Dom Armstrong – Resigned

It is with great sadness that I tender my resignation to the Green Party.
I have been a member since 2015 and a councillor since May 2019 in Washington/ Sunderland, a role which I will also be giving up.
During that time it has been a privilege to represent the Green Party, especially the last 2 years when we have achieved so much. In Washington, we have campaigned and succeeded in protecting the Washington South football pitches from housing development, we have played a big part in stopping the incinerator that was planned in Washington, and have helped pressure the Council to adopt, and act upon, a Climate Emergency plan. More recently, we introduced a motion on Fair Tax which the council adopted in part. We have also assisted the Council’s chief exec and Public Health team in communicating their message and information during this public health emergency.
I joined the Greens, and agreed to stand for public office, simply because I have two daughters. I did hope that through joining the Greens, and fighting climate change, this would be a worthy way to honour them. They didn’t always understand, especially when they were younger, why their Dad was working at nights, or at weekends, or posting leaflets in the snow, or responding to emails during holidays. Thankfully, they do now!
During the last couple of months I have become increasingly uneasy about my party’s stance on women’s rights. I have had discussions on social media with party members and activists, where, because I have politely disagreed, I have been called a transphobe, a homophobe, and worse. I have witnessed female colleagues issued with death threats and threats of rape by trans rights activists, so in comparison, I have only had a small taste of this vile behaviour.
I am also dismayed by the fact that a co chair of our women‘s committee is a biological male, who works for a company (GenderGP) that in 2018 was found guilty of illegally supplying puberty blockers to children as young as ten. The Green Party are not concerned by this, in fact this person holds another FOUR senior party roles, and gloats on social media when some women (who they are meant to represent) feel so uncomfortable about this, they leave the party.
There are many trans extremists who are very active in the party and appear to have the leaderships approval. When an emergency motion was tabled for this weekend’s conference, to discuss the issue of GenderGP’s practises, it was deliberately blocked. There was no discussion. Senior party members indicated that it was a “transphobic” motion, not worthy of debate, and there was filibustering, tactical manouvres, and political deviousness which resulted in another motion being discussed instead. This was a motion meant to discuss the safety of children!
Perhaps even worse than this, when a motion to have women’s sex based rights recognised (the day before International Women’s Day) was put forward, again the Green Party leadership were horrified, how could women dare ask for safe spaces in prisons, or ask for a fair chance in sport? The LGBTIQ+ group declared that there was no historical evidence that women had been oppressed on the basis of their sex. Women are oppressed because they ‘look like women.’ To say otherwise was declared oppressive to trans people, a hate motion, which deserved to be righteously overcome.
It almost feels like I am making this up, I still can’t believe this is the party I’ve
given 6 years of my life to. I witnessed appalling behaviour by the most senior people in the party, many of whom I’d admired for years (apart from Jenny Jones, who was magnificent). The dawning of this reality was quite crushing, but sobering too. What’s worse is the fact that many of our senior figures profess to hold the high moral ground on many issues, but in fact they are as bad, if not worse, than our political foes.
I feel that the party’s elite are not willing (or able) to stand up to the bullying, and in this they are complicit. The damage this is doing to the trans community (especially the children) is heartbreaking. And the lack of concern for girls and women is damning. The effects of these doctrines are already being felt; in Brighton, a women’s refuge has been denied further council funding because they insisted on female only safe spaces.
And even in the last 2 days, the party has begun its purge. Senior (mostly, again, female) party members are being harassed, and even suspended, for having the audacity to disagree with the partys dogma.
I cannot stay in a party that puts ideology before women and children’s safety. I can’t continue to serve as a councillor without the motivation to do so 100%, and in good conscience, take the money that the council pay me, when I know I’ll no longer do the role justice.
I’d like to thank the wonderful people I’ve met along the way, in particular the local Greens in Sunderland, Washington and the rest of the North East, who I still fully believe in. I’d like to also thank Councillors Miller and Farthing for helping me be a part of a team that put party politics aside, and served our local constituents together, as best we could. My fellow councillors in Sunderland who gave me a different perspective on politics, and who represented their parties and constituents with gusto, you have my respect. I’d like the thank the people of Washington South who gave me a chance, and I hope you understand my principles in this matter.
I’d like to thank the Green Party members who will persevere in the party, who won’t be bullied or threatened, and will continue to fight against climate change, and extremism. I think eventually people will see what is going on, and you’ll have your party back. The bullies will go to another party when they get ousted, they don’t care about the Greens like you do.
And finally my friends and family, who couldn’t believe I ever did this, have stood by me even when they’ve disagreed with my politics, thanks again.