We Profiled the People Who Will Lose to Caroline Lucas in the Green Party Leadership Race

Who's trying to be top Green?

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Jul 28 2016, 12:05pm

Green Party placards on an anti-austerity protest (Photo by Adam Barnett)

Voting is now underway in what can only be described as the election of the summer. No, not the Labour leadership coup-cum-contest – the Green Party are voting to replace their leader since 2012, Natalie Bennett. Not because of infighting but because the Greens are so lacking in hubris that every after two terms, their leaders stand down and let someone else have a crack.

The Greens are a fringe political party but, then again, so are UKIP and just look what they've achieved. They want to challenge the hegemony of our two party political system and change the game. This sounded stupid a few years ago but we've entered something of a twilight zone where anything's possible. So, who's running for the Green Party leadership in the hope of heading up a serious alternative for voters on the left before heading up the Corbyn/Green coalition government of 2025?

CAROLINE LUCAS AND JONATHAN BARTLEY

Age: Lucas is 55, Bartley is 44

Why are there two of them?: They're running on a joint ticket and propose to share the job.

Where are they from?: Lucas was born in Worcestershire where her dad sold solar paneling. She landed in Brighton via the hotbed of veganism that is Exeter University after ten years working at Oxfam. Bartley is from the smog-filled metropolis we call London.

Are they Caroline Lucas, the only Green Party politician I have heard of?: 50 per cent Caroline Lucas, and a man who once worked for John Major.

Highest office held: Lucas is not only MP for Brighton, but has been leader of the Greens before and was once an MEP. Bartley is the Green Party's Work and Pension's spokesperson.

What are their politics: Caroline is khaki, a very practical and wearable green you'd expect to find in M&S that doesn't look out of place at important meetings. Bartley is British Racing Green, he used to work for the Tories and once described himself as a "floating voter". He's also a man of faith who founded the progressive Christian think tank Ekklesia.

Most notable moment: Lucas was listed by the Observer as one of "50 people who could save the planet", which for a Green is like making the Sunday Times Rich List. Bartley once publically grilled an unsuspecting David Cameron over special needs in schools. Bartley has a disabled son.

Something they've said which is actually of interest:
Bartley is a man who isn't afraid to cite parenting as a legit reason for job sharing, which, frankly is pretty radical: "Like any parent I struggle to balance work and family life and with the barriers that a disabled child like my son faces. I just couldn't dedicate the time needed to be the sole leader of the Green Party."

Will they win?: This is certainly the most well-known ticket but the Greens don't do cults of personality.

Summary in a few words: This alliance is Progressiveness personified.

Simon (left) with his very cool Green Party tattoo and current leader Natalie Bennet (Picture via Facebook)

SIMON CROSS

Age: Simon, enigmatically, doesn't seem to have listed his age anywhere publically. The Green Party press office "don't hold such information".

Where are they from?: Originally from Labour heartland, south Yorkshire.

Are they Caroline Lucas, the only Green Party politician I have heard of?: No. Simon describes himself as a "family man" who works in ethical sales. He has a Green Party logo tattooed in his shoulder which is... certainly aesthetically better than one of Jeremy Corbyn's face?

Highest office held: He was the Green's candidate in the 2015 election for Rochford and Southend East. He lost out to the Tories. So none.

What are his politics: Grassroots green from the bottom up. Active in the party for 30 years, he's a traditional "100 percent renewable energy" candidate.

Will he win?: Probably not, he's competing with our next candidate, Clive Lord, for the core Green vote.

Summary in a few words: A very Green everyman.

Clive Lord (Photo via Clive Lord for Green Party Leader)

CLIVE LORD

Age: At 81, Clive is the oldest candidate in the race.

Where are they from?: Leeds.

Are they Caroline Lucas, the only Green Party politician I have heard of? No. You might not know Clive but he's actually the party's longest-serving member. He co-founded the People Party in 1973, a forerunner to the Green Party. He might just be the only name long-time Greens know better than Caroline Lucas. Everyone else, not so much.

Highest office held: Never elected but Clive has stood as a candidate in General Elections since 1974 and local elections since 1980. This man's dedication!

What are their politics: Clive is a Green who campaigns tirelessly for a citizen's income. In 1993 he said, "I'm afraid I cannot retire from Green politics until the significance of the Basic Income is understood and taken for granted on all sides."

Something he actually said: "A recession can be fun."

Will he win?: Like Corbyn, he might be the oldest and the least mainstream-friendly, but he's potentially the most politically radical option. So you never know...

Summary in a few words: Makes Corbyn look like a youthful and naively centrist slave to the status quo.

David Malone (Photo by Andrew Williams)

DAVID MALONE

Age: 54

Where are they from?: Currently based in fracking country, David lives in Scarborough. He was born in North Shields but grew up in London in the 1970s and came of age in the 80s.

Are they Caroline Lucas, the only Green Party politician I have heard of?: No. He's a documentary filmmaker who used the troll the Guardian's comments section under the name Golem XIV, criticizing bank bailouts and austerity. In 2010 he wrote The Debt Generation.

Highest office held: Never elected, he's stood in multiple local elections since 2011. So n/a.

What are their politics: David's main focus is economics. He's highly critical of how the financial crisis was handled.

Most notable moment: It's got to be the trolling.

Quick quote: "They bailed out the banks and forced debts on the population. Who asked me? There was no democracy in this. SHOULD we be bailing out insolvent banks? There was no discussion! There was NEVER open debate."

Will he win?: David's a motivational speaker for hire who could just prove that the Green's are about more than fixing the ozone and give them a voice on economics. He might galvanise those who don't want Lucas a second time.

Summary in a few words: Totally motivational.

Martie Warin (Photo via Martie Warin for Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales)

MARTIE WARIN

Age: The youngest of the bunch, Martie is a millennial 27.

Where are they from?: The former mining town of Easington, County Durham. A place the BBC once billed as "the whitest place in England".

Are they Caroline Lucas, the only Green Party politician I have heard of?: No. Martie, who is proud to call himself an "Eco-Socialist", is a relative newcomer to the party. He joined in 2010.

Highest office held: He might be the new kid on the block but he was elected as a Parish councilor for Easington village in 2013.

What are their politics: Martie is what you might call a watermelon, to the extent that his Twitter pic is actually of a watermelon. Green on the outside, socialist red on the inside, he's the sort of left winger who's defected from Labour because they're not socialist enough.

Fun fact: Martie is a musician and "strict vegetarian". Could this be his industrial black metal soundcloud?

Will he win?: Martie might appeal to other young voters on the left who are disillusioned with the offering of mainstream politics.

Summary in a few words: Kind of inspo, actually. While the rest of us sit around in the throes of existential quarter life crises he joined a party and got himself elected to serve in the community in no time. Inspo-Goth.

David Williams (Photo via David Williams for Green Party Leader)

DAVID WILLIAMS

Age: 60s

Where are they from?: According to his website, David grew up in Hanky Park, which he describes as "a notorious Salford slum". He now lives in Oxford.

Are they Caroline Lucas, the only Green Party politician I have heard of?: No. He's almost as well-established, however. David has been a local councillor in Oxfordshire for 27 years.

Highest office held: As a local councillor David has held positions such as Chair of Education and Economic Development.

What are their politics: He was once a Labour councillor but left the party when they supported what he deemed "illegal wars". As he saw it Labour were only helping "the rich get richer" and basically "started privatising the NHS".

Fun fact: In 1983, David helped to draft the Labour Party's manifesto and stood as a candidate for Colne Valley in Kirkdale.

In his own words: "British politics is in meltdown and we must be consistent and clear in this chaos". He also says "tomorrow is another day... the fight goes on." Carpe Diem, David.

Will they win?: Could David be the man who appeals to disillusioned Labour voters? Could his story of defection inspire them? You could see it happening. But he's still not Caroline Lucas.

Summary in a few words: Experienced.

Results will be announced at the Green Party conference on September 2nd.

@Victoria_Spratt

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