1 May 2010

Friends of the Earth failing Greens and climate change?

Friends of the Earth have been running a campaign to target Parliamentary candidates - I mentioned it here - it is great stuff - seeking real commitments on climate change. This campaign was launched a while back now with the election one week away they have set up an email campaign to target the candidates: http://election.foe.co.uk/PPCFollowUp

But where are the Green candidates? It seems that FoE have ignored Greens - yet when people vote for policies Greens are still leading the field - see here - and remain the only party with policies that will tackle climate change to the level scientists are saying we need.....

I did manage to find in the FoE blog this statement when they launched balloons to represent the candidates who had signed: "So far, the Lib Dems are on 156, Labour on 85 - and just two lonely blue balloons representing Conservative candidates. For the record, 285 Green Party candidates (out of around 300) have signed the climate pledges - but we couldn't find enough green eco-balloons to represent them."

How on earth can we get the change we need if Greens are ignored by those that are supposed to be seeking the same things? FoE you can do better! Surely by pointing to the Green party more clearly FoE could also be pressurising the others to wake up to what is possible. Solid support for real Green policies could bring about the changes we need to tackle climate change.

Here is another example of a recent FoE press release which at least acknowledges the main parties failings: "The Liberal Democrats have the most ambitious green manifesto policies of the three main parties - but all parties must make climate a bigger election issue, an assessment by Friends of the Earth of the main political party manifestos reveals... The Liberal Democrats have the most ambitious and integrated environmental commitments of the three main parties, with Labour and the Conservatives lagging behind. But none of the main party manifestos are bold enough to meet the challenge of tackling climate change and seizing the huge economic benefits of creating a greener, safer future."

And they do at least acknowledge: "The Green Party had the most ambitious environmental policies of all."

But that Green party bit got zilch publicity. Indeed it seemed to be FoE attending the press conference and endorsing Lib Dems as the best of a bad bunch? Anyhow FoE have extended their campaign to try and get more Tories to sign up - see here - only two Tories so far!!

And as for publicity? Well at least local papers seem to be fairer - but the BBC has failed dismally locally - will post on that v soon - it does seem shocking that so little time is given to the Greens - how can you really debate the issues and have real choices when the three main parties agree pretty much.

I did mention in an earlier blog that a coalition Government could be a good thing - see here - billionaire Rupert Murdoch is still pushing that that it would not be a good thing. 40% of the British press is owned by Rupert Murdoch alone. Reinforced by a handful of media proprietors, editors and millionaire donors, his hacks have repeatedly sought to tip the balance of our democracy and to bolster their own power. Avaaz has now joined in on this issue - see their petition at:


Anonymous said...

Yes a bit annoying; however FoE is right to try and get the main parties to be greener – saving the planet is one area of policy where a consensus is good.

Very disappointing that Caroline Lucas or another GPEW rep couldn’t make the Guardian Environment debate. Demanding a slot on the leaders’ debates, then not turning up to an environment debate looks bad.


Andy said...

Agree - disappointing Caroline not there - but here was one reply that I have sympathy witrh from another website:

Why would Caroline attend an event where the majority of voters already know where the Greens stand on the issue? Voters know that the Greens are the only, genuine Green party. In all opinion polling, when voters are asked about which party has the best environmental policies, more often than not they say the Greens.

The Greens are running the campaign on a whole range of issues and we’re no longer a party just about the environment, we’re a party about fairer taxation, higher minimum wages, regulating renegade sectors of the market and a number of other progressive policies.

The Greens already have more exposure at this election than at any other. Caroline has an incredibly busy schedule and has to choose her public appearences carefully so that she can spend as much time focussing on the campaign in Brighton, as well as capacity as the leader of the Green Party (she is not our climate change spokesperson).

Philip Booth said...

Yes disappointing no Caroline - will see if I can find out reasons.

See The Independent today re electoral reform:

"The Conservatives are campaigning for "change" and "choice". The Labour Party's mantra is "a future fair for all". Both cling to an electoral system that restricts choice to a minimum and entrenches unfairness."

Jez said...

Leaders debate on TV to the nation is very different from The guardian debate - thought Caroline was excellent on Paxman - managing to keep on track despite his interuptions.

Anonymous said...

See The Telegraph

Nick Clegg said electoral reform
promises were not a “precondition” of dealing with a potential Conservative government.

Anonymous said...

I was at the Guardian debate - I seem to recall they said the Greens had been invited, but not attended.

I'm also puzzled by the "FOE ignore greens" headline, right next to a chart which I can't see that clearly, but seem to have a massive great green column on the right hand side....

Philip Booth said...

Yes not very clever of me to illustrate that post with that graph - it was an old graph FoE used earlier and I couldn't find again - I should have made that clear!