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.