Wednesday 7 December 2016

The issues behind the Green Party's Richmond Park furore as Green Left calls for transparency

Green Left*, the eco-socialist group with the Green Party, has issued the following statement over the controversy over the Richmond Park by-election, which includes allegations over undue pressure on local members to stand aside for the Liberal Democrat candidate in order to defeat Zac Goldsmith and a donation to party funds (eventually refused) to encourage them to do so. LINK
Green Left  welcomes the Green Party Executive's and Green Party  Regional Council’s decisions to consider the serious  issues raised in the so-called ‘Richmond Report’. Transparency and accountability are essential in this process.  We look forward to the Green Party 2017 Conference democratically arriving at a clear policy on the ‘Progressive Alliance’. furore
The 'Progressive Alliance' put forward by Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley in their co-leadership campaign is itself controversial within the party, putting aside the specific issues around the Richmond Report.

I have recently summed up the various positions thus:
Following some of the discussion, mainly on FB, it seems that there are several positions from Green Party members on recent moves on the 'Progressive Alliance' (PA) (a Venn diagram may be useful!)

1. Those who are for a PA & think that the Lucas-Bartley overwhelming leadership mandate and the fact that a PA was their main platform justifies their current position
2. Those who are against a PA BUT think that -ditto-
3. Those who are for PA but think that Lucas - Bartley have usurped the constitutional role of the membership in making policy
4. Those who are against PA AND think that -ditto-
5. Those who think that a PA is necessary to get rid of the Tories perhaps even in this parliament
6. Those who think that a PA is the only way to get PR in 2020 and thus have more Green MPs in 2025 (little mention how many more Ukip or other far right MPs there may be)
7. Those who think that Lib Dems are progressive on social issues, climate change but right-wing on the economy
8. Those who think think that the Lib Dems are beyond the pale because of their previous record in Coalition
9. Those who are for us holding our noses and reaching a deal with ANY party that will support bringing in PR during the 2020-25 parliament.
10. Those who want to add other redlines to any deal with other parties including austerity, climate change
I think ten is enough for now, although there is also the issue of political campaigning with other parties and organisations on common issues outside of any electoral deal.
In the Richmond case the argument about progressing the campaign for the introduction of proportional representation through deals with other parties (though Labour isn't playing ball) was supplemented by the argument that getting the Tories out should be the primary aim and that would be furthered by reducing the narrow Tory majority in Parliament.

That view was countered by the one that suggested the by-election was an ideal opportunity to show-case the Green Party's policy on opposing ALL airport expansions as essential in reducing emissions to help deal with global warming and climate change.

* I am chair of Green Left

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I am probably strongest as a 7, but not sure on many of the others!