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You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

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You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by Ivan on Thu Feb 26, 2015 5:07 pm

This article is repeated in full with the kind permission of the author, Kitty S. Jones (Twitter ID: @suejone02063672).

The Tories have trashed the economy, damaged the very structure of our society and destroyed people’s lives. We have seen the return of absolute poverty, malnutrition and illnesses not seen since Victorian times. People have died as a consequence of Tory policies. What does the Green Party do? Lie about the Labour Party. The Green Party is not opposing Tory austerity: it is opposing the only credible alternative instead. It prefers to undermine those who are the challenging the coalition regarding policies that are having devastating consequences on the poorest and most vulnerable citizens. That’s very telling.

Given an opportunity to engage in genuine political conversation and to co-operate in opposing the Tory-led draconian policies, those parties claiming to be “further left” than Labour have instead behaved exactly like the Tories. They chose to undermine Labour. These are parties that prioritise grandstanding and electioneering above the needs of the public. That has entailed lying and smearing campaigns.

Here are two examples of lies that are currently being circulated on Facebook by the Green Party and the Scottish National Party (SNP):

Lie number 1: “Rachel Reeves said she would be tougher on welfare.”

Rachel Reeves has NEVER said she will be “tougher on welfare”. Those saying that she did are lying. She issued a statement shortly after being misquoted. It was Natalie Bennett who perpetuated that misquote too, originally from ‘The Observer’. (See Bennett’s article: ‘Rachel Reeves is clear: Labour would set the struggling against the poorest’.) What Rachel actually said was she would be “tougher on the causes of high welfare spending" – such as low wages, unemployment, high private sector rents, private company contracts and outsourcing – especially that of Iain Duncan Smith: his vanity projects have cost us millions because of failed private company projects.

The fact that Rachel Reeves was misquoted was clarified to Caroline Lucas too, so the Green Party has no excuse for shamefully lying about the Labour Party’s policy intentions. In the middle of a crucial debate about the work capability assessment and the plight of disabled people because of coalition policies, initiated by the WOW campaign, Lucas lost all of my respect when she chose political point-scoring instead of constructive debate and said this:
Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion, Green); I was disappointed that Rachel Reeves, on taking up her post as shadow secretary of state for work and pensions, used the opportunity of her first interview to say that she would be tougher than the Tories on people on benefits.
Kate Green (shadow minister for work and pensions, Stretford and Urmston, Labour); My hon. friend the Member for Leeds West did not say that. She said that she would be tougher on welfare spending, not on people on benefits.
Sheila Gilmore (Edinburgh East, Labour); Does the hon. lady agree that there are some forms of welfare spending that we should bring down? In my view, one of those is the excessive amount that is paid to private landlords through housing benefit. I am certainly in favour of reducing that form of welfare spending. Is she not?
Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion, Green); I am very much in favour of that if the hon. lady wants to put it under the heading of welfare spending.

Source: Hansard. (See: 27 Feb 2014: Column 457  at 1.29 pm, on the 2nd page.)

Nonetheless the Green Party has continued to misquote Reeves, to my disgust, using negative campaigning and smear tactics akin to the Tories to promote their own party. It’s time that some people distinguished between welfare spending and benefits, to conflate the two purely for political gain is deplorable, dishonest and not in the best interests of the electorate.

Lie number 2: “Labour voted for austerity.”

This is such a blatant lie. The vote, clearly stated on the Hansard record (see13 Jan 2015: Column 738, Charter for Budget Responsibility), was pertaining strictly to the motion: “That the Charter for Budget Responsibility: Autumn Statement 2014 update, which was laid before this House on 15 December 2014, be approved.”  That isn’t about austerity. The charter sets out that the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) will continue to monitor our fiscal rules. As we know, the OBR has written extremely critical economic forecasts and analysis of austerity and the Tory spending cuts, clearly expressing the risks that the chancellor is running and the scale of the damage his strategy will inflict on what remains of our public services.

It’s worth noting that whilst Ed Balls challenged Osborne, there was a curious silence from the SNP and the Green Party. It was Ed Balls that challenged Osborne’s outrageous claims regarding “halving the deficit” - such a blatant lie, upon which even the exceedingly Conservative Spectator spluttered contempt. Or any of the other lies, some of which have already earned the Conservatives official rebukes from the Office for National Statistics. Furthermore, it’s about time that some MPs, including Caroline Lucas amongst others, recognised that there is a fundamental difference between the meaning of the word budget and the word austerity. Conflating the two for the purpose of politicking is unprincipled and dishonest.

It’s also worth noting from the same debate on the Hansard record (13 Jan 2015: Column 746):
Caroline Lucas: Does the chancellor agree with me that with the feeble and inconsistent opposition coming from the Labour front bench, there is a very good reason for seeing the SNP, the Greens and Plaid as the real opposition on this issue because we are clear and consistent about the fact that austerity is not working?
Mr Osborne: That shows why we want the hon. lady’s party in the TV debates.


Yes, I just bet they do, to collaborate with the Tories in attacking and undermining the Labour Party, not the coalition, who are, after all, the ones responsible for introducing austerity measures. I don’t imagine for a moment that Osborne values further challenges to his outrageous claims of efficacy regarding austerity measures. What is very evident when you read through this debate, is that Ed Balls and a couple of other Labour MPs presented the ONLY challenges to Osborne on this matter, just to reiterate this important point.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that Ed Miliband established the International Anti-Austerity Alliance. Back in 2012, he said: “There is a grip of centre-right leadership on Europe which has said there’s only one way forward and that’s austerity, and you’ve got to have a decisive move away from that.”

And why would Miliband be attending anti-austerity protests if he supported austerity?

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It’s interesting to see the Chicago Tribune’s article: ‘Ed Balls, UK’s anti-austerity finance chief in waiting’. Balls dismissed Osborne as a “downgraded chancellor” after Britain lost its triple-A credit rating. One of his main charges has been that the government is unfairly spreading the economic pain it deems necessary to fix the economy. Austerity cuts are the burden of the poorest. Balls says that a decision to cut the top tax rate amounts to an unjustified “tax cut for millionaires”, whilst his party has been scathing of reform of the welfare system, a point echoed many times by Ed Miliband too.

Accusing the government of making lower or no income groups pay for the recovery, whilst shielding the rich, is a claim which strikes a chord with some voters who view Cameron and his government – many of whom were educated at the same top fee-paying school – as out of touch. Caroline Lucas was born in Malvern to Conservative parents and attended Malvern Girls’ College (which became Malvern St James in 2006), a fee-paying private school. Ed Miliband, on the other hand, went to a comprehensive school.

Polls also show that many voters approve of the government’s drive to rein in welfare costs and the government has demanded Labour spell out what it would do to fix the economy. They have, but with understandable caution. Labour’s careful, costed and evidence-based policies include: a bankers’ bonus tax; a mansion tax; repeal of the bedroom tax; a reversal of the pension tax relief that the Tories gifted to millionaires; a reversal of the Tory tax cut for hedge funds; freezing gas and electricity bills for every home in the UK for at least 20 months; the big energy firms will be split up and governed by a new tougher regulator to end overcharging; banning exploitative zero hour contracts; introduction of a living wage (already introduced by some Labour councils); a reversal of the £107,000 tax break that the Tories have given to millionaires; reintroduction of the 50p tax; scrapping George Osborne’s ‘Shares for Rights’ scheme that has opened up a tax loophole of £1 billion; ensuring water companies place the poorest households on a social tariff that makes it easier for them to pay their water bills; breaking up the banks and separating retail banking from investment banking; introduction of measures to prevent corporate tax avoidance, scrapping the profit tax cut (corporation tax) that George Osborne has already announced for 2015 and many more. These are not austerity measures. They are strongly redistributive policies.

It’s difficult enough opposing the manipulative, lying authoritarian Conservative-led government, without having to constantly counter lies and smears from parties claiming to be on the left too. Shame on the Green Party and the SNP.

As I have said elsewhere, there’s a clear gap between professed principles and their application amongst the parties that claim to be “real socialists”.  How can it be principled or moral (or “socialist” for that matter) to collaborate with the Tories in attempting to damage, smear and discredit the only viable option of removing the Tories from office in May? Bearing in mind that many people are suffering profoundly, some have died as a consequence of Conservative-led policies, we can see what the Green Party’s priorities actually are here. They don’t include the best interests of citizens and consideration of their well-being, that’s for sure.

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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by boatlady on Thu Feb 26, 2015 6:23 pm

Thank you Kitty Jones - pity more people haven't read this excellent piece
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by oftenwrong on Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:04 pm

I feel all nostalgic for Steve Walker's contributions now.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by boatlady on Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:24 pm

confused
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by Claudine on Sat Feb 28, 2015 2:13 am

That blog was excellent. Very well written.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by ghost whistler on Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:17 am

If you actually think the Greens are allying with the Tories to smear labour you're very misguided
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by boatlady on Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:30 am

Perhaps you would like to enlighten us?

I'm not fully familiar with the detail of the Green's manifesto and how it differs from Labour's, how they propose to change things if they get into power and how they think their changes will be funded, or how the Green's leadership currently regard the Labour party and on what they base their assertions on Facebook.

If you have knowledge on these points, maybe you would be willing to share it?

At present, all we know is that you think we're 'misguided', not for me a basis for changing my views - merely a basis for seeking further information - so, please expand on your comment
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by Ivan on Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:52 am

ghost whistler wrote:-
If you actually think the Greens are allying with the Tories to smear labour you're very misguided
My enemy’s enemy is my friend.”   afraid

It’s in the interests of the Green Party to damage Labour, and vice versa, since both parties are competing for the same voters (most of whom I suspect are disillusioned former Liberal Democrat supporters). I am slightly surprised by the vehemence of the opening post, but I’m also aware that Labour has a Green Party Strategy Unit chaired by Sadiq Khan, aiming to get the message across that, in all but a few places (such as Brighton Pavilion and Bristol West), a Green vote will be wasted and will just help Cameron to stay on in Downing Street.

Whatever else anyone may say about the opening message on this thread by Kitty Jones, it is extremely well researched, reminiscent of those which Steve Walker used to post here. Personally I’ve always had great respect for Caroline Lucas, especially when she’s taken to the streets to campaign on issues and has even got herself arrested for her principles. On the other hand, the Green Party doesn’t have a great reputation for its running of the council in Brighton, but how far that’s the party’s fault and how much is because of budgetary constraints imposed by Eric Pickles is anyone’s guess.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by ghost whistler on Sat Feb 28, 2015 6:21 pm

boatlady wrote:Perhaps you would like to enlighten us?

I'm not fully familiar with the detail of the Green's manifesto and how it differs from Labour's, how they propose to change things if they get into power and how they think their changes will be funded, or how the Green's leadership currently regard the Labour party and on what they base their assertions on Facebook.

If you have knowledge on these points, maybe you would be willing to share it?

At present, all we know is that you think we're 'misguided', not for me a basis for changing my views - merely a basis for seeking further information - so, please expand on your comment

Enlighten you about what? I am not a member of the green party, nor do i have any say in their policies. Suggesting that they are deliberately smearing Labour and allying with the Tories in doing so is swivel eyed nonsense backed up by what? A blog article that doesn't provide a source for what it claims Rachel Reeves actually said? If that is what she actually said then providing a source shouldn't be difficult. The Guardian article Natalie Bennet is replying to say sthis:

"She added: "It is not an either/or question. We would be tougher [than the Conservatives]. If they don't take it [the offer of a job] they will forfeit their benefit. But there will also be the opportunities there under a Labour government." (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/12/labour-benefits-tories-labour-rachel-reeves-welfare)

It also goes on to suggest that Labour intend to force people to accept jobs: that they will, somehow, guarantee everyone has a job. Where is the detail for this? How is this any better than workfare slavery? Forcing people to work with no choice in what they do? How progressive!

If you are trying to ask me what is in the Green party manifesto, then you will have to wait till its published. How would i otherwise know what is in it? I'm not a party member. If you are genuinely interested why not ask them.

In the meantime please provide details of how Labour's policies are superior:

Will they reinstate the appeals system for people thrown off ESA after failing the broken WCA (which they introduced).
Will they restore the presumption of innocence for people sanctioned wherein their money is immediately stopped before even an appeal can be heard (which can take months to resolve). This is how the system used to work, until Labour changed it several years ago (it was also Labour that brought failed merchant banker David Freud into government, a man with no experience of welfare who now advocates that the disabled should be paid less than the NMW).
Will they cap rents, thereby reducing the need for a welfare cap (something they don't oppose)?
Will they scrap the WCA?
Will they repair the toxic sanction heavy attitude at the Jobcentre that has lead to people with learning difficulties, mental health problems, even people who miss signing appointments because they are at job interviews, being sanctioned?
Will they increase the utterly risible pittance that comprises JSA?
Will they remove the license to print from newspapers that continue demonising the poor, the unemployed and the sick?

Rachel Reeves can say what she likes, what is the substance of Labour's policies on Welfare?
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by boatlady on Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:22 pm

headbang

Tell you what - let's not do this again
If you have anything positive to say, we'd all like to hear it - constantly demanding answers to your endless questions does not constitute discussion - and I for one will not engage with this.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by ghost whistler on Sat Feb 28, 2015 7:33 pm

boatlady wrote:headbang

Tell you what - let's not do this again
If you have anything positive to say, we'd all like to hear it - constantly demanding answers to your endless questions does not constitute discussion - and I for one will not engage with this.

Let's not do what, exactly: avoid direct questions about Labour's policies?

What are you afraid of? It's ok to criticise the Green party on the basis of an unsubstantiated claim (which may or may not be true), but when pressed to clarify Labour's position - that's a no no? Is that how you think politics should work?

These are straightforward questions, it has been claimed Rachel Reeves said "we will be tougher thant he tories on the causes of welfare spending", so what are labour's policies then? What does that statement even mean? It's a rather tortuous statement at best and doesn't sound credible at all. Why not just say "we will crack down on poverty"?

"we will be tougher than the tories on the causes of welfare spending" is a bizarre statement to make and, if that is what she said, it is hardly surprising it has been misconstrued.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by boatlady on Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:49 pm

Ask the Labour party - discussion closed
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by bobby on Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:46 pm

Ghost Whistler, I bet you're not Married. If you are, your other half has my full respect.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by ghost whistler on Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:16 am

bobby wrote:Ghost Whistler, I bet you're not Married. If you are, your other half has my full respect.
what's that supposed to mean? A whiff of misogyny now as well?

Since you are all keen to defend Rachel Reeves why can't you explain just what she actually means? You have accused the greens of colluding with the Tories, of deliberately misrepresenting what she apparently said, but when it comes to unpicking what's Reeves said you become defensive to the point of abuse. I thought this was a serious discussion forum.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:59 am

ghost whistler wrote: I thought this was a serious discussion forum.

Well perhaps you did think that, ghost whistler, but to the casual observer it might appear that you're just an unhappy person looking for somewhere to whinge.  Endlessly and pointlessly.

(From John Davis's book The Post-Captain, or, The wooden walls well manned comprehending a view of naval society and manners, 1804):

"He may tell that to the marines, but the sailors will not believe him."
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by ghost whistler on Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:51 pm

Asking about Labour policy on welfare is defined as whinging?
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by Ivan on Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:18 pm

ghost whistler. This isn’t the place to ask questions about Labour policies, it's a thread on which to discuss the comments about the Green Party which were expressed in the opening post, not by a member of this forum but by a blogger who allowed me to repost her work here. You seem to want to turn every thread into a hatefest about Rachel Reeves and Labour policies on welfare. I would have thought it was clear from the Hansard references in the opening post that Rachel Reeves has been misquoted.

Going over the same old ground yet again, the current work capability assessment, the 15-point test introduced by Iain Duncan Smith, makes it far more difficult for genuine claimants to get benefits than the previous assessment used by Labour. Duncan Smith has also had all existing claimants retested and unfairly removed benefits from thousands of them. Yes the last government did believe in assessing claimants’ suitability for work, but surely you don’t think that anyone should be able to ask for benefits without some sort of examination?

Yes, Blair and Purnell (both of whom are history) did appoint David Freud to carry out an independent review of the welfare system. But it was after he joined the Tory Party in 2009 and was nominated for a peerage by Cameron, who then made him a minister in this government, that he fully revealed just what an odious specimen he is, very much at home with Duncan Smith and McVey.

Ed Miliband is more left-wing than previous Labour leaders Brown, Blair, Smith and possibly Kinnock. We’ve had a cast iron guarantee that the bedroom tax will go in his first legislative programme if Labour is elected; that would be a great relief to tens of thousands of mainly disabled people. It’s clear from the incessant Tory and media propaganda that he’s rattled the cages of the rich and powerful. Yes, Labour has said it will stick to Tory spending plans in its first year, and I don’t think austerity is the right way to go any more than you do. However, getting back to the subject of this thread, the Green Party believes, for the sake of the environment, in a zero-growth economy; isn’t that tantamount to delivering permanent austerity? But I suppose that’s one for Natalie Bennett to answer; we’re just here to discuss the issues, not to answer questions.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by ghost whistler on Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:38 pm

I'm doing so such thing!

My god, this is Orwellian! YOU posted about Rachel Reeves' comments being misconstrued and link to some random blogger who doesn't provide any source for what she claims Reeves supposedly said. I have already asked for this source and still you don't bother. Now you decide this isn't the right place to ask about Rachel Reeves' own policies? Are you kidding me?

The "current" WCA was NOT introduced by the Tories at all. They are working with the system Labour created which was shit back then as well. Labour could have simply listened to people's own doctors and consultants and specialists. This is NOT a Tory creation at all.

Purnell may well be history, but he was just as vicious as IDS. Another private insurance peddling little tyrant who wanted to persecute the sick and the poor.

You can't possibly think that Freud was a nice guy when he worked for Labour, but when he jumped ship he suddenly became evil? Again he was always a grubby little cutpurse. Why do you think he was brought in by Labour? TO CUT WELFARE!

This agenda is shared by both parties because both parties are neoliberal capitalists. Labour has abandoned all pretence of socialism. It's just as wedded to private insurance, privatisation, private healthcare as the Tories. The only difference is the Tories are more zealous about it.

You've had a cast iron guarantee of no such thing. All he's done is pledge and we all know what politicians pledges are worth. He may stick to it, and if he doesn't he'll be committing electoral suicide. But it doesn't matter to politicians once in power.

Again, Labour voted for the 30bn worth of cuts Oborne proposed for the next parliament. Why? Because they follow the same agenda.

If you think that the Greens endorse zero growth you are way off base.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by oftenwrong on Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:14 pm

Oh, well! Another topic closed in the name of free speech.
'twas ever thus.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by ghost whistler on Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:10 pm

The thread isn't closed, nor do i have th power to close it. Clearly you don't understand free speech. Along with all the other things, including labour policy, that you don't understand.

We don't need ignorance like that on the left.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by Ivan on Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:53 pm

ghost whistler wrote:-
If you think that the Greens endorse zero growth you are way off base.
Green manifesto: zero growth, free condoms, no monarchy

Economy: The only way to a greener future is for zero - better still, negative – growth. It leads to less personal consumption.

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Drugs, brothels, al-Qaeda and the Beyonce tax: the Green Party plan for Britain

Caroline Lucas and colleagues regard economic growth as incompatible with protecting the planet and a fulfilling personal life. While their rivals recognise more trade, more innovation, more competition and more globalisation as an engine for prosperity for everyone on the planet, the Greens argue it is nothing more than a race to the bottom that has made the poor poorer, the rich richer, and pillaged the environment.

The party’s manifesto argues for zero, or even negative growth and falling levels of personal consumption. Britain would be in permanent recession; families would become materially poorer each year. After centuries of growing global connectivity, the Greens want to see greater national self-reliance.


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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by ghost whistler on Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:26 am

A left wing discussion forum holding a thread claiming the greens are colluding with the Tories quotes the Torygraph?
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by Ivan on Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:50 am

ghost whistler. Just because we may repost blogs to provoke discussion doesn’t mean that we always agree with every word of them. Notwithstanding that odd exchange between Lucas and Osborne in Parliament, I doubt if there is any collusion between the Green Party and the Tories, but they do have one thing in common – the Tories want to defeat Labour and the Green Party wants to take votes from it.

Let’s move on to your ‘genetic’ logical fallacy. Instead of producing some evidence to suggest that the Green Party doesn’t believe in zero growth, I suppose it’s far easier just to attack one of the two sources provided. It’s not one of my favourite papers, but is there any reason to think ‘The Daily Telegraph’ is lying on this occasion?

What does the BBC website say about the Green Party policy on growth?

"Allow the current dependence on economic growth to cease, and allow zero or negative growth to be feasible without individual hardship."

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No doubt that will also be dismissed as a suspect source, but the BBC (and maybe even ‘The Daily Telegraph’) got it straight from the Green Party website:-

"The Citizens' Income will allow the current dependence on economic growth to cease, and allow zero or negative growth to be feasible without individual hardship should this be necessary on the grounds of sustainability."

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Wriggle and squirm, move the goalposts as much as you like, but it won’t change the fact that the Green Party does believe in a zero growth economy.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by ghost whistler on Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:22 am

Wriggling? The Green Party hasn't yet released it's manifesto. All you have done is link to an article from a biased source that misrepresents what their previous policy was. The comment about negative growth is in relation to the idea of a citizen's income, something that should be supported to protect the most vulnerable and ensure everyone doesn't starve (something Labour won't offer). They do not directly advocate negative growth they say that with the existence of a citizen's income growth will not be an issue. Not the same thing at all.

"EC201 To this end, the Citizens' Income (see EC730) will allow the current dependence on economic growth to cease, and allow zero or negative growth to be feasible without individual hardship should this be necessary on the grounds of sustainability. (see PB104-106)"

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You have done just what you have accused Natalie Bennet of doing - something for which you have yet to provide evidence for. I have asked for a source for the claim of what Reeves actually said, I have yet to see it. Why then should I believe that blog?

An article that alleges the Greens want people to sign up to Al Qaeda is very obviously propagandaist bullshit and the Torygraph is rightly nicknamed as such. You have fallen for their bullshit completely.

Any sensible policy on drug prohibition must begin with ending prohibition which is a 40 year experiment in total failure collosal financial waste and death.

"AR410 A reduction in the consumption of animal products would have benefits for the environment, human health and animal welfare. The Green Party will support a progressive transition from diets dominated by meat and other animal products to healthier diets based on plant foods, through the use of research, education and economic measures, coupled with support for more sustainable methods of production such as organic and stockfree farming."

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Oh noes the Greens are banning me from eating processed meat! Hardly.

You can provide as many links as you like, the Green party manifesto won't be on any of them since it's yet to be published.

Perhaps you could also explain why Labour are now saying, according to the Guardian, that they will not reverse legal aid cuts.

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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by oftenwrong on Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:38 pm

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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by ghost whistler on Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:47 pm

That's how you regard a serious discussion is it? How you respond to serious policy questions?

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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by Ivan on Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:44 pm

What is the point of the Green Party?

The party’s jumble sale muddle of policies makes them a radical alternative to exactly nothing.

From an article by Sarah Ditum:-

What even is the point of the Green Party? It’s extraordinary that I should be asking this right now, because everything in the world suggests the kind of emergency that Green politics exist to confront. Nuclear weapons are proliferating. Climate change is happening. The 2008 crash exposed the fragility of capitalism. This should be the Greens’ time. Instead, their leader Natalie Bennett can’t even answer a question about housing policy without collapsing into paroxysms of coughing and frantic silence.

The main problem for the Greens is that they don’t actually make sense. While they appear to stand for lots of generally good things – against carbon emissions, for recycling, keen on the NHS and trains, not racist, not sexist – there’s no underlying philosophy of the Green Party to explain why any or all of these things should hang together
.”

Read on here:-
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:16 pm

The Green Party encountered in the UK present as well-intentioned, caring citizens. Rather like the Girl Guides organisation does.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by stuart torr on Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:42 pm

Ghost Whistler, the Green party puts the same manifesto out each year only minor word changing, if you had not noticed that by now please go to your nearest opticians or have serious reading and understanding lessons to save us the bother of having to listen and read your comments until they are done correctly many thanks.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by ghost whistler on Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:45 pm

I'm still waiting on the evidence that Rachel Reeves had been misquoted.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by stuart torr on Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:11 pm

keep looking and waiting sourpuss tory. Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
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Returning home after half a life away

Post by Chas Peeps on Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:13 pm

A Green Party campaign mug says:
'Standing up for migrants.
I'm voting Green on 7th May.'

Why the mug?

It is a symbol that we all have a duty to stand up for what we believe to be right, even when it is unpopular to do so.

I’ve rejoined the Green Party after leaving it for Labour in 1991. I realise now that I have rejoined my political soul mates, know I’ve made the right decision and will definitely be voting with my heart rather than tactically on May 7th 2015.

Perhaps none of us should judge ourselves too harshly with the benefit of hindsight. In 1991, the Green Party had surfed the wave of euphoria generated by its heady success in the European Elections 1989 due to the greater fairness of the proportional representation electoral system under which they were held.

My wake up call came while campaigning on the tough council estates of Wythenshawe for the Trafford Borough Council election in 1990. We received a very hostile response from a lot of people we spoke to, being the time of the anti poll tax protests. We were viewed as being middle class hippies who put the environment before people and completely out of touch with working class struggles.

I formed the view that if the Green Party could not speak to and engage with working people, it had no chance of effecting real change for the benefit of people and the planet. I said a reluctant farewell to my Green Party colleagues and joined Labour led by Neil Kinnock in the run up to the 1992 General Election. By then, Kinnock had already been trying to ostracise or eject people on the left of the party in an attempt to make it ‘more electable’, with some ‘success’.

Like many other Labour activists, I was devastated by the General Election defeat. My Labour Party activism involved being CLP Political Education Officer, CLP Secretary, Conference Delegate and finally Local Councillor.  It spanned the tragically short leadership of John Smith who, although on the right of Labour, had a very inclusive style and wanted to maintain the Party as a broad church while increasing its electoral appeal. The Party was considering electoral reform over this period via the Plant Commission and the spirit at the 1992 conference was high with a fantastic Tribune Rally proving that the democratic left was still alive and kicking.

Sadly John Smith’s sudden death was as shocking as it was catastrophic for the democratic left within the Party. His successor, Tony Blair, embarked upon a relentless project to eject socialism from the DNA of the Party and to replace it with a social democratic party of the centre (or I would contend centre right - refer to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] ).

By 1999, my term as a Councillor was at an end. I retired from my seat and limped on for about another year before leaving the Party in disgust at the militarism and timid ambition of the Labour administration that had been elected with a landslide. To this day, I am relieved that I had already left by the time of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. These wars caused untold misery and suffering to the peoples of those countries, our service men and women and their families. They cost the country dear in economic terms when we were trying to address years of under investment by successive Tory administrations.

I spent the next fourteen years or so out of politics, suffering disillusionment and almost entirely disengaging from the democratic process. This was terribly hard for me after around twenty years of political activism and commitment.

Then it came to me. I have always been in politics to campaign for positive change, including fighting social injustice. My interest has never been to be elected or to climb the greasy pole. It is entirely possible to wield political influence or ‘pull’ without necessarily being elected and I formed the view that this is why the Green Party exists. It is the thorn in the side, the conscience that nags at the centre and left parties, many of whose supporters and members agree with Green policies but only reject them on the grounds of electability, putting power before principle. This works until an issue like immigration becomes a political football or hot potato. This is where we are now.

The divide between Labour and Green could not be more stark. Labour, desperate to fend off UKIP produced its ‘Control Immigration’ campaign mug. No one denies we need immigration controls, including the Greens. The issue is simply whether people in this country legitimately deserve respect and the full protection of the law or whether they become scapegoats for our ongoing economic problems. In race relations, words and messages are all important as they influence the social mood. Labour’s mug put electoral considerations above those of social cohesion and justice, was cynical and unforgiveable. The Labour mug may only be a small additional fan to the flames on the issue of immigration but it is a completely misguided and dangerous one. No-one expects reason from the far right, Tories or UKIP on this but the Labour Party has a responsibility to be a role model, to lead by example.  Leadership sometimes requires politicians to carry people with them – what the late great Tony Benn called ‘signposts’.

The mugs are a metaphor for Labour and the Green Party’s wider policies and values. I left a lot of dear friends on the left of the Labour Party but I implore them all – take back your party and throw out the venomous self serving people who believe it to be right or responsible to pander to a racist agenda on immigration. The Labour Party has disgraced itself with this and will do so even more if it comes back with ‘It is only a mug’. No, it is symbolic of ambition above principle and it needs to be fixed.


Last edited by Ivan on Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:06 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by Ivan on Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:04 am

First two technical points. There's no need to fill in that irritating 'reason for editing' box unless a reply to your message has already been posted. There's also no need to start a new thread almost every time you post a message, especially when there is already a thread on a fairly similar theme. Thanks.

In 1991, the Green Party had surfed the wave of euphoria generated by its heady success in the European Elections 1989 due to the greater fairness of the proportional representation electoral system under which they were held.
That isn’t correct. The 1989 European elections were held under the first-past-the-post system. The Green Party won 15% of the votes but no seats. Proportional representation for European elections started in 1994.

I am relieved that I had already left by the time of the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. These wars caused untold misery and suffering to the peoples of those countries, our service men and women and their families.
I agree that the invasion of Iraq was an appalling misjudgement, but I think it was right that the Taliban had to be stopped from giving Osama bin Laden free rein to run a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan from which to plan atrocities such as 9/11. Ed Miliband has acknowledged that Iraq was wrong and he also stopped a UK attack on Syria in 2013. Foreign policy is hardly a reason for withdrawing your support from Labour in the middle of a general election campaign, something which your “late great Tony Benn” would never have done, however much he loathed Blair.

The Survation/Mirror poll today has the Green Party down to 3%, so good luck with that!
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by ghost whistler on Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:49 am

I'd rather that than the labour anti immigration mug.what were they thinking?
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by boatlady on Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:20 am

That may well have been a mistake - I think some on the Labour party would agree with you.

However, maybe it's a bit of a stretch to say that having a morally acceptable stance on one issue makes the Greens any more likely to be able to form a government, and actually deliver on their attractive policy promises.

As it goes, I'm in sympathy with a lot of the Greens' ideas - however, looking at the size of the party (still small despite the 'Green surge') and their record in Brighton (not impressive in terms of actually delivering services people need) - for the present, I think I'll stick with Labour, who do seem to have some costed and reality-tested policies, and who may be able to just about have a majority in parliament
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by Redflag on Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:41 am

It has been said that the Greens will lose there ONLY seat in Brighton Pavillion boatlady,it seeems the Green held council have not done well by the people of Brighton.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by oftenwrong on Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:59 pm

UKIP philosophy is merely anti-Europe, but Green policies seem to me to be fundamentally anti-Capitalist.

What's wrong with that?
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by stuart torr on Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:35 pm

Not a lot overall OW, if they had enough power and it came to it they would be one of the better parties to form a co-alition with would they not?
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by ghost whistler on Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:38 pm

Redflag wrote:It has been said that the Greens will lose there ONLY seat in Brighton Pavillion boatlady,it seeems the Green held council have not done well by the people of Brighton.
the greens are in a minority council.
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

Post by stuart torr on Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:42 pm

So who holds the majority ghost whistler?
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Re: You’d have to be green to believe the Green Party

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