Jenny Jones, Queen of Green
I’m just praying that the havoc Elon Musk is wreaking on Twitter doesn’t cause the whole platform to implode and prevent me from following one of my favourite accounts: that of Jenny Jones. (Btw, why do some blokes admire Musk so much? To my mind he’s just a big spoilt toddler who hasn’t learned impulse control.)
Baroness Jenny Jones’s tweets make you cheer – when they’re not making you gasp. And as one of only two Green Party members in the House of Lords she has plenty of material to tweet about.
You couldn’t accuse Jenny Jones of not having experience of the world outside Westminster. She started her working life as a financial controller in London, before studying environmental archaeology as a mature student. Then came a ten-year stint as an archaeologist in the Middle East, specialising in carbonised plant remains. If anyone knows where our planet has come from and where it seems to be headed, it’s she.
I was privileged to be present at Baroness Jones’s maiden speech in the Lords on 28 November 2013 – a very moving experience. She spoke of her grandmother Polly being left a widow with seven children when her grandfather was killed in the 1913 Senghenydd mining disaster, one of 439 victims. It remains the worst industrial accident in the UK. The £26 paid to the family in compensation didn’t go far – her father Percy had to share a pair of shoes with his brother and they took it in turns to wear them to school.
She then moved on to an issue that is as live today as it was nine years ago: trust in the police – and specifically the Met. (She spent several years scrutinising the police as a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, and then as part of the Greater London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee.)
She concluded her speech by vowing to continue to do her best for the Green Party. For nearly six years, until September 2019, she was the only Green Party member in the Lords, which entailed a vast amount of work to assess all proposed legislation in terms of its potential environmental impact. Nowadays she gets to share the load with Baroness Natalie Bennett, but it’s still a heavy commitment compared to what is required of colleagues in better-represented parties.
As a prominent older woman in public life ( a former London Assembly member for the Green Party and Deputy Mayor of London before receiving her peerage) Jones has had her fair share – or should I say, unfair share? – of abuse, as this recent Twitter post attests: ‘Someone just called me an ”old crow”, possibly not realising that crows are super smart, esp the old ones.’ To which Chris Packham stirringly replied ‘Great compliment! Very good looking too!’ (I feel another ‘Good Guys’ entry in the making…)
The Met may have previously labelled Jenny Jones a potential ‘domestic extremist’, but damesnet’s message to her is ‘Go, Jenny, go, go, go!’
Thanks for highlighting this remarkable dame’s achievements, Verity. It inspires me to find out more, as is usually the way when I read Dames net articles!
Thanks – she is pretty indomitable!