Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Guest Post: Natalie [1] for the London Assembly

By Matty Mitford (picture from last night's protest against the cuts in Camden): In the interests of partiality Jim's asked me to talk about why I'll be voting Natalie Bennett as my first choice for the GLA list, something I won't find hard to do.

Natalie's done some amazing work for the Green Party and in Camden at least, her diplomacy and commitment is viewed with respect even by people of opposing political views, which is no mean feat in the dogfight that is local politics.

Natalie was a excellent Parliamentary candidate in Camden and her performances at hustings were always impressive, winning her support from all sides. She can debate with the heaviest of hitters, something most definitely an essential quality in an Assembly Member who has to use Mayor's Questions to hold the London executive to account.

Her background as a respected journalist is of great benefit in engaging with the media and maximising the Green voice, which we so desperately need.

Her local campaigning is impressive and committed, one example is in Somers Town where she's lead the opposition to the UKCRMI development, using her abilities as a mediator to unify many differing political interests into an effective campaign, (again attributes of real value for City Hall, where working with other parties is so key).

She's worked all the angles for Somers Town, from late night leafletting to giving evidence in front of a Parliamentary Select Committee and has significantly raised the profile and opinion of the Green Party in the area, something I know she'd do in the wider context of a London representative.

All this and I've still not mentioned her work on the national executive, her founding of Green Party Women, formulation of much Green Party policy on women's equality and her frankly frightening levels of energy and drive.

In short, Natalie is the sort of politician I'm happy to leaflet in the rain for her because she proves time and again her commitment, the thoroughness of her research and understanding on any issue on which she speaks, her political integrity and her extreme willingness to engage with the grunt work of coordinating, leafletting, stall-ing and all the other day to day organising a local party needs.

I'm voting Natalie [1], and I'd like to encourage everyone to do the same.

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