Green Party Activism

Lucy, Ben & Philippa at the Gordon Arms, Castle Ward
Lucy, Ben & Philippa. The Gordon Arms, Castle Ward. Bedford. Summer 2021.

Philippa Joined the Green Party in January 2014 and became active in her local party during the 2015 general election. At the 2015 AGM In October of that year she became the Coordinator for Luton and Bedfordshire which was a really easy job back then because it was about giving the members the freedom to do their job but lend support when required. I have to say that the job has changed somewhat for the better in my opinion. We have new digital tools and new processes being introduced to make working for the Green Party a lot easier.

Everyone on the committee had been a member for a lot longer than i had and i was still very much learning the Green Party way. I was allowed to sit back and watch everyone else and learn from observing. Of course with my disability there are many areas of activisim that i am unable to join in with but my local party have never made me feel excluded. Which was demonstrated at the 2016 AGM when i was unable to attend.

I was (in my absense) appointed coordinator for Bedford Green Party as the decision had been made to seperate into our local authority areas for the day to day business of the local party. At our first meeting i made a request for someone to take the minutes for me. However, no candidate came forward. So not only was i chairing the meetings i was also taking the minutes (something that i still do not like doing today.

This was on top of the membership and communication duties that i had already taken on the year before. Now some people will think that i was being greedy with taking on all these jobs but it was simply that we did not have the active members to help out in this capacity. But we did have many people that helped with the activities that i find difficult like door knocking and posting leaflets through doors or sixty second survey’s.

I then stood in the paliamentary elections in 2017 for the first time. To say i was nervous was an understatement i had no idea what i was doing but it’s safe to say that i surprised myself at what i was able to acheive during a very short election campaign. Of course i might not be selected as a candidate for the next general election But here is the link to my candidate page.

I also had a fantastic election agent Adrian Spurrell who was great at guiding me through the process and when i almost had a full on panic attack before my first hustings was a really calming influence. I will be forever grateful to Adrian for helping me through my first election. Sadly he is no longer able to help as my election agent as he now stands in public elections himself but the experience he gave me the first time round helped me to stand again in 2019 and grow my political experience. I was a paper candidate in the 2019 local council elections and helped with getting Lucy and Ben (both wonderful activists that do so much for their constituents) elected to Bedford Borough Council. Philippa has now joined the Castle Ward team and manages to get out and about in her wheelchair in the nicer weather to join door knocking events occasionally.

Lucy, Ben and Adrian Door Knocking in Castle Ward, Bedford before the 2019 election.

Due to the Green Party going digital for much of it’s work now, i have had the ability to join other areas of the party as many meetings now take place over Zoom. I have joined the Drug Policy Working Group where i have met some more really nice and helpful people. We are all very keen to see the war on drugs end so i’m hoping that this website will serve as a temporary home for this group. With the ability to make some posts.

Update January 2023 – At the Autumn 2022 Green Party Conference I attended the Green Party Food and Agriculture Policy Working Group AGM. There was a call out in the meeting for a new coordinator/Chair/Convener for the group. One person who was a fairly new member put himself forward for the role but requested support as he was unfamiliar with some of the procedures. So i put myself forward on the understanding that i was there to support with the digital and communication side of the job. I have to say that my Co-coordinator is doing a fabulous job, making contact with other groups in the party that can help guide us and also have a link to our group such as the Land Use Policy Working Group.

We also had the AGM for the Green Party Drug Policy Working Group recently I was elected to the position of communications officer. Before the AGM took place we had a presentation with anyone’s child the link to the presentation is on the Green Party Drug Policy Working Group Page.

I have also joined another group (outside of the Green Party) who want to start campaining for improving patients experience with Medical Cannabis. We will be using this website to publicise any events or campaigns that we start. So watch this space.

Disclaimer: I would like to make an apology to the disability community for not having the accessibility tools available or captions on my videos. These are very expensive tools to buy which i just don’t have the funding for and have no other access. Update 31/03/2022 I have just found a download for the wordpress accessibility tools unfortuneately i still can’t use them for this website as i have to upgrade to the pro subscription, here is the link WordPress accessibility tools. I have started to try to make some of the videos more accessible with subtitling but this current has to be done manually so the longer videos are taking more time to complete. I also am trying to do videos of someone reading out the posts to make them a little more accessible for those that can’t afford or have the skills to use accessible tools. By providing links to other sites, Philippa Fleming Activist does not guarantee, approve, or endorse the information or products available on these sites.

I would also like to add to this statement that this is not an official Green Party website i have been given permission to use the graphic at the top of the page from The Luton & Bedfordshire Green Party executive committee.