Leading article

Calling the Green party socialist is an insult to socialists

The Green manifesto is incoherent, dangerous and unfit for even a junior coalition partner

31 January 2015

9:00 AM

31 January 2015

9:00 AM

The Green party has been likened to a watermelon: green on the outside and red on the inside. But that is to do a huge injustice to generations of socialists and communists. Misguided though they were in many of their ideas, nobody could accuse them of actively seeking to make society poorer.

That, however, is the unashamed aspiration of Natalie Bennett and what has become the fastest-growing political party in Britain. It is quite possible that a good proportion of the 9 per cent of the electorate who say they are planning to vote Green in May are unaware of this, but it is there in black and white (‘policy EC201’) on the party’s website. It states that the party wants to pay every-one a ‘Citizen’s Income’ — which has since been put at £72 a week — in order to allow ‘current dependence on economic growth to cease, and allow zero or negative growth to be feasible without individual hardship should this be necessary on the grounds of sustainability’.

The three main parties have been happy to cast accusations of extremism at Ukip, yet they have missed the real extremist party in their midst. There is nothing to be welcomed in a shrinking economy, not even with £72 a week to compensate you for your lost job. If a depression were a reasonable price to pay for an improved environment, Tyneside in the 1930s would be remembered as a paradise. No doubt the air became cleaner as shipyards closed, yet those who lived through the Great Depression tended to remember it for other reasons: hunger and desperation.

Of course, everyone should be concerned about the environment, but to think that it is best-served by self-imposed poverty is folly. Pollution from industrial activity has fallen hugely since the 1930s, not because we have held back from wealth creation but for the opposite reason: we have learned how to do things better. We have learned to mitigate the problems associated with rich societies rather than retracting into a form of pre-industrial existence.

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The Greens have produced reams of grand ideological policy, in which people subsist in localised economies and practise barter without the need for horrible bankers, yet when they are faced with a genuine environmental challenge they have been found wanting. Brighton, the one council they run, languishes at 306th out of 326 English councils for its recycling rate. Only a quarter of its rubbish was recycled in the last year, compared with two-thirds for the best authorities. For a supposedly green party, this is an astonishing failure.

When off the subject of the environment, however, the policies get even sillier. Only the Green party could propose to shrink our armed forces, end the arms industry and simultaneously make it legal to be a member of Isis or al-Qaeda. No one but the Greens could want to decriminalise hard drugs and yet outlaw pâté.

Ukip is rightfully often damned as a party of Little Englanders, but they are not nearly so little as the Greens. Ukip is at least consistent in wanting to leave the EU so that Britain can better face the world and adopt its own immigration policy. Natalie Bennett appears to believe (she said so last Sunday) that Britain could remain a member of the EU while imposing import taxes on all foreign goods. Such taxes would leave Britain open to billions of pounds in EU fines, yet in the Greens’ bizarre little world no conflict seems to arise.

It is a proud aim of the party to reduce international trade, something which absurdly they seem to think can be done without harm to developing countries. Whether they like it or not, however, this would boost one sort of British export: money and assets, which would be siphoned out of the country at great speed if the Greens’ proposed wealth tax ever looked like happening. It is a symptom of the Greens’ lack of grip on reality that they think they could raise £45 billion in a wealth tax on assets over £3 million. France, which has a wealth tax starting at £800,000, manages to raise less than £4 billion. As they have found, imposing a wealth tax means that wealth starts flooding away.

The rise of the Greens has only become possible because of the growing mood of resentment against the established parties. It is true that the Conservatives and Labour have behaved as a duopoly for too long, have taken their voters for granted and deserve a challenge from elsewhere. But the emergence of other parties — and indeed the record of the Liberal Democrats in the coalition — has shown that for all the bickering, false promises and occasional contempt for the public shown by the established parties, they nevertheless have a professionalism which is absent from the upstarts.

In most elections, of course, the Greens would not matter. They would act as a receptacle for protest votes without anyone having to take their policies seriously. But the dynamics of this year’s vote are very different. It is looking increasingly likely that the only way to establish a majority in the next parliament may be for three parties to establish a coalition. The Greens could well be one of them, allowing a few of their policies to reach the government’s legislative programme.

It is improbable that any other party will adopt the Greens’ plans to throw the country into recession, but it is difficult to see how any of its policies could sensibly make it into a coalition agreement. The term ‘unelectable’ is overused, but in the case of the Greens and their pernicious ideology, it is appropriate. Even as the most junior member of a coalition, this party is not fit for government.

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Show comments
  • silent_pilot

    Watching Natalie Bennett on Sunday, I simply could not believe the lack of coherence in most of their policies. She also sought to lay blame elsewhere, by saying that the policies came from the members. Truly shocking!

    • Tom Sheldon

      But they do…

      • silent_pilot

        You obviously don’t understand leadership and why loyalty, in both directions, is important. A leader would take ownership of those policies as if they were their own; and not seek to blame the members.

        • Thats_news

          But Green Party policies might not be quite what they appear. For example at a party conference we voted to keep the name of the party the Ecology Party. But by some plebiscitical miracle, the vote was recorded as being in favour of changing the name to the Gren Party! How remarkable!

          But the powers that be had decided on the policy they wanted and no pesky little thing like the democratic process would be allowed to stand in their way.

    • NickB

      The policies are coherent but it would take a week to explain them. Complicated solutions to complicated problems. The Greens have joined up solutions. It would take a few hours just to discuss one of these questions.

      • silent_pilot

        Even if you think that the policies are coherent do you really think voters want to spend ages trying to understand them? Clearly Natalie Bennett didn’t understand them either,

      • kazdix

        Are you being ironic?

      • Evan Gilmer

        Could you share a link where we could read the explanation of these “coherent policies”?

  • Arthur Ascii

    If you read the Greens’ manifesto you realise that the idea to decriminalise membership of al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organisation stems from the notion that all terrorists are reacting to grievances caused by us, the West. It’s all our fault you see. In their view there is no Islamist expansionism, no militant hatred of all but the most puritanical Muslims, nor any ideology that can’t be traced back that something the US, UK, Europe, or Israel did or is doing, and it’s a view that has taken firm root on the Left.

    They believe we can sort out our differences by listening to those grievances and having a hear to heart over a cup of tea, which is about as realistic as a Jew trying to persuade an SS guard to have a talk about things in front of the ovens at Auschwitz.

    It’s dangerous, stupid nonsense and there are plenty of badly educated, naive voters willing to believe in it.

    • Owen_Morgan

      Presumably, Dr Heinz Kiosk is a green candidate. “We are all guilty!” was his favourite dictum.

    • Ed  

      “It’s dangerous, stupid nonsense and there are plenty of badly educated, naive voters willing to believe in it.”

      Yes.

      It’s also racist. They’re basically arguing that brown people can’t think without the influence of white people. The more you think about it, the more horrible it is.

    • Tom Sheldon

      Criminal acts, including inciting violence, should be illegal. Membership of a group or expression of a thought, SHOULD NOT. How is that difficult to grasp? How is that controversial? Didn’t we all just turn out onto the streets a few weeks ago in defence of free speech and free association after the Charlie Hebdo massacres? Or is it just free-speech within a prescribed parameter of acceptable views you’d like us to employ? Should we really drive such radical, heinous ideologies like that of ISIS and al-Qaeda underground? Or should we encourage their members and supporters in the shadows to speak openly, so that we can see them for what they really are and begin winning the war of ideas against them?

      Because that’s the only way you can beat an ideology. You beat it’s ideas. We can’t do that against radical Islam or any radical ideology of hatred if we a) don’t actually try to convince them of our way of thinking, and b) act as hypocrites by not even standing up for the principle of free speech that we claim they are attacking us to try and destroy!

      Greens don’t support terrorism. How could you possibly even think that?

      • Arthur Ascii

        The assumption you and the Greens are making is that those who support the heinous ideologies like that of ISIS and al-Qaeda are open to dialogue. You have this naive belief that we can ‘convince them of our way of thinking’, presumably by reasoned discussion over a cup of green tea or a Newsnight style panel debate.

        Imagine it’s 1936 and it’s Berlin. Could a Jew convince a Brown Shirt of his way of thinking? Do you want to have those who openly advocate and endorse the slaughter of Jews in a Paris supermarkets living freely among us? Enjoying all the benefits that our society provides?

        By not proscribing such organisations you are simply giving them a platform on which they can recruit new members and to arrange, plan, support, and finance acts of terror here and abroad.

        The Green policy may state that they would prosecute anyone for planning acts of terror but elsewhere it champions the rights of terror suspects and challenges the idea that we should call them terrorists at all, and the Greens would hamper any investigation by restraints on the security services.

        Londonistan would continue to live up to its name.

        • NickB

          The policy states that funding or supporting terrorism should be a crime. They champion the basic principle of giving equal rights to any criminal and rightly so. Nowhere in their policies does it say that being a member of a terrorist organisation should be decriminalised. It says that being part of “an organisation” should not of itself be a crime. This could mean a political party or it could mean the Red Cross. But it clearly states that funding terrorism is a crime, and if a membership badge exists for IS then it would be a crime because it implies supporting terrorism. But the policy says nothing about being a member of a terrorist organisation probably because most people are aware such memberships don’t even exist. They were invented by the media.

          • Arthur Ascii

            Then they need to clarify the wording. It’s a fair assumption, based on the context, that it refers to an organisation that promotes the ideology behind the terrorist acts.

            Furthermore, other parts of the policy refer to what they think are the causes of terrorism:(PD440): “A Green government, by implementing principles laid out elsewhere in this manifesto, particularly those of self-determination and non-interventionist foreign policies, would seek to overcome the unjust divisions within our global and domestic society and address the desperate motivations that lie behind many atrocities labelled “terrorist”.

            This reveals a lack of understanding of the role played by hard line regimes financing and promoting Islamist groups and suggests that the Greens are stuck in the “it’s our fault so we should learn to understand them” mindset.

          • NickB

            It doesn’t mean we would have no foreign policy though, and as history has shown removing one hard line regime usually results in a power vacuum that leads eventually after much blood shed to another hard line regime. Should it not be about the people themselves in those countries to determine their own futures? Military intervention doesn’t stop the causes of events. But I agree we need to maintain a reaction force in case atrocities occur, as in Kosovo.

          • TheWanderer91

            The green party’s defence policy is a joke, how do you expect anyone to take them seriously.

      • Stu

        “Because that’s the only way you can beat an ideology. You beat it’s ideas.”

        What utter drivel. I take it we beat Hitler and the National Socialists ideas and that’s how world war 2 was won. Tell you what Adolf, let’s be civilised about this, no need to start a war is there old chap. No quite right Mr Chamberlain off you go back to England and you can wave a piece of paper and witter on about peace in our time while I invade Belgium and the low countries. I’ve already had plenty of practice in Spain.

        Unfortunately appeasement of murdering thugs only makes them more likely to do the thing you don’t want them to.

        Can I make the suggestion that you go over to Syria and have a meeting of minds with these terrorists. Have a nice cup of tea with them. The guy who decapitates people for no reason other than they aren’t muslim extremists will be very happy to see you but I’m sure they will all come around to your naive way of thinking in the end. You just won’t be there to see it.

        As for Charlie Hebdo yes some of us did demonstrate for free speech. But you can’t conflate that with the massacre of 14 people by muslims just for exercising that right.

        • El

          War was declared on Nazi Germany because it was invading all ’round it, not because Britain found its ideas simply unconscionable. Incidentally, the end of WWII did not signal the end of Nazism. The BNP springs to mind. In this respect you are failing to see the bigger picture, and the statement you’re railing against is entirely correct: ideas are not subject to military defeat.

      • NickB

        Tom the policy needs reworking, it’s not even clear what belonging to “an organisation” means. As a Green Party member I can safely say that supporting a terrorist organisation either financially or by any other means should be a crime and elsewhere in the document it states exactly that! But the wording of this policy needs to be reworked since all it means is that all criminals should be given the same legal rights. It does say that belonging to an organisation should not of itself be a crime. The reason for this being included is obvious, it would be wrong to put a member of any particular organisation in jail, for instance a member of ukip. But supporting a known terrorist organisation that has committed acts of “terrorism” should be a crime. It really is not clear in this policy that we are calling for the same legal rights for all individuals, and calling for the protection of freedom of thought or speech. That said, it is wrong for people to assume that the organisation being referred to is a terrorist one. It simply states “an organisation” and needs to be made much clearer. Let’s not get on to our high horse and try and defend the policy when it is just a rather vaguely written policy that needs an update. Which, by the way, requires a motion at conference. They can’t just go onto the website and change it when they feel like it, unlike ukip!

        • photon

          Or, more briefly, Green policy is inconsistently worded, not clear, and needs changing.

      • The Masked Marvel

        Membership of a group that is a declared enemy of the State and which openly condones violence isn’t a problem?

      • Brogan75

        we should not drive them underground, we should wipe them out.

    • NickB

      Perhaps this policy is unclear. Just to clarify. The whole paragraph basically states that all criminals should be granted the same legal rights, that’s what the policy in question means. It may need to be better worded, but that is the intention behind it. It needs to be made clearer. The policy goes on to make it clear that any funding or support of a terrorist group is illegal. It cannot be any more clear than that. It’s a bit nit picky to claim the opposite when it has been clearly stated elsewhere in the document. That part of the policy needs to be reworded because what does “belonging to an organisation” actually mean anyway? If it means parting with cash or other support then the party make it clear this should be a crime. Just to change that one sentence requires a motion at conference and sometimes there are other priorities, a little understanding of this process would not be amiss.

      • Arthur Ascii

        Would you or would you not allow members of the 65 currently proscribed terrorist organisations to live openly in the UK?

        Green Party policy states:
        PD443: “It should not be a crime simply to belong to an organisation or have sympathy with its aims, though it should be a crime to aid and abet criminal acts or deliberately fund such acts.”

        So, under a Green government, as a UK citizen you can be a member of, for example, Al Qaida, Boko Haram or ISIL and it would not be a crime. You could openly promote its ideology and recruit new members provided they didn’t catch you funding, aiding or abetting an actual criminal act of violence. Presumably you would also be able to organise rallies and take part in demonstrations (as long as they are peaceful and law abiding, naturally).

        (PD440): “A Green government, by implementing principles laid out elsewhere in this manifesto, particularly those of self-determination and non-interventionist foreign policies, would seek to overcome the unjust divisions within our global and domestic society and address the desperate motivations that lie behind many atrocities labelled “terrorist”.

        So what unjust divisions and desperate motivations lie behind the gang rape and sexual enslavement of young Yazidi girls? Or the creation of a caliphates in the Middle East and Africa, the mass murder of all Jews, and the enslavement, torture, and mutilation of anyone considered undesirable?

        Let me repeat the question. Would you or would you not allow members of the 65 currently proscribed terrorist organisations to live openly in the UK?

        • NickB

          No, the policies clearly state that to fund or support a terrorist organisation is a criminal act. The above policy is not clear but it doesn’t state belonging to a terrorist organisation at all, it states “an organisation”. There is a big difference. The media are wrong on this one even if the policy is unclear.

          • photon

            If the media are wrong on this one, it is because the policy is unclear.

        • NickB

          It could equally apply to this: “It should not be a crime simply to belong to McDonalds or have sympathy with its aims.”

  • Peter Stroud

    I watched the Interview of Ms Bennett on Sunday, and my jaw dropped so much that my chin rested on my chest. Anyone not knowing that this strange woman is leader of a political party, would have concluded that the interview was a joke, or a hoax. Unfortunately only a small percentage of voters watch the Sunday Politics, so she might pick up more protest votes than she deserves.

    • ButcombeMan

      Watching it, I was reminded of a “Bird & Fortune” sketch

      • Damian Hurts

        The English Green Party remind me of Greek accountants – they are on a different planet. In the meantime Lord Hill is working hard in the background to align the EU services sector.

        Of course the Spectator pro-EU infocrats want you to take your eyes off the prize.

      • kazdix

        well spotted lol.

    • Molly NooNar

      Well she’s new to tv appearances and is trying to explain her policies to a new audience that she will have to work hard to earn trust with. I am sure she will improve with every appearance, though I also think Andrew Neil could have told her before hand what policies he wanted to talk about so that she could get the figures and come prepared. It’s not like Andrew Neil interviewed the Green Party’s economic spokesperson. Is the leader supposed to know the ins and outs of everything? May be they should, but I doubt many fare better on the nitty gritty of policy.

      • Ed_Burroughs

        “Is the leader supposed to know the ins and outs of everything?”

        Yes.

        • starfish

          Well Miliband doesn’t. Maybe that is the role model she is using?

          • Ed_Burroughs

            As scary as it sounds, She makes Ed M look like a born leader.

          • james cormack

            I am not a Labour supporter but all these personal attacks on Milliband are pathetic. Play the ball not the player, for God’s sake and show us what’s in your locker room.

      • http://elfnhappiness.blogspot.com/ eeore

        Presumably she is aware of the policies as the leader of the party.

      • Glennys Wiggin

        she will have known in advance..and if she cant have her facts and figures rolling off her tongue then she is a poor excuse for a party leader…Andrew Neil was very patient with her in my opinion ..a lot more generous than he has been with other party leaders. The woman is a car crash.

      • NickB

        He knew damn well our costed manifesto is not yet completed, so asking these question was about carefully selected lines out of context. It was disrespectful in the extreme. No the Greens aren’t going to put the queen in a council house, no the greens do not in any way condone terrorism, yes the universal basic income is gaining support from all parts of the political spectrum but it takes a bit of understanding. Taken in isolation of course our policies are unworkable. But we are a radical party with joined up policies, whereas ukip basically aren’t, so you can’t simplify it down to one policy as with other parties because we have an actual joined up approach to complicated problems. Ukip think they can solve everything with a simple fix which is of course nonsense. It’ll take time for the Greens to get their ideas across especially with this media who give them so little time to even speak. But don’t worry we will.

        • Thats_news

          Asking hard questions is ‘disrespectful’? It’s damn nonsense like this that made me resign my membership of the Green Party.

          • NickB

            It’s beyond hard questions. He didn’t let her answer.

        • Wessex Man

          Your ‘costed manifesto is not completed’ How in the hell can it be costed then?

        • afhtown

          “our costed manifesto is not yet completed” – so it’s costed as in past-tense ‘done’ … but is not yet completed?! I’d call that a fail. You don’t announce a policy as insane as that one without KNOWING how to make it add up – otherwise how you can possibly be taken seriously?!

          “Taken in isolation of course our policies are unworkable.”
          You might want to get the branding people to have another a go at that line before going public with it!

          • NickB

            The basic figures are in place. Half of UBI would be payed for out of existing benefits including pensions, further savings from administration savings. So immediately the £280bn gross figure is misleading. This isn’t some left wing crazy scheme, plenty of Tories support it. It would solve a great deal of our problems. It would boost our economy. It would negate the need for food banks, low wages would be far less of an issue, and it would benefit entrepreneurs who wish to take time out of work. It would greatly reduce student debt, and remove benefit traps, tempting more into work. It would provide security to anyone wanting to start a business. The benefits are huge. The full costings will be released in March. I recommend anyone from any political persuasion to look into it. The Green Party’s proposal is similar but not quite the same as http://www.citizensincome.org/FAQs.htm

      • afhtown

        Nope – if you’re going to have a laughably expensive policy (national basic wage) you need to be on top of the numbers. End of.

        • NickB

          It surprisingly has significant support in the House of Commons. Let me run down some figures that were estimated in 2011. Social security savings: £129bn. Savings from Tax reliefs and allowances: £113bn. Savings from DWP 1 running costs: £6bn. Savings from HMRC 2 (tax credit administration): £1bn. Total £239bn compared to estimated cost of their version of UBI: £232.9bn. Profit of nearly £6bn. Of course, the Green Party want to implement something that provides slightly more a week, in 2015 money. But this clearly illustrates that it is possible to run some form of UBI in a cost neutral manner. The rest would be made up from tax reforms and other savings. I’ll be interested to see The Green Party’s costed manifesto, I think most people should be because some form of UBI in the future is inevitable. It is certainly not laughably expensive, the version presented by Citizen’s Income is in fact cost neutral. Which is why it is frustrating that Natalie was not given the opportunity to say this in detail, and shows the total ignorance of the BBC.

          • Guest

            I meant £239bn in savings.

    • ptolemy

      Judging from your Disqus history the party that suits you would be one that bans Islam in the UK. Looking around I don’t see any that would do that. Perhaps you’re too extremist for modern politics?

    • http://www.alda-architects.co.uk/ Alan

      Basically the same questions but this time given the opportunity to answer. Quite a difference.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tufUV_Uc-z0&sns=fb

    • Molly NooNar

      An inconvenient fact for you: A survey by the website voteforpolicies.org.uk reports that in blind tests (the 500,000 people it has polled were unaware of which positions belong to which parties), the Green party’s policies are more popular than those of any other. Why don’t you have a go and see if you yourself are really a Green party supporter too?

      • Mc

        Voters are known to be complete idiots. Even when it is clear to them that their chosen party has implamented disastrous policies, voters are often loath to vote in another party.

      • John Lapage

        That test hits up some isolated policies out of the context of ‘dealbreaker’ policies. It’s like asking ‘do you think there should be more grammar schools?’ and then labelling people BNP voters if they say yes. No amount of ‘good’ policies will wash out ‘bad’ policies, whether its the racism of UKIP and the BNP or the voluntary poverty of the Greens.

        • http://ivorphotography.co.uk/ Ivor

          The premise of the article is wrong as the Green Party actually holds a very similar position economically and socially to the Labour Party when it was formed, far closer to that position than the Labour party is now.

          Vote for Policies doesn’t work by taking isolated questions. Given that the ‘self selected’ participants amount to over half a million, far more than any Mori poll, which is never utterly random either, then it is probably a fairly accurate reflection of the views of the majority.

          Why not try The Political Compass, a well respected tool used by academics. https://www.politicalcompass.org/test/

          It’s interesting that those who argue against the Green Party in these discussions often revert to using insults and don’t offer any coherent arguments in favour of their own political ideals. It is similar behaviour exhibited by all the right-wing, neo-liberal parties that currently dominate British politics and a tactic that the populace can see through.

          The Green Party is growing in popularity because of a host of issues that the other parties have created. The ever-increasing gap between the super rich and the majority of the population, the drop in pay in real terms, the unpopular and (what as seen as) unethical education system, the continual sleaze and corruption stories, the last few governments’ inclination to serve big business and the banking system and not the electorate, austerity, unpaid labour, benefit cuts, the damage being done to the environment and so on.are all issues that previously apathetic voters thought could not be addressed by them. They see the Green Party as a real alternative.

          If you add to that the never ending saga of the NHS, the cross-party collusion on pushing fracking, the oil wars, the massive cuts in public services you should be able to see through your blue tinted spectacles why people are turning to the Green Party,

          The big change is that those who were previously apathetic about politics because of all the issues above, finally have a party they feel will serve them. A party that has crowd funded nearly all its election deposits and is run by volunteers,

      • Ed  

        Interesting link. I came out UKIP.

        Not sure the results are quite as “inconvenient” as you say, given the surveyed people are self-selected.

        Study statistics much?

    • james cormack

      And your alternative is…?

  • Simon Grover

    This article is willfully misinterpreting Green policy for the sake of a good story. Great that journalists and others are now looking seriously at what the Greens stand for, but it would be nice if they could be a little more objective and thoughtful about what the party is actually saying, and why.

    • OldFlashy

      Not really. I read all this stuff a few weeks ago and, in fairness, thought it was the case so took a look and chatted to a Green friend of mine, as well as watching Natalie Bennett on Sunday Politics and Caroline Lucas on Newsnight. They (you) are either genuinely nuts or stupid, and the more people that realise the better. Either way, all the political parties get this sort of treatment and the Greens are happy to dish it out towards UKIp and the Tories in particular. Legalising membership of terrorist organisations and further loosening of border controls is definitely on the agenda for one. I’ll be objective about that, it’s willfully dangerous to the people of this country and you should stick those policies where the sun don’t shine.

    • ButcombeMan

      Did you actually SEE the Bennett interview?

      If not, I suggest you look at it.

      She was absolutely shredded by Brillo.

      Truly astonishing , absolutely mad stuff.

      She is not of this world.
      .

      • Glennys Wiggin

        lunacy..no other word for it..maybe as an Australian she has no real care for the British people or the UK..certainly looks thatway..

        • Rosemary Fryth

          Ah, stop right there. I’m sorry you guys got lumbered with this lunatic from Oz, but we also have been the recipients of a number of unhinged Brits (namely feral trade union leaders and other socialists) who have helped to stuff up the land Downunder. Btw, we have our own Greens party with their equally lunatic ideas – for eight years they were in Government as partners with the Labor party down here, and as a country we’re still trying to recover from their mad, economy, culture and society killing policies. Thanks to the Labor/Greens, we lost control of our borders, and were inundated with hundreds of thousands of people from the Middle East with God knows what background, or criminal or terrorist associations. We’re not quite where Britain is in regards to Islamification – but courtesy of Labor/Greens Australia is now a less safe place to live.

    • Arthur Ascii

      I have looked seriously at what the Greens stands for and their published manifesto is proof of how out of touch they are with reality.

      The bits about decriminalising membership of terrorist organisations is chilling in its stupidity.

      • Tom Sheldon

        Why should we make expressing thoughts and joining groups illegal? That only drives nutters underground, rather than encouraging them to tell us all their ridiculous beliefs openly so we can beat them in argument and defeat their ideology.

        Unless of course you think it would be better if we were to gag free speech when we don’t like what we’re hearing? Has it really only taken us two weeks to forget what we all stood for after the Charlie Hebdo massacre occured?.. FREE SPEECH! FREE ASSOCIATION!

        • Arthur Ascii

          Why stop there then? Why not allow paedophile groups to exist freely but only prosecute if they are caught in the act or preparing for the act?

          Using the Charlie Hebdo massacre is a cheap shot. You would allow the kinds of people who support and endorse that level of violence to freely and openly in the UK, collecting their £72 a week and rationalising their sickening ideology.

          And shouting in block caps doesn’t make your point any more valid. Grow up.

          • starfish

            “Why not allow paedophile groups to exist freely but only prosecute if they are caught in the act or preparing for the act?”
            I think that was the policy of PIE and its fellow travellers in the Labour Party (Harman etc)
            That turned out well

    • mountolive

      As a Green councillor in St Albans, you are in a better position than most to put us all in the picture. Perhaps you might consider providing us with a detailed response to those criticisms, currently being aired, of the green manifesto and other position papers.

      It simply is not good enough to complain of a lack of objectivity when you are under attack from both the Spectator and the Guardian readerships. Many people have taken the trouble to make a considered response, now it is your turn. Put up or…

      • Tom Sheldon

        As a Green supporter I know I’m not impartial but I totally agree. People are sick of politicians and media moguls slinging disses back and forth.

        “Misguided though they were in many of their ideas, nobody could accuse them of actively seeking to make society poorer.

        That, however, is the unashamed aspiration of Natalie Bennett and what has become the fastest-growing political party in Britain.”

        That is so offensive to anyone who is a member or supporter of the Greens it’s sickening. Are you deliberately trying to distort our views from the public? When asked about our policies alone more UKIP supporters agreed with us than they did with UKIP themselves! Why don’t people know that we stand for things like renationalising the railways (and our NHS if things carry on the way they’re going right now!), levying higher taxes on millionaires rather than ordinary people to pay for the deficit our financial elite created, and bringing about real local direct democracy in local government AND in people’s workplaces.

        The rich have gone on too long ‘owning’ the tools of labour production while making the rest of us work them to increase their wealth at the expense of our own political enfranchisement and prosperity. Enough is enough. Journalists like you will be laughed out of the country after we all wake up to charade of a democracy we’ve been subjected to over the last century.

    • Malcolm Stevas

      There seems little point in “looking seriously” at the Greens given the addled, unbalanced, not to say clinically insane quality of their, er, “platform” I suppose one must call it. “Objective” and “thoughtful” are not terms which belong in even the most cursory discussion of Greenery.

      • Tom Sheldon

        that’s precisely how radical ideas get shot down before ever being considered. You’re living within a political and social paradigm you’ve been told perhaps you’re whole life is the only way things can be. It’s time we started considering alternatives to the current system. And no, four parties that tacitly and actively support neo-liberal laisse-faire crony capitalism are going to offer those alternatives to us.

        • Tim Reed

          “You’re living within a political and social paradigm you’ve been told perhaps you’re(sic) whole life is the only way things can be.”

          You need to lay off the Russell Brand DVDs. I cringed.

        • Malcolm Stevas

          My God! I’m being patronised by a Green… Next thing, you’ll be suggesting I’m a victim of false consciousness.
          Any sort of “alternative to the present system” cannot possibly include anything suggested by the Green Party, whose grasp on reality is tenuous to put it very politely.

    • Seat of Mars

      As a Green supporter, or possibly activist (?), can you….

      Explain how the Green party can support environmentalism and the protection of our countryside while simultaneously desiring completely open borders and their resultant population increase?

      Explain how the Green party wants to uphold the rights of minority groups – particularly LBGT – while simultaneously welcoming people from around the world with extremely conservative values which include believing that LGBT people should be killed?

      Explain how the policy of making membership of extremist groups legal, simultaneously encouraging the growth in their numbers with open borders, and disbanding our military leaving us defenceless, leads us to a happy, harmonious and safe society?

      Explain the reasons for doing away with the idea of a “British national” or a “British nation”, and whether you would like to see this idea spread globally, thus eradicating all concepts of cultures and nations worldwide? Or is it just the British who would enjoy the eradication of their culture?

      Further would you like this policy to not just apply to concepts but to actual cultural practices? After all you can’t do away with the “idea” of “Britishness” if people still continue to define themselves as belonging to one nation or another, and engage in their own cultural practices. Would you legislate acceptable non-cultural practices, and make anything reminiscent of the former-culture illegal? Drinking in Starbucks – acceptable. Playing cricket – imprisonment. Shopping at Primark – acceptable. Drinking in a pub – imprisonment.

      • EXBTON

        Which manifesto exactly, moronic herd of the Expectorate? You can’t even get headline right. AN was drawing from the policy website (rather badly, and selectively). Manifestos aren’t out yet. You want to draw from a policy website, which covers short, medium and long term goals, and then call it a manifesto? And have you not noticed that everybody is shredded by Brillo? That’s the point of the man – he serves little other purpose. You whoop like a bunch of adolescent chimpanzees, as if you’d managed to kill a member of another pack. For God’s sake – celebrate a victory, not some lame broadcast on the Beeb everyone will have forgotten in five minutes. If you’re this incontinent now you’ll be bursting out of your jack boots by the time the election comes round.

        • Ivan Ewan

          Oh look, you can make references to jackboots and apes. I guess it doesn’t matter that he didn’t even call it a manifesto – you can just lie about your opponent and call him a moron. No problem.

        • Tom Sheldon

          Exactly this! Half the ‘policies’ Andrew Neil brought up are long-term aspirations the party has. Yes Bennett did a terrible job of making this clear in the interview (I admit it was a bit of a shambles), but the ‘Policies for a Sustainable Future’ booklet from which the policies Neil quoted are from, CLEARLY states that the Party doesn’t believe in just accepting anyone UNTIL the developing world is brought up to our standard of living and openness.

          That might take half a century. It might take half a millennium. But I tell you this much – the disgusting levels of inequality we see in the modern era will not be cured by the neo-liberal ideology of ‘love thyself ABOVE thy neighbour’. The culture of selfishness and greed and individual prosperity that distracts us from the immense things we can acheive if we all work together a little more!

        • Glennys Wiggin

          check their website..policy is out just needs finalising…Ive read it and am frankly appalled by it..the woman is an idiot..

      • EXBTON

        Can you explain your incredible use of false equivalences?

      • Molly NooNar

        1. The open borders is a fact that comes with EU membership signed up for by Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown and Cameron. It is simply a waste of time and money to rattle sabres and pretend you can achieve anything by policing borders when there’s nothing you can do about it legally.

        2. There are many people that have extreme views, but the Green party is saying that it is much better to allow those people to express those views rather than to keep it bottled up inside, leading to underground movements and hate campaigns that fear prosecution and intimidation from the state. It is better to disarm such groups socially than criminally. If people are unable to vent their anger in a democratic fashion then they will vent it in an undemocratic fashion. It may be uncomfortable, but it is the price to pay for living in a democracy.

        3. Switzerland provides an example of a prosperous, happy democracy that has no armed forces whatsoever. They have taken a position of non-interference and others respect that. The Green’s have a similar vision for the UK.

        4. The Green’s do not support the EU in its current forms, favour a referedum on our membership of it and have no desire to remove the British identity. The Green party believes in nations co-operating on an ecological basis and forming partnerships on that basis.

        5. The Green party does want to restrict or ban outright some activities, but only those which are inconsistent with its ethos. Such as fracking, for example.

        • Rik

          You utter loon Switzerland is the most heavily armed country in Europe.EVERY male under 50 is an army reservist.Virtually every household contains a fully automatic weapon.Google the Swiss army you twit

          • Molly NooNar

            So we agree that it does not have an army? It’s weapons status is irrelevant. Does it have nuclear weapons also? NO. Amazing they can co-exist so peacefully, isn’t it?

          • Rik

            So you didn’t google it then moron Swiss Army current manpower 200.000 reduced from 400,000 plus Swiss Air Force

          • Ed  

            No, we don’t agree. “Male populace” and “Army” are synonyms in Switzerland. They can have 1 million men in the field in 24 hours.

            The Kaiser once asked the President of Switzerland how many men he had. The President said “one million”. The Kaiser said “what if I put three million men on your border?” The President looked coolly at him and said “I’ll have each of my men bring three bullets”.

            The Swiss are pretty serious about this stuff, and if you think they’re not, you’re not paying attention.

          • http://elfnhappiness.blogspot.com/ eeore

            Well sort of.

            The Swiss have too things that we do not have, mountains and no strategic importance, which is why they have the military arrangements they have.

          • Thats_news

            We can’t agree with you on that, because you are utterly wrong. Here is the link to the official Swiss Armed Forces website http://www.vtg.admin.ch/internet/vtg/en/home/schweizerarmee.html They even have a small naval force. And an air force, too. Here is the official Swiss Air Force website http://www.lw.admin.ch/internet/luftwaffe/en/home.html

          • Ed  

            “Virtually every household contains a fully automatic weapon.”

            Often several, because they also have Dad’s, and Granddad’s, and Great-Granddad’s as well.

            OK, the older ones are bolt-action.

    • Yeriz

      How the heck do you misrepresent the Green Party, they are green to the gills, green as grass.
      Really cabbage like.

  • FreiGeborenEinzelne

    I propose a debate between Bennett and Farage, it would be the biggest recruiting drive UKIP has ever done. I am all for giving the Greens a chance, but they are total fruitcakes that make a drunk Godfrey Bloom look beige.

    • Xaider

      The biggest recruiting drive would be Farage vs Cameron, something cluck cluck Cameron has been out on a limb to prevent at all costs. Cameron is so so scared it’s not even funny.

      • FreiGeborenEinzelne

        Perhaps, I think Farage vs any party leader in a head to head would be worth a watch. Seeing how intimidated Miliband was sitting next to Nigel on Marr, id most like to see that debate if I had a choice.

        • Ed_Burroughs

          That’s because the rest are atrocious. I am a big fan of Farage and have followed his career for years, but he is not on top form lately.

  • Astralwyrm

    Biased and poorly researched well done Spectator. The sudies that have been done on basic income have shown increase economic growth so to assume that the greens citizens income would have the reverse effect is very ignorant. The £72 a week isn’t what greens are proposing as they haven’t released a final version but there is a incomplete green version available which was writtem in march
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/c839aq9wqgjqh6g/Costing%20Citizens%E2%80%99%20Income%20for%202015%20manifesto%203.0%20copy.pdf

    As for the wealth tax how about you actually try researching Land Value tax before comparing it to other countries wealth taxes and look at the goals of such a tax besides just raising revenue.

    • Malcolm Stevas

      Your syntax and freaky Glastonburyesque monicker are reliable clues to the quality of typical Green supporters.

      • Keith Panton

        So he supplies data and studies and your argument is ‘lol da man has a funny name’ ? I can see how you won that debate.

        • Malcolm Stevas

          Having a funny name is the least of his/her problems.

      • Astralwyrm

        As a dyslexic syntax is the least of my worries and the username is videogame inspired, not that any of that is relevant to this article.

    • Conway

      But even the people who came up with the figures for the £72 a week “wage” admit that it will hit the poorest most. They will be worse off.

      • Astralwyrm

        Yes but there are differance between the schemes and the CIT after saying that the poorest will be hit, go on to propose two alternatives that leave means tested benefits in. What the greens have been working on is a system that leaves in some means tested benefits and applies some supplements to CI. If you look at the document linked above one flaw in it would be a person receiving working tax credit with disabilty element. That person would be about £8 worse off a week + tax paid because of the removal of the tax free allowance but the greens have had 10 months to address that. An example of what is good about this system is that 1.6 milion pensioners do not claim Pension credit which they are entitled to and live below the poverty line. Under this system they would lifted out of poverty without them having to go and claim benefits because the money is now included in their citizens pension.

    • afhtown

      To propose something that’s half-finished is not exactly wise politics. The fact that the £72 a week replaces the 10k basic tax allowance means they’re really bilking most of the poorest out of their chance at earning for the sake of some laughably utopian, low-growth ideal…

      • Astralwyrm

        The £72 a week is CIT’s example, the greens have been working on there own method for a long time and the link in my previous post shows where they were back in march last year. The press have been misrepresenting the CIT example as green policy and the greens aren’t sticking up for a policy that won’t be fully costed untill march.

  • Malcolm Stevas

    “It is improbable that any other party will adopt the Greens’ plans to
    throw the country into recession, but it is difficult to see how any of
    its policies could sensibly make it into a coalition agreement.”
    Remarkably restrained, even euphemistic. It is difficult to see how anyone reciting the Greens’ programme might escape being sectioned and locked into a warm, safe, cosy room with no sharp instruments.
    That up to 9% (?) of those polled express an intention to vote Green suggests either that they are illiterate and/or have not informed themselves about Green policies, or that the human race is in an even worse state than I thought. Possibly they’re aliens, trying to wind up the Earthlings.

  • Simon Grover

    Some Green policies are pretty radical, especially the longer-term ambitions (as distinct from shorter term, practical measures). It’s easy to mock radical thinking, especially when it’s summed up in a headline, but that doesn’t mean the people behind it are a bunch of idiots.

    Sorry, I don’t have time or necessarily the knowledge to answer all the points in tthe comments here. There are plenty of thoughtful pieces around that explore some of the Greens’ ideas; here are a couple of recent ones are:
    http://www.monbiot.com/2015/01/28/the-lamps-are-coming-on-all-over-europe/
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ian-middleton/green-party-policy_b_6551676.html

    • Arthur Ascii

      Having watched Natalie Bennet’s performance on the Politics Show last Sunday it seems she’s the one that needs to brush up on the detail. Now you’re doing what she did i.e saying “I dunno, but if you read this it might explain it“.

      She’s not the first politician to dodge the question in an interview, but the obfuscation and denial were laughable.

    • Malcolm Stevas

      It’s “easy to mock radical thinking” when it’s not so much off the wall as off Planet Earth.

    • greggf

      “It’s easy to mock radical thinking…..”

      Indeed it is Simon.
      ISIS is described as a product of radical thinking, and I’m sure they are not idiots. Those cartoons in Paris mocked such thinking.

      You’ll have to do better than quoting vapid links if the Green’s viewpoint
      is to have any credibility.

      • Simon Grover

        In your opinion, of course. A membership surge that means the party’s now bigger than the Lib Dems or Ukip, and is still growing by 500 members a day indicates that quite a lot of people do like what the Greens stand for.

        • Arthur Ascii

          Yes, but that doesn’t mean to say that they are right or that the Green policies are sound and workable. They can’t even get the recycling right in Brighton.

          I wonder how many of the so called surge have actually read the manifesto. There are too many people of voting age who reach a decision based on comments under articles in their newspaper of choice, blogs, or by word of mouth. Some just go on a hunch based on what their peers are saying.

          It’s noble enough to want to live a green lifestyle, reduce waste, recycle, and otherwise lessen our impact on the Earth, but the Greens are not fit to run anything more than an allotment collective.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            The thought of belonging to an allotment collective run by Greens is appalling: imagine the bizarre rules, the requirement that all spades be made from recycled weapons of war, the bans on slug pellets and on rubber boots made in the 3rd World by sweatshop employees…

          • Glennys Wiggin

            my thoughts exactly…most of these so called greens havnt a clue what the real green agenda is…its not about growing your own veg and stopping eating meat..they now want us to embrace ISIS kick out the monarchy and reduce our armed services to nothing…they are in short.. deranged…

        • greggf

          Well it’s fair to congratulate your “membership surge” Simon, but what you stand for according to the words of Natalie Bennett is, at best, ambiguous platitudes, and at worst dangerous polemic.
          Which of all the aspects of, for example, “radical thinking” do you think your new members should support?

        • http://elfnhappiness.blogspot.com/ eeore

          It is admirable that the party is growing, but it remains to be seen if those new members stay.

        • Glennys Wiggin

          they obviously cant read or don’t read the greens idiotic manifesto…lunacy is too mild a description..

    • Thats_news

      “Doctor, I have an ingrowing toenail and I hear you have a radical surgical procedure for dealing with ingrowing toenails? What is your radical procedure?”

      “I propose to chop your foot off!”

      “What? Chop my foot off?”

      Yes, and I know it works, because none of my patients have ever been bothered by a recurrence of ingrowing toenails! Hello? Hello? Oh! He ran away! I wonder why?”

      Radical does not mean good, workable or useful.

  • JSC

    A lot of people are saying “I watched Natalie Bennett and was shocked by the incoherence.” Am I the only one that wasn’t shocked at all? It went exactly as I expected it to go: car-crash TV.

    • DeltaNaught

      I’m inclined to agree with you, although you’d have to admit it was a pretty damn horrific car crash – a flaming wreck wrapped around a telegraph pole with the passengers trapped inside being burned alive while they scream in agony.

  • Kennie

    The Greens, especially the Natalie Bennett creature, insist that they are a Socialist party. Due to their increased membership and cast-iron-Dave’s insistence that they join the tv debates, they are now also a National party.
    Hence, the Greens are the new National Socialist Party.

    • Deckers Synchronicity

      Godwin’s law.

      • Kennie

        I did say “New” National Socialists.
        Read their manifesto, you will see my post is reasoned & logical, if not to kind on the Greens. Some of their ‘ideas’ would get them thrown out of the Gestapo on the grounds of being too mad and cruel.

        • Thats_news

          And do not forget the anti-Semite infiltrators that have given the body of the Green Party dog a bad case of political worms.

  • tomgreaves

    This perspective is driven by consumerism. It is a highly materialistic view and it’s content is thereby understandable. However, taking a more spiritual view of life in which the priorities are loving kindness, compassion and justice for all including the environment, this article demonstrates just how narrow the human condition becomes in the hands of materIalists. Yes, the Grren Party appears shocking in its values and beliefs, but take a look at what materialism is doing to communities, the environment and to the dignity of humankind. Greed, envy, jealousy and selfishness are encouraged by consumerism, which leads to a lack of gratitude and to unhappiness. The hard headed materialists and the warriors of consumerism need confronting.

    • Malcolm Stevas

      You’d find yourself confronting rather more people, actually – the greater part of the population. Anyone who attempted seriously to effect the sort of programme envisaged by the Greens would provoke massive civil disturbance, the first symptoms of which would be the lynching of Green activists.
      “Consumerism” is part of the modernisation of the world that has brought undreamed of prosperity to great swathes of the world, a degree of comfort and ease that 100 years ago would have seemed incredible.
      Anti-materialist Green idealists are (organic) fruitcakes, free to practice their beliefs on themselves and their families in their own time and on their own property.

    • Arthur Ascii

      I have some empathy with what you say, but where the Greens are hopelessly out of their depth is in a few trivial areas like crime, defence, immigration, taxation, terrorism etc.

      • Tom Sheldon

        Oh my God they don’t support terrorists! They just support the right to express whatever thought you might have! If it’s a bad thought, it will be shot down in a free society by the millions of other reasonable people.

        Please wake up! I know we’ve moved gradually to where we are, so it’s easy to forget where we came from, but before 9/11 we weren’t all such pussies that we’d advocate destroying what we believe in to protect ourselves. Today much of our society is exactly like 1984:
        Thought-crimes – CHECK
        A giant bureaucratic establishment that dictate the scope of acceptable opinion and debate by censoring out or distorting all opposition to the status quo – CHECK
        CCTV everywhere and the government trying to push through a ‘Snooper’s Charter’ so they can legally spy on ANYONE regardless of whether they are suspected of committing a crime or being about to commit a crime – CHECK
        Wanton destruction of our natural resources – CHECK
        A climate of constant ‘fear’, one minute it’s terrorists, the next it’s the deficit – CHECK

        We deserve better than this. None of the main parties are offering anything like long-term, principled strategies to turn back the tide… because the rising ride is exactly what they want. Our elite do well off our current system, while the rest of us get shafted.

        WELL I FOR ONE SAY FUCK THAT.

        • Arthur Ascii

          You’ve got it all mixed up. It’s political correctness that makes free speech a thought crime and the Greens would make political correctness worse. They have the same mindset as those who think we shouldn’t call them ‘terrorists’ because it’s too judgmental. A Green bureaucratic establishment would continue with that process.

          The paranoia about allowing the security services access to emails etc is the real fear mongering. No one in MI5 gives a flying fig about your boring life, unless you intend real harm to other people.

          Having real and valid concerns about the threats from terrorism, or how we can make the best of our country and our lives is not a state of constant fear. It’s simply a recognition of the reality of the situation, but we can still get on with living healthy lives while dealing with it.

          The only valid point you make is about taking more care of our precious natural resources, and there has been some progress on that score in the last 40 years, but there is still much more to do. However, the Greens are not fit to govern so the main parties will have to do it.

        • Glennys Wiggin

          sympathy for terrorists can never be justified ..neither can foul lanfuage..your infantile outburst shows your utter irrelevance to any debate..

          • Tom Sheldon

            I’d say your as hominim attack against personality as being ‘infantile’ shows your utter inability to recognise the difference between disagreeing with someone’s argument and not liking the person making the argument.

            I’m sorry for swearing, I guess where I’m from it’s so common nobody really gets offended by it so I forget that other people can too sometimes. I mean they’re only sounds at the end of the day, swear words!

            Also did you listen to anything I said? Please point out the bit where I said said anything even REMOTELY like ‘I sympathise with terrorists’. I’m just saying that if we value the rights of free speech and free assembly we must extend those to everybody, otherwise it’s not free… it’s censored.

            To stand up for someone’s right to express their thoughts (so long as they aren’t encouraging criminal acts) without LEGAL repercussions is the most British thing to stand up for in the world. That’s not to say that if their thoughts were deplorable, like those of ISIS, we shouldn’t HUGELY criticise them. And of course that’s also not to say that criminal actions like inciting or committing violent acts shouldn’t be illegal and prosecuted under the full force of the law. OF COURSE THEY SHOULD.

          • Arthur Ascii

            Surely there is enough evidence of the horrors carried out by Islamist groups to demonstrate that the very existence of AQ, Boko Haram etc is to physically attack the West, Jews, non-believers etc wherever they find them. Being a member of such a group does not mean you can choose whether or not to participate. As a member, if you’re not actually stabbing, chopping, shooting or bombing you’re only raisin d’etre is to prepare for such acts and help those who are ready to do so.

            You would have such people living freely in the UK. You have not considered those who have no choice but to have them in their communities. You have not considered that there won’t be enough resources to monitor them, to keep them under surveillance (which in itself would be hampered by Green policies designed to curtail the powers of the security services).

            These people don’t do debating. You’re not going to convince them of the errors of their ways in reasoned discussions or by “citicising them HUGELY”.

            Crticism. Wow. I bet scared by that prospect. They’ll be dropping their nail bombs and picking up the garden hoes before you can say organic yogurt.

          • Thats_news

            If you were really sorry for swearing you could always edit your post.

        • Thats_news

          They don’t support terrorists! They support the right for other people to support terrorists. which is absolutely fine, of course.

    • DeltaNaught

      “However, taking a more spiritual view of life in which the priorities are loving kindness, compassion and justice for all including the environment”
      So, in other words, Christianity.

  • Dale.

    Psssh what a load of rubbish.
    Why’s this dated two days from now though?

  • Arthur Ascii

    The Greens’ policies on terrorism and membership of terrorist organisations are echoed by this email leaked to the National Review. It’s from Al Jazeera America. Google ’email leaked to the National Review’ for various copies of the full letter.

    Extremist: “Do not use. Avoid characterizing people.”
    Terrorist and terrorism: “One person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. We will not use these terms unless attributed to a source/person.”
    Islamist: “Do not use. We will continue to describe groups and individuals, by talking about their previous actions and current aims to give viewers the context they require, rather than use a simplistic label.” [Emphasis in original]
    Jihad: “Do not use the Arabic term. Strictly speaking, jihad means an inner spiritual struggle, not a holy war. It is not by tradition a negative term.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Antony-Goddard/1276161264 Antony Goddard

    The New Economics Foundation (NEF) is behind many GP ideas and quite honestly the current mode of capitalist production has reached a ‘futility point’ whereby production of expensive and useless goods take precedence over useful things. Where can you get zinc oxide paste for foot infections, or flat hinged finger size tin-openers ? The consumer society and ISIS are two sides of the same coin.

    • Malcolm Stevas

      Who decides what are “useful things” – the central planning authority? It’s been tried. It didn’t work. Read 20thC history.

  • Alex Wright

    “No doubt the air became cleaner as shipyards closed, yet those who lived through the Great Depression tended to remember it for other reasons: hunger and desperation.”

    What was the Conservative Party’s policy to help the starving and desperate during the Great Depression, or to get them back to work again?

    “Pollution from industrial activity has fallen hugely since the 1930s, not because we have held back from wealth creation but for the opposite reason: we have learned how to do things better. We have learned to mitigate the problems associated with rich societies rather than retracting into a form of pre-industrial existence.”

    And what is the Tory and Labour plan to deal with the very finite energy sources we are presently nearly completely dependent on? Or does only economic growth and how much electronic and paper fiat currency we have matter, rather than resource depletion and our food supply?

    • Malcolm Stevas

      “Very finite energy sources”? Oil, coal & gas are hugely abundant, with vast untapped reserves – the UK remains built on coal & gas reserves… Nuclear is literally infinite in its capacity to provide energy.
      You don’t know what you’re talking about – which is a good reason for you to support the Green Party.

      • Molly NooNar

        Nuclear is infinite? You mean the nuclear fission powerstations? You do realise that uranium is one of the fewest naturally occurring chemical elements in the world!? Uranium ore is its only source which must be mined and then processed, never mind the cost of ultimately disposing of the waste products for hundreds of years before it is safe. The idea that the world has a “literally infinite” supply of uranium or that it is not an extremely expensive solution is ridiculous.

        • Malcolm Stevas

          “Expensive” in what sense? Nuclear provides huge amounts of reliable clean energy, which makes it the polar opposite of the “renewables” touted by the Green fringe. Read more carefully: I did not claim we had an infinite or cheap supply of uranium (though there’s an awful lot of it) but that nuclear energy is in effect infinite. Government might be best advised to cancel the money currently wasted on subsidising the crafty wind-power corporates who masquerade as eco-friendly chums to spaced-out hippies who think giant turbines are cool, and invest it in increased research into fusion power – even more productive and infinite than fission power…
          We can certainly do better than burning fossil fuels, but until superior technologies come on stream, let’s use those coal & gas stocks we’ve been blessed with.
          BTW the waste products of fission power take up very little room – enormously less than the thousands of wind turbines needed to equal (sort of) even one conventional power station.

          • Molly NooNar

            It does produce huge amounts of energy and it is true that it is clean (in comparison to fossil fuels), but the problem with generating all that energy at once, as nuclear fission does, is where does it all go? There is no way presently to store energy generated. Therefore it all goes onto the grid and if the grid can’t use it all (or doesn’t need it), it’s wasted. Nuclear fission is therefore expensive because it is inefficient and cannot adapt to consumer demand. Nuclear fission is only necessary during peak times of very high demands for energy. It’s no good for other times when demand for energy is much lower and variable. It is a very expensive option to create alot of energy at once and to only use a fraction of it. You also have the radioactive wastes to deal with and the associated hazards. Nuclear power can have a role, but it cannot be the answer.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            Well, that’s an interesting criticism of nukes, unique in my experience, creative after a fashion but it doesn’t have legs. Countries such as France that produce the bulk of their electricity through nukes seem sanguine about the “waste” you refer to. (“Waste” of what, one wonders.) Doubtless you’d prefer to blanket the landscape with windmills.

          • Molly NooNar

            The Green party prefers reducing our use of energy with a mass refurbishing programme to insulate our homes and work places better. This would reduce the burden on poorer families with lower bills and also improve the competitiveness of our businesses. It would pay for itself many times over rather than the futility of building a dozen nuclear reactors, that pose a health hazard to the local population are expensive and leave a disgraceful environmental legacy with a derelict site that will remain radioactive for many years long after the plant was decomissioned.

        • starfish

          Plenty of Uranium in the world’s oceans
          Currently it may not be economic to extract it , but saying it is rare is somewhat disingenuous

          • Molly NooNar

            Plenty of water in the world’s oceans, not uranium.

        • FrancescaMacfarlane

          I suggest you read up on the thorium reactor.
          If there hadn’t been a nuclear weapons program in the 1940s/50s/60s uranium would never have been used in nuclear power stations.

  • Baz

    £72 a week is the same as unemployment benefit, which is what Ms Bennett is saying, if you are not working you will get this amount.. I really don’t see a problem..

    • Arthur Ascii

      You don’t see a problem because you’ve misunderstood it. It’s £72.00 a week for every adult, whether they need it or not. That’s why it would cost £280billion

      • Simon Grover

        It wouldn’t cost anything like that, as it replaces a lot of benefits, saves money on administration, and much of it would be returned in taxes. Not to mention the boost that comes from people spending that money and being freed from the benefits trap and so able to take part time jobs.

        • Arthur Ascii

          See interview above.

          I await the fully costed manifesto.

          • http://elfnhappiness.blogspot.com/ eeore

            Ms Bennett’s answers were less than useful to her case.

            The idea is not new, Nixon proposed a similar thing in the 1970’s, David Cameron in his first conference speech announced that the iDS commission had reached a similar conclusion – that benefits should be paid to the individual – of course all that was dropped when the Polly Toybees of the world savaged the plan, and completely forgotten when IDS went native at the DWP.

        • Baz

          We’ve already got the unemployed getting £72 a week, so we can take that out of the equation. If you give everyone who works getting £72 a week extra, that’s going to push a lot of those into a tax paying bracket, so the money will come back that way. The main problem the Greens have is they are trying to emphasis positive solutions across media platforms that thrive on negative stories. Even in this article there are no facts and figures (aside from £72).. so we are all left confused and dazed.. exactly the state the media like so you’ll buy tomorrows edition..

  • Teacher

    The Greens and their leader are bonkers but this never seems to worry the uninformed electorate so the party could be quite useful in splitting the Labour/LibDem vote.

  • Darren Major

    I knewthe greens had some odd policies but I did not think they were completely insane till now.Why would they think that anyone would vote for a party that would push every one into poverty.

  • John the Fearless

    I’m astonished how the media lambasted Ukip over the years for their core policies, and yet gave the Greens a courteous nod, despite that fact that their policies are completely and dangerously cuckoo.

    • rubyduck

      They are deemed to mean well. Unlike those of us who want to deal with reality realistically.

  • Molly NooNar

    I think one can quite easily make a case for the policy positions of the Green party. On reducing the armed forces for example, why is this a bad policy? Don’t countries like Switzerland show that countries can be peaceful and not require an army? On economics, there is a very strong argument to be made counter to the one developed in this article. Suggesting that we have overcome problems through advanced technologies is plain wrong. While it is often claimed that the free market solves problems through new technologies, the late eminent sociologist, Ulrich Beck, showed that the technologies produced by the market have actually caused the global and systemic risks that we face today. From global warming, worldwide financial crises, acid rain, air pollution, destruction of species, ozone layer depletion, nuclear holocausts etc etc. Mankind has caused all of these problems as a result of the technologies that we have created and consumed in our societies. So, on the contrary, Beck suggests that socialism and nationalised industries are actually the best way to mitigate risks and this stacks up historically with the protections imposed by trade unions, nationalised industries and government regulations. Notice that all these things are increasingly a thing of the past in this country, and therefore it is no surprise that risk and our exposure to it is greater than it has ever been at any stage in the past. We are now talking about risks on a global scale that more technologies will not prevent, they only cause new problems. The only way to deal with these problems is through policy and lifestyle choices, not as our neo-liberal elite tell us is only possible through new technologies

    • Malcolm Stevas

      Switzerland has no army? You are remarkably ill informed! They have a core of professionals, plus reservists, plus conscripts (around two-thirds of 18+ male citizens are eligible) forming a very well equipped & trained army of around 200,000. Shooting is the Swiss national sport…
      Your suggestion that a sociologist’s analysis of technology should be taken seriously is laughable. In the real world, as opposed to the Green Narnia fantasy world, “socialism and nationalised industries” were utterly discredited by their shocking history in the last century, and only blinkered reactionary ideologues go through the motions of believing in it.

      • Molly NooNar

        I’m well aware of their reservists and gun culture, I offer it as an example of how a modern state can exist without an armed forces. There’s no reason to think such a model can’t be followed and altered to suit our needs.

        Why is the sociologists analysis laughable? It’s underpinned by empirical evidence and is one of the most influential and widely-purchased books in the world: the Risk Society. If nationalised industries are so discredited, why is the NHS so important with political parties all looking for ways to fund it? A nationalised industry that serves a population of 60 million people. Many European countries operate nationalised rail services that make our privately run rail services an expensive, inefficient and untimely joke. Look at the price of water. Now, it rains almost every other day where I live, in liverpool. But since these utilities were privatised the price of water has rocketed! Is water a scarce resource nowadays? Nationalised industries provide consumers with much better value for money than the private, non tax paying equivalents that make their multi-millionaire shareholders happy.

        • WFB56

          “Risk Society is one of the most influential and widely purchased books in the world”. Sure, it ranks just outside the top 150,000 at Amazon.

        • Malcolm Stevas

          In the face of the evidence you persist in thinking that Switzerland exists without armed forces? At least this confirms your place within the Green Party, the ultimate home for irrationality, unreality and the unhinged. At least the flat-earthers are entertaining.

    • WFB56

      No mature adult can make a case for the policy positions of the Green party. As Ulrich Beck has long been proven wrong about pretty much everything and the Green Party platform is economic nonsense I would have to conclude that you are simply a troll; surely no Spectator reader could be this dumb?.

      • Molly NooNar

        Well, let’s see if I can illuminate this economic nonsense. Do you remember when LibLabCon all favoured deregulation of the banking industry? But after it all went wrong they all agreed that the state should in fact spend public money, hundreds of billions of pounds, to bailout and nationalise the main players in that industry. In addition, the people of this country, have also allowed the 3 parties to print as much money as they want to devalue our currency and the value of our money, to the tune of over £200 billion pounds more! It is abundantly clear to me that it is the people that have allowed this to happen, uncritically, that are economically mad because it is the same people that have lost their jobs, had their wages cut to the bone, had zero hours contract forced upon them to keep their jobs. Yet all the bankers kept their jobs and were knighted. So, the Greens want to use money to help the people but you favour using public money to prop up banks that destroyed themselves through their own greed?

        If you can defend that economic madness, that has led to austerity being forced upon the people of this country, to such an extent that the church is ashamed at the vindictiveness of these cuts which has foodbanks exploding, the NHS up the creek, potholes everywhere in the roads and local government on the brink, then I can see why you are so afraid of the Green’s. You don’t want justice for the masses.

        • http://elfnhappiness.blogspot.com/ eeore

          Yes, that’s right and there shouldn’t have been a bail out, and the southeast should have been allowed to go the way of Middlesborough – the town which paid the highest tax revenues at the turn of the last century.

    • http://elfnhappiness.blogspot.com/ eeore

      There is a definite case for renationalisation – certainly of the railways, and possibly of utilities. But it has nothing to do with acid rain, global warming or any of the other things you mention.

      And you do yourself no favours referring to ‘neo-liberal elites’. You’ll be quoting the Georgie Guidestones next.

      • Molly NooNar

        The point that Beck was making is that you can very effectively manage risks produced and posed by nationalised industries, you can’t control the risks posed by a free market. The products produced by a free market, the impacts of which we don’t know, often need to be studied for years by scientists before we can decide what their side effects are and if they need to be regulated or not (by which time it could be too late- the damage is done). You can’t take preventative action to protect the society and its population from risk through free markets and with regulation because the free market moves much faster than the government regulators can. Fracking is a perfect example. The government has wanted to get on with it for years, but it’s been delayed by public concerns and it was just as well that it was. The most recent research shows the significant health hazards to the local population in the USA. It has seen New York state recently ban it on health grounds because of that. France and Germany because of the uncertainty and lack of research on fracking, banned it long ago as a precaution.

    • starfish

      From global warming, worldwide financial crises, acid rain, air pollution, destruction of species, ozone layer depletion, nuclear holocausts etc etc
      Every one of which is at best arguable (except for the last one, must have missed that)
      Essentially we are talking luddism in a fancy (multicoloured) dress

      • Molly NooNar

        Each one of which is scientifically documented by independent scientists, and you call that luddism…

  • Tich Church

    This makes me feel happier to vote for the greens. At last a party that stands up for ordinary people. Hate the wy the BBC twist everything and distort the facts, they are part of Murdoch’s propaganda machine, serving the elite.

    • WFB56

      Thank you for providing a fine example of cognitive dissonance.

    • http://elfnhappiness.blogspot.com/ eeore

      So it’s a conspiracy?

    • Trofim

      No, it’s all Mossad, Green Lizards and the CIA. I’ve got insider knowledge.

  • Hugh Small

    “Greens’ plans to throw the country into recession” you say. That’s your comment or conjecture, right, not fact? Just checking because the Editors’ Code of Conduct para 1 iii) commits you to distinguishing clearly between them.

    • WFB56

      Even a cursory review of the Green’s platform will make it clear that recession will be an underestimate of the damage done.

    • http://elfnhappiness.blogspot.com/ eeore

      Instead of making threats, make a compliant.

      And then come back and deal with the issues.

      • Hugh Small

        Green Party policy states that unsustainable activities might one day cause recession, not Green Party policy. My own belief is that it would be very hard for any government to create a recession, except by closing down industries entirely. The stated Green Party policy of allowing cheap new energy generation technology to compete on a level playing field will add to GDP and make it even harder. The only actors I think able to cause a recession are the banks. We have seen a demonstration.

  • Jim Station

    The greens with their ideas of people growing their own food has worrying echoes of going back to ‘Year Zero’ imposed by the commy-esque Khmer Rouge. Heaven forbid us ever getting these nut jobs in government.

  • WFB56

    The Green Party appeals to the infantile.

    Hold your nose and vote Tory.

    • Molly NooNar

      You can vote LibLab or UKIP and also get Tory policies. It seems you have plenty of choice!

      • http://elfnhappiness.blogspot.com/ eeore

        Tory policies would be nice, unfortunately whoever you vote for will not get them.

  • NickB

    So the media after failing to censor the Greens is now beginning its relentless attack on them, so much in this article is just drivel. If you actually bothered to read our policy document instead of regurgitating rubbish from other areas of the media you might realise this. At least it shows how far the party has come and that it is being taken seriously, even if the press reporting is a joke.

    • http://elfnhappiness.blogspot.com/ eeore

      So it’s the media’s fault?

  • Ed  

    There’s always room for more silliness in politics. There’s the Monster Raving Loony Party, and years ago Canada had the Rhinoceros Party.

    Why not this lot? The fact that they think they’re serious just makes it more amusing.

    • Thats_news

      The Monster Raving Loony Party put forward some weird policies that were taken up by the mainstream, later. Such as votes at 18. Not quite sure of policies that would return us to a sort of agrarian existence will become part of the mainstream.

      • Ed  

        I thought votes at 18 came out of WWII, where millions of 18-year-olds were sent off to fight, with no say in the matter.

        • Thats_news

          Votes at 18 came in in 1969, so a good many years after WW2.

          • Ed  

            Still, was that not the reasoning? Same reason for the drinking age, too. If you can fight and die for your country, you’re adult enough to vote and drink.

  • Tom Sheldon

    “Misguided though they were in many of their ideas, nobody could accuse them of actively seeking to make society poorer.

    That, however, is the unashamed aspiration of Natalie Bennett and what has become the fastest-growing political party in Britain.”

    Do you have ANY idea how offence that is to the thousands of Green Party supporters (like myself) who work tirelessly against the neo-liberal agenda of people like yourselves to bring about a fairer society for all, where your work is fairly rewarded with wages proportionate to how important you are to the running of the business and how difficult your work is, not simply allowing CEOs to have a free ride off of the labour of their workers? The Greens, who are the ONLY party opposing austerity so that the poorest and most disadvantaged in our society don’t have to pay for the recklessness of our economic elite whose wealth has ACTUALLY INCREASED since 2008.

    I’d go on but you’re not worth it. I wouldn’t mind some honest and balanced discussion of whether our policies add up or not, but right off the bad you’re just openly slandering us and anyone who supports for us. Shame on you.

    When the political revolution comes it will be your ilk who are forced to step out of the establishment, and you’re scared to the core. Enjoy your power and influence over the opinions of ordinary people while it lasts. Because it won’t last long.

  • MADE TO LAST

    What a one sided load of rubbish. The Green party are the only political party in the country who will do anything about the key issues of inequality, standard of living, healthcare and the environment.
    The rest just want to keep us in a climate of fear and of course I would not expect the Spectator to support anything other than a fear based dog eat dog world because that is just human nature right?!?
    Your comments on professionalism are just ridiculous. Both the Conservatives and Labour are too scared to say what they actually think so just try to play to the media and inch their way to a better society (in their minds). But they lie consistently and treat us like a bunch of fools – If professionalism means being a complete bastard but being able to twist your words and keep calm in a crisis because you do not really care then yes David Cameron is very professional.
    Cameron & the conservatives have ripped the country to shreds – we need a complete ideological change from the neo-liberalist view of top down economics.
    We need to reform the banking sector with it’s system of FIAT money, we need to move to renewables (fast) to prevent total environmental meltdown, we need to stop conspicuous consumption etc etc.
    Only the Greens have realistic ideas and intentions on these things.
    But hey – maybe you are right – let’s stick with the liars in nice suits because real change has an element of risk and we wouldn’t want to risk things like the NHS falling apart, poverty increasing massively or our foreign policies dissolve into war mongering and racist immigration policies.
    Wait a minute…..

    • Thats_news

      The Greens will do none of the above. Look, if they can’t run recycling in one city, what hope have they got of putting any of their more esoteric and inventive policies into action?

  • joey be

    EXCLUSIVE: NATALIE BENNETT vs DUNCAN BARKES [video]
    youtube.com/watch?v=tufUV_Uc-z0&sns=em

    Natalie Bennett spoke Live on LBC (28/01/15)

    About terrorism, the queen, the NHS, Citizens’ Basic Income, energy efficiency, Fracking, as well as other important issues and all without the endless interruptions of Andrew Neil.

    A perfect environment for Natalie to be able to explain some of the different policies and take calls from the public. We think she did really well.

    We’ve made our own compilation video for the interview! (above)

    LBC’s Full interview (subscription only)
    lbc.audioagain.com/presenters/3-duncan-barkes/358-the-whole-show

    Natalie speaking about drugs policy
    lbc.co.uk/greens-would-look-at-decriminalising-class-a-drugs-104026

    ‪#‎VoteGreen2015 #WorthVotingFor‬ ‪#‎GE15‬

  • Astralwyrm

    The Citizen’s Income Trust have since published a clarification:

    A Citizen’s Income: The poor will not necessarily be worse off

    The article that Patrick Wintour wrote in the Guardian on the 27th
    January was partly based on an Institute for Social and Economic
    Research research paper, ‘A Feasible Way to Implement a Citizen’s
    Income’,that we put on our website last October and that we have
    recently republished in the Citizen’s Income Newsletter. This shows that
    the Citizen’s Income scheme outlined in our 2013 introductory booklet
    would generate losses for some households with low disposable incomes ( –
    most of these losses would be small). Given the markedly reduced
    marginal deduction rates that these households would then experience,
    recouping small losses through additional earnings would be much easier
    than it would be under the current means-tested benefits system.

    The paper goes on to show that a Citizen’s Income scheme based on
    the same level of Citizen’s Income, but which leaves means-tested
    benefits in place and reduces them by taking into account the
    household’s Citizen’s Incomes in the same way that other income is taken
    into account when means-tested benefits are calculated, would eliminate
    losses for low-income households; and that a slightly smaller Citizen’s
    Income could eliminate losses for almost all households. (The fact that
    Income Tax rates would rise is not a problem. The important point is
    that households would not suffer net losses in disposable income.)
    The Green Party has not yet published details of its Citizen’s
    Income scheme. Our research shows that if a Citizen’s Income of £72 per
    week for working age adults (more for older people, less for younger
    people and children) were to be implemented then it would be perfectly
    possible to do so without imposing losses on low-income households.

  • Gary Wintle

    They are no more ridiculous than the other three parties. Just this week we’ve had Cameron this week shamelessly bribing pensioners with winter fuel and free buses even though the country clearly cannot afford such things, while screwing young people, and spending billions on a silly road building program which again cannot be afforded, purely to bribe voters. That is politics of an amoral and despicable kind

    • fun-time freddie

      They are no more ridiculous than the other three parties.
      Typical stance of someone that knows nothing of polities and politics but wants to feel sophisticated. ‘Ah, politicians, they’re all the same!’ It’s demonstrable nonsense, though it seems to make the claimant feel better. However, it is stupid and it is not what we need from a self-governing citizen body and a free people.

  • paul oxley

    Despite personally intending to vote Labour in a GE for the first time since 1992 in the upcoming election I hope that
    Caroline holds on in Pavilion and indeed that the Rainbow Coalition also including Plaid etc does come to fruition to strengthen Ed’s hand against his real opposition who are the failed Blairite has beens

    The fact that a rag like The Spectator and its commenters be low froth at the mouth at some of the progressive policies and the straight talking of the Greens only further illustrates the force for good that they would be in supporting the inevitable Labour government in three months time and I for one would love to see Ms Lucas offered the job of Environment Secretary as a thank you for their help

    Even better Caroline a the new Work & Pensions secretary..replacing hapless IDS..or moving from the ridiculous to the sublime to put it more accurately

    • Arthur Ascii

      Brighton, the one council they run, languishes at 306th out of 326 English councils for its recycling rate. Only a quarter of its rubbish was recycled in the last year, compared with two-thirds for the best authorities. For a supposedly green party, this is an astonishing failure.

      • The PrangWizard of England

        Socialism in practice. It reminds me of the astonishing efficiency we saw in the decades of Soviet rule in Russia. (For the benefit of the Sheldon Coopers of this world, this is sarcasm)

  • Diggery Whiggery

    “Of course, everyone should be concerned about the environment, but to think that it is best-served by self-imposed poverty is folly.”

    Absolutely, but that is also what most of the environmental and energy policy emanating from the AGW agenda is based upon. Make CO2 production, or in other words simply production artificially expensive through taxes, and non CO2 energy artificially cheaper through subsidy paid for by those taxes. Of course civil servants and big business take their cut along the way.

    The result of that is artificially higher costs for everyone and so less buying power and no reduction in CO2 emissions.

  • http://t.co/rXjomKpfUv JP Janson De Couet

    If anybody is expert on insulting socialists, it’s the Spectator.

    • fun-time freddie

      And quite right, too. If it were not, I wouldn’t bother to read it.

  • David

    Unfortunately your central premise – that the Greens want to make Britain poorer – is flawed, and betrays the simplistic and misguided way that most people regard GDP as the absolute measure of wealth/poverty. GDP growth does not make society wealthier if that growth mostly accrues to a small percentage of the population; likewise, a fall in GDP does not have to make a society poorer if it also involves spreading wealth more evenly.

    Imagine a theoretical society of 10 people, in which one person earns £1,000,000 a year while the other 9 earn £10,000 a year each. Now imagine a second society in which one person earns £500,000 a year while the other 9 earn £50,000 each. Which of those societies is poorer?

    According to the GDP-focused model, the second society is poorer, because its overall GDP is 13% lower than the first. But if you actually look at the people living in those societies as individuals, in the first you have 9 people living in poverty and in the second none. So I’d argue that the first society is ‘poorer’ despite having a higher GDP.

  • UniteAgainstIslamism

    Socialism is theft.

  • Nick

    Natalie Bennett is proof that there is life on other planets.

  • FrancescaMacfarlane

    This will be the first ad hominem (or should it be ad feminam?) attack I have ever made in my life:-

    Natalie Bennett is a complete and utter loony.

  • Steve Gwynne

    Not another smear article!

    It would seem the author has little understanding of politics per se. Policies for any political party are aspirations as is the manifesto but the author seems hell-bent on smearing anything that upsets the status quo of a broken system and as for the Brighton smear, any self-respecting analysis would point out that the Green Party, Labour and the Tories hold roughly the same amount of councillors seats with the Greens holding a few more but no mention of the reds or the blues. I wonder why.

    And to bury the socialist myth surrounding the Green Party, here is a brief rationale of why the Greens exist as a political party.

    The starting point for Green policy is ecological justice and
    that to create and sustain a healthy living planet means to recognise that human
    development has ecological limits. When it is established what level of natural capital is required to sustain a healthy living planet, what ever natural capital is left will need to be fairly distributed amongst humans (social justice) which
    will mean paying fair wages based on the interdependency that is required to collectively create goods and services (economic justice) as well as ensuring that those goods and services are socially sustainable and not detrimental to the ecological environment that we depend upon for our survival.

    That is, it is a political project to create a sustainable future rather than continue with the unsustainable trajectory that we are on now which still requires huge amounts of work and huge amounts of research. However if the Green Party comes to power then we will have the power to make sure that resources are directed to achieve a sustainable future for all and not just for the few.

    To be socialist in
    the traditional sense only focuses on social and economic justice and so it is ecological justice that sets the Green Party apart from the rest.

    The Green Party creates its policies as a result of its internal democratic structure unlike the other main parties where policy is created by the senior management so the Green Party reflects the wishes and desires of its members. So if you would prefer to see a policy of your choice then become a member, input your policy through the normal channels and we will put it to the vote. We always welcome sustainable ideas that attempt to achieve social, economic and ecological justice.

    The Green Party = The People’s Party.

    • fun-time freddie

      The planet does very well all by itself, thank you.

      • Steve Gwynne

        Most watersheds polluted in industrialised countries, ocean acidification, coastal dead zones, excessive co2 emissions, city smog, prolonged droughts, 40% biodiversity loss, deforestation, coral reef deterioration, desertification, human obesity, human malnutrition, human wars, human exploitation, human corruption, human poverty, human misery.

        And you call this a HEALTHY LIVING PLANET!

  • fun-time freddie

    Misguided though they were in many of their ideas, nobody could accuse them of actively seeking to make society poorer.

    *I* would and I do; but then I hold no brief for socialism and I know full well the evil it does and continues to do.

  • Mnestheus

    Having ascertained that the dark Greens are Reds , when will it dawn on the cliche-struck author that the greenest Greens are true blue Tories and all for country sports ?

    It’s daft to go calling Zak Goldsmith one of Lenin’s lads !

  • zoid

    a sound thrashing by brillo…

    …how can anyone listen to any of that and believe that the greens are a credible party? i would have thought that, on balance of probabilites alone, there’d be one cogent policy in there…

    this is what you’d get if you let a load of teenaged stoners who’d never had to earn money, write the manifesto…utopian nonsense, with a tenuous foothold on reality…

  • Arthur Ascii

    Several Green activists and supporters have posted comments here countering the claim that the Green policies would allow members of currently proscribed terrorist Islamists organisations to live freely here in the UK. One supporter admits that the wording of the policy is misleading.

    Meanwhile, on the Huffington Post, Ian Middleton, a Green parliamentary candidate for Banbury, makes the case that we’ve got it all wrong and goes on to explain how we should allow the Islamists the freedom of speech and defeat them with debate and argument.

    May I suggest that all the Green supporters remind themselves of the articles by Andrew Gilligan writing in the Daily Telegraph (yes, I know it’s the DT, but hang on). His investigative journalism on the subject of the infiltration of Islamism into Birmingham schools was vindicated. He was right, OFSTED agreed, but despite all the recommendations little has changed.

    My point is that our meek tolerance combined with political correctness and accusations of islamophobia allow the radicalisation to continue. How are the Greens going to reverse this trend?

  • The PrangWizard of England

    Reminds me of the philosophy of the Khmer and practices of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and communist Chairman Mao in China who wanted to take the people back to a subsistence level of living, and who ended up murdering millions upon millions of their own people.

  • David Moran

    About as incoherent as the Labour front bench if you ask me! Tories not much better!

  • jman6495

    This is a pile of steaming bollocks.

  • Collectives Party

    I understand her goal, but I think she might want to know her numbers better.

  • https://www.facebook.com/carey.campbell.33?fref=browse_search Carey Campbell

    Thanks for the Green Party story. The Green Party Green New Deal eco jobs for the economy is a winner. Green Party renewable energy jobs are then second largest employer in Germany. The Green Party is in each of the 16 German state legislatures. In 8 of the 16 state legislatures the Green Party is in governing coalitions. In the last election the Financial Times of Germany lead editorial endorsed the Green Party for it’s eco for the economy pragmatic approach. After Sunday’s election in Hamburg, the Green Party will now enter into coalition discussions and likely it’s 9th state governing coalition. That means the Green Party governs in almost twice as many German states as the Chancellors’ CDU party.

    Green Party Eco jobs for the economy success: Solar jobs. Wind jobs. Geothermal jobs. Weatherization jobs. Rail jobs. Efficiency jobs. Conservation jobs. The Green Party success is so great they Greens control nearly 40 per cent of the votes in the upper house (Bundesrat) of the federal legislature. Germany, by any fair measure is a key economic engine of Europe. Germany’s economic success is also the success of the Green Party economic foresightedness. The Green Party Green New Deal is a winner for the economy.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_i3pp0DaUw&list=UUJAvfgs4nK3Viu5HXZxv_bw

  • El

    The Green party has a global agenda. This means that, were their ultimate aim to be realised, wealth would find no resting place outside of “the country”.

  • Jeff Jones

    This bitch is a lunatic, just deport her to ISIS, but she’s useless for even breeding.

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