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User:Verdeny/Matt Wootton

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Matt Wootton
Publications Co-ordinator on the Executive of the Green Party (E&W)
In office
2003 – September 2004
Succeeded byJim Killock
External Comms Co-ordinator on the Executive of the Green Party (E&W)
In office
2004 – September 2005
Preceded bySpencer Fitz-Gibbon
Succeeded byJim Killock
Personal details
Born (1978-03-10) March 10, 1978 (age 46)
NationalityUnited Kingdom British
Political partyGreen Party
Alma materUniversity College Northampton
OccupationGreen campaigner
Known forGreen campaigner
WebsiteMatt Wootton's homepage

Matthew L.J. Wootton is a British political activist, and a prominent member of the Green Party of England and Wales. He is a former publications co-ordinator and external communications co-ordinator on the Green Party Executive and in 2003-5 he rebranded the Green Party as the party of 'Real Progress', a move that was not only reflected in the Green Party's public image, but commented-on by TV and broadsheet newspapers. He is notable also as a TV documentary maker and participant, as well as various appearances on TV news representing the Green Party. He is currently in the United States, where he has spoken to US Greens about his experience rebranding and modernising the Green Party in the UK[1].

Early Life[edit]

Wootton's background—having studied Sociology, Music and Philosophy at university—brought him into green campaigning after he attended the Earth Summit 2002 in Johannesburg as a delegate of the United Nations Association[2][3]. As Wales Green Party's media officer for the Welsh Assembly campaign in 2003, he led a protest that involved invading a runway at Swansea airport[4] to protest at the first day of flights between Swansea and London[5].

Political Career[edit]

As Publications Co-ordinator on the Party's Executive he rebranded the party as the party of "Real Progress" employing the design skills of graphic designer Jim Killock. The next year in 2005 as External Communications Co-ordinator he led the party through its most successful General Election, achieving record media coverage and using research and advertising agencies for the first time[6].

Wootton's lead role in the rebrand was covered in The Times newspaper - Greens to drop sandals for suits and soundbites - and the move was praised in an editorial leader by The Guardian simply entitled Real Progress. The messages and visuals were covered by various national newspapers and TV outlets from 2003 to 2005, including the Independent, Guardian and BBC [7]. The rebrand was also in evidence on Green Party literature, including at least two leaflets that were delivered to every house in England and Wales and Party Election Broadcasts that appeared on national television. The 2005 Party Election Broadcast was produced by celebrated director Alex Cox and featured music by the band Franz Ferdinand[8]. Matt Wootton's leading role in the rebrand was also reported by the marketing and advertising community[9][10][11]

As a politician standing for public office he has represented the Green Party in two campaigns: in June 2005 he achieved second-place to the Labour party in the Lancaster East division of Lancashire County Council and at the end of the same year he was the only candidate to improve on their party's vote share, achieving 3rd place in the John O'Gaunt by-election on Lancaster City Council, but taking votes from all three other parties.

From 2005-8 he was a member of the party's Standing Orders Committee, which deals with interpreting and upholding the party's Constitution and internal processes according to Individual Page on Green Party website, and served as its convener from 2006-7.

As a member of the party's Conferences Committee in 2008 he was also responsible for finding the venue of SOAS for the party's first London conference in over a decade, the conference which elected Caroline Lucas MEP as the party's first ever Leader and resulted in record media coverage.

In 2008 bloggers reported him having been arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance that later turned out to be Vitamin C. His arrest was part of the police policy towards the 2008 Climate Camp at Kingsnorth coal-fired power station in Kent, England[12][13].

He has recently worked for Lancaster-based media-arts organisation folly as Communications Manager whilst still being active in the Green Party at national level.

He writes a personal blog called Daily Planet and also The Green Words Workshop with academic and Norwich Green councillor Rupert Read which concentrates on “reframing” Green issues, with an emphasis on professionalising and popularising the green message".

TV documentaries[edit]

Matt Wootton joined the 2005 G8 Bike Ride from Lancaster to Scotland and then protested in Edinburgh, Faslane and Auchterarder, while featuring as one of the three subjects of an hour-long documentary for BBC Four entitled G8: Can You Hear Us?[14][15].

In December 2006 his short film "Dole: Like a number" was a winner of BBC Newsnight's Oh My Newsnight competition, and was broadcast on national TV.