Call to Action 2021
By Keith Melton
Calling all Green Liberal Democrats… Let`s change the world!
I have a `gut-feeling` that this year, 2021, could be a major turning point for our fortunes as a group and, therefore, if we play our cards right, it could lead to a turning point for the Party, too. But this will only happen if we all grab hold of the opportunities in front of us and move forward in lock-step.
So, the purpose of this short article is to invite you all to take that first step with me this coming Saturday. You may think it is an unusual first step if I were to tell you the invitation is to come along to the Green Lib Dem Annual General Meeting. Wait!... I can actually hear the groans from here … who on earth wants to go to an AGM, "...aren`t they always rather boring?"
The answer, of course, is that "Yes, they are quite often really boring!" - but that is often because not many people turn up, so they end up being boring because we LET THEM become boring. In other words, it is often a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, here`s the challenge - come to the AGM at two o`clock on Saturday afternoon and start to CHANGE THE WORLD!!
The AGM business will be brief. There are no contested posts to get excited about. There are no constitutional discussions to get bored by or excited about, so if you like a hot discussion on the niceties of constitutions you will be disappointed. However, we have set some time aside after the boring business, when we can start to CHANGE THE WORLD!!
Why is 2021 going to be a turning point?
Let me set out my thoughts. Virtually ALL of you have paid good money to belong to the Green Liberal Democrats. Many of you, perhaps even ALL of you, joined because you want to see a world where the environment is protected and enhanced. We want to ensure that our planet carries on being fit for people and wildlife to thrive on and remain or become a place of beauty and wonder to be enjoyed by many generations to come.
Yes? Good, with me so far!? So, `why the turning point`?
- Fingers crossed, the Good Guys have regained the upper hand in the USA, provided the insurrection is avoided in the next week or so.
- Vaccination has made a pretty good start here in the UK, so, although things may get worse for a few weeks before they get better, we can see something of a light at the end of that particular tunnel.
- We have not ended up in the "No Deal" Brexit abyss. It is, of course, a lousy `Deal`, but in the short term we are constrained in what we are able to do, as Lib Dems, to influence THAT argument for a period of time. And there are no immediate decisions to try and influence those events, so there is little to distract our efforts to be more environmentally concerned for the time being.
- 2021 offers us a chance to influence a major set of local elections, so we need to get organised for that fight later in the year, to highlight the potential for environmental change.
- 2021 is the year where the Paris Accord process comes to this country in the form of COP26 - the latest round of the "Conference of the Parties" who signed the Paris Accord to save the planet from burning up. Which brings us back to the "Good Guys" from the USA, who will be coming over to the UK to participate and get the Paris Accord back on track. Wouldn`t it be rather fine if we were able to influence that course of events!?
- Liberal Democrat Party size may have declined, but the membership of the Green Liberal Democrats has stayed very buoyant at just under 1000 members
So, WHAT next?
I have written here a couple of times about GLD initiatives to set up Special Interest Groups to look at particular issues where change is required. I have also written about our hopes of setting up a Regional organisation for GLD. These initiatives have been delayed largely because our Executive Committee members are all busy multi-tasking. Many are Councillors, busy volunteering for Covid activity in their areas. We are organising fringe meetings and motions and so on and our capacity to manage many tasks is sometimes restricted by work/life balances!
Which neatly brings me to the point I wish to make about the AGM. We are looking for volunteers to help us CHANGE THE WORLD! So, if that is your burning ambition come along to the meeting on Saturday and we will do what we can to encompass your key skills and specialist knowledge into the future organisation of the group, somehow along the way. As Chair, I can give you my personal assurance that your skills will be encouraged to flourish as widely as possible. There is so much potential for us to make headway in our chosen area that we can utilise all the help that we can get.
As I said at the outset, 2021 could be a major turning point for us, so please come along with a will to help and we will reciprocate with responsibility and support. Our numbers have tripled in three years and we need to advance new and interesting ways of developing our strengths from within, with a greater degree of membership engagement. If you have colleagues in your local areas who are not yet GLD members, but you think they would like to help us achieve our goals, then get them to `come along with you` on Saturday.
The Zoom meeting link has been sent to you in your recent emails from GLD Vice Chair (Organisation), Jason Billin. Let me know if you cannot find it - drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to seeing you on our Zoom call on Saturday 16h January at 2.00pm