Are personal attacks justified; but why isn’t the Green Party Centre Stage?

I have been asked what is my problem with partners being members of different parties?

Rank and file members of different parties may well be kindred spirits provided they never discuss politics, and certainly not political strategy. But if one of them is standing for an office, and the other is doing everything they could to discredit their partner’s party, I think voters should know that.

This comment was a response to a personal attack I had made. You won’t find it – I removed it and apologized, because it was pointed out to me that my information was seriously out of date, and I should have checked.

One reason for this mistake was because I was becoming increasingly hot under the collar about two other personal attacks. We seemed to be playing by different rules.

That on Shahrar Ali (standing for Green Party Leader) was not merely inaccurate, it included a downright lie. He has never been under investigation for something which happened in 2009. But is Liz Reason, standing for Green Party Executive Chair, transphobic? I personally think that is preposterous, but do not voters have the right to make their own judgment?

But far more importantly, it is precisely because the Green Party is close to the Labour party that we are a more serious worry for them than their traditional enemies. We are invading their turf. They have to get rid of the pesky Green Party, hence the smear on Shahrar.

But this blind spot is not limited to naïve rank and file members. I was also angry because it extends to the current Green Party leadership, hence the doomed Progressive Alliance, and the Party strategy launched in March this year. The unacceptable truth is that the Green vote more than halved in two years because the Green Party had become an irrelevance alongside a Corbyn led Labour Party.

It had become obvious in 1989 that Greens must make friends in the leafy shires. The Green Party was formed as a response to Limits to Growth, If the Green Party had stayed true to its original purpose – to ensue social justice within a sustainable, possibly no growth economy – this summer’s events, and especially the floods in Kerala should be propelling the Green Party centre stage.

I was naive myself in those days. I had seriously underestimated the task we had set ourselves. I envisaged a period during which a ‘pretend’ party uncompromisingly set out the policies necessary to preserve the ecosphere. Doorstepping revealed that even in 1974, 10% would vote for a party responding to Limits, but only in safe Conservative seats. The point at which it became a real party would depend on gradually increasing publicity – alongside increasing environmental problems.

I set out my current narrative recognizing the obstacles in my new weblog ’Page’ Résumé as a Springboard. My admittedly unrealistic strategy was replaced by one much more successful in the short term: building up support at local level. Fine, but that meant temporarily abandoning talk about Limits to Growth.

Unfortunately ‘temporarily’ is still the case. In Citizens’ Income and Green Economics, a book published in 2011 of which I am the main author, I describe a rather strange set of ocntradictory policies. due to the fact that the strategies for growth, still the dominant shibboleth, have become the worst possible strategies because we are fast approaching Limits – the Tragedy of the Commons (as per my weblog ‘Page’ ratharer than a link).

In passing, that page can only appear on Wikipedia when someone widely recognized refers to it. Martin Wolf?

This extremely inconvenient truth is already responsible for many current problems. Fracking is commercially necessary, but disastrous for the climate. Any guesses as to my ‘policy’ on an extra Heathrow runway? The current  turmoil in Australian politics: The coal must stay in the ground. That may save the Barrier Reef, but it will ruin the Australian economy. The same Tragedy is one factor in the dreadful events unfolding in Venezuela.

On the cover of Citizens’ Income and Green Economics are two quotes:

Martin Wolf discussing climate change denial in the Financial Times said:

The point of the boy who cried ‘Wolf’ was that in the end, the wolf did come.

As long ago as 2003 Jonathan Sachs asserted:

The World is no longer divided between the ideologies of ‘left’ and ‘right’, but by those who accept ecological limits and those who don’t

He was premature. Even the Green (formerly Ecology) Party still dissents. I fear we have left it rather late to make it come true.

3 responses to “Are personal attacks justified; but why isn’t the Green Party Centre Stage?

  1. Clive, I believe that the inherently partisan, nationalist, political structure (in most countries, including the UK, and Australia, where I am) is incapable of acting as an effective vehicle for dealing with global issues like climate change … at least in a timely manner. It’s hard to get an organism to behave in a manner contrary to its own short term survival.

    We need to create a new “organism” designed from the outset to function in alignment with the health of our biosphere. I think that means a new global governance body, in the form of a Commons Trust, which charges rents and fees on use (and/or abuse) of common resources, and then distributes the proceeds as dividends to all the beneficiaries of the trust (i.e. individual people who have opted in, regardless of nation, race, gender, age, religion etc.) to enable them to — in turn — make the best decisions for their own survival, and in so doing, act in a manner which is in alignment with the health of our ecosystem.

    Dividends on global commons wouldn’t provide a full UBI for anyone, but setting up this infrastructure could also model the approach, and technologically empower smaller associations of people (whether nations or local communities or cooperatives) to cumulatively build a UBI for their members/citizens.

    In essence, I am suggesting that a Global Commons Trust is the appropriate governance body (or “organism”) required to set and maintain the boundaries for Kate Raworth’s “Doughnut”.

    Over time, I believe we humans could also reconsider whether various powers we have ceded to the market and the state should instead be transferred to the Commons Trust … such as the power to “create” money, to grant loans, to manage intellectual property, to license global corporations, to conduct (or oversee) risky research in areas such as biotech, nanotech, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence etc.

    Please let me know if you would be interested in discussing any of the above? I am in the early stages of writing a proposal for funding from several of our more colourful billionaires … and since I’m quite new to this sort of social action, am hugely appreciative of any wisdom and advice I can get from experienced souls such as yourself.

    • Apols for delay – overload. Also. I started to reply, but not understanding windows 10 (designed by whizzkids for whizzkids), I lost it.
      Reply now delayed until I return from UK Green Party conference on Monday. Now midnight here. More apols.

      • No problem at all. I hope you enjoy the conference. 🙂


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