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Letter to @theGreenParty

February 2, 2015

Oh my gods the Green Party. You idiots! You blithering idiots, you shower of cunts! How dare you? How Very Fucking Dare You?!

It took me years to trust you enough to join. YEARS. Years and the fact that I personally knew people involved in the party who appeared to not be the blithering idiots you have shown yourselves to be over the last two weeks.

What were you thinking? This is shitty shitty politics, a politics of the past, and a politics I thought you were mature enough not to engage in.

Idiots!

So, about 6 months ago, I joined the Green Party as a member. I’d been talking to other members for a while, including Peter Garbutt, the Sheffield Hallam parliamentary candidate against Nick Clegg in May.

There were many reasons for me actually joining, but mostly it was because it had been about a year since I’d seen any press release of theirs that I hadn’t agreed with, because they were discussing dropping their opposition to nuclear power, and because they appeared to be making a big deal of the fact that they wanted a basic income.

Our current economic structures are fucked, let’s not kid ourselves about that. They do not work, and they especially do not work for those dependant on the state. They also perpetuate and enhance the problem of there being fewer and fewer jobs for the working class, and thus they also increase over time the number of people who are dependant on the state.

Universal basic income is not a fix for this. It will not dismantle those broken structures. They still need to be replaced, but in the meantime, basic income can plug the gaps, and keep people from dying.

And there is a growing recognition of the idea, and a growing political will for it.

Trying to grow that will and raise the visible number of people who support that idea was a huge part of my decision to join the Green Party.

And now they are dropping it as a part of their manifesto. They are hedging their bets and operating on the old assumptions that somehow compromise is the way to gain electoral and political success.

It will not. My politics are not the politics of compromise. I will not let myself be allied to spineless policy that changes at the whiff of broader electoral success. The whole reason for the Green Surge (TM) was that people were attracted to the principles. To something that wasn’t the same. To something that might perhaps be new. To a party that appeared to not only be genuinely left wing, but also willing to stay that way despite the temptation to seek the middle ground.

I am profoundly disappointed, and have cancelled my membership.

And that’s not even touching on the whole transphobic parliamentary candidate and donor to the party Rupert Read, who is apparently totally fine to stay a member, donor and candidate while defending people who LITERALLY WANT TRANS WOMEN TO DIE AND DISAPPEAR. Seriously, the Party’s response to his comments was derisible.

In summary:

PS: This post is written with sincere apologies to my Poly Means Many colleagues, for whom I should have written and didn’t. 

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6 Comments
  1. I too joined partially due to the citizens income. But we are not abandoning this goal. Rather, we are not attempting to promise something in the next parliament term that we know that we can’t deliver in this time frame. This is something most political parties should do! For you to drop your support in such a fickle way, and write this quite hostile open letter, presumably in an attempt to encourage others to drop their support, is probably not the best way to go about achieving a Universal Income. Do you know of any other party who has this goal at all, never mind in their 2015 election manifesto? It seems your rant is based largely on interpretations of Caroline Lucas’ comments made by the Guardian and the Telegraph. I’d advise patience and to continue your support, if you want to see any progression at all in UK politics.

    • This is not progression though. This is the same old strategies. And it’s not going to work. This takes the pressure off at exactly the moment that the pressure should be raised on this issue. It’s a politics of the past, it’s a politics that drives disengagement from the party political process, and from your comment I can see that the party strategists are not the only ones who are living in the past.

  2. Damn it. I actually joined them – and said so – ONLY BECAUSE of their commitment to the basic income. I even said, in their recent survey, “drop that and I’m gone”.

    Looks like I’m gone, then.

    *screams into the void where good ideas that are politically inconvenient go to die*

  3. It’s clearly something they plan to be keeping under discussion though – I’m annoyed they’re not saying they’re pushing it for the next parliament too, but it remains a long-term goal, and I’m not SURE that admitting that’s what it is makes it less likely to succeed.

    I’m in two minds about this. It’s poisonously difficult to talk about long-term strategies in our current political climate, something that’s been brought out depressingly powerfully of late by (among other things) Andrew Neil’s idiotic lines of questioning about the Citizen’s Income, as well as some other policies which require a wider context of change to fully make sense of.

    Speaking as someone who’s not about to leave the Green Party, I’m definitely going to keep strongly pushing for the CI, online and on doorsteps, as long as I have time to canvass. This is an argument we can win, but we still have a substantial uphill struggle ahead of us, getting through to people who miss the point.

    I think it’s going to be interesting to see what actually gets into the manifesto when it comes out.

  4. Just to follow up my earlier comment, in case you missed it, the Greens have re-confirmed that it definitely is still going to be in their manifesto: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/02/green-deputy-leaders-contradict-caroline-lucas-citizens-income-will-be-manifesto

    ‘ A Green party adviser on economic policy told the New Statesman following Caroline Lucas’ interview on Today: “She was being realistic. Citizen’s income is very much a Green policy and has been for many years. Caroline was saying we’re not going to get it in government. So it is an aspiration for now, but still very much a Green party policy.”

    Speaking yesterday alongside Shahrar Ali, Amelia Womack, the other deputy leader of the Greens, added: “We have a lot of people at the moment who are really excited that we’re talking the citizens’ income. It will be in the manifesto.

    “I think that one of the things we need to acknowledge is that it’s a holistic approach; we’re not just going to introduce citizens’ income on its own. It’s a number of policies that will work together and I think that some of the media haven’t acknowledged that in their approach.”’

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