Vote Green in England

by craig on May 21, 2014 10:41 am in Uncategorized

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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  1. lucythediclonius

    21 May, 2014 - 10:55 am

    Another U turn Craig? Nice to see.

  2. Using differing tactics in differing circumstances to try to achieve the same general ends is hardly a U turn.

  3. lucythediclonius

    21 May, 2014 - 11:12 am

    Just a joke Ed I remember Craig’s comments from the Norfolk by election .The Green Party may have matured since then and of course people are free to change their minds .

  4. Lucythediclonius

    I (genuinely) don’t remember any such comments about the Greens. What did I say? (Not meant to be an aggressive question, am genuinely curious. I have always had a good opinion of the Greens’ beliefs, if not always od their campaigning nouse).

  5. lucythediclonius

    21 May, 2014 - 11:20 am

    Something like the Green Party ( UK) are not the European Greens which I thin you were broadly in favour of.

  6. If I lived in the East of England I would not vote for Read because of his support for rabble rebels in Syria. He can’t seem to see it. It is not a question of support for Russia. He should have established who is feeding the weaponry into the opposition.

    Syria: my enemy’s enemy is not my friend

    He refers to this Medialens alert.

    UN ‘Travesty’: Resolutions Of Mass Destruction – Part 1

  7. Otherwise I will follow your advice to the letter.

    ‘Show UKIP and the three Establishment parties the red card.’

    Farage is in my lot.

  8. lucythediclonius

    21 May, 2014 - 11:35 am

    I don’t know about Read’s position But I know Caroline Lucas described the Syria vote as a first step towards an independent foreign policy.I presume she didn’t mean in the UKIP sense.

  9. Do you have a party in the UK that is primarily concerned with responsible management of population? If it exists, it could be the greenest thing you vote for.

  10. “Show UKIP and the three Establishment parties the red card”

    That leaves the anti-EU voter with no-one to vote for.

  11. Green are also part of the British ESTABLISHMENT. If Brits want to elect someone wh really represents the interests of the majority of the Brits, he should vote for the Respect Party.

  12. Ba'al Zevul (Bokonon Rastafari)

    21 May, 2014 - 12:29 pm

    Hmmm. Read’s yet another Oxford PPE grad – Balliol, even. While I would certainly rather vote Green than UKIP, on principle, I’m not sure about highly cerebral academics* who, despite their later realisation that capitalism sucks, have nevertheless imbibed the market ethos at uni. As a protest vote, yes. With the serious intention of changing the system, no. Which is what I’d also say about UKIP.

    Also like UKIP, the Greens have to make enormous compromises between what their activists think desirable and what is actually possible. Some of these are illustrated here:

    Your earlier post was nearer my mark, Craig. Working within the system, which takes globalisation as a given, and is sponsored by oligarchs, is not going to bring the system down. (And do you want to bet the Greens won’t get support from the fat cats if and when they start looking electable? Said felines will back every horse in the race in order to have influence with the winner)

    *Appears to have devoted his career to the analysis of Wittgenstein – the philosophical equivalent of analysing DNA, with considerably fewer practical applications…

  13. I shall vote Green despite being pro fracking and pro nuclear. Their social policies are in line with my values of solidarity and brotherhood which the main parties have abandoned and the Fascist UKIP detests

  14. Ba'al Zevul (Bokonon Rastafari)

    21 May, 2014 - 12:35 pm

    Jemand – agreed. The Greens at any rate address the population issue. Here:

  15. BZ, that reads pretty well, tho cautious. Seems like they are preparing to deal with pop as an issue without making the sort of policy commitments that get people fired up. It is definitely different to our local Greens which now makes the UK Loony Party look more like the Eminently Sensible Party.

  16. Ba'al Zevul (Bokonon Rastafari)

    21 May, 2014 - 1:01 pm

    I’m reluctant to piss in Read’s porridge, but this plays into your view, Jemand :

    I’m afraid he has a messianic tendency.

  17. Ref the EU, ECCP, PSC and Israel.

    Is Palestine ‘solidarity’ going soft?

    Posted by Stuart Littlewood on May 20, 2014 in Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), Israel, Israel/Palestine, Middle East, Opinion, Palestine

    “The EU policy of maintaining close relations with Israel as a supposed means of persuading it to end its violations of human rights and international law, and negotiate in good faith, has clearly failed.”

  18. I know lots of Greens, and share many of their core beliefs, and have voted Green at least once previously. The current capitalist system where every product is designed to fail (just after the guarantee has expired – so that it needs to be replaced to maintain profits) is totally destructive to the environment, resulting in the most obscene levels of pollution in places like India – that are literally poisoning the local populations. Many countries such as India, would be far better off, if the Industrial Revolution had never happened, and core Green policies – that had been practiced for thousands of years would be far preferential to Indian people than what is now happening – which includes the encroach of Monsanto and GM food – which is a complete and utter destructive tragedy.

    However, most Green energy policies, simply will not work in an Industrialised World to support 7 Billion people. Deep analysis reveals that many such Green energy projects are in fact energy sinks – producing less energy throughout their lifetime, than all the conventional energy inputs needed to construct and maintain them. This is the best analysis I have seen on the subject…

    Also the Green Movement has long since been hijacked, by extremely powerful forces who have a Mass Human Genocide agenda, and complete de-industrialisation of the planet…This would result in sending us back to the dark ages, in a mass horror story, that would make hell seem a good alternative.

    There are Graceful solutions to all our problems, but we will never even consider them, whilst powerful forces from across the political spectrum drown us in lies in pursuit of their own agendas, usually built on greed or religious dogma, rather than legitimate science, which recently has also been totally corrupted and is rarely seen.


  19. Haward: “I shall vote Green despite being pro fracking and pro nuclear.”

    Are you saying the Greens are pro fracking and pro nuclear or are you saying you are?

  20. doug scorgie

    21 May, 2014 - 1:21 pm

    I have to agree with Mary at 11:25am

    Rupert Read seems to be another weathervane politician educated at Oxford (PPE) and the USA like most of the three main party hierarchies.

    I like the Green Party myself and they are certainly to the left of New Labour (as the LibDems were before getting power through a coalition with the Tories) but I doubt that Dr Read is.

    Time will tell but I will be voting for a Green candidate in London, Caroline Allen.

  21. O/T The Prince Charles story at the top of the BBC website all morning!! has been replaced by this. Should get a message across to Obomber, Cameron, Hague, Lady Ashton and co.

    Russia signs 30-year gas deal with China
    Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has signed a multi-billion dollar, 30-year gas deal with China.

    The deal between Russia’s Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has been 10 years in the making. No official price has been given but it is estimated to be worth over $400bn.

  22. LOL

  23. Ba'al Zevul (Bokonon Rastafari)

    21 May, 2014 - 1:29 pm

    Put the bong down, Anon.

  24. BZ, yeah Read’s views are the stuff that makes voting difficult. He has some valid claims about commercial exploitation of animals but what does he want to achieve? A Disney world where the Lion King becomes best friends with Bambi while we munch on Lentls?

    He talked about fish being hooked and plucked out of the water, then asked the reader to imagine how it would feel if it happened to us. I wonder how he expects fish to die as they must. Peacfully in an old fish’s home? Assisted suicide with its loved ones by its side? The reality is that it is hunted in a terrifying chase and chomped up by a predator, or it gets a disease that kills it slowly and painfully. He didn’t mention that.

    And he doesn’t hold other animals to moral account either, just humans. So does he think that the cruel playing with mice by cats before they are eaten is ok or not? What does he do in his spare time? Save insects from birds? Birds from cats? Or just cats from Chinese fur traders?

    There really are limitations to empathising with animals.

  25. Ba'al Zevul (Bokonon Rastafari)

    21 May, 2014 - 1:51 pm

    It occurs to me that no employer would so much as consider an applicant for a £67,070-a-year post without at least a bit of background checking. So why do we, the public, take aspirant MP’s on trust and decide who gets the job we are offering based on no better evidence than the prettiest party manifesto?

  26. If we are talking about killing, these two Palestinian lads were killed in cold blood.

    It is a DCI video linked within a BBC piece found at the bottom of their Middle East page. Israel disputes the veracity of the video of course.

    Note the use of inverted commas.

    Video ‘shows shootings of Palestinian protesters’

    Unlawful killing of two Palestinian teens outside Ofer

    Ofer is one of the many Israeli prisons within which G4S operate.

  27. if you want to vote for an ignorant self serving back stabber such as Rupert Read, you are welcome.

    I will for the first time ever, spoil my ballot paper, because Rupert does not want to see tidal energy, he wants solar farms for rich people with a desire for taxpayers subvsidies, just as Richard Bearmann their county council chief of all shades green.

    Not a single party has a mandate for this prechewed candidates list, not a single candidate in tommorrows elections was chosen by the general public, indeed this most important EU election ever, as it was billed, is the biggest damp squid ever.

  28. Ba'al Zevul (Bokonon Rastafari)

    21 May, 2014 - 1:57 pm

    Think I’ll join you there, Nevermind. ‘None OF The Above’ it is.

  29. Ba'al Zevul (Bokonon Rastafari)

    21 May, 2014 - 2:03 pm

    PS…most squids are damp. Just saying; a damp squib is the dysfunctional firework you are reaching for. :-)

  30. If your local Left Unity recommends the Green candidate vote Green. There is no LU candidate in my area. I have voted Green in local elections quite often but always been disappointed with the showing. It’s like there is only me and a handful more voting Green. This year I am voting tactically.

  31. The problem is that whoever you vote for you end up propping the system which is so well established that there is no chance that any party other than the establishment parties will ever win. What is needed is for people to show the powers that be that we reject the system and that can only be achieved, using the ballot box, by spoiling our votes; just not voting is not the solution, nor voting for independent, Green, Respect or any other candidate. I am totally convinced that even if only 10 percent voters cast their votes, the establishment parties will carry on claiming full mandate.
    I think NOTA, irrespective of who their suporters are, is probably the answer as once a majority of voters spoil their votes even the likes of Cameron or Blair will have to take notice.

  32. Britain’s party leaders are making their final pitches ahead of Thursday’s local and European elections.

    Labour is neck-and-neck with UKIP in the battle to get the biggest vote share in the Euro election, according to the latest Sun/YouGov poll.

    Both parties are on 27%, with the Conservatives in third place on 23%.

    The Lib Dems, on 10%, edged back ahead of the Greens, on 8%, according to the survey of 1,874 adults on 19 and 20 May.

    BBC 21 May 2014 Last updated at 14:12
    Tight race as parties make final Euro and local pitch

  33. I forgot your expertise in the marine environ, Ba’al buko Harem, should I have said damp squit instead? or would you Know somthin’ about squit as well?

    Greens love conservationist Greens who love animals, as long as they don’t have two legs and can talk. Their sole presumption is to reduce our influences on the natural environment, by any means possible, that we are part and parcel of this environ, in the same sinking boat so to speak, does not ring a bell.

    Conservationist Greens, the RSPB and other NGO’s with too much ‘charitable’ (not)clout oppose a Severn barrier and tidal system, they are vehemently opposed to precaution or safeguarding our biggest fresh food growing area in the Fenlands with a Wash tidal energy system and barrier. And they would be the first to oppose a Thames barrier, and sod the humans.

    Apart from shining a focus on recycling, Norwich Greens have run along with the ideas of the other main parties, despite being the biggest opposition to a smelly old Labour administration who lost many active members to the Greens. They have not implemented any of their policies. They would argue that they have done loads for cyclists, but Norwich has always been a cycling City, its the fastes way to get around it. Norwich Cycling campaign was not founded by Greens but by cyclists.

    The Green party is really bad at looking after and supporting their activists, burning up people with multiple responsibilities. They do not represent the moral high ground, and have had their own internal problems.

    and for all its balance the majority are working within the established old traditional parties which have nearly managed to genetically bamboozle all of Britain into electoral papathy

  34. Tatchell has form on Syria. He would like a no fly zone just like Libya I assume and we know how that turned out.

    Anyway he might be getting one (a NFZ>war) in the guise of upcoming US build ups for military exercises in the Black Sea and in Jordan.

    Ukraine and Syria: Elections at the Barrels of US-NATO Guns?
    by Felicity Arbuthnot / May 20th, 2014


    21 May, 2014 - 2:44 pm

    I voted for the Green Ralph Nader in 2000 and peers berate me for giving us Dubya and the Iraq debacle. The system is jerry-rigged to consign non-linear voting to the circular file. What’s needed is a top-down haircut for the reigning political parties who look and behave so similarly that their inbreeding is not a bug, but a feature of their governance.

  36. Well it looks like your Greens are as bad as our Greens. I guess the only option then is to take up watching football on tv fulltime.

  37. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    21 May, 2014 - 3:07 pm

    Ref the EU, ECCP, PSC and Israel.

    “Is Palestine ‘solidarity’ going soft?

    Posted by Stuart Littlewood on May 20, 2014 in Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), Israel, Israel/Palestine, Middle East, Opinion, Palestine

    “The EU policy of maintaining close relations with Israel as a supposed means of persuading it to end its violations of human rights and international law, and negotiate in good faith, has clearly failed.”

    On only page 1 and a mere 5 hours in, here we are again with Israel/Palestine, courtesy of the obsessional Mary.

    In typical troll fashion, no respect for the blog or its owner.


    Support Israeli products, tourism and the shekel.

  38. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    21 May, 2014 - 3:09 pm

    Tony M

    “Haward: “I shall vote Green despite being pro fracking and pro nuclear.”

    Are you saying the Greens are pro fracking and pro nuclear or are you saying you are?”

    Are you totally ignorant of the rules of grammar, Tony?


    Support Michael Give?

  39. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    21 May, 2014 - 3:10 pm

    Or even “Support Michael Gove!”

  40. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    21 May, 2014 - 3:20 pm


    “If we are talking about killing, these two Palestinian lads were killed in cold blood.”

    We were talking about the killing of animals for food, in the context of the views of a Green Party candidate.

    Why then are you commenting yet again on Israel/Palestine. You really are an old blog-fascist with an over-blown sense of entitlement, aren’t you.

    I think that from now on, every time you write on Israel/Palestine OFF TOPIC, I shall remind people that you deny the right of Israel to exist and that you are anti-Jewish. That’s fair, isn’t it?


    21 May, 2014 - 3:21 pm

    ” I guess the only option then is to take up watching football on tv fulltime.”

    Part and parcel of the reason the system is brokeass. Keeping the hordes occupied with events at Circus Maximus assures their tenure.

    I hesitate to suggest some benign/ benevolent tyranny, but Claudius was able to get some shit done.

  42. After Scotland’s independence is secure with a Yes Vote and Scotland’s first post-independence SNP government in 2016 set for a chance to shine and retire magnificent, I’ve a tough choice thereafter between the mildly but practically and pragmatically green and left of traditional-centre Scottish National Party, who’ll always be first choice for my vote where Scotland’s constitution or independence of direction is concerned or for Scotland’s own Green Party who’s Holyrood electoral performances have varied but the logic and consistency of their stated policies on the environment and on general issues, many of which impact on or are impacted by the environment often themselves, cohere and appeal.

    I’ve never really how known the different Green parties in different places within Britain and without in the wider world relate, I’m fairly sure Scotland’s and the other parts of the UKs Green Parties are distinct from one another, have different ideas, organisation, leadership and policies but I hope, presume coalesce in the general direction of healing the earth, the land, the air, the seas and the rift in inter-human and inter-environment empathy wrought by neo-liberal economic exploitation and devastation. Quite apart from that, the superset is the green movement, and its little actions from picking up litter, to composting, to the spiritual bonds which transcend borders and polities, that common yearning to leave the world a better place than when you found it, close closed gates after you, pat cute doggies on the head and breathe freely.

    I’ll be voting tactfully, by voting for the independence supporting Scottish National Party and for Independence that sunny September, but I’ll tell anyone else including blue or red or yellow Tories stumbling out of their cocoons into the real world, knocking on the door, I’ll be voting for them, possibly with a suggestive wink too, the mad nasty deluded fools, I’m too nice for the rough and tumble world but might practice a sinister chuckle of pleasure at the thought of their unfounded and false hopes collapsing.

  43. Ba'al Zevul (Bokonon Rastafari)

    21 May, 2014 - 3:29 pm

    I know squat about squit, Nevermind.

    Ben – you are about to correctly identify the problem. The function of government is to govern. Maybe not Claudius, although he was a refreshing change from his two predecessors, but how about a Cromwell? Grab this bunch of smug and venal placemen and give them a good shaking. By the neck until dead if appropriate. Then enforce some ethics.

    I hate myself for thinking this.


    21 May, 2014 - 3:44 pm

    Ba’al; I believe Diogenes is still looking for an honest man. Trouble is; once you find one he/she must be kept out of the public spotlight for their own safety.

  45. From what i remember in Norwich North Craig didn’t have any problem with the greens. It was with the BBC for allowing the Green candidate to take part in the televised debate, but not him, which was pretty unfair.

    I’m in favour of people changing their minds too. If we refuse to be persuaded by new events or evidence then we could end up like Tony Blair, too vain to ever admit having made any mistake and too blind ever to look at anything that might conflict with our first assumptions.

    And in a PR election like the European parliament elections the Greens have a good chance – especially when vote counting is by the D’Hondt system (basically after a party gets 1 seat in a multi-member constituency their share or the vote is halved when calculating who gets the next one. If they get two seats their share of the vote is divided by three when deciding who gets the next one and so on.)

    Caroline Lucas managed to get elected as an MP even under First Past the Post.

  46. > trolly Craig is writing about voting for MEPs.

    The article I linked to refers to those very representatives. Some of the mealy mouthed replies from the candidates to the question as to their stance on Israel/Palestine are amazing.

    Read the title and the content. “The EU policy of maintaining close relations with Israel as a supposed means of persuading it to end its violations of human rights and international law, and negotiate in good faith, has clearly failed.”

    The killing of the two Palestinian youths is just one of those Israeli abuses of law and it is important that people see what is going on. Apparently the BBC think so too.

    Even you might be surprised at the strength of the Israel lobby in the EU. Stealthily and gradually Israel is gaining entry.

    Are you taking turns today? I will not be cross questioned by the likes of you. Who the hell do you think you are?

  47. I’ve just looked at the candidates; this is ridiculous! In a European election I have a choice of four anti-Europe parties(!), a far right party, a religious party, the Greens fielding a religious candidate, and the Big Three, one of whom is hinting that Europe is no good as it stands. This election seems to hate itself.

    I couldn’t really take the Greens seriously as a political party until I found out they had a paedophile. Now it looks like I can vote for the Green lizard to try to keep the other lizards out…

    Or maybe None Of The Above…

  48. ”I guess the only option then is to take up watching football on tv fulltime.”

    Yes. Get the tinnies on ice, fire up the barbie and watch the match while catching some rays. I hope I have the jargon correct.

    Forget about the horrors the politicians are committing on our behalf (and condoning and supporting the horrors being committed in other countries) but NOT in our name.

    Most of the people are doing that (wide awake but actually asleep) most of the time.

  49. Stop the presses. Forget about the EU ‘elections’.

    Top billing on the BBC website.

    Breaking news
    Duke has ‘minor procedure’ on hand
    Duke of Edinburgh has had “minor procedure” on his right hand, Buckingham Palace says

    Almost surreal.

  50. Mary I saw that footage of the two Palestinian boys shot dead by Israeli troops. It is important when injustice is done to make it public. The parents of those children are going to be drowned in grief. I hope they can forgive. Apologies to those who have no sympathy for the loss of life.

    Ben, voting Ralph Nader did not put Dubya in power. It was Karl Rove and probably in alliance with the Koch Brothers who put Bush in power after he lost fair and square, despite you not voting for (was it Al Gore?). Rove was responsible for some electronic voting machinery that could be used to sway a marginal vote. Clever stuff. I never vote in an election other than walking down to the booth.

  51. Rusbridger spoke last night. Vote Labour,LD, Green but not Con! Note he gets in a little plug for a Scots No vote in the title. Who does he mean by ‘nationalists’. They are dreadful from what I have seen in their PP broadcasts.

    ‘That means voting for internationalist parties that are positively engaged in Europe – like Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and the nationalists. And it means voting with determination against parties that want to pull up the drawbridge (like Ukip) or that flirt with it (like the Conservatives). Our generation has a big responsibility. We need to put as much effort into sticking together as the other side does into separatism and isolationism. That effort should start on Thursday.’

  52. Sofia Kibo Noh

    21 May, 2014 - 4:51 pm

    Don’t be too hasty with those Greens. Voting only encourages them. Observe their behaviour when they get a chance at government.

    I don’t know much about the UK variety but the sub-species on these shores showed itself to be truly sub in so many ways.

    Many Irish voters have bitter memories of a thriving party able to field passionately verbal candidates to gather our votes but also able, at the drop of a hat, to abandon their professed principles and serve the politico/corporate establishment.

    In 2007 they entered coalition here with Fianna Fail, one of our two dominant right wing parties*, riding a wave of voters who saw in them a radical, progressive, new left alternative to the corruption, social conservatism and neo-liberal orthodoxy of the other Irish parties .

    By, among other diappointments, supporting the neo-liberal shock doctrine employed by Fianna Fail, the Greens subsequently lost the trust of their support base and were wiped out at the 2011 election.

    If you do vote them into any kind of power, I wish you well, but I worry that you’ll be sorely diappointed.

    * Some peoples get all the luck!

  53. ZOMG.

    You think voting for the Green Party makes a “political revolutionary”?

    Many, many greens have long abandoned the Green Party because the Party is already too compromised even in it’s first tiny steps towards power. By the time the Green Party ever reaches a position of significant influence it will be as corrupted as any other.

    Craig, you are still a political liberal, perpetuating what you claim to oppose.

  54. John Goss

    Left Unity (giggle) 1200 armchair revolutionaries who all hate each other

  55. Phil,

    No, I don’t think voting for the Green Party is going to bring about a revolution. Actually I don’t think anything I can do will bring about a revolution. Haven’t noticed you successfully starting one either. Given there is an election tomorrow, what I do think is voting Green is the best of the choices available to me on the ballot paper. I don’t think not voting is particularly constructive, though I respect those who do not wish to vote.

  56. “Haven’t noticed you successfully starting one either.”

    You are too hung up on the great man theory of history mate. A sure sign of self importance that you will have to escape before you will ever be a “political revolutionary”.

    Of course, do not vote tomorrow.

  57. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    21 May, 2014 - 5:19 pm


    “> trolly Craig is writing about voting for MEPs.

    The article I linked to refers to those very representatives. Some of the mealy mouthed replies from the candidates to the question as to their stance on Israel/Palestine are amazing.

    Read the title and the content. “The EU policy of maintaining close relations with Israel as a supposed means of persuading it to end its violations of human rights and international law, and negotiate in good faith, has clearly failed.”

    Don’t take us for fools, Mary.

    The truth is that not a single new post from Craig can go by without you dragging Israel/Palestine into it sooner or later – usually sooner. And usually on the flimsiest of justifications.

    So let’s have less of your false indignation:

    “Are you taking turns today? I will not be cross questioned by the likes of you. Who the hell do you think you are?”

    You WILL be cross-questioned by me (and others) as long as there is good reason to cross-question you. And if you don’t like it, tough shit.


    La vita è bella, life is good!

  58. “Last August the Telegraph published this article about the shooting of Kim Jong-un’s former girlfriend by firing squad. ”

    Which they qualified with “according to South Korean reports”.

    I’m a little surprised your enquiring mind hasn’t questioned why it’s taken so long for her to re-appear and whether or not it’s actually her or a look-a-like.

    I could support the Green Party if it weren’t for their enthusiasm for re-newable energy. Whilst this might provide a useful addition to conventional power stations it won’t ever replace them and certainly won’t fill the looming shortfall in generating capacity.

  59. Choice was made for me. Been living here for 18 years, can’t vote in national elections, but can in Euro and local. For some reason this time around I have to apply to the local Rathaus to get my voting card.noticed too late..Daughters came automatic & all I have to do is fill in a form, produce my passport and a copy of my residence permit and hey presto… Shut for lunch ! Not that there was much choice here either.The only anti EU parties here are the far right. FPO will probably get over 35% so some pals for Farage there.
    So, Non Voter.

  60. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    21 May, 2014 - 5:31 pm


    I thought Craig’s rejoinder to you :

    “Haven’t noticed you successfully starting one either.”

    was rather good. If I judge from your peevish response, it obviously hit the bulls-eye.

    Off you go to man the barricades, Phil!

  61. No, I don’t think I can vote tomorrow. Green was the only option in that list, but Rupert Read seems naive and ideological, too likely to support war, and possibly too easily influenced, or rather, tricked. I’ll have to spoil my ballot just to show I wasn’t too apathetic to vote.

    There’s something very naff about this election, it really is the most pointless exercise in the failure of democracy I’ve ever seen. It’s like Eurovision or It’s a Knockout, it doesn’t seem to know what it’s meant to be testing. And a clear majority of the contesting parties are opposed to the existence of the election itself! They’ve managed to split their vote several ways; those who get elected can all quibble about how best to avoid participation in Europe!

    They tell us that voters are apathetic; at least us voters aren’t actively trying to dismantle our own platform. This really is surreal.

  62. “John Goss

    Left Unity (giggle) 1200 armchair revolutionaries who all hate each other”

    Bit mean-spirited Craig. All parties have to start somewhere, including the SNP, and having stood in Blackburn you know how hard it is to get grass roots support from scratch. Left Unity was only launched last year. It had its first conference on March 29.

    The Birmingham Branch is hardly likely to man the barricades since a good few are my age. With nearly 2000 members now I bet even the major parties are envious of that kind of growth. The purpose is not necessarily to stand candidates so much as support candidates of other parties with a left platform. So if the Green candidate has left credentials support her. I would certainly support Caroline Lucas. The Green Party has a bigger task than Left Unity because it contains believers in green policies across the full spectrum (right to left).

    In brief it is seeking to win back the ground negated by Labour when it became another neo-Con party.

  63. “I’m a little surprised your enquiring mind hasn’t questioned why it’s taken so long for her to re-appear and whether or not it’s actually her or a look-a-like.”

    It’s because I don’t trust our media. Neither do I support Kim Jong-un. There’s a journalist from Wolverhampton who believes every piece of shit he’s fed from the South Korean media channels. Korea was a country fucked up by the Yanks, like Vietnam and Ukraine, and I’m sure your enquiring mind could find a few more if you searched dilligently.

  64. You’ve all ignored an important option that will be right under your noses on election day.

    When the votes are tallied, you will have either voted for the establishment, voted for someone else or not voted which is like voting for the establishment.

    Why don’t you just vote for the least likely candidate. It doesn’t matter what they represent, at least you know they don’t ostensibly represent the establishment. And their failure to win obviates the moral question. PLUS it is TALLIED and those numbers count for something – ie the number of people who didn’t vote for the establishment!

  65. “It’s because I don’t trust our media.”

    Including reports in that media that this woman is alive after all?

    Can’t see how Korea was “fucked up” by the Yanks. If it hadn’t been for the UN intervention all of the peninsula would be under Kim Jong-unstable’s control and that gives a whole new definition to “fucked up”.

  66. “From what i remember in Norwich North Craig didn’t have any problem with the greens. It was with the BBC for allowing the Green candidate to take part in the televised debate, but not him, which was pretty unfair.”

    Not quiet so, Duncan. Rupert agreed that his fellow UCLU union member and rector of Dundee university at that time, was excluded from a debate on EDUCATION.
    Rupert has more muck sticking to him and some lurkers here know him to be a ruthless academic, philosophy or otherwise.

  67. Anon E Mouse

    21 May, 2014 - 6:30 pm

    One minor quibble:

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

  68. Scouse Billy

    21 May, 2014 - 6:46 pm

    Voting endorses this joke of illusory democracy.

    Tony Opmoc – spot on regarding the eugenicist agenda of the Greens.
    And yes, I’m very well too, thanks.
    Glad yours is still working too – you did make me lol.


  69. make sure that you spoil your ballot card, because all those who for weeks have been peddling their half truth and wishful thinking, will want to see all the spoiled votes.

    You won’t believe how eager they are to group around a table, with all election agents being called to peruse and candidates quivering for any vote that might be contrued and judged to be his.

    I hope that the spoiled votes have it tommorrow, especially in the Eastern region, could not care less who will sit down in Brussels, take the money and raise their hand to unelected Commissioners vested interest thoughts/policies.

    Greens are able to win by using the same trickery the other political parties use to bamboozle and turn off the wrong kind of voters, they do not need our special pleading.

    German Greens are breakfast to the established parties and the Green party of England Wales and Scotland, is learning from their EU me/assages.

  70. Spoiling your vote will simply marginalise any explanation of why the majors didn’t win it. There will be no reporting of your clever scribblings over the paper, nor the snot you snorted over it, nor the blanks where ticks, crosses or numbers should be. Your spoiled vote will simply be reported as “invalid” and people will be left to imagine why – stupid, illiterate, drunk, crazy, recalcitrant.. a lost opportunity.

  71. doug scorgie

    21 May, 2014 - 7:14 pm

    21 May, 2014 – 1:03 pm

    “Is Palestine ‘solidarity’ going soft?”

    Sadly so Mary.

    Although there are many staunch supporters in the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign some of those at the top in the organisation seem to have softened their approach.

    I think that is due to infiltration by the pro-Israel Jews for Justice for Palestinians who are a group supporting a two-state solution (which is practically dead in the water) but who are also Zionist in that they want Israel to be recognised as a Jewish state; a state for Jews, run by Jews for the sake of Jews.

  72. I actually live in what was a highly political area – normally on a day like today – there would be loads of posters – stuff on poles – and stuff on windows…Today I looked – didn’t see any UKIP Posters. I didn’t see any conservative posters – except possibly a blue one – in a window – which said save our hospital. We live in a very “Liberal” Area. There were zero Labour Posters – or any evidence whatsoever Labour exists.

    Amongst a Very Large Number of Homes and Gardens – I only Saw One Obvious Political Poster It Was (LibDem)..

    So I Reckon The Turnout will Be about 30% and UKIP will get Well Over 50% of The Vote.


  73. John Goss,

    Sorry. I don’t think there is any chance for the British Left until they get over the idea that they have to pay disproportionate respect to the ideas of ugly women with short hair in Andy Pandy suits.

  74. Craig @8.16p

    Hah! Now that’s the kind of commentary that I hope for but rarely see. Good stuff.

  75. Habbabreak. ON!

  76. The only way of creating a political earthquake tomorrow is by voting UKIP. If UKIP poll strongly enough it will be curtains for Miliband, Clegg and Cameron, and we might get some decent leaders.


    21 May, 2014 - 10:19 pm

    Wouldn’t it be amusing if Diogenes found an honest entity in ugly women with short hair in Andy Pandy suits?

    Such persons are where you find them after all, even if, in the most unlikely of places.

  78. Craig,

    “ugly women with short hair in Andy Pandy suits”..

    Just admit it; you’ve applied for a top post in the Football Association..:-p

  79. Hope Not Hate out and about in Croydon:

    I’m sure the irony was entirely lost.

  80. Mary – BDS is NOT anti-Israel. In fact it legitimizes Israel.

    Now, if one reads BDS Declaration, he will find to his surprise that BDS is not against the Jewish occupation of 78% of the historic Palestine. BDS uses the word “occupation” for the West Bank and Gaza Strip but not even for East Jerusalem which all were occupied by Israel as result of its 1967 War of Aggression. The BDS demands from Israel; 1) Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the wall, 2) Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality (meaning Israel has the right to exist within pre-1967 borders); and 3) Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

  81. O/T but given Salmond’s claim (also endorsed by Craig in several recent posts) that there is ‘massive opposition to Ukip in Scotland’, these findings from pollsters based in Craig’s alma mater provide interesting food for thought this election day-

  82. “Sorry. I don’t think there is any chance for the British Left until they get over the idea that they have to pay disproportionate respect to the ideas of ugly women with short hair in Andy Pandy suits.”

    If this means not supporting what is called “positive discrimination” I agree. I noticed some positive discrimination at the conference and will continue to fight against it, by and large. My experience is that women are equally capable as men. However I do think, in general, they need more encouragement to get involved in politics, probably because they do not want to be labelled as “ugly women with short hair and Andy Pandy suits” or whatever other offensive term might be applied. At the conference there was a vocal woman, who spoke very eloquently about the need for proper health rights for the disabled. I could not see her, so I adjusted my position. She was in a wheelchair herself, and I thought good for her. But it was what she had to say that was more important than how she looked.

  83. ” ugly women with short hair in Andy Pandy suits.”

    Sexism Mr Murray? Surely not; unless you’re suggesting that good looking, long haired women in tight dresses make better politicians.


  84. Prince Charles who just concluded a 4-day visit to part of Canada, made some real waves. Daily Mail claimed that Prince Charles in a “private” conversation with a Canadian Jewish volunteer “likened” Russian president Putin to Hitler.

    Commenting on the “smoking gun”, Dr. Daniel Pipes, on his blog called Prince Charles “a secret Muslim convert”.

  85. ” Dr. Daniel Pipes, on his blog called Prince Charles “a secret Muslim convert”. ”

    Bearing in mind the attitude of Islam towards adulterers I’d have thoughtthat unlikely. Besides the comparison of Putin to Hitler is hardly new or even original.

  86. I have been a member of the Green Party ever since it was The Ecology Party. At one point I was quite active in my local party.

    But I agree with Mary – FFS, do not vote for Rupert Read. Look at his website, his blogs and his writings on Left Foot Forward and Liberal Conspiracy. Especially his naive views on Syria.

    I don’t trust him not to turn into another supporter of Western military intervention under the guise of “humanitarian” intervention, just like the appalling Joschka Fischer.

    Rupert Read is one of the reasons I have reduced my financial support for the Green Party in recent years. Another is I think they are at risk of becoming corrupted by power.

    But apart from Rupert Read, I endorse Craig’s advice to vote Green.

  87. @Kempe

    Can’t see how Korea was “fucked up” by the Yanks.

    ‘American planes dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea — that is, essentially on North Korea –including 32,557 tons of napalm, compared to 503,000 tons of bombs dropped in the entire Pacific theatre of World War II.2 The number of Korean dead, injured or missing by war’s end approached three million, ten percent of the overall population. The majority of those killed were in the North, which had half of the population of the South; although the DPRK does not have official figures, possibly twelve to fifteen percent of the population was killed in the war, a figure close to or surpassing the proportion of Soviet citizens killed in World War II.’

    Do you seriously not consider that an example of a nation being ‘fucked up’ by another?


    Sent from 38 Degrees last night.

    In under 12 hours polling stations across the UK will open for the European election. But it’s really hard to cut through the party political bickering to get to the real facts about where the parties stand on actual issues!

    No matter what your politics are – the European election gives us a chance to spread the news on where political parties stand on the issues 38 Degrees members care about. [1]

    What will the Tories or Labour do in the EU to crack down on tax dodging? What will the Lib Dems do to protect our bees? Where do the Greens stand on international trade deals like TTIP? This week, thousands of 38 Degrees members have pulled together to make scorecards which rank where the parties stand on the issues we all care about. [2]

    Please have a look at the results below. All political parties standing in the EU election were asked to respond to the issues 38 Degrees members prioritised as the most important. Not all of them responded. [3] But the ones that did then had their answers rated out of 5 by thousands of us. And to help make sure it was impartial, the political parties’ names weren’t linked to any of their answers. So, 38 Degrees members didn’t know who they were scoring.

    Graphic showing the ratings of the parties on the link at the top.

    Can you share the results with your friends and family? It’ll help them cast their votes based on the issues – not on party politics.

    Only 35% of the UK electorate voted in the 2009 European election. [4] But groups like 38 Degrees prove that we’re not apathetic and we do care about the issues that affect us all. So hopefully these results will help lots more people cast their vote on the issues, not on personalities.

    If you’re still unsure who to vote for, you can also decide to spoil your ballot paper – it shows that people do care, but don’t agree with the choices on the ballot. [5]

    And remember, you might need your umbrella to get to the polling station tomorrow.

    Thanks for everything you do,

    Megan, James, Becky, Maddy & the 38 Degrees team

    PS: If you’d like a bit more information about the European election – whether that’s what voting system it uses, what the parties said in full, or other tools you can use to match your views with the parties, there are a bunch of helpful links in the notes. [6]

    [1] Your Medway: European Election: Why you should vote on May 22
    [2] 38 Degrees: European Election Issues Poll:
    [3] The questions were sent to all parties standing in the EU election for which contact details could be found, in order to represent as many parties as possible whatever their size.

    The parties that responded with answers that met the guidelines sent are: the Animal Welfare Party, the Christian People’s Alliance, the Conservative Party, the European People’s Party, the Green Party, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, the National Health Action Party, the Pirate Party UK, and the Yorkshire First party. UKIP unfortunately were the only party standing in every region that didn’t respond to the questions, which is why they aren’t shown on this card.

    The following parties were messaged through their websites, asking for an email address to send the questions to, but they did not respond: We Demand A Referendum Now, Traditional Unionist Voice, The Socialist Party of Great Britain, National Liberal Party – True Liberalism and the English Democrats.

    The Your Voice party did not have an email address on their site, or a contact box to ask for an email address. The Roman Party .ave did not have a site or any way of contacting them.

    All other parties standing in any region received, at the very least, an email asking for responses to the questions.
    [4] UK Political Info: European Parliament election turnout 1979 – 2009:
    [5] Guardian: Spoiling your ballot: the third way:
    [6] For more information about the EU election itself, including why the voting system used is fairer than in the general election you can read this blog:
    38 Degrees: EU election how does it all work:

    And to read the parties statements in full, you can go here:
    38 Degrees: Where UK parties stand on issues important to 38 Degrees:

  89. I am in the mood for images today. I think they have more impact than all the words.

    Here’s one for Michelle.


    I trust work at RAF Croughton for the Americans is going on apace.

    and that the drone operators at RAF are honing up their skills with the joysticks.

  90. @Kempe

    “Can’t see how Korea was “fucked up” by the Yanks.”

    Before the Korean War and all the bombing and mayhem the country was artificially divided by the 38th Parallel separating families, friends and cultural ties

    This from Wikipedia

    “After the surrender of Japan in August 1945, the 38th parallel was established as the boundary by Dean Rusk and Charles Bonesteel of the U.S. State Department – War – Navy Coordinating Committee in Washington, D.C. during the night of the 10th of August 1945, four days before the liberation of Korea.”

    Some liberation! But that’s what the Yanks do! They liberate other countries like they did with Iraq, Libya, Bosnia, Afghanistan and now Ukraine! It leaves countries fucked up for decades.

  91. Sofia Kibo Noh

    22 May, 2014 - 9:04 am

    Kempe. (The Jen Psaki of these threads)

    Korea not fucked up by the US?

    Aside from their massive bombing of Koreans in their own land the US also managed to kill 20,000 Koreans in Hiroshima, about 1 in 5 of the victims.

  92. Mary

    Thanks for posting the 38 degrees survey, the results of which were close to what I got when I filled in individually the questions on the VoteMatch website. I share Craig’s move to Green.

  93. “Some liberation! But that’s what the Yanks do! They liberate other countries like they did with Iraq, Libya, Bosnia, Afghanistan and now Ukraine! It leaves countries fucked up for decades.”

    Be fair now, John.

    The Americans are fucking up their own country too.

    They’re equal opportunity fucker ups these yanks.

  94. Up here in Scotland the Greens have had a very good referendum campaign and seen their support rise from 7% to 10% by latest polling. I had been considering giving them a second preference vote in the next Holyrood elections as I’d be fairly comfortable with an SNP/Green coalition, but I’m put off by the occasionally erratic behaviour of individuals within the party – sounds as if the English experience is a bit similar.

    It may be down to inexperience or political naivety, in which case I suppose the only cure is to elect them and hope they sort themselves out. That’s what we did with the SNP, after all.

    With those reservations, Green probably best choice for those of you in the south with a progressive turn of mind.

  95. “Spoiling your vote will simply marginalise any explanation of why the majors didn’t win it. There will be no reporting of your clever scribblings over the paper, nor the snot you snorted over it, nor the blanks where ticks, crosses or numbers should be. Your spoiled vote will simply be reported as “invalid” and people will be left to imagine why – stupid, illiterate, drunk, crazy, recalcitrant.. a lost opportunity.”

    Jemand, voting will only perpetuate incompetence, to for one moment think that you will get a better option or be regarded as a voter that matters as much as any other, is wishfull thinking/asking for more of the same. Sadly I’m not enough of a Bhuddist/masochist to wrest a smile, walk up to the booth and make/take my cross.
    One day your satisfaction will be disturbed and overwhelmed by a majority of disatisfied and you will demand that your pro party political point of view is heard, most likely to be your last argument, swallowed in a sea of heard it all before.

    Then you might have to grapple with random selection of reps in future, rather than personal choice and manipulation of the system.

    And what will your voting do? apart from legitamising a political oligarchy that has no mandate for this pre chewed slate of candidates, whether its this or other elections.
    Any political party that care’s would have tried to quell this level of disatisfaction to increase their legitimacy a long time ago, not this lot, instead they try and manipulate the voting process, offering us the worst possible option of all, AV, in a take it or leave it referendum rather than a choice of systems.

    Nothing short of a tax boycott can bring these criminals to justice. And some more, justice not forgiving, reparations for ills done and confiscation of assets, negating of all privatisation legislation and contracts, a wholesale reform by the concerned, not those who define concern for their own mettle.

    here is a sentence for you, should you find it hard to go against your genetically imprinted party political allegiances.

    ” who has given you self serving, (scum sucking, optional political oligarchs a mandate to present us with this pre chewed candidates slate, when you only represent a minority?”

  96. Habbabkuk (La vita è bel
    la) !
    21 May, 2014 – 3:20 pm

    To Mary:

    “I shall remind people that you deny the right of Israel to exist and that you are anti-Jewish. That’s fair, isn’t it?”

    Hasbara shit!

    We know you are an anti-Semitic (i.e. anti-Palestinian) racist Habbabkuk.

    Being a Zionist is nothing to be proud of no matter who endorses it. (e.g. Cameron; Blair; Miliband; Netanyahu et al)

    The Zionists days are numbered.

    ללכת למשוך את איבר המין שלך

  97. Craig
    21 May, 2014 – 5:02 pm

    “Left Unity (giggle) 1200 armchair revolutionaries who all hate each other”

    I’d take what Tony Greenstein says with a pinch of salt.

    He describes himself as a socialist but seems to spend much of his time knocking the left.

    I met him at a Palestinian Solidarity Campaign meeting some years back and he disrupted the whole meeting because someone on the committee was too left wing for his liking.

  98. Doug

    Oh, I am not basing myself on Greenstein in the least. Just an amusing link.

    We are seeing massive voter disillusion with the mainstream parties. the left in the UK is incapable of taking any advantage – because they are utterly useless and almost incredibly stupid.

    When there were chances of real breakthroughs for the left – first Tommy Sheridan in Scotland and then the WikiLeaks phenomenon – the left allowed both to be destroyed by the entirely self-regarding obsessions of bitter sex-negative feminists.

  99. Ba'al Zevul (Demonetiser)

    22 May, 2014 - 12:22 pm

    ” Dr. Daniel Pipes, on his blog called Prince Charles “a secret Muslim convert”. ”

    A ringing endorsement of Charlie’s bona fides, then.

    Pipes is NOT a secret Jewish convert, btw. He was born into the faith. And is a famous Islamophobe who supports Israel as if it were his own country. Perhaps it is…

    Lulz from Danny here –

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