The tactical case for supporting Greens at Euros


8:22 am - November 24th 2008

by Rupert Read    


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The next big electoral test in this country is the Euro-elections, next June. I’m the lead Green Party candidate for Eastern Region, one of our two top target Regions (the other being NorthWest) for the Euro-elections.

So what?, some of you may ask. “What has all this got to do with me? What do I, as a Socialist / Labour supporter / LibDem / independent care about the Green Party’s performance next June?”

The answer lies bang in the centre of the ‘remit’ of Liberal Conspiracy: because of the electoral system that the Euro-elections are fought under, and because of the arithmetic.

If we look at Eastern Region first. Last time around, in June ’04, the Tories won 3 seats, UKIP 2, Labour and the LibDems each 1.

Even if they have a very good election UKIP are extremely likely to lose one of their two seats next June- they are short of money, completely internally-riven, bereft of Kilroy-Silk, and beset by corruption scandals. They will lose the seat in question either to the Tories (who might be able to advance to having 4 seats, if they have a very good election); or, conceivably, to the BNP (who claim to be targeting the Region); or to us.

There is pretty much zero chance of Labour or the LibDems gaining a seat: can you really imagine either of those Parties gaining a substantial number (in the LibDems’ case, several tens of thousands) of votes relative to what they got last time around? Are they more popular than they were in 2004?

So those are the options: either the Tories or just possibly the BNP gain in Eastern, or (just possibly) the UKIP holds onto one seat — or the Greens make a gain. In the battle for that final seat, we are the only progressive option capable of stopping the right-wing candidate at next June’s Euro-elections, here in Eastern.

About 10% of the vote in Eastern would likely be enough to displace that second UKIP MEP with a Green, rather than a Tory (or a fascist). We already have 26 Councillors in this Region, and our vote in the local elections in Eastern Region is running at the 10% level – and that is under first past the post.

The slightly larger North West region also deserves scrutiny. In 2004 the BNP polled just over 6% and the Greens just under. The Kilroy-Silk surge propelled UKIP ahead of both, leading to a result where 3 Labour, 3 Tory, 2 Lib Dem and 1 UKIP members got elected. The region is now down to 8 seats like London: which means around 8 to 9% of the vote will be enough to gain the final seat.

A 4th placed party gaining that share of the vote will certainly win a seat, but a 5th placed party finishing just behind them will be left out in the cold. When we talk about stark choices, they don’t come much clearer than this. A very small number of votes will likely make the difference between and fascist or a Green being elected, in NorthWest.

Make no mistake that the North West region is the principal target for the BNP. Nick Griffin, their Chairman, is the lead candidate. His ambition for far right politics in the UK is modelled on the successful personality cults developed by Jean Marie Le Pen and Jorg Haider. His election as a Euro MP will give him the profile (and taxpayer-funded salary) he craves.

We’ve seen Le Pen get to the second round of the French presidential elections and Haider force his way into Austrian government. There is no reason to assume that an organised and electorally-established BNP couldn’t in due course do the same. The flip side for Griffin is that a failure to win a seat this time would almost certainly spell the end of his political career, if the recent internal discord and infighting in the BNP is anything to go by.

The Euro-elections are ‘traditionally’ our best election: in 1989, we scored 15% nationwide; in 1999, we got our first two MEPs elected; in 2009, with Caroline Lucas MEP as our inaugural Party Leader, we are aiming to at least double our numbers of MEPs.

You can play a significant role in preventing the rise of Conservatism, rabid anti-Europeanism, and outright racism, in British and European politics, over the next 7 months. Backing the Greens at the Euros, where we hold seats or can expect to gain, may well be your best way of doing this.

******

This is fleshed out a bit more at my blog. Peter Cranie explains the North West situation a bit more too.

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About the author
This is a guest post. Rupert Read is a Green Party councillor and ran as a MEP candidate in Eastern region in 2009. He blogs at Rupert's Read and Comment is free
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Reader comments


1. Mike Killingworth

There is also the question in the East of England of where Martin Bell’s 2004 votes will go. (I’m assuming John Sergeant won’t stand!)

However, surely it is the case that a Party list system is actually designed to prevent tactical voting of the sort Rupert understandably wants, particularly in 7 or 8 member seats. It’s not like a FPTP election, where the idea of “squeeze” is well understood by all players, or even a STV election, where you can rank all the candidates (and so in effect vote for “anyone but the BNP”).
In a Party List election all you can do is vote for the Party you want.

It is an interesting idea, trying to promote tactical voting in a d’Hondt list election. But it seems to me that you need very accurate polling in the run up to the election to be able to call which party it is most likely able to beat the BNP/Tory/UKIP whatever for the last seat. And then in doing so you don’t want to take so many votes from another “progressive” party that they lose a seat to whoever you are trying to beat instead.

Oh, and while I’m here, does the Green Party support remaining in the EU, or not, this week?

http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/mfss/mfsseu.html – scroll down to EU900-906. I have read this but am none the wiser.

As Joe asks, aren’t you Greens still somewhat undecided on, y’know, the European Union itself? You’ve got a bunch of eurosceptic types just as rabid as those of UKIP among your ranks.

In any case, why support a party that refuses to team up with any of the larger groups to get things done, and instead just snipe from the sidelines of the Green-EEF group? It’s similarly silly as Cameron’s barking plan to pull the Tories out of the EPP. “Vote for us – we refuse to work with anyone in Brussels/Strasbourg and don’t have a coherent or consistent approach to the organisation you’re voting for us to join” is hardly overly compelling whether you’re a Green or a Tory, no matter how much you big up the fascist bogeyman.

So, once again, a British political party misses the point of the EU elections. No wonder we never manage to get anywhere in reforming the damned thing – we’re constantly focussing on parochial issues.

And by the way, where are your actual, erm… policies?

Sorry – that should be Green-EFA Group. My bad.

After reading the above, I am glad to declare that in my own case my tactic will be simple. I renewed my GP membership a day or two ago, so I will vote Green. I too have reservations about the party list system, principally because the constituencies are so vast that any connection between voter and representative is all but lost. I am glad to report my wife joined too. An 100% rise in GP membership this year ain’t bad (well in my household at least).

Thanks for reading and commenting – a brief response on a couple of points raised.

Check out Rupert’s blog for Martin Bell’s comments on him personally as the lead candidate in Eastern region. In terms of tactical voting, spend a bit of time following Northern Irish politics, and you’ll find that tactical voting can happen under PR systems.

Yes Joe, polling will be important and I think the more that is available specifically about the Euro Elections, the better for all anti-racist voters. I’d argue that this is precisely what anti-racist campaigns should do here in the North West. Voters deserve the best information and the BNP undoubtedly are going to throw everything they have at this region. That information might work against the Greens or the Lib Dems in terms of our own political ambitions in this region, but the more detailed information, the better, imo.

7. Stuart Neyton

Nosemonkey, which group would you suggest the Green Party join? The Green-EFA group sounds like a perfect group for a GREEN party to me.

There’s no way the Greens are against EU membership. Just look how Caroline Lucas and Jean Lambert vote in plenary. They’re always voting in favour of EU legislation on things like banning patio heaters and capping carbon emmissions.

I’m a pro-European green and I hope the Greens win here in the North West. The idea of being represented by a nazi makes me feel sick.

OK looking at the north west last time, the seats fell as follows (using percentages, with divisors where appropriate)

Labour 1 – 27%
Tory 1 – 24%
LibDem 1 – 16%
Labour 2 – 14%
UKIP 1 – 12%
Tory 2 – 12%
Labour 3 – 9%
Tory 3 – 8.11%
LibDem 2 – 7.995%

losers:
Labour 4 – 6.88%
BNP – 6.44%
UKIP 2 – 6.1%
Tory 4 – 6.08%
Green (at last) – 5.6%

OK next time round we are losing one seat, so a repeat would see Tory 3 getting the last seat on 8.11%. This would seem to imply that the best placed votes to keep the BNP out are those supporting Lib Dem or Labour (to win a 2nd or 4th seat respectively) If UKIP collapses and those votes go largely to the Tories, then Tory 4 may also overtake BNP.

Green seems to be the worst choice.

9. Mike Killingworth

Joe, in a list system the best you can do is to vote for a Party you think might be in contention with the BNP for the last available seat, but of course there’s no way to know in advance which Party that is!

What we need is the ability to cast a negative vote so that instead of adding 1 to your favoured Party your vote subtracts one from the Party you hate! I’ll go see what the wonks on Lindley’s site make of that idea…

Joe @ #8: these figures would look great in a bar chart.

“There is pretty much zero chance of Labour or the LibDems gaining a seat: can you really imagine either of those Parties gaining a substantial number (in the LibDems’ case, several tens of thousands) of votes relative to what they got last time around?”

They might if you, as the weakest “progressive party,” bowed out and let them take your votes. So tell us, do your anti-fascist principles extend as far as you standing aside, or does the idea of a popular-front suddenly seem less appealing when you no longer stand to personally benefit?

… and let them take your votes …

The arrogance of these fools is something to behold.

In any case, why support a party that refuses to team up with any of the larger groups to get things done

Well, in the Mayoral elections they behaved with more willingness to work with others than the Libdems even did.

And besides, Ken always had to work with Greens to pass his legislation – so the idea that they don’t work with others is not grounded in reality.

But yes, there are still a significant faction amongst the Greens who would rather cut off their noses to spite their face.

Stuart – Voting for two pieces of EU legislation that fit the broad party line does not a pro-EU organisation make. Even (some) UKIP MEPs have voted in favour of EU legislation when it suits them.

As for which group the Greens should join, I have no idea any more because I can’t for the life of me work out what their policies are beyond “we like the environment”. (And yet they’re in the same group as the Scottish National Party, which recently approved Donald Trump’s destruction of a SSI to build a golf course, and which seems to base most of its plans for Scottish independence on drilling for oil in the North Sea… Hardly overly environmentally-friendly, are they?)

What I was actually thinking, though, is that the Greens are generally pegged as being lefties, so surely it’d make sense to make friends with the PES (Labour’s group), and shift the EP’s main left-wing grouping towards a more pro-environment stance?

But then I went and read Caroline Lucas’ justification for opposing the Lisbon Treaty and I got really confused. In favour of “greater liberalisation and privatisation”? That sounds rather right-wing to me – so perhaps you’d be better off in the EPP with the Tories and make them go green from within?

But then, considering that the Greens campaigned and voted against both the Constitution and Lisbon Treaty – like UKIP – perhaps they’d be better suited in the Independence and Democracy Group? After all, the Green-EFA group has a bunch of nationalist parties at its core – why not go the whole hog and team up with the foaming at the mouth brigade? The IND/DEM group, after all, is for single-issue parties – and the inconsistent stance of the Greens on all issues bar ones that appeal to hippies would tend to suggest that this is precisely what they are.

That’s the problem with trying to run other peoples parties for them, they never listen. Awkward sods, aren’t we?

16. Stuart Neyton

Nosemonkey, the SNP sits in the green group because it’s a coalition of the European Green Party (with which the greens of England and Wales sit) and the European Free Alliance (a bunch of devolutionist parties including the SNP and Plaid Cymru).

The PES can easily work with the greens to get things opposed by the EPP-ED through, the same way that Ken Livingstone worked with them on the London Assembly to get some of his measures through. I support the Green Party’s policies much more than Labour’s so I don’t see why I should compromise

Wikipedia (if you dare to trust it) says the greens are in favour of our membership of the EU but oppose deeper political integration. You must have read Caroline Lucas’s justification wrongly. She opposes the privatisation and economic liberalisation that the Lisbon Treaty forces upon the more interventionist countries and the less economically developed nations that can’t handle free trade. Opposing the Lisbon Treaty is nothing about being anti-EU. I strongly support deeper political integration (although I accept most Greens don’t) and the concept of a European Constitution, I just think it could be better.

Stuart – looking again, you may be right about Lucas’ justification. Must have read it before I had a coffee this morning…

I’m still not convinced about the Greens lack of euroscepticism, however. This study (warning – PDF) by the University of Sussex (which is rather good on EU politics) has the party down as “Hard” eurosceptics, after all. And I can’t find anything anywhere to suggest that the old anti-EU stance of the party has significantly shifted.

(Shifting slightly sideways, I could never understand Green opposition to European integration – the environment is one of the few areas where most people can agree that some kind of supranational body could have a genuine positive impact…)

18. Stuart Neyton

It’s an interesting report but I think it’s full of mistakes. It lables parties as Eurosceptic when they’re clearly not. The Dutch Greens are strongly pro-European for example and the Irish greens have reformed since then and mostly supported the Lisbon Treaty.

Regarding the Green Party here, you can read the report by Caroline Lucas from 2005 “Taking the Cons out of the Constitution – A pro-European case against the European Constitution” (also PDF). This sets out some of the Greens’ objectives for Europe.

You can’t oppose the EU whilst insisting upon scrapping the UK’s opt-out of the Working Time Directive. It makes no sense.

This is why I never did like D’Hondt, it’s nearly as bad as FPTP and probably requires even more guesswork at the lower level than bloody Supplemental Vote. Anyway, Mike:

What we need is the ability to cast a negative vote so that instead of adding 1 to your favoured Party your vote subtracts one from the Party you hate!

No, what we need is STV as used in Ireland (and Australia for the Senate as well), then if one party gets an excess (in this case Lib Dem and Labour) then that excess can transfer elsewhere.

And also if one party doesn’t make the cut (in this case the greens) then their support can transfer to one that does. All openly, transparently and achieved by simply numbering in order of preference. Of course, tactical voting still happens (and parties make stupid mistakes like the SDLP did in the recentish assembly elections), but the guesswork is significantly reduced and it’s a lot more transparent.

I discussed this with another local (Lib Dem) activist the other night, he said he’s always voted Green tactically in the Euros, but is considering not doing so this time depending on polling—but we’re in Yorkshire, so different case.

I hope we can get some decent polls on the European elections specifically in the run up, I doubt we will but still.

20. Mike Killingworth

[19] Well, yes, STV would be better than the Party list – except for the parties, who can control their lists with the present system.

And my suggestion was not put forward entirely seriously…

Heh, yes, they could, if the members let them. Lib Dems select their list (and the order it’s in) using STV, and all the results are published. I think the Greens do the same, can’t speak for the less democratic parties.

The slogan “vote Green to tactically beat the BNP” might benefit the Green Party, but it’s just plain wrong to claim that it will help defeat the BNP – the effect of such a tactical vote is completely unknowable. It could well be that the BNP would look at that tactic and wholeheartedly endorse it, believing that it would assist them…

e.g.
It could quite easily be more likely that the effect would be to take enough votes off Labour or the LDs to enable the BNP to win a seat; than that it would enable the Greens to overtake the BNP and win a seat themselves.

Imagine that in 2004, the BNP was on 7.9%, and the Greens had been successfully pushing this type of tactical voting campaign. 7.9% wouldn’t have been enough for the BNP to win the 9th seat. But if the Greens had managed to win 1% of Labour, and 1% of LD voters with a tactical voting campaign, the result would have been a BNP gain from the Lib Dems.

Because of the uncertainty of outcome, tactical voting shouldn’t play a role in the d’Hondt system. The extent of it should be to avoid voting for parties which have no hope of being elected.

The Greens would be best off emphasising their credentials, instead of playing smoke and mirrors with d’Hondt arithmetic (which is only understood by geeks in any case).

Peter – have you not seen this week’s Private Eye with its allegations of crossover between Green and BNP voters?

Heh…

In reply to MatGB: Yes, you are right: ALL Green Party internal elections, including candidate selection, are conducted by STV.

In to Nosemonkey: please take in the following official statement put out by the Party on this silly media fluff about Greens who were in the BNP:

“The Green Party is aware of the past membership of Mr Bessant and Rev Stanton. Both left the Green Party a number of years ago, and both have also left the BNP.

“Mr Bessant left the Green Party for the BNP during a period of serious personal problems, the specifics of which it would not be appropriate to discuss. Our understanding is that he left the BNP after around two weeks.

“Rev Stanton was a local councillor for the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats before joining the Greens, and has also been a member of UKIP. He told a local newspaper that he was “very stupid” not to realise that the BNP are a racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic organisation. He too left the BNP shortly after joining.

“A third man, Barrie Davey of the Isle of Wight, is noted as having run in a local election as an “Independent Green Party” candidate. We have not to our knowledge ever had any contact with Mr Davey, and he has never been a member or candidate of the Green Party.

“Like other mainstream parties, the Green Party takes membership applications in good faith, and we are not aware of anything that Mr Bessant or Rev Stanton had done or said prior to becoming a party member that should have made them ineligible. However, had they promoted the BNP’s bigoted views while members, they would have been disciplined and probably expelled. Both appear to have quickly recognised their grave error in joining the BNP, but would nevertheless be subject to a rigourous investigation should they ever attempt to rejoin the Green Party.

“The Green Party stands against racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and bigotry of all kinds, welcomes the contribution to our country of people from every part of the world, and takes seriously our moral obligation to give shelter to persecuted people and refugees.. We consider the BNP and their extremist views an affront to British values of tolerance, equality and solidarity.”

Finally, those of you who haven’t yet seen it MUST watch this magnificent little video:
http://uk.youtube.com:80/watch?v=BUNUuqlG1a0&eurl=http://lolgriffin.blogspot.com/
SPREAD SPREAD SPREAD!

Nosemonkey @ 23, oooh that’s a pretty vicious piece about the Greens there.

While every party has its bonkers fringe, three things are hammering the Greens this time.
1. There are so few of them, that lunatics who want to be parliamentary candidates, or whatever, can be.
2. There is even within the mainstream of the party an attitude towards evidence that is a little warped. Evidence about the effects of something on the environment will be accepted or rejected according to whether you supported or opposed that thing already. Similarly alt meds get too much support. And conspiracy theories (because they oppose the “establishment”).
3 The Illuminati Protocols/Protocols of the Elders of Zion conspiracy theory has particular traction because the party has an influential vanguard of social crediters.

So while I think Rupert’s statement representing the mainstream of the Greens is probably accurate enough, even the mainstream ploughs fertile ground for this sort of thing.

I think it is good this is all being discussed. Like all parties, we’ve unfortunately had some ex members turn up on the BNP list, and some people being exposed as having cranky ideas, but the reality is about what we Greens do once elected.

@ Peter 22 and Joe 8, I think you have to have political context in these discussions. Polling data for the three main parties in 2003/04 is available at http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/historical-polls/voting-intention-2001-2005

I think it is fair to say that the Tories are doing better, while Labour and the Lib Dems are doing a bit worse. D’Hondt examples can be run to our hearts content, but if the Lib Dems do less well in 2009 than 2004 in the North West, and were both main parties to poll less than 30% (as they did in 2004), a 4th placed party in the BNP’s target region might need less than 8% of the vote, a scenario that Searchlight are clearly aware of.

Might a consensus view across party lines, that we need pre-election polling in detail for regions to inform this debate?

In the Green Party we have a wide range of views on the EU, but our critique is very different to the nationalistic one coming out of UKIP et al. The workrate of our MEP’s also shows up most other British MEP’s from any party.
I’m quite happy being gently Eurosceptic, the Lib Dem’s over enthusiasm for the EU contrasts with many of their voters. (The continuing Liberal Party are far more Euro Sceptic than the Greens)
Increasingly we are weeding out the crackpots, when members have been seen to break our rules action has been taken.
For example:
http://www.bristolgreenparty.org.uk/nr/081126suspension.htm

I’m sure other parties don’t interview people who join them, we have all had our embarrasing members and skeletons in our closets.

Joe: items (1) and (2) of your list are inaccurate. But item (3), I’m afraid, is nothing more nor less than a libellous slur upon our Party. Kindly withdraw it.
I have never seen or heard of any evidence of anybody in our Party who has any sympathy whatsoever with the Elders of Zion forgery. To suggest otherwise is to allege that there is anti-semitism in our — utterly, totally anti-racist — Party.

Rupert – you’ll be wanting to take that up with Ian Hislop at Private Eye, then. That’s where the allegations (seemingly fairly well-researched, if I recall – though I don’t have the issue to hand) were made. Convincingly, I might add.

30. former green

In my experience…

The Green Party has a strong counter-cultural element and, as such, it does attract more than its fair share of conspiracy theorists. And among the conspiracy theorists you will find the odd anti-semite.

They can wreak havoc on the local level but don’t have much influence – and they tend to get weeded out the moment they become an embarrassment. However, it’s exceptionally easy to stand for parliament as a Green Party candidate – hardly any vetting or obligatory training takes place. –

So how unlikely is the following scenario? …

A regional news program wants to interview a Green candidate. It phones the regional press officer for a contact, but they don’t answer the phone. So they find a candidate directly, who rambles from one topic to another until the s/he explains how 9/11 was an inside job, Israel is like the Third Reich, and state schools exist to indoctrinate children.

It’s pretty unlikely, but not so unlikely as to cause a more electoralist or progressive Green to dismiss the scenario out of hand.

As a friendly pointer, I would suggest that Hull is a particular problem area.

Rupert, if you’re completely convinced that your party contains no racists whatsoever, then you really need to take off the blinkers. All the parties will have some racists, I know I’ve encountered minor racists within Lib Dems and Labour, let alone Conservatives and UKIP. I’ve definitely encountered it from Greens.

Joe’s points are sound, the smaller a party, the harder it is to field a full slate of candidates, and given that at least one of your PPCs from last time was listed on that BNP list, do you truly believe your vetting process to be completely flawless?

I accept that the stated national policy of the Greens is anti-racist, but if you truly think that rules out a conspiracy loon or ten joining anyway then you’re too naive for high office, sorry.

Your party needs procedures to ensure they don’t get, or maintain, positions of influence, as, for example, the Lib Dems do. You also need to ensure you can expel especially egregious cases.

If you don’t have them, then you can’t know for certain, and if you do, I guarantee they’re not perfect, as no human system can ever be.

Rupert, if you’re completely convinced that your party contains no racists whatsoever, then you really need to take off the blinkers.

And the Libdems are convinced there are no racists among them?

I thought you guys might want to try something else than a dick-waving contest?

I think if you read what Mat said, he said he knows there ARE racists (minor) in the Lib Dems as with every other party, but at least Lib Dem’s have the procedures to make sure they don’t get or maintain influence on the party

Come on man, and you have a go at “Tory” trolls? You’re better than this.

As Lee said Sunny, the last thing I want in a discussion of this nature (you know I’ve called strongly for tactical vote campaigns in the past) is a dick waving contest.

Anyone that asserts that their party is 100% pure as the driven snow is, as I’m sure you’ll agree, deluded. Which is the position I take. I know there are racists, homophobes, xenophobes, sexists and bigots in my party and amongst the support base. They’re an extreme minority, but they’re there.

But I’ve also met and argued with very bigoted Green activists. Then take into account things like the very similar policy positions the Greens have with the BNP on some issues and you’ll get people that would support the BNP in areas that they’re not active instead supporting the Greens, who have a “green and pleasant land” undertone of some of their policies.

I know that the leadership isn’t racist, and I’ll take Rupert at face value when he says he’s not, but they’re there, and we shouldn’t be surprised at it. Trying to deny it completely is just daft.

If you want me to be contrary I’ll make a case for you that prejudice is a good thing.

I know it’s not PC to say so, but we all have our own little weaknesses and Mat is correct that it is folly not to be open and admit to them.

But there is a massive difference between being discriminating and being discriminatory, as it is the awareness of the damage our own prejudices can do that stops us from slipping over into irrational bigotry.

Those of us who delude themselves into thinking they are without flaw are the ones who will eventually start justifying atrocities.

It is true, I prejudge everyone who claims to be without prejudice. I am aware I prejudice others against me in saying so, but I feel this enables me to challenge others to make their own admissions.

Now, who will follow?

Lib Dem’s have the procedures to make sure they don’t get or maintain influence on the party

Can you please point to procedures within the Green party that encourage BNPers or how they maintain influence within the Greens? Given that Mat has already said the racists are probably only the loony fringe, I’m puzzled as to what the point is. If Greenies are BNP sympathisers then please point to examples, out them, and explain how the Green hierarchy isn’t dealing with them. None of this rubbish flaffing about.

Mat:
But I’ve also met and argued with very bigoted Green activists.

Well, people aren’t generally racist to my face but I know from people within each of the parties, including the Libdems, of racism. Again, you’ve admitted there are racists in every party – just because you’ve argued with a few doesn’t make them more pervasive in the Green party.

Then take into account things like the very similar policy positions the Greens have with the BNP on some issues and you’ll get people that would support the BNP in areas that they’re not active instead supporting the Greens, who have a “green and pleasant land” undertone of some of their policies.

Oh jeez, now you’re sounding like those Samizdata people or Nick. Is it some sort of a crime to want a nice environment or want a green and pleasant land?? I didn’t realise conservation had such fascist undertones. The BNP attract supporters even from Labour, hardly means Labour’s roots are in fascism (unless you count Phil Woolas of course). If the BNP tomorrow start advocating lower taxes, shall we start saying they’re sounding very similar to the Libdems? Actually, the Libdems are the only other major party that opposed the IRaq war. Suspiciously similar to the Libdems… hmnmmm. Come off it, please.

The problem I have with the BNP is regarding their racism and their warped view of racial superiority and eugenics. I’m not really bothered about comparing their countryside conservation programmes with that of other parties or how their economic plans stack up.


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