15 March 2017
All questions were submitted by Young Green members after a general call out was made.
Please see below answers from Rosie Woolgar
West Norfolk Green Party
Sarah-Jane Riley (South East Essex)
Peter Scholes (West Norfolk)
200 word statement:
The role of International Delegate is an exciting and engaging one which I’m confident will benefit from my experience and personal enthusiasm for the Young Greens and our representation on an international level. I have a wide and varied experience representing the YGs internationally through my work with FYEG. This has included travelling to Paris for the COP21 and taking part in many direct actions during the state of emergency, as well as participating in the AlterCOP run by FYEG. In addition to my various work with FYEG I am also a member of the Migration Working Group and have worked in Brussels with the Future of Europe Working Group. As well as my work internationally with the YGs I was lucky enough to travel during my gap year. Not only did I have the chance to experience different cultures but also undertook a TEFL course and spent much of my time teaching English. This has granted me a broad cross-cultural understanding and appreciation which I think aids my ability to represent the Young Greens. As someone who has two jobs I am consistently organised in my routine and see this role slotting in very well with my current activism.
Introduction to you and your candidacy for the position:
I have been a member of the Young Greens for 2 years and have worked with FYEG across Europe and in the UK during that time. I currently work as an Education Officer for the Green Britain Foundation - a green focused charity aiming to spread a Green Britain Vision, with a focus on sustainability. When I spend time away from politics and the Greens I am a part time kickboxing instructor and enjoy spending time learning science based and philosophy based theories.
How do you aim to represent the diverse views of Young Greens all over England and Wales at the Global Young Greens conference?
I have a variety of experience working with liberation groups within the Young Greens of England and Wales, as well as experience in the Working Groups set up by FYEG. My aim is to represent the diverse views and experiences of Young Greens by liaising directly with liberation groups that I am not a part of. In addition to this, during my job as a Youth Support Worker I was an advocate for disadvantaged and vulnerable young people who needed their views heard by authorities and services. This role required excellent listening and communication skills, which I continue to consolidate on a daily basis.
How do you see Young Greens engaging, on an international scale, with the Global Divestment Mobilisation at the start of May?
Our involvement with the Global Young Greens will give us a fantastic standing for greater involvement on an international scale. The Global Divestment Mobilisation already has some incredible roots in the UK, the UEA Young Greens, for example, and I think that Young Greens of England and Wales can learn and develop a lot from the current and past Divestment actions. My view is that, at a time such as this, in a post Brexit UK we need to be bold and as fully engaged as possible with the international movement - something that I am confident FYEG will help us to achieve.
How can you see things going forward with the Green Party this year? What will your main goals be?
My main aims within the year are to accurately and confidently represent the views and experiences of the Young Greens of England and Wales on an international level. I feel that the Green Party of England and Wales will see a slow but steady increase in numbers due to inner Labour turmoil and we will subsequently have a fantastic opportunity to harness this new member-power to ensure we move forwards with a strong strategy. I also ultimately aim to effectively increase the awareness and competence of the Young Greens on an international level.
How will the Greens seek to gain more power whilst maintaining a grassroots status?
It is increasingly vital that our policies and procedures remain member led so that the grassroots nature of the Green Party is never compromised. This is, however, not synonymous with less power, and I think that the Greens are more than capable of increasing power via our national strategy Target To Win. I therefore strongly support this strategy and am keen to see its successful implementation across the UK. I feel that having co-leaders is a fantastic way to demonstrate that positions of influence can be shared and because of this we are in a stronger position than ever before to best utilise this influence.
If the country ever returns to a period of socialism where people have a degree of equality and access to state benefits, how will the Greens ensure that there is also an element of individualism and opportunities for people to have some freedom?
Greater access to state benefits ensures a greater level of equality which does not diminish individual opportunities but rather enables a wider range of opportunities to be available to a wider range of people. By acknowledging and understanding the importance and richness of diversity, and thus placing this as central to establishing socialist policies, collectivist approaches will thus be based on the inclusion of individual diversity; that is to say that individuals’ unique experiences and virtuosities will be utilised and valued to establish a greater level of freedoms for all. Equal access to state benefits does not diminish opportunities, it allows individuals to have freedom no matter what their background is.