Green party

The Greens are coming for the Tories

So far, Keir Starmer has been unmoved by complaints from left-wingers that his policies differ little from those of Boris Johnson’s at the last election. After all, if left-wing voters don’t like his low-key approach, where else would they go? The problem in British politics – as David Cameron found out – is that disgruntled voters do find somewhere else to go. In Cameron’s case, it was to Nigel Farage; in Starmer’s case, it may be to the Greens. Once dismissed as idealistic hippies, the Greens now serve in seven governments across Europe, including Germany, Belgium and Scotland. Even under the UK’s majoritarian system, they’re doing well with 800 council

How far can the Green Party go without Caroline Lucas?

12 min listen

The Green Party’s first and only MP, Caroline Lucas, has announced today that she’ll be stepping down at the next election. On the episode, Katy Balls talks with Isabel Hardman and Fraser Nelson about Lucas’s achievements and what it’s like to be the sole MP of your party in a parliamentary system like ours. Produced by Cindy Yu.

Green parties are facing a reality check

How pleasant it is to watch an idea fall apart. Especially when it is an idea held by people you don’t particularly care for. In recent years all of the democracies have been plagued by green parties. The kindest interpretation of them is that they provide a wake-up call of some sort: a reminder that we should be kind to our planet, that sort of thing. But in every country they got too free a ride. They ended up preaching catastrophism to a supplicant media. And they ended up demanding that we all get off fossil fuels yesterday without any satisfactory explanation of how we were meant to keep the

Most-read 2021: The Green party’s woman problem

We’re closing 2021 by republishing our ten most-read articles of the year. Here’s No. 10: Julie Bindel’s piece from March on the Green party’s muddle over trans rights: At the Green party spring conference this weekend, a motion which sought to introduce a party policy on women’s sex-based rights was defeated. A whopping 289 delegates (out of 521) voted to not include biological females in the party’s list of oppressed groups. All the motion aimed to do was simply add a paragraph to the Green party’s ‘Our Rights and Responsibilities Policy’. The motion reads: This is to include the protected characteristic of sex as currently our Record of Policy statements supports

The SNP-Green alliance is a victory for the cranks

The SNP’s nationalist outriders, the Scottish Green party, are reported to be within touching distance of agreeing the terms of a formal cooperation agreement that will see them enter government for the first time. What will this mean for Scotland and its governing party? On the face of it, not a great deal. Some Green MSPs (the party has seven, including co-leaders Lorna Slater and Patrick Harvie) will get ministerial posts but will have minimal impact on SNP policy, which will likely remain tightly controlled by Sturgeon and her inner sanctum. The SNP will hope that the optics of hooking up with the Greens will boost their environmental credentials in

The growing extremism of France’s Green party

On Sunday evening I met three left-leaning French friends for a picnic in a Parisian park. We’d hardly begun the pâté before they were arguing. One confessed that she hadn’t voted in the second round of the regional elections. The other two were aghast. Why hadn’t she done her duty as a good socialist? She had voted in the first round but she baulked at supporting a radical left-wing coalition comprising the socialists, the greens, the communists and the far-left France Insoumise. As it turned out, her vote wouldn’t have made a difference. Valérie Pécresse, the incumbent centre-right candidate was comfortably re-elected in the Ile-de-France with 45.6 per cent of

Why are the Greens so opposed to the hydrogen economy?

As the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow approaches, it is only to be expected that charities, lobbyists, special interest groups and an alphabet soup of international bodies will attempt to steer the conversation in their direction. The IEA (International Energy Agency, not to be confused with the Institute for Economic Affairs think tank) has published its contribution this week, ‘Net Zero by 2050’, which contains more than 400 milestones that have to be met if net zero carbon emissions is to be achieved by 2050. Many of the policy suggestions are sensible, and many are inevitable, e.g. economies of scale and advances in technology will mean that wind and solar

The Greens could learn from the success of Ukip

Is there a better left-wing political brand to own at the moment than that held by the Green party? It is hard to think of one. After all, we are in the midst of a three-part BBC television profile of Greta Thunberg that even the Independent has described as ‘effectively an act of worship’; environmental awareness has become the new religion in the run-up to the UN COP26 conference in Glasgow; and the Labour Party is in the middle of an obvious crisis – communicating neither a sense of idealism nor the feeling that it might win an election anytime soon. One could also add that the less said about

Has Starmer already missed his chance?

Hindsight is the easiest weapon to employ in politics — as Keir Starmer of all people should know. When you have witnessed events unfold already, it is simple to point out what politicians should have done. Yet when it comes to post-Corbyn Labour, some mistakes have been made that may just have been avoided — and hindsight is not required to reach that conclusion. The clues were there this time last year. Starmer has moved too slowly and has made the error that many unsuccessful Labour leaders tend to make: assuming that the party requires less mending than is actually the case. Sir Keir has employed the same logic that

Is Reddit censoring The Spectator?

What’s going on over at Reddit? The popular chatroom, which bills itself as ‘the front page of the internet’, has been accused of blocking Spectator articles. Earlier this week, the most popular UK politics page was suspended from public view and users who posted a link to a Spectator article were blocked. The article in question mentions one Aimee Challenor, a former ‘rising star’ of the Green party and transgender activist, who left the party in disgrace after she appointed her father — a violent paedophile — as her election agent. According to the moderators on the Reddit group r/UKPolitics, Aimee has since been hired by the tech firm, which is now zealously blocking content about

The Green party’s gender intolerance problem

Is the Green party determined to make its female members feel unwelcome? After voting down women’s sex-based rights at their spring conference, the party has now suspended the co-chair of its women’s committee, Emma Bateman. The reason? According to Bateman, her decision to question whether trans women are female is to blame. As a trans woman, who also happens to be a science teacher, I know that trans women are most definitely male. Indeed, it is only because we are male that we can be transwomen. But where gender ideology is concerned, the Greens appear to have lost touch with reality. Bateman is no transphobe but – as with many other women –

Could the Green party revive Germany’s fortunes?

The BMWs and Mercs will be banned from the autobahns. People will only have electricity when there is enough of a breeze to keep the windmills turning. And the factories will be on a three-day week, while the airports will be converted into organic farms. Most businesses, and of course conservatives of any sort, will be nervous at the increasingly likely prospect of the Greens taking charge in Berlin later this year. But they shouldn’t be. In fact, they would be a huge improvement on Angela Merkel’s chaotic twilight years. As she heads towards retirements, Merkel’s legacy is looking very tarnished. The CDU is slumping in the polls. It has

The Green party’s woman problem

At the Green party spring conference this weekend, a motion which sought to introduce a party policy on women’s sex-based rights was defeated. A whopping 289 delegates (out of 521) voted to not include biological females in the party’s list of oppressed groups. All the motion aimed to do was simply add a paragraph to the Green party’s ‘Our Rights and Responsibilities Policy’. The motion reads: ‘This is to include the protected characteristic of sex as currently our Record of Policy statements supports the other eight characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race, maternity, religion/belief, marriage/civil partnership) but not that of sex discrimination – aimed primarily at women…’ The

The Green party is missing a trick

The British left is moribund. The Labour party’s ratings are sliding under Sir Keir Starmer, aka ‘Captain Hindsight’, as he struggles to project anything compelling to the electorate. The Liberal Democrats are doing even worse, with poll ratings often down at 5 or 6 per cent. They have given up on liberty — they don’t think free speech is a priority and have failed to query any significant aspect of lockdowns — and on democracy too, via their fanatical effort to set aside the result of the EU referendum. Sir Ed Davey’s major tactic seems to be to copy Sir Keir in being generally non-committal and to shadow his every

Green scare: Labour should stop chasing the eco vote

Should the Labour party be worried about the Greens? Some Labour activists think so. The Greens have just become the third most popular in British politics, if the latest IpsosMORI poll is anything to go on. The party won eight per cent support in the survey, putting them ahead of the Lib Dems. It’s enough to give even the staunchest Starmerite cause for concern. But the reality is that Labour needn’t sound the alarm. In fact, the very last thing Labour should be worried about at the moment is losing potential voters to the Greens. Why? Because we’ve been here before. In early 2015, support for the Greens went as high as 11 per cent

Sunday shows round-up: Jeremy Corbyn- There will be a great deal of movement

Jeremy Corbyn – ‘I want a close relationship’ with the EU The Labour leader was Andrew Marr’s chief guest of the day. Marr began by asking for Corbyn’s personal stance on Brexit, something which has proved highly elusive since the referendum result in 2016. Corbyn happily gave the Labour party’s position, but once again refused to be drawn on the issue:   AM: Do you want this country to leave the EU or not? JC: We’re going to put that choice to the British people, and they will make that decision… I want a close relationship with the EU in the future. ‘You don’t know’ who I’m going to negotiate with If

The Spectator Podcast: The truth about plastic

On this week’s episode, we investigate the truth about plastic, the environmental enemy du jour in 2018. We also try to find a compromise on tuition fees (if there is one) and ask whether the Church of England are the most ruthless property tycoons in the country. First up: Whilst terrestrial TV was busy doing battle with its streaming nemeses for prestige drama supremacy, the single biggest televisual hit of 2017 was something rather different. The David Attenborough narrated Blue Planet II smashed to the top of the ratings chart like a marlin cresting a wave, but it also spawned a national outpouring of anti-plastic sentiment. Can we do anything

Samantha Cameron reveals which opposition party she backs

Before David Cameron became Prime Minister in the 2010 election, he was dealt a setback when his old chum Ed Vaizey suggested that Cameron’s wife Samantha might be voting Labour. Although Cameron’s team were quick to pour cold water on the suggestion – and Vaizey in turn backtracked – the rumour persisted over the years. Now that the pair are out of No 10, Sam Cam has finally set the record straight in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph. The fashion designer tells the paper that she never went so far as to vote Labour – but she did sometimes vote Green: ‘But I didn’t always vote Conservative – sometimes I went

Voting Green is about feeling morally superior to lesser mortals

In this, as in all things, Paul Keating was right. It was the former Aussie Prime Minister, a Beethoven of political invective, who called his country’s Green Party ‘a bunch of opportunists and Trots hiding behind a gum tree trying to pretend they’re the Labor Party’. Keating’s acid scherzo could apply just as readily to our own Greens, self-appointed conservationists of righteousness. Caroline Lucas, their only MP, has been at the forefront of calls for a ‘progressive alliance’ between left-wing parties. On Wednesday, she wrote to Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron proposing ‘some form of cooperation in a handful of seats to create the best possible chance of beating the

The future looks bright for Libertarians

Not long ago, America’s Libertarians—that’s capital-L, the pros—were ecstatic. Never before had their party nominated such a heavy-hitting presidential ticket. They boasted two former Governors, both credible (but not too credible) ex-Republicans, matching up against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the two least popular major-party nominees in history.   Governor Johnson seemed to be living proof that the GOP was sinking fast and the Libertarians offered the viable alternative. For Libertarian lifers who had suffered indignities like the abortive presidential run of Bob Barr (another ex-Republican), Johnson/Weld represented an unprecedented opportunity for unprecedented relevance. Instead, Libertarians have met with a familiar frustration. Despite the manifest weaknesses of Clinton and Trump, far too