My dear friend Claire Browning has recently turned her immense intellect and energy toward writing a book about the Green Party — where it has been and where it is heading.
The back cover blurb describes the book well:
In 1975, the cover of the Values party manifesto Beyond Tomorrow showed two barefoot happy children, perched on a rock by the sea.
Tomorrow has arrived. Sadie and Charlie, on the cover opposite, are a little more pensive than they were in 1975, a little smaller, and more vulnerable. They have turned, to watch the horizon.
In 2012, on the 40th anniversary of the public launch of the Values Party, it is time to rewrite the story.
“The Greens have a lot to offer New Zealand, and they’ve deservedly won a secure place in the nation’s politics, but sometimes you just want to give them a good shake,” wrote commentator Denis Welch in Metro magazine recently.
Values’ is not a new story, but it is the story for today. Beyond Today retells it, for those who have forgotten, and those who never knew.
It is, in the end, on values that the Greens’ charter principles of ecological wisdom, social responsibility, appropriate decision-making and non-violence will stand or fall.
Former Green Party Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons fittingly writes the final chapter of the book.
The Green Party has not been very good at “teaching reality” to New Zealanders. While there have been attempts at presenting a vision of a Green New Zealand, the party has yet to really take people along with them: that the idea of a Green Government and a Green New Zealand is actually a very real prospect.
Beyond Today opens the doors of the Green psyche to the public. It will make understanding all those funny things the Greens do, from consensus decision making to harping on about “ecological wisdom”, easier and not so scary. Familiarity with the ideas and principles of the Green Party will bring about understanding and through understanding wider acceptance.
I think Claire has smacked some nails firmly on the head in this project. She has every right to be very proud: summing up the Green Party is no easy feat. I look forward to purchasing the finished product and getting a signed copy.
Beyond Today is being launched Queens Birthday weekend before the Green Party’s AGM in Wellington. If you would like to order a copy you can do so by emailing this address.