Monday, 10 May 2010

Caroline Lucas: First UK Green MP

Well it's been an exciting week for those of a political persuasion and whatever your views on the hung parliament, it's certainly got people talking - about reform, voting fairness and the will of the people. But in amongst the uncertainty and relative chaos that we're currently experiencing, one woman has has made history by becoming the very first Green MP elected in the UK.

In the early hours of May 7th, Caroline Lucas was elected as the MP for Brighton Pavilion and as a result has finally aligned the UK with much of Europe by ensuring green representation in parliament. While the Greens already have representatives in Europe, local councils and MLAs, this is the first time that a member of the Green Party has been elected to Westminster (hardly surprising given the relative unfairness that the First Past the Post system affords the smaller parties). Overturning a 5000 strong Labour majority to secure a seat by 1300 votes, Lucas has proved that even in the face of funding limitations, the right kind of campaigning and leadership can see results. She will  in many ways be somewhat of a lone voice, lacking the backing of other party MPs, however if her reputation in Europe is anything to go by, she will be a loud and industrious voice. And if we are stuck with a minority Tory government, may very well be the likes of Caroline who find themselves with a lot more clout that in times past.

I wish Caroline Lucas the best of luck and can't wait to see what Brighton can achieve in the coming years. From a personal point of view this gives me great hope for the future of Green Politics, which should hopefully start receiving the attention it deserves (perhaps a little more screen time from the likes of the BBC, or is bear baiting with the BNP just that little more entertaining?). No longer the pet project of the 'crazies and the hippies' to quote an internet friend of mine, Greens can now be seen as serious and dedicated environmentalists, with the ideas and energy to push us into a better, more sustainable future. And of course it's always great to see any female addition to British politics, which is still very much a boys club.

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