Caroline Lucas: A Leader Worth Following
Richard Lemmer | 17.05.12
On Monday, Caroline Lucas announced she is to step down as the leader of the Green Party. “This gives a chance for somebody else to come forward to show I’m not the only person in Green politics," she said, "and it means we can build for the future as a party.”
The Green Party agreed to create the position of party leader only four years ago, but this decision and Lucas's election has already delivered positive results for the Green Party. Caroline Lucas was the Green party's first MP, and since her leadership of the Green Party party membership has doubled and the party beat the Liberal Democrats to third place in the election for mayor of London.
She wrote on her decision in The Guardian, and since then commenters have applauded the move as a rare instance of a politician putting the party before their career. "Seems like a principled and worthy move ... our other politicians could learn a great deal from you," one of the most recommended comments read. There is a great deal to learn; Caroline Lucas has lead her party from being seen as fringe party dominated by a single issue to a respected voice for the green movement. And she has been recognised for her work: numerous awards from the Guardian, the Observer, the Independent and the Spectator, as well as winning last years 'Best All Rounder' in the Total Politics End of Year MP Awards and 'MP of the Year' in the Women in Public Life Awards.
But Caroline Lucas has a natural political talent that is difficult to study and imitate. She is a brilliant spokesperson, unafraid to challenge her fellow MPs on issues ranging from solar feed-in tariffs to the bombing of Libya. I had the pleasure of watching her debate with Ed Davey at the Guardian’s Open Weekend. She refused to accept Ed Davey’s political massaging of figures: “you’re lying,” she said to his face, on more than one occasion, as Ed Davey tried to look nonplussed at the accusation. And away from the high-powered world of awards and political debates, Caroline Lucas has had the courage to take on difficult causes, which would have other MPs looking increasingly uneasy. In 2010, she supported eight activists part of the Brighton based Smash EDO campaign, fighting against the arms trade. Shrewd leadership, engaging oratory, a genuine appreciation for grass-roots campaigns - she has the ability to live up to the high standards expected of a public figure. The Green Party may be losing a leader, but it still has one of the very best MPs in the country.
So who could replace Caroline Lucas? A hard act to follow, and it seems likely that Adrian Ramsay, the current deputy leader, is being put forward to take on the role. Adrian has achieved the second highest green vote in the country, in the Norwich South constituency, and he has held on to his Norwich city council seat for over 8 years, having won the seat when he was just 21. Can Adrian Ramsay hold a crowd as well as Caroline Lucas? You can view his latest Green Party conference speech here and judge for yourself.
Caroline Lucas has made a bold move by allowing a new leader to come forward, potentially to break away from Lucas's old model. But better ground work could not have been laid - she steps down with the party on the rise. The speed of this rise will be up the next leader.
But can anyone ever really fill the shoes of Caroline Lucas?
- Clean Energy
- Eco Commmunities
- Eco Heroes
- Eco Media
- Ethical Finance
- Green Living
- Green Technology & Design
- Guest Bloggers
- Morning News
- Social Media
- Weekly Greenhouse Updates
- Morning News - Tuesday 21st May 2013
- Morning News - Monday 20th May 2013
- Morning News - Friday 17th May 2013
- Morning News - Tuesday 14th May 2013
- Morning News - Monday 13th May 2013
- Morning News - Thursday 25th April 2013
- Exhibition showcases sustainability leaders’ wishes for the future
- Morning News - Tuesday 23rd April 2013
- Morning News - Monday 22nd April 2013
- National Trust commits to renewable energy
- Morning News - Tuesday 16th April 2013
- Morning News - Monday 15th April 2013
- Anna Shepard
- The Sustainable Business Lab
- The Soil Association
- Adam Vaughan
- Business Green
- Dot Earth
- Environment 360
- Environmental Graffiti
- George Monbiot
- Green Futures
- Green Inc.
- Green Thing
- Guardian Environment
- Huffington Post Green
- Jonathon Porritt
- Julia Hailes
- La Tierra
- Mother Nature Network
- Recycle This
- The Alternative Consumer
- The Daily Green
- The Oil Drum
- Transition Culture
- Zero Carbonista