Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Greens are about all issues and how they interconnect

Great article here (and reproduced below) by Jenny Jones, Green Party London Assembly member and longstanding senior figure in the party. She is right to say that Greens address all issues and how they interconnect and interrelate....you would not be able to build a sustainable society, reconciling the economic and social with the environmental, otherwise!!

There are many shades of Green:

It's disappointing to see someone of Leo Hickman's stature reinforcing old stereotypes. His assertion that the Greens are a "one-issue" party is plainly wrong and his reasoning – that "the clue's in the name" – doesn't entirely stack up.

Let's think about this for a moment. Suppose there was a party called... oh, I don't know, let's say Labour. By Leo Hickman's reasoning we would all assume it was a one-issue party that dealt only with employment issues. Its flagship policy would be Jobcentre Plus. It would have no policy on crime, because crime isn't work. It could have no policy on defence, health or public transport, except insofar as wages and contracts were concerned. Is that what we would assume about a party called Labour?

Possibly the Greens are asking for trouble because they have a flower as their logo. But then, so does Labour. And the Lib Dems have a startled chicken, but would anyone say this aptly symbolised the Liberal Democrats? (Ok, I concede that particular point).

It always was strange that people would describe the Greens as "single issue". You only ever had to look at our manifesto to see policies on everything that everyone else had policies on.

It's also a fundamental misrepresentation. The Green party – formerly the Ecology party – formerly People – has an ecological perspective. Ecology is about everything and how it all interconnects. How could anyone ever see everything and how it all interconnects as a single issue?

This is what's distinctive about the Green party: it is the original party of joined-up thinking. The other parties have traditionally seen issues as though they were separate things in separate boxes. So, for example, transport policy was only about moving people and goods from A to B. But ask a Green to invent a transport policy for you, and they wouldn't know how to be so narrow. A Green or ecological perspective will, by its very nature, think of the thing itself and how it interconnects with everything else. Hence transport and climate change; transport and social inclusion; transport and congestion and the resulting costs to businesses; transport and disruption of communities; the impacts of transport's noise and air pollution on health; transport and external costs; and so on. That's how you end up with a Green transport policy, as opposed to endless roadbuilding, airport expansions and the highest rail fares in Europe.

That the party that blazed new trails and pioneered joined-up thinking was caricatured as single issue, against all logic, against all evidence, is one of the big ironies of modern British politics.

Most of the time, most people get most of their information about politics from the mass media. It's a relief to see that the media have recently been giving more attention, for instance, to the Green party's economic policies. Indeed, one highly respected journalist in the Daily Telegraph last week congratulated the Green Party for being ahead of the economic curve with its
Green New Deal. But the reappearance of the "one-issue Greens" myth in the Guardian, of all places, in the last few days shows that the falsehood still lives.

Whoever this falsehood serves, it doesn't serve the British voter. Democracy depends on good information. The media acknowledge their duty to tell the truth. I think there's one major task the UK media could undertake now, while British politics is in such a state of disarray that the British voter is clamouring for sweeping reforms. It's this: tell the British voter about the Green party. Not about its environment policy, but about its million-jobs manifesto. Its commitment to re-regulating the buses and doubling the number of them. Its policy for re-nationalising the railways and slashing rail fares. Its policy of rescuing the NHS from privatisation, restoring free dental care and dramatically improving maternity services.

These are good policies, and they're policies only the Green party is offering. They're popular policies, and the readers and viewers and listeners would like to hear about them. Telling the voters about all of this can only be a good thing for British democracy.


  1. The Green's official line on Pensions is something along the lines of:

    The current pension system is run for the benefit of banks and insurance companies, so they can make profits. We would use local council investment schemes instead of investing in the stockmarket.

    Anyone with one iota of economic knowledge would understand that this was written by people who have never had a proper job. How many of your party activists/policy makers have had succesful careers in business? How many are public "servants"?

    These are the same people who dole out this crap that the economic problems are all down to greedy bankers etc. Never read Keynes I bet, that would smack of actually attempting to understand why we use the current system, instead of opposing it down to an inherent Marxist ideology.

    The last time somebody used this sort of policy, 35million people died, and mass starvation was rife. These are the consequences of taking economic descisions from companies, which have the full scrutiny of the public, to the public sector, a greedy, manipulative and inefficient and unaccountable system. So don't try and tell us you have well thought through policies.

  2. Well people should go and look at Green policy on pensions for themselves rather than take the prejudiced, ranting, wild views of Anon as accuratetruthful.

    How in touch with economics is Anon if he/she thinks that greedy bankers have not caused us economic problems?? No doubt other factors are involved but come on....

  3. Glenn said "No doubt other factors are involved bt come on...".

    This comment is typical of people who haven't a clue and just jumping on the bankers bandwagon. I work in a bank, on a counter, and know where Anon is coming from.

    And don't forget, the banks will pay back much more than the Government lent them due to punitive conditions - something know one seems to like remembering.

    And banks have paid billions in tax and will continue to do so.

  4. Sharon, it's unreasonable to say that banks are blameless. I'm not talking about ordinary workers in banks I'm referring to the rules the banks have worked under and those in charge of banks. Many ordinary bank employees have lost their jobs - they've been badly let down too.

  5. Typical Glenn, where did I say banks were blameless ??

    I thought you would put up arguments but you only rely on your own research and ignore others when it doesn't agree with your views that you continually try and force on others.

    Over the past year you just seem to rant against anyone who doesn't agree with you - the Tesco car park one shines out as an example of this.

    No wonder you try to get elected - you're the same as the blooming rest of them !!

  6. Well Sharon, I said bankers have caused us economic problems and indicated that there are other factors involved too (ie bankers are partially not totally to blame). You then said I was 'jumping on the bankers bandwagon' and you defended the banks... Now, until your last post (above) you have not admitted that bankers had any responsibility for our economic problems - I'm glad to see that you now acknowledge that they are partly to blame.

    People reading this blog or other material I write or people listening to me speak will of course decide for themselves whether I rant about things or at opponents. I dont set out to do that and I dont feel that is what I do in practice - I have strong views and have the right, duty even, to express them but I try to use evidence, examples, illustrations and sensible reasoning rather than ranting in my view.

    If I was like 'the rest of them' I'd have joined and stayed in a bigger political party, say Labour or the Lib Dems, and probably would have been elected long before now. The fact that I'm still a green in the Green Party, despite the fact that we are relatively small in number and poor in finances and have only the beginnings of electoral success demonstrates my committment and conviction - in other words I dont see the point of getting elected just for my ego or just for the sake of it. I want to help people solve the real problems that confront us all not by forcing but by presenting evidence and arguments.


Genuine, open, reasonable debate is most welcome. Comments that meet this test will always be published.