Green Gauge: Greens Back?

Across the nation, from Brighton Beach to Brighton Pavilion, the Greens are back as a political force, sweeping all before them and separating their enemies into food waste and recyclables. They are surging in the polls, growing their revenue base at a rate that would make a turbo-capitalist blush and they are ready for prime time.

In the discussion of which Parliamentary seats they have an outside chance of winning, Lewisham Deptford doesn't get a mention, with that result already a foregone conclusion. But this little patch was once a Green stronghold and it seems the right time to ask BCers - are you a Green supporter re-energised? Or a lapsed supporter, returned to the fold?

Is this a long-term shift in the political landscape which could help the Greens reassert themselves as a local political force, or will they wither as soon as people get wind of what's in their manifesto. Who's up for some degrowth?

33 comments:

Yellow plus blue equals green? said...

I'm a floating voter brought up Tory, but voted labour then lib dem. Prob still most closely aligned with lib Dems and don't actually blame clegg for cutting the deal he did giving up on free student fees for a bit of power and a chance at proportional rep - but he just hasn't been able to sell that to the public and he seems forever tarnished... No idea who I'll vote for but it's certainly nice that the greens are being taken seriously for once - they have a mixture of policies ranging from sensible via popular but unworkable to completely batshit... will be interesting if they can get a consistent message over and become the left side UKIP equivalent that they could be. UKIPs taken a fair few years to dial down the crazy to be taken remotely seriously and they still have a way to go. I think there's a much bigger appetite to vote for what you fancy rather than voting tactically - there's not much between the big parties, social media echoes amongst the Young where traditional media was only ever one way and maybe Scotland energised the underdogs. Put me down as a green maybe.

NAT said...

I would vote for them in a general election if the calibre of their candidates wasn't quite so dreck in this constituency.

Iain said...

Interestingly, I read that telegraph link and it makes me support them more. Unlike other parties, they are describing the political system they want to introduce and asking the electorate to vote on it. The other big parties hide their tacit support for global inequality and environmental destruction in order to not disturb voters, who would rather pretend certain things aren't happening than suffer the cognitive dissonance of knowing they are voting for parties who are incrementally destroying the world.

A balanced article would have pointed out that other parties support drone strikes, cluster bombs, nuclear weapons, global debt, sweatshops and environmental destruction. I think the green manifesto is pretty sane, among a mad consensus that we shouldn't vote for anything too meaningful, for fear we can't do it.

I considered joining the greens over the last few months, but the last time I rashly joined a political party, they turned out to be run by a bunch of decrepit, Stalinist fuckwits. I voted National Health Action Party in the Euros, but they won't have any candidates here. So I'll vote for them, put a poster up and consider joining after the election. I won't have time to canvas for anyone, so don't see the sense in joining until I know what things look like in mid-may.

terrencetrentderby said...

Not much to choose from is there? Joan "put your feet up" Ruddock had a pretty easy time in her safe seat, I think only something like Operation Yewtree or premature death would unseat a Labour MP here.
If the Lib Dems hadn't ballsed up and went with the Tories on AV, which no one understood, instead of PR we might have had real options at election time.

Newby said...

The Green's support will go the way of all other protest parties. They are the UKIP of the left (or is UKIP a left wing party now?) totally bonkers but fill a role of letting voters vent their fury from time to time.

Iain said...

No. UKIP is definitely not left wing. They are far right.

Brockley Nick said...

AV or PR, it wouldn't have mattered. The British electorate, furious with the LibDems at the time, were not willing to give them what they wanted.

terrencetrentderby said...

Yes vote at 32.1% and the No vote at 67.9%. It may have been closer if the other option was PR, who knows either way it legitimised FPTP for another generation.


Once Con/Lab get themselves half likable leaders it will be back to the usual electoral cartel, just the way these two want it.

Danja said...

I suppose on that result we should have had 1/3 AV and 2/3 FPTP (and Scotland should have chopped into just under half).

Headhunter said...

Far right policies often have a lot in common with far left and a lot of political commentators say that the left and right meet (in a kind of political loop) at their extremes....

Bob said...

I was planning on voting Green until I learned a little more about their candidates round here. I suggest people look up Störm Poorun and his strange “sustainability think-tank”, the Olan Trust. Despite its high-minded goals, as far as I can tell it's just a front for a legally dubious bunkhouse on Chudleigh Road where people pay £140 a month for the privilege of sleeping in a room with two or three strangers.

AliAfro said...

I can certainly see the potential for a bit of a green surge in Lewisham:

- The Greens will get unprecedented media exposure.
- Natalie Bennett will be a new face on TV that hasn't yet been tarnished by political weathering.
- Disillusioned labour supporters have a protest vote with some of the policies that they always wanted.
- Disillusioned lib dem supporters have a protest vote that isn't labour.
- Anti UKIPers have a polar opposite to counter the growing right-wing voice.
- Young voters have an underdog to root for that aren't the lib dems.
- We've just had the hottest year on record.

...but labour will retain their seat.

Andy Scorgie said...

Greens about as much use as FWD on a slug almost as hopeless as the Lib Dems, Tories and Labour are utterly discredited. Ukip are totally mad but they do make me laugh and sadly they will do well, the only party I would vote for are the Scots Nats therefore I will be voting for People Before Profit who I judge to be decent and honest otherwise I would vote for my cat!

Wait a minute... said...

Hang on - You were planning on voting green but you were put off because a candidate in another borough has a sustainability think tank and a bunk house? Come on Bob - you were never really considering voting green were you? You old dog!

Brockley's UKIP Supporter said...

Wow - I don't think I've ever read a set of policies with which I disagree so completely. By contrast I haven't heard Farage say anything I disagree with in the last year. I will therefore continue my trend since 2001 of voting UKIP, the only conservative party we have in this country. And let's hope more people actually read the Green's manifesto before voting for those ludicrous, dangerous and deluded ideas.

terrencetrentderby said...

UKIP are just third rate Tories with populist policies. They were formed with the sole aim of forcing a EU referendum, they have however outgrown this initial ambition and aspire much more power.
Without Farage there would be no UKIP. This is such an obvious weakness, I mean if the Royals could knock off Diana so easily Cameron and Miliband could come up with something...

Brockley's Green Supporter said...

Wow - I don't think I've ever read a set of policies with which I disagree so completely. By contrast I haven't heard Bennett say anything I disagree with in the last year. I will therefore continue my trend since 2001 of voting Green, the only liberal party we have in this country. And let's hope more people actually read the UKIP's manifesto before voting for those ludicrous, dangerous and deluded ideas.

Brockley's Swingometer said...

Isn't the idea that you vote for the party with the policies that you agree with the most?

Bob said...

That's really weird. I'm going to have to check the Internet Archive when I get home from work. Last time I looked his Green Party page was just an unedited text dump from his own website and he was listed as the candidate for Lewisham East.

If you don't believe me, look at this. He's mentioned as the Lewisham East candidate in this Press release.
http://lewisham.greenparty.org.uk/news/2014/12/19/lewishams-green-party-parliamentary-candidates-stop-academies-statement/

Wait a minute... said...

Brockley is in 'Lewisham Deptford' constituency, Bob, not Lewisham East.

Even if he was the candidate for Brockley, its still not clear how the sustainability think tank and bunk house killed off your vote?

Come on Bob - what's really on your mind? Do you live next door to the bunk house? Let it all out. you'll feel better...

Bob's arse said...

Don't let bob hear you. Their council candidate is an ex-Tory, ex-lib dem, union-busting estate agent. Bunkhouses and think-tanks wouldn't make enough money for them. And the other candidates espouse UKIP admiration, think 9/11 was an inside job or praise Stalin. Get your cat registered at the electoral commission, perhaps under the name Save Lewisham Hospital, like pbp did without permission.

Bob said...

It's against my nature to feed trolls, but I'll take your bait.

No I don't live next door to this place, or anywhere near it really. I pass it on my way to and from the train station and was curious to know what it was. I'd assumed it was a fostering operation or something like that for a long time.

It put me off the Green Party because it throws the local party's whole selection process into question. They're nominally a party that is big on tenants rights and housing provision, but this candidate appears to be making at least two grand a month packing people into a house like sardines. Even if you ignore that, he's still got little to recommend him. He describes himself as an "ecologist and leading national campaigner on environmental protection" but I can't find any evidence, other than his own boasts, that he's either.

Wait a minute... said...

Well I'm not usually one to feed the trolls either, but I'll bite:

You are against voting for the greens in Brockley based on your views of a guy who has nothing to do the Brockley green party campaign.

You don't like the fact that this man makes money renting out accommodation but you haven't actually said why this is a bad thing. Do you suspect it is an illegal operation Bob?

You don't like the way he describes himself as an ecologist because you cant find enough 'evidence'. Do you think he is an imposter Bob?

You suggest that somehow this all throws the party's selection process into question - but he hasn't actually been selected to run anywhere and it doesn't look like he's done anything wrong beyond somehow offending you by being a ecologist landlord with a poor internet presence!

tamsin said...

We have a Green GLA member, don't we?
I normally vote Green just to show up in any statistics if they do a national count of their support. Would be rather fun if it actually had some effect - and if the Greens can, in Lewisham Deptford, gain the support of those who are saying "a plague on both your houses" it would be quite exciting.
The National Health Action Party deliberately did not field a candidate in Lewisham so as not to split the vote and, having said that it could be fun to be in a marginal seat, it might have regrettable consequences for the NHS if sufficient socialists, disaffected with what New Labour did during their decade in power, switched to Green so that - with first past the post - the Tories got in. Stranger things have happened. Colin Moynihan was MP for a Lewisham constituency back in the 80s.

Primeval Mudd said...

I'm a Green Party activist but I don't agree with all of our policies. Our policies on nuclear energy and genetically modified organisms seem a bit too ideological and not practical enough for me.

On balance though I like enough Green Party policies to campaign for them. The housing policies alone would be enough!

Headhunter said...

Think I'll prob continue voting Green.... Not sure I'd really want them in power but not sure that any of the other loons, esp UKIP could do a better job...

Badgemanmartel said...

Car crash interview with Natalie Bennett yesterday:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dFn8RIXOBE

Brockley's swingometer said...

ignore my comment above - I didn't see that Brockleys Green supporter was a rip off of the UKIP supporting one above... read in isolation it was confusing...

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, it really was. The interesting thing about it was that she was so shy about their actual policies. For a party which has built momentum by being "different to those other bastards" she was very reluctant to show how different.


The guaranteed income, for example, can only be paid for with massive tax hikes - why not say so? What is the point of The Greens if they can't think the unthinkable. It's not like they are going to win more than 1-2 seats at this election anyway, so why are they chasing respectability?

Jake said...

Sickening. Bob, your comments are untrue and shameful. What party are you from?

I live in the house you refer to, so does Storm, as equal members.
It's part of a housing cooperative and above board. We set our rents to meet our outgoings. No-one is profiting from our coop.

Also, Bob, there are no rents listed online. Yet you mention my rent?
You clearly know the place personally - there is no indication of the
rents on the website, so you are being outrageous liar trying to come
across like a would-be green supporter. You clearly have a political
smear agenda. It makes me a little sick to read about my own room online from someone who's obviously been here. :(


It's not a front or a bunkhouse, there is only one shared room, which I live in it! By choice, with friends. I think you have some gall poking your nose into our private life. Our living accommodation is none of your business. And our housing co-op is just one of many with Olan Trust, which is a separate organisation. And fwiw we have excellent relationships with all our neighbours.

Ironic that you called someone else a troll.

And Storm has put a lot of money and time into setting up these housing coops and lots of environmental projects unpaid so it's a outrageous to imply he's money grabbing.

Wait a minute... said...

I knew there was something fishy about Bob - I bet that's not even his real name! :-)

AliAfro said...

You can almost hear the gears grinding in her head as she tries to figure how to pitch this all to the public...
Of course they should have workable policies that they can explain and promote to the public, but all their experience until now has been promoting green issues that they are comfortable talking about - their other policies were designed at a time when they weren't used to this new level of scrutiny. It seems they are only now considering whether its all a bit to radical for the public to stomach in one go.

When UKIP started getting popular they certainly had a few crazy ideas in their manifesto (although perhaps not as radical as the greens). Farage has been very successful in holding the media attention whilst tightening up their policies, and making them palatable to the general public.

I think the Greens need to decide whether to imitate UKIP, dialing down the radical thinking, concentrating on their popular policies and tightening up their message in a bid to boost their influence - or whether to go full Syriza and prep for a green revolution once the traditional parties lose the confidence of the masses. They need to act quickly and confidently either way.
Interesting times...

Ez said...

I'll probably vote Green because I don't want to vote Lab/lib/Tory. Some of their policies are reasonable but many are bonkers, which fact means they won't get very far, fortunately.

Brockley Central Label Cloud