Two candidates have redeeming features. Shahrar Ali s the only one who stresses the ecological ecrisis, which is what the Green Party was originally about.. In Solihull, where Rosi Sextom leads the Green group on the Council, the Greens are already the official opposition in a Conservative area.
Shahrar spoils it by insisting (as does Sian Berry, the defending co-leader) that he only wants socialists to vote Green. (Not quite the way he put it.)
I have never managed to convince enough members of my vision of a sustainable society. I was born into the Socialist tribe, and I am still as passionate about social justice as my parents. But the basic income is not as socialist as it looks. Philippe van Parijs describes it as ”A Capitalist road to Communism”. Certainly the better off will have to accept that in a world which heeds ecological limits large disparities in wealth will not be acceptable, at least not if we are still democratic.
But I do understand why the Green Party fell into the ‘socialist’ trap. But once everyone is assured of basic needs, whatever the level of economic activity, market forces. in the form of tax incentives and disincentives can be used to change behaviour to ways which will benefit the ecosphere. Without that guarantee of security, market forces remain what they have always been, a means of oppression of the weak by the strong.
Rosi’s campaign material does mention the environment – in passing. Shahrar has disappointed me in another respect: he refuses to retract his signature on a letter opposing Population Matters having a presence at a Green Party conference.
Briefly ‘Bright Green ’ published a smear so libellous as to provoke PM to a threat of legal action. My weblog post of 9th May demonstrates that I supported PM as an ally in the struggle to save the ecosphere, before I was aware of PM’s action. Is Shahrar really comfortable to be associated with something Bright Green retracted, rather than try to justify it?.
But Shahrar does have one other saving grace: I gather he has described the ‘trans’ debate in the Party as a distraction. I am told this is rife thoughout the ‘centre left’. But I must remind readers that the Green Party ought not to be ‘left’ It should be recruiting conservatives who want to save the ecosphere. Some may already be appalled, or at least disillusioned with Boris Johnson’s version of government.
But I think Rosi does need some help. I can sell the basic income on Conservative doorsteps. As well as ‘market forces’, the basic income facilitates entrepreneurial start-ups. (It is all here somewhere in this jumbled blog.)
In leaning towards Rosi I am gambling that if elected, she will listen to my vision of how to combine saving the ecosphere with social justice (which does mean redistribution) with ideas that appeal to Conservatives. The Green Party must make this breakthrough in a Conservative area if there is to be any point in its continued existence.