This may come across as rather pedantic, but it’s annoying nonetheless so I shall run with it. I keep (inadvertently) clicking on links on my twitter feed that take me to Green Party press releases or the latest partisan article written by their leader, Caroline Lucas. Why? Because people keep on posting links with descriptions such as ‘the green case for voting reform’, or ‘the green case for nuclear’.
This is annoying. The Green Party of England & Wales do not have a monopoly over the term ‘green’. As I said in a tweet earlier today: ‘@davidmentiply Please be explicit when [making a] party political point.’ Otherwise, it comes across as though the Green Party/their leaders are speaking on behalf of other self-identified greens who happen to be non-aligned or of another party altogether. I’m sure we agree on a lot of issues but, similarly, there are many cases where we do not. For clarity, let’s try not to blur the lines if we can help it.
There are many things I admire about the Green Party (I hope to blog about my favourite GP policies in the near future). For that reason the GP Spring conference, which is currently being held in Cardiff, is of interest. I think it should be of interest to others on the left and those involved in environmental activism too. After all, the GP is, naturally, at the vanguard of discourse and action on green politics.
But take a look at what’s going on in Cardiff (you’ll have to look at blogs such as this one since the mainstream media do not offer much in the way of coverage) and you’ll begin to understand why the GP is still on the margins in the UK.
The Greens have passed a motion against the proposed High Speed Rail 2 (HSR2) project. This despite the fact that HSR2 will bring the UK in line with much of the rest of Europe in terms of highspeed rail transport. It will encourage regional growth and help to tackle the unacceptable north-south economic divide that seems to be widening. It may also act as a spur for many people commuting to and from major cities by car to change their habits and use the rail network. All good things, surely?
So, the question needs to be put – are the Greens serious? Are they in touch with the aspirations of people up and down the country?
Well, judging by another motion that was passed (‘against global capitalism’) I think the answer has to be a resounding No! They are beginning to sound like any number of far left sects in Britain who have been predicting the end of capitalism since before I was born. It’s a shame since, as I have said, the GP have a lot to offer in terms of practical policies and ideas for a more sustainable future.
George Monbiot – on the blue/yellow-orange coalition:
[B]etter than I had expected. The agreement’s environmental policies are more Lib Dem than Conservative, and more progressive…Let’s see how it works in practice.
Daily Maybe – on the Green Party offering a “comprehensive offer” to disillusioned LibDem members.
Rupert Read – welcomes the Con-Lib plan to scrap building a third runway at Heathrow airport. He also outlines his main reasons for leaving the LibDems for the Greens. For Cllr Read:
We can have prosperity without growth; but we cannot have environmental sanity with growth.
Total Politics – interviews the Green Party election campaign director, Paul Steedman.
Chris Huhne – is to take the Energy & Climate Change post in the new coalition government.
The Green Party has won its first ever Westminster seat. Caroline Lucas, who will represent the Brighton Pavilion constituency, beat her closest rivals by a margin of more than 1,000. It is a first in UK electoral history and represents a real breakthrough for green politics.
Channel 4 profiles the UK’s first Green MP.
At Open Democracy the Green councillor, Dr Rupert Read, is unsuprisingly upbeat about the future of his party.
And an article in the Guardian asks ‘what next’ for the Greens?
epolitix – reports that Green Party leader, Caroline Lucas, is calling for a “Green New Deal”.
letsrecycle – welcomes the Green Party pledge to double spending on recycling and waste management.
BBC – provides an at-a-glance review of the Green Party manifesto.
Myles Allen -on why he wont be voting Green.
The Telegraph – on why many of their readers (you would presume) will not be voting Green either.
The polls are narrowing. Keep an eye on UK Polling Report to follow the trends and see what happens after the historic first ever leaders’ debate on Thursday.
Today it is the turn of the LibDems to launch their election manifesto. According to the Independent climate change will be at the heart of the LibDem manifesto with a “green theme” running through each chapter. Nick Clegg told the Indie:
Climate change is the greatest challenge facing this generation. The old establishment parties offer warm words but weak, compromised solutions. The Liberal Democrats are the only party putting the battle against climate change front and centre.”
And according to Andrew Grice, the Liberal Democrats call for a “carbon-neutral Britain by 2050 and a 40 per cent cut in emissions from 1990 levels by 2020. They want 40 per cent of Britain’s electricity to come from clean, sources by 2020.”
Meanwhile Politics.co.uk has the Green party as favourites to win the constituency of Brighton Pavilion. If you’re interested in the battle for Brighton then this short video from John Harris is worth watching. Over at Liberal Conspiracy, Green Party deputy leader Adrian Ramsay suggests a breakthrough could also be on the cards in the Norwich South constituency.