Tag Archives: green party

The Greens show their true colours

As with any election campaign, successful or otherwise, it is important to step back once the dust has settled and consider what can be learned and what can be improved upon. The recent European Parliament elections are no different in that regard. In particular, the dynamic between the different parties campaigning for a People’s Vote, which became increasingly fractious as the campaign went on, is worth reflecting on, particularly as further cooperation with these parties is likely to be at the heart of the upcoming leadership election.

At the campaign’s outset, Vince Cable was no doubt right to seek to work with these parties, as it was important to appear united in the face of the Brexit Party threat. However, following the other parties’ initial reluctance and eventual outright hostility towards the Liberal Democrats, is this avenue one we should seek to follow again at future elections? I would argue no.

In the case of the Green Party in particular, they could not have been more clear in their feelings towards us, suggesting that at best a vote for us would be a “compromise”, and at worst that we “could be dangerous”, having previously supposedly “aided and abetted austerity” (rather than moderated it). It is obvious that the Green Party does not see us as friends and allies, and so I would suggest we stop treating them as such.

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Richmond shows progressive alliances do work

Buried amid the dramatic and highly welcome headline of the Liberal Democrat landslide on Richmond-upon-Thames Council was a rather overlooked factor –that, when progressive alliances are done properly and sensitively, they can work and be a great asset to the party.

In 2014 the Conservatives won thirty-nine of Richmond’’s fifty-four councillors. This time we won thirty-nine but, while we picked up the other fifteen councillors four years ago, this time the Tories only got eleven, with the other four going to the Greens. And those four Greens are in part a Liberal Democrat …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 57 Comments

Moving towards a progressive alliance

General Election campaigning has got off to a flying start across the country and it is exhilarating to be ‘back in the saddle’. Oxford West and Abingdon was hard fought at the last election and it looks like it will be again. Like many seats, the Tory incumbent increased her majority here in 2015, yet this still feels like a marginal, and we are campaigning to win.

We were knocking on doors yesterday and what struck me was just how different this election feels compared to 2015. The political sands continue to shift beneath our feet but the wind is very definitely no longer against us. This constituency voted strongly to remain, yet the local MP flip-flopped and is now totally behind a Hard Brexit. This, combined with a weak Labour party nationally, has meant that local Labour and Green voters are more open than ever to lending us their vote to beat the Tory this time. And we are going to need them to do it.

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Next priority – elect a second Green MP

caroline-lucas-600

I hope it hasn’t been forgotten that the Green Party didn’t stand a candidate in Richmond Park, and expressly backed Sarah Olney. Labour did stand a candidate, but it was widely reported that some Labour members didn’t think they should have.

On the other side of course, neither the Conservatives nor UKIP stood, therefore leaving the centre-right vote clear for Zac Goldsmith. It was an unusual by-election, 95% of the vote went to two people. There may not be another by-election like this in this parliament.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 46 Comments

A progressive alliance of the left is dead

 

Warning: this article contains an overuse of the word ‘progressive’, a buzzword that doesn’t buzz.

On 24th September the Independent published a list of The Top 10 most popular zombie bad policies. The list included the usual suspects, rail nationalisation, the death penalty, and so on, but to my consternation Jon Rentoul also included this one.

4. Proportional representation. It’s a matter of opinion, but I think it gives disproportionate power to small parties, and it is not obvious to me that Ireland, Germany or Italy are more democratic, better governed or more engaged with politics than we are.

After all the optimism surrounding the building of a progressive alliance of the left to fight for proportional representation, Rentoul’s put-down suggests that an unwelcome cold wind of reality may be blowing.

Meanwhile, in a galaxy far away, the key party in any such progressive alliance was celebrating Jeremy Corbyn tightening his grip on Labour. And with shadow Culture Secretary Kelvin Hopkins calling for the return of Clause IV, it seems unlikely that Labour could now pass any meaningful test of progressiveness even if Mr Corbyn was prepared to play ball with other parties. The progressive alliance idea of cooperation between Greens, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party looks increasingly dead in the water.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 25 Comments

The Green party – should we be panicking?

This post is reserved for new and infrequent commenters. “Infrequent” is defined as having post less than five comments in the last month.

Yesterday, a poll showed the Green party ahead of the Liberal Democrats by two points. Last week, figures showed that the Green party overtook the LibDems (and UKIP) in terms of membership numbers.

Posted in For new & infrequent commenters, News and Op-eds | 31 Comments

Opinion: Britain’s Greenest Party, the Green Party and Environmentalism

Green Lib DemsThe Green Party, which I was a member of briefly in the late 80s, has hard left socialist roots and is widely considered both anti-capitalist and paradoxically authoritarian and localist. It has a wide range of policies, all of which take note of environmental concerns (which do not begin and end with climate change, any more than ours do) but only reference those concerns where necessary. Lately it has been adopting a less hard line approach and on many matters, such as human rights, is decidedly liberal.

However in many cases their authoritarian command economy habit overrides any nascent liberal instinct, and their antipathy to technological and/or market solutions means that they throw away over half the toolbox before they even start. Dogma comes before evidence, and articles of faith remain unchallenged and therefore unproven.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 108 Comments

Half of current Green supporters voted Lib Dem in 2010

“As Ukip is to the Tories, so can the Green party be to the Lib Dems.” That’s a sentence I wrote 7 years ago, November 2007. So I was interested to see this post by YouGov’s Peter Kellner – ‘Ukip, the Greens and the new politics of protest’ – which looks at his firm’s polling data to find out more about the current spike in support for the Greens.

In it, he aggregates three weeks’ polling data to create a sample size large enough to find out who these new Green voters are. One finding probably won’t surprise many of us: half current Green supporters voted Lib Dem in May 2010:

yougov - green vote

Here’s how Peter Kellner analyses it:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 77 Comments

Are the Greens to the Lib Dems what Ukip is to the Tories?

image“As Ukip is to the Tories, so can the Green party be to the Lib Dems.” That’s a sentence I wrote here, almost seven years ago, on 3rd November, 2007.

In The Times, Sam Coates has looked at how the quiet rise of the Greens in recent months – the party polled just ahead of the Lib Dems in May’s European elections – might hurt the Lib Dems at the May 2015 general election.

An analysis of the European election results shows the Green vote strengthening and consolidating in the

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…or you could vote for not having an opinion

imageOn Wednesday I went to my first hustings as a European Parliament candidate (number 3 on the Yorkshire and the Humber list). When the Green candidate announced that he supported staying in the EU, I had a quiet conversation with the Labour candidate sitting next to me.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 24 Comments

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.

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Norfolk’s Green Group Leader defects… to the Tories

Courtesy of Andrew Sinclair, BBC East’s political correspondent

Philip Hardy, the Group Leader for the Greens on Norfolk County Council, and councillor for Thorpe Hamlet has defected to the Conservatives, the first Green councillor thought to have done so. Elected to the council in 2009, he gained the seat from the Liberal Democrats, before becoming Group Leader in July last year.

From the Eastern Daily Press;

Derrick Murphy, leader of Norfolk County Council hailed Mr Hardy’s move as a “major coup”. He said: “Philip is a fantastic councillor who has already managed to make Norfolk a better place through his work on

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Opinion: Caroline Lucas is wrong

As a campaigner on environmental issues since the 1960s, I have admired the way Caroline Lucas has publicly championed green issues. However, while I am sad that the Lib Dems have not been able to implement all of their manifesto, I am even sadder that Caroline’s lust for power has overtaken her commitment to the environmental cause.

While the Green Party has played an important role in helping inform the public, it has only a very small proportion of councillors and just one UK MP. The Liberal Democrats, with their far greater number of councillors, their participation in the Coalition …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 23 Comments

Green Party called it wrong on phone hacking

Just a month ago, London Green AM and Mayoral candidate Jenny Jones criticised the Metropolitan Police for spending too much time investigating phone hacking:

Jenny Jones, the Green Party member on the authority, said that the investigation, which is being handled by the Met’s serious crime directorate, was diverting officers away from more important crimes.

“Although this is not a victimless crime it is not something we should be spending a huge amount of time on,” she said.

“There are murders, child abductions and rapes that these officers could be investigating. All these people have to do is not use the

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Everybody loves us Lib Dems

I blame the Tories. Ever since David Cameron became their leader, he’s been determined to ‘love-bomb’ the Lib Dems. Love-bombing is the ingenious tactic by which other parties claim to believe in enough Lib Dem policies without, y’know, actually being Lib Dems.

Labour leadership hopeful Ed Miliband was at it last month. Then earlier this week the Greens’ Caroline Lucas made her pitch.

And now it’s the turn of the continuing Liberal Party:

We appreciate over the last few weeks many LibDem Councillors and members have become increasingly uneasy about the coalition government.

The fact that LibDem MP’s will be

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Peter Tatchell: Greens should vote Lib Dem to unseat Labour and Tories

Pink News reports that LDV’s Liberal Voice of the Year Peter Tatchell has urged Green supporters to vote tactically for the Lib Dems where Nick Clegg’s party is best placed to unseat Labour or Tories:

Former Green Party candidate and gay rights activist Peter Tatchell has called for Green supporters to vote for the Liberal Democrats in certain seats. … He told PinkNews.co.uk today that he was not a Lib Dem supporter but the party promises to change the “corrupt” voting system.

Mr Tatchell, who emphasised he was speaking in a personal capacity, said: “On May 6th, Labour could come

Posted in General Election | Also tagged , and | 17 Comments

Economising on candidates: Greens double up and stand in different places

Where there are two levels of local government, it’s quite common for someone to be a councillor for both, such as being both a district and a county councillor in the same area.

However, standing for two councils in different areas is another matter. It’s perfectly legal (as you can qualify in different areas under, for example, the live and work qualifications) but it raises questions about how committed you are to either place – or how you would do the two jobs, representing different areas on different councils, if elected.

So far three Green Party candidates who are doing just that …

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Why Vote … – the other books reviewed

I’ve already reviewed two of the titles in the new seven book series from biteback: Why Vote Liberal Democrat and Why Vote. But what to make of the other fives titles – covers Labour, Conservative, Green, SNP and Plaid? (Although a UKIP book was also publicised, it never got published as UKIP failed to produce the necessary copy.)

Both the Labour and Conservative books are ‘unofficial’ in the sense that they are by prominent party members, but ones who have no official role in the party’s policy or campaigning decisions – Rachel Reeves, Labour …

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Steve Goddard on what Peter Tatchell’s resignation means for Oxford East

Dr Steve Goddard was the Parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Oxford East at the 2001 and 2005 general elections, slashing Labour’s majority from over 10,000 to just 963. He will be fighting the seat for a third time in 2010.

As Liberal Democrat Voice readers will be aware, Peter Tatchell, after two and a half years as Green Party candidate for Oxford East, yesterday announced his resignation due to injuries sustained during some of his campaigning activities.

Although I haven’t had the chance to get to know Peter well – I only met him twice or thrice during his time as candidate – he is someone whose energy and dedication I admire, and with whom I agree on many issues. I’d have enjoyed debating with him on issues that matter to residents in Oxford East during the General Election campaign. Even on those issues where I think Peter – and the Green Party – are wrong, I respect his integrity and commitment to human rights.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Peter Tatchell stands down as Green candidate for Oxford East

Green Party Parliamentary candidate Peter Tatchell has announced that he is to step down after brain injuries sustained from beatings left him unable to campaign effectively.

Peter Tatchell’s statement (from the Green Party website):

“It is with great regret and reluctance that I am standing down as the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East. My brain injuries from the Mugabe and Moscow bashings mean that I would not be able to campaign effectively in the general election or do the duties required of an MP, if I was elected,” human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell announced today.

“It would not be

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Going negative on the Greens – losing votes and alienating people

It’s a mistake we’ve all seen people make. Having just lost your spouse to a rival, you call your now-ex girlfriend in the middle of the night, to politely request an explanation:

“How can you be going out with HIM? He’s a *****! He’s a ****ing son of a **** !!

Of course, such a display does not help your cause one iota, and in fact makes re-uniting with your girlfriend an even murkier prospect. Having just started going out with your rival, your girlfriend is unlikely to listen to anything bad you might have to say about him.

Moreover, …

Posted in News | 38 Comments

YouTube ‘cos we want to: Obama, Miliband and Mitchell & Webb

Welcome to the weekend edition of our new LDV feature rounding up some of the best/worst/most curious political videos doing the rounds.

First up, everyone’s seen that picture of Presidents Obama and Sarkozy, supposedly showing the two world leaders leering at a 17-year-old junior G8 delegate. In reality, the truth is a little less demeaning and dramatic. Here’s the video footage of the same incident:


(Hat-tip: The Times’s Comment Central).

Second up, here’s a brief clip of a couple of MPs engaging in what is known as Parliamentary wit. It’s not actually that funny a quip, nor is it that well-delivered – but it is quite brief:

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged , , , and | 6 Comments

“Some of the Greens’ proposals are staggeringly extreme”

That’s the verdict of Mark Henderson in The Times, after taking a look at their attitude towards science:

Two examples stand out. It wants to ban all experiments on embryos, including those designed to improve fertility treatment as well as embryonic stem cell work. And its policies on alternative medicine are the height of naivety. The Greens’ spokesman told Robbins and Swain:

“We want the gradual inclusion of complementary therapies within NHS provision so that patients have access to all available and appropriate treatments. Complementary therapies can often prevent the situation worsening and thus save resources.”

There was no mention at all of

Posted in News | Also tagged | 15 Comments
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