17 February 2016
John was active in the 1945 general election, attending hustings and debating the need for radical change in a society that had just emerged from one of the most serious crises ever faced by this country.
In the post-war period, John went on to be one of the founders of the Colchester Labour Youth League and campaigned for the Common Wealth Party and the Ecology Party, both of which were the political forbears of the Green Party. He then went on to be a well-known Green Party activist, standing in elections in Burnham in Buckinghamshire and then becoming a councillor in South Shropshire from 1995 until Shropshire’s adoption of unitary status.
John vehemently opposed the establishment of the Shropshire unitary authority, which centralised administration more than was necessary or appropriate for a rural area.
John’s activities up and down the country were very well known and he had contact with many other activists who went on to be nationally famous in the Green Party and the wider green movement, including Jonathan Porritt who canvassed for John in Burnham in 1982.
Commenting on his 70 plus years of political activity, which has recently seen the election to Shropshire Council of Shropshire’s first Green councillor in Oswestry South with 49% of the vote, John said:
“It has been a pleasure and privilege to be so active and so involved for seven decades. In that time the Green Party has made dramatic progress to the point where we have over 50,000 members, one MP, three MEPs and a huge influence on dozens of local councils. There are now Green councillors in every county in the West Midlands, including Shropshire, and I look forward to seeing yet more! The scale of the Green Party win in Oswestry South shows that the Green message is taking root in Shropshire. Green councillors work very hard and they take the key arguments for better public services, better public transport and green jobs into the Council chamber. The Green political message combines strong beliefs in a high-quality environment with a commitment to local jobs and a fair taxation system to ensure that vital services are maintained and vulnerable groups in society are not penalised.
The task of creating a better world that is more equal, kinder to all age groups, less greedy and more attentive to the needs of a finite planet is not yet done. I will continue to work on the key things that will bring about real change, especially proportional representation, democracy in the work place, decentralisation of the economy, and an educational system that gives people the ability to be strong, make decisions and not just accept what is done on their behalf and so deal with the really big issues, starting with climate change and the need to create a sustainable and thriving local economy.
My next task is to make sure we get Green councillors elected in South Shropshire in 2017 to join Councillor Duncan Kerr in the north of the county in order to help bring about some much needed change in Shirehall.”
Commenting on John’s contribution to the Green Party as a whole and to political life in Shropshire, Dr David Gibbon, Coordinator of the South Shropshire Green Party, said:
“John has made an outstanding contribution both nationally and locally to the Green Party and we want to pay tribute to his decades of committed involvement in helping to ensure that Green ideas take root and flourish. His patient, consistent, determined, calm and polite approach to politics and creating a better world, and informing people that it is a good idea to vote for what you want and to vote for real change is an inspiration. This is what he did in 1945 and this is what he continues to do. We are very lucky indeed to have him in our area”.
Sign up for updates