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Live webchat with MEP/Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, Mon 1 June, 12.30pm-1.30pm

(106 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-May-09 14:08:56

We're pleased to flag up that Caroline Lucas is coming on to MN for a chat.

Caroline has two children, is the only woman leader of a UK political party and has been an MEP for the South East region for a decade (and is hoping to be re-elected on 4 June).

Please join us - the list of potential topics to discuss is huge (climate change, the economy, the expenses row, 'toxic' toys, the Green 'New Deal', animal rights...).

As usual, if you're not sure you can make the chat but have a burning question for Caroline, please post here and we'll pass them on.

Gamut Tue 26-May-09 14:11:53

Excellent. The massive disillusion with Labour, Lib-Dem, and Conservative right now makes this just the time to look hard at the Green Party as a possible new focus of allegiance.

Gamut Tue 26-May-09 14:21:06

The Green movement has traditionally been at least as much associated with campaigning interest-groups as with party politics.

At a time when party politics is looking extremely tired and compromised, what can the Green Party do to invest party politics with some of the fervent, principled campaigning we associate with interest groups? How does it avoid being compromised itself?

How does the Green Party stand on the kind of constitutional tweaks that need to be made to restore power and principle to Parliament -- electoral reform, the reduction of 'whipping' of MPs, fixed-term parliaments, and so on.

hanaflower Tue 26-May-09 14:59:11

Excellent. I think the plan to stop the flitting back and forth to Strasbourg is a good one, but how are they even going to approach this? And what about the SISO culture in the European Parliament (Sign in and sod off). Are there other european political parties who are also against this snout-in-trough mentality that the Greens will work with?

queenie1 Tue 26-May-09 15:18:43

I'm really interested in knowing what the Green Party's position is on parenting. I've been reading about green parenting and wondering what the Green Party itself thought?

Fibonacci Tue 26-May-09 15:57:32

Caroline, one of the Green Party policies is free healthy school meals for every child at a state school in the UK, regardless of means. I think its a great policy, but wondered what it would cost and how it would be funded?

Spidermama Wed 27-May-09 00:45:42

Greens are sometimes accused of being a little serious. What do you do for fun?

Also do you really, honestly believe we will ever make the massive switch in focus required to pull back from climate chaos?

TalentedLoser Wed 27-May-09 11:57:02

How do you juggle motherhood with being the leader of a political party and and MEP?

ahundredtimes Wed 27-May-09 12:06:15

I've got some really simple, possibly stupid, questions:

What does an MEP do?

Do MEP's have constituency surgeries?

I don't know who my MEP is! This is possibly my fault. But once I've found out and if i wanted to contact them - what might I say to them! I have no idea what they are doing, or how they might be representing my interests in Europe!

If you're an MEP for UKIP or someone like that - what do they DO? Do they just complain and block votes and things?

How does the European Parliament work?

Are the Green Party a sort of lobby group in Europe then? Or do Green MEPs also erm, do whatever MEPs do, on a range of matters not just those to do with the environment.

I find the whole notion of the european parliament really distant and a bit bewildering to be honest.

ahundredtimes Wed 27-May-09 12:15:02

Also -

Is the european parliament all about trade? That's the impression I've got.

What sort of decisions do the european parliament make that are different from what the House of Commons discusses? Isn't it just a bureaucratic nightmare?

Actually, all this just boils down to my original question doesn't it. grin

uberalice Wed 27-May-09 22:15:35

Caroline, I heard you talking on Any Questions? last Friday about the need for parliamentary reform. I didn't know who you were because I missed the introduction and end of the program, but I was so impressed with what you were saying that I went straight to the Radio 4 website to find out your name.

Do you think that we are any closer to seeing fixed term parliaments and proportional representation at Westminster now, in the light of the expenses scandal, or do they remain dreams that will never be fulfilled?

LeninGrad Thu 28-May-09 15:52:41

How do I find out who is standing in the European elections on 4th June?

LeninGrad Thu 28-May-09 15:59:31

Found the info:

Standing:

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8040446.stm

Existing:

www.europarl.europa.eu/members/public/geoSearch/zoneList.do?country=GB&language=EN

Please vote people, let's keep the BNP and UKIP out!

ahundredtimes Thu 28-May-09 16:12:42

Ah. Right I have found de Rossi on that BBC site Leningrad thank you.

He goes to lots of meetings it seems, all day, every day, sometimes they are out of the parliament building, which he seems rather pleased about. However the closest I can get in answer to the 'what does an MEP do?' is when he said rather vaguely that he 'makes laws and does some policy development too.'

So I'm getting closer to it now. I wonder if Caroline can tell us what laws they are making and what policies they are developing, please. Also, are the MEP's which are standing then standing with a commitment towards the laws they are going to make and the policies they will develop? Does each party have a european parliament manifesto as such?

The only leaflet that has come through my door, started by telling me that this man felt just like I do about Europe, and like me, he wants to see some reforms too. grin I hope he has considerably more knowledge of Europe than I do.

Ninjacat Sat 30-May-09 16:49:58

I am a green voter but feel so worried that the Tory's will get in at the next election I fear I may have to vote labour.
What would your advice be?

Jux Sat 30-May-09 17:00:50

In the light of the gravy train that would appear to be Westminster, what would you suggest we do about the even larger gravy train that is Brussels?

ThingOne Sat 30-May-09 22:07:31

Why are you standing again for the European Parliament when you have been selected as the candidate for the Westminster seat of Brighton Pavilion? Which do you want to do?

hunkermunker Sat 30-May-09 23:11:25

I'd be very interested to hear what the Green Party are doing to actively promote breastfeeding as the green option for feeding babies.

From the article I've linked to in the link above:

"More bottle-fed babies means more deforestation, soil erosion, pollution (including by dioxins and other toxins) climatic changes and wasted resources. Breastfeeding has a positive effect by providing a renewable resource and by preventing other forms of damage to the environment in the form of increased population and wasted materials, for example.

"Clearly, companies which undermine breastfeeding are damaging the environment as surely as the companies which chop down rainforests; it remains for this to be taken on board by green pressure groups, politicians and all consumers."

policywonk Sun 31-May-09 14:50:38

Caroline, what's your opinion of the draft climate change treaty that will be discussed in Bonn over the next couple of weeks? Do you have faith that recent movement by China and the USA means that we will see a really effective treaty in Copenhagen at the end of the year?

Further to ThingOne's question, what do Brighton Pavilion Green activists think about you parachuting in to their seat? Is there some local tension or is it accepted that this is the best way to get a Green MP into the UK Parliament?

Finally, what one thing (other than voting Green, which I already do grin) can UK voters do to put pressure on this, and any other, government about environmental issues?

ToughDaddy Sun 31-May-09 17:35:29

I heard Caroline on QuestionTime and she more than held her own against the established parties.

Doobydoo Sun 31-May-09 20:31:01

Hello There.
Where were you educated?
Do you think the 'ruling classes' tend to come from the obvious schools?
Why can they not open politics to the people?[obvious why they won't really].
Why is David Cameron pretending he has done nothing wrong[do you think?!]Obvious answer I know.
What do MEP'S actually do?
What is your salary and what are your expenses?
Just a few questions!
Do you think 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist'should be read in Schools?

NotPlayingAnyMore Sun 31-May-09 21:04:41

Next year I'll be undertaking an environmental studies degree project, focusing on making my own lifestyle more "green".

As could be illustrated by a recent thread here on Mumsnet (about the balance between free range food and affordability), the average voter trying to "do the right thing" often involves making very difficult decisions.

While time and money is a luxury many families don't have, it's also very confusing when trying to consider prioritising one issue over another in our consumption choices, such as animal welfare, organic food, reducing energy use, recycling, supporting local communities and so on.

The Green Party has obviously researched many of these areas for their policy manifesto, so what advice would you give to those who are trying to balance what is best for their families with what is best for the wider environment?

hatwoman Sun 31-May-09 21:38:31

mn - I love the idea that she's coming on here to have a break from electioneering hmm. all these years I've been doing politicians a grave disservice by assuming that electioneering and talking to "normal" people was one and the same thing. and in fact they just want a break and a chat. well I never.

hatwoman Sun 31-May-09 21:46:32

Caroline - (this is a genuine, not an aggressive question, iyswim) how do you respond to the argument that the world cannot "afford" to eat organically? ie organic food actually takes up more resources (inc, time, energy, "man"power, and land) and the planet simply could not produce enough organic food to feed everyone?

aviatrix Sun 31-May-09 22:31:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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