The Green Party was created in 1979 to deal with Limits to Growth, an early warning that we were trashing the Planet. But people are more concerned with what they think affects them more directly, and about which they feel able to do something. Doorstepping was our only access to the public for several years. The problem was only theoretical then. Our original support was 1%.
What has changed?
But above all, there is COP26 in Glasgow. The reason why the Green Party was invented has suddenly come centre stage. But why is the Green Party not centre stage?
Extinction Rebellion (XR) was launched in October 2018. Greta Thunberg says she wants governments to panic, but she doesn’t want to get embroiled in politics. Greta’s view and mine (embroiled in politics for 40 years) are not necessarily contradictory. There is a need for someone to issue the clarion call that something needs to be done, and that it is urgent, but for others to take it further.
In its early years f the Green Party Jonathon Porritt’s was writing Election Manifestos with a rousing vision, but meanwhile the backroom girls and boys were busy preparing a (boring) handbook for implementation by a Green Party once it swept into power.
What I envisage now is actually close to what Greta says. Rather than a detailed blueprint for action, we need a wake-up call to the public to elect governments who worry about climate breakdown.
The thousands (millions world-wide?) of XR activists seem not to see political action as relevant.
One reason they dismiss the Green Party is the mistake the Party made at the outset. Redistribution will almost certainly be necessary if whole populations are to accept economic contraction, which looks inevitable if 6 billion humanks are to live within the Earth’s resources.
But that does not make the Green Party ‘left wing’. The Green Party must approach their former enemies more in sorrow than in anger. Taxation of the better off becomes an insurance premium to preserve the Ecosphere.
The Green Party has recently elected a new Leadership. I fear this scenario will take them aback.
But if there is to be any point in a Green Party it must first re-establish contact with the better off, who responded to Limits more readily than those who had more immediate worries.
The Party must then fight elections quoting Greta Thunberg, and using that picture of devastation in a German street. There is no time to lose. we cannot wait for the next Geatneral Election.
There will be a by-election to replace James Brokenshire in Old Bexley & Sidcup, on 2nd December, The Green Party candidate will be Jonathan Rooks. The Green Party does not need to win, just to show that the reason it was founded in now being taken much more seriously.
I hope thiselection wil be supported by the Party nationally.
There was a suggestion on Any Questionsi BBC Radio 4, (21.10.21) that instead of infuriating motorists on motorways, climate protesters should be picketing the Chinese Embassy. I doubt whether that would change Chinese behaviour, but what might make a difference in democracies (assuming a new sense of urgency) is to vote – put pencil crossses on pieces of paper.
[This is a re-draft of a previous post now that we have a candidate]