Following country-wide trends, Green Party membership in the South West region has seen a strong increase during 2014, with members in the region now numbering over 5000. Membership in the Stroud and Cotswold Districts is currently 314; the highest for many years.
Disaffection with the traditional “grey” Westminster parties has turned some people away from voting altogether. But many more have come to realise that a strategy of not voting will simply hand power to the establishment; and that the best way of challenging that establishment is to support a party which offers real change, and which truely represents the interests of ordinary people and the environment.
As Kieran Turner-Dave quite rightly says, “The Party Russell Brand’s Looking for Already Exists – He Just Needs To Vote” – or better still, join the Greens!
The Scottish referendum has also engaged many activists in progressive politics on both sides of the border. Membership of the Green Party of England and Wales has doubled during 2014, standing at 27,618 in early December. Natalie Bennett, on her trip to Stroud in October, reported that at 1000 new members had joined in the previous 5 days. The increase in Scotland has been even more marked, with membership there up more than 400% since this time last year.
What’s needed now is for more members to take an active role. There will be a lot to do locally in 2015, with a General Election and a number of District Council elections to fight. Every little helps to get our message out to more of the electorate; and every seat we gain at local level helps raise our profile at national level. We also urgently need donations to help cover the cost of these campaigns; so if you can’t give time, please consider giving a little extra money.