The Green Party ‘establishment’ at sixes and sevens over Jason Kitcat’s decision to stand for the European Parliament

My post last night regarding the decision of councillor Jason Kitcat to put his name forward has attracted a reaction from the Green Party ‘establishment’. I received one email that aimed to set out the correct facts (something that has never unduly influenced me):

“We began our selection process for the 2014 (not 2013) European Parliamentary elections last Autumn. … That’s before Bill publicly announced he’d be standing down; let alone Jason emerging as our nominee for Leader of the Council. We are currently selecting a list of ten candidates from a total of 18 nominees. This process will end on 9th April. At that point we’ll know where Jason has been selected on the list, if at all. Since 1999 we’ve had one MEP in the Region. We are hopeful that we might make that two this time. Therefore, unless Jason is selected first or second; his chances of being elected as an MEP are more or less zero. Even if he is selected in first or second place; the election isn’t until June 2014. That’s 2 1/4 years away. I can’t see any reason why this should interfere with his work as Leader of the Council. This is especially true as we elect our Group Leader once a year, so in order for Jason to still be Leader of the Council by the time of the European Elections, he’d have to stand and be re-elected twice by the Group and Local Party.”

I’m not sure if I entirely agree that an election two and a quarter years away would not interfere with his work as Leader of the Council. I would hope it would not, but then it would be a pity if a candidate selected so early did not campaign energetically across the south east constituency during that time.

There were comments left on my earlier post that tend to contradict each other. Rob Shepherd writes: “It is not the case that Bill Randall decided to stand down after just one year in office. In fact, he made it clear when he took office that it would be only for one year” while Ben Duncan writes: “All candidates (Jason included) seeking nomination to the Green Party’s list for the European Parliamentary election put their names forward last year… well before the role of Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council became vacant”.

It could be that both are correct but it means that the right and left of the Greens aren’t aware of what the other is up to. Whatever the situation, I coninue to hold the view that Brighton and Hove City Council needs someone of the calibre of Jason Kitcat as its Leader. His effectiveness will be watered down if he was to be selected as a candidate for the European elections.

Labour has lost the plot in Brighton: vote Green

The Green Party has claimed it could win Brighton Pavilion at the next general election after it secured more votes in Brighton and Hove in the European elections than any other party.

It used to be said that voting Green would let the Tories in. Now, with the Greens on 33.7%, the Conservatives on 23.7% and Labour on 15.6%, it can be argued that voting Labour could let the Conservatives in.

In Caroline Lucas, the Greens have a very impressive party leader. Her weakness is that she doesn’t seem to have much presence on the ground in Brighton. This is a sign of arrogance and could deny the Greens its first ever MP in Britain.

With David Lepper standing down at the general election, Labour loses its greatest asset in Brighton. David has been a diligent MP who has built up a huge personal vote, and he is respected by people of all political persuasions.

Labour’s unimpressive performance on the City Council, and the lacklustre campaigns of its two Parliamentary candidates, suggests that those on the centre-left should support Caroline Lucas in becoming the next MP for Brighton Pavilion, in spite of her shortcomings.