Vote Green in England 193

So who should those of us living in England vote for tomorrow? I intend to vote Green – it seems to me that in England that is the best way to give a positive expression to the discontent with mainstream parties. I particularly hope that those who have the opportunity to vote for Rupert Read in the East of England will do so. Their support for renationalizing the railways would be enough for me, but actually I find myself in agreement with the large majority of their platform. I reproduce here an article from the ever excellent Peter Tatchell.

The Greens – not UKIP – are the real alternative to the political Establishment

By Peter Tatchell

Each of the three Establishment parties has succeeded in alienating its core vote. Labour over Iraq and the casino banking culture that flourished during its tenure in office. The Tories over Europe and equal marriage. And the Lib Dems over tuition fees and propping up of one of the most anti-egalitarian governments of modern times. All have been tainted by the scandal over MPs expenses. As a result, participation in mainstream politics is declining further than ever.

The UK’s first-past-the-post voting system is said to produce strong governments, avoiding what many perceive as the grubby infighting that dominates politics on the continent. But it isn’t working anymore. Millions of votes don’t count in rock solid safe seats and supporters of small parties are unrepresented or under-represented in parliament.

Many voters damn the political elite with the familiar refrain: “They’re all the same.” This is fairly true with regard to the big three parties: Labour, Tory and Lib Dem. There is very little difference between them these days. They all embrace, to marginally varying degrees, neo liberal economics.

Many people are, however, desperate for an alternative but they fear their voice will not be heard.

The European elections this Thursday offer a chance for something different. Because they use a system of proportional representation (PR), we have an opportunity to vote for what we believe in, without fearing that our votes will be wasted. PR is sometimes a mixed blessing. It was PR that allowed UKIP a foot in the door at the last Euro poll, and in this election it looks like the anti-EU party will win more seats than anyone thought possible for a new party 15 or even 10 years ago.

Nigel Farage entered the European Parliament in 1999. This was also the year that Caroline Lucas was elected as one of the UK’s first two Green MEPs (the other was Jean Lambert). She went on to become the first Green MP at Westminster. A parliamentary seat still evades Farage and his party.

UKIP supporters want to withdraw from the EU. They fantasise about plucky Britain standing alone against the world. UKIP stirs this nostalgia for ‘Great Britain’ and excites fear about immigrants and refugees. It has filled some of the void created by the discredited mainstream politics and, in particular, by the weakness of the orthodox left.

But for people who believe in social justice and equality, and who want action to thwart climate destruction and to protect the precious environment on which all life depends, the Greens – not UKIP – are the real alternative to the big three parties.

The Green vote is seen by some people as a protest vote, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t be. It is a vote against Labour’s failure to defend working class people and its initiation of the part privatisation of education and health care. It is a vote against the Lib Dem’s abandonment of principle in favour of power. It is a vote against Tory austerity which makes ordinary people pay for the economic crisis created by reckless bankers. It is most certainly a vote against the homophobia, xenophobia and climate change denial of UKIP.

But in this election, voting Green it is also a vote for something. The Greens are a party that offers an imaginative, alternative positive vision of how our future could look. This is fairly unique, given the broad political consensus between the stale, grey Tories, Labour and Lib Dems.

Unlike the three Establishment parties and UKIP, the Greens advocate decisive EU action to close tax avoidance loopholes and tax havens, tax empty homes and financial transactions, cap banker’s bonuses, axe nuclear weapons, prioritise energy conservation to cut household bills and to introduce rent controls, a living wage and free education.

As a veteran of nearly 50 years of political campaigns, I look toward 22 May with a strange mixture of hope and fear. Fear that the hate-mongers of UKIP are poised to advance and to challenge some of the gains in minority rights and human rights, with the aid of their far right allies in the European Parliament. But also hope that the Greens may eclipse the Lib Dems; including the election of new Green MEPs such as Peter Cranie in North West England and Rupert Read in the East of England. Both lost narrowly last time. A tiny swing to the Greens will get them elected and, in the North West, will have the added bonus of probably surpassing the British National Party vote and thereby blocking the re-election of BNP leader Nick Griffin.

Make sure you vote: Show UKIP and the three Establishment parties the red card. Give the Greens a chance.

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193 thoughts on “Vote Green in England

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  • Jemand

    Habbabkuk, yes you may recall that you started the process of questioning the good faith and character of this commentator. Although I think it was your agitation of the status quo that shook her into making a few comments that broke the veneer and revealed her true nature which you went on to explore to devastating effect.

    Some people know that one test of character is the preparedness with which a person is willing to volunteer an expression of contrition or humility. Neither of which can be found amongst people of ignoble disposition. A good example is right here – the dribbling fool above who blames every other white person for historic racist crimes but will not bring himself to confess his own culpability for the same misdeeds in his own land.

    You have to doubt the integrity of people who bang on and on about virtue but display none of it themselves. Take notes, Herbie and kind.

    Habbabkuk, I was one of your earlier detractors and, for that, I apologise with no qualification. We can disagree on this or that, but we will not disagree on the need to tell the truth for what it is and expose impostors for what they really are.

  • A Node

    “A Node, I suggest that we just disagree and politely leave it at that.”

    I …. er … agree

  • Jemand

    Sofia, having lacked the ability to debate me at a higher level, you now wish to revert to insults like referring to me as a dog and implying that I am too stupid to get your clever “joke”, which is not really your “joke” nor is it particularly clever after having read it before over six months ago.

    Perhaps the “joke” was not in the irony of losing a military vehicle by reason of it having been camouflaged to prevent loss to enemy fire but that it was in your devilishly astute observation that both the military who lost the vehicle and me are both Australian. Yes, now that really is funny.

    And if you change “Australian” for “African” or “Asian”, as we are all continents, you can reuse it on one of your mates but you will need to be careful who. You don’t want to be unfairly accused of being a stupid racist dickhead with a vindictive yellow streak painted down your East European back. That would be uncalled for.

  • Sofia Kibo Noh


    You’re spraying again.

    Now pay attention for a few moments will you.


    23 May, 2014 – 2:28 pm

    “Sofia. You do make me laugh (out loud) to the puzzlement of the dog…”

    Sofia Kibo Noh

    23 May, 2014 – 10:16 pm

    “Mary. 2 28pm

    Good. You deserve a break from Dad and his minions…”
    “Too bad the dog didn’t get it. I find the best way to spoil a joke is to try explaining it to a dog…”

    Why would I call you a dog FFS?

    I’ve no argument with my canine brothers, and I think they’d be shocked to know they were being so badly misrepresented, on Craig Murray’s blog of all places, by some geezer the other side of the world.

    And BTW Jemand, you can’t stop this happening. So all you rage changes nothing. You’d do yourself a favour if you just watched your eruptions and asked yourself, does anyone give a damn?

  • Jemand

    Sofia, why would I want to change people falling in love? Do you forget that my bride was brown? What colour is your partner? Now be honest.

  • Sofia Kibo Noh


    Good to see we’re on the same page re falling in love.

    Also apology accepted re dog misunderstanding.

    Here’s a peace offering. (No humans were harmed in the making of this two minute film*)

    *Another offering from Sven, who mentioned it when he brought my morning coctails. I can see him showing off his oiled, manly body as he skims the pool and I tap away in the shade.

  • nevermind

    Its all the fault of libertarians, says the Green who will, hopefully, not get elected here in the east.

    Not a good reson to refuse a wash barrier Rupert, but a recipe for green dictators to run the roost as they like. My advice would be to count all the cars of members at the next party conference and knit it into your next theory, how Greens can be greener wearing green cloth.

  • Ba'al Zevul (Bounderby's Bastard Brother)

    THanks for that, Nevermind. He really is a lousy writer. I hadn’t realised that.

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