Is there an election on?
Suddenly Labour have appointed an anti-Green guru, Sadiq Khan MP, to spearhead anti-Green attacks and stories are beginning to emerge comparing Greens to Nazis and implying the stuff of hyper-conspiracy theories such as huge population control!
But posts such as this don’t really do Labour any favours.
Yes Greens are concerned with population, who wouldn’t be? World population has exploded in the last century, 70% of the world’s oceans are overfished, agriculture relies on huge oil industry inputs. But Green Party policy is very straightforward on this: “The Green Party holds that the number of children people have should be a matter of free choice.” It’s not hard to find.
It’s a clear sign of Labour desperation to start comparing Greens to Nazis. What they’re really worried about is people comparing the Greens with themselves! – A party committed against austerity and its causes (the corruption of banking) compared to one clearly committed to austerity and its causes (the banks)! Or a party committed to a publicly owned NHS, compared to one – and, sure, Labour seriously invested in – but also mortgaged to the hilt by PFI and introduced choice and competition – acceptable memes beginning a policy of privatisation. Labour began the dismantling of the NHS.
What if the jackboot were on the other foot? Would Greens compare Labour to the Nazis? No. Except in one case. Iraq. At Nuremberg the supreme crime was defined as the launching of a war of aggression. Such a war was launched on Iraq, with America and Britain leading the way. WMD was an issue made up, propagandised by government and parroted by the BBC (98% pro-war). We know WMD was made up, not least from Scott Ritter (UN chief weapons inspector and whistleblower), or post hoc by Dr David Kelly, RIP, but because the Downing Street Memo (2002) makes it clear that facts were being fixed around the policy. A gap between policy and reality big enough to inspire the greatest demonstration by the British public ever on 15th Feb 2003. It wasn’t a ‘mistake’. It was deliberate policy, with Blair talking MP after MP into voting for it. And now 1.5 million Iraqis are dead.
Peace is a major plank in Green Party policy. Not just the avoidance of war but the creation of a society where we can get along adequately.
After the failures of Labour (Iraq, PFI, bailouts) and the Conservatives (austerity, Libya/Syria, Bedroom Tax, foodbanks, etc) people are knocking down Green doors and asking what do you do better? And they’re finding answers such as the Citizen’s Income, renationalisation of utilities and the railways, pursuing greater taxes from those who have greatest wealth (an estimated £120 bn a year is waiting to be recovered), a Robin Hood Tax on international banking – a microtax but which would see off austerity on its own. And you still get the Bedroom Tax binned, austerity binned and even that much-promised-but-never-delivered referendum on the EU! What’s not to like?
Right now people are voting with their feet.
The Green Surge has meant membership doubling this year! It’s never done that before. In Scotland it’s gone exponential, AFTER losing the independence vote, one that Greens campaigned hard for. Nationally Greens are nipping on the heels of Ukip which claims 42,000 members. Last week, Greens touched 10% in the opinion polls. Yet last December Greens were on 2%.
Other attacks focus on Brighton where the Greens have their only council. Coalition-led and Labour-backed austerity means councils have to slash services or raise more money (a possibility also capped). When Greens in Brighton attempted to raise more money through Council Tax, Labour shot them down. Until recently. Now Labour have pushed through, with Tory help, a hike in Council Tax but just for the poorest!
It’s far better to see Brighton Greens’ achievements on the Council in the round so here’s their 2013 report (PDF).
And it would be far better to stick to the issues – unless, of course, you’re going to lose.