A few words about respect


Blogger kittysjones put out a very interesting article yesterday (Tuesday) entitled Greens: the myth of the “new left” debunked in which the position claimed by the Green Party – that of being the ‘true party of the Left’ – is disputed. The article states:

“The Green Party do not have an underpinning ideology that can be described as left-wing at all. Some of the links with far-right and fascist ideology are very worrying.The fact that the Greens have themselves chosen to regard the Labour Party as their enemy means that they don’t see a potential ally, yet they manage very well in coalition councils, working amicably side-by-side and cooperatively with Tory and Liberal Democrats.

“Don’t let them fail the people of Britain by voting Green next year and allowing the Tories to remain in government another five years. People are suffering and dying as a consequence of Tory austerity; we need to ensure that ends. Vote Labour. That is the genuinely socialist thing to do.”

What is even more interesting than the article (which provides evidence to support its claims) is the reaction to it by some supporters of the party it criticises.

Here’s one: “You really must be running scared to write what you know to be utter rubbish. Thank you for invoking Godwin’s law because it just makes Liebour look all the more desperate and ridiculous.” The author of this comment was unwilling to put their own name to it, being described merely as ‘A Green Nazi’ – interestingly, because Godwin’s Law is, of course, the application of an inappropriate comparison with the Nazis.

The article does indeed compare Green ideology with that of the Nazis, but it does so on the basis of clearly-referenced evidence; therefore it would be wrong to suggest that the comparison is inappropriate. On the other hand, the commenter’s inability or unwillingness to provide any evidential argument against the assertions, relying on disparagement (“utter rubbish”) and insults (“Liebour”) suggest that in fact they are “running scared”, “desperate” and “ridiculous”.

The author’s response was one to which Yr Obdt Srvt has had to resort many times: “If it’s ‘utter rubbish’ then why don’t you explain how, in what way you disagree, rather than being a fascist and proving my point, by simply stooping to insulting the author?” This reply generally provokes one of only two possible responses: Silence, or invective.

Another comment (this one by ‘Nuggy’ – again, not likely to be their real name) attempted to twist the article into a gross generalisation: “Equating all greens with Malthus is like equating all socialists with Pol Pot or Kim Il Sung.”

It was easily put down by a reference to accuracy: “I equated the cited green policies with the ideas of Malthus.” [italics mine]

There was an (unintentially?) hilarious suggestion that the article was libellous; it isn’t, as anyone with knowledge of the laws of defamation will confirm.

And then there were the insults, first mentioned in a reply to Tim Barnden (at last, someone with a real name!) who asked: “Why are you moderating out most replies Ms Jones? Are you in fact not up for a debate?”

This was a continuing theme on the comment column, and the replies indicate the kind of pressure that was being brought to bear by people claiming to represent the Green Party: “I’m up for debate, just not up for allowing personal abuse and bullying on my site… I have had hundreds of comments from largely abusive green supporters… I am getting some pretty terrible personal abuse from Green supporters. But not much criticism of the content and details in the article, unfortunately.”

The Green Party isn’t the only political organisation whose supporters behave in this way.

Vox Political has received exactly the same responses (in different contexts, obviously) from supporters of the Conservative Party (although admittedly this has tailed off considerably since VP was launched in 2011), Scottish nationalism (including the SNP), and most particularly UKIP.

Many, many examples are available if anyone wants to question the truth of this claim.

It’s simply not good enough.

Perhaps those of you who consider this behaviour to be acceptable (it isn’t) may be persuaded against it if sites like VP and kittysjones parcelled up all your abuse and sent it to the head offices of these political parties as examples of how their supporters represent them?

You see, there are rules to this kind of debate and it seems too many people are breaking them. That’s just damned disrespectful and there’s no reason anyone should put up with it.

So, if you are one of those who types out streams of profanity and hits the ‘send’ button before engaging your brain, it’s time to change your ways.

This site values informed debate. We appreciate it; sometimes it can even be persuasive (in VP‘s case this has occurred several times).

But from now on, anything else will receive an appropriate response.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
commenting on UK politics and the people it atttracts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:



  1. kittysjones December 24, 2014 at 3:29 am - Reply

    Thank you Mike, I’m glad we can make sure others know, and if they experience this, they now know they are not alone.

  2. kittysjones December 24, 2014 at 3:33 am - Reply

    Thought I would share this one as well;

    Henry Worthington 2h
    Thought you should know that the following has been posted about you on facebook today (not my page i should add) But a facebook user and activist with a host of contacts across Britain, all of whom will now have read this :
    “And the ‘spook of the year award’ goes to Sue Jones (below). She hosts a blog under the name of ‘kittysjones’ which she uses to disemminate fabrications against organisations on the left. She appears to being ‘run’ by Scotland Yard’s Confidential Intelligence Unit. Remember her role is to collect information about you and to spread lies and plant false stories about the British left, as can be seen in her latest blog entry. Now she’s been ‘outed’ her capacity to do harm will soon thankfully be over – hope she spent her ’30 pieces’ wisely


    • Mike Sivier December 24, 2014 at 10:14 am - Reply

      Again, no evidence to support the claims. If this did go out to “a host of contacts”, hopefully they’ll have more sense than to believe it unconditionally.

      • kittysjones December 24, 2014 at 10:23 am - Reply

        I think it’s probably far closer to ‘defamation’ than my blog was :-) Ya gotta laugh!

        • Mike Sivier December 24, 2014 at 10:42 am - Reply

          You’re right. It make a false claim that disparages your work, to any number of third-parties. Defamation.

  3. Tony Dean December 24, 2014 at 9:30 am - Reply

    The hard fact is Britain can only, in the long term sustainably support a human population of around 22 million (The carrying capacity, which the Green Party never used to mention, so at least that they now acknowledge it so that is an improvement.)
    The sustainable carrying capacity of Britain has nothing whatsoever to do with Malthus, the information to make the calculation for Britain was not available until the 2nd World War, when a land survey was carried out for War Agricultural Committees so farmers could be ordered what to grow to get the most food production dependant on the category of the land.
    No political party can afford not to take notice of the long term sustainable carrying capacity problem.

    • Mike Sivier December 24, 2014 at 10:17 am - Reply

      The answer, according to this article, is to improve prosperity. Then the size of families will decrease naturally, without anything having to be forced on anyone. That’s what I got from what was being said, anyway.
      I don’t think anyone was arguing with your hard fact – just with Green Party ideas about how to deal with it.

  4. HomerJS December 24, 2014 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Sorry Mike, but this article was the worst thing I have read in ages, worthy of the Daily Mail. It is so offensive that it is no wonder that so many people were angered by it. I am sure that someone could, if so inclined, write something similar about the Labour Party, which undoubtedly would have you seething. I do not feel so inclined because I do see Labour and Greens as potential allies. I also do not want to fall into the trap of the ‘typical infighting of parties of the left’ scenario, that will have the Tories rolling on the floor laughing. I think that kittysjones is guilty of making the same mistakes that she accuses others of making. She produces an article that is abusive, then complains of others being abusive in response. She produces an article that is divisive and yet accuses the Greens of siding with the enemy. This is not the way to persuade people to vote Labour rather than Green. Many people may be thinking of voting Green in the hope that it changes the Labour Party policies. Many people may be thinking of voting Green but wanting to be able to vote Labour as they believe that Labour has a greater chance of victory. Trying to frighten people into choosing Labour is a tactic worthy of the Tories. This is like scoring an own goal, as it reinforces the idea that there is no difference between Labour and the Tories. I also believe it is a mistake because both your good self and kittysjones were doing a good job of framing Labour policies in a good light. This was important as people were not able to see things in this way when looking at the top of the Labour Party directly. Now it looks as though an order has come down from the top, and you both look like stooges rather than independently minded bloggers.

    This article in question may damage the Greens, but it has also damaged Labour. It will undoubtedly also damage kittysjones, and perhaps even yourself, as bloggers and sources of information

    • Mike Sivier December 24, 2014 at 10:40 am - Reply

      If someone writes an intelligent, well-referenced article criticising the Labour Party – with which I disagreed – I would have to take the time to examine why I disagreed with it, find information that supports my position or refutes theirs, and then write a response that explains why I disagreed with it. If it was persuasive I wouldn’t bother – as you are aware, there are many policy areas in which Labour could improve and no political party is a ‘perfect fit’ for every voter’s beliefs.
      My argument isn’t that people should not have opposing beliefs; it’s that they shouldn’t respond to criticism of the party they support with abuse. That’s just plain rude. It also disrespects the article’s author, who has spent time putting the piece together in the belief that it is a worthwhile contribution. Abuse does not diminish that belief; it just diminishes the person who wrote it.
      Why do you say the kittysjones article is abusive? Where does it resort to baseless insults, name-calling or the like?
      It seems to me that she has only tried to reveal an aspect of Green Party ideology of which people had previously been unaware – and the response by many seems to be an indication that they would rather have stayed ignorant. In my opinion, that’s a certain way to a worse situation, post-election; people vote in ignorance and then wonder why their situation doesn’t improve. Labour at least has the virtue of having its own position and policies examined and re-examined by one political opponent after another, and by one media source after another, so there seems very little possibility of any questionable points remaining hidden. An odd virtue, perhaps.
      Why do you say she was trying to “frighten” people into voting Labour? The impression I got was that she was trying to get people to use their own reasoning abilities to work out that Labour was the better choice. As a Labour supporter, that’s her own choice. Frightening people would have to involve some kind of baseless accusation, I think, rather than one that she has clearly researched and which she clearly believes is built on solid facts.
      Your claim that the article reinforces the idea that there is no difference between Labour and the Tories is bizarre. It more accurately suggests there is less difference between the Greens and the Tories than one might expect.
      Whatever good either of us were doing with regard to Labour policies should not be affected by this, and taking such a view would reflect on the person doing so, rather than myself or kittysjones. If you’re saying people will read that article and then tell themselves, “I support the Greens. This is written by a Labour supporter showing Green policies in a bad light, therefore Labour policies must be bad”, then they are making false leaps of logic. Let’s see them try to support that attitude with evidence.
      You say “Now it looks as though an order has come down from the top”. Are you the one who received it because I definitely haven’t! My article is a response to the increasingly unreasonable behaviour of commenters, both to my articles and the one currently being discussed. If these readers had not been so rabidly, irrationally abusive I would not have written the piece.
      Perhaps it is they who received an “order from the top”?
      I don’t think this will damage me. It was written as an honest response to the unreasonably hostile behaviour of others. If people are incensed by it, maybe they could try stepping back for a moment and looking at their own reaction. How would they feel if someone else reacted to them the way they propose to react to this?

      • Blip December 24, 2014 at 11:39 am - Reply

        Given your comments about a “well referenced” article, I was expecting to see some kind of tangible links between the Greens and right wing circles. What I saw was basically “The Nazis had a tendency to embrace green thought, therefore the Greens are like the Nazis”.
        It’s crushingly obvious that an interest in environmentalism can straddle all kinds of politics. In the same way animal rights has a longstanding popularity among some Nazis, but that says nothing about its popularity in other circles, such as among left wing anarchists whose overall politics are the direct opposite. Hitler was a vegetarian. So am I. Does it therefore follow I’m comparable to Hitler?
        All the eco warriors I’ve known would be seriously offended at being compared to the Nazis,
        It’s also very crass in my opinion to assume environmental problems will be solved by prosperity. What about the endless throwaway junk capitalism throws at us? Thinking about use of resources isn’t simply about “austerity”, it’s about thinking about if’s really desirable to encourage the population to consume endless junk they don’t need and base the entire economy on how much is consumed. Which, incidentally, is not some austere call for entrenched poverty; As of course if we used our resources based more on need than keeping up with consumer fetishism there would be plenty more to go around.
        It’s just obvious there are natural limits to the planet’s resources. In the same way it doesn’t matter whether you’re a communist or a Tory or a fascist you can still only cram so many people into a telephone box. The key question is how you deal with it, but ignoring and pretending the earth isn’t moving perilously close to an environmental crisis that will affect each and every one of us won’t make it go away. With this ‘prosperity will save us’ attitude you’re veering dangerously close to Brendan O’Neill’s “let’s tarmac the rainforests for the enrichment of us all” attitude.

        Your blog is generally great and thank you for the effort you put in, But I really wish you’d stop trying to convince yourself the modern Labour Party are somehow not at their core a bunch of Thatcherite neo-liberals,

        Incidentally as an anarchist myself I’m not a Green Party supporter. But though I do also like Kittysjones, that particular article was totally Godwin-esque bullshit.

        If you want to claim the UK Green Party are somehow National Socialists, there needs to be a tangible demonstration of direct links to the contemporary far right.

        • Mike Sivier December 24, 2014 at 12:21 pm - Reply

          Your initial premise isn’t entirely wrong. The article was saying that both Nazi ideas and Green Party ideology had origins in Malthus. On the comment column this is clarified: “I used the Nazi example of environmentalism because it shows very well that care for the environment does not guarantee social equality and rights”. Any impression that a direct correlation is being made between the Greens and the Nazis is in the reader’s own mind and not in the article.
          Your “eco warriors” would be right to feel offended by a comparison to Nazism – and even the claim in the article (that Green ideology and Nazi ideology have the same root) should encourage them to think hard about the policies of the party they support. This was an article that challenges assumptions.
          I don’t think the article was suggesting that all environmental problems would be solved by prosperity. The claim was that there’s no need for eugenics programmes – population control – if political policies are enacted that improve the general standard of living. Your suggestion is an example of “all-or-nothing thinking”; you’re assuming more than was actually said and basing your responses on that false premise. From here it is easy to point out that your paragraphs about austerity and resources also proceed from a false premise.
          I see you lost it a bit at the end – the reference to Godwin’s Law is inappropriate (look up its definition and you’ll see why) and you let yourself down with your use of profanity.
          I didn’t claim the Green Party were Nazis and neither did Ms Jones. Why, then, are you making that suggestion?

      • HomerJS December 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm - Reply

        Unfortunately Mike this isn’t really based on ‘solid facts’. This is an illusion created by repeating some history which may be factual, but then linking it rather dubiously to the Green Party, more on an emotional level rather than factual, and is worthy of Lynton Crosby in that regard. You accuse Green supporters of making ‘false leaps of logic’, yet the original article is full of such leaps.

        I read the article and was offended. I was also disappointed that a Labour supporter should resort to being negative about the Greens rather than positive about their own party. It seems to be an article designed to produce an emotional response, so there should be no surprise at achieving that outcome.

        At this point I would like to say that I am writing about the kittysjones article rather than your response on here, as it felt like there might be some confusion over that. I understand that you have had an emotional response based on the abusive responses that kitty received. My response has been based on the dislike of such negative campaigning, especially when aimed at a party that is an obvious potential ally of Labour. It is this style of campaigning that is so like the Tories, and especially Lynton Crosby. Negative campaigning is aimed to frighten, as you should know by all the ‘Labour crashed the economy’ garbage we have had to put up with over the last 4+ years. There is nothing in the article that could truly be said to be a reason to vote Labour; it is all about ‘not voting Green’.

        You say the article ‘suggests’ that there is less difference between the Greens and Tories than one might expect, but it would be very easy to look at voting in Westminster to see how often Labour has supported the Tories, or abstained on key votes. To be honest though the suggestions made in the article are not very persuasive and the phrase ‘clutching at straws’ immediately come to mind. Does the article even discuss any actual Green policies?

        When I talked about ‘orders from the top’ I was referring to the original article, and not your response. It would be very easy for me to stoke the fire by remarking on how you leapt to your own defence while not defending kittysjones from the same accusation; but let’s not go there.

        Kitty and you Mike may have had an expectation of reasoned arguments against the article, although I would suggest that the article is written to elicit an emotional response rather than to create debate. However as an example I could have posed the question that if you believe that we can always find a way to expand resources, then surely you must be supporters of fracking and genetically modified food?

        Personally though, I jut feel saddened that we have created infighting when we should be pulling together. I just wish that Kitty could say sorry for the article; that is was just her passion for Labour, and her desperation to be rid of the Tories that made her vent her frustrations at the Greens. There are many people undecided between Greens and Labour, and forcing them to choose may not give you the result you want. People don’t like to be manipulated, and they don’t like the negative campaigning that is so much the Tory way of doing things. I think you can be critical of people’s responses to the article, without then using that as another stick with which to beat the Greens. I would much prefer you to calm the waters rather than whip them up.

        • Mike Sivier December 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm - Reply

          If you want to respond to the original article, you’d be better-off doing so on the kittysjones site – as long as you have evidence to support your point of view. You did confuse me, as your first two paragraphs appear to be addressing me. That’s why I wrote the following, which I think is worth keeping for the sake of anyone else:
          I’m not accusing the Green Party of anything! I’m saying a large number of its supporters have joined those of UKIP and Scottish nationalism in proving that they are unable to respond to criticism by any method other than profanity and abuse – and that this is not welcome. You may not like the argument being presented but you need to respect the person presenting it, especially if you have no evidence to put up in opposition.
          Yes, I’ve had an emotional response – to the abuse that both Ms Jones and I have received from certain supporters of various political organisations or movements, who do their causes no good at all with such behaviour.
          Your comments about negative campaigning are interesting but I think you oversimplify where you state that “it is all about ‘not voting Green'”. There is a section that attempts to show that the Green Party has run a negative campaign against Labour, and readers are being asked not to vote Green because of these accusations. It’s more about not voting Green based on what the Greens have said about Labour (and therefore about not leaving Labour in the first place).
          It is indeed easy to look at voting in Westminster to see how often Labour has supported the Tories. Labour hasn’t. That was easy, wasn’t it? Unless you’re talking about votes on items which carried cross-party support anyway, and rightly so. The only key abstention that immediately comes to mind was on the retroactive Jobseeker Act, in which the Labour leadership asked members to abstain because compromises had been negotiated. You’ll know exactly what my response was, as I made it perfectly clear in this blog. The intention was honourable but it was clear that the effort was pointless.
          You’re jumping at shadows if you think I was “leaping to [my] own defence” regarding ‘orders from the top’. I don’t for a moment believe Ms Jones had any such communication from the Labour leadership, considering she isn’t a member of the party.
          I disagree with your assertion that the article was written to get an emotional response rather than create debate. That may be your opinion but it’s certainly not how I read it. I agree that this is what has happened, but it is still inappropriate to transmit abuse at the author.
          The question you pose proceeds from another false premise. Who says I believe we can always find a way to expand resources? You did.
          Ms Jones is not going to apologise for her article; why should she? Nobody has been able to show that she is mistaken.
          You’re right that people don’t want to be manipulated. They must therefore be angry at the Greens for making groundless claims about Labour, such as that quoted by Ms Jones in her article’s comment column. It was a claim made by Caroline Lucas at around 1.30pm on February 27. Ms Jones writes:
          “(I had a lot of respect for Caroline Lucas, until, in the middle of crucial debate about the WCA and the plight of our disabled people, 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 (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.”
          She also quotes examples of Green Party negative campaigning including a claim that Labour didn’t vote in the bedroom tax debate they tabled themselves, a claim that Labour will privatise the NHS, that Labour support austerity cuts and benefit cuts.
          These claims – and the assumptions that they are true – must be fought wherever they are found. But they must be fought with evidence, and not with further groundless counter-claims (I hope nobody expects me to support those that I’ve just quoted, as it should be plain to everyone that there’s no truth to them).
          All I’m saying is if you can’t do that, don’t resort to abuse; all this does is bring you and the party you are trying to support into disrepute.

      • Malachi December 24, 2014 at 1:23 pm - Reply

        [Comment edited for relevance. You want to discuss the kittysjones article? Do it with her]

        And mate, the use of the word “bulls**t” is neither here nor there. If I was being abusive rather than forwarding an argument your point would be valid, but there’s really no need to be snooty simply because some people deploy common colloquial words in their everyday discourse.

        • Mike Sivier December 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm - Reply

          It is on this site, ‘mate’. We have a no-profanity rule here so you keep your language clean.

      • Malachi December 24, 2014 at 9:15 pm - Reply

        Comment “edited for relevance”?? We were discussing the very relevant topic of something you posted and were actively engaged in defending. Bot oh no. Dare to contradict you with coherent arguments and all of a sudden it’s “not relevant” and it’s verboten to appear. Here’s a thought – if you deem something “not relevant”, why post it on your blog in the first place? Just a thought.

        I really have learned a lot about the characters who purport to represent ‘the left’ by interacting with them on the internet. I have found each of them I have encountered to be arrogant, self important and alarmingly unwilling to tolerate disagreement. Unfortunately you have turned out to be no exception.

        I can see you do indeed have a career ahead of you as a Labour politician. Keep it up my boy.

        Merry Christmas.

        • Mike Sivier December 24, 2014 at 10:40 pm - Reply

          You need to stop and think what you’re doing before posting anything in the first place – which is exactly what my article was about.
          None of what you submitted (and I edited away) had anything to do with my article – it was all taking issue with the kittysjones piece. I was therefore entirely correct in editing it away and leaving a note that you should post it to the proper place for it.
          You weren’t contradicting me because your comment was about someone else’s article. Your arguments were not coherent because – guess what? – they were about someone else’s article. Your comment “if you deem something ‘not relevant’, why post it on your blog in the first place?” is astonishingly silly. I didn’t post anything irrelevant on my blog; you were trying to.
          From the beginning of the second paragraph onwards I see your comment descends into abuse – and into patronising abuse by the end of the third paragraph. You have far too high an opinion of yourself, considering the content of your comments. You are exactly the sort of commenter this article was warning against.
          Merry Christmas to you too.

  5. chriswlcainChris December 24, 2014 at 9:58 am - Reply

    To be fair, Labour supporters can be just as bad. It’s tribalism, and the fact that human beings can be dicks.

    That’s something that applies across the political spectrum.

    • Mike Sivier December 24, 2014 at 10:11 am - Reply

      Maybe – but if Labour supporters behaved in the same way here, they’d get the same treatment.

  6. chriswaynepoetry December 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    I read the article by Kitty Jones and found it very informative. But the abuse in the comments section is horrendous. I’ve no issue with disagreement, but it needs to be respectul. Too many times on blogs and social media I see differences of opinion which are vitriolic and come across as aggressive. This needs to stop.

  7. Mike Sivier December 24, 2014 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    For an example of a more constructive commenting style, here’s Beastrabban, reblogging the kittysjones article on his blog (https://beastrabban.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/greens-the-myth-of-the-new-left-debunked/):

    Kittysjones here attacks the idea that the Greens are a left-wing party, showing the strong basis of much of Nazi ideology in environmentalism. She also shows how the Greens, when in power in Brighton and Hove council, worked with the parties of the Right to introduce policies that made conditions worse for the poor and the working class. This is controversial stuff, but it needs to be said. I’ve heard it from others. A friend of mine also has the same views, and genuine Fascists have tried to infiltrate the Green movement. Back in the 1990s the anarchist publisher, AK Press, published a pamphlet by two German comrades detailing the way Neo-Nazi organisations were attempting to enter and take over the environmental movement. The American Anarchist thinker, Murray Bookchin, for example, walked out of a German environmentalist conference when Rolf Bahro, a former East German dissident, announced that ‘ We need a Green Adolf’. When Rudolf Hess died in the same decade, his funeral was disrupted by Neo-Nazi biker gangs, who took the occasion to declare their manifesto, which included concern for the environment. Nazism was based partly on the ‘blut und boden’ views of early German scientists, such as Goethe, who believed that the natural environment also affected the biological character of the humans who lived there. Hence the Nazis launched vast projects to return parts of Germany and conquered nations like Poland to primeval wilderness, in order to recreate the environment that they believed had spawned the primeval Germanic tribes that they idealised. In his Table Talk, Hitler discusses the necessity of finding a replacement for oil and for establishing wind and tidal power. This does not mean, of course, that there is anything intrinsically Fascistic about a desire to preserve the natural environment in and of itself. Many of the early 19th century socialists were keen to preserve the beauty of wilderness and country areas for the working people, who actually lived there, rather than the aristocracy who owned it. The National Trust was originally set up with precisely this in mind, but its aims were subverted as it was taken over by members of the upper classes, until it reflected their concerns of preserving their heritage, such as stately homes and country houses. Indeed, leading members of the National Trust were deeply concerned to keep the hoi polloi out of areas of unspoilt natural beauty. In Germany, the Green movement has a dual nature. In most of Germany it’s actually very left-wing. One of its leaders was the lawyer for the Badder-Meinhof gang, the 1970s Communist terrorists. In Bavaria, however, the movement is more Right-wing. Where I differ from the article is on the subject of Dave Cameron. I don’t honestly think he has any Green credentials at all. Yes, he made a show of announcing his support for environmentalism when campaigning, and declared that his would be the ‘Greenest’ government of all. That soon went after he took office, along with the windmill on his roof. It was all a piece of radical rhetoric and propaganda, like the stuff about ring-fencing money for and not privatising the Health Service. He lied, and the policies were discarded as soon as they had served their purpose. The Tories have always been concerned to trash the environment, and nothing has changed that.

  8. chris lovett December 24, 2014 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    From where I sit – as a life long Socialist – I see Labour as a variation on the Tory party. Park all the other arguments, they’re meaningless. Greens are left of Labour. (And any other party.) So they will get my vote. Simple.

    • Mike Sivier December 24, 2014 at 11:24 pm - Reply

      Too simple, really. The point of the kittysjones article was to get people re-evaluating whether the Greens are really to the left of Labour. Unfortunately most Green supporters weren’t interested and showered her with knee-jerk abuse instead.
      As for Labour being a variation of the Tories – a few years ago you would have had a stronger point. Look at Labour’s policies now – at Labour’s policies, mind, not some right-wing media organ’s interpretation of them – and you might be pleasantly surprised.
      If you have already done so, and this is your considered conclusion (it’s impossible to tell from your comment) then maybe developments over the coming months will change your mind.

      • Ian Duncan December 25, 2014 at 12:26 am - Reply

        “Look at Labour’s policies now”

        I’ve tried! I want to believe Ed Miliband isn’t just more of the same New Labour. I ask and ask and ask. I email once or twice a month and all I get is equivocal waffle that appears to try and answer my questions in a way I might agree with but falls well short when you disentangle the geekspeak. I asked about this ‘tougher than the tories’ on welfare when you said they meant bring the benefits bill down by ringing in a higher national minimum wage but they just came out more of the ”working people taxpayer fairness yadda yadda yadda’.

        I’m not sure exactly what Labour are these days, which may be the point, but they certainly aren’t left wing.

        • Mike Sivier December 25, 2014 at 12:46 am - Reply

          As far as “tougher on welfare” is concerned – you haven’t been reading this very comment column, have you?
          (There’s a quote from Hansard here that provides clarity.)
          Perhaps you’re just not looking in the right places.

  9. Ian Duncan December 25, 2014 at 12:17 am - Reply

    [Comment edited for relevance. As I told Malachi already, if you want to discuss the kittysjones article, she has a comment column all her own.]

    Labour are neoliberals, these days, if you want an example of an extreme right wing policy, look no further. The difference between Neoliberal Labour and neoliberal Tories is that the Tories know neoliberalism is bullshit but pretend it’s the public good, Labour are the recent converts, the born agains and has such have the same fervour as their Christian counterparts.Labours economic ideas might wll chime with Ayn Rand, even. How’s that for guilt by association?

    • Mike Sivier December 25, 2014 at 1:10 am - Reply

      I’m not going to justify the kittysjones article to you; if you want to argue about that, you should go and do it with the author on her blog. I should not have entered into such correspondence with other commenters as it seems to have confused the issue.
      However, I can provide a few pointers for you. Firstly, if you get on a search engine and type in “Green Party Malthus”, you’ll get a list of websites and articles making a link.
      Secondly, you are making a common mistake – the article isn’t suggesting that the Greens are Nazis. It warns that Nazi thinking on the environment came (at least partially) from the same source as Green thinking on the subject. Don’t you think that’s worth knowing?
      Thirdly, why are you and others so determined to bring in claims about the Labour Party? Whether they are right or wrong, they don’t have any relevance to what has been stated about the Greens.
      The rest is for the other blog, I think. You may find a few of your queries have already been answered.
      Your final paragraph does require comment. You say Labour are neoliberals and “if you want an example of an extreme right wing policy, look no further”… and then you don’t offer up such a policy for anyone to look at. Is Ed Balls’s plan to invest in expanding the economy a neoliberal policy? It seems more Keynesian to me. How about the plan to re-nationalise the National Health Service? Neoliberal? Or the plan to create a new state rail company that would bid for franchises against the private concerns? Neoliberal? What about the Living Wage? Or the plan to reappraise the effectiveness of the privatised energy firms and reconsider their future? Banking reform? Free childcare? The end of workfare and zero-hours contracts?

      • chris lovett December 25, 2014 at 9:19 am - Reply

        All far too moderate. But then I’m a Socialist. Not at all sure that you are now? What is this utter sh**e smear campaign against the Green Parties about?

        • Mike Sivier December 25, 2014 at 10:45 am - Reply

          Smear campaign? I don’t know what you mean. If you want to discuss the kittysjones article, you need to do it on the kittysjones site. This article was about the extremities of abuse to which supporters of the Greens have gone in response to an article they didn’t like, when they either couldn’t or couldn’t be bothered to find evidence against it – and the fact that they have followed supporters of other political movements down the same route. It is unacceptable and merely brings the parties they support into disrepute.
          So, far example, your claim that I’m taking part in an “utter sh**e smear campaign”, with no evidence to support it, belittles you.

          • chris lovett December 25, 2014 at 11:23 am

            Which answers nothing I’m afraid. Read again – did I say you were taking part in a campaign of any sort? Or maybe publishing is taking part? Search me. I had hoped you might illuminate rather than evade. However, Green policies seem to me to be to the left of Labour policies. The nonsensical idea that a state owned railway “company” (!) might bid against private ones for franchises is just risible, for instance. An e-bay style auction where we bid to buy our own property back? A bad joke.(Now off to the kittysjones blog.)

          • Mike Sivier December 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm

            Oh, sorry, I misconstrued. You seemed to think I knew about such a campaign and that led my to believe you thought I was taking part in one. There isn’t, as far as I know. There was a single article by another blogger, to which many readers seem to have responded unreasonably.

          • chris lovett December 26, 2014 at 11:46 am

            No, I never thought you were part of any such campaign! I have enjoyed your writing for some time and will continue to do so, I hope. I do not think, however, that all responses to the “other blogger” are unreasonable. It looks to me that fear of the forthcoming Green tidal wave may have got the better of that individual’s otherwise previously good sense.

          • Mike Sivier December 26, 2014 at 12:41 pm

            In fairness, she has responded reasonably to the reasonable posts (at least, as far as I’ve seen). If you disagree, I’m not going to split hairs about it as it’s probably just a matter of degree.

  10. Andy( NCCLols) December 28, 2014 at 1:44 am - Reply

    I’d love to discuss KSJ’s article on her own blog but as she’s selectively moderating comments to exclude those that expose the stupidity of what she’s saying, its very difficult. Even to the point of only publishing part comments with relevant quotes and arguments removed to make it easier to ignore them.

    You need to be careful what you are defending if you want to keep your reputation. The fact is that KSJ has written an article clearly attempting to draw connections between the Greens and the Nazis but has done it in the style that the Daily Mail uses to make a spurious point but still defend itself before the PCC. Its an extremely dishonest and manipulative way of writing and at least part of its motivation appears to be to act as clickbait for understandably angry Green supporters so she can claim their comments are ‘abusive’ and play the victim.

    Seriously, don’t make a fool of yourself supporting such dishonest rubbish.

    • Mike Sivier December 28, 2014 at 10:23 am - Reply

      Is it what you suggest, though? Or is it an honest attempt to show up a side of the Green Party that its members didn’t want exposed? Just because you don’t like the connection she makes, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there – look up “Green Party Malthus” on your favourite search engine and see what you get.
      Your comment about the Daily Mail doesn’t really work because the editor of the Mail was a leading member of the PCC and is on the new press monitoring body’s complaints committee as well – meaning, effectively, the Mail can dodge any accusation thrown at it.
      The kittysjones blog does not have such connections, but is fortunate – as I am – in being able to rely on having a readership who are, in the majority, reasonable people who are able to read her argument without flying into fits of rage or sending her (and/or anyone else) spurious warnings about reputational damage.

  11. concernedkev December 28, 2014 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Well well it is certainly interesting how people can so easily get hot under the collar. This is typical of the division that causes fractures on the left. You have attempted to reason with what seems to be the unreasonable Mike. I make no bones about it I am a member of the Labour Party and like to think I am an old fashioned socialist. I have lived through the years when New Labour arose out of the utter destruction of the 80s under Kinnocks reformation provoked by the Establishment and the Murdoch Empire. The furniture of the “Broad Church” was smashed and burnt on the “witch hunt” fires. The tolerance of different views used to be thrashed out at Regional and National Conferences through proper democratic debate. The Manifesto was determined by the outcome of these debates and through various platforms i.e. the unions, local branches, constituencies and associations like the Co-op an individual could have a say. There was and still are sub groups like Tribune the Fabians, campaign group. Although disagreeing on some fundamentals there was unity of purpose. To see a party, that represented working class values and needs, elected to power.
    We still need that more so now than even the worse years of Thatcher. There is only one party that can truly deliver relief for the millions who are struggling to survive and to protect the public services that they rely on in May’s General Election.

    To try and build a mass party between now and then to replace Labour would be futile the answer is for those who want to have a say in Party Policy then you have to be a member.
    I have to agree with you Mike that the policies have been changing though not in the democratic way I would like, nonetheless the leadership is listening to the members.

    Distractions like the lesser parties have to be left to there own devises. Ordinary voters would not thank us for indulging in squabbling. That is not to say that the roots of a party and the fruits of it’s policies should not be challenged but proportionally to the threat.

    I wouldn’t use a shovel to swat a fly on my head (some who know me would say I should)

    • chris lovett December 30, 2014 at 1:33 am - Reply

      I’m so disappointed by all this I could bugger off and sob in a corner. If that was my style. It isn’t however. On the very day that in Greece (my future home) there are signs that the austerity nonsense will be turned on its head, talk in little UK is of how much austerity by all parties to offer – all except for the Greens. I am SIXTY NINE F***ING YEARS OLD AND I AM F***ING FURIOUS THAT EVERYTHING I SEE IS WORSE THAN WHEN I WAS BORN. I am also a fervent EUROPHILE. I hate UKIP. Vote Green, please.

      • Mike Sivier December 30, 2014 at 3:12 am - Reply

        You’ll be aware from my reposts of Michael Meacher’s blog that there is a strong movement in the Labour Party to end austerity altogether.

Leave A Comment