Sunday, 10 November 2019

Green Left rejects the Green Party’s remain pact with Liberal Democrats

Only a few days ago

Green Left says ‘no’ to supporting Jo Swinson’s second rate Tories. The Liberal Democrats nationally oppose our Green values.
Green Left believes a step forward for the green movement in the UK has taken place recently, with many people joining both the Green Party and Labour Party, reflecting real concerns about the threat of climate change to our very existence on this planet.
Green Left welcomes the fact that the Green New Deal is gaining support on the left, especially in the Labour Party,  and we believe that Greens should engage with others who share the same policies as us, to build the green movement for change which is the only way to save the planet. 
Green Left believes the mass movement of Extinction Rebellion and the Youth Strikes shows up the pro capitalist parties for what they are – gambling with the planet. The Lib Dems are part of the problem not the solution.
The Liberal Democrats are a party whose leader, Jo Swinson, received funding from a major fracking company and voted for fracking. She and her party also voted for the bedroom tax, benefit cuts and the introduction of Universal Credit, the scrapping of the education maintenance, increased tuition fees, opposed increasing the tax rate on those earning £150,000, supported cuts to the police and emergency services, supported zero hours contracts, supported the badger cull and did little to challenge climate change, preferring instead nuclear power.
The Lib Dems are also uncritical supporters of the EU, unlike the Greens who want major democratic reform and accountability. The Lib Dems reject a proper further referendum that allows people a democratic say on any EU deal or no deal.
Green Left believes Caroline Lucas was right to warn how dangerous the Lib Dems position of ignoring the Referendum result, and instead going for Revoke, is  : “I certainly think that the Lib Dem way out is arrogant, self-indulgent, cynical and very dangerous. I think that will put fuel on the fire.” LINK
Green Party policy has been for a second people’s vote, and in this case is closer to that of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party, who also support a second  referendum, than the Liberal Democrats’ Revoke position.
Green Left is very concerned that the implied call to support Liberal Democrat General Election  candidates where the Green Party is not standing and where the Labour candidate was either the sitting MP or is the best placed candidate to defeat the Tory MP is  an incorrect position to take - especially if that person supports anti-austerity, proportional representation, a Green New Deal and a people’s vote.
Therefore, we urge Green Party members and supporters to support the Labour Party candidate in these areas.
The UniteToRemain pact contradicts the Green Party’s initial position that this should be a Climate Emergency election. Instead the pact makes it a Brexit election.
Editor's note: I am a member of Green Left and was involved in writing this statement which I fully support


  1. This is a sensible position. The elections cannot be just about Brexit. They are about anti-austerity, the NHS,front line services, housing, the Environment etc. It is disappointing that Jo Swinson received funding from a major fracking company. Her voting record is of concern considering she voted for fracking, the bedroom tax, benefit cuts and the introduction of Universal Credit, the scrapping of the education maintenance, increased tuition fees, opposed increasing the tax rate on those earning £150,000, and supported cuts to the police and emergency services. Let's vote wisely. Awula Serwah

  2. I think that any political party ought to be allowed one political "gaffe" in an election provided they quickly correct the mistake and admit they were badly wrong. Boris Johnson has put his foot in his mouth so many times since he called this election that his position is beyond retrieving.
    But if the Green Party were to reverse their disastrous decision to form a pact with the Lib Dems they could reverse the flight of many Green Party members, re-emphasise the clear, blue water between the Green economic polices and the "Tory light" policies of the Lib Dems, and pick up some credit for "honesty".
    I won't be leaving the Green Party but I'm very saddened by this decision, particularly because of the damage it does to the one clear message about the Climate Crisis that the Greens started their campaign with.

  3. As someone very much on the left of the Green Party, I fully support this tactical move. The top priority is to improve our chances of getting strong 2nd places and possibly one more MP.
    I have no problem with this move given FPTP. We are not endorsing LD policies in any shape or form. Assuming FPTP continues, if Greens gain strong second places in a small number of seats, this will be important in future elections. Tactically I think this is a very astute move, for me this is not primarily about Remain but how we play the brutal FPTP set up which means that even Green Party members will be voting for Labour in some constituencies, as they have done in the past. Think of all those people over the years we have spoken to who say they agree with us but won’t vote for us because we can’t win. We can now build a vote in a small number of constituencies which can undercut this argument. I suspect the large majority of members will understand this electoral pact. And if we have one more MP on Dec 13th, which still remains a really tough ask, will be very happy indeed. Even if it is ‘only’ two or three strong second places the worth of this tactic will have been proven. Let’s not forget that the Green Party remains easily the most radical and left wing party currently represented in Parliament. We have not compromised our vision and policies. We want that representation to grow further.
    One of the reasons the Greens gained so many council seats in May 2018 was due to similar electoral pacts with both Labour and the LibDems. And Labour Party members, the Green Party has over the years and in this election offered plenty in practical terms to the Labour Party by withdrawing in certain seats and will continue to do so I'm sure, whilst being clear we will never receive anything back - apart from a huge amount of goodwill from Labour members/supporters and the political and moral high ground. Fortunately increasing numbers of local Labour Parties are ignoring the leadership (a leadership which I will continue to defend from attacks by the right) and are willing to make electoral pacts at local level. This has led to the Tories losing control of councils where Labour and the Greens have stood down for each other. The attitude of the Labour leadership is best summed up by the example of Islington Council where the Greens have one councillor and Labour all the rest, over 50. In May 2018 which ward did Jeremy Corbyn choose to campaign in? You guessed it the ward that had one Green councillor. The Greens increased our vote and still have one councillor. It is clear that national Labour wishes to smash the Greens electo