Recent Green party Articles

Challenging conventional wisdom about the elections

by Don Paskini     May 10, 2011 at 8:45 am

Following last week’s elections, the conventional wisdom can be summarised roughly as follows. The cause of electoral reform is dead; Labour did well in Northern England but poorly in Southern England; Labour’s defeat in Scotland was unprecedented and historic; the Lib Dems got hammered by Labour; and Labour needs to move to attract ‘centrist’ voters and fight the Tories for the ‘centre ground’. I think the lessons of the elections give cause to challenge all of these. continue reading… »

The Green Party now has a Science policy I can be proud of

by Guest     March 2, 2011 at 11:30 am

contribution by Alasdair Thompson

At Spring conference last year we re-worked much of our health policy, removing references to homoeopathy and other ‘alternative medicines’, reversing the, frankly bizarre, opposition to embryonic stem-cell research and supporting an evidence-based approach to funding for treatments on the NHS.

This year it was the turn of our science and technology policy section to face review and we made some, really quite substantial, progress, stripping out unnecessary detail and bluster and adding in policy which I think will actually attract us votes from the scientific community.
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The first ever Green-governed council? It could happen soon

by Rupert Read     August 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm

On 9th September local elections in Norwich could lead to Greens becoming the largest party on a Principal Authority Council.

If they then form a minority administration, it would be the first time they would have an opportunity to govern in their (in our) own name.

OK, it would would be a minority Green administration in a City Council with relatively few powers and desperately strapped for cash. Challenging times. How would the first Green administration in Britain attempt to rise to the challenge?
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Why we chose to criticise Caroline Lucas over Homeopathy

by Sunny Hundal     August 12, 2010 at 6:37 pm

A couple of weeks ago we published a blog post by Adam Grace titled: Why Caroline Lucas should drop her support for Homeopathy. It generated huge interest and got us some criticism from lefty greenies.

Tamsin Omond was one of them:

This is not an apology for Lucas, nor a demand that she be beyond criticism. It is only a request that we control our harping voice, especially when our voices are the only ones raised in outrage. Moral outrage should be confined, as much as possible, to the Daily Mail rather than seeping into our criticisms of the Left.

It’s not a position I disagree with, actually.
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The Green party needs a big debate about its direction

by Jim Jepps     August 8, 2010 at 10:05 am

It’s been a few years now since the Green Party made its decision to adopt a leadership model. At the time it was a hotly contested issue and, in a high turnout, the referendum resulted in more than 70% voting to reform the old system.

However, since then there has been little discussion of how to implement the new system, I believe in order to help heal some of the wounds and concentrate on politics, funnily enough.

That’s all very sensible but the fact is with poorly contested elections the party has essentially allowed inertia decide for it what we want from our leader.
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Why Caroline Lucas should drop her support for Homeopathy

by Guest     August 1, 2010 at 10:05 am

contribution by Adam Grace

Caroline Lucas, the member for Brighton and Hove and leader of the Green Party, has put her name to a Parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM) which “expresses concern” about the following;

…. motions 301a-301f at this year’s British Medical Association’s (BMA) Annual Representative Meeting, which call for no further commissioning of, nor funding for, homeopathic remedies in the NHS.

Homeopathy is, to many minds, a perfect exercise in charlatanry. Despite the BMA voting last month “overwhelmingly” in favour of kicking the alleged charlatanry out of public health care, Caroline Lucas and her co-signatories are not happy, claiming that proper consultation did not take place.

This wrongly suggests that there is still a public debate to be had on alternative medicine.
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The Greens still have much to worry about

by Guest     May 9, 2010 at 10:46 am

contribution by Climate Sock

Away from Brighton, the Greens’ scores weren’t spectacular; the significance of yesterday may be less the results themselves, and more the opportunity they’ve given the party to build on its current position.

Nationally, the Greens won 286k votes: up about 30k on 2005. But in 2005 they contested 200 seats; this time they were in 334 constituencies, and there was an overall small national swing away from the Greens. Overall, UKIP got 3 times as many votes, and the BNP got twice as many.

Away from Brighton Pavilion, their results in the constituencies they targeted were mixed. In Norwich South they gained 7.5pts, and in Cambridge Tony Juniper gained 4.7pts, but in both they remained in fourth place. In both Lewisham Deptford and Oxford East, they lost ground, falling by 3.3pts and 2.1pts respectively.

So even where the party is making gains it’s still a very long way from being able to win more constituencies. Only in Norwich South are they in touching distance of the winning party – and Labour and the Lib Dems will be fighting tooth and nail over it.

There’s an argument that this election came at a difficult time for an environmentalist party: the focus on the economy squeezed out most coverage of green issues. But other factors may have helped, since the Tories and Labour were so unpopular, and the Lib Dems look to have been less popular than the polls had suggested.

All this suggests that the extra money, airtime and credibility that Caroline Lucas MP will bring is unlikely to be enough alone to help the party make further gains in Westminster. The only answer for the Greens looks to be electoral reform.

But it can’t be any kind of electoral reform – in fact I suspect that the Alternative Vote system (which is the limited reform that both Labour and the Tories may push for) may even be unhelpful for the Greens.

To do well in AV, you need not only to be disliked by relatively few, but you also need a decent number to choose you as their first choice. In Brighton Pavilion this shouldn’t be a problem, but I suspect the party would continue to struggle to find enough people putting them as first choice in other constituencies.

The only system that would allow them to take advantage of their broad but thinly-spread support (about 1% of the electorate under the current system – though it should increase under a changed system) would be a more proportionally representative system.

A system like the ones in Wales and Scotland, which elects both constituency and regional Members, may be the most realistic and helpful answer for the party.

Go Caroline Lucas!

by Sunny Hundal     May 7, 2010 at 8:51 am

Thank you, people of Brighton for making history!

I have sympathy for the Labour candidate but this is a massive result for the Green movement and for left-wing politics in general.

Well done to all the greenies who busted their guts campaigning in that constituency. The Green Party should be very happy with itself tonight after this breakthrough.

Why it’s important for Greens to win Norwich South

by Guest     April 19, 2010 at 11:00 am

contribution by Adrian Ramsay

I read Adam Ramsay’s piece on Norwich South with great (admittedly vested) interest.

It is true that a victory over Charles Clarke here in Norwich would show that there is public opposition Labour’s lurch to the right: their encroachment on our civil liberties, their commercialisation of the NHS with crippling PFI repayment programmes, and their rendering of higher education more exclusive through top-up fees.

Charles Clarke either supported or was instrumental in implementing these policies, and has publicly mentioned his support for increased fees and user-charging on the NHS.

However, it would not only send a message to New Labour. It would also be the opportunity to vote positively for policies we believe in, rather than settling for less with parties that have let us down again and again.

So what will Green MPs achieve at Westminster? Firstly, Green MPs bring fresh ideas. For example, we propose a scheme to insulate every home in the country for free. Paid for by a windfall tax on the oil companies, we could save households around £150 per year on their fuel bills, create new jobs and reduce carbon emissions by insulating every home.

Secondly, we will hold the other parties to account over their failures to act on pressing issues, such as clean energy, job creation, unfair trade, biodiversity loss, bankers’ bonuses, animal welfare, inequality in education… the list goes on.

Thirdly, Green MPs will oppose damaging policies. Here in Norwich, we see the consequences of the failed Private Finance Initiative (PFI) at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

Everyone values our hospital, but it costs the taxpayer £19m more every year under private borrowing than it would have done under public borrowing. This money is going into the deep pockets of private finance companies rather than helping our hospital care for more people.

It’s true that you would be sending a message by voting Green, but not only that.

In our strongest constituencies in the country, such as Norwich South, Brighton Pavilion and Lewisham Deptford, we have a great chance to get people elected who will fight for social justice and fairness every day Parliament is in session

Adrian Ramsay is deputy leader of the Green Party and their candidate for Norwich South.

Could Norwich South be the referendum on New Labour?

by Guest     April 13, 2010 at 8:57 am

contribution by Adam Ramsay

So, I’d better ‘fes up from the start. I am a Green Party activist. I’ve been a party member for nearly a decade. It’s not surprising that I am writing about why one of the top target seats for the party is significant.

The election in Norwich South is unique in England. It is the only place I can think of where a right wing Labour incumbent faces a serious challenge from their left.

The seat has come down to 2 candidates: Green Party deputy leader Adrian Ramsay (no relation); and former Minister now right-wing rebel, Charles Clarke. Greens have the majority of councillors across the seat.
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