Let’s Take Back Control (But also Take On Responsibility).

My final written statement for the Deputy Spokesperson for the Wales Green Party:

“Previously I’ve outlined my vision for the Deputy Speaker.  I want to focus on helping our local parties grow and supporting our local candidates. I also want to use my professional experience to help us own the energy agenda and I’m confident that my plans will compliment the work of Alice and the other Spokesperson. 

However, I think it’s only fair that I use this final statement to outline below my thoughts on Brexit because if elected this issue will dominate my two year term. 

Clearly Brexit has exposed huge divisions in our country. I have no doubt that the messaging of the Leave Campaign, alongside much of our toxic press, is complicit in this. The Remain campaign also talked a great deal of nonsense. But what I’m seeing, as many lurch to the political right or into despair, is a huge amount of pain. And despite the optimism of many I can’t see how Brexit will solve any of our problems.

I believe that the pain in our country stems from a majority of people feeling hopeless, forgotten and scared for their future. I also think many of us have been so affected by neoliberal economics and political abandonment that we have become emotionally scarred. And I see a huge vacuum as most political parties refuse to explain to people what caused these scars. 

So when asked about Brexit I will keep my comments simple. I believe that we, as Greens, need to emphasize that we believe that we need to Take Back Control. Not from the EU (that was sleight of hand from the start) but that we need to take control back from the causes of pain in our society. We need to take back control from an undemocratic monetary system. We need control back from the big energy companies, the media conglomerates, the big supermarkets, the lobbyists, and the offshore asset hoarders. 

I would like to describe to people how none of this pain, none of this division, will ever be healed unless we take back control from an economic system that has run rampant and is the root cause of all our social and environmental injustice. 

I think I can explain our message simply. If people feel like they aren’t in control then support the Greens who will wrestle it back from their unscrupulous landlord through rent controls. The Greens will take back control for the people victimised by the DWP. The Greens will take back control of economic uncertainty with a Universal Basic Income.

I want to explain that if people offer the Greens their support then collectively we can take back control of our future and that of our fragile planet. 

If elected I’m hopeful that I will be able to cut through the narrative and articulate exactly what is going on. When the others offer scapegoats or soundbites, I will offer our solutions. 

So as weird as it may seem I believe that we Greens need to focus on taking back control. But I also recognise that collectively we also need to take back responsibility.” 

Standing for Wales Green Party Deputy Leader – Opening Statement

Here’s my opening statement to Wales Green Party members outlining what I want to do as the Deputy Leader / Spokesperson.

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I’m an experienced public speaker who has given speeches on established Wales Green Party issues such as climate change, energy and the environment for over a decade. I’m widely considered an expert on issues around energy, a policy area WGP should absolutely own, and would gladly speak on behalf of our party on this or any other that is required. I’ve represented WGP on TV and Radio and had many media appearances throughout my career. However, none of those things are the reason I have put myself forwards as deputy speaker…

As deputy speaker I want to travel the country to support, nurture and complement our local parties and candidates. I believe that one of the biggest priorities of our party must be to identify and support our future talent who will in turn become our elected Green representatives. Green politicians don’t simply appear ready-made and I want to play a role in helping them become the leaders that we need.

I think that it is entirely possible that our first Welsh Green AMs and MPs aren’t even members of the party yet, and that part of my role will be to help us find them, to encourage them, and to use this position to create meaningful platforms for them to speak loudly on our behalf.

Surely with enough people out there speaking about our message of real political change such as citizen’s income, reforming politics and tacking inequality we are natural home for many more people. One of the key messages I want to promote is that we are not just a party opposed to the toxins pumped out into the environment but we are also the only true challengers to the toxic ideas that are seemingly gaining ground.

If I can play a part in creating a loud unified voice for genuine radical change that works for the common good then we will be in a prime position to attract new members, new talent and the people who will one day be our elected Green representatives. Our one, fragile planet, and people facing injustices need to hear our message, as it is more relevant and needed than ever before. And that voice isn’t particularly mine, but rather the voice of the many. I just want to help us find it.

About me:

I studied Geography at the University of Plymouth and was a post-graduate student at Oxford University and Oxford Brookes. I am the founder and Managing Director of a not-for-profit hydroelectric engineering company, and my early career was as a secondary school teacher. I am co-founder of a social enterprise that helps community groups across Mid and South Wales reduce carbon and improve biodiversity.

I have been awarded the British Empire Medal for my Services to the Renewable Energy Industry in Wales and I have won numerous other prestigious awards throughout my career.

Key political areas I am passionate about are Energy, Mental Health, Domestic Violence and Abuse.

I live in Brecon with my wife and kids.

(500 Words)