This election result could be the start of something big – but will the Greens take the necessary action? The Green Party has gained 82 new councillors, but I believe most have been at the expense of Conservatives.
The Party will not like my advice. We willingly identified as left of centre in 1989. but for some time we have consistently gained mainly in Conservative areas. Although the left-wing label was a mistake, it was unavoidable at the time. But the Party still adopts that stance, How can it be challenged?
Our initial election results in 1974 an 1979 showed that our message -that growth needed to be curbed – resonated surprisingly well in Con held areas, but not where shortages might be more of a reality. We were a new, completely unknown party with doorstepping (by very few of us) as our only means of communication. But even this applied only if the sitting candidate was perceived as safe.
That changed abruptly when Caroline Lucas revealed to the 15% who voted Green in the 1989 Euro elections (still by far our best national result), that saving the Planet (I prefer to call it the Ecosphere) would involve redistribution.
That was, and remains true, but unlike the founder members, Caroline was (and still is) firmly stuck in the left/right mind-set. I have no evidence that either Carla Denyer or Adrian Ramsay see things differently.
My slogan would be “More in Sorrow than in Anger”. No doubt a better strategist than me can think of a better way of putting it, but the task, formidable, but not impossible, is to sell a deal whereby for higher taxes, we could save the Ecosphere from destruction for all of us. ‘We’ actually means everybody, world wide, but we have to start somewhere.
As no elected leader has stepped forward (I hoped either Angela Merkel or Jacinda Ardern might) the leaders of any political party can make such an appeal. We would be frank about the need for redistribution, but as an appeal, not in a context of defeating an enemy. If I had been permitted (at the recent Batley & Spen by-election) I would have used that pic of devastation in the Rhineland.
Please, Leaders, the 2022 local election results are as good a time as any for this announcement.