Green councillor’s verdict on his party as he resigns: “They attract the gullible and the authoritarian”

Norwich Evening News reports the decision by one of the city’s Green councillors to resign from the council just five months after he was elected:

A Green city councillor has resigned little more than five months since he was elected – blaming the party’s “profoundly undemocratic” methods. David Rogers informed Norwich City Council of his decision yesterday, after expressing his dissatisfaction with how the Norwich branch of the party is run.

Nelson ward member Mr Rogers said the party attracted the “gullible and the authoritarian”, which he said was a “dangerous combination in party politics”. Mr Rogers said: “I agree with the Green Party aims to create a fair society and to deal with the threat from rapid climate change.

“However, I cannot accept its methods; it is profoundly undemocratic.

“Norwich Green Party has an executive of elected members who should execute decisions made by the party membership. The membership rarely makes a decision and when it does it is usually ignored. It is possible that the national Green Party is not aware of this. If it isn’t, it should be. Norwich Green Party is the second largest in the country and has the largest number of councillors.”

… He added: “I can no longer support the Green Party. I have seen the dangers that the Green Party presents and I must oppose the Green Party.”

A by-election will take place to replace David Rogers.

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  • The Greens’ only Devon County councillor defected to Labour in June with a mud hut jibe: “Some people in the Green party have quite extreme views – we cannot go and live in mud huts.”

  • This shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Green party of England and Wales is just guilty of greenwashing as Cameron was when his party was in opposition. Rather than being climate change realists who strive to adapt society to the threats from climate change, using environmentalism as a theme to cut across left and right wing voters, they have two very profound agendas:

    -Opposing science. Science should be leading the environmental movement, but sadly the Luddites in the party want to close their eyes and cover their ears to what credible research emanates from the world’s leading scientists.

    -Imposing a far left manifesto. Some of their members and voters are called watermelons. They attract a fair share of SWP types and those sympathetic to Militant Tendency who Kinnock expelled from Labour. A proper green party would have rejected labels of left and right to broaden their appeal.

    One just has to see the absolute shambles that Brighton council is in at the moment. The Green’s are a nice party to have around in opposition (and in small doses) but hand them over any real power and it’ll be a disaster.

  • Is this seat in Norwich North or South?

  • “A proper green party would have rejected labels of left and right to broaden their appeal”.

    While holding no brief for the Green Party I think that this is a bit unfair. They have the same problem that we have as Liberal Democrats in this respect and I am sure that they would reject being placed on a left/right axis just as much as we would. The reason that I could never be in the Green Party is that they have no core ideology: I am a liberal: of course, there are liberals in the Green Party, but as Neil points out, there are also a lot of authoritarian leftists, and quite possibly authoritarian rightists as well. There are certainly misanthropes: no liberal can feel a blanket antipathy to the human race.

  • David Rogers 28th Oct '12 - 3:57pm

    I was unaware of this ‘namesake’ until having just read this, but as a Liberal Democrat, I agree with him!

  • paul barker 28th Oct '12 - 6:21pm

    I was a green party member for 14 years & my biggest objections where the ambiguous attitude to science & their instinctive nationalism. The shift to the left from the mid 1990s on was a deliberate strategy to occupy the gap in the market for a cuddly, left-of-labour stance. Since then they have definitely attracted more disillusioned ex-trots while centrists have drifted away.
    It would be good to see some interviews with councillor Rogers so we could get aclearer idea of what hes saying.

  • Yes, the Green Party has consistently in Britain found it difficult to maintain any consistent line, or communicate well with the electorate (I suppose we all share that to some extent!) I have, unlike Paul B, never been a GP member, but have always been a green campaigner, and probably among Lib Dems who Mr B would describe as “trots” (a word I think I have seen him use before). Funnily enough I agree with him that their nationalism and their cherry picking of science are unattractive features, and would dissuade me from being a Green member. However, I think it is extraordinarily difficult to see how Paul’s pro-market politics can be aligned with greenness – this, I think is a leading fallacy in today’s Lib Dems.

    In order to move to a greener world, there has to be some sort of (democratically agreed) set of controls. I am passionate that we arrive there with minimum conflict, and with some agreed freedom of action for people within it. I fear that the alternative is a “green fascism”, which would have the same horrible effects whatever party or parties implemented it. But the policies of this coalition, or of the Labour Party, at present do not encourage the movement to this green future. We have to move towards a diluted market future – markets can have their place, as long as democrats control them in the final analysis. Meanwhile the immediate challenge is to get big majority consensus about the position the world is in environmentally and how we deal with it, effectively, democratically and fairly. Impossible ask? With the “old politics”, yes, but this just emphasises the need to move to a new politics. And if people call us trots? – well, I suppose there has to be a downside!

  • The ward is in Norwich South and has been represented by amongst others Adrian Ramsey (former Green Party Deputy Leader) and further back in the past Norman Lamb.

  • has anybody asked him if he would like to ‘defect’ to the LibDems and avoid a byelection..? But respect to him if he is standing down from the council on the principle that he was elected as a Green..

  • Simon – for what reason(s) do you say that anti-capitalism is unsupportable and ignores reality? You may not like it, but it is surely an option? I think even the most virulent “anti-capitalist” would, I am sure, accept the idea of some enterprises being run on what could broadly be called capitalist lines. What they are usually advocating is a system to control corporate excess, especially recognising the international dimension of corporate capitalism.

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