‘System Change Now!’ by Richard Priestley

Book photo
My book is published, at last!

Dear readers of my blog

My life’s work: the book, this blog and lots of talks…

I have wanted to write a book since my schooldays in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was to be a book about the many problems in the world and possible pathways to a better future. For decades I didn’t have the time or confidence to start writing, and I knew I needed learn a lot first. I did decades of reading, research and lifestyle experimentation. In 2007 I did start writing, and wrote 80,000 words and then abandoned the almost finished manuscript as I could not find a publisher. People asked me what I was writing about, so I started giving talks in village halls, at conferences and festivals, and at venues as varied as a committee room in the Houses of Parliament and an Occupy protest camp at St Paul’s Cathedral. In 2010 I started the blog. Over the years I had a few more false starts with the book.

I started writing a new version of the book in September 2020 and finished it in April 2022. Editing, typesetting and printing took the next few months and now in late July 2022 I have a pile of books to sell! My 2007 version was very technologically focused, and in this current version the focus is wider.

I now want to organize a series of book launch events in venues in and around Herefordshire and neighbouring counties. As I am self-publishing the book it does not have an ISBN number and therefore cannot be ordered through normal bookshop and library channels. I am hoping to get it into a number of local bookshops and other outlets. The first shop to take copies to sell is Hey Honey in Church Street, Hereford.

The book is called ‘System Change Now!’ and is for sale at £10.00p per copy to those who buy the book directly from me in Hereford. At shops it may be a little more, depending on shop mark-up, and distance from Hereford. Nowhere in UK will it be more than £15.00p

  Richard Priestley System Change Now!

One man’s vision of a better future Healing a network of crises: Climate, Ecological, Political, Social and Economic through a Global Green New Deal to achieve Human Liberation & Planetary Rewilding

Chapter 1: System Change & A Global Green New Deal
Chapter 2: System Change: Politics, Economics & Society
Chapter 3: Energy, Infrastructure & Materials
Chapter 4: Food, Farming & Biodiversity 
Chapter 5: System Change & Regional Geographies
Chapter 6: Creating Change: What we can do
Chapter 7: Postscript: Putin & Possibilities

Green Gains, Again…

Green Councillors in England & Wales 1974 to 2022

The growth of Green politics continues. Across the UK local elections were held on 5th May 2022. The conservative party lost a lot of seats, with Labour, LibDems, Greens and SNP all gaining seats. Today I want to look briefly at elections in the UK, Australia and Germany.

The Green Party of England and Wales now has 550 seats, and the increase in seats has been increasingly rapid over these last three or four years, as the above graph shows. Most weeks there are the odd few local by-elections, and over the last few weeks the story of Tory collapse and Green gains continues. Many of us are now working hard to make sure that the next local elections in May 2023 result in even larger increases in the number of Green councillors.

5th May also saw local elections in Scotland where the Greens went from 19 to 35 seats, an increase of 16 seats. Again the Tory vote collapsed with Labour, LibDems, SNP and Greens all gaining ground.

Since the federal elections in Germany in September 2021, when the Greens made significant gains, there have been regional elections in a number of the regions of Germany, and again Greens have gained vote share in all of them. On 8th May Greens gained ground in Schleswig-Holstein and a week later they made impressive gains in Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Australian federal elections were held on 21st May. As with the UK local elections, we have witnessed the collapse of the incumbent right wing government. The Australian Labour Party is now the biggest party, but what has been of particular importance is the breakthrough of the Green Party, and of a group of Independents, who some are calling the Teal Independents, as they combine some fiscally conservative policies with greener environmental policies. Queensland, and its’ capital Brisbane, had for decades returned right-wing climate denying politicians, and it is here that the Green have made their greatest gains.

If we are ever to reverse the multiple crises we face (climate/ecological/economic) it is clear we need a very different political system, everywhere. These latest election results in UK, Germany and Australia are all small but necessary steps in bringing about that wider system change.

Putin, Paranoia and Populism

Putin’s reckless and brutal invasion of Ukraine is looking increasingly like it has failed. It has certainly failed in the sense that a quick and relatively bloodless takeover of the country has not happened. Putin has made a massive error. The situation could result in military failure in Ukraine, possibly the break-up of the Russian Federation and for Putin personally, either death or the International Criminal Court in The Hague. On the other hand there could be some kind of eventual Russian victory and if so Putin could remain in power for years to come. Of course these are dangerous and uncertain times. We could end up having a nuclear war, or a random missile could shatter a nuclear reactor. The current situation is resulting in terrible suffering on a daily basis for the people of Ukraine. This week we have on show the best and worst that humanity has to offer.

The EU has found a renewed sense of unity, a spirit and an ability to cooperate and lead on sanctions and practical support. Ordinary citizens in Poland, Germany, Moldova and many other member states are opening their homes to Ukrainian refugees. The spirit of the Ukrainian people has been galvanized and in Volodymyr Zelenskyy they have found a leader who is inspirational, heroic and humane. In June 1940 Churchill stood up to Hitler’s overwhelming military superiority. Now Zelenskyy is standing up to Putin’s massive military onslaught, and he might yet succeed.

Putin embodies so much that is evil, bad and outdated. Putin’s background in the KGB trained him in the ruthless pursuit of the power of the state and preparedness to eliminate any opposition. As he rose to power he used a wide network of mafia style groups to exert power and create a class of wealthy oligarchs who bore him personal loyalty. The ordinary citizens of Russia remain remarkably poor, given that Russia is nominally a superpower. It is a hollowed out economy, massively dependent on oil and gas exports. It has a big military, yet Russia’s total economy is only about the same size as Italy’s.

Putin represents a real danger to peace and democracy everywhere. His influence is extraordinary. He has played a long game, destabilising and weakening western democracies for decades. He funded and backed the whole Brexit process from start to finish and he was instrumental in getting Trump elected. Many in the Conservative party have been financed by him and his network of fellow Russians, who have laundered vast quantities of money in London, and now own much of London’s prime real estate. (Do watch this video)

Putin has a long history of brutally suppressing any opposition. Climate and pro-democracy activists are frequently arrested and imprisoned. A few days ago a group of small children and their mothers were putting flowers outside the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow and they were arrested and imprisoned, with children as young as seven locked up and separated from their mothers. He has intervened militarily, for example in Chechnya in the 1990’s, Georgia in 2008, in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine in 2014 and in Syria from 2015 to the present. In recent months he has been propping up unpopular tyrants in Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Sergej Sumlenny, a former director of the Heinrich Boll Foundation in Kyiv, sees a Russian collapse as potentially imminent, and if this were to be the case breakaway movements in many regions of Russia would likely rebel against domination from Moscow. Much of the Russian military equipment is in poor repair, the invasion force lacks food and fuel, and the soldiers are unprepared, confused and poorly motivated. Morale on the Ukrainian side is strong and determined, and their equipment just about adequate to hold back the larger Russian forces.

On Twitter I now follow dozens of Ukrainian journalists, politicians and ordinary citizens giving excellent on the ground commentary. I also follow a number of academics well versed in the region and thoughtful in their analysis. Many on the left of politics in the USA and UK seem to attribute blame for Putin’s actions to Nato for what they see as it’s expansionist agenda. Janne M Korhonen is a Finnish writer and researcher at Aalto University in Finland, and his Twitter thread posted two days before the invasion I find a compelling rebuttal of this view. Putin’s motivation is primarily a fear and hatred of free open democratic government, and the striving for it in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Georgia and further afield, in Syria and globally. Tied-in with this is his dependence on oil and gas exports. He has been one of the key blocks against strong climate action.

Putin’s action has made all of Europe, but especially his neighbours, keen to strengthen their defences. The EU offers a very different model of governance. It does not have a single person or country leading it. It is a complex collegiate system with many countries, political parties and networks of empowered local and regional governments, linked together in collaborative structures. Traditionally the EU did not focus much on defence. In part this was because Nato existed to resist external threats, and partly because of a strongly held belief that negotiations and cooperation were the modern way forward.

Putin’s actions of the last ten days have changed all this. The EU is acting decisively and taking a leadership role. Biden is playing a role of background support, but it is the various institutions of the EU that are leading. The EU looks stronger and more united than ever. This week Ukraine and Georgia have both applied to join. Switzerland and Sweden have abandoned their traditional neutrality and moved more in-line with EU common action. Many people in Belarus and Russia would love a more democratic system, and to join the EU and to join in with action on the climate. All of that becomes possible for Russia and Belarus, but only in a post Putin era. That era may be sooner than many commentators think.

Putin is becoming ever more paranoid and delusional, as people who hold too much power for too long often do. Ben Judah argues that personalized dictatorships are more erratic and dangerous than collegiate autocracies. There are now very few if any checks and balances on Putin, allowing him the freedom to act on a whim, but increasing the number of people, possibly including some among the oligarchs, who would like to see him gone. The longer the war drags on, the more casualties and the more economic collapse occurs the greater the desire to end the Putin era is likely to become.

An Open Letter to Jesse Norman MP

Boris Johnson: his leadership can be described as pathocratic. He represents a real and present danger to the UK

Dear Jesse

Our country is at a dangerous point in its history. Boris Johnson is a uniquely unfit person to be prime minister, but he is just the tip of the problem. It goes much deeper. The Tory party is split. Most of the able people who were once Conservative MPs have left the party, and are now its fiercest critics.

Anna Soubry recently tweeted that “Boris Johnson and his cronies have made law breaking, lying and cover-ups the new norm. Something very wrong and bad has happened to politics in our country. Even half decent Conservative MPs cower in the shadows refusing to despatch their disgraced leader. Truly dreadful times.”

Rory Stewart, writing in the Financial Times said “Boris Johnson is a symptom of a much broader problem in British politics – which can only be fixed with new policies and – almost certainly – new political parties and a new electoral system”

Boris Johnson’s Savile slur against Sir Keir Starmer was intended to provoke a violent mob, and in true Trumpian style it did. Even Tory loyalists were outraged. Sir Roger Gale tweeted: “Grim scenes outside Parliament today and disgraceful treatment of Sir Keir Starmer.” Tobias Ellwood told Mr Johnson to “apologise please”, adding: “Let’s stop this drift towards a Trumpian style of politics from becoming the norm.”

Boris Johnson has inflicted damage across every part of British Society. When he famously said “Fuck business” he really meant it. Farming, fishing, industry and trade are all in chaos: so too the NHS and education. All this may represent opportunities for Rees-Mogg and the disaster capitalists, but for the vast majority of the UK population it is a total disaster. Your local constituent, Mark E Thomas has carried out extensive research on the damage being done.

Society is fighting back. Court actions against the government are many. No doubt this year will see much street protest about countless issues. The climate and ecological crisis spins ever further out of control and the current cabinet care not a jot. BP effectively pays no tax while receiving huge subsidies to make the situation worse and UK citizens have to pay high prices for energy while the companies rake off vast profits. People are furious.

One of the heroes of our times is Dr Julia Grace Patterson (founder and Chief Executive Officer @EveryDoctorUK ) and she tweeted “Dear Conservative MPs: What’s the line Boris Johnson is going to have to cross for you to accept that he is dangerous?”

Jesse, I see from your website that you are keeping your head down, neither critical nor supportive of Boris Johnson. As with Brexit you remain noncommittal. A saying that is often attributed to your old hero Edmund Burke states that “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Boris Johnson is reported to have said it would take a tank division to get him out of Downing Street. He may actually mean it. His upcoming legislative programme edges ever closer to something like the Enabling Act of March 1933, which entrenched Nazi control in Germany. The judiciary, the BBC, Parliament and many of the other necessary checks and balances are under attack. In the Weimar Republic many politicians thought that they could keep their heads down and the monstrosity that was Nazism would collapse before it did too much damage. They were wrong. They missed the window of opportunity when they could have spoken out and prevented all that followed. Now is surely the time for you to speak out and denounce Boris Johnson and his wretched cabal.

  • For more on Pathocratic leaders, see this from Psychology Today

Three Great Initiatives

On this blog I usually pick a technology of the year, and a person, or people, of the year. This year what has inspired me most is small groups of people taking action to change things in all sorts of positive ways. The old quote from social anthropologist Margret Mead comes to mind: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” Many such small groups have inspired me this year, and whose actions I will be following with interest in 2022. I want to highlight three.

First while the UK government is still paying tax payers money to companies to develop more oil and gas fields this needs to be challenged. Paid to Pollute is a tiny organization which has taken the UK government to court. There is a video of the three key people, Mikaela, Kairin and Jeremy explaining their actions. It is worth watching all 56 minutes.

Awel Aman Tawe is an amazing Welsh charitable organization that does great educational work around climate change and has initiated some excellent projects. It set up the Awel as an energy coop to build and run two Enercon 2.35MW wind turbines at Mynedd y Gwrhyd, near their headquarters at Cwmllynfell, twenty miles north of Swansea in South Wales. They have also set up Egni, the UK’s largest rooftop solar coop, with 88 photovoltaic systems on schools, village halls and other community buildings across South Wales, with a combined capacity of 4.4MW. It is an excellent and ambitious renewable energy coop. Well done Dan, Rosie, Mary Ann, Carl, David and the rest of the team.

The term agrivoltaics combines the words agriculture and photovoltaics. If done well many benefits can be achieved, from biodiversity gains to more productive farming systems and solar electricity, all from the same land. Byron Kominek set up the Colorado Agrivoltaic Learning Centre on five acres of land on the outskirts of the city of Boulder, Colorado, USA. He works with a small team experimenting with various crops under the solar panels and running educational workshops. In the hot dry climate of the American southwest saving water appears to be one of the key advantages, but in other climates other factors will be more important, such as protecting crops from frosts or extreme weather events.

The changes we need in society are many and complex, but challenging the government’s irrational subsidies for fossil fuels is certainly a necessary first step. Developing more renewable energy is also of course necessary and doing this by utilizing agrivoltaic systems and cooperative structures seems the best way to go. Well done to these three teams of pioneering people at Paid to Pollute, Awel Aman Tawe and the Colorado Agrivoltaic Learning Centre.

2021 By-Elections: Greens gaining ground.

I’ve blogged a lot about council by-elections this year. Election Maps is run by a heart surgeon as a hobby, and he produces excellent graphics and data. On Christmas Eve he published this. It shows the aggregate results of all the council by-elections held during 2021. It shows the Conservatives, Independents, Labour, SNP and UKIP all losing seats and the Greens, Liberal-Democrats and Plaid Cymru all gaining seats. In my last blog I mentioned the Green Party gaining eight seats in by-elections over the last few months and now this shows them gaining twelve over the year. It does not mention the main round of local elections held each May, where of course many more seats change hands, and where over the last few years the Green Party has been making impressive gains, as I’ve previously reported on this blog, here and here

2021 Council By-Elections Aggregate Result:

CON: 64 (-10)

LAB: 50 (-2)

LDM: 36 (+10)

GRN: 14 (+12)

IND: 14 (-5)

SNP: 6 (-2)

PLC: 4 (+1)

UKIP: 0 (-1)

Others: 8 (-3)

The Tide is Turning on the Tories

Helen Morgan the LibDems new MP for North Shropshire

On this blog I have frequently argued in favour of some kind of progressive alliance. It is the only way in which we will rid ourselves of this ghastly government and bring in some sensible and more democratic ways forward. Although I’m a passionate supporter of the Green Party I want to celebrate the LibDems historic victory in the North Shropshire by election. They have comfortably overturned a huge Tory majority. It is the third biggest swing to the LibDems, or Liberals, since the Second World War. It is such an interesting result for a number of reasons.

There was no formal progressive alliance, but many Labour and Green voters lent their votes to the LibDems as it became apparent that they were the best bet to get rid of the Tories. This is very much evidence for a kind of bottom up led progressive alliance, led by voters rather than the leadership of national political parties.

The Tory vote collapsed, but interestingly these voters did not switch to the far right parties. Reform, Reclaim and UKIP all stood and all got pretty risible votes. The three main left or centre left parties, LibDems, Labour and Greens, got 61.5% of the vote between them, which given the nature of North Shropshire’s political history and the makeup Shropshire Council is pretty remarkable.

It is also interesting that North Shropshire was strongly pro-Brexit, yet now has swung decisively toward one the UK’s most strongly pro-EU parties. Perhaps now the reality of Brexit is sinking-in. It has been the greatest self inflicted damage on the economy, society and reputation of this country. Reversing it and re-joining the EU will take decades, but eventually that will become possible.

Every Friday morning I read the Tweets from the English Elections Centre and Britain Elects, as most local council by-elections take place on Thursdays, and every Thursday there have been a few local elections. Over these past few months both the LibDems and the Greens have been taking seats off the Tories pretty well every week. Some of the swings have been impressive, and often some kind of tactical voting or informal alliance emerges and either the Greens or LibDems focus on one seat. The collapse of the Tory vote in rural and small town England is not confined to North Shropshire. Over the last few months the Greens have won victories in Horndean Downs (East Hampshire) Ardingly & Balcombe (Mid Sussex) Gorrell (Canterbury) Hartfield, (Wealden) Castle (Tonbridge& Malling) Highfield (Ashford) and two in Brundall (Broadland). These eight Green victories have all been in the Tory heartlands of southeast England. The LibDems have also won a good number of new local council seats, again mainly at the Tories expense. Even Labour has won the odd few seats, but less I think than the Greens or LibDems.

The tide seems to be swinging against the Tories. I, and millions of others, am delighted by that. The Greens and LibDems, and a few of the Labour MP’s, are most enthusiastic for a progressive alliance. The SNP and Plaid Cymru would have much to contribute. Still most of the Labour leadership hold on the outdated idea that winning as a single party is the only worthwhile way to win. I would argue that alliances often bring out the best of both parties. Our county of Herefordshire is better governed than it has been for many years, thanks to the Green and Independent coalition now in charge. Most of Europe is very well served by such coalitions and with any fair voting system coalitions become inevitable.

Eve of COP26 Anticipation

On Sunday 31st October COP26 is due to start. It ought to be the most important and influential meeting in human history. We as a species are at a precarious tipping point. We are heading toward climatic and ecological breakdown. Our very life support systems are being destroyed by greed and stupidity. We could change direction, but tragically the whole COP process is in the hands of the most greedy and venal politicians imaginable.

The UK government is hosting proceedings in Glasgow. Yesterday Rishi Sunak presented his budget. It featured a cut in aviation taxes, ongoing expansion of oil, gas, airports and roads, and other detrimental policies which indicate a total lack of action in terms of planetary healing. Sewage is being dumped in our rivers and seas while privatized water companies rake off obscene profits and squirrel them away in offshore tax havens. Serco’s 37 billion pound track and trace system was an utter failure in helping combat Covid yet siphoned this enormous sum of money away from the NHS and into the hands of the most greedy and incompetent people imaginable. Brexit Britain is in a weaker, more divided and more isolated political position in the world than at any time since the Suez crisis, or probably very much longer.

There will be many people at COP26 who want to help steer a very different path for humanity. A path that gets to zero carbon emissions as fast as possible, and does so in ways that promote global social justice. Those pressing for such a change of direction are a very diverse group of actors, each with somewhat different perspectives, but complementing each other. Perhaps some countries may emerge as leaders. The most likely candidates are small islands states like the Marshall Islands, or countries like New Zealand and Finland that have the best of governments. There will be companies and agencies promoting a solar and cleantech revolution and there will be the activists from the myriad groups around the world trying to lobby for change. New leaders may emerge, big ideas will be discussed. I will follow the news via many sources, including George Monbiot’s COP26.TV and the tweets of many inspiring activists and participants, as well as the mainstream media. Last week Greta Thunberg wrote an excellent article in the Guardian setting out what needs to emerge from COP and particularly the crying need for honest climate leadership. I will of course be interested in her reports from Glasgow. She is the outstanding leader of our times. We need people like her in positions of power. Instead we have evil clowns like Boris Johnson. The shear tragedy of it.

My own feelings on the eve of this momentous meeting are a mix of love and hope, frustration and rage.

German & Norwegian Elections

Annalena Baerbock, leader of the German Greens

Norway had a general election on Monday 13th September and Germany yesterday, on Sunday 26th September. Similar and rather positive trends seem to be emerging in both countries, with Conservative governments falling and probably being replaced with more left leaning and Greener coalition governments.

In Germany the SPD (Labour) emerged as the largest party, winning 206 seats in the Bundestag, a gain of 53 seats. The Greens won 118 seats, a gain of 51 seats. The only other party to gain more than a single one were the FDP (Liberal) who gained 12 seats to bring their total to 92.

The big losers were the CDU/CSU who together lost 50 seats bringing their combined total down to 196 seats. The far left Die Linke party lost 30 seats, reducing their total to 39, and the far right AfD lost 11 seats, reducing their total to 83 seats.

I think a new government will be dominated by the SPD and Greens, but to form a majority government they will need the support of the FDP, or the FDP plus Die Linke. Other possibilities do exist, but seem unlikely to me.

Meanwhile in Norway a very similar pattern is emerging with the incumbent Conservatives losing power to a broad left coalition, which again is likely to be made up of at least three parties, and probably more. The Labour party has 48 seats, the Centre party 28 seats and the Socialist Left party 13 seats, which would create a government with a 9 seat majority in the 169 seat parliament. The Norwegian Green Party increased their seats from 1 to 3, a gain of 2. They would be natural partners in such a coalition.

Chloe Farand, writing on the Climate Home News website points out how this new Norwegian government might be good news in terms of reducing emissions by curbing new oil exploration and extraction. The new government in Germany is also likely to be bolder on reducing carbon emissions than was Chancellor Merkel and her CDU/CSU government.

So, expect small steps forward in terms of the climate-ecological-social crises in these two countries. Still action on the streets will be needed to urge greater speed and boldness, but these two election results are certainly cause for a small celebration.

The Green Party, reflections & hopes

Yesterday, on the day that polling opened for the new leaders of the Green Party, I voted for Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsey to be the new co-leaders. To explain why I voted for them I want to take you back many decades.

As a child in the 1950’s and 60’s I was intensely aware of the damage, pain and suffering being done to the natural world and to people, and as a teenager I became fascinated by those trying to create better, more peaceful, less polluting, more socially just ways of doing things. This became a lifelong quest.

I followed the very early developments of the Ecology Party in the 1970’s. I eventually got around to joining the party in 1982, the same year we formed a new branch of the party in Herefordshire. For the next couple of decades we struggled to get our message heard, and as this graph shows we did gradually and very slowly increase our tiny number of councillors. Mainly we fought elections knowing we would lose, which was quite frankly dispiriting. Gradually in odd places the local parties started getting very much better organized and winning seats. One of the leading places was Norwich and one of their first councillors was a very young Adrian Ramsey, first elected in 2003, and he was part of the team that helped Caroline Lucas get elected in 2010 in Brighton. It seemed in rather hip university cities we could indeed win seats.

Chris Williams worked with Adrian and brought this ‘target to win’ model of organization to the West Midlands. Gradually we got better organized and over the last decade or so the Greens went from three to sixty council seats across the region. Chris Williams winning socially deprived Chelmsley Wood and later Ellie Chowns winning in rural Bishops Frome and Cradley showed we could win anywhere, as long as we had a great candidate, a good sized team of activists and excellent organization.

If delivering leaflets and canvassing where you know you are going to lose is dispiriting then doing the same when you can feel the momentum swinging your way is energizing and empowering. In Herefordshire we went from decades struggling to get or retain one councillor to winning seven seats at the last election in 2019. We are now part of a very creative coalition of Greens and Independents and are running the council.

In my years of trying to influence our local Tory MP’s Jesse Norman and Bill Wiggin I have come to the conclusion that they are both unable to hear our messages however we express them. The only way to change policy is to replace these MP’s with Greens who understand the scale of global system change that the School Strikes movement and Extinction Rebellion are rightly calling for.

Politically things now seem possible that only a few years ago were the stuff of dreams. The Green Party now has 454 seats across 143 principle authority councils in England and Wales, a dramatic increase from the 173 seats we held in 2018. Last May Bristol Green party, lead by Carla Denyer, made a breakthrough and are now level with Labour, each with twenty-four seats. It seems to me that Adrian Ramsey and Carla Denyer have the experience of being councillors and the skills to organise effective teams and win elections. I think they would be the best leaders of the party and that is why I voted for them.

Creating global system change is essential to combat our interlinked network of crises: climate, ecological, social and political. A better future may or may not be possible, but our best chance of securing that is a complex mix of massive changes that I shall be trying to describe in a book I’m writing, and in the upcoming Millichap talk I’m due to deliver via Zoom on 22nd September. One of those changes has to be to change our elected leaders at every level, everywhere. I can see with Adrian and Carla leading the Green Party we might just win a lot more elections, and replacing Bill Wiggin with Ellie Chowns would be amazing, as would replacing Jesse Norman with Diana Toynbee. Do please join the Green Party, and for those of you in Herefordshire come and join our rapidly growing and highly energized local team.