Tuesday 20 August 2013

Caroline Lucas appeals to unhappy Labour voters

From yesterday's Guardian

I've been reading with interest the recent correspondence on these pages about the kind of Labour party people would like to vote for. As I read through the list of John Walton's initial policy proposals (Suggestions for a Labour manifesto, 14 August), it struck me that they all sounded very familiar. And that's for the very good reason that, almost without exception, they are long-standing Green party policies. Whether it's repealing the coalition's disastrous NHS legislation, bringing rail back into public ownership (the subject of my current private member's bill), abandoning PFI and ending the privatising of public services, or scrapping Trident and ending fracking, these are all policies the Greens have long espoused.

Although imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, I can't help thinking that the best way to see these policies realised would be for the people who support them to vote for the party that is already signed up to them.

Over a million people voted for the Green party in the last European elections (the last time the UK had a nationwide vote under a proportional system), and a recent YouGov poll for the Electoral Reform Society put us at 12%, ahead of the Lib Dems, and on course to win four more seats at the Euro elections next year, taking our tally to six.

We don't need a new radical and progressive political party: we need a fairer electoral system to allow the one we've got, the Green party, to break through in the general election, and give louder voice to these views. Under proportional representation, there would be no need for "splits on the left", as some of your correspondents feared – progressive parties could work together in the best interests of everyone who wants to see a socially just and environmentally sustainable future.

Caroline Lucas MP
Green, Brighton Pavilion

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