal between Latin American Nations and the European Union:
The stakes couldn’t be higher. The burning of the Amazon places the planet on red alert. This is a globally significant eco-system and carbon sink, vital in the fight against climate breakdown. If we lose it, our planet and civilization face meltdown.
Bolsonaro is encouraging this torching of the forest to appease his agricultural paymasters so they can use the land for beef cattle and soya. He is guilty of ecocide and politicians across the globe must stand up to this environmental criminal
Brazil is failing to meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement or protect the rights of indigenous forest communities. These are sufficient grounds for MEPs to block Mercosur. We are close to the numbers needed to stop this trade agreement, a move that will send a powerful message to the Bolsonaro regime and turn it into an important lever to end this destruction.
Yorkshire and the Humber’s Green MEP Magid Magid slammed what he described as Bolsonaro’s “ethno-supremacist disaster-capitalism”. In an article for the Huffington Post, Magid said:
The essence of Brazilian freedom and democracy has been torched to a cinder. Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right programme of ethno-supremacist disaster-capitalism has brought with it destituteness for Brazil’s poor and most vulnerable, devastation for its minorities and indigenous peoples, and dismay for political opponents and dissidents. In recent weeks alone, Bolsonaro has launched explosive, indiscriminate tirades against indigenous young girls, the Norwegian government and journalists bold enough to question his reckless rhetoric.
However, there is no doubt that his most brutal assault to date is the scorched-earth war he has waged and supported on the beating heart of all life on our planet: the Amazon rainforest.
And Eastern region Green MEP Catherine Rowett tweeted:
— Catherine Rowett MEP (@catherinerowett) August 23, 2019
Scottish Green co-leaders set out their vision for the Greens in the independence debate
Newly elected Scottish Green Party co-leader Lorna Slater has this week set out her vision for her party in Scottish politics. In an interview with Scotland on Sunday, Slater argued that the Greens have a big role to play in offering a radical vision for Scottish independence. She said:
The SNP and the Greens both want independence, but past that our politics are significantly different.
Our vision is much greener. We want to move away from oil and gas.
It is important to have more than one vision of what an independent Scotland can look like.
And her fellow co-leader Patrick Harvie echoed these comments. According to Common Space, at the Edinburgh Fringe, Harvie said:
There are those who have a view of independence as an economically right-leaning, small government, low-tax, low-public services sort of Scotland – I would vote against that. If I thought that was going to happen. But there are a great many people who see independence as about opening up the possibilities of a better, fairer, more inclusive Scotland.
Ellie Chowns donates half of her salary to charity and social causes
The West Midlands’ Green MEP made headlines this week for her philanthropic approach to her salary. Chowns revealed that she is donating half of it to charities and other social causes. Among the organisations she had supported are West Mercia Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre and The Real Junk Food Project Birmingham.
The Express and Star reported Chowns as saying:
I’ve made a commitment to giving away half of my salary and half of the ‘daily living allowance’ that I get from the European Parliament – because I am generously paid, don’t need it all myself, and want to use the money to support others working for positive social change.
Gina Dowding responds earth tremor following Lancashire fracking
Fracking in Lancashire has begun again. And inevitably it has been followed by a series of earth tremors. The highly controversial fossil fuel extraction process has long caused such seismic events, and has frequently been described as not only environmentally catastrophic, but also highly dangerous.
Green MEP for the North West of England Gina Dowding hit out at both the government and fracking company Cuadrilla for the tremors. Dowding said:
It is simply astounding that Cuadrilla feel they are able to pass off the very real concerns of residents, regarding the seismic events that are being caused by fracking, comparing tremors to like “dropping bags of shopping” or the equivalent of a glass of milk shaking on a table – these are both responses that Cuadrilla deem to be suitable as “reassurance” to residents and the communities around their Preston New Road site.
Earlier this year, former Energy Minister, Claire Perry MP said that: “It would be a very foolish politician who would do things that would be considered to be relaxing regulatory standards when we are trying to reassure people about safety.”
And yet, the fracking industry is heavily lobbying the government to shift the seismic traffic light system so that they would be able to cause larger tremors.
This is not in the interests of the community and the government should strongly refuse this request, and not renege on their previous promise to maintain the current regulatory standards.