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Caroline Lucas

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File:Caroline Lucas keynote Green Party England and Wales 2006-09-23 Copyright Kaihsu Tai.jpg

Caroline Patricia Lucas (born 9 December 1960 in Malvern, Worcestershire) is an English politician. She is currently a Member of the European Parliament for the South East England region and the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales. She is one of two Green MEPs from the UK (along with Jean Lambert), a post she has held since 1999[1]. She is also the Green Party's prospective parliamentary candidate for the Brighton Pavilion constituency[2]. In fact she was elected in 2010 with a small majority and gave her MEP seat to the man she replaced as candidate for MP, Mr Keith Taylor. Since the election (now 2013) her far left politics, obsessed with growth, have had little notice.

She is noted for campaigning and writing on Green economics, localisation, alternatives to globalisation, trade justice, animal welfare and food. In her time as a politician and activist, she has worked with numerous NGOs and think-tanks, including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Oxfam and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. She is married with two children[1].

Political careerEdit

Early activismEdit

Lucas began her career as an activist in the anti-nuclear movement with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). She was heavily involved in the Snowball Campaign against US military bases in the UK[3].

Green Party politician and MEPEdit

After joining the Green Party (UK) in 1986 (later renamed the Green Party of England and Wales), Lucas had stints as the party's National Press Officer (1987-89), Co-Chair (1989-90), General Election Speaker (1991-2) and Party Regional Council Member (1997-9). She would later hold the post of Female Principal Speaker from 2003 to 2006 and from 2007 onwards [4]. Her first electoral success came when she won the Green Party's second County Council seat in the UK on Oxfordshire County Council, which she held between 1993-97[3].

In 1999, Lucas was first elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the South East England Region with 7.4% of the vote (110,571 votes). She was re-elected in 2004, gaining 173,351 votes (7.9% share)[5]. In the European Parliament, she is or has been a member of the Committee for Trade, Industry, Energy and Research, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy[3], the Committee on International Trade and the Temporary Committee on Climate Change[4]. In addition, she is or has been Vice President of the Animal Welfare Intergroup, a member of Intergroups on Peace Issues and Consumer Affairs, a member of the Parliament's Delegation to ACP (African Caribbean, and Pacific) Countries[3] and a member of the Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council[4]. As part of her committee work, she was the Parliament's Rapporteur (draftsperson) on a Commission Communication on the impact of air transport on the environment, and the Vice-President of the parliament's Committee of Inquiry into Foot and Mouth[3].

In 2007, Lucas declared her intention to stand for the Green Party's nomination for the prospective parliamentary candidate in the Brighton Pavilion constituency for the next general election. Brighton Pavilion had seen the highest vote ever for a Green Party candidate when Keith Taylor, a former Green Party Principal Speaker, won 22% of the vote in the 2005 General Election. In a letter to party members, Lucas made it clear that she would only stand if she won the internal party selection election by more than 10%, to avoid internal division. She described the move as "the most difficult decision of my life", due to "personal and family commitments" but also her "loyalty and commitment to Keith Taylor, who is a person and a politician for whom I have great admiration and respect"[6]. On 18 July 2007, it was announced that Lucas had been selected by the Brighton Green Party. Lucas won with 55% of the party ballot against Keith Taylor's 45%[2].

Bid for Green Party leadership Edit

File:Caroline Lucas speech 20080906.ogg

Lucas was a candidate in the Green Party of England and Wales leadership election, 2008. On 5 September she was elected as the party's first ever single leader. (Previously it had 2 leaders, 1 male and 1 female.)

Non-party activism and advisory roles Edit

As well as her party political activities, Lucas has worked extensively with developmental NGO Oxfam as Press Officer (1989–91), Asia Desk Communications Officer (1991–94), Policy Adviser on Trade and the Environment (1994–97) and Team Leader for Trade and Investment (1998–99). Currently, she is vice-president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and the Stop the War Coalition. She has been an Advisory Board Member to the International Forum on Globalisation, the Centre for a Social Europe[4] and the Protect the Local, Globally think-tank[1]. She has been a Trustee of the Radiation Research Trust and Patron of the Joliba Trust (Africa). She is Matron of the Women's Environmental Network. Furthermore, between 1997 and 1998, she was called upon as a Policy Adviser on Trade and Investment for the UK government's Department for International Development[4].

AwardsEdit

In her time as a politician and activist, Lucas has won the Michael Kay Award "for her outstanding contribution to European animal welfare" from the RSPCA[7]. She was named in the Top 10 of the New Statesman Magazine Person of the Year Award 2006, which was voted for by New Statesman readers, alongside varied personalities including Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and Shami Chakrabarti, Director of the civil liberties NGO Liberty. This was considered surprising because many of the other members of the Top 10, including 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, had been nominated and profiled by prominent writers in the magazine in the weeks before the vote[8].

Lucas won the award for Politician of the Year 2007 in The Observer Newspaper Ethical Awards, having been shortlisted alongside Gordon Brown and David Cameron. The award was voted for by Observer readers[9].

In July 2007, Lucas came in eighth place in the New Consumer Magazine Top 100 Ethical Heroes list, behind a number of celebrities including fashion designer Katharine Hamnett (who came 1st), Anita Roddick (Body Shop founder), Al Gore (former US Vice-President who is now a campaigner for action on climate change) and Jonathon Porritt, a former Green Party politician. The list was designed to recognise people who "made the biggest contribution to ethical consumption over the last five years". According to New Consumer magazine, "if you had to trust one person with changing the world you could do worse than rely on Lucas"[10]. During the same month, BBC Wildlife magazine named her in their Top 50 Conservationists, which was topped by Prince Charles[11].

Academic careerEdit

EducationEdit

Lucas holds a first-class BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Exeter, which she completed in 1983. She took a scholarship at the University of Kansas between 1983 and 1984 before doing a diploma in Journalism in 1987. She earned her PhD from the University of Exeter in 1989 with a thesis entitled Writing for women: a study of woman as reader in Elizabethan romance[4].

AuthorEdit

Lucas has become a prolific writer of reports, articles and books on the subjects of trade justice, localisation, globalisation, animal welfare and food, in which she is critical of free trade, a Single European Currency, trade-led developmental policies, genetically-modified (GM) food and a lack of attention to environmental and social issues[1]. Her most notable work is Green Alternatives to Globalisation: A Manifesto (co-authored with Mike Woodin), which advocates localisation of economies based on minimal trade and greater social and environmental concern, in opposition to neo-liberal, market-led forces of globalisation[12].

ReferencesEdit

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BibliographyEdit

  • Lucas, C. P., Woodin, M., Green Alternatives to Globalisation: A Manifesto, 2004
  • Lucas, C. P., Global Warming, Local Warning: A study of the likely impacts of climate change upon South East England, 2004
  • Lucas, C. P., Towards a GM free Europe: Halting the spread of GMOs in Europe, 2003
  • Jones, A., Lucas, C. P., Local Food: Benefits and Opportunities, 2003
  • Lucas, C. P., Time to Replace Globalisation, 2001
  • Lucas, C. P., Which way for the European Union: Radical Reform or Business as Usual?, 2001
  • Lucas, C. P., From Seattle to Nice: Challenging the Free Trade Agenda at the Heart of Enlargement, 2000
  • Hines, C., Lucas, C. P., Stopping the Great Food Swap: Relocalising Europe's Food Supply, 2001
  • Lucas, C. P., Woodin, M., The Euro or a Sustainable Future for Britain? A Green Critique of the Single Currency, 2000
  • Lucas, C. P., Watchful in Seattle: World Trade Organisation threats to Public Services, Food and the Environment, 1999
  • Lucas, C. P., Reforming World Trade: The Social and Environmental Priorities, 1996
  • Coote, B., Lucas, C. P., The Trade Trap, 1994

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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