Sunday, 11 October 2009


At the QUB Greens first meeting of the term outgoing Co-Chair Adam McGibbon gave a talk to the QUB Greens and new members in attendence about what his thoughts on green politics and the role of the Green Party in Northern Ireland! Here is an excerpt from Adams talk -

"I joined the Green Party in 2007 after the Assembly elections, when the Green Party got its first MLA in Stormont, Brian Wilson from North Down. I remember being completely inspired by the idea that a new type of politics was clearly emerging - something which had nothing to do with they legacy of conflict that we have here. Since then, we've been growing even more.

The Green society here has been going since 2007 and earlier this year, Steven Agnew, our European candidate, tripled the Green vote. I think we're on the verge of a major breakthrough come the next assembly elections, and certainly the party in Northern Ireland, as well as the Green Parties in many many other countries worldwide, are growing fast.

If you ask people what the Green Party is about, you might hear people say "the environment" - but that's not quite correct. If you ask me, what the Green Party is about more than that is holistic thinking - looking at an issue from every angle. I'll give an example of something that I'm familiar with - childhood asthma. I'm from East Belfast, which statistically is the worst parliamentary constituency in the UK for childhood asthma. You might ask,what kind of issue is this? Is it a human rights issue? Shouldn't it be a human right to be able to breathe clean air? Is it a health issue? Is it a transport and planning issue, because a major cause of air pollution is the huge amounts of cars we have on our roads? It's ALL these things, and that's what Green thinking is all about - all issues are interconnected and the best solutions come when you address all these things together.

Of course, it could be seen also, therefore, as an 'environmental' issue. The problem with that word - environmental - is, though, that people tend to view the environment as trees, grass, fields - when in fact all the environment is is the place where you live.

Another thing that I think the Green Party is about, is reforming politics, and this of course is very important post-expenses scandal.People who know me will know that I'm quite fond of quoting the famous German Green, the late Petra Kelly, who used to say that the Green Party was an "anti-party party" - that is, it is a political party that is capable of choosing between morality and power. We remain the most democratic party in the country - our members make all the key decisions - such as the one that the party in the South will make this weekend - whether to stay in coalition government.

We are the only party that doesn't take donations from business. A Green member of the European Parliament was voted the most ethical politician in the UK two years running. One of our party principles is "All social and economic decisions should be taken at the lowest effective level" - and this is keyto our message of bringing politics back to the people.

We're also a party that listens to its youth wing - I sit on the party's executive and the views of the young party members havealways shaped policy and debate... we aren't like some youth wings that I could mention which are effectively just grooming people our age into becoming old men in their 20s."

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