Why haven’t the Greens become popular since the financial crash, rather than UKIP?


by Sunny Hundal    
9:10 am - May 8th 2013

      Share on Tumblr

At a cricket match with some lefties a few years ago, I suggested to some prominent Greens that their party needed to sound more anti-establishment like UKIP.

Obviously I didn’t mean the Greens should adopt UKIP’s half-baked policies, but that the latter were doing a much better job at sounding like they wanted to challenge the Westminster consensus.

I was reminded of that when Chris Dillow said UKIP’s rise is a triumph for the pro-establishment ruling class.

This sounds too much like it was inevitable the likes of UKIP and the ‘ruling class’ would triumph after the financial crash of 2008. I think it actually highlights the failure of the Left to get our shit together.

The rise of various Leftist movements across Europe has shown it’s not always the Right that triumphs from political and economic uncertainty. Of course, there are plenty of anarchist groups and anti-establishment movements in the UK. But they’re too busy infighting or competing with each other to be puritanical. The ‘threat’ they pose to the Westminster elite is, at best, vague. Moreover, I’ve barely seen any introspection or open discussion about why any movements have failed to take off (especially among students).

To my mind there are broadly two ways to broad political power: you either mobilise large numbers of people, or you can get them to vote for you. The British Left is failing on both counts.

This brings me back to the Greens. I was told that they did not want to ape UKIP for two reasons: first, they wanted to sound credible and viable rather than mad; second, their strategy was to slowly build up a base and win seats local rather than jumping for attention in the national media.

It’s a plausible strategy but not one of an insurgency trying to pull the consensus in their direction. The financial crash, ongoing austerity cuts or even the slew of dire warnings about climate change should have injected a sense of urgency into the Greens. Instead, the party is pottering along (they won 5 council seats in the local elections) and upsetting no one.

The rise of UKIP demonstrates two points I think:

1) To pose a threat to the system you don’t need detailed policies or an established base, but to latch on to a few issues and rile up enough people about them to give you a boost. Own those issues completely and find ways to inject urgency into the national discourse.

2) Voters are annoyed enough with the narrow consensus of the three parties that, when they see a viable alternative (Lucas in Brighton, Galloway in Tower Hamlets and Bradford, UKIP in Eastleigh etc), they vote for the alternative.

But the Greens have to sound like they pose a threat to the establishment; they have to radiate danger and insurgency (while not sounding angry), not fluffy middle-class sentiments.

PS: I’m not bidding to join the Greens and remain firmly committed to the Labour party. All I’m saying is that the rise of UKIP, as opposed to a more left-wing movement, wasn’t inevitable.

It reflects a failure on the left to be fail to mobilise large numbers of people or have a political party in Westminster that sounds like an insurgency.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Green party ,Our democracy ,Westminster

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


I’m not a supporter of the Green Party, but they are getting a rough deal from the media. The Greens have an MP. UKIP do not. Yet Farage is trotted out everywhere as the representative of a major force, while the Greens are ignored.

2. Doug Rouxel

“(they won 5 council seats in the local elections)”

They gained 5 council seats, or they won an additional 5 council seats – they won 22 seats.

Aside from that

I think that looking at largely county council elections and drawing a conclusion is a mistake – the nature of these elections is very specific and that needs to be taken into consideration. You also need to look at the parties themselves, their politics and how that is expressed in their campaigning style.

The Green Party is (in the main) a bottom up party, it pushes a bottom up political ideal, this political ideal is demonstrated in the way in which they win elections – on the ground, talking to people one at a time, every single vote hard fought for.

This is in contrast to UKIP, who are a top down party, with a top down message, and a top down approach – you will be lucky to see a UKIP canvasser, and very unlikely to get ward/division visits and newsletters from them – they win on the basis of billboard campaigns and their leader appearing on TV every second programme.

County divisions are big, lots of people and hard to get round, in all but the most organised local parties it is unlikely that they will be able to do a full canvas, and even less likely that they will be able to do multiple canvas’s which are often done in the run up to borough/unitary authority elections. The size of county divisions makes the UKIP style of campaigning more effective, and means that only the most dedicated to slogging through in the Green Party actually get success – the numbers of different type of councillors is worth noting – UKIP is mainly county, Greens are mainly borough/UA.

I think it’s interesting you mention Galloway and Lucas – because from my understanding, they both won with on the ground campaigning, people going door to door, talking to people and winning them over – not with the carpet bombing approach of Farage et al at all.

3. white trash

The problem here, Sunny and the Left, is that same old problem the Left has had in England for donkeys’ years; namely that the Left is far too dominated by the middle classes and middle class bien pensant ideologies.

The Green way of gaining votes that you scorn, Sunny, has integrity and is based on principles shared across the party. The Greens aren’t a flash in the pan. We know we have evidence and facts on our side. Eventually people will run out of reasons to ignore those facts. Of course by then the economy, the environment and consequently society will be utterly ruined; but that’s democracy for you. As I’ve repeatedly observed, Giddens’ Paradox is a bitch. There is no alternative. We aren’t prepared to sell out our principles for some big-time media coverage. Are you jealous, Sunny? Do you long for that level of integrity? Does the spectre of millions of dead Iraqis, a hollow neoliberal economy run by plutocrats and the untermenschen of the British underclass Labour created haunt you? I hope so.

5. Luis Enrique

We know we have evidence and facts on our side. Eventually people will run out of reasons to ignore those facts.

yes. Doesn’t Gidden’s paradox say this will only happen once we’re all swimming to work?

Here’s an idea for an essay, Sunny … UKIP have the same frontman as 2009 to 2012, ever-present beer in hand. Same issues at their core (EU, immigration, crime). Achieving a MP in 2005 (Respect) and 2010 (Greens) didn’t light the touchpaper across the country. Coming 2nd in 2009 Euros didn’t do it for UKIP. So, why did good results in a few by-elections (Rotherham and Eastleigh) and bad results in other by-elections (Croydon, Salford) lead to UKIP in double figures and 800-odd second place results last week? It’s something more complex than Natalie not looking anti-establishment and angry enough on Question Time.

7. Luis Enrique

two important differences, as far as popularity goes.

1. UKIP exploit pre-existing prejudices, xenophobia

2. The Greens disapprove of the way most people live their lives. Most people like supermarkets, cars, aeroplanes, turning the heating up.

I did consider joining the Greens, but was put off by their website. A quick read through their official releases revealed an obsession about their being too many men in politics.

I am concerned about the environment, but I know where I’m not wanted!

Anyway I ended up doing fundraising for the WWF instead. They don’t seem to mind what gender you are as long as the sponsor form is full :)

7 – quite. It’s populism vs miserablism.

“1) To pose a threat to the system you don’t need detailed policies or an established base, but to latch on to a few issues and rile up enough people about them to give you a boost. Own those issues completely and find ways to inject urgency into the national discourse.”

The badger cull would have been a good one. Emotive and polarising.

Or the regional campaigns against shale gas. The Greens could have led those.

@4

“We know we have evidence and facts on our side. Eventually people will run out of reasons to ignore those facts. Of course by then the economy, the environment and consequently society will be utterly ruined; but that’s democracy for you.”

So your plan is to sit in a corner and sulk until it’s time to say “I told you so”.

That’s enough to answer the question the article poses all on it’s own!

I’m not a supporter of the Green Party, but they are getting a rough deal from the media.

The media is simply following the same strategy as everyone else – an insurgency attracts interest and viewers.

UKIP represent danger and viewers want to know more about them (and Farage is a shrewd operator) so the BBC put him up regularly. Whereas the Greens are seen as staid and boring so the TV producers don’t want them as much. One feeds the other.

Scott: So, why did good results in a few by-elections (Rotherham and Eastleigh) and bad results in other by-elections (Croydon, Salford) lead to UKIP in double figures and 800-odd second place results last week?

Because its a self-fulfilling prophecy. UKIP have got momentum to the point that they’re seen as an electorally credible alternative in large parts of the country, rather than a freak event in just one part of the country.

But they’ve been able to do that because they’ve successfully exploited a few events in the media to get blanket coverage (the fostering case) – then had the luck of having a series of by-elections where they were able to position themselves as the main protest party (Rotheram, Eastleigh) – and used the respectable showings there to make a bid for national credibility during local elections.

The hunger is there Scott – but I have to say you folks aren’t doing a very good job of taking advantage of it.

Sunny, it helps if most of the media share your party’s populist agenda. Tabloids love Ukip, which papers love the Greens’ politics?

Also, “Europe” is a much bigger issue than the main parties would like it to be.

You may not hear much about the Eurozone on LibCon, but it’s very big news elsewhere.

@13

Which policies?

You need to highlight some that appeal to paper’s readers and they’ll cover them.

16. Thornavis

I’d say the answer to your question is fairly simple, it’s the one that the left is always reluctant to consider, not that the message isn’t being put across effectively but that the message is wrong. Most voters have looked at the Greens and decided they don’t want them. Of course we are getting some green policies anyway thanks to greenish orthodoxy on AGW being firmly entrenched in establishment minds.

UKIP have struck a chord with the electorate and, as usual, progressive opinion is unwilling to accept that, it’s all just mad demagoguery apparently. That the voters are impressed is of no consequence it seems.

17. Planeshift

“1. UKIP exploit pre-existing prejudices, xenophobia

2. The Greens disapprove of the way most people live their lives. Most people like supermarkets, cars, aeroplanes, turning the heating up.”

A third is that UKIP have over a decade’s worth of tabloid hysteria creating the sea in which they swim. The greens have a few small circulation magazines. Reverse that and you’d see the Greens on 25% of the vote.

Very interesting piece, picking up a fair amount of the points I made in a pre-result article that posed the same question!

http://stephenwooduk.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/why-does-ukip-corner-the-anti-establishment-vote-instead-of-the-greens/

Really glad this is becoming a live question beyond the confines of the Green Party – a sense of urgency amongst all progressive parties is desperately needed.

“The Greens disapprove of the way most people live their lives. Most people like supermarkets, cars, aeroplanes, turning the heating up.”

Basically this.

@15,

It’s not so much the papers’ readers as their owners and editors. They absolutely *love* Ukip’s agenda of bashing the European Union, having a go at immigrants, pushing for more welfare cuts, etc. Those owners and editors aren’t so keen on lefty and ecological policies.

21. Anon E Mouse

UKIP represent the working class in this country. The fact you don’t realise that speaks volumes. Labour and the Greens are the party of middle class wonks…

22. Planeshift

” Most people like supermarkets, cars, aeroplanes, turning the heating up”

And at the same time these people also like green spaces, town centres with character and the idea that their children will have a higher standard of living than they did without having to deal with extreme weather events.

It is ultimately about framing. Too often the green policies – rightly or wrongly – come accross as policies that would make life more difficult for people by putting up the price of car journeys, heating their homes and making foreign holidays. The positive policies are lost. Furthermore the ideas of how to move to a green society don’t seem coherant and lack detail. Perhaps this is unfair…..

@15

That’s true, but even so editors have to fight hard now to gain and keep readers.

If the Greens focused campaigning on popular policies which were based on values shared by the public, papers would be a lot more likely to cover them.

24. white trash

Do you realise how hysterical you sound Sunny?

“UKIP represent danger”

Not to most people they don’t Sunny. To most people it’s the Greens that represent danger: the danger of losing the Western privileged lifestyle.

In contrast, UKIP are the boring safe party that stands for maintaining the status quo ante (ie before) mass immigration.

@22

Being incoherent and lacking detail aren’t the problem. Quite the opposite.

Look at UKIP. For them everything from unemployment to bad weather to male pattern baldness is the fault of immigration.

The fact that this doesn’t stand up to any rational analysis is no problem. Say something long enough and loud enough and people who want to will believe you.

The Greens, on the other hand, have lots of complicated policies which take time to explain and understand.

I’m not saying they should follow UKIP into the lobotomy lab, but they have to learn to keep it short and simple.

I think it has something to do with cost too. It used to be a maxim that people voted with their pocket and the Greens infer that whilst their policies may have a nobility to them, it’s gonna cost.

I used to work at the National Treatment Agency and the Green’s idea of establishing monitored drug rooms in Brighton is fantastic (and only 30 years too late)but try selling that and it’d be really tough. Couple it with being painted as pro crime and, well, there’s a rather tedious inevitability. What’s good, what works and what saves lives may not win votes.

21 AnonEMouse

Seeing as Labour outpolled Ukip last week, perhaps they represent more of the working class?

I’m sorry, but this is a simplistic nonsense with no bearing on reality. UKIP and co get a great run in the media for their radical ideas because the media loves playing down to the lowest common denominator. When the Greens express more radical views, we are rubbished and ridiculed in the media.

This is not to say I don’t think Greens should be more radical – I do. But to suggest that doing so would enable them to replicate UKIP’s success is garbage.

I like the greens. We recycle religiously and only use our car for short journeys. I prefer to travel by train anyway.

I am a little suspicious that some people are making a lot of money on the back of climate change as I don’t know enough about the science behind it.

The green agenda seems to have moved a long way from protecting the rain forest and other environmental issues. It is now all about climate change and it has become part of the establishment.

“Greens are seen as staid and boring”

You say the nicest things, Sunny.

“The TV producers don’t want them as much.”

Don’t say it too loud, but relative to 1/6 of UKIP’s MEPs, 1 MP (compared to the SNP, or even Plaid) and 140 cllrs, we get a lot of coverage. Caroline is in the Metro today, for example, on the Queen’s Speech. It’s what we do with it.

I think it’s false to look at recent triggers, as they finished 2nd in 2009, and nearly achieved 1 million votes in 2010, so I don’t think the fostering case was key. I do think the “series of by-elections where they were able to position themselves as the main protest party” greatly helped. Or rather, certain by-elections were seen as key, and others (Croydon, Salford) were not focused by the national media.

The key question is if the Greens have ideas like rail renationalisation and lower fares, a Citizen’s Pension and a national living wage (as opposed to Miliband zones), why aren’t older working class voters breaking for us, rather than UKIP?

I think the answer begins and ends with immigration.

@ 21 Quite. Salt of the earth, that Farage is.

32. white trash

@Tom 20 “It’s not so much the papers’ readers as their owners and editors”

It’s both Tom. Readers and publishers. Basically people suck up that shit, it’s what they want to hear. Confirmation bias; they want to hear that everything going to be fine, we just need to get rid of the house- and job-stealing foreigners who make us feel intimidated because we can’t even speak, read and write English very well, let alone any foreign lingo. Get rid of the EU and foreigners and everything’ll be fine.

What people do NOT want to hear is that life is complicated, there are no easy solutions, what solutions there are may involve having to think things through, maybe change our lives a bit, maybe not have everything our own way, maybe having to compromise “our lifestyle” that Tony Blair insisted is somehow our God-given right to consume.

@9 it’s not populism v miserabilism, it’s democracy v reality.

Trouble is though, that the Greens aren’t facing a lot of the realities either.

@7 Luis Enrique – spot on.

33. white trash

@Scott Redding “I think the answer begins and ends with immigration”.

Maybe a bit too simplistic, but yes, immigration has got to be one of the biggest sticking points.

The Left and the Greens in their ideological dogma refuse to face the fact that Britain is over-crowded way beyond the land’s carrying capacity. They refuse to face the fact that it’s the bosses that are the ones pushing the importation on cheap labour so that they can force down wages and conditions. They refuse to face the fact that most Brits are like most people in the world; a little bit xenophobic and culturally chauvinistic.

The Green Party are a bunch of daft hippies, who want to take away our nuclear defence just as Iran and North Korea are relatively close to getting theirs. This is why people are voting UKIP not Green – because UKIP policies represent what people are actually wanting.

@30

Depends on the campaign.

If it’s all via tabloids and party political broadcasts, the Greens will never stand a chance with the aging bigot vote.

On the other hand, good local, quality of life campaigns could certainly work in some of the seaside towns where UKIP did well.

The reason UKIP have made such an impact – and so suddenly after years of getting nowhere – is because their policies exactly follow the agenda which has been promoted by the Tories in opposition and their allies in the press over the last five years or so.

A lot of that agenda wasn’t practical and was never intended to be implemented, merely to be used to bash Labour over the head repeatedly during election season.

UKIP are simply promising to implement what Cameron misled voters into believing he was promising to do.

It’s a lot easier to steal someone else’s well-established political agenda than to make your own.

37. Charlieman

@OP, Sunny: “Voters are annoyed enough with the narrow consensus of the three parties that, when they see a viable alternative (Lucas in Brighton, Galloway in Tower Hamlets and Bradford, UKIP in Eastleigh etc), they vote for the alternative.”

The two Galloway victories need putting into perspective. Both were achieved by pushing anti Iraq war sentiment which is not a pressing issue any longer in most constituencies. Both were achieved by running tribal campaigns that would be unacceptable to most Labour/LibDem/Green/Conservative activists. Galloway politics is not an attractive model.

I more or less agree with the Green Party’s step-by-step, build a local base approach to creating an organisation. But the party is still stuck somewhere about the position of the Liberal Party at the 1950 general election — competitive in a handful of constituencies (one MP elected) and a tiddly share of the vote. It is a party that got itself into voter consciousness 25 years ago and has gone nowhere since. They have a chance for three seats next time around which is progress, I agree, but too slow to notice.

It could be argued that the Green Party has pushed a few issues up the political agenda — or you could give credit to the wider green movement. The party’s influence cannot be compared with that of the Liberals in the 1960s and 1970s.

Sunny sensibly frames his questions around the financial crash. I’d suggest that no party has directly benefited from the crash because no mainstream party radically challenges the capitalist consensus. The Occupy movement in the UK has fizzled away because it doesn’t have anything coherent to say. The traditional far left has been rejected because nobody has ever been interested in them.

The financial crash created an opportunity for new ideas to be expressed, but the vacuum has largely been filled by discredited ones from the past (eg nationalise my hobby horse). New or untested ideas have trickled in (Land Value Tax has been proposed for years, Citizens’ Basic Income has gained ground) but the last general election was fought on “conventional” manifestoes and so will the next.

So if the banking collapse incidentally leads to the election of Nigel Farage as an MP, those responsible have another charge to answer.

Maybe the country is just majority Right wing or Centre right and we are the minority. I do sometimes wonder though if there are a lot of people who have had the will to vote left beaten out of them by Thatcher and Blair.

39. Thornavis

@38

Well you’re half way there, understanding that there is no progressive majority. Why do you think though that people must have been cowed into rejecting the left ? It’s the usual thing, you and people like you understand the truth but others are too blind, submissive or overawed to appreciate it. The will to vote left has been beaten out of them but they are easily duped by the tabloids into voting UKIP, is it really so difficult for you leftists to understand how patronising and self serving that is ?

40. Shatterface

If you want to know why the Greens aren’t credible you should read some of the posts they write for your site before publishing them – the post about banning adverts for kids being a prime example.

They’re authoritarian, puritanical and anti-intellectual – and at least one of them believes Satanists eat babies.

The difference between Ukip and the Greens is that Ukip want fewer people coming into the country while the Greens want fewer people: they think we’re a disease.

41. Trevor Smith

Perhaps if the Greens took a less anti-science & more evidence based stance people might take them more seriously.

@ punkscience, 4:

“As I’ve repeatedly observed, Giddens’ Paradox is a bitch. There is no alternative. We aren’t prepared to sell out our principles for some big-time media coverage.”

So which is it? “There is no alternative”, or there *is* an alternative but you “aren’t prepared to sell out [your] principles” to pursue it? Sounds like the latter.

“We know we have evidence and facts on our side. Eventually people will run out of reasons to ignore those facts. Of course by then the economy, the environment and consequently society will be utterly ruined”

So, in the name of maintaining “integrity” in the way you present your policies, deal with the press, etc., you’re quite prepared to watch everything go to shit in the expectation that you will eventually reap the electoral rewards?

“Are you jealous…? Do you long for that level of integrity?”

Speaking for myself, no. Call me a sell-out, but seeing “the economy, the environment and consequently society… utterly ruined” seems like a high price to pay for a smug and self-righteous sense of moral purity over things like the wording of press releases and election leaflets.

43. Shinsei1967

“Those owners and editors aren’t so keen on lefty and ecological policies.”

Newspaper owners are interested in selling copies and making money.

If there was money to be made in tabloid scaremongering about global warming and ice caps melting and the like then the Daily Mail would be running with these stories every day.

But there isn’t and so they don’t.

When will the Left realise that they can’t keep blaming the failure of the a greater proportion of the population to be more supportive because they have been brain-washed by the newspapers they (voluntarily) buy.

If people were more progressive they’d buy the Guardian in the same numbers that they buy the Telegraph or the Times.

People aren’t forced to buy the Daily Mail, they could happily just read the news on the BBC website.

UKIP is profiting from people being fed up with politicians interfering with things.

The Greens can’t profit in the same way because their entire reason for being is to interfere with practically everything.

The Greens would profit only if there was a total meltdown within Labour or libs; or if there were an immediate environmental crisis that the government had failed to address

Bob, as I said, that’s democracy for you. Or, rather, that’s “democracy” for you. I.E. UK pseudodemocracy, where 20% of the vote- probably 15% of eligible citizens- is enough to “win” you an “election”. Discussing these results as if they are legitimate gives them the air of legitimacy that wingnuts like Farage crave. I don’t have to tolerate it. I certainly won’t “sit in a corner and sulk until it’s time to say “I told you so”.” I’m quite happy with my level of involvement in politics. As I pointed out on Twitter yesterday, I’m also quite happy that changing the way the Greens campaign- ‘selling out’ and opting for unprincipled, power-grabbing gestures would be the fastest way to sink the Green Party. Why play the grey parties’ game? They’re much bigger and better at it and the Greens will surely lose face and credibility with their core. Look at the Lib Dems to get an idea of what I’m talking about.

@41 Trevor Smith

What a strange comment. The Greens are the most evidence based party there is, being as they are attempting to promote a realistic response to climate change threats which no one else seems to want to do a lot about, even though it is a stance that is almost unanimously supported by climate scientists. Plus their social policies are the kind of things social policy academics have been crying out for, for years.

Trouble is, rather than actually look at what the Greens are about, people, including those in the Labour Party, would rather spread around nonsense.

Yes it is a hard climb, to challenge a neoliberal consensus on an ethos that also challenges consumer society but that has, I think, more to do with how entrenched these values have become. There are however, plenty of policies the Greens have, such as the Green Deal, which should be popular if only others on the progressive left would stop patronising everything they offer.

What the Greens should not do is start compromising an important ethos for the sake of power, because then we have no hope.

Scott: The key question is if the Greens have ideas like rail renationalisation and lower fares, a Citizen’s Pension and a national living wage (as opposed to Miliband zones), why aren’t older working class voters breaking for us, rather than UKIP?

I think the answer begins and ends with immigration.

I think immigration is clearly a factor but the answer doesn’t begin or end there. A lot of people also vote for them because they’re sick of the Westminster establishment. The question is why they’re seen more as the anti-establishment party than the Greens, no?

@Sandman again wrong! The Greens are very keen on local democracy and decisions being made at the lowest level. The way they might “interfere” is with a more progressive tax system, by shutting tax loopholes, and investing in Green jobs. This is the trouble, loads of misinformation gets spread around.

Sunny,

UKIP are the ‘Top Gear’ of British politics and it’s a straight choice between naughty them and naughty me:

UKIP identify the EU as the root cause of problems in people’s lives (anger)

whereas

The Greens identify people’s behavior as being the main problem for the world (guilt).

Also Green policies cost more money at a time when people are more aware of what they cannot immediately afford.

@44 Sandman

Again this is largely wrong. The Greens are very keen on local democracy and decision making at the lowest level. They are very keen on small cooperatives. The things they might “interfere” with is in making tax more progressive, closing tax loopholes, investing in Green jobs, and taking the rail service into public ownership.

All parties have polices that “interfere” because you can’t actually make society better without doing something.

PS Sorry I thought my comment had been lost, The second version is the improved version.

@49 Kojak and that’s wrong as well. Of course saving the environment requires us to change the way we do things, but the Greens actually also see the system and bad politics as being the cause, practices such as consumerism and relying on endless growth which the Labour Party continues to support.

But I would be here all day, if I was to correct all the misconceptions being bantered about here.

As a Green candidate, I spoke to one man on the doorstep who, in the course of one rambling discourse, told me that he was through with political parties, that he supported UKIP, and that he hoped I won. He turned out not to be a registered voter anyway, but I wonder if that level of confusion is commonplace.

The main theme I got was that he was angry with the Tories over the bedroom tax and cuts to DLA; I’m not sure what he expected UKIP to do about them. Those being his main issues, left was the obvious direction for him if he’d registered in time.

If much of the anger in the country is that vague and undirected, then it’s up for any fourth party to capitalise on.

Carrie re Comment 52:

Rather than correct my comment you clarified it.

Thank you.

55. white trash

@40 Shatterface “They’re authoritarian, puritanical and anti-intellectual”

I don’t see the Green Party fitting any of these descriptors in the usual sense. What Greens generally are most of all, in my (extensive) experience of them, is confused.

Greens want everything to be nice. But since everything isn’t nice they ask why and come up with the answer that it’s because of a few very bad men in suits; “capitalists” (sic), banksters, media moguls, the usual bogeys.

This answer fits the fundamental tenet of Leftist and Green ideology that “people are naturally good” – the Rousseauian trope. As such Greens are only authoritarian or puritanical by default. Resembling Queen Victoria, they cannot believe that people would do all the terrible, evil things that people do everyday of their own accord. No. people only do terrible evil things because they have been “brainwashed” by the media and “Bush”, “Thatcher”, “Blair” or whoever the latest figurehead is.

For an example just look at how Greens view (blue collar) crime. According to Green dogma all ordinary crime is caused by poverty and oppression. Therefore criminals need only receive community penalties and/or rehabilitation.

Same with population. Most Greens are happy for the population to carry on growing exponentially (stopping people multiplying would be “fascist” after all) in happy expectation that this will mean that we all have to learn to share more.

They’re not authoritarian, quite the opposite, they are naively liberal.

What appears to you or me as authoritarian attempts to ban this, that and everything, are – in the Green mind – attempts to “free” people from the tyranny of media and multinationals who have “brainwashed” people into wanting bad things like fast food, roads and factories.

56. NeiallsWheel

These are HEADLINE VOTERS getting their shallow and unquestioned view of the world via Murdoch press, the BBC & ITV

Let’s face it, most people don’t vote, and the small percentage of recent UKIP voters who made a difference never truly grasp the big picture and the bullshit they’ve swallowed from the UKIPWASHING agenda of the media.
Would UKIP change the voting system for example? The greens don’t need a thinktank to establish an ”opinion” a stance, or a hierarchical agenda
Where are the voters? Listening to the queen trying to plant a seed on keeping Scotland in the UK. As a nation, We have almost become insular, staying in, watching television, believing the hype
Rule BRITANNIA? Fat chance

57. Uncle Beelzebub

@ 55 White Trash

In my experience – also pretty extensive – that just about sums it up.

The Green mind is such a perverse thing don’t you think? Though not quite a perverse as my own.

Me? I can’t wait for meat free Monday to come round so I can pop down to McDonalds and buy 2 double cheeseburgers, large fries and large chocolate thick-shake!

Fancy a nibble on my burger?

58. NeiallsWheel

Think you need to check.Caroline Lucas’ Twitter feed and a link to her amendment.to.the.Queen’s speech.
I can’t copy and paste it on here damn…

59. Thornavis

@Carrie

“All parties have polices that “interfere” because you can’t actually make society better without doing something.”

And for those of us who don’t share the view of “Better” that party X Y or Z wish to create, are we allowed to opt out ?
Your premise is incorrect, not doing something and declining to interfere in the lives of others is likely to be just as beneficial, much more so I would say, as assuming you know what’s best for everyone else and imposing your preferences.

60. DumbToryNarrative

@34: UKIP represent far-right trash and nothing more
@shatterface: Are you an idiotic ‘kipper or a confused one?

61. DumbToryNarrative

@55: Honest question: Are you a Blairite or Dan Hodges? And it definitely is other people making lives worse and increasing crime – the people in charge of us.

Pukscience:

“Why play the grey parties’ game? They’re much bigger and better at it and the Greens will surely lose face and credibility with their core. Look at the Lib Dems to get an idea of what I’m talking about”

Exactly. The Libdems are now in a ruling coalition, which means they can actually do some, if not all, of the things they want to.

Short of staging a coup, that’s pretty much everything they (or you) could ever hope for.

“UKIP represent far-right trash and nothing more”

Hahahahaha…scrap the barrel kid…

64. Derek Hattons Tailor

“At a cricket match with some lefties a few years ago”

Something about that sentence is deeply wrong

“The Libdems are now in a ruling coalition, which means they can actually do some, if not all, of the things they want to.”

Thanks for that, haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.

““At a cricket match with some lefties a few years ago”

Something about that sentence is deeply wrong”

What’s deeply wrong about it??


Reactions: Twitter, blogs




Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.