|From the Elephant and the Bad Baby
Caroline Lucas in her Conference speech talked about the need for alliances:
The future we want for our children is not going to be created through the politics of the past. When everything has changed so much, and the threats we face as a society and a planet are so deep and complex, we need a new kind of political life.
From Obama’s first election, to the Arab Spring, from Spain to Greece, from Scotland to the Green surge, and now Corbynism – politics is increasingly defined by waves of energy that swell up – seemingly from nowhere – and coalesce around people, parties and decisions.
These waves are not, sadly, the monopoly of those who believe in a better world. The future can also be more brutish and authoritarian, if we let it.
But by being open to doing politics differently, we can ensure the future is about change made by and for people, in places and ways that make sense for them.
Of course, we need an effective state to intervene on many issues such as the regulation of global financial markets. But more than anything, the politics of the future must be about the creation of platforms, spaces and spheres in which people can collectively change the world – from workplace democracy and self-management, to civic engagement and generating our own community renewable energy.
But these efforts will be fatally undermined if the neoliberal deregulating zeal of the Tories remains the dominant force in British politics.
Slashing public services; stamping out trade union rights; and environmental vandalism on an epic scale – ripping up energy efficiency measures, privatising the Green Investment Bank, and taking a wrecking ball to what was once our thriving solar industry.
Conference, we say enough. We are working for something better.
And Conference, being in a position to actually deliver that vision of something better is what, I believe, makes it so imperative that we see a realignment of progressive votes to maximise electoral impact.
Finding and cooperating with others with whom we share a belief in a much more equal, democratic and sustainable world.
Of course we will have differences. But we also know that no one individual, no one party, has a monopoly on wisdom. Cancelling out each other's votes is bad enough, but fighting in essentially the same terrain for the same issues and fundamentally the same belief set is madness, when it simply lets the Tories in.
We share a commitment to a much more equal, democratic and sustainable world. It is beholden on us to find a way to make the desirable feasible. In a world as complex and rich as ours, we need an equally complex and rich political response. To create a different mood, culture and sentiment to our national politics – one where we see that our differences can become a source, not of division, but of strength.
Conference, the truth is, we need a progressive Labour Party – if that's what Jeremy Corbyn transforms it to be – to do well. Because, like you and me, it’s part of the movement for change.
Progressives are spread about the political battlefield – often more intent on fighting each other – and not the real enemy. But things are changing fast. Old tribal loyalties, that are blind to the good in others, are dying away. We can – we must – respond to that change.
Members of Green Left put forward an Emergency Motion that provided a practical framework for progressing some of the ideas. Unfortunately Conference ran out of time before it could be debated:
During the Conference weekend Red Pepper took an initiative to try and set up a network wider than the Labour Party to support the changers underway. Unfortunately it used Corbyn's name rather than something describing the wider movement but it was something I felt able to support while remaining, as an eco-socialist, a member of the Green Party.PreambleThe election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party has struck a blow at the prevailing neo-liberal orthodoxy. Whilst welcoming this we call for a fundamental change in the political system through a Constitutional Convention and instruct GPEX to take a lead in encouraging other progressive parties to achieve this.Motion:Conference:1. Congratulates Jeremy Corbyn on his election as leader of the Labour Party.2. Welcomes the support this represents for many of the progressive policies of the Green Party.3. Looks for a more constructive relationship with the Labour Party in future.4. Calls on GPEX to approach other progressive parties to agree on a Constitutional Convention, which will examine and agree proposals for change at local, regional and national levels of government involving all sectors of society.
This is their statement now signed by many actvists:
The full statement and signatories can be seen here:LINKAs campaigners, grassroots activists, trade unionists and members of social movements, we believe the overwhelming election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader presents a great opportunity. Jeremy has campaigned tirelessly over decades for social justice, and we share his vision for rebuilding democracy, respect and community. This election means we can start building a better country and a better world.
Some of us are members of the Labour Party and others not. Jeremy’s victory was made possible by people inside and outside the Labour Party who share a common hope in the future. There is an alternative. Things can get better.
But there is a steep road ahead, during which the government and its allies will attempt to spread fear and division. Parts of the media will attack him because they do not like his agenda of hope and participation. Many MPs will try to limit and constrain the process of giving power back to the people. This will be resisted.
As Jeremy himself has said, rebuilding this country cannot depend on one person. It demands that all of us take our share of responsibility. We commit ourselves to supporting this attempt to rebuild democracy in Britain.
We call on like-minded people to join us, creating a democratic and diverse network through action across the country - we will support each other’s campaigns at a local level as well as support the development of progressive changes at a parliamentary and legislative level.Jeremy Corbyn provides space to once more allow people to make their voices heard. We must take it.
Signatories include Amrit Wilson, Selma James, Zita Holbourne, Sujata Aurora, Shakira Martin, George Moonbiot, Nick Dearden, Lee Jasper, Jeremy Hardy and Michael Rosen
Clearly we are only at the beginning of what could be a major shake-up of the left but Greens need a strategy to guide them as the future unfolds.
|An exhilerating ride ahead?