If the Green Party ends up splitting the Labour Party vote, that is not the ‘fault’ of Green voters, it is the fault of the Labour Party… Quite simply, and this is something Labourites have to accept sooner or later, if Labour does not offer a clear and firm commitment to the ideals of the left… many in the left simply will not vote for them anymore. If Labour really devoted itself to the ideals of its support-base, its vote would not be splittable.
And this is certainly not a question of ‘voter-disloyalty’ either… a Party must go to its electorate, not arrogantly demand that its electorate must follow the Party.
While I would agree with those who argue that the Greens are not exactly a left-wing party in itself, it is quite simply the most left-leaning of the current ‘Big 5’ … It was interesting to note last week’s survey on the Vote For Policies’ website, which concluded that, if everyone voted for the policies they agreed with rather than for their habitual party-banner, the Greens would actually be the largest party in a probable Hung Parliament.
Thirdly, if the Conservatives get in again, why not tell off the people who vote for the Conservatives? Why not point out to them why this is quite plainly against the interests of the overwhelming majority of people?
There’s much more, and you should visit The Critique Archives to read it.
Some of you may be surprised to learn that I agree with Martin on this (and with Tom Clark). Labour should be campaigning on its own policies, and listening to voters in order to improve the direction of the policies on offer; if people think the Greens are closer to what they want from a Party of the Left, then that should send Labour back to think again – not spark internecine bitchiness.
The only certain result from such behaviour would be the victory of the Conservatives, who would be left with clear space to win over voters while the Parties of the Left fight among themselves. The Tories are the real enemy of the nation, along with their farther-to-the-right-wing friends in UKIP.
My own distaste for the Greens is related to the behaviour of that party’s supporters, and if Martin is annoyed by that of the Labourites he mentions, one hopes he would be just as annoyed by the behaviour of these Greens. This extends to the party’s sole MP, Caroline Lucas, when she involves herself in silly party games in an attempt to score points (like when she re-tweeted a claim that there were only 18 anti-austerity MPs in Parliament after Labour supported the Charter for Budget Responsibility).
My antipathy does not extend to the Green Party’s policies; I have mentioned before that I think Labour would do well to adopt some of them, or that a coalition or merger of the two parties in the future would not be a bad thing.
The Tories and UKIP, on the other hand, are a lost cause.
So let’s put our efforts where they need to go – into fighting the parties that have made the UK the mess it is today.
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