Saturday, 1 March 2008

*Only two months to go

I haven’t been posting much to the blog over the last month or so. This is because the London Mayor and Assembly elections are on May 1st. and life is hectic. Meetings most nights and some days. Constant phone calls from early morning until after midnight.

These are London-wide elections for the Mayor and London Assembly.

The Assembly consists of 14 constituency seats elected under the traditional first-past-the-post system and eleven Londonwide seats elected from party lists on a Proportional Representational top up system. The Green Party is contesting all seats. Sian Berry ( ) is our candidate for Mayor. In 2004 we won two seats on the Londonwide list – Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson. They are also numbers one and two in this election and I am number three with Sian as number four. We have high hopes of taking four seats!

People outside the political process are rarely aware of the amount of preparatory work required to run an election campaign. There are manifestos to be written, leaflets, posters etc to be designed, candidates to be selected and briefed. Campaign launches, TV broadcast to be commissioned and filmed, press briefings and interviews and a hundred other things.

On top of all that you need the money to pay for it. The Green Party does not have big business or big unions to support us, so we have to rely on our faithful members and supporters. With everything done on a shoestring, we have to be very creative in the use of the money. Our broadcasts in 1989 (by David Bailey) and 1999 (Message in a bottle) are rated among the best ever PEB made by anyone. The latter broadcast can be found on the web. This year’s broadcast is quite innovative and will be shown in April.

Among other things I have been part of the small, hard working fundraising group. WE STILL NEED MONEY, please give us some.

Apart from being No.3 candidate, my post in this campaign is Local Party Support. This has entailed traveling around London meeting, briefing and enthusing our local parties and activists. In the last few weeks, I have visited most local parties and been in touch with every single one.

Here are some of the materials being produced:

London Green News, our 12 page tabloid newspaper will be hitting the doorsteps on Saturday next. It has a print run of 340,000.

A Mayor Pledge Card in the shape of a pound note will be distributed at 92 tube and train stations on the morning of Budget Day (March 12th)

500,000 campaign leaflets will be distributed across London, starting in early April.

Party Election Broadcast, probably on the week starting April 7th.

Thousands of VOTE GREEN PARTY posters. If you want one, please contact me on

We will also produce Green Party posters in dozens of languages. There are 300 spoken languages, in London.

We will also have two pages in the Mayoral booklet, which will be posted to every voter in London. This ad. alone costs us £10,000. Then there is the Mayor deposit of £10,000, the List deposit of £5,000 and £14,000 in constituency deposits!

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