Why this disaster might happen to the Green Party is all somewhere in my blog. But the hard lessons still need to be learned. With zero interest in Climate change we never stood a chance, but having little or nothing to differentiate us from the newly invigorated Labour campaign sealed our deposit-losing fate. I refrained from predicting just this outcome in the majority of seats, but I did not expect it to apply across the board in the target seats where we had put in such efforts.
Except in two constituencies.
There may be other results of which I am not aware. It is probably my fault that I can find nothing on the Green Party Members’ Website.
In Brighton Pavilion Labour apparently decided to use their resources elsewhere, but that was not the case in any of our target seats, and nor was it the case in the Isle of Wight, where I did 6 days of solid doorstepping. As I have tried to tell our Progressive Alliance leadership, it is only to be expected that Labour will do everything in their power to ruin our efforts wherever we look like making a breakthrough. We even lost our deposit in Gorton, where we came second in 2015.
Yet despite this, and against the trend, Vix Lowthion increased her vote by 37%, proportionately a better result than Caroline’s, at only 32% better! At 17.4%, the IoW result is the Green Party’s second best result that I know of, better than either Bristol West or Sheffield Central, on which so much hope was pinned.
Jean Bartrum, Vix’s agent, tells me that she senses a sea change in attitudes in the Isle of Wight – to a less consumerist society. As I keep saying, this is exactly this culture shift which is necessary if we are to have a cat in Hell’s chance of saving the global environment for our children.
But how far does this result corroborate Jean’s grass roots gut feelings? And how far is it evidence for my dream that one day the Green Party will, without sacrificing any principles – start to take votes from the Conservatives? I must again remind readers that our best result ever was in the 1989 Euros, in Conservative heartlands.
But that was before they realized that our policies entailed drastic redistribution. To be honest, Vix’s literature did not noticeably differ from that which produced such abysmal results everywhere else. But that could be because Jean, her agent, is right. The change just hasn’t got very far yet.
If this result is to be built on, it will still be necessary to do all the things I have been urging all along. We need to approach conservatives more in sorrow than in anger. We do not regard them as the enemy, we only ask for enough redistribution to allow everyone to feel secure in a sustainable economy.
On the other hand, everyone must feel secure if they are not to find populist answers more attractive. And we do need to get back to stressing that ecological problems will overwhelm all other issues if not addressed., something which Conservatives accept more readily than those threatened with benefit sanctions.
But Vix is thoroughly in favour of the Basic Income.