About the London Assembly

  • 25 London Assembly Members elected by you at the same time as the Mayor. Eleven represent the whole capital and 14 are elected by constituencies
  • Assembly Members act as champions for Londoners by investigating issues such as transport, policing, housing and planning, the economy, health and of course: the environment
  • The Mayor should respond to Assembly motions and formal recommendations and the Assembly holds the Mayor to account
  • The Mayor must consult Assembly Members on strategies and budgets, which they can reject and amend if a majority of two-thirds agree to do so
  • The Assembly can press for changes to national, Mayoral or local policy

Did you know…
London Assembly meetings are open to the public so you can come along at any time to see what is being discussed and how your candidate is doing!

Isn’t it a waste of my vote to vote Green?
Definitely not! You vote for your constituency candidate as well as for the party and the mayor. If a candidate from you constituency doesn’t win, your vote will automatically get added  to the other London-wide candidate from the same party. In other words: the chances of getting a Green candidate into the London Assembly are good, and your vote will help achieve this!

One for the diary: Thursday 07 May 2020 London Assembly & Mayoral Elections


Meet your London Assembly candidate: Marijn van de Geer

Now more than ever we need to give environmental issues the same priority (if not higher) as any economic, social, or political issue. At the end of the day, none of it will matter if we are no longer able to live our lives on this planet in a feasible way. This may sound extreme, but we don’t think it is. At the Green Party we believe the frightening predictions of climate change and biodiversity loss to be true, and to be the biggest threat humanity has ever faced.

Not everyone believes this. Although luckily more and more people are starting to realise the severity of the situation. Believe me, I hope I am wrong and everything will be fine. But we are seeing more evidence every day to support the belief that we are heading towards catastrophe: complete societal collapse as a result of flooding, fires, droughts, extreme weather occurrences and mass starvation due to consecutive crop failures.

It’s time to pull the emergency break and start making a plan. We need to radically change the way we go about living our lives and running our country; and the same goes for London. On a local level there is so much to be done, it feels overwhelming.

We cannot delay action another minute we need to start right now

Luckily, if I do get elected to be on the London Assembly, I wouldn’t be doing this by myself. We have incredibly dedicated active Green Party members both in Ealing and in Hillingdon. We could do with more, by the way! There are so many ways in which you can get involved: delivering leaflets, knocking on people’s doors to find out what issues are important to them, working on our website and social media, designing leaflets, writing content, filming and photography, attending, hosting and organising events, liaising with local Green Parties throughout London and the UK, and much more. 

Marijn hosting a talk by Rupert Read, watch it here

The Green Party is about more than just environmental issues. We are also concerned with many other issues such as over-development, tenants’ rights, the violent crime epidemic we are witnessing, and of course protecting our NHS. We have firm policies on all of these. I would love to talk to you about our plans to make London a cleaner, healthier, safer city!

I believe improving our lives is not only about getting our leaders to take action. Too often we complain about things that actually we could be resolving ourselves if we pulled together. Time for a bit of a ‘green perspective’: people complaining about rubbish collections, which is an issue, also need to wonder: why do we have so much rubbish in the first place? It needs to come from both sides: we need our leaders to listen to us and take action, but we also need to recognise our own part in this. In this case, shouldn’t we be producing much much less waste in the first place?So this is my proposal: I will try my best to change things at the London Assembly level, but we must also work together to change things right here in Ealing and Hillingdon. We need to do both, and we need to do it together.
The London Assembly elections aren’t until May 2020. Please. Don’t wait until then to do something. Come along to one of our meetings, get in touch with suggestions or questions, help us campaign. It’s not too late yet, but soon it will be. Please help us.

About the London Assembly

  • 25 London Assembly Members elected by you at the same time as the Mayor. Eleven represent the whole capital and 14 are elected by constituencies
  • Assembly Members act as champions for Londoners by investigating issues such as transport, policing, housing and planning, the economy, health and of course: the environment
  • The Mayor should respond to Assembly motions and formal recommendations and the Assembly holds the Mayor to account
  • The Mayor must consult Assembly Members on strategies and budgets, which they can reject and amend if a majority of two-thirds agree to do so
  • The Assembly can press for changes to national, Mayoral or local policy

In the next 11 months we’ll be knocking on as many doors as we can to chat with our neighbours to get their views on what’s happening in the two boroughs and what needs doing. We’ll be going to the Colne Valley which is under threat from HS2, we’ll attend the so-called consultations on Heathrow expansion and visit other areas that need urgent attention. If you have a place in mind you think we should visit, let us know! We will be holding talks and invite guest speakers and we’ll be posting them on our website, so keep an eye on what we’re up to and please come along!

Unfortunately, just popping to the polling station every once in a while and casting your vote is not enough to keep our democratic system functional and fair. In order for democracy to work we need to constantly be engaging with it, looking after it. We are all busy and we all feel overwhelmed by the many things that need doing in our everyday lives. But I feel the issues we face are so important, we need to make time to try and make a difference.
Because if we won’t, who will?

Any questions, concerns, suggestions, comments? Please do not hesitate to get in touch: marijnfromthegreenparty@gmail.com. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Marijn’s mini bio

“Your money or your life?”

This is the slogan that Rupert Read opens with, after a minute of silence.

Silence is a powerful way to start a public “talk”. I’m impressed. More so, when see that every person who came along to listen to Rupert’s insights of the current state of affairs regarding climate change joins the moment of silence. Pause and silence to reflect and grieve, and as a gesture of respect towards the climate change induced habitat and species loss that we perpetually live through for past decades.

The tone for the session is set. It is not going to be another one of these delusory talks that’s aiming to wrap the listener in the warm blanket of comfort, confirming “that everything will just be fine” and they can go home after the event and just carry on as usual. Au contraire! Despite the initial moment of silence I feel that this talk is going to be provocative and feisty. I like that! No skirting around the issue, no customary British Politeness – just straight forward inconvenient truths. So this talk is going to be to my liking. I can already tell after the first five minutes.  

Rupert skilfully engages the auditorium, connecting them emotionally to the topic of climate change, which still is an abstract issue to the vast majority of inhabitants of this planet. “Those who are younger than 40/50….”, “those who have children….”, “those who worry about money or retirement funds….” – the last one is probably designed to catch the remainders of the auditorium who hadn’t already identified with the aforementioned two groups. Clever. Now every person identifies to a degree with what is about to come. They are now ready to take in the crude facts about disastrous failings in addressing climate change as global society.
The 2015 Paris Agreement being great but … far from achievable, because:

  • the current emission reduction targets are not nearly ambitious enough to stay within the agreed 2℃, let alone 1.5℃ global warming
  • nations pulling out of previous commitments to reduce CO2 emissions or knowingly or unknowingly completely missing their targets,
  • every nation on earth is still is seeking to grow their economy the “old fashioned way”, based on fossil fuels
  • villains like Trump, Bolsonaro and similar despicable political representatives were voted into office,
  • the aviation and shipping sector, amongst the fastest growing sectors in the world, are excluded from the Paris Agreement
  • nobody adequately considers the time lag, i.e., the delay between Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) being released into the atmosphere and their respective warming effect. This time lag has profound negative consequences for humanity. It is currently estimated that the full heating potential of CO2 released into the atmosphere now will take effect in approximately 40 years from now. That means that our average temperatures during the last decade are a result of what we were thoughtlessly putting into the air in the 1970’s!
  • public media still giving air-time to “climate change deniers”, thereby impeding any constructive debates,
  • lack of acknowledging the consensus of the global scientific community, warning policy makers about the impending climate breakdown with incalculable chain reactions and feed-back cycles that will lock us into a death spiral when losing the entire Arctic and Antarctic ice cap, the Amazon rainforest, and all coral reefs  …

The list goes on and on. These uncomfortable truths, dished out by Rupert, come thick and fast now, and I can see some frowning faces, growing concern, and in some cases shock. Good!

Because we are facing an immediate existential crisis. We are, obliviously, living in the midst of the 6th mass extinction period. It’s the first time in earth history that a mass extinction event is brought upon by a living species. That is us, humans. The time to bubble wrap the truth is over.

By now, I assume, many in the audience are starting to wonder if there is going to be way out of this described disaster, out of the death spiral; if there is anything we, humanity as a whole or individuals, can do to stop society ceasing to exist. Will Rupert offer some solutions? The answer is yes; but before he does, he shares three potential scenarios of future life on this planet with us. Like from a menu. A menu that is very short though, with only three options to choose from. Similar to a restaurant menu the cheapest option is not the best; it’s actually one that most of us want to avoid.

  1. In Rupert’s presentation that is Option one: Terminal Collapse. Terminal Collapse of society, and all of earth’s systems. It does not sound very appetising, does it?
  2. Option two sounds only marginally better. It is the Collapse of society, followed by a successor society that can recover from the collapse.
    Wow – I’ll have some of that!  …Says nobody – at that stage…
    But, looking at the past decade or more of political and societal inactions, the question that arises is valid: What is our appetite, as human society, for option three?
  3. Option three: total transformation! This option is by far the most attractive, without a doubt, but it the most “costly”. Or shall I better say, it is the option that requires the greatest sacrifices?
    Why? It requires the most profound, radical, and unprecedented changes in human history. It requires us to tear up the entirety of our rulebooks aimed to trust in the political and economical system as we know it.

Like in a five-star restaurant, we are facing the dilemma of wanting the most appealing and highest priced option, but probably we are not willing to pay for it. This said, the chances of attaining this total societal transformation though are not great. We may need to make peace with the fact that despite all efforts, large or small, we will only be able to achieve Option two. Coming back to what we, humanity as a whole or individuals, can do to stop society ceasing to exist, Rupert shares a list of ten things with us that evening. It is not said that this list is enough, but it is a necessary starting point without which we cannot even aspire to any better future scenario than Option two.

Here the ten takeaways for a potential survival

Some personal things we need to do:

1. Wake up!
Wake up from the dream that our current society will go on, or better, stagger on, and somehow the situation will magically transform.

2. Feel!
We are not exclusively rational beings. We are, in fact, through and through feeling beings.
So –  feel angry, frustrated, sad, outraged, fearful, hopeless, terrified, and acknowledge all these feelings. Don’t suppress them as they are key to building a consciousness of what is actually happening. We have to allow ourselves to let these facts land in our conscious mind before we can take actions.

Some practical things we need to do:

3. Lifestyle change
If we want people to join us in our movement to fight climate change we need to show some leadership by flying less, eating less meat, reducing our energy consumption, thinking about how many children we will have, if any. We need to demonstrate our integrity and congruence, and commitment to the cause through actions, not only words. Leading by example. That is the most powerful way to mobilise the masses, and the impact of “the one” can be amplified to the impact of “the many”.

4. Build community
Learn how to create model communities, growing food, generating renewable power, teaching and acquiring new skills to the benefit community, etc. These skills will be pivotal in determining our ability to rebuild the successor society, mentioned in Option two.

Some Policy changes we need:

5. Transformative adaptation
Redirect the focus from mitigation only measures to mitigation and adaptation measures. We have to be more visionary and be more forward thinking to adapt to the challenges of climate changes, including considerations of worsening effects from time lags in the carbon cycle. 

6. Deep adaptation
We have to prepare for probability (or the certainty?) that our society is bound to collapse and that Option three will not occur. In order for a successor society to be able to re-emerge after the collapse, we need to provide whoever comes after us with the goods to do so. That includes, inter alia, building climate resilient seed banks for future generations to grow crops, radically phasing out nuclear power because safe operations, such as cooling the reactor core, can no longer be warranted once society collapses. We need a complete overhaul of the way we think, an absolute change of our collective consciousness.

How to implement Policy changes:

7. Change through conventional means
If we want to pave a way for radical political changes we need re-learn that our voice matters, and purposefully use our civic voice in future elections. New need a new green surge. Become involved in electoral politics, get involved in May 2019 and in the 2020 elections, lobby! Will this be enough? Probably not. Is it necessary? Absolutely!

8. Rebel!
We need to do all the conventional things but since this is not enough, we need to embrace civil rebellion alongside conventional means. Don’t accept legitimacy of the political system any more. Our social contract is broken, with the current political system sending us and our children to death and collapse. We need to consider all means of non-violent rebellion against any legitimate target to fundamentally change society. If we will manage to implement all of the above and this action, then maybe just maybe, we are preparing our children for Option three. For certain, it will slow down rate of deterioration.
Rebellion takes more though than joining a Facebook group, liking a post, retweeting and other “2D actions”. It means to actually rebel. Strike, demonstrate, join climate activist groups, and actively engage in non-violent Civil Disobedience.

More things we need to do:

9. Talk
We need to talk about Climate Change. One to one. One to many. Any form of dialogue and exchange is needed to spread awareness and awaken consciousness. It is not enough to listen to lecture and go home. In depth discussion in connection with actions 1. and 2. are essential to move towards a potential future that is not a total collapse of society. There is no alternative. No Planet B.

10. Pause….
Despite the topical urgency, we cannot allow ourselves to rush into doing things without feeling, talking, and assessing how to most effectively become part of the solution.
This last point actually reminded me of Thomas L. Friedman’s wise words in his book Thank you for being late. Borrowing his words and slightly paraphrasing, I cannot think of a better way to emphasise the importance of humans to pause when facing an existential crisis.
“Opting to pause and reflect, rather than panic or withdraw, is a necessity. It is not a luxury or a distraction – it is a way to increase the odds that we’ll better understand, and engage productively with, the world around us. When we press the pause button on a machine, it stops. But when we press the pause button on human beings they start. Start to reflect, start to rethink assumptions, start to reimagine what is possible and, most importantly, start to reconnect with most deeply held beliefs. Once we’ve done that, we can begin to reimagine a better path.”

After these ten action points, we are coming to the end of this educational and insightful talk, and Rupert concludes with the same slogan he started with “Your money of your life?”
Like at the beginning of the talk, everybody agrees that every halfway intelligent person will choose their life, and give up the their money. Throughout the talk though we heard convincing evidence that we fail to grasp this surprisingly simple concept as a collective society. Time and time again over the past forty years we have chosen monetary interests over life. It makes one wonder, how comes we get it so wrong at global scale?
There is no way that anybody can pay their way out of this. There is nowhere to hide, no other planet. Moreover, once society collapses money will become irrelevant, and it will only be worthless electronic numbers in a bank account.


In this unprecedented time, facing a terrible reality, we do need hope. But the one thing we need more than hope is action. There is no hope without us taking actions. But once we start taking actions, hope is everywhere.

Author Ina Ballik

Disclosure statement
Ina Ballik does not work for, owns shares in, or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article.

Being an active member for the Ealing Green Party

The Ealing Green Party relies entirely on volunteers to run. But what does it mean to be an active member for the Ealing Greens?

One of our new members describes her experience so far…

Meet Marijn

Life in the Green Party

“Most of us don’t really think about what members of local political parties get up to. The main interaction you will have with active members is probably around election time when they come knocking on your door to tell you about their activities and asking you to vote for them.

Like most people, I have always been polite, taken their leaflet, but other than that never really engaged. When it was time to vote, I didn’t recognise any of the faces on the ballot and would just tick those who were standing for the party I wanted to support.

I joined the Green Party just over a year ago and became an active member about 8 months ago. I didn’t even really know what an ‘active member’ was. First of all, did you know that just by voting you haven’t done even half of the things you could do to help out your party of choice? And most of us find even just going to the polling stations a chore.

Politics is Life

How did we become so disengaged from politics? How did we forget that everything around us is politics; from the height of your pavement’s curb, to the litter in your local park and rubbish collection, to the new high-rise development going up in your back garden. People often say they are not interested in politics. I now know that this is like saying you’re not interested in breathing. You may not be interested in it, but it is still happening.

So I went along to my first Ealing Green Party meeting which they hold once a month. If you are a member of the Ealing Green Party you are always allowed to attend. I don’t really remember why I decided to go along. I don’t have any friends who are active for their local political party or anything like that, but I guess I was curious as to what the people would be like.

My First Meeting

When I arrived the meeting was in full swing and I didn’t have a clue what was going on. They were talking about issues I had never heard of before, using terms which I didn’t understand. I took notes and tried to take in as much as I could, but pretty much all of it was going over my head.

It wasn’t until after when we all had a drink and people were chatting, that I started to get a better understanding about how things work. Everyone was very friendly, so I felt like I could ask questions without worrying about sounding stupid. I didn’t even know the basics, like that a borough is divided up into wards, and I didn’t even know which bits of London belong to Ealing. I discovered how big the borough of Ealing actually is, and realised how little of it I’d explored!

A few months later, I have a much better understanding of local issues and feel confident and supported in meetings to be able to ask when I don’t understand, and sometimes even contribute a point of view myself! The learning curve is steep, and I feel like I’ve become a little bit smarter every time I come away from one of our gatherings!

After this first meeting I had loads of ideas buzzing around in my head and I jotted them all down into an email and sent it to some of the people I had been chatting to that night. They responded and asked me to get involved with various things.

And I think that’s how it kind of starts. You show that you are interested and committed to help, and the group will take you in with open arms. Local parties have extremely limited resources, including people. They are all doing this on a voluntary basis, out of concern for their local neighbourhood.

Get Involved!

So if you can do more than just show up at the polling station at election time (and please, do that as well!!), you really should. It’s a brilliant way to get to know your borough, not just the places that you would normally hang out. You make friends with your fellow party members which is great; especially in London where you have to travel at least an hour to go have a cup of tea with someone. It’s lovely to know people so near by!

And perhaps most importantly: slowly but surely you start to understand more about how things work. How decisions are made, and how you can help create change. You learn what the issues are, whether it is housing, protecting green spaces, safety, roads, traffic, hospitals, and before you know it you’ll be so much more knowledgeable on these issues than you ever were.

As an active member you commit as much time as you can. You can pick the particular issues you’re passionate about. You can decide how you would like to help, be it designing flyers, knocking on people’s doors, helping with data entry, writing for the party blog, helping with social media, or going to events that are relevant and reporting back to the group what you’ve learned. The list is endless.

Whatever you decide to do, know that we are out there trying to make our shared living space a better place for all of us. If you see us handing out flyers, come have a chat. If we come knocking on your door, let us know your thoughts on local issues. We are doing this for all of us, and we are happy to do it.”

Marijn Van De Geer

In a Nutshell

Being an active member can include the following:
  • Attending party meetings
  • Designing flyers
  • Delivering flyers
  • Canvassing and doorknocking
  • Data entry
  • Writing for the party blog/website
  • Helping with social media
  • Attending relevant events and reporting back

What you get out of it
  • Meet new people
  • Discover your local area
  • Understanding of local politics
  • Empowerment by being heard
  • Improve your neighbourhood
  • Build a community

If you live in the Acton Central Ward you can vote for Marijn to be your Green voice on 3rd May!

Council Elections 2018: What We’ve Been Hearing on The Doorstep

It’s been a very very cold February (colder here, than, bizarrely, the Arctic, which should worry us all). But despite that the hardy folk of the Ealing Green Party have hit the campaign trail. All through the month we’ve been braving the conditions to speak to the people of Hanwell and Acton in our quest to hear the thoughts of the locals and to spread our message that Ealing Council needs a Green voice!

No Wasted Votes

This coming election will be an important indicator of how people feel about the plans that local government has in store for them, and some of those plans, we have to say, are somewhat alarming. From demolishing locally listed buildings to selling off green spaces to constructing “rabbit hutches in the sky”, our council is giving us plenty of reason to be concerned. And we’re lucky that the people who vote in May will have more than one choice – so there is no doubt that giving one of those votes to the Green Party will not be wasted.

One word we’ve been using quite a lot is “accountability”. It is something that is sorely needed in Ealing: a dissenting voice from someone who is not beholden to any party line. It’s all very well saying you should join one of the big parties and try and “change them from within”, but we have seen that people in those parties can be punished quite severely if they do try to defy the wishes of the group they belong to.

Switched On

It’s been great to see then, that so many people are switched on and share our concerns about what is happening to Ealing. When we saw the plans for the tower block that will be built on the Wickes site on the Lower Boston Road we knew we had to raise our voice in protest, and to know so many people are wanting the same thing has been driving us on through the cold.

There is certainly some interesting sights and sounds on the doorstep – for instance the man who answered the door naked! Of course he was doing the cleaning, obviously. And he was also receptive to the Green message, so that must have been the naturist in him!

The gentleman who worked for the Pakistani consul offered us a cup of tea, and we found out through the course of the conversation that when one of the canvassers speaking to him had problems entering Pakistan once, the visa belonging to the Green campaigner was safely in his keeping! So that was a reassuring turn up!

Finding Hope

Of course many people are not feeling very hopeful about the future, and that is to some extent understandable: a feeling of helplessness in the face of a council that has a different agenda to the people of Ealing; a council that appears to be set on its course and seems to give little regard to opposing wishes, viewpoints and concerns.

I asked around for how we could answer points like this positively, and a Green supporter said this to me, which I thought was very wise:

“Tell them that wherever Greens are elected into office they do so because they want to make a change. Green Party councillors don’t answer to any “mainstream” party or follow the consensus agreed by the dominant group in the council. They listen to resident’s concerns and take those concerns right into the heart of the council and they fight for it. They do this because they feel the same way you do, it’s time to change, time to make a difference and that’s why we ask for your support.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself. And we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Actions

If you'd like to join

  1. Become a member for £3 per month.
  2. Receive a welcome email from our Secretary.
  3. Come to our monthly meeting and say hi.
  4. Get stuck in, making a fairer and greener Ealing.

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