Party Politics: Green is where it’s at

I first voted in 1997. I voted LibDem. The LibDem policy of increasing income tax by 1p and increasing education funding made sense to me. I didn’t really know any other policies! By 2001, however, I had been outraged by Labours RIP Act 2000 and the issue of personal freedom had become the focus of my politics. Added in to this was my thoughts on making sure that society looked after everyone fairly and equally, with all shouldering their fair share. I soon realised that Labour would continue to destroy civil liberties, and that the Conservatives would not look after everyone equally, and so I continued to support the LibDems. I joined the Liberal Democrat party in 2005 and got involved in campaigning locally. By 2008 I was disillusioned with the party as I had come to realise that although I agreed with a lot of their policies I definitely disagreed with quite a few as well. I am not sure why I didn’t join the Green party at this point. Probably through a perception that they could not succeed. I was convinced to rejoin the LibDems at the start of 2010 and the only reason I did not help campaign for our local LibDem candidate for the general election is that I was too ill and all my energy was going towards starting an IT business.

We all know what happened next. Complete betrayal by the LibDems as they joined a coalition with the Conservatives. Make no mistake here; the LibDems put the Conservatives in power. If it were not for them, we would not have a Tory government now. In fact I should not have been surprised that they could choose a coalition with the Tories. It took until 2010 for me to find out about Orange Book LibDems, who I should have known about a lot earlier. It turns out that the Orange Book tells us of many policies that we are seeing happen now, including the destruction of the NHS in favour of private providers, and other policies such as implementing environment polices through the free market, and stepping back from Europe. If I had known of the Orange Book, I would never have voted LibDem.

We can see this economic alignement through a test called the Political Compass which presents party policy in a different way, by splitting out a party’s social scale from the traditional Left-Right economic scale.

UK Political Parties 2010
UK Political Parties 2010

Viewed on this test, you can see that the LibDems are actually quite similar to Labour and the Conservatives in being right-of-centre, differing mainly in being less authoritarian than those two. My own test results, however, put me in the bottom left quadrant, making the Green party the nearest one to me on both economic policies and in personal freedom. Also interesting is the three main parties position over time. I could have supported the Labour party in 1972 if I had been around then.

English party positions over time
English party positions over time

This video illustrates just how similar the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives are.

So what do I want in a political party?

  • Respect for personal freedom and civil liberties – no using terrorism as an excuse!
  • Clamping down on abuses of people and society by private business
  • Nationalised rather than privatised services
  • Everyone looked after (Health, Education) out of general taxation
  • Everyone paying their fare share
  • Respect for the environment, before we all drown or starve

What don’t I like about the others?

Conservatives

  • Believe in privatising everything – NHs, local services
  • Ruthlessly cutting public services
  • Targetting disabled and sick people by scrapping mobility, time-limiting ESA and scrapping DLA for PIP
  • Introducing the Welfare Reform Bill before the DLA consultation even finished
  • Lying about the deficit and the debt
  • Endlessly blaming everything on Labour – “The mess we inherited from Labour”
  • Cutting taxes for big business and creating a tax haven
  • Scrapping legislation

Labour

  • ID cards, and worse, the ID database
  • Brought in ESA to replace Incapacity Benefit and gave the contract to ATOS
  • Destroyed civil liberties – control orders, RIPA, 30 days detention without trial
  • War in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • Censorship of internet connections with the Internet Watch Foundation
  • PFI – paying for decades, paying much more, paying £300 to change a plug

Liberal Democrats

  • Chose to put the Conservatives in power
  • Orange Book LibDems are economically aligned with Conservatives anyway
  • Destroying public services
  • Many broken election promises

Green

  • Anti nuclear

BNP

  • Fascists and racists. Need I say anything else?

UKIP

  • Anti EU
  • Anti Immigration

I have arrived at a conclusion that I should have accepted years ago, that the Green party are the only party that I can vote for. The only thing I disagree with them on is their opposition to nuclear power, and I’m coming to the conclusion that no business can be trusted with this even if we do need it.

Author: Latentexistence

The world is broken and I can't fix it because I am broken. I can, however, rant about it all and this is where I do that when I can get my thoughts together. Most of the time you'll find my words on Twitter rather than here though. I sometimes write for Where's The Benefit too.

6 thoughts on “Party Politics: Green is where it’s at”

  1. You’re far from alone. My local MP is Jeremy Corbyn. I vote for him despite, not because, he’s Labour. Lib Dems locally proved themselves to opportunistic bandwagon jumpers (a Lib Dem election flyer implied 5,000 people joined them on a march when actually the Lib Dems joined our local campaign’s 5,000 strong march.) When Corbyn retires the Greens will be the only relatively mainstream party I can vote for.

  2. I like this post, very good and logical. I did the spectrum thing the other week too and was quite shocked at actually seeing all the main parties up there on the right. I too came down on the bottom left.
    And Green is the only party I consider to have policies I agree with

  3. I keep hearing people say “The only party left is Green, but they’ll NEVER win” and I keep asking “Erm…why not?” Then people flail about for answers which mostly boil down to “they’re not strong enough”. Well, surely if enough people voted for them rather than just voting for something else they WOULD be strong enough? Green after all seems to be the only party that actually gives a crap about people.

    Granted the other argument I see is “they won’t make any money”. Because, I guess, caring about people means you’re automatically be poor. However let’s not forget that finding alternative power and technology means that one quite often ends up supporting sciences and finding a load of technology, and tech DOES make money, quite a bit of it. In addition there is some amazing technology out there right now, readily available which could cut costs tremendously and save a load of money – it’s just a matter of trying to get to it before some big corporation buys the rights and then holds onto it somewhere so no one can use it.

    England hasn’t managed to do any major technological advancements in a very long time, instead relying upon importing tech from other countries. Japan became one of the most tech-advanced countries in the world out of necessity and disaster – and it served them well. It occurs to me that if a country every became a tech-testbed and really poured everything it could into innovation, it would make considerable revenue.

    Of course that would sort of require not cutting funds to arts and sciences dramatically, however…go figure.

    So yes, I’d say to anyone who even thinks for a moment for voting to Green to actually DO it, and not just vote for the “lesser evil” – vote instead for something you can actually agree with.

  4. interesting post, thank you.
    my gramps, a dock worker his whole life was always, what i call, original labour man and would turn in his grave over what labour became.
    i have voted green for as long as it has been possible~funnily my sister is such a hard core conservative i think its funny~talk about chalk and cheese!

  5. This is a nice, well wrote article with some good points. However, the problem with the Green party is that there, in my opinion, a ‘one policy’ party. I haven’t heard of any of their other policies, such as the economy, immigration and welfare system etc, therefore I cannot see them being in power. Granted that, I do agree with most of your opinions, as I happen to be very left wing. I am in favour of Communism, but can’t ever see it working as everyone is brainwashed that it is very bad, and people have a natural tendancy to be greedy and selfish. I am merely 16, and aspire to be in Government to change the way the country is run, for a better Britain and a better world.

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