After the Machiavellian nonsense that has been distracting me the past few days, I thought I better get back to the more satisfying part of politics – laying out a postive vision of what can be achieved.
Wales Green Party – towards success in 2017
With unprecedented membership increases this year, we need to ensure that all our local parties and eager activists are given every opportunity to capitalise on this momentum.
In my time within Wales Green Party, until now, we simply have not had the right people and resource distribution to enable a properly executed “Target to win” strategy. This is the tried-and-tested strategy developed in the West Midlands to startlingly good effect (just across the border).
It starts with choosing the most appropriate ward to focus on. Get this wrong and you may well be wasting years of effort. It cannot be a case of just stepping out of your front door and working your own neighbourhood. It is a programme that needs to be given at least three years to have a realistic chance of delivering success. We have no time to waste if we want success in 2017.
The strategy also involves proper support in terms of access to leaflets, briefings, artwork, training and logistical support. Training needs to be provided to present established best practice at every step – from ward selection to door knocking; from leaflet design to use of social media.
I have been involved with the Party long enough to be able to count on friends, who are acknowledged experts, to offer training across the country. These will come from both within the Party (e.g. Will Duckworth – the architect of ‘Target to Win’) and from outside the Party (e.g. social media and P.R. consultants).
None of this comes without financial costs, and this is also something we need to look at differently. Last year barely 18% of the Wales Green Party income was fed down to local parties. This needs greatly increasing along with disbursement of most of the retained funds in the election account. Until we achieve success in Local Councils, money spent on higher-level elections has to remain targeted on the target wards. Wales Green Party does not need large election reserves for other elections until 2019.
This point is likely to be emphasised by the potential wiping out of our election kitty by Wales Green Party footing the bill for 30 General election deposits next year. Other regions have also strived to fight 75% of their seats, but most are expecting local parties to raise the funds to cover the deposits. I hope I am wrong, but this strategy could end up with WGP having just a few thousand pounds to take forward into the full-scale target-to-win strategy. This is really going to put the pressure on our recently appointed regional organiser to get to grips with fundraising, or else we are going to be severely hamstrung.
The other aspect of achieving success in 2017 that needs to be developed sooner rather than later is developing better relationships with allies and better targeting of opponents weaknesses. Being a bit more politically savvy, in other words. I will deal with this in my next post.
A for targetting how many seats we can win in 2017, that is something I would want to establish early next year, as we are already less than 3 years away from the local authority elections. The target will be set by the membership through local parties and activists setting their target wards. Every active party should have one. If chosen carefully, one activist with a few supporters can work a ward successfully too. A commitment to follow the Target to Win approach will be met with a commitment to provide all the help possible for you to achieve your target.