Christmas Message by Green Party Co-leaders Jonathan Bartley and Caroline Lucas
23 December 2016
Jonathan Bartley: Let’s be honest. 2016 has been sh*t. Refugees drowning. Far-right rising. The EU referendum campaign. Trump. And the hottest year on record.
Caroline Lucas: But as co-leaders of the Green Party, we see different stories – stories from right across the country, stories of hope.
Jonathan Bartley: For every racist headline – there’s someone opening their door to a refugee.
Caroline Lucas: For every attack on our environment, there are people who are fighting for clean air, clean water and clean energy.
Jonathan Bartley: For every cut to our health service, there are doctors, nurses and patients joining together to defend our most precious institution.
Caroline Lucas: Now is a time to reflect on the year that’s just passed and to look forward to the year ahead, especially after the year we’ve just had.
Jonathan Bartley: But New Year’s Day isn’t a reset button, or a blank piece of paper. Today’s challenges will still be with us. They won’t be any less scary; they won’t be any easier to tackle.
Caroline Lucas: But as far back into history as you want to go, you can find the seeds of the future
Jonathan Bartley: We’ll be building on decades – centuries even – of compassionate, progressive politics, like when nanas took on the fracking industry and won; when the first gay couple got married a few years ago; when the suffragettes demanded the vote.
Caroline Lucas: Yes, 2016 has been tough. But the past isn’t made out of neat 12-month blocks. Change doesn’t just turn up on the first of January each year. It’s ongoing, it’s fluid, it’s unpredictable.
Jonathan Bartley: That’s why we have to keep nurturing the seeds of the future we want to see – a future that’s already here if you know where to look. As co-leaders of the Green Party that’s what promise to do. When they build walls, we will build bridges. When they say we are citizens of nowhere, we feel that we are citizens of the world.
Caroline Lucas: And when they act like fascists, we will call them fascists.
Jonathan Bartley: So this is our message to you at the end of 2016: Nobody owns the future. Not Donald Trump, not Nigel Farage, not Theresa May. We have to fight for the future we want to see a future based on fairness, on equality, on hope. Change won’t come overnight, not even on New Year’s Eve.
Caroline Lucas: But it will come.