Zack Polanski at Zoom launch rally

Zack Polanski held his first rally as part of his bid for the deputy leadership of the Green Party of England and Wales this evening. Around 40 party members joined Polanski on Zoom to hear about his vision for the party.

In his introductory speech, Polanski emphasised three core campaign themes – getting more Greens elected, delivering a “media breakthrough” and ensuring the Green Party is “intersectional”. Following this, he also faced questions from attendees. This is when the event got more interesting, with Polanski pressed on specific issues.

One member asked whether Polanski thought the Green Party was “explicitly a socialist party”. His response was, “On a personal level I agree with the majority of socialist principles”, and said that, “we are a left wing, left of centre party”. But he also clarified, “The reason why I wouldn’t say explicitly, yes, we’re a socialist party kind of in public and as a slogan is I think that’s going to unnecessarily put people off”.

He went on to argue that in defining the Greens as a socialist party there would be a need to, “appeal to all the socialists and kind of struggle with all the people who are anti socialist who might have voted Green if we didn’t say we were socialists.” Instead of describing the Green Party in this way, Polanski instead argued that Greens should be talking about a “fair, equitable society where we make sure that everyone is looked after”, and advocating policies like a Universal Basic Income.

Attendees at the rally also heard from the former Lord Mayor of Oxford Elise Benjamin, Southwark Green Party’s Claire Sheppard and former Green Party staffer Andi Moir – each of whom explained why they are backing Polanski.

Nominations for the Green Party’s deputy leadership election close on June 30. Polanski remains at this point the sole candidate who has confirmed his candidacy. Members will be voting in the election throughout the summer.

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