“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for February 21st, 2011

Green Party’s Regional Council

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After the shenanigans at the GPRC, where an agreed policy statement on antisemitism was shelved after some political manoeuvrings, questions are being asked about who are the GPRC at Greens’ Engage:

“GPRC is responsible for policing the democratic structures of the Green Party and ensuring the Party’s “well being”. The Party’s executive (GPEx) is responsible to the GPRC. Members of the Green Party Executive (GPEx) can be required to report to GPRC, which has the right to recall (suspend) GPEx members, including party Leader and Co-Leader. GPRC has responsibility for policy between conferences, and the enforcement of party procedures. GPRC can review local party decisions, and overturn them, in the event of a complaint. GPRC also plays in a key role in determining the strategic priorities of the Party.

The GPRC, and in particular its co-chairs, have a key role in handling disputes and complaints raised by regional parties, individual party members and member of the public. The GPRC co-chairs can summarily dismiss a complaint, refer it to dispute resolution, or initiate a full-blown tribunal. They can suspend a party member pending a tribunal, and initiate investigations into members behaviour. It may be the case that they are a clique suffering from a bad case of groupthink. But to say GPRC is irrelevant in the Green Party is akin to saying that the Committee on Standards in Public Life, the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, and the judicial system, are all irrelevant cliques that can be ignored by those concerned with democracy and justice.

GPRC’s constitutional role means that the fiasco over guidelines concerning antisemitism is important and not merely a trivial side-show. The GPRC has previously agreed that there is a specific problem with antisemitism in the Green Party, which requires action on its part, including specific guidance to be considered when dealing with complaints relating to antisemitism.”

I thought this seemed to sum it up nicely:

“To a cynical onlooker it might seem that the entire process for producing guidance on antisemitism was set up to fail, perhaps so that GPRC could wash its hands of a problem that they acknowledge exists but cannot or will not act on. Perhaps one question is whether GPRC is seeking “merely” to appease certain individuals and groups to avoid confrontation and embarrassment, or whether those individuals and groups are de facto in charge of the institutions of the party. “