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Recruitment and Openness In the Green Party

On the 17th of august, the first conference of the Youth Greens’ of the North of England will be held. I asked if I would be allowed to bring someone along and was told that said person would have to be a member of the Green Party. This took me by surprise, especially since I have been allowed to attend the social Liberal Forum Conference with the aforementioned person.


When a political party is in desperate need of expansion, like say…the green party (just as an arbitrary example). It is vitally important that they do not shut off potential new members. By this I mean barring them from aiding the party, attending meetings or from otherwise interacting with the party.


What do we think that they will have some kind of corrupting influence on our party members? That their mere presence will turn us all into Thatcherites?


The membership of the major parties is falling like a block of lead that has just been pushed out of a blimp and these lost souls would make ideal green recruits!! Especially since the main complaint that you hear about the “left wing” parties of the UK is that they are drifting to close to the Tories.


Surely a tiny baby party like the Greens should be saying to its members “bring people to our conferences!!” that way they can listen to our speakers and ask questions. It would be the ideal way to bust the myth that we are a single-issue party or a political wing of Friends of the Earth. It would allow people who are thinking about joining us to make up their minds rather than deliberating over it like I did for two years!


Why does a party so desperate for membership that it literally asks the local council about re-tarmacking individual streets and replacing individual post boxes respond to an offer of help from a Lib Dem, who had already helped set up a student Green branch and is an expert in social media, with a “We have pretty clear rules about this kind of thing so I’ll have to politely decline”? This makes no sense whatsoever!!


If we are going to grow as a party a good chunk of the events of our party ought to be open to the public. The false impression that we are a single-issue party can be wiped away with contact with the public. And that contact could take place door to door. But particularly with regards to young people, who will be far more interested in the ideology of a party than its local projects, it could also take place at party events.


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4 thoughts on “Recruitment and Openness In the Green Party

  1. That certainly is a very exclusive way of doing things. I suppose party conferences are aimed towards bringing members together and working on policies, plans, etc. so perhaps this is the exception rather than applying to all Green events? I’d hope so, anyway – they’re certainly not going to gather support with a universal attitude like that!

  2. I see your point but, conference is as Matthew says about the membership and policy. There are so many events run by the Greens where they actively encourage anyone who is interested to attend regardless of political affiliation or membership.

    As for letting a lib dem “help” The Greens are not the Lib Dem party and whilst consensus politics is great, it would be political suicide to allow another party member to run any sort of campaign especially a party that has disavowed green issues since in government. If the said lib dem is concerned about the environment then they would always be welcome in the Green party as a member and then their expertise would be welcomed.

  3. I think you’ve either misunderstood or misinterpreted the situation.

    YG North was formed to help promote YG groups in the North of England and by saying that you have to be a member, this is no way a reflection on the party, or the Young Greens as a whole. The Young Greens Summer Gathering this weekend did not require you to be a member to attend, nor do many Young Greens events.

    However, this event is not an appropriate event for someone who is not a member to attend. As the first meeting, it is being organised primarily to set up the group, as well as holding a few policy discussion sessions. Although I did not make the decision, I fully support it as this group is not for that sort of thing.

    The main reason we set up YG North was to promote young greens in the region, not promote people who aren’t part of the party. Please stop making it out like we’re banning people so we can have discussions behind closed doors as we’re not – we will be posting a report from the meeting online and all decisions made will be made available.

    • Than you for clarifying!! I still think greater efforts are needed to interact with non-members but prahaps this would be more appropriate for another event!!

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