83 days to go, and Caroline Lucas continues to be let down by local Green Councillors

There are just 83 days until the expected general election and the campaign in Brighton Pavilion is getting into full swing, whereas there is an eery silence in the campaigns in neighbouring constituencies.  It is as if candidates are too scared to do anything.

But in Brighton Pavilion all three candidates are ensuring that residents cannot forget the election, or them.

Today Nancy Platts has blitzed Regency Ward, and from those I saw out and about, all were local party members.  She has put out another of her questionnaire-type leaflets throughout the constituency (although it is a shame that the return address in the event of non-delivery is Northumberland!). Where Nancy excels is in her ability to react to local issues within a few days, even hours.  Her campaign to save the Preston Circus Fire Station is playing very well, and securing for her a very positive reaction. She has leapt on the plans to fell trees in Clyde Road, meeting with residents immediately that the plans were unveiled. And this in the heart of the ‘Green belt’.

Caroline Lucas, as a member of the European Parliament, and therefore often away from Brighton, needs others to help her maintain a local face, but she continues to be failed by Green members locally.  Apart from the likes of Bill Randall, Jason Kitcat, Ben Duncan and Alex Philips, local Green councillors, particularly those in St Peters and North Laine, are noticeable by their invisibility.  The plan to fell trees in a street such as Clyde Road should have been a campaigning gift for councillors for St Peters and North Laine, but as this blog has said on many occasions, many Green councillors lack the ability to campaign. A well-organised party would have had a leaflet out within 24 hours, in the name of Caroline Lucas and the local Green councillors.  (I offer this criticism as one who is calling for a tactical vote for the Greens in Brighton Pavilion.  Caroline Lucas is favourite to be elected, and if she is it will be in spite of the majority of Green councillors, not because of them!).

Charlotte Vere continues to be a one-woman tornado, sweeping her way around the constituency, tirelessly meeting meeting people and making a very favourable impression. When I met her recently, the impression I was left with is that she would make an excellent member of parliament, but what a shame about her Party.  (I say the same thing about Nancy Platts, great candidate, wrong party).  Charlotte is probably the most impressive of all three when relating to ordinary people, followed closely by Nancy.  She lets herself down by her constant digs at her opponents on her website.  She could learn from Caroline and Nancy who totally ignore, at least in public, the other candidates!

Even though she is the ‘superstar’ of the Green Party, Caroline’s ‘bed-side manner’ isn’t great, which is why she so needs her local councillors.  Yet she continues to be let down by them.  It is as if, apart from the tireless Alex Phillips, most Green councillors don’t want Caroline to win …..

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2 Responses

  1. Hi BPB,

    Glad to see you’re back to blogging as well.

    I would actually say that the Green councillors around St. Peter’s and North Laine, particularly Keith Taylor, is busy pounding doors almost every weekend, the rest of the time he’s pursing casework. Yes, perhaps they have missed one issue, but you have to remember, the local party is pretty stretched in regards to the campaign.

    We know that the Greens have to work that much harder in the constituency given that the GE will largely be defined by Brown vs. Cameron.

    I would hardly describe Caroline’s manner as ‘bedside.’ Today, she has been busy pounding the streets as she does three out of every four weekends (she does after all represent the good citizens of Brighton in the European Parliament), as well as having family commitments.

    I would say that the Greens have other superstars, one of these being Adrian Ramsay, the Green candidate in Norwich South. You can check out the impression he left on young people at a BBC Breakfast ‘speed dating’ event yesterday morning: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8503191.stm

    I would say Green councillors work hard, one way or another, as the vast majority of councillors do. Brighton and Hove residents are lucky to have a lively political landscape where so many individuals really care about their well-being, regardless of which party they’re from. It’s good to see all three of the leading candidates making the effort with Brighton Pavilion residents, and I commend them all.

  2. The Green Party makes it very clear that all green councillors have to do a lot of work as part of their role and are not allowed to just sit in the role, as some councillors do…..

    They all meet up reguarily with the local party and have to report back on what they’ve been doing to make sure they are complying by these standards the green party demands!!!!

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