Andrea Carey of Lewisham Green Party, a Green Left supporter talks to Green Left’s Mike Shaughnessy about why she is standing for Deputy Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales.
Tell me a little about your background and why you joined the Green party?
My background is working for charities - e.g The Red Cross & a charity for people with learning disabilities, and working as an advocate for community organisations supporting people to have a voice - advocating for mental health services users, disabled people, older people looked after children, asylum seekers/refugees, and currently empowering Deptford through the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan.
I joined the Green Party because it is the only Party which properly addresses Climate Change, and also because it had the best policies across a whole range of issues which fitted well with my own views on these issues.
Why did you decide to join Green Left?
To join others who support eco-socialism - and push for things like the citizens income.
If you are elected as Deputy Leader, what will be your priorities?
Improving Democracy and Equality issues within the Green Party - particularly supporting disabled people's rights and bringing forward a women's rights policy.
Climate Change cross-party women's event to push the GP Green New Deal across to the other parties.
Get the draft motion to suspend the right to buy in all English Cities put forward by Caroline Lucas or by Natalie Bennett.
What is your opinion of the electoral pact between the Greens and Lib Dems at last year’s General Election?
It didn't help and it didn't work as the Lib Dems position on the EU was too polarised! The only thing that will help us going forward is a change in the voting system to proportional representation.
It is likely that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism will be brought back to the Green party’s autumn conference for adoption. Do you support this definition?
No - I was a co-proposer of Les Levido's policy motion opposing the IHRA 'definition' of antisemitism and reaffirming BDS (Boycotts Divestment Sanctions against Israel), in January 2016:
"Title: Reaffirm support for BDS and oppose a key IHRA example
Synopsis: The GreenParty reaffirms its long-standing support for the BDS campaign, which aims to end international support for Israel’s regime of settler colonialism and apartheid. On those grounds, the phrase ‘apartheid Israel’ is anti-racist – not antisemitic, as falsely implied by an example in the IHRA Working Definition of antisemitism.
Text of motion:
1. TheGreen Party reaffirms its commitment to promote active participation in the Palestinian-led campaign for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and companies complicit in Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. (See motions passed at the spring2008 and autumn 2014 conferences, ‘Israel’ ground Invasion’ in upper right-hand corner, (https://policy.greenparty.org.uk/ip). We further endorse the BDScampaign’s peaceful aim: ‘to pressure Israel to comply with international law and to end international support for Israel’s regime of settler colonialism and apartheid’ (https://bdsmovement.net/call)
2. For several years the UK government has attempted to prohibit public bodies from boycotting Israel and companies complicit in its violations of international law. It now plans new legislation for this purpose, as well as for a reverse boycott: to prohibit local authorities from contracting with companies that divest from Israel. We will work with other groups to oppose such government restrictions on organisations exercising their democratic right and ethical responsibility.
3. On the website of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA),a Working Definition of Antisemitism includes several examples, e.g. ‘Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour’. This contentious example has been deployed for false accusations of antisemitism against the BDS campaign and its keyphrase ‘apartheid Israel’, especially to deny venues for public events or to restrict speakers. The Green Party asserts that the BDS campaign’s aims are anti-racist and rejects the above example of supposed antisemitism.
How do you rate the government’s handling of the Covid 19 pandemic?
They should be put on trial for corporate manslaughter! Compare BJ with the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and you have a complete analysis of everything the UK government did wrong: We should have closed our airports in February. Following the Pandemic WHO announcement in January - stocks of PPE should have been ordered and plans drawn up for the closing of schools/businesses and the introduction of social distancing.
If Airports/bus stations/train stations had been disinfected from the start (early March) and flights stopped or people put in quarantine before 14th March we would have very few deaths just like NZ. There was a callous and deliberate policy to accept 20K deaths as if this was OK - knowing full well that the brunt of this would be borne by the elderly - hence the Government's total lack of concern with dispatching elderly people from hospitals back into the community without testing them.
It makes me want to scream with rage and cry with sorrow that over 43,000 people have died due to the sheer incompetence and total disregard for the health and well-being of the nation this Government has shown!
How do you think the Green party should position itself electorally in the immediate future?
On the Left - As the only Party promising real action on climate change and offering social justice and a kinder more compassionate society - a society based on collaboration and care of people and planet - the only international party that will do this.
What is your vision for the Green party over the next few years?
Get support for the suspension of the Right to Buy.
Push all the MP's to get the Government to - support the recovery of the economy with the GP Green New Deal - build 250,000 council social homes per year over the next 5 years to meet the demand of the 1.5 million waiting for homes -support Proportional Representation-Introduce a Citizen's income-Stop selling arms around the world and particularly to Israel and holding arms conventions in the UK - Start working towards multi-lateral nuclear disarmament to begin the process of world peace.
Green Party members will be voting throughout August.
Andrea speaking on Tidemill Garden after Lewisham Council approved the plans to demolish Reginald House (2-30A Reginald Road) and Tidemill Wildlife Garden. Campaigners have asked the Mayor of London to call in the application.