When Natalie Bennett was first elected as Green Party leader 12 months ago, it is fair to say I was uncertain that we had got it right. The jury was therefore out, so to speak.
But now the verdict is clear – she has grown into the job admirably and is very much the right person. And I am not the only person to recognise this. Friday’s Guardian contained an excellent feature on her: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/aug/30/green-party-leader-natalie-bennett
The final paragraph sums up the writer’s over-riding impression of her:
Mostly, I love the optimism. She is always ready with a positive exemplar: an insulation project in Kirklees, a solar-panelled brewery in Lewes, permaculture, energy-saving ideas, some reason to be cheerful – the greatest of which is, just because things look bad, doesn’t mean they’ll stay bad. “There has been enormous change, just from my mother to me; there was massive change in the possibilities that were available to me and what people expected of me. Change is the normal human condition. We just tend to be quite short-sighted and not recognise that things have changed massively already.” I feel that the Greens are already flying; they deserve better air quality, as will we all, soon enough.
She has room to grow further into the job, but alongside Caroliine Lucas, she presents a committed, intelligent and credible persona to the world, that reflects well on us all. The fact that she is also just as approachable and personable as Caroline to the membership – perhaps even more so – also helps strengthen the Party.
I therefore wish to congratulate Natalie on so successfully rising to the challenges of her first 12 months at the helm, and look forward to her continuing the upwards trajectory of her leadership and the Party’s fortunes in the coming years. (Andy Chyba)
Natalie Bennet with Bridgend members Rozz, John and Andy (with Trish behind the camera) at Balcombe recently.
Bennett’s wariness of such political compromise no doubt stems from the number of disaffected Lib Dem voters which the party is currently attracting, together with Labourites who feel that “Labour is incredibly soft on things they should be tough on”.