17 May 2009

Who is challenging the Greens in Euro elections?

Greens polling is very encouraging - up from 6% a few days ago to 11% today - and the YouGov poll we commissioned indicates that 34% will either definitely vote Green or would consider voting Green. Plus some good national coverage last week.

If you haven't already contacted your local Green party do please think about it as leaflets, canvassing and more is needed. Life for many Greens is now super busy with the campaign - and here I'm responding to media requests regularly - although the absurd thing is that local press stop reporting most politics before an election - just at the time when people get more interested - see our website for some of the news releases and comments I've been adding.

Below is some of the news coverage plus a list of those competing against the Greens for votes in the Euros:

'Caroline Lucas: There's light at the end of the tunnel. After years of infighting and unworkable policies, the Greens are at last presenting a united front – and their leader might even become her party's first MP. Geoffrey Lean meets Caroline Lucas' - see here.

'Two in five shun three main political parties: After 10 days of headlines that have devastated Parliament, The IoS reveals the strength of the public revolt against mainstream politics' See here.

Party funding: Top donors turn against Labour over MPs' expenses. See here.

Whose on the ballot?

In order, as on ballot paper, below, are the parties for the EU elections with some initial comments and thoughts... it seems clear that there is no way the LDs and Lab will gain a second seat in the SW. The only way therefore that folk can prevent the right-wingers from maintaining their stranglehold on SW representation at Brussels is to vote in the Green Knight.

It is also worth saying again that in terms of the planet's future (and it's inhabitants) we must remain within Europe (and indeed the world community of nations) as we have serious global problems that cannot be fixed without international structures and restrictions. To walk out of Europe now would be to kill any hope of either stopping severe resource exhaustion or climate chaos. More below...

Anyhow here is the list...

1. BNP. I've written before on this lot - see also Richard Lawson's blog here. Also UNISON highlighted a few of their key policies: BNP would kick out everyone not born in Britain (if other countries kicked out Brits a staggering 5.5m people would be returned incl 800,000 from Spain who are mostly pensioners), if Black and minority ethnic people were kicked out many services like the NHS would simple collapse (16% of nurses, 40% new dentists and 58% of new doctors are from ethnic communities), the BNP would introduce apartheid to Britain with their policies of white's being given preference in housing, education and jobs (like in South Africa's policies of apartheid which the BNP supported),BNP opposes any racial integration - mixed race relationships would be outlawed and in their 2005 manifesto their answer to violent crime is to allow every household to have a gun. The good news is that today's PoliticsHome poll reflects intelligence on the ground that the anti-BNP message from mainstream parties may be working. Searchlight, an anti-fascist organisation, reports a shift to Ukip in the BNP's top target seat, the northwest. As the Green MEP for the northwest, Peter Cranie, argues, this election is the BNP's "last hurrah": if it cannot win a seat in such favourable circumstances, it may implode. Indeed as Peter has said - and Ricky Knight, the lead Green in SW, a vote for Green is the best way to ensure the BNP don't get a seat. See here.

2. Christian Party. All list members with London addresses - I don't know much about this lot and their websites have virtually nothing - they have some green mentions but their news items have only 5 items - and one of those is joining the Daily Mail's campaign against Alan Duncan MP for a week offensive quip he made on 'Have I Got News For You'. Two of the other news items were about their bus and billboard campaign????

3. Conservative Party. They will be looking to increase vote from forecast relative decline of UKIP so seem to be playing down their pro-EU angle. However see Cameron's Tories very poor record on environment in Europe here.

4. English Democrats Party. The tag is 'putting England First' - while I understand their wish to address the West Lothian question - withdrawl from the EU as they want is not the best way to achieve a better democracy - see comments under UKIP below - plus I have real concerns about where they are coming from - their London Mayoral candidate Matt O'Connor withdrew shortly before the 2008 election, claiming that the English Democrats had agreed with the England First Party - an avowedly racist breakaway from the British National Party - not to stand against one another. The EDP denied a link.

5. Fair Pay Fair Trade Party. I don't know about this lot despite knowing one of their candidates - again little info and while they may have some great policies they do not appear holistic in their approach. Again it is hard to find anything about their policies.

6. Jury Team. So it is hard to find policies about some of the above well this lot claims to want 'politics without parties' yet they are standing as a party - this makes little sense to me? What are we voting for here?

7. Liberal Democrats. See their poor voting record on environment here.

8. Mebon Kernow. These are good folks - Greens are closer to their views than others but we have a v v much better chance of getting elected plus we will prioritise some of their key issues.

9. No2EU:Yes to Democracy Party. Another party hating the EU but sounding less UKIP? See my comments below re UKIP.

10. Pensioners Party. Why develop another party when Green's have had standing ovations for their policies at Pensioners Conferences - and we have the full range of policies - see local Green party letter here.

11. Pro-Democracy:Libertas.eu. Broadly pro EU - but again where are the policies?

12. Socialist Labour Party. Party leader Arthur Scargill who wants more coal-fired power stations - not a great idea if you want to take climate change seriously - indeed I can barely find a mention of climate change on their website.

13. The Green Party. Who is this lot? Full list headed by some bloke from North Devon called Richard Knight. See more at: www.thinkagainvotegreen.org.uk

14. The Labour Party. This lot seem a little in disarray? Apparently have already failed to turn up at two hustings so far - are they in disarray? See Labour's dire voting record in Europe here.

15. UKIP. Anti EU, pro business with authoritarian tendencies - here are a couple of letters from last Euro elections here and here. UKIP calls for us to be out of Europe, yet they want more free trade agreements. These are no protection of British sovereignty or our own economy. UKIP seem to think that withdrawing from the EU, will mean we could still engage in full trade with our European partners without the political entanglements of belonging to the Union itself. Switzerland has been quoted as an example, yet the Swiss people still have to follow most EU regulations. If almost all your products are sold within the EU, then you have to meet EU rules. If Britain withdrew we would still be bound by EU regulations, but would have absolutely no say in formulating them. The UK Isolation Party, as they have been called, have also, in the past been strongly criticised by Friends of the Earth UKIP for failing to vote for a single environmental improvement measured. The way forward must be for the radical reform of the EU that Greens want - greater decentralisation - but with EU-wide decision-making on issues that cross national boundaries, like safeguarding basic standards of human, civil and animal rights, regulating multinational companies and resolving disputes between member states. Greens want to see the EU work for the benefits of all it's citizens, which is why we are working to see greater accountability and democracy in the EU with issues like trade and economic policy left for member states to deal with. Having said all that UKIP also don't have a great record with their MEPs - one resigned for beneifit fraud, another for allegations over expenses - then of course there was Kilroy-Silk splitting off, several racist incidents - and from 16% of the vote in 2004 their support plummeted to under 1% in the London Mayoral race. However I don't write them off; their simple message appeals to some who are switched off by politics - and no wonder with the recent nonsense over expenses. There is even a UKIP Watch website! Anyhow I didn't mean to go on here but wanted to address some of the issues that are being thrown around...

16. WAI D. This seems to be something about getting folk to tell their MEPS how to vote by using the internet - that immediately excludes a large section of the population...

17. Katie Olivia Hopkins, Independent. A list of one - apparently was in the TV show the 'The Apprentice'...and on I'm a celebrity get me out of here...her blog has little in the way of policies and the media section on her website appears to be all about losing weight after giving birth.


Anonymous said...

Re your comments on the pensioners' party.

On this logic yI am tempted to ask "Why have a Green Party when the other parties can (doubtless) get standing ovations for their environmental policies once in while given the right audience?"

Put another way, why don't you stop the snide old style politics we-are-the-way-the-truth-and-the-light party politic blogging and embrace genuinely pluralist politics..

After all, anyone who knows the a bit about origins of the Green party in the 1970s (then called the Ecology Party, as I remember) will know what a wacko fringe outfit it was considered (and possible was)....

You Greens are a big disappointment. Barely over the credibility threshold and already well on the road to being as offputting as all the established parties...

Philip Booth said...

Thanks for comment - agree it wasn't best worded - but nothing snide meant - point was that much of what the pensioners party are seeking is already spelt out in Green party policies - indeed more - Greens are the only party taking account of future generations as well and have the broader policies of social and environmental justice - indeed with Green party initiated schemes like free insulation in Kirklees we are meeting needs of all fuel poor and the environment.

As you will see from my blog, if you read other entries, I am one of the first to happily work with any reasonable politician from almost any party - if we are to tackle climate change then Greens will not do it alone.

The Ecology Party might well have been seen as 'Wacko' but as Jonathan Porritt said recently, "The Green Party is the only party that has consistently told the truth about the state of the Earth, and our relationship with it, over the last 35 years. The party's ideas remain as relevant and as radical today as they were all those years ago."

Sadly as scientists and campaigning organisations recognise we are still the only ones with policies to try and tackle climate change. How do you suggest we get the other parties to listen?

Anonymous said...


oh dear

Philip Booth said...

Indeed 'Oh dear' - usually don't correct spelling mistakes but this one did need it! Thanks!