A will to succeedby WestOxon Greens Editor on 11/30/12
By Kate Griffin
"I was getting ready to congratulate the winner, when I found out it was me." When Will Duckworth was elected deputy leader of the Green Party in England & Wales, nobody was more surprised than the man himself. He came to Witney last night to talk about his first few weeks in the job and share his vision for a Green future.
The meeting was open to people of all political affiliations and none. Despite being a trade union activist, Will himself wasn't a supporter of any political party at all until 2008, when he read Manifesto for a Sustainable Society and realised that finally, here were policies he could agree with.
Things moved quickly after that. After complaining to the Green Party about the lack of candidates in his area (Dudley), he was invited to stand for election himself. He ended up standing in the 2010 general election as well as in the council elections. In 2012, he was elected as Dudley's first ever Green Party councillor with a comfortable majority. Months later, he also stood as the national party's deputy leader and won.
Will shared his tips for election success with the Green Party members in the audience. As you might expect, there's no secret formula, just hard work and focus. From the first time he stood as a candidate in Dudley (in the ward of Netherton, Woodside and St Andrews), he set to working on behalf of local people as if he was already a councillor. Will and his supporters knocked on doors, listened to people's concerns and campaigned on local issues like road resurfacing.
The meeting, held at Witney's Henry Box School, ended on an inspiring note. The Green Party's famously grassroots approach means that any individual member can be part of its success, provided they have the desire to achieve it. Success doesn't come from the executive's top-down decisions; it comes from the members. As Will put it: "With the Green Party, there's no 'them and us'. It's all us."