The Green Party of England and Wales is holding an internal election to select who to send to the House of Lords next time we are offered a seat. I am running as a candidate. You can find out more about my political and campaigning experience here.
Watch this video:
Video description: A selection of clips from talks and media appearances.
George Monbiot says: “Rupert Read would be a brilliant member of the Lords. He is a determined and responsible campaigner for a better country and a better world. He has never abandoned his political commitments, or his commitment to humanity and the rest of the living world.”
• A highly-capable Green politician, with elected experience.
• Knowledgeable of parliamentary processes and tactics.
• A forceful speaker and an effective debater.
• Someone with a deep grasp of green ideas.
• A peaceful direct-action campaigner on issues such as climate, animal-rights and nuclear disarmament.
• Norwich Green Party Councillor, 2004-11.
• Responsible for bringing in 20mph zones in much of Norwich.
• Teaches Politics and Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, where he works alongside world-leading climate scientists.
• Former Green Party national spokesperson on transport.
• A strong and consistent media performer.
• Record of effectively arguing the Green case with challenging interviewers such as Michael Crick, Martha Kearney and Nick Robinson.
• Strong appearances on shows such as Question Time, Politics Live and the Today Program.
Zoe Williams says: “Rupert Read is a true iconoclast. He is the most practical of philosophers, the most erudite of campaigners. He has a deep respect for the views of others, but is unwavering on his principles. He elevates debate and brings great kindness to it. I’d urge Green Party members to put him in line to go to the House of Lords.”
Image description: Rupert Read and Baroness Jenny Jones in parliament.
House of Lords:
Despite its shortcomings, the House of Lords is a valuable platform for the Green Party. I want play a critical role in strengthening our voice there and use it to enhance our work elsewhere. My experience puts me in a strong position to do this.
I arranged the meeting with Caroline Lucas that led to the appointment of our first Green peer, Baroness Jenny Jones. Since then, I have worked closely with Jenny. In May 2018, for instance, I helped draft her speech defending the Precautionary Principle in the Lords. Just very recently, in June 2020, I helped her get a meeting with the Government on the issue of offsetting as an ineffective method of meeting carbon-zero targets.
I have submitted evidence to several parliamentary Select Committees; helped set up the All-Party-Parliamentary Group on ‘Limits-to-Growth’; and been commissioned by the All-Party-Parliamentary group on Agroecology to deliver briefings to Parliamentarians about retaining positive EU environmental regulations.
In summer 2018, I successfully lobbied the BBC to stop using climate-deniers as ‘balance’. This happened after I publicly rejected an invitation from them to debate a climate-denier. The Guardian published an article by me and I co-ordinated a major multi-signed letter on the topic. As a result, the BBC changed its policy.
Since before its launch, I have been very active with Extinction Rebellion. I am currently a spokesperson for the movement and have helped shape its campaigning priorities and messaging. I will use my experience and network to make sure Greens continue to engage with grassroots green movements.
Image description: Rupert Read speaking at an Extinction Rebellion demonstration.
In the Lords, I would focus unremittingly on the drive to prevent climate catastrophe. I would use my expertise on transport policy to work toward the huge changes so urgently needed in that critical sector. I would seek to rein in industrialised livestock farming, a system both grossly cruel and dangerous to our climate as well as a major driver of pandemics. I would set up a Committee for Future Generations, something that the Lords has the power to do.
I would work closely with Jenny Jones, Natalie Bennett and Caroline Lucas, with all of whom I have long-standing, productive working relationships, to force Parliament and Government to face up to the multiple crises of our times.
I would use my familiarity with Parliamentary procedure to speak out in the Palace of Westminster on this cluster of issues, at every opportunity, and to seek to amend legislation accordingly. But I wouldn’t stop there. I would actively engage, as a Lord, in nonviolent civil disobedience, to highlight the inadequacy of our current democracy. I believe that legislation and practices that will condemn us and our children to climate catastrophe are literally criminal. I would participate in civil disobedience when necessary and use the media coverage it gains in the fight to save our common future. I would do this in concert with Extinction Rebels and Greens across the UK, wherever needed – at open-cast coal mines, at airports, at road construction sites, at CEOs’ offices, and more.
I would do what I can to use the platform provided by the House of Lords to build the Green Party. I have given Green Party talks up and down the country – from Newcastle to Yeovil, from Findhorn to Colchester. I would aim to target places – more and more each year – where Greens are poised to break through electorally or have already done so. It is my belief that the Green Party needs to be ready for a new ‘Green Surge’ as more and more people start to wake up to the way the human race has now imperilled itself.
We are running out of time. We need all the energy and drive we can muster. If you help put me in the Lords, I will commit to spare no effort. Together, we really can make the difference. If you agree, then put me as your number one preference on the Green Party House of Lords selection ballot.
Kate Raworth says: "I strongly support Rupert Read as a Green Party candidate for the House of Lords. Rupert has long been a respected intellectual voice in the field of post-growth economic thinking, and is unusual in his ability to combine academic rigour with persuasive public communication. I believe he would be a very valuable asset for the voice of the Green Party in this important political position.”
Why back Rupert Read as the #1 candidate for the House of Lords?:
Sir Jonathon Porritt says: “I’m very happy to lend my support to Rupert’s candidacy. Being a Member of the House of Lords is a demanding position, requiring dedication and a lot of political intelligence and forthright advocacy. Rupert has all the necessary attributes to make a real success of this, and would greatly enhance the presence of the Green Party in the Lords.”
Adrian Ramsay, former Green Party deputy leader, says: "Rupert would be an invaluable addition to the Green Party team in the Lords - particularly at this moment in time. He has demonstrated incisive campaigning ability, first class debating skills and intellectual rigour; and he has been central to driving a step change in the political and media agenda on climate. As a Green Peer he would have the platform to constantly challenge Government on the ambition needed on the climate and ecological emergency."
David Taylor, former Green Party Principal Speaker, says: “The main objective in adding to our Parliamentarians right now is to increase good media coverage of Green politics. The key is to find the candidate who will give most added value in this respect. Who is most likely to become a go-to person for interviews? He or she needs to be a top media performer: ie. a well informed, passionate and effective debater who can bring new and genuinely green thinking to any situation. Rupert Read is the candidate to tick all those boxes.”
John Barry, former Green Party of Northern Ireland co-chair, says: “Rupert Read has been a strong and courageous public voice on green politics for many years, a prolific ‘public intellectual’, speaker and championing the urgency of addressing climate breakdown, the defining issue of our age.”
Gary Francione, animal rights lawyer and philosopher, says: “The Green Party should support Dr. Rupert Read to be a member of the House of Lords. Not only is Read, who possesses encyclopedic environmental and scientific knowledge, a leading voice in educating people about, and in opposing, anthropogenic climate change, but he is also a philosopher who is respected around the world. He is an expert in logical analysis and logical argument. His positions on matters of ethics and justice as a general matter consistently represent the epitome of rational analysis and are unassailable. And one of his greatest talents is that he can explain things in ways that everyone can comprehend. It would be magnificent to have him as a member of the House of Lords.”
Neal Lawson, Chair of Compass, says: “I have known and worked with Rupert on cross party issues for around ten years. I have found him to be a tireless and inventive thinker and campaigner on issues of sustainability and democracy. It is rare that people combine both of these skill sets and it is his ability to do so that makes Rupert a real asset to the Green Party and would make him a brilliant addition to the House of Lords. His recent campaign to end BBC bias on climate change deniers is a brilliant case in point. Our national politics and that of the Green Party would be well served by Rupert becoming a Peer and using the platform to help build a more sustainable, equal and democratic society.”
Theo Simon, lead singer of Seize the Day, says: “I don't just recommend Rupert because of his thinking and awareness, but because he also follows it through with action. He's been ahead of the curve about our ecological emergency, and he's not afraid of rocking the boat, even when he gets attacked for it. He's relentlessly pursued the BBC over their climate coverage, and things have changed for the better. I think he could do great things for us with a seat in the Lords, and use it well on everyone's behalf.”
Chris Rose, former Greenpeace guru, says: “I have had several long conversations with Rupert about both climate change and how the Green Party could deploy values segmentation in its messaging to reach a broader audience, and I co-signed his letter to the BBC refusing to debate against climate sceptics, which very probably helped tip the BBC into a change of news policy. It’s clear that Rupert is an effective and talented campaigner nationally and locally, and he has raised the profile of green issues with a small ‘g’, even in North Norfolk which is no mean feat”.
Patrick Curry, academic and former Green Party councillor, says: “I endorse Rupert Read's bid to represent the Green Party in the House of Lords. He is one of the greenest Greens I know -- a true Green, one might almost say -- in adhering to the ecocentric values we so urgently need, and in facing up to the difficult challenges which now confront us. He also commendably combines intellectual seriousness with compassion.”
Promoted and Produced by Rupert Read as part of his campaign for the House of Lords ordered list. This is not an official communication from the Green Party of England and Wales.