In an extraordinary intervention in the debate about the position of the left in the forthcoming General Election, the Green Party’s national campaigns co-ordinator, Howard Thorp, has published a video of a conversation he had on the day that the European election results were announced with Peter Allen, a prominent Green Party activist and candidate in the East Midlands in the European election.
It’s the video in which the Green Party throws in the towel.
In it, Thorp and Allen admit that, outside Brighton Pavilion, the Greens have no chance of winning Parliamentary seats; that a significant Green vote of 5%-10% would let in the Tories; and that the Greens should therefore back Labour in most of the country’s Parliamentary constituencies.
The quid pro quo of course is that Labour should give Caroline Lucas a clear run in Brighton Pavilion – because she has been an excellent MP and would get the support of progressive opinion across the constituency. But the point is that Thorp and Allen’s logic actually undermines the case for re-electing Caroline Lucas. She will inevitably remain a lone voice in Parliament; while a Labour MP for Pavilion would have real influence in a Labour government – especially when that MP will be Purna Sen, with her formidable track record of effecting real change and her powerful personal commitment to social justice, grounded in her own personal experience.
In short, the National Campaigns Co-ordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales has just made, with impressive logic, the case that Caroline Lucas is irrelevant. He has made it clear that the interests of Green supporters are best served by the election of a Labour Government, with Purna Sen as Brighton Pavilion’s representative at Westminster. Thorp and Allen have asked – and answered – the big question hanging over Brighton politics: precisely what difference, in real tangible terms, has the election of a Green MP at a time of austerity really made? And the logic of their answer is compelling. The only reason for voting Green in Brighton on 7 May next year, according to the logic of the National Campaigns Co-Ordinator of the Green Party of England and Wales, is local: vote Lucas, endorse Kitcat, get Cameron.
The choice before the electors of Brighton Pavilion just got a whole lot clearer. And in Kemptown and Hove clearer still: a clear message from the Green Party’s national campaigns co-ordinator to vote for Nancy Platts or Peter Kyle.