02 December 2007

Greens decide to have one principal speaker.

Apart from splitting the left vote and making a Tory government more likely...
, my problem with the Greens is that as they chase the mainstream vote, they will lose their biggest selling point - their radical edge.

Until we have proportional representation, any minor party on the left is just weakening the Labour party electorally and the more that radical people on the left turn their back on the Labour party, the more they lessen the only real chance we have of getting electoral reform and other radical change. Sad as it is, the apathetic, the alienated, the Greens, Respect and Lib Dems are all helping the forces of conservatism at the moment by removing the radical edge from the Labour party - the only party on the left that can lead a government under this system.

The more of you that join or rejoin the Labour party, the more likely we are to have a party on the left that governs from the left.

This latest change to the Green constitution is a sign of their political bankrupcy that will move them away from their courageous anti-hierarchical stance. If the Greens became the largest party on the left - do we now imagine they would be any more radical than new Labour on this evidence?

This rule change - this backward step, gives us a clue as to their direction. Hey, the Greens are useful in campaigning mode and it is not their fault (directly) that the electoral system is so dysfunctional, but if they want real change they have to join the Labour party. Come on all you middle class white people that dominate the Greens and Lib Dems, I know your parents were Tories, but your natural home is in the Labour party. The more of you that join, the more likely we are to get electoral reform and then we can do more than just campaign for the real radical policies we on the left want - we would actually have a chance to implement them.


  1. Couldn't agree with this post more. If anything, the stance the greens took was an inspiration to the rest. I'd agree with Labour's leader becoming a 'principle speaker' or general secretary; their job is to represent the party, after all.

    Further, a strong Labour campaign for PR (I'm liking AV or AV+) is essential, because it wil allow the left to be left, and the centre to be the centre. some groups will be bigger but all will be represented. Isn't that what democracy is about?

  2. The German Green Party used to have a fine rule of having their leaders serve for only a limited period, and/or a system of multiple speakers (I can't actaully remember which).

    That of course all went by the wayside as soon as they started getting into power in the 80s or 90s. They have since pretty much sold out, but by the same token, they have managed to nudge the larger parties towards adopting some Green Party policies (for better or worse).

  3. Interesting discussion...

    Anyone would think from Neil Harding's post about the Greens and Proportional Representation, that Labour had just taken over in Government after a long years of political wilderness, instead of actually holding power for ten never-ending years....

    "Don't leave Labour," Neil cries, "coz we can get you a fairer election system if you just stick with us...honest!"

    Errm...Well how long does it take exactly???

    Although I didn't vote Labour in 1997, many people I know who did so expected such fundamental issues as introducing a fairer electoral system to have been higher up Blair's priorities.

    Yes, it's great news that there are still progressive people within the Labour Party like Neil who are pushing for a fairer voting system.

    But, frankly, to suggest that progressive people on the Left should continue to give Bliar and Brown (who it is rumoured is even less well disposed to PR than Blair) the benefit of the doubt on PR while his dodgy government screws up the country, creates environmental havoc and refuses to offer a fair election system after a decade in power, takes the biscuit.

    A the end of the day, people will vote for what they believe in, not some dodgy electoral coalition to oppose the Tories based on nothing but unfulfilled promises.

    Go Green or at least vote for what you believe in.

    Don't listen to the duplicitous tongue of New Labour.


    A Green Voter

  4. Anon: The problem is, if all those people in the Greens and Lib Dems and all those who have left party politics altogether, joined the Labour party, us progressives wouldn't be so outnumbered.

    Although very unlikely, if the Greens reach 5,10, even 15% - what would it achieve? The answer is very little other than a Tory government. The Labour party for all their faults (and there are many) have delivered PR in all elections other than Westminster and local government. Yes they have still to deliver on the PR referendum they promised, but with a little shove from progressive members it is still achievable - the point is, the labour party is the ONLY way we are going to get what we want. The electoral system is a stitch up but Labour doesn't have to be dominated by the right of its party to win power and share power occasionally with the hard right conservatives who quickly dismantle all the work we have done - we can share power with the Greens and centrists almost permanently, like the social democrats do in Sweden. There is a permanent social democrat majority in this country. We can pull both Labour and the Tories to the left by having PR. All those who have left the Labour party for being too right wing have made it easier for the non-progressives. Once we have PR, people can join whatever party they like, until then, join Labour and lets get PR. It is still possible.

  5. It is still possible, theoretically, for my left foot to spontaneously turn into a parrot. I wouldn't recommend basing your vote on a chance like that though.

  6. Falco, Labour is the only hope we have, the Tory party has no democracy at all and is totally opposed to PR.

  7. neilisadick9/12/07 6:19 pm

    Alot of the Lib Dems are more tory than labour so you're talking bxxxxxxs.

  8. I think if you look at the Lib Dem policies (voted for by their members) you would find (on the whole) a left of centre progressive agenda.