Agenda for a new Green leader

Caroline Lucas has announced that she will not seek re-election as Green Party leader later this year, in a move aimed at increasing the exposure of other leading Greens.  It’s a wise move; Caroline’s achievement has been enormous, raising the profile of the Party by gaining our first Westminster seat and providing what has at times looked like a lone Westminster voice against the politics of neoliberalism and austerity.  We have our first Green council, working to confront the huge issues of making a Green case in against parameters dictated by central Government.

The risks have always been that as a Party we could come to look like a one-woman band, and that Caroline could be stretched too thin. Her decision is as good a way as any to minimise those risks.

A leadership election provides an opportunity to reflect on what sort of a party we want to be.  Greens have always been rightly sceptical about cults of party leaders – it was a tough (but with hindsight surely right) decision for this party to adopt a single leader at all. But this election does give an opportunity to think and debate about what we want the party to be.

These, then, are the personal thoughts of just one not very active Green Party member about what he sees as the priorities of a new leadership.  I’m not talking about policy details here, and I’m certainly not criticising Caroline’s leadership which I believe has addressed these issues in a way that no other UK politician has come close to managing.  But these are themes that I believe an effective Green movement must address. Those thoughts fall naturally into three (inevitably linked) categories: dealing with the crisis in democracy, reshaping our economic agenda, and creating a sustainable, fair and cohesive society.  All of these lead naturally into a fourth – the need for a return to evidenced discourse and a challenge to the prevailing ideological narratives.

Dealing with a crisis of democratic legitimacy

If there is one theme that has run through everything I have written on this blog it is the depth of the democratic crisis we face, here in Britain and more generally in the developed world.  The situation in Britain is desperate: three main Westminster parties all pushing a neoliberal agenda and arguing over nuance and who is better qualified to implement it, with an electorate that is increasingly unwilling to vote at all, and a feral media united in an apparent determination to avoid intelligent debate that goes beyond the Westminster consensus.  Even in those parts of the UK where government is devolved, there is no real debate.  In the meantime, the failure of that Westminster neoliberal consensus is becoming clearer by the day.  And there is a quiet consensus to limit the scope of active democracy – for example a localism agenda that seeks to turn effective local government into commissioning bodies doling out contracts to companies providing services for profit.

It is a simple and overpowering fact that many of the measures that characterise this Government were things that neither Coalition party dared put explicitly to the electorate at the last election – the effective destruction of state-provided healthcare, savage public expenditure cuts, cuts in benefit for the disabled, £9000 tuition fees.  But all of them were there in the public domain if you looked below the surface – by reading the Orange Book for example – and every single one of them is effectively a continuation of what Labour did in office.  But nobody, explicitly, voted for these things.

It is almost as if the main parties are fomenting an active suspicion of democratic institutions and practices.  Britain must be the only country in the world in which politicians and the media actively campaign against existing human rights legislation, which does no more than enshrine basic convention rights.  Political dissent is being marginalised and in some cases criminalised; the pre-emptive arrest of a republican street theatre group before last year’s Royal Wedding is just one particularly telling example.  But the use of aggressive police tactics against dissent, like the collective punishment of kettling, and the growing privatisation of public space, are all examples of a society which increasingly seems afraid of those who challenge the consensus. All these are symptoms of a polity racked by fear, acknowledging tacitly its lack of legitimacy. Liberal Democrats used to claim to be upholders of civil liberties – on this issue, as in so many others, they have been shown up in Government as a party of time-serving liars.

The new Green Party leader must be an unequivocal defender of democracy – as, indeed, Caroline Lucas has been.  Most importantly the Green Party must reach out to those who have been left behind by Britain’s failing democracy, and must seek to re-engage them in a democratic process.  It’s a challenge about how we as a party conduct ourselves – not just through our own democratic processes, but by reaching out to people who are, frankly, not well-represented in our Party structures; the poorest and most vulnerable.  I believe we are a society that is ripe for a growth in fascism, and in which the democratic model that both the mainstream politicians and the media present is a sort of eviscerated consumerism, in which a concept of “choice” that has little to offer beyond decisions about whether to buy Jaffa Cakes or Hobnobs in the Co-Op has been elevated into a central mantra of Government. As Greens we have to reject X-Factor democracy and engage with people and ideas that are routinely dismissed or even demonised by the Westminster consensus; it means arguing that democracy is not about choices between market options but about mature collective decision-making, based on trust.

One of the most powerful facts about mainstream British politics is the way in which the Labour Party, which claims to speak for the poor and vulnerable, has long since ceased to do so in any meaningful way.  Labour luminaries from Ed Miliband to Liam Byrne are quite happy to speak the language of benefit scroungers, of feral underclasses and of forced workfare while still arrogantly assuming that they have a God-given right to the votes of the people from whom they have walked away and whom they casually demonise.  Understandably, those people have walked away from Labour in their millions since the high-water of 1997.  The new Green Party leader must understand – and act on the understanding – that Labour is a disgrace, and must understand that it is their duty, and the duty of the Party, to speak for and engage with those people – to give them a voice, and hope, and a stake in the democratic process.

Empowerment must be at the top of the Green Party’s agenda.  There is no other party that is seriously placed to act as an advocate of democratic renewal.

Reshaping the economic agenda

Austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity. That simple fact must be at the heart of the Green Party agenda.  Neoliberalism, for all its language about freedom, is a deeply anti-democratic creed; where the enrichment of the few clashes with democratic choice, neoliberals will always choose the former, as a growing track-record shows.   And we as a party need to see that the real fault-line in economic policy is not between Westminster parties but between those who believe in the neoliberal doctrine of austerity – the Conservative Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Labour Party leadership, the SNP, big business (obviously),the media, the academic economic establishment – and those who argue for another way – the Green Party, Plaid Cymru, many Labour people, quite a lot of people who have been Liberal Democrats (I’m assuming those with a sense of decency will have torn up their membership cards a long time ago), a growing number of economic commentators, and people of no party who consistently reject neoliberalism at the ballot box and who are the victims of what looks increasingly like the biggest Establishment wealth grab since the Enclosure Acts.

A Green Party leader must explicitly and resonantly reject the politics and assumptions of austerity – once again, Caroline Lucas has led the way, often appearing (along with a handful of Labour and Plaid backbenchers) to be the only voice raised at Westminster against the neoliberal consensus.  And we as a party must be absolutely unequivocal – austerity is a political choice, not an economic necessity.  It is without empirical foundation and is manifestly failing.  And that leader must have the understanding and willingness to engage with the alternatives – whether those alternatives come from think-tanks like the New Economics Foundation, or from Elinor Ostrom’s pioneering work on the commons, or from Richard Murphy’s Courageous State.  There is a ferment in economic thinking and it is a populist movement – consider the way in which UK Uncut has ensured that corporate tax evasion is at the top of the political agenda.

Above all, Greens must be in the vanguard of arguing that market economics is based on illusion and unsustainable. There is a debate about the axioms and purpose of economics that the academy is largely ignoring, focussing instead on the refinement of mathematical models that embody assumptions that are really no more than unsupported ideological statements.  Economics must be at the heart of our agenda – we need to understand the narratives and fears that lead to the paradox that, at the very times that market economics is palpably failing, voters embrace the architects of that failure – the National Government in the 1930s, Thatcher in the 1980s.  Ed Balls has thrown in the towel; alternatives, promoting equity and hope, must come from outside the Westminster consensus – it is for us to create and lead the political opposition to austerity economics.  The evidence is ample and growing; and there is plenty of creative thinking about alternatives.  And we must reiterate – as Keynes did in the wilderness in the 1930s – that economics is a matter for democratic control, and is a matter that should not be the preserve of experts but should be opened up to the full glare of political debate.

And we need to be champions of the public sector.  We need to state clearly and firmly – as the three Westminster parties cannot – that privatisation is, in principle, wasteful and is about consolidation of wealth and power  in the hands of the few; we must learn to argue for a strong, enabling, democratically-accountable and, in Richard Murphy’s admirable phrase, courageous state.  Once again, Greens must stake their claim in the territory from which Labour has walked away.  Murphy’s cappucino cup analogy – the state as the strong black coffee on which the frothy milk of private accumulation sits – is simple, powerful and one that I argue must be at the forefront of Green thinking.

One of the most insidious political propagandas of our time is the belief – underpinning almost every piece of economic reportage – is that the advocates of the market, and of austerity, are economic “realists” – while those who challenge it are well-meaning, ungrounded idealists.  I’d suggest that a key task for the new Green leader is to attack that explicitly.  The Left has to learn to get to grips with economics again, and to press the case that economic policy is about political choices, and connect with the people the political classes have left behind to lead them out of economic fatalism.  It’s a huge task – but a necessary one.

Social cohesion

Not long ago, six children were brutally murdered in Derby by an arsonist. Because the parents were recipients of benefits, a good number of media commentators apparently believe they were asking for it.  The callousness and cruelty of those commentators is something that has come to characterise Con Dem Britain (as Owen Jones argues powerfully here); it is a political position, sanctioned by Ministers for whom off-the-record briefing against the vulnerable has become a legitimate political tool.   As a society we have to ask ourselves how such hatred and loathing has become absorbed into the political mainstream – and I want to see a Green Party leader who will take an unequivocal stand against such hatreds, whether they manifest themselves through racism, through the blaming of women who are victims of rape, to the demonising of those receiving benefits and unable to work.  I want a Green Party leader who is angry – angry, for example, at the spectacle of a private sector company certifying for profit the terminally ill as fit for work, or at politicians who seek to encourage the belief that those on receiving benefits to provide them with mobility are somehow scroungers, and who tacitly encourage abuse and violence against the most vulnerable in society.  If I wanted crocodile tears I’d join the Labour Party; I want real, visceral anger from someone who is willing to speak truth to power.  I want a leader who will stand up to the casual bullying that, more than anything, characterises the temper of Coalition Britain. I want to be part of a party whose leader will call out the most privileged Government in recent years when they make ideological statements about people of whose lives, struggles and problems they are wholly ignorant, making decisions from which they have been shielded by wealth and privilege.

A Green society is an empathetic society. The British political and (especially) media establishments seem to regard empathy as something that is weak and soft.  Greens need to show that it is the only possible basis of a good society; we need to demonstrate that it is the casual cruelty of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat leaderships that is every bit as damaging as their economic dogma.  And we have to have the moral courage – as Labour clearly does not – to resist the easy temptation of easy populism.  Leadership is about reminding people that the world is a more complex place than many people are comfortable believing.

A return to evidenced discourse

I have focussed on three main areas of debate – but underlying all of these is a bigger issue about political discourse, and what seems to me to be an abandonment of evidence in favour of ideological narrative.  We see it in almost every aspect of political life – the use of prejudice and unsupported assertion to rationalise the wealth and power grab of the 1%.  Political debate becomes not an attempt to understand and interpret reality, but a competition between unsupported narratives; the winner is the party that can make the most outrageous lie stick.

The most obvious example – and one which is close to the heart of all Greens – is climate change; an overwhelming scientific consensus challenged by a toxic combination of big oil and tin tabernacle religion.  In this, as in so much else, Greens are on the side of empirical knowledge against the narratives of the powerful.  We’re dismissed by the mainstream politicians as woolly and idealistic – the same politicians who accept all the axioms of market economics in the face of their disastrous consequences, who await the intervention of the confidence fairy, who haven’t got a clue about peak oil.  Sustainability is about the long-term – planning for the next seven generations rather than the next seven months – and that requires rigour and an engagement with the realities of the world around us.  In one sense we’re talking about the revival of the best of the liberal tradition – the adducing of evidence to mould society in the service of ideas, themselves grounded in reason and evidence.  In the face of neoliberalism, there is no more subversive doctrine than to bear witness and to speak truth to power.

It means self-discipline. It means that we need as a party to shed our New Age image – a willingness (figuratively speaking, of course) to ban homeopaths from our Republic.  In challenging market economics and responding to climate change, or in arguing that equality leads to better physical and mental health,  Greens must be the party of good hard evidence.  We have to resist the siren call of woo, whether economic, social or scientific (one of the best things that has happened to the Green Party in recent years has been the adoption of a science policy that points us back towards rigour).  And we need to demonstrate that in a political culture of parliamentary parties fighting illusory battles, while engaged in an ideological enterprise aimed at disguising a power and wealth grab in favour of the rich and powerful, we are the party whose ideals of sustainablility, equality and justice are grounded and realistic.  It’s a huge task – one that in my view Caroline Lucas has risen to magnificently – but we need more of it, and I believe that the new leader has to use his, her or their position to focus Party strategy on that task.

In a political system based on unsupported ideology, the Green moment may be when reality bites back – as inevitably it must.  In a sense that it what sustainability means.

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5 thoughts on “Agenda for a new Green leader

  1. Hard as ever on the LibDems, Neil. I still think we’re better off with the coalition than we would be with a majority Tory government which is what we’d have had long since by now if the coalition hadn’t happened. The LibDems generally haven’t made the best use of a crap hand of cards. But it was a crap hand. And there’s the odd moment to cheer, like Vice Cable’s reaction to Beecroft…

    And by the way why do you assume that LibDems “with a sense of decency will have torn up their membership cards a long time ago”? – where you don’t make a similar assumption about Labour people after the illegal and murderous invasion of Iraq, or countless other such crimes under Blair and Brown. (And they didn’t even have the excuse of being in coalition.) There are plenty of LibDems with a sense of decency still in the party Neil, and you know it. All governments do shitty things. It isn’t necessarily a mature response to walk away as soon as some bad things happen.

    But having said all that, I agree with a lot you’ve written here. I’ve sometimes meant to respond to your pieces railing against three-party neo-liberalism saying: “yes, but what do you propose?” But there are some really good pointers here in terms of approach and political culture, especially the evidenced discourse stuff. And I liked the line about shedding the New Age image – and the stress on empowerment. Though as one Liberal to another I’m a little suspicious of the “courageous state” stuff – must read some of that…

    But what’s missing for me is how to make the change. Given the state of politics and the state of the media (one key reason I was glad to walk away from active politics 20+ years ago – and it’s since got worse), what can/should the Greens or anyone else to do change it? Is it about working in local communities a la 1970s / 80s ALC? Is it about making alliances with some of those dreadful Labour and LibDem people on hammering together alternatives with broader campaigning and/or electoral appeal? Is it about using the big-ticket environmental issues (such as the Govt’s crazy and self-defeating nuclear power policy) to win people over somehow – and how do you do that in the face of media hostility? And if it’s that urgent – as you imply with talk of being ripe for a growth in fascism – where do you/we start, and how do you/we make a difference quickly enough?

    All the best, Bob

    • Thank you for your comments, Bob. I appreciate what you are saying; the questions are very difficult.

      I am very, very angry with the Liberal Democrats. I am very angry generally – far angrier than I was with Thatcherism in the 1980s, and, God knows, I was angry then. I see an agenda that goes far beyond that of Thatcher – in a sense, the Right was feeling its way into its agenda in the 1980s. And I believe that by going into coalition the Liberal Democrats have facilitated the Tory agenda, and given them exactly what they wanted. Moreover, it seems to me that the Orange Book agenda (and this looks to me very much like an Orange Book government) was to do precisely that – which may be unfair but such exchanges as I have had with enthusiastic Orange Bookers tend to reinforce that view.

      I am particularly angry because my expectations of Liberal Democrats were actually higher – certainly than of Labour. I agree that Labour is a disgrace and has long since stopped being a party which is remotely interested in empowerment or change. The Orange Book notwithstanding, I had expected Liberal Democrats to be so much better than this – to kick against the more callous and extreme manifestations of Toryism. What angers me most of all is how quietly the Lib Dems – outside Westminster as well as inside – have gone. I am sick of Liberal Democrat rebellions comprising a lot of noise, Simon Hughes or Shirley Williams baring their consciences on Newsnight, and then voting the Tory line. A Liberal Democrat party that’s being outflanked on the Left by David Owen on the NHS – by the original architect, those with long memories may recall, of paybeds in the NHS – has some hard thinking to do. That’s an outsider’s view, of course. I’m not party to the internal dabate.

      I have been hard on the Liberal Democrats. Looking back, possibly too hard on Liberal Democrat members – although the question of how far party members bear responsibility for what their leaders do is difficult (and one I’ll return to later). But I don’t think I’ve written anything that is unfair to the Party leadership. I think they need to be called to account over and over again for what they have done – acting as facilitators for a feral Tory government without any electoral mandate for doing so. When did we vote for the abolition of EMA (let alone £9000 tuition fees? For the privatisation of health care? For the collective punishment of the disabled, whose 20% cut in DLA is “justified” by the need to deal with a fraud rate of 0.5%? For the effective abolition of state education and its replacement by private sector academies?

      And I don’t necessarily accept that not going into coalition would have led to a majority Tory government. I’d agree that it’s a plausible scenario; a second General Election following from a minority Tory government losing a confidence vote and winning the subsequent election, repeating the mantra about healing Labour’s disastrous economic legacy (a trope which I don’t accept – Labour left many disastrous legacies, and as I’ve said elsewhere nearly all the most feral aspects of coalition policy have their roots in New Labour’s policy in office, but actually Brown and Darling’s post-crash economic firefighting seems to me to have been one of the better things they did).

      I believe the Liberal Democrat leadership has been comprehensively outsmarted tactically by the Tories. The coalition agreement was predicated on the AV referendum, but AV is a crap system – one that combined with the reductions in the number of parliamentary seats makes almost no practical difference to representation at Westminster. But coalition means that the fear of Liberal Democrat electoral advance that haunted the nightmares of backbench Tories has gone. And coalition gives the far Right political cover. Government not doing enough to sort out the Human Rights Act, or to clamp down on immigrants? Blame the Liberal Democrats for you failure to deliver the things that you know you couldn’t do anyway. Having a junior coalition partner that, frankly, the Tories despise has given them political cover for developing an ideological conversation with their own supporters, while covering the disastrous consequences of their ideological position.

      But of course a party is not just its leadership. One of the things that frustrates the hell out of me is Labour chauvinism – Labour members who are confronted with the reality of what Labour has done in Iraq, for example, but who even when offered an alternative on the left (Caroline Lucas here in Brighton Pavilion) will always retreat into mantras of “I’ve always been Labour” – neoliberalism, in Britain and elsewhere, has long freeloaded off the commitments of people who believe in better things but will always back their party leaderships even when it’s engaged in destroying the things they believe in. The Labour Party is possibly the most sophisticated political instrument ever devised in a democratic polity to ensure that the views of its members have no influence over party policy, and I know that many have walked away. Others are engaged in what must be an exhausting process of moral compromise. Party matters; if there is one lesson from Occupy and other grass-roots movements it is that you need structure to take your position forward, to a point where political responsibility is understood and exercised.

      And it seems to me that Liberal Democrats are in that position. An acquaintance of mine – someone of softish-left views who in the past would probably have been quite sympathetic – attended the recent Liberal Democrat spring conference to take part in a fringe meeting; what he described was a party with Stockholm Syndrome, one that had lost all will to fight for what it believed and only had its “brand” as a unifying factor. This was someone who had experience of working with demoralised public sector professionals (people, who, God knows, have had many years of a kicking from Labour before the vicious assault by the coalition) and who said he had never seen such a forlorn group of people. And the conclusion I think I come to is that, as an organisational entity, the Liberal Democrats are dead; there is nothing left to fight for. They may live on, with Clegg as a Hans-Dietrich Gensher figure leading a sort of British FDP, but it seems to me – from the outside – that the spirit, the radicalism, the passion are all gone. I think this is true to an extent of Labour too, but perhaps Labour is just better at dissembling. Or perhaps they can at least oxygenate their stagnant pond by referring to a few real achivements – the minimum wage, for example – while ignoring Iraq and other appalling things they did.

      The problem – for me – is identifying any substantial issue where Liberal Democrats have really restrained the Tories from doing anything they wanted to do (Simon Hughes on TV talking about the pupil premium is one of those things, like the Olympic torch, Stephanie Flanders and being told to Keep Calm and Carry On that tends to take me to the brink of manageable indignation). The question I keep asking is in what way this Government would be any different from a majority Tory government. The only answer, as I mentioned earlier, is that a majority Tory government wouldn’t have someone to blame for not being able to deliver the unfeasible parts of their supporters’ agenda. They’d have to get real in a way that the coalition excuses them from doing.

      How do we make things change?

      It’s difficult. I believe there is a real vacuum – I am optimistic enough to believe that it is in principle possible to bring the disillusioned back into the democratic process, and that it is possible to build a functioning democracy. But I am the first to admit that it’s difficult to see where the structures are. Movements like Occupy and UK Uncut have galvanised opinion but have had limited real impact (although I was struck by Occupy’s emphasis on political education); their hostility to structures seems to me to be a fundamental weakness. I think you have to have party structures, and the compromises that those structures entail – and you have to confront the challenges of making those structures wholly democratic.

      At the same time, party chauvinism is a real problem. I’m an enthusiastic Green Party member and I’ll unhesitatingly bang the drum for my party; but to argue that the Green Party as an organisation is the answer to everything is obvious nonsense (and falling into the defensive chauvinism of Labour people who rationalise their disgust at Labour’s failures into party loyalty, cheering Tony Benn at rallies while paying their sub to a party that is trashing his values). What seems to me to be the clear political divide of our time – between those who embrace market liberalism and those who oppose it – goes way beyond party structures, which in my view just don’t reflect that divide (the deeply conflicted nature of Labour debate shows this very clearly). It includes many people who would naturally regard themselves as Labour or Liberal Democrats, doubtless many party activists; but for as long as these good people remain within their existing party structures, providing the cover for Orange Book liberalism or for Labour leaders to use the populist language of benefit scrounging and workfare, change is far more difficult (or indeed in the latter case, while Trade Unions continue to fund the Labour Party whose leaders abuse them in public – the Labour/Union relationship looks more and more like a deeply dysfunctional marriage). And I may have been hard on Liberal Democrat members, but this is the paradox; the more they think that they should stay and fight for change within the party, the more difficult it will be to break the hegemony of their leaderships’ values, just as has happened with Labour.

      In recent weeks a couple of fairly high profile Greens have defected to the Labour Party, citing precisely this issue of being part of a bigger organisation that can effect real change. I respect their desire to get things done (and I lament their departure as a small party like ours cannot afford to lose talented people) but I would guess that Labour will be a deeply frustrating experience. Yes, we Greens have our arguments; yes, as a party we are stil capable of doing stupid things and we are still, on occasion, in thrall to new age woo (Greens who have been following our latest spat over GM crops will know what I mean by the last two). And in trying to empower those that the political system has left behind we have to deal with the fact that we are an overwhelmingly middle-class party. But at least our structures are open and democratic.

      The need is, I think, to build a new consensus of the left around opposition to austerity and support for equality, sustainability and social justice. In all of these it seems to me that the empirical evidence is on our side. The Green Party is really the only national party in a position to take the lead; we have one MP, two MEPs, two MSPs, one (minority) council, a smattering of councillors around the country – and over vast parts of the country no effective organisation at all; it’s a tall order. But there’s really nobody else as an organisation. Certainly not the grouplets of the old left, and I think the experience of Labour – and now Liberal Democrats – is that when the neoliberals get hold of the bridge the ship is headed firmly for the rocks as far as remaining agents for change is concerned.

      Events will obviously play a role. Things will clearly get worse – the lesson that you cannot take £80bn out of the economy without causing a double-dip recession is taking hold and the manifest unfairness of coalition economic policy is taking hold. I have a horrible feeling that, amidst all the flag-waving of Jubilee and Olympics, we could be heading for events that make last summer’s riots look like a primary school nature walk, and a risk that an increasingly militarised police will be called upon to restore order in ways that will shock even Middle England. And the fact remains – another theme of my blog – that the Coalition are simply not very good at Government – one disastrous piece of hubris after another is showing this. Ultimately events have a way of turning around and biting the politics of ideological narrative in the behind, and it’s potentially messy when it happens. How the political cards fall after that is anybody’s guess.

      The terms of the debate have got to be changed. Local activism is important (community politics is a very Green idea, but some community politicians gave it a very bad name). But I feel increasingly that Westminster politics are a dead hand. We’ve got to get past them, and get to some very basic discussion of values. I think that grassroots Greens, Liberal Democrats and Labour people often believe very similar things, and have far more in common with each other than Lib Dems and Labour activists do with their party leaderships. But I cannot see that happening while those people retain an organisational loyalty to party leaderships – and to a professional political class – that believe in something quite other.

      These are just a few very quick random thoughts. There’s a huge amount of debate, of thinking and reading to do. Do read The Courageous State; it’s a convincing and powerful book, whose overarching aim seems to be to reclaim economics for democracy.

      Above all, those of us who regard ourselves as being on the Left have got to realise that values are what matters. I just feel that the three-party consensus I see prevents us from achieving that. Perhaps I have been unfair, but better that than quietism in the face of what Britain has become since 2010.

      All the very best

      Neil

  2. Have tried to share this on Facebook to no avail,its now telling me its down for maintainence. Last night i was on a site involved with disability benefits and glitches slowly turned into a complete hacking of my computer. This kind of attack has been happening on any sites that criticise ATOS PLC and the DWP and attempt to organise and help those suffering ‘welfare abuse’. The neo liberal control is already happening, some sites have actually been shut down completely. Be warned, and pass the word on.

  3. Where is the evidence that fascism is growing in the UK ? and Labour wiped the floor at the last Local Elections, remember ? If the Green Party is ever going to make a difference with many more MPs and Local Councillors, we have to get our analysis of the real situation right in the first place. Any mistake in our assessment of what is going will lead to defeatism and demoralisation.

  4. Pingback: Should Greens adopt Liberal Democrat tactics? « Notes from a Broken Society

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