Interview with Alice Hubbard and Sam Murray – Green Party international coordinator candidates
Throughout August, members of the Green Party for England & Wales (GPEW) will be voting to elect members of the next Green Party Executive (GPEx). In all, members will vote to determine which representatives will carry out eleven different roles – including that of leader and deputy leader. There is also a ballot to determine who will be the party’s third member in the House of Lords should the party be asked to put forward another peer.
Alice Hubbard and Sam Murray are standing as a job share for the position of international coordinator. Hubbard is currently the party’s international coordinator, and Murray is a former Young Greens co-chair.
Three other candidates are standing for the position. Greens of Colour treasurer Alex Horn and former member of the Green MEP advisory board Erwin Schaefer are also standing on a job share ticket. 2019 Doncaster Central candidate Frank Sheridan, and former GPEx equality and diversity coordinator Claudine Letsae are standing alone.
We asked each of the candidates five questions on their background and what they would seek to achieve on GPEx. Here are Alice Hubbard and Sam Murray’s responses.
What do you think are the main challenges facing the Green Party, and how would you work to overcome them?
We believe in a vision of a Green Party ready to play our role in a new compassionate global movement – ensuring we give voice to the global south facing challenges with climate changes and inequality.
We have key policy challenges including fighting climate change (e.g. discussions at COP26), and our post-Brexit European voice and influence. To face these challenges we need to use our voice within the global green movement working strategically with others to develop policy, run cross-border campaigns and building networks for system change. As part of this process we must place liberation groups front and centre.
As a political party we also have challenges of structures and governance. One great internal challenge is ensuring that GPEx and leadership value international work. It has been a struggle to get support for disseminating our progress in international arenas as it is not seen as important work. We want to challenge this notion head on and meet with GPEx to demonstrate how international work can be important to their individual portfolios.
We both have experience of GPEX roles, and as elected executive members on green regional and global bodies. We work collaboratively with International Committee and have both led an extensive programme of international work, improving internal party structures to make them more fit for purpose.
What skills do you bring that would make you an effective member of the executive?
We bring a cross cultural understanding and experience of working across differences to our collaborative working and consensual decision making practices. Our experience on international green bodies means that we bring lessons from other green parties on issues such as governance, electoral strategies and defending democracy. We bring young and queer voices directly into the role and are committed to challenging all forms of discrimination. We are interested in translating our internationalism into positive action and results, and we have the project management and organisation skills to underpin this.
Alice has established global networks with green parties and activists across every continent – she is the elected Secretary of Global Young Greens (since 2017), which have been invaluable in bringing global perspectives to bear on GPEW preparation work for COP26. Until recently, Alice worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including roles tackling modern slavery, and young people’s safety in Europe. She’s also worked with indigenous activists in Mexico and Guatemala. In September, she will be starting a Policy Leader Fellowship at the European
Sam has a PhD in international cultural policy and has worked as a policy officer for the music industry body UK Music giving evidence to government bodies and working with international partners. He has also run seminars and training on behalf of the Federation of Young European Greens. Last year working with FYEG partners he ran a training scheme for young MEP candidates across Europe building and fostering a community offering support. The scheme helped get 7 young MEPs elected across Europe.
What background do you have in doing international work for the Green Party?
We both have vast experience in delivering international work for the party. Alice is the current International Coordinator (with Michal Chantkowski) and Sam is an International Committee member.
Our background in international work for GPEW includes:
- Dedicated work with the European Green Party (EGP) and Global Greens, leading and supporting GPEW delegations in Europe. We supported the successful election of three GPEW representatives to EGP bodies, including former MEP Jean Lambert – We have helped develop resolutions across 5 EGP Councils.
- Delivering 10 international training sessions (e.g. Green Academy, North Macedonia)
- Organising international events and conferences (e.g. Global Young Greens Congress 2017, 2021)
- Delivering innovative projects in collaboration with sister parties (e.g. Albania, North Macedonia, Kenya, East African Greens)
- Improving GPEW systems and organisation to better support international activities and partnership working (e.g. with Westminster Foundation for Democracy)
- Working with civil society organisations and campaigners (e.g. Roma NGOs and LGBTIQA+ organisations in the Balkans)
- Linking up local groups and members with international representatives and campaigners, and sharing information (e.g. in Green World)
- In election campaigning (2 European, 5 local, 1 Senedd, and 3 General Elections – and for remain)
How do you see the Green Party of England and Wales fitting in to international politics post-Brexit?
Brexit makes it clear that we must continue to play an important role in the European green movement. We also believe that we need to engage with our green family in the Global South, and continue projects that we have set up with the East Africa Greens, and look to projects addressing the impact that colonialism has had on climate change.
We have both worked to forge new links and relationships with non EU green parties in Europe. We have set up a non-EU members network within the EGP and have worked on international exchange projects within the Balkans. This has allowed us to understand more about our new changed relationship with the EU.
We have also sought to reinvigorate the Inter-Isles Network (England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland) strengthening our collective understanding and voice, generating support for policy proposals and ensuring a unified approach to COP26 preparations.
How would you strengthen the Green Party’s international links?
As candidates, our international links are extensive and strong. We have spent 2 years building a network of contacts and building alliances to progress policy at a European and global level.
You cannot turn up to an EGP Council shouting demands, you have to build coalitions of cooperation and trust to bring about changes to policy.
The question is how we embed internationalism across the party, and what we do with those ‘international links’ – how this is translated into practical action, to deliver results.
As candidates for International Coordinator we want to build on progress in three key areas, to:
1. Amplify the GPEW voice, influence and impact in European and Global Green governance
2. Open up and democratise international work to better connect GPEW internationalism with members and local groups
3. Reflect and extend our equality and social justice commitments, and fully represent the diversity of GPEW
We invite all members to visit our facebook page and watch our video for further information!
This interview is part of a series with each of the candidates in this year’s GPEx elections. You can find Bright Green’s full coverage of the elections here.
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