More post 2019 election – recruiting Conservatives

Not the government just elected of course. The Green Party must recruit its supporters. – Saving the ecosphere (the Greens original raison d’être) -is more important than the issue which dominated this election, but there are signs that some Conservatives are already beginning to realize this.

Most of the 2.3million who voted Green in the 1989 Euro election were an unintended gift by Mrs.Thatcher highlighting the global environment, but the underlying truth is that those who feel financially secure are more likely to heed ecological issues than those who don’t.

The trick is to combine measures which will keep economic activity within what the ecosphere can cope with, but at the same time to ensure that everyone feels secure, whatever the level of economic activity. If humanity (or anything else) survives the coming ecological meltdown that will have to happen in the aftermath, but the basic income could have been at least a concept over 40 years ago when there was still time.

George Monbiot has complained that here has not been a narrative capable of countering the neoliberal narrative. That narrative is based on growth as the natural order of things. Now that the world wide consequences of climate breakdown are beginning to impinge, something which enables no-growth to be thinkable must be an option.

Why should those who will have to pay more under the inevitable redistribution agree? I have described the basic income as a catalyst, or lubricant for the necessary measures which could have been in place years ago. Martin Harrison has suggested it could be described as an insurance premium. Thank you Martin. But didn’t the Green Party feature the basic income in this election manifesto? Yes, 45 years too late, and still tied only to social justice, with no mention of its potential to harness market forces.

But looking at the election gives me a glimmer of hope. I hope Alan Borgars does what I have tried to do, but I think his computer skills are better than mine. Nevertheless I have looked at the first 160 or so constituencies (alphabetically), and a picture is emerging that the rise of over 350,000 (69%) from the 2017 total of Green votes is to be found more in safe Conservative seats than elsewhere.

I confess however that my main hopes were pinned on an advance in the Isle of Wight, our second best result in 2017.  Instead we dropped from circa 12,900 to 11,350 despite the Lib Dems not standing. What should have been the jewel in the Green crown bucked the overall trend.

There are two possible reasons. According to Alan Borgars. Jean Bartrum, Vix Lowthion’s agent in 2017, came out in favour of Labour on the eve of poll. If this went out on social media it would have nullified my own, and anyone else’s efforts to tell those undecided between Greens and Labour that the bookmakers thought we were the better bet. Also in retrospect, we should have put more effort into explaining to Lib Dems, who were simply offended, that the generous deal we gave them nationally (about 40 seats Greens not standing in return for 10) was forced on us by first past the post.

But the bigger reason is that the Green Party nationally is perceived as left wing. Yet this did not seem to prevent the aforementioned rise generally.  But the IoW remains our third best result, and the best in a Conservative seat – including Stroud!

I can only keep pointing out that the basic income is not as left wing as it seems. It combines the social justice necessary if governments are to save the ecosphere, but it allows market forces to make sense. Oh, and by the way, there will have to be a world basic income. But we have to get the narrative going first.

But if a party purporting to tackle the most serious threat humankind has ever faced is still losing most of its deposits after 47 years, something is seriously wrong with it.

 

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