Lumley = Green = Socialist

Today we hear that Joanna Lumley has come out in support of the Green Party. It all sounds lovely but it means that whilst appearing to be an apolitical campaigner for good causes Lumley is in fact probably quite leftish and she will be a happy bedfellow with the extremely left-wing Green Party.

I know it is unfashionable to use terms such as leftwing and rightwing nowadays but the move of Labour towards the contested middle ground has left the old left looking for a new home. Some have found it in Respect and for the forthcoming Euro elections the No2EU campaign. Others are hiding in the Green Party. I say hiding because they do not push leaflets through your door with the word socialist highlighted but it does not take too much research to work out that the Green Party is essentially a socialist party in all but name.

Let’s look in some more detail at who the Greens are. Simply go to the People page of their website and start Googling.

Caroline Lucas MEP

Let’s start with their leader Caroline Lucas. She started her activism in CND in the eighties and was on the wrong side of an argument emphatically won by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

Lucas sets her face against private sector involvement in public services and is against foundation hospitals.

She is a Vice President of the Stop the War coalition whose president is Tony Benn. Just in case you don’t think this is an extreme left-wing front just check out their list of officers here.

Lucas is a patron of the Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign (VSC) where she bigs up Hugo Chvez along with VSC President Ken Livingstone and a long list of trade union leaders.

I think it would fair to call Lucas hard left.

Jean Lambert – Their Other MEP

On 16th April fellow Green Derek Wall used the Socialist Unity blog to say:

I think supporting Jean is a ‘no brainer’ [for] greens and socialists and especially those of us who are ecosocialists should see supporting her campaign as a priority.

I don’t think I need to say any more about Lambert, Wall has done it for me.

Darren Johnson AM

According to the BBC he said:

In 1979 we had mock general elections at our school and I won, which was a great start to my political career. But to my shame it was standing as a Conservative Party candidate.

That doesn’t make him a socialist I guess but I expect it is the kind thing you have to say if most of your colleagues are out and out socialists. To feel shame at being right for once in his life is a pity in my view.

Peter Cranie, Euro candidate for the North West

According to Respect:

Respect have decided not to contest these election[s] but to ask our supporters to vote for the Green Party as the best placed left party to beat the fascist BNP.

Cranie is personally endorsed by George Galloway:

If you want to send an anti-racist, pro-Palestinian MEP to Brussels, then Peter Cranie’s your man.

Respect are not fielding candidates for the Euro elections. In the North West they are backing Cranie and in the West Midlands Respect has backed Green Party candidate Felicity Norman. Elsewhere in the country Respect members and branches are supporting the newly formed No2EU campaign.

Peter Tatchell, PPC Oxford East

In an article titled “Green is the new red” he himself says:

The Green Party’s Manifesto for a Sustainable Society incorporates key socialist principles. Rejecting privatisation, free market economics and globalisation, and it includes commitments to public ownership, worker’s rights, economic democracy, progressive taxation and the redistribution of wealth and power.

and

Left-wing critics complain that the Greens are not a pure socialist party and are not working class-based. But look at the implications of what the Greens say; their goals and policies are often similar to the left’s – without the left-wing jargon. Despite a different way of expressing things, what the Greens advocate is, in essence, socialistic.

So according to Tatchell the Greens are socialists but “without the left-wing jargon”.

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17 Responses to Lumley = Green = Socialist

  1. Eric Leach says:

    Dear me.

    You Tories are indeed afraid of the Green Party!

    Shouldn’t you be telling us all some good things about the Conservative candidates?

  2. Phil says:

    Eric,

    I wouldn’t presume to be representative of Tories in general but I think all the three mainstream parties will be wary of the smaller parties at the Euro elections and expect them to do well.

    You are right that our candidates need to get out there and sell themselves and their policies but, for myself standing on the sidelines for this particular election, I think it is useful to point out what the Greens really are.

    I think that in the past we have established that you, Eric, are a disillusioned (with New Labour) Bennite socialist who would be quite happy voting Green. Do you deny that the Greens make a congenial new home for all of you old lefties?

  3. Peter Hulme Cross says:

    Eric has a point, Phil. The only place which had anything on some of the Conservative Party candidates on the list was Conservativehome and what there was told me little about them. So I also had to do a bit of Googling.

    The trouble is some Conservative MEPs are very Pro-EU and some are much more Eurosceptic but by voting Conservative we vote for them all irrespective.

    If I could vote for Roger Helmer or Daniel Hannan then I would because they are close to my way of thinking. But they represent different parts of the country. In London we have Charles Tannock the first on the list and he is much too Pro-EU for my taste.

    Then there is the Grouping in the European Parliament. The Conservatives are still part of the European People’s Party(EPP) which wants a Federal Europe. David Cameron has been saying for some time that the Conservatives will leave the EPP but it has yet to happen and he has not said which Group in the Parliament the Conservatives will join.

    One is left with the impression that the Conservative position on the EU is ‘weak and wooly’ which is a great pity. As I have said before, if Cameron gets to be our next PM and wants to make huge savings then changing our relationship to the EU would both benefit British business and make those savings. But of course the EU is never mentioned.

    Cameron can talk up ideas about Constitutional reform but when 80% of our laws come from Brussels as it is and the Lisbon Treaty is close to being ratified he really is ignoring the ‘elephant in the room’.

  4. Eric Leach says:

    The fact that the Green Party can’t bring itself to realise that going nuclear (fusion and fission) is less risky than doing anything else to deal with climate change rules me out with them.

    I have never been a member of any political party – whilst others I know have been members of at least two political parties.

    I’m independent and am likely to remain so.

    I see Tory MP Ms Kirkbride finally bowed to the inevitable and stepped down. She didn’t even have the dignity to meet up with her Bromsgrove residents to explain herself.

  5. Phil says:

    Eric,

    I think we are going to agree violently tonight. Nuclear is going to be a large part of our energy supply in the future no doubt. You are right that the Green’s position on nuclear makes them unfit for anything beyond protest – oh yes, and they are closet lefties too.

    I am glad that Kirkbride has gone – it does not take too much wit or much of a moral compass to work out that one couple claiming two second home allowances is just wrong. I reckon that more than 50 MPs need to go on this issue to give the right level of encouragement. Tory constituency parties will turf out the bad Tories. Who is going to do it for the other parties?

  6. Darren Johnson AM says:

    Phil,

    A little bit of a sense of humour failure on your part isn’t there? To read any significance into what I did in a school mock election aged 13 is perhaps overdoing it somewhat. Mind you, people on the hard left have also read major significance into it as well. If he is still alive my old Social Studies teacher will be extremely flattered to know the mock election he organised in 1979 is still being analysed!

    Darren

  7. Euan McArthur says:

    Guilt by association? Impeccable investigative skills and analysis on display here.

  8. George says:

    Phil

    You have omitted to mention the Liberals. What makes you unhappy about them?

  9. Phil says:

    George,

    I don’t usually waste much breath on the LibDems.

  10. Phil says:

    Darren,

    I put in the reference to your excellent 1979 position because I do have a sense of humour! But, I do have to observe that if you were in a centre right party with a green tinge you wouldn’t have to feel shame about this little slice of your past would you?

    And, in any case, wasn’t Margaret Thatcher the first mainstream policitican in the UK to take on board green issues?

  11. James says:

    It seems that socialist means what you want it to mean, nothing else. If you define it as either Stalinist state control or Old Labour corporatism, there’s none of either in the Greens. If you use it to mean a belief in social enterprise, small businesses, civil liberties, sustainability, and the like, sure, I agree with those, so do many others, and that’s why we’re growing.

  12. Chris says:

    This isn’t exactly news. When I read an interview in which she refused fish ‘becaise I don’t eat anythign with a face,’ I wrote her off as gorgeous, talented and rich enough to be able to entertain the usual stupid orthodoxies.

  13. Nicc says:

    I know… let’s not have a left wing/socilaist party at all. Why try to have a balance against the extreme right wing? The Greens are a long way off any kind of parliamentary power so why do we worry. Better they get the protest vote than the BNP

  14. Phil says:

    Nicc,

    I am not complaining about the fact that the Green Party is a left wing/socialist party. I am complaining that it is not clear with voters that it is a left wing/socialist party.

  15. Nicc says:

    Phil,

    Yes, you do have a point on that front. Most think in terms of them being a bit on the fluffy tree hugger side Their other social policies are more than a little unconstructed at the moment and I beleive (hope) that given more influence and a widr variety of activists, they will move away from what at the moment seems well intentioned socialism (like students have until they get a real job) and move more towards the the centre left….. holding onto the ‘well intentioned’ bit though.

    I would hate to thnk that the Greens would, in reality, be as statist and stailnist as our present ‘left wing yet right of centre’ Labour party. (I’ve done a couple of those questionaires which tell you who you should be voting for in the Euros. Both times it came out as Greens first, Lib Dems second but I will probably put my mark next to the Tory candidate come June 4th.

  16. Aaron says:

    The fundamental thing in green politics is that you cannot have real environmental justice without social and economic justice. Green Party policies are meant to address the inequalities in society, which works in parternship with tackling the environmental crisis. We say no to capitalist growth-based economics and push for policies of degrowth and radical redistribution of wealth and resources – this is in order to create a truly sustainable society.

    Our full manifesto and other bits on policy can be found here. http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/mfss/

    As you can tell, we are clearly a party of the left, with what could be described as libertarian socialist policies, and rejecting the authoritarianism of other parties.

    Hope that has cleared some stuff up.

  17. Phil says:

    Aaron,

    You make my point for me. Thank you. I just wish you would use the word socialist clearly in your leaflets so that people knew who they were voting for.

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