Party Strategy Resolution
By Keith Melton
Following extensive discussions at the GLD 30th Anniversary Conference held in Nottingham in May, Conference organiser and GLD Exec member Keith Melton looked at policy resolutions to put before the Autumn Conference in Brighton. He has also considered a resolution which looks at how the Liberal Democrats should treat Green issues in a strategic electoral sense. The suggested resolution below has been passed by Newark and Sherwood Liberal Democrats in the name of Keith Melton, who was also responsible for organising the original Nottingham Conference back in 1988 from which the Green Liberal Democrats was created. Keith was Chair of the Liberal Ecology Group at the time and had been active in Liberal politics since 1964.
Preparing this article for the GLD website, Keith says "I hope the resolution is clear and speaks for itself. But it is born out of a sense of frustration that the Party has missed a number of opportunities over the years to take a greater leadership role in tackling the environmental problems faced by our planet. I have been an environmental activist since at least 1971, inspired in part by the wonderful pictures of Earth sent back by NASA`s astronauts.
Although Liberals and Liberal Democrats have a very worthy and extensive range of environmental policies which have been recognised by voters over the years, and, indeed have made it into the manifesto, there has never been an election campaign in all the time since then, where our environmental credentials were placed front and centre in the campaign."
"This has to change if UK politics is to truly face up to the urgency of the existential threats of Climate Change, air pollution, waste mis-management and the contamination and pollution of our oceans. As the final line of the resolution has it - `The future health of our planet is in our hands.`"
The resolution will be submitted under the Constituency process, having been passed by Newark and Sherwood and it has also been supported by a minimum of 10 individuals. However, it will stand a much better chance of being accepted for debate at the conference if it gains more support in the next ten days. Clearly it may be a bit short notice to get Constituencies to consider it unless there happens to be a meeting planned and you can put it on the relevant agenda. If so and it gets support from your constituency please let Keith Melton know via his email address below.
Otherwise please consider supporting it as individuals. Again please use Keith`s email address to send him your name, the name of your constituency and your individual membership number. As always this is a case of "the more the merrier". Constituency support and your individual names supporting the resolution need to reach Keith by 26th June at the very latest (preferably earlier!) for submission to Liberal Democrats HQ, before noon the following day.
Keith`s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org - the resolutions reads as follows:-
Green Campaigning - Local and National Elections
Conference notes that the preamble to the Liberal Democrat constitution affirms our belief that "…each generation is responsible for the fate of our planet and, by safeguarding the balance of nature and the environment, for the long-term continuity of life in all its forms."
Conference further reaffirms the centrality and importance of this credo to our purpose and campaigning objectives in local, national and international politics.
Conference recognises that the long-term continuity of life, in all its forms, is currently under clear, present and future danger resulting from anthropogenic (human-caused) pressures on the biosphere:
- the continuing and unfolding climate catastrophe;
- the pollution and contamination of our oceans;
- the air pollution and its impact on human health as well as upon the earth`s fauna and flora ;
- the material waste generated by the squandering, reckless and irresponsible economic systems and philosophies promoted by all UK governments of the past fifty years and more.
We believe that all individuals, communities and political entities can and should recognise that at least some responsibility for such anthropogenic pressures rests with them, with ourselves, and calls for urgent action at all levels to counter these threats.
Conference therefore calls upon Liberal Democrats to focus our local election campaigning for 2019 on local and community environmental issues in conjunction with other like-minded individuals and organisations, prepared to work with us on this crucial common cause.
In particular, we should be more open to developing much closer linkages with the Green Party to our mutual benefit than has hitherto been the case (save for a few notable exceptions - eg Twickenham, Richmond, Trafford and Brighton).
Conference further calls for Liberal Democrats to place positive green campaigning at the heart of our political activity for the next General Election and, indeed, all elections in the foreseeable future.
In particular, we should be promoting sustainable development, seeking community-focussed solutions to the environmental problems facing us. We should be concentrating upon promoting and delivering a `circular economy` (where all materials are treated as precious resources, with nothing thrown away) in contrast to the wasteful `linear economy` (where raw materials are used to make a product, after which any `waste` - such as packaging - is thrown away) which has been favoured by governments up until now.
The future health of our planet is in our hands.