Candidates for Leader: Pippa Bartolotti

We asked the candidates for the post of leader the same set of questions (and quick fire questions). Here are Pippa Bartolotti’s responses:

 

  • Which three policies do you think the Party should prioritise over the next three years?

The IPCC said 2 weeks ago that we may have only 10 years left to reverse the trend of global warming. The suffering climate change will bring is to me the one reason for putting this at the top of the agenda. However, we are fortunate in that for 30 years we have been developing policies and remedies; therefore it is impossible to speak about climate change without being passionate about the direction our social and economic policies bring to alleviate the dilemma.

 

  • Do you think that we have got the balance right between central vs local control/ownership of the Party, and if not how would you like to see structures (e.g., GPEx, GPRC, local party organising) within the Party change?

In a short timescale, such as we have to grow the membership and become a force for good, I don’t want to say to my children ‘Sorry, we let climate change happen, but our administrative systems are great’. So I would say our structures are good enough. They will never be perfect. I am deeply concerned that the Party is becoming inward looking because it is easier than getting elected or recruiting new members (not that we have people who are not focused on this). I don’t want us to become dinosaurs in our own vegetable plots. I would rather we turned outwards and started to embrace the external issues head on.

 

  • It is often said that there is a wealth of talent in the Green Party, but that we do not utilise it to its full potential. How would you make more of our elected representatives, spokespeople and other knowledgeable individuals within the party in order to get the Green message heard?

I believe we have to engage outside the Green party urgently. To do that it is necessary to improve our networks. Many of our good and knowledgeable advisers are uncomfortable with public speaking, but they can use the internet. I would like to see a forum developed – call it Ask a Green, or whatever – whereby any individual, anywhere, can ask us a question and receive a well thought out reply. This would be great use of our expertise, and would go a long way to lessen some of the misapprehensions non-Greens have.

 

  • How would your Leadership differ from those of the other candidates for Leadership? Please describe what you think are the main differences between yourself and the other candidates in terms of a vision for the Party.

I am a good communicator. I have been TV trained, and I am a passionate speaker. My appeal is broad and my awareness of the less vocal sections of the party (the majority) is good. I have a background in business and creativity. We definitely need to be able to talk to businesses; small businesses in particular are the backbone of the economy we would like to see. We also need to get creative. I can’t promise miracles, but I can promise to see from a different perspective and come up with ideas. For example we have never had a business group – a huge omission.

I suppose I should say that I am different from the other candidates in that my background, skills and abilities have been ground out in a less political, more varied world. This makes me the candidate most likely to attract new members. Other parties are losing members at a phenomenal speed, we can gain from this if can increase our credibility without looking like professional politicians.

 

Quickfire

  1. Are you a vegetarian? Since I was 11 years old.
  2. How many flights have you taken in the last 5 years? One, my attempt to visit the Palestinian civil society groups in the West Bank, which ended in an Israeli jail. I am very committed to human rights.
  3. Which UK politician from outside the Green Party do you most admire? I don’t particularly admire any of them.
  4. What issue first inspired you to join the Green Party? When I returned from spending some months in Cuba, I found I knew more about the Cuban system than my own. I trawled the internet to find out more about our political parties and naturally looked at the Greens. I was impressed by the transparency and fell in love with our philosophical basis. I joined up the same day.
  5. Where do you shop? Anywhere to be honest. But I am not a big consumer and avoid goods which have high air miles (or any sort of miles) stuff made in China, and of course goods grown or made in the occupied territories. First choice (after my garden) is the local market. Here I can support local traders and avoid packaging.
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