WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus one follow-up once you've had a response. 2. Keep your question brief 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. See full guidelines here.

Live webchat with Caroline Lucas, Green Party leader and MEP, Fri 26 Mar, 1pm

(60 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 22-Mar-10 12:14:42

We're very pleased to welcome Caroline Lucas for a webchat this Friday, 26 March, at 1pm.

She's Green Party leader and MEP for South East of England. This is Caroline's second Mumsnet webchat - she first joined us in May 2009.

The Greens are fielding a record number of candidates at the forthcoming election and have high hopes of winning their first Westminster seats - in particular, Caroline is hoping to win Brighton Pavilion, while Adrian Ramsay in Norwich South and Darren Johnson in Lewisham Deptford are tipped to join her in Parliament.

In her speech to the Greens' spring conference, Caroline asked: "Does anyone believe that Brown has earned another five years in power. Or that Britain will be a fairer and more just place to live if David Cameron becomes prime minister? Because if the answer to the problems in our democracy is David Cameron, we need to think again about the question."

If you have any questions for Caroline, please join us.

Spidermama Mon 22-Mar-10 14:43:59

I was really glad to hear you express your
concerns, on Question Time last week, about porn. I wanted to hear more as this is an issue which concerns me greatly.

These days porn appears to have become completely mainstream and acceptable, going largely unquestioned. Those who voice concern, especially about the role of women in mainstream porn, are widely derided and cast as prudes.

The images are so ubiquitous and so readily avialable that our youngsters are likely to see (on their phones or on their computers) hundreds of sexualy explicit images before they begin to make their own personal sexual journeys.

How do you feel about the porn industry and how will you make sure your views are heard?

Maaster Mon 22-Mar-10 15:53:53

Mums at home and abroad unite.Lads have made world cruel,callous and mums bear the brunt of suffering.eg when illegal and unholy war is declared in Iraq,it is mothers who have to suffer in silence when a son or daughter or dad is killed.
When lads pass laws which takes away Sunday as a day of rest,then it takes up family time and a day for families to spend quality time,then mums have to pick up the pices.
When Maggie took away free shcool milk and when billion are spent on arms and ammo,then there isnt much money to pay mums to stay home and help children but has to go out to work and spend more quality time away from children.
when lads show callous disregard for mother cow and burn and slash and slaughter isx million mother cows then again as mother,all mothers suffer.Lads who take power and keep mothers down,so only one mother has becoem UK PM and deny her equality in Priesthood so any foreignor of any colour can become archbishop or bishop but a mother who decides to become a priest is denied that so would her daughter.phew.
so how can mums inspire daughters to be free and get the top jobs when thye grow up?by being selective and smart and voting ladies like caroline Lucas.

Lulumaam Mon 22-Mar-10 16:34:41

Hi Caroline

I would like to ask how can we be greener? Our local authority collects refuse every other week, which means driving to the tip, which is not eco friendly. Also, they don't collect plastic or cardboard, which are the bulkier items, so again, a drive to the tip.

when you get to the tip, the recycling bins are often so full, you can't get your own stuff in there !

And food waste recycling on the doorstep is disgustingly unhygienic, with the bins left lying on their side, and still with bits of food , attracting flies and vermin

and then we hear how our recyclables might not be recycled if the quotas have already been filled.. and it all gets sent to landfill

so what is the point of local authorities are not actually supporting recycling?

we are all pushed and pushed to be greener, but it is made harder and harder..

as an aside, Maaster, that's a really strange post.. I really don't think 'lads' are to blame for the state of the world at large

Strange post, maaster

Igglybuff Mon 22-Mar-10 19:38:10

Hi

Apart from Green issues, could you please summarise what the Green Party stands for? I have voted green in the past for local elections but haven't considered it for general elections as I have no idea what your other policies are!

cakeywakey Mon 22-Mar-10 20:18:29

Hello Caroline,

Are you really hoping to win the Pavillion? The dusting alone would put me off, far too big a house! grin

Seriously though, why will a vote for the Green Party be a first choice over other parties when, in many constituencies, it may just split the left vote? Why is a vote for you not a wasted vote?

BTW, I thought you did very well to keep on a dignified face when David Starkey was getting ranty on Question Time.

choosyfloosy Mon 22-Mar-10 23:25:48

Dear Caroline,

Since we appear now to have a 'great arms society' replacing Thatcher's 'great car society', what is the economic reality for the UK of constraining sales of arms to nightmare regimes? What job losses from that should we expect?

WeNeedToLeaveInFiveMinutes Mon 22-Mar-10 23:51:51

Why is Caroline back again so soon? It's less than a year since she was last here?

CameraLady Tue 23-Mar-10 00:08:42

when i was 18 the year that New Labour won the General Election, i took part in a documentary made for schools called "Why Vote?". Its aim was to enthuse and encourage the youth to vote. Myself and two other 18 year olds interviewed MP's and representatives of the major parties and the Green party, also the SA High commissioner about what voting meant for them. I didn't vote that year, choosing instead direct action about issues that i felt were important. I spent some years on the front line of political activism fighting nearly all losing battles, finally becoming totally disillusioned with our 'democracy'. I have always felt that voting in Britain is pointless. The political system is such that career comes before country(Thatchers influence haunting us) evidence of this just keeps coming out in the media, 'Dispatches' being the most recent. The three major parties are all the same, there is no choice.

I'm so happy i live in Caroline Lucas's constituency and can place my first ever vote, aged 32, knowing its not a wasted vote and that i would be voting in Britain's first Green MP. Hopefully the voice of reason in the commons bringing forward issues that actually matter to the people of this country not just big business and politicians.

My question:
I recently read an article about John Lewis and its worker owned business model. How the bonus system works on a percentage meaning a fairer distribution of profits and creating a much greater motivation to work hard, from the cleaners to the heads of department. John Lewis has weathered the downturn very well even making profit where others are closing down.

Do you think this kind of model could be applied to some public services(Transport) and perhaps even the council itself? Something to motivate the staff to want to go the extra mile in their work, and keep those council exec's pay checks in line.

I find Brighton and Hove council completely incompetent. My baby and I were snowed in for ten days in Jan, I live quarter of a mile from the supermarket and couldn't get to it! When i wrote a letter of complaint i had no reply. I have no confidence in the current council system and feel the whole structure needs shaking up.

If you become MP for Brighton and Hove will you have the power, and do you intend, to make drastic changes to the running of the council?

Thanks for your time and GOOD LUCK I hope you win.

ZephirineDrouhin Tue 23-Mar-10 11:32:44

Yes good question about the John Lewis model. It seems to work so well it's surprising that it hasn't been adopted elsewhere.

Thought Caroline was brilliant on Question Time

Clarissimo Tue 23-Mar-10 11:46:52

Hi Caroline

After the last webchat I joined your party and when I needed information about a possible policy change that Labour / Conservatives are considering you were very helpful, so thank you. Your social policy is in my opnion by far the most sensible of all the options available.

This morning I had a long chat with our local Green candidate who is attempting to persuade me to consider standing as a Councillor next year. She believes that women are the sensible solution to the woes and seeming lack of standards affecting politics at the present time. I, on the other hand, feel very much that even being associated with politics as it currently is would put off most decent people. What are your views, please?

Clarissimo Tue 23-Mar-10 11:49:38

And yes, strange post maaster; some of us 'mother cows' have sons you know, I jhave 4, they are not soemthing to be fought against but raised to respect all people regardless of gender / disability / racial origin / sexuality / faith. Being anti men (and your post did read that to me) is as undesirable as being anti female. We need to be pro humanity.

greenbiscuit Tue 23-Mar-10 12:39:28

Hi Caroline,

I'm new to Mumsnet (hello everyone else!) but I'm going to be a parent soon, which is why I'm concerned enough to post about the £97 billion estimated cost of Trident (nuclear weapons, not the chewing gum, that is..)and how it will affect future public services spending.

I know that the Greens are committed to nuclear disarmament, but could you say more about what you plan to do on Trident if you (or other Green candidates) get elected?

Thanks very much.

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 23-Mar-10 16:18:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bank Tue 23-Mar-10 23:07:22

what is you position on health visitors. please don t be shallow as all the other parties have been i would appriciate a well resrarched answer
lyn

whittingtonmum Wed 24-Mar-10 09:06:36

Hi Caroline,

What is your position on the proposed closure of the A&E and maternity servies at the Whittington hospital in North London ?

If you oppose it would you be prepared to give us a firm commitment - if the Greens were to form the next government -

to halt with immediate effect the current process to close the Whittington A&E and maternity and ensure that all future plans are evidence-based, transparent, made publicly available and subject to extensive and meaningful public consultation

not to close any A&E and maternity unit in North London until alternatives are firmly in place, have been sufficiently tested and proven by independent analysis not to have any averse effect on the treatment of patients

So far no party leader has signed up to this publicly. I hope you will lead the way !

mummy1973 Wed 24-Mar-10 12:39:05

Hi Caroline. i don't live in Brighton so if you win a seat there how will you use your influence to affect policies that touch us all?

MrIC Thu 25-Mar-10 21:24:43

Dear Caroline,

I'm sure you are aware of the Transition Movement (seeing as Brighton is a Transition Town). I was wondering whether

a) you agree with the premises and principles of the Transition Movement and

b) if so, what role you see central government playing in encouraging and supporting greater community resilience?

Many thanks and good luck!

jennyvee Thu 25-Mar-10 21:28:45

Hello Caroline, and thank you for coming on to give your views.

A couple of people have asked about Trident nuclear weapons and I think we can probably guess your answer to that one smile and I think most of us on here would also prefer to see taxpayers money spent on pro-family policies.

My question is, with the economy in downturn, do you think spending cuts are needed and how would you help the economy recover without cutting the services needed to help 'hard working families' as Gordon Brown says.

Thankyou and best wishes.

daysoftheweek Thu 25-Mar-10 23:45:12

Hello Caroline
I know were only allowed one question so please choose from the following.....

1) European Parliament is really very ungreen isn't it? All that moving around between sites and travelling back and forth? Costs a huge amount too.
Will it ever be rationalised or is it too much of a gravy train?

2) Should air travel be rationed?

3) Bailing out banks/bonuses/public sector pay restraint to pay for the previous any comments about your views/policy what the greens would have done?

(Look you can even choose your own question for that one grin)

thanks

policywonk Fri 26-Mar-10 10:36:30

Hello Caroline.

Mumsnet has recently called on the main parties to include a commitment to the reform of English and Welsh libel law in their manifestos. Can the Green Party sign up to this?

Cheeky second question: I know that the Greens are currently reviewing their science policy, following a lot of comment from science/left bloggers about some of the wilder aspects (complementary medicine on the NHS, blanket ban on animal testing and so on). Can you update us on the position here? Is Green Party science policy likely to change in the light of recent criticisms?

Good luck in Brighton Pav. I used to live there and I'd have loved to have you as an MP. I imagine there'll be a crusty-flavoured party on the Steine if you get in!

ItWouldBeMyPleasure Fri 26-Mar-10 10:58:45

Hi Caroline
Thanks for coming back to Mumsnet. I was impressed with your responses last time.

I am a Brighton Pavillion constituent, and my question is why did you not allow Keith Taylor to stand for the seat? I'm afraid you lost my vote when you stood against him for the candidancy - it felt very disrespectful for someone who has put in a huge amount of work locally. Is it because Keith doesn't fit the image of the Green Party that you would like? I would have had much more respect had you stood in Oxford and allowed Keith to stand in Brighton.

I think having a Green MP would be a fantastic thing for politics but it feels like the Green party are no better than the rest when it comes to playing party games and worrying about image more than integrity.

I have no connection to Keith Taylor, am just disappointed you 'parachuted in' and he was dumped.

Thanks for your time

CarolineLucas Fri 26-Mar-10 12:59:42

Hi whittingtonmum

Greens in North London are very active in the campaign to stop closures at Whittington hospital, including our councillor there Katie Dawson. I am very happy to pledge my opposition to the closure of the A&E and maternity services at the Whittington, and if elected, will work hard to keep the services open. The Green Party believe it's wrong that hospitals and health centres are treated like businesses, rather than vital public services. We want to see an end to money being wasted on botched PFI and privatisation schemes and we want to protect the jobs of public sector workers. And Greens are happy to lead the way when it comes to transparency, proper consultation and local decision making.

Thanks for all you are doing to try and make sure people can access the health services they need – and good luck.

CarolineLucas Fri 26-Mar-10 13:04:07

Hi Igglybuff,

Lots of people know us for our environmental policies but we are about so much more – and I am really glad you have asked this question. Our main message ahead of this coming election is about fighting for fairness. What that means in practice is policies designed to promote equality (like making sure the wealthier people in society pay just as much of their income in tax as the poorest – at the moment the less well off pay a larger share) and to give everyone a chance of getting on in life (so we want to create a million new jobs and train people to do them).

It is also about a better deal for young people – here in Brighton for example we want to see a new secondary school and 2 new primaries because we recognise that most people want their children to go to a good, local school.

It is about safer streets, which is why we are campaigning for a 20 mph speed limit where people live and outside schools, for example.

Fairness is important too when people access public services. So we want to guarantee that single parents get the child care and support they need; that the health care
postcode lottery ends; and that policing tackles people’s day to day concerns.

I hope that gives you some idea of where our priorities lie – but do ask again if you want to know more about any specific examples. And you can always visit our website where the general election manifesto will soon be available to download – www.greenparty.org.uk

Ps is your screen name inspired by the Night Garden?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now