Green #MembersMatter

By Sara Gill, Hackney Green Party and LYG Committee member

I’ve been a member of the Green Party since just after 2015’s General Election. I joined because I wanted to do something real and positive about what I saw as a lurch to the right in the UK’s politics, rather than just getting angry on that big old echo chamber online.

Since I’ve joined, I’ve felt welcome and valuable. My first event was the London Young Greens AGM, where I was supported to stand for a committee position – and was elected. Since then I’ve literally got the (so hip and stylish) T-shirt – I’ve been involved in training, canvassing, demonstrations and socials. I’ve been encouraged to stand for other, national positions, as a candidate in an election and to write a policy motion for conference. My voice is sought and respected, even though I’m a pretty ‘green’ Green.




For your own snazzy #Membersmatter sign, click here and join the campaign!







The London Mayoral and Assembly elections in May and the Gipsy Hill by-election shortly after showed what a difference members can make – our time spent pounding London’s streets, door-knocking and leafleting together ensured great results: 3rd place in London overall and only 36 votes in it in Gipsy Hill!

Alongside other Greens, I feel like I am finally making some real-life change.

I’ve always felt closest to the Greens in terms of policy: belief in a fair electoral system (without tactical voting), positivity about migrants and obviously a commitment to environmental justice are all close to my heart.

September sees the Green Party Conference coming to Birmingham. It’ll be my first, and I’m excited. The Young Greens organise a Buddy scheme to make everyone feel welcome and help us engage with it all, so no nerves here.

Ordinary members put policy forward in advance and then everyone at conference votes on it: there aren’t delegates or bloc votes. I’ve just finished my prioritisation ballot, to collectively pick the order of motions.

This September, we’ll also be electing our new leader together (seems to be the season for it!). In the Green Party, it feels like we, the members, really do matter and are at the heart of shaping the party.

13 months on from joining the Greens, I once again feel like we’re entering a dark, difficult time for politics. If you want to be part of creating a progressive future, get involved and join us!


Baby’s First Canvass (or: how I learned to stop worrying and love doorknocking)

2016-01-31 2016 London Elections

Hello. I’m Sara. I’ve been a Green Party member since just after the 2015 General Election and a LYG Committee member since October’s AGM.


With the London elections coming up on May 5th 2016, we’re all thinking about how to get the Green vote out. Speaking to people face to face is widely regarded as the most effective way to engage people, and so it’s a vital part of campaigning.

As a relatively new (but actually Quite Old) Young Green, I’d surprisingly never been canvassing before. Until Saturday, that was. The Hackney Greens, my local group, are spending time every weekend from now until polling day canvassing and so I went along to their door-knocking at the weekend.

I’d had some concerns that, in the interest of full disclosure, had stopped me getting involved before: will people be interested? Will they be super-interested and want to grill me on the minutiae of policy I don’t know all about? Or even (definitely overly cynically!) will I get shouted at, or have doors slammed in my face?

I wasn’t feeling massively confident, but the knowledge that it really is the best way to encourage people to vote – and vote Green – the wedge of leaflets in my Green-issued tote, plus the seasoned campaigner by my side (HI SAMIR, Northeast Assembly Candidate!) calmed any fears I had.

Helpfully I’d also been to a great training event a few weeks ago run by Samir and the Hackney Greens, around how to have meaningful conversations with voters and turn people into supporters. We’re running similar training this week, on Thursday 17th March at 7:30pm – do come along!

After a quick briefing and recap of the training, we set off around a few streets in London Fields, knocking on doors and speaking to people there for an hour and a half (any longer and I was assured I’d be knackered). Samir took the first few houses so I could learn the ropes, and once I felt ready, I started out. While the first couple were daunting, I soon got into the swing of it and started to enjoy myself (the gorgeous sunny weather definitely helped!).

My verdict? Honestly, it was one of the best things I’ve done so far as part of the Green Party. People were overwhelmingly friendly and happy to see us, which I didn’t expect! While a few people were busy, or not interested, not one person was rude, and on the whole we had some really good, positive conversations with people. I think just showing the Green Party is bothered is a really strong message – a few people told us they’d never been canvassed before and that as a result they would look into our policy positions. I found people were very much open to voting Green: even staunch Labour supporters or those buoyed by Corbyn offered their second preferences to us on the doorstep (hurrah – no ‘wasted votes’ this time!).

I’d definitely encourage all Young Greens to get involved in campaigning in their local areas, or at one of our Action Days coming up (the first is in London Fields again on 26th March, info here).

Some tips/observations from me:

Relax. New canvassers will be given training and will never be sent out on their own, and if at any point you feel out of your depth, you can always ask for help. Everyone is just really happy you’re there and grateful for your time!

Most people, realistically, will be out or won’t answer the door (over half). We have leaflets to drop through letterboxes for this precise reason, as it’s still worth letting them know the Greens called round and are present and active in the area.

Listen to people’s concerns. Often I found people really wanted to raise issues they had in their local area to a friendly ear. Active listening (nodding, “hmmm”ing etc) and expanding on their experience with your own (“oh yeah, I know what you mean about housing! I have a friend who’s in a similar situation…”) is a great way to engage with someone and start building that meaningful conversation.

If you’re stumped by a voter’s question, be honest and say so. We had leaflets to give to people and put through letterboxes with the website, some brief info about policy and contact details for people to get more information.

Be calm, friendly and smile! People are actually OK, honest!

Come to the training event on the 17th! *


By Sara (who is totally going doorknocking again) – @Sara_LYG

Sara LYGs


The Stop the BBC Bias in Election Reporting petition has reached almost 50,000 signatures!

The Stop the BBC Bias in Election Reporting petition has reached almost 50,000 signatures!

The petition will be handed into the BBC at Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA at 3.00 pm on Monday 9th June. There will be people from 38 Degrees and a photoshoot, please do come along!


Apathetic with the Established political class? Don’t know who to vote for in 22nd May 2014 election?-Vote for a genuine alternative

Coming up the May 2014 election Nick Clegg announced that his party was no longer a “protest party” but were a “serious government party” that its members should be praising for all the great work they have done in office.

Yes voting on such bills as the trebling of tuition fees, the new universal credit system (which has seen people forced onto part-type/zero hour contracts), the bedroom tax(which has caused homelessness) and the health and social care act(which will see the NHS carved up and privatised) are certainly something to shout about, but not the way this old establishment liberal thinks.

Truth is Lib Dems time in government have been nothing but catastrophic and with recent polling indicating most of their MEPs could be wiped out, will this party last much longer post May 2014 elections? I certainly hope not.

What of the opposition? What of “Red Ed”. Well truth be told, despite recent murmurings of a rent cap policy, which had the right wing in a frenzy, clearly he is being dragged back to the centre by New Labour Blairites. Nothing can indicate this further when the “opposition” claimed that would continue the current regimes austerity measures were they to be elected tomorrow!

Furthermore are you really willing to vote for a party that took us to Iraq, helped open the door to NHS privatisation, started the failed academy programme and introduced the governments continued work capability assessment, which has killed thousands of disabled people since its introduction.

You could forgive disgruntled leftys/ liberals for listening to Russell Brands proclamation last year of refusing to vote.

However, I still believe you should vote. Not for the reasons New Labour supporter Robert Webb would indicate but for the reason that there is a genuine alternative out there. There is an anti-establishment party that will listen to you, the people, that will create a fairer, more equal, more just society, for you, the people. The worrying thing is a number of you believe that is UKIP

UKIP, despite what they tell you, are anything but anti-establishment. Yes they want us out of undemocratic Europe which is costing us £55 million a day in membership fee. But they also believe that thousands of millions of immigrants are the reason for ALL of societies ills! Apart from this being ludicrously untrue, what are their other solutions to fix ‘Broken Britain’.

Well for one thing they believe one way to patch together a carved up National Health Service is by dissecting it further until there is nothing left then a bunch of private firms fighting for your approval/profit! Here’s what happens when a country is run by private health care.

In addition they want us all to have a 30% flat-rate of tax, so that someone earning £100,000 will be paying the same tax as someone earning the national average of £26,500. So, so far not sounding very fair and equal? But come on they probably want to leave the EU so they can pay us better wages right?

Nope there is nothing in their manifesto about increasing your wage.

In fact they want to leave the EU so they can allow businesses to scrap working time directive(set hours every week), minimum wage, maternity leave, paternity leave, holiday entitlement etc.. All they want to do is get rid of blooming red tape though right? Is it me or is this so-called anti-establishment party sounding a lot like well I dont know…….The establishment!

But who is this alternative I spoke of in the earlier paragraph?

Who is this alternative that wants to fight for the minimum wage to be the living wage?

Who is this alternative that actually wants a referendum on Europe but wants to reform it also so its democratically accountable?

Who is this alternative that wants to fight a secret trade agreement with Europe and America to stop Private American Firms buying parts of public services we all pay taxes for?

Who is this alternative, the only party that oppose the dangers of Fracking?

An alternative that wants to renationalise the railways, scrap tuition fees and keep the NHS in public hands

An alternative that wants to fight to get you a long-term sustainable job by investing in renewable energy instead

Who is this alternative that has opposed and spoke out against every vile policy of this austerity coalition? I’m proud to say its The Green Party of England and Wales.

However the Greens will never get elected with this voting system I hear you say!

The beauty of the European and Local Elections is that its proportional, if you vote Green you will get Green

If we increase our votes by 1.6% we will treble the amount of people elected in Europe to represent every single one of you that believes in a progressive and fairer society.

What’s more cause for optimism is that we are in fact making a difference and challenging the established parties.

A recent YouGov poll had the Greens at 12% which is one point AHEAD of the Lib Dems. Which means, yes, The Green Party of England and Wales are currently the 4th most popular party in the run up to the European Elections.

73% of UKIPPERS actually should be voting Green based on their political beliefs. So imagine if that 73% realised what the Green Party stood for and chose to vote for them instead?

This surge in popularity has even lead David Cameron to even invite Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett onto a leaders debate for next years general election.

This surely shows the established four parties are starting to take us seriously as a threat that will challenge the status quo of oppression and replace it with a progressive, fairer, more equal society.

The Green Party of England and Wales are an every growing, genuine political alternative that can really take on the establishment .

So if you want a real alternative, a real change, for the common good, then vote Green Party on 22nd May 2014.

Every vote counts, so please get out there and make the change you want, the change you can believe in!

By Mark Burkwood

London Young Greens Social Media Officer



University worker and Young Green Alex Rendall condemns Vice-Chancellor Fat Cay Pay during the Fair Pay Campus Week of Action.


Last week the Times Higher Education magazine published the results of a survey which indicated that the vice-chancellors of the UK’s top-rated universities pocketed average pay rises of £22,000 last year, an average rise of about 8%.  This comes after university staff were offered a pay increase of just 1% in 2013, with universities being urged to show “restraint” over pay by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, despite universities holding estimated surpluses of over £2 billion across the sector as a whole.  This firmly demonstrates that when it comes to pay in universities, much like banking, one rule applies to the chief executives and another to the staff that work for them.

 As a course administrator, I can attest to the amount of work that goes into running a university.  All university staff contribute to the overall success of students’ experiences.  Librarians, cleaners, lecturers, catering staff, administrators, counsellors, porters and many many others all work hard to ensure that universities keep running and that students have an inspiring university experience.  Even the vice-chancellors play an important role as chief executives.  Yet many university staff across the country are not paid the living wage (currently defined as £7.65 an hour across the country, with a slightly higher rate of £8.80 an hour in London, according to the Living Wage Foundation), while the cost of food, transport and bills has risen steadily due to inflation and price rises.  Many are struggling to get by on earnings that have been steadily eroded in recent years. 

The Young Greens of England and Wales published ‘The Fair Pay League’, a report in which universities were asked about the differences between the pay of their highest and lowest paid members of staff and then ranked according to these differences.  The report showed that many universities have vast differences between the pay of their highest and lowest paid workers, with many paying below the living wage.  The highest paid worker at Imperial College London, for example, is paid £389,050 according to the report, while 699 staff earn less than the living wage.  It is outrageous that universities claim that they cannot afford to pay their workers a living wage, yet can afford to pay huge salaries to their chief executives (the Minister for Higher Education, who has responsibility for every Higher Education Institution in the country, is paid a salary of £140,000, considerably less than most university vice-chancellors).  It is also hypocritical of universities to urge restraint on pay and then give their bosses massive pay rises.

The money is clearly available to pay all university staff a living wage.  Doing so would give all workers the dignity they deserve for a job well done.  It is up to us as university workers and students to hold the vice chancellors to account for their lack of action on the living wage.  The Young Greens are holding a week of action on fair pay at universities; you can find out more at

London we will be protesting tomorrow at the UK’s most unfair campus, Imperial College London.Please join us at 1pm to call for a living wage for all and fairer 10:1 ratio.

Alex Rendall

Secretary, London Young Greens  


PRESS RELEASE – Great Student Sell Off – Friday 18th October 1pm

Green Party to “auction” students in protest against the privatisation of student loans book Members of the Green Party will be “auctioning” students in protest against government plans to privatise the student loans book. The Party argues that this decision by the government could plunge students into unmanageable debt as there will be no safeguards preventing a private owner of the loans from more than doubling the interest rates currently being paid.

Benali Hamdache, co-Coordinator of the London Green Party and one of the organisers of the event said: “Can you put a price on student’s future? This government certainly thinks so. Thousands of students – whether currently at university or now graduated – have relied on student loans to help them pay for their education and help them build their future. This government, which is hell-bent on squeezing ever last penny out its public, is now quite happy to whip that support out from under students’ feet and leave them with unmanageable debts and rocketing repayments. It’s unbelievably cruel.”

Mr. Hamdache continued: “We’ve organised the auction to highlight what these plans mean for past, present and future students – that the government is selling-off their prospects to the highest bidder. We encourage anyone who is angered by the government’s heartless proposals to join us in our protest on Friday 18th October.”

The Party argues that in addition to be being callous the government’s move is also pointless. The sell-off of £900m worth of loans accrued between 1992-2012 is expected to make only a fraction of that amount when sold and the government is being forced to offer sweeteners to encourage companies to bid. The Student Loans Company was set up in 1990 as a means for the government to support students through university. The privatisation of the student loans book was announced in June 2013 and has led to a backlash from student groups and campaigners across the country.

The Green Party’s “student auction” will be taking place outside the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills from 1pm-2pm on Friday 18th October.


Contact and Spokespeople

For more information please contact Matt Hawkins, co-Media Officer of the London Green Party on or 07515 895998.


1. For more information on The Green Party of England and Wales, please visit:

2. For more information on The Student Loans Company:

3. For details on the government’s announced privatisation of the student loans book, please see:

4. For information on the likely increase in interest rates on student loans resulting from the sell-off, please visit:

5. For more information on the event please see: 


Young Greens’ German Electoral Exchange

In August 2013, the German Young Greens organised a summer of electoral exchanges with Young Greens from other countries to show that we are “young, Green, European and borderless”. As part of this scheme, the Young Greens of England and Wales were invited to Luneberg for a week which was amazing fun and one of many reasons you should join the Green Party. Here’s what we did:

Electoral Exchange 1

After a 15-hour coach trip, we arrived in Luneberg, a picturesque, typically-German town of around 70,000 people in Northern Germany. After a nap, we went to meet the local Green Party in their spacious local office which is shown in the photograph above. They’re able to afford an office because political parties in Germany are allocated state funding based on the proportion of the vote they receive whereas in Britain, parties have to rely on donations from big business (Tories), rich supporters (UKIP), trade unions (Labour) and ordinary members (Greens). As a result, parties whose policies don’t appeal to big business and the rich are at a disadvantage.
On meeting the local party we discovered that Fracking is a big issue in Germany. Poster and leaflets were up and the Reclaim the Power camp in Balcombe has made the news in Germany. One woman showed us a copy of the Berliner newspaper with a full, supportive half-page article. While we were there we heard that Caroline Lucas, our only Green MP, had been arrested and took this photo with the Luneberg Green Youth to show our support.


In Germany, all the political parties are officially against Fracking (with the exception of a few free-market liberals in the FDP party). In the UK, the Greens are the only UK-wide party to oppose Fracking.
After meeting the party and Julia Verlinden their local candidate for Parliament, we went along to the meeting of Green councillors on the Luneberg City Council. The meeting was in German so we didn’t pick up much but were impressed by the number of councillors, around 10 and the wide age range and gender balance.

We spent the day sight-seeing in Hamburg where we saw a political squatted community centre which the authorities have been unable to shut down due to it’s popularity in the neighbourhood. We enjoyed hearing how people in the St. Pauli area of Hamburg are resisting the gentrification of their area with protests focussing on an upmarket Movenpick hotel and how last year a march in Hamburg of 100 Nazis was blocked by over 20,000 anti-fascists. More depressing was seeing the former dock area of Hamburg being turned into a residential area for the elite, with obvious parallels to London’s docklands. Also interesting was Hamburg’s fancy opera building which should have been built two years ago but is still under construction. Funded by the taxpayer it is also way over budget. Maybe German efficiency is a myth.

One of the most interesting things we did was take part in the “political day” of the local vocational college. The college was for 16-21 year olds who were mostly training to be plasterers and the teachers had arranged this political morning to engage young people in the upcoming federal elections. A stage had been set up in front of the school at which a rock band and self-styled “local heroes” were playing and each party had a stall near the stage. In between songs, the candidate of each of the six main parties, (Christian Democrats, Social democrats, Greens, Leftists, Liberals and Pirates), made a speech on a selected theme. The Green candidate Julia Verlinden, incidentally a graduate of Keele University, kindly thanked us for coming in her speech. The response of the young people was good with lots promising their votes and taking our merchandise. A few of them were convinced by our stance on the legalisation of cannabis but lots more by our more key policies. Here’s a few of us modelling our “antiracist- Green Youth” festival-style wristbands and some from the day.

julia speech

We started the morning by leafleting on the main shopping street of Luneberg. We also persuaded passers-by to have their photograph taken with the European Union flag to show their support for the idea of European Union. When told we were English, a passerby approached us and said how shocked he was that the British government would arrested the partner of a Guardian journalist, we agreed. Here’s a photograph of us with Green MEP Jan-Phillip Albrecht (right), Green regional justice minister Antie Newisch-Lennartz (centre) and Green parliamentary candidate Julia Verlinden (left).


After the action we split into two groups. One group stayed in Luneberg to hear Jan-Phillip Albrecht talk about the NSA spying scandal while my group went to Hamburg to meet MEP and Glasgow Celtic fan Manuel Sarazzin who wanted to try and understand British people’s hostility to the European Union. The main point he made was that the UK needs the EU much more than the EU needs the UK. He told us that Poland is more important to Germany than Britain at the moment. We also discussed fracking and he told us that the German Assocation of Beer Brewers had come out against it because it poisons the water supply and therefore the beer.
After the talks, we met up and took to the streets of Hamburg holding placards and dressed as houses to protest against rising rents, evictions and estate-agent fees. Many passers-by agreed (one drunk landlord didn’t) and we’re thinking of now doing a similar action in London.


The Green Youth of Hamburg also suggested we take this photo in solidarity with David Miranda, the Guardian journalist arrested. Our signs spell out “Defending Freedom of the Press”.


We discussed the Federation of European Young Greens’ (FYEG’s) election campaign strategy for next year’s European elections. Then we went to visit an organic, not for profit farm that employs many people with mental disabilities. The farm gets funding from the state, from donations and grants and does a great job. Apparently farms like this are common in Germany.


In the evening, we went to a beach party that the local Green Party had organised which was great fun. It was interesting to see how politics and socialising had been mixed.

By Saturday we were all very tired but we still managed to get out to do an afternoon of leafleting about the environmental benefits of second-hand shops and hand out some more general merchandise including Green Party spatchelors which went like hotcakes. Passersby were again supportive including one German man who talked to us for around half an hour about Climate Change, an English woman on holiday who told us how much she respected Caroline Lucas for protesting against fracking and a family who approved of my Palestinian wristband. We returned to the office and evaluated the exchange and what cooperation could come out of it as outlined below. We then went to see an opean-air public speech by Jurgen Tritte, the Green Party’s second most high profile figure. It was in German but I gathered that he wasn’t a fan of Nazis, Merkel, austerity or war. Unusually for a Green politician, he was flanked by four secret-service style security guards who were unexpectedly smiley, probably because they were pleased to be guarding a Green and not your usual smug politician.



The German Young Greens have launched a twinning project. Madrid and Stuttgart are already linked and we would like to twin London with Hamburg as the two cities have very similar issues and several activists have already met on this trip.

We thought that we could learn from each other. The Germans seemed to be better at well-organised and fully realised street actions and at advertising physically with posters and leaflets. In England and Wales we could learn from this. The British seemed to have more of a focus on the use of the internet and social media which the Germans could learn from.

One drawback of the trip that should be mentioned is that of our seven participants, only one was a woman. There was also only one non-Londoner out of seven and he was from Manchester so big cities were overrepresented.

Our huge thanks to everyone who helped organise this, provided the funding and let us sleep in their houses. Particular thanks to Svenja, Tassilo and Patrick and their families and Bernhard and his wife. Also Bjorn Ziemann, the Hamburg Young Greens, Julia Verlinden and all the people who took time out of their busy schedules to talk to us.

Here are some more photos of us campaigning.:



London Green Party gives Michael Gove an F on sex and relationship education: Protest Friday 6 September 1-2pm, Department of Education

London Green Party gives Michael Gove an F on sex and relationship education: 
Protest Friday 6 September 1-2pm, Department of Education 

Section 28 is alive and well in our schools. Countless Academies around the country have been found to still be using section 28 style bans on “promoting homosexuality”. It is simply unacceptable that schools lack proper guidelines on teaching sexuality and accommodating LGBT students. The failure can be traced directly back to the failure of the Department of Education to produce comprehensive, clear and mandatory guidelines on the teaching of Sex and Relationships.

It’s time to give Michael Gove a message. On Friday at 1pm London Green Party will be gathering outside the Department of Education and grading Mr Gove an F for his abject failure on Sex & Relationship Education. Join us to hand in our petition, which has now reached over 7K signatures [1] and deliver a giant failing grade.

Benali Hamdache, London Green Party Co-ordinator and creator of the petition to end Section 28 in schools said “It’s time for Michael Gove to get the message. Schools need comprehensive guidelines on how to teach sexuality in schools. His inactivity means that too many schools are unclear on how to teach these issues, and as a result all too many students are left unsupported. It’s time to give Michael Gove a failing grade.”


[1] Petition can be found at:

Contact: Benali Hamdache – 07939214401


AGM THIS Saturday 7th September 2013


Once a year, the London Young Greens meets to review our constitution, debate our agenda for the forthcoming year and elect a new committee. It is where we make some of the most important decisions.

The time has come. We will spend most of the day talking about these issues, but there will be other things to do too. For example, we will be having speakers telling us about campaigns and how to get elected as a Green. Watch this space for names.

All positions on the committee are up for election. There are seven posts: female co-chair; open (any gender identity) co-chair; secretary; campaigns officer; social officer; social media officer; treasurer. Please see below for detailed role descriptions.

Nominations are open to become a committee member. Please provide your name and a 200 word statement to and cc the email to the co-chairs at and . The close of nominations will be at the opening of the meeting.

Motions for debate and amendments to the constitution can also be sent to the above email addresses.

I look forward to seeing you all there!

Paul Cohen 
Co-chair of the London Young Greens


Co-chairs: co-chairs are expect to share the responsibilities for organising meetings, chairing meetings and co-ordinating the committee. They are responsible for enacting the will of the membership. These two positions are demanding, but also highly rewarding.

Secretary: the secretary is responsible for taking minutes of meetings, distributing these, and performing some other admin roles.

Campaigns officer: the campaigns officer organises events in conjunction with the co-chairs in order to forward the campaign focuses chosen at the AGM. This role is time intensive, as it involves contacting concerned groups etc. in order to make an event successful.

Social officer: the social officer is responsible for organising and running internal social events.

Social media officer: the social media officer is responsible for the update and maintenance of our blog, facebook and twitter feed.

Treasurer: the treasurer is responsible for obtaining money through fundraising etc. and for distributing it when required.


Find out more at the event here:


35 York Rise, NW5 1SP