I am indebted to Caroline Lucas MP, newly elected co-Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales for making the connection between Turnouts and Mandates, with this speech to the Debate on The so called Neverendum Petition.
I would also like to Thank Gerraint Davies MP for asking this question of Theresa May the Prime minister regarding Ceta, ISDS and TTIP .In questions following her G20 briefing to the House of Commons. It restored my faith that not all Labour MP´s are lost in what Paulo Frieere says is the tendency of some on ´´ the Left to ”almost always (be)tempted by a “quick return to power,”(&) forgets the necessity of joining with the oppressed to forge an organization, and strays into an impossible “dialogue” with the dominant elites. It ends by being manipulated by these elites, and not infrequently itself falls in an elitist game, which it calls “realism.”
Notes for the Poems Figures and Themes.
Voter Turn Out, What is a mandate and Electoral Reform.
Questions for Democracy, and how we do it.
United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum, 1975
The referendum debate was an unusual time in British politics. During the campaign, the Labour Cabinet was split and its members campaigned on each side of the question, a rare breach of Cabinet collective responsibility. Most votes in the House of Commons in preparation for the referendum were only carried thanks to opposition support, and the Government faced several defeats on technical issues such as election counts. Finally, although the Government declared in advance that it would comply with to the result, the referendum itself was not legally binding upon the government.
During the campaign, almost the entirety of the mainstream national British press supported the “Yes” campaign. The left-wing Morning Star was the only notable national daily to back the “No” campaign. Television broadcasts were used by both campaigns, like party political broadcasts during general elections. They were broadcast simultaneously on all three terrestrial channels: BBC 1, BBC 2 and ITV. They attracted audiences of up to 20 million viewers. The “Yes” campaign advertisements were thought to be much more effective, showing their speakers listening to and answering people’s concerns, while the “No” campaign’s broadcasts featured speakers reading from an autocue.
The “Yes” campaign enjoyed much more funding, thanks to the support of many British businesses and the Confederation of British Industry. According to the treasurer of the “Yes” campaign, Alastair McAlpine, “The banks and big industrial companies put in very large sums of money”. At the time, business was “overwhelmingly pro-European”, and Harold Wilson met several prominent industrialists to elicit support. It was common for pro-Europeans to convene across party and ideological lines with businessmen.John Mills, the national agent of the “No” campaign, recalled: “We were operating on a shoe-string compared to the Rolls Royce operation on the other side”. However, it was also the case that many civil society groups supported the “Yes” campaign, including the National Farmers Union and some trade unions.
Much of the “Yes” campaign focused on the credentials of its opponents. According to Alastair McAlpine, “The whole thrust of our campaign was to depict the anti-Marketeers as unreliable people – dangerous people who would lead you down the wrong path … It wasn’t so much that it was sensible to stay in, but that anybody who proposed that we came out was off their rocker or virtually Marxist.”.Tony Benn controversially claimed: “Half a million jobs lost in Britain and a huge increase in food prices as a direct result of our entry into the Common Market”, using his position as Industry Minister as an authority. His claims were ridiculed by the “Yes” campaign and ministers; the Daily Mirror labelled Benn the “Minister of Fear”, and other newspapers were similarly derisive. Ultimately, the “No” campaign lacked a popular, moderate figure to play the public leadership role for their campaign that Jenkins and Wilson fulfilled in the “Yes” campaign.
This was only the second nationwide referendum to be held (the first being the EEC referendum in 1975) and the first that was not merely consultative; being “post-legislative” and therefore committing the government to give effect to its decision
United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum, 2011
This was only the second nationwide referendum to be held (the first being the EEC referendum in 1975) and the first that was not merely consultative; being “post-legislative” and therefore committing the government to give effect to its decision.
All registered electors over 18 (British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens living in the UK and enrolled British citizens living outside) – including Members of the House of Lords (who cannot vote in UK general elections) – were entitled to take part.
On a turnout of 42.2 per cent, 68 per cent voted No and 32 per cent voted Yes. Ten of the 440 local counting areas recorded ‘Yes’ votes above 50 per cent; six in London, and those in Oxford, Cambridge and Edinburgh Central and Glasgow Kelvin in Scotland.
The campaign was described in retrospect by political scientist Iain McLean as a “bad-tempered and ill-informed public debate”.
Further details of campaigning decisions emerged after the referendum result with Dan Hodges reporting that the Conservatives had endorsed the No campaign’s targeting of Nick Clegg, although they had originally opposed the idea. Hodges also reported that an aide of David Cameron secretly met No campaign leaders in a hotel room in order to stop the Liberal Democrats finding out the scale of Conservative involvement.
The Coalition Government continued and sought to present a united front after the fractious campaign. Former Conservative Cabinet minister Michael Portillo criticised Cameron, saying he “forgot the importance of courtesy” towards Clegg and the Liberal Democrats and, thus, the survival of the Coalition, when he joined what Portillo called “the disgraceful No campaign”.
On 8 July 2011, the Alternative Vote Provisions were repealed, bringing the statutory process that had initiated the referendum to an end.
Service/Crown personnel serving in the UK or overseas in the British Armed Forces or with Her Majesty’s Government who were registered to vote in Scotland.
Convicted prisoners were not able to vote in the referendum. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) earlier ruled that this restriction was unlawful, but Scottish judge Lord Glennie said that he believed the ECHR judgment would apply only to parliamentary elections. Appeals against his ruling were rejected by the Court of Session in Edinburgh and the UK Supreme Court.
The normal voting age was reduced from 18 to 16 for the referendum, as it was SNP policy to reduce the voting age for all elections in Scotland. The move was supported by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Greens.
In January 2012, Elaine Murray MSP of Labour led a debate arguing that the franchise should be extended to Scots living outside Scotland, including the approximately 800,000 living in the other parts of the UK. This was opposed by the Scottish Government, which argued that it would greatly increase the complexity of the referendum and stated that there was evidence from the United Nations Human Rights Committee that other nations “might question the legitimacy of a referendum if the franchise is not territorial”.
In the House of Lords, Baroness Symons argued that the rest of the UK should be allowed to vote on Scottish independence, on the grounds that it would affect the whole country. This argument was rejected by the British government, as the Advocate General for ScotlandLord Wallace said that “whether or not Scotland should leave the United Kingdom is a matter for Scotland”. Wallace also pointed to the fact that only two of 11 referendums since 1973 had been across all of the United Kingdom. Professor John Curtice also argued that the Northern Ireland sovereignty referendum of 1973 (the “border poll”) created a precedent for allowing only those resident in one part of the UK to vote on its sovereignty.
In January 2014, a year-long academic study by Dr John Robertson at the University of the West of Scotland found that coverage by the BBC and the Scottish commercial channel STV had favoured the No campaign, although Robertson conceded that this was partly due to there being more major political parties in favour of No.In March 2014, BBC Scotland chiefs appeared before a Scottish Parliament committee to face questions from MSPs about the broadcaster’s coverage. During that session, BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie disputed the findings of Dr Robertson’s study. MacQuarrie criticised its methodology, saying that its conclusions were largely based upon “flawed analysis” and contained factual errors.
During the latter stages of the campaign there were further allegations by some independence supporters that the BBC – the UK’s national broadcaster – was biased against Scottish independence. In an interview for the Sunday Herald, Alex Salmond said he believed the BBC had been unconsciously biased against independence.Former BBC journalist Paul Mason commented: “Not since Iraq have I seen BBC News working at propaganda strength like this”. The BBC replied that “Our coverage of the referendum story is fair and impartial in line with the editorial guidelines”. Alex Massie wrote in The Spectator that the BBC’s coverage was consistent with their attitude towards other government proposals of such magnitude and that that it was incumbent upon the Yes campaign to prove its assertions.
On 29 June, several hundred independence supporters gathered in a demonstration outside the BBC Scotland headquarters in Glasgow in protest at the BBC’s alleged bias. A week before the vote, BBC political editor Nick Robinson said in a news item that Salmond “didn’t answer” his questions at a press conference. This led to a protest by several thousand independence supporters at the BBC Scotland headquarters, accusing the BBC of broadcasting pro-Union “propaganda” and “lies”.The Independent reported that the protesters accused Robinson of conniving “with the Treasury to spread lies about the dangers to business and financial services of an independent Scotland”.Alastair Campbell said that the “organised protests” amounted to media censorship “not far off” Vladimir Putin‘s Russia, telling Twitter users they should “Vote YES for intimidation”. Robinson later expressed his “regret” at using the phrase “didn’t answer” in his report and criticised the protests.
Speaking after the referendum, Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins said that he did not believe there was a “systemic bias” against Yes or any “corporate intent to disadvantage the Yes campaign”.
Results of polls to 11 September 2014. Red: no, green: yes
Professor John Curtice stated in January 2012 that polling showed support for independence at 32%–38% of the Scottish population, a slight decline from 2007, when the SNP first formed the Scottish government. By 2012, there had been no poll evidence of majority support for independence, although the share “vehemently opposed to independence” had declined. According to Curtice, the polls were stable during most of 2013, with “no” leading by an average of 17% with a year to go. Polling expert Nate Silver said in 2013 that the yes campaign had “virtually no chance” of winning the referendum.
The gap narrowed after the release of the Scottish government white paper on independence: an average of 5 polls in December 2013 and January 2014 gave 39% yes and 61% no, once ‘don’t knows’ had been excluded. The polls tightened further after the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, stated in February that the UK government was opposed to a currency union; the average yes support increased to 43%, once ‘don’t knows’ had been excluded. There was little movement in the following months, with the average continuing to show 43% yes and 57% no (excluding don’t knows) in July 2014 and August 2014.
In September, polls indicated that the vote would be closer than was indicated earlier. On 6 September a YouGov poll gave those in favour 47% versus 45% for those against; excluding those undecided, the figures were 51% and 49%, respectively. The final polls, taken in the last few days of the campaign, indicated a lead for No of 4–6%. There was no exit poll; instead, soon after polling stations had closed, YouGov released a final poll that had been taken during the day of voting, indicating 46% Yes, 54% No.
55.3% voted against independence, with a turnout of 84.6%. 28 of the 32 council areas voted “No”, although the four areas that voted “Yes” (Dundee, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire) contained over 20% of the Scottish electorate.
The overall turnout of 84.6% was very high for Scotland. Turnout was around 50–60% for elections to the Scottish and UK parliaments in the early 21st century. The most recent United Kingdom general election with a comparable turnout was in 1950, when 83.9% voted. The last ballot in the United Kingdom with a higher turnout than 84.6% was in January 1910, when no women and fewer men were allowed to vote (i.e. before universal suffrage applied to UK elections). Of the 32 areas, East Dunbartonshire had the highest turnout at 91.0%, and Glasgow the lowest at 75.0%.
An academic study, surveying 5,000 Scottish voters soon after the referendum, found that the majority for No was formed by an “unusual alliance” of the very young, average earners, Protestants and women. The study supported polling evidence that there was a gender gap, but countered beliefs that higher earners had supported No and that younger voters had mostly voted Yes.
Results of the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016
Being part of the EU makes sense when it comes to protecting our environment. Pollution and environmental degradation don’t respect national border – so we clearly need cross-border solutions to the challenges we face. If we join forces with other countries, strengthening the EU-wide rules on carbon emissions that are already in place, then we have a chance of keeping future generations safe.
The Government has dropped some heavy hints about what would happen to our environmental rules if we quit the EU. Ministers have tried their best to water down air pollution rules, the Chancellor has said that EU nature laws place ‘ridiculous costs‘ on British firms and, most worryingly of all, the Government has beenvigorously stripping away support for clean energy and renewable technology in the UK.
2/ Workers Rights
Being a member of the EU means being part of a cross-continental market. It is, therefore, crucial that workers’ rights also span borders.
From protection for part time and temporary workers to protection from discrimination; from rights for working parents to the right to paid holidays and a regular lunch break; from health and safety to promoting employee voice; the EU has been fundamental in making the British workplace a fairer and more equal place.
You only have to look at the Tories approach to workers’ rights to see the clear risk of leaving the EU. European rules are a safeguard against the tories love of deregulation and their attacks on trade unionists.
3/ Freedom of Movement
We are richer because of freedom of movement. Our lives are enriched when we share them with people from other countries, and our horizons are broadened because we can travel, work and study easily across the EU.
Students benefit from being able to study abroad. Brits can easily retire in Spain. Our economy is stronger because of people coming here to work and contribute.
Leaving the EU wouldn’t just risk our multicultural society here in Britain. It would could also stop us from being able to easily study at great European universities,work abroad or retire to the Spanish sunshine
Being a member of the EU gives us a better chance of getting a decent job.
A range of studies have taken place – by independent experts as well as the Government – which show that 3-4 million jobs are linked directly and indirectly to our trade with the EU.
Given that trading with the EU would be harder if we left, and would take many years to negotiate, these jobs would be vulnerable.
5/ Checks on Corporate Power
After the financial crisis of 2008 it has become increasingly clear that we need international rules to curb the excess of finance firms in the City of London.
The EU has brought in a cap on bankers’ bonuses and stricter rules on credit ratings agencies. The EU has also introduced a robin hood tax – which the UK refused to sign up to.
If we leave the EU the Tories would unleash a wave of deregulation on the City of London – possibly risking another financial crash in doing so.
Being part of the EU gives British businesses, both small and big, access to a 500-million strong market.
We get out more than we put in. Our annual contribution is equivalent to £340 for each household and yet the CBI says that all the trade, investment, jobs and lower prices that come from our economic partnership with Europe is worth £3000 per year to every household.
Leaving the EU would risk economic stability in Britain. We’d be forced to negotiate trade deals with many countries – on terms dictated by the Tories.
Being part of the EU allows British students to broaden their horizons by living, working and studying abroad. Last year, over 15,000 students studied in another EU country as part of the Erasmus programme.
The EU provides billions in funding for research at British universities, opening up opportunities for further study for students here as well as funding that allows us to attract talented people from across Europe to contribute to research and innovation here.
Our membership of the EU helps British universities to thrive – leaving would do huge damage to the opportunities and prospects of British students.
8/ Keeping the peace
The EU has been crucial to bringing about a lasting peace in Europe after the bloodshed of the Second World War. Britain has a particularly important role in this peace mission. We have made the mistake in the past of thinking that the Channel will insulate us from crisis in mainland Europe. We are necessary to the effective management and conflicts of our continent; we cannot duck our responsibilities.
The EU has improved conditions for animals where national governments have failed to act, and its influence is felt beyond European borders. The EU brought in a blanket ban on animal testing for cosmetics; banned the import of products newly tested on animals and suspended the use of toxic bee-killing pesticides.
The EU has also brought in bans on cruel factory farming practices: The EU prohibited the use of sow stalls and barren battery cages for hens.
We all know the EU isn’t perfect, but be in no doubt, if animals had votes they’d vote to stay in. The UK Government has already tried to weaken laws on laboratory animals – this doesn’t instill confidence that if we were to leave the EU, the current level of protection for animals would remain.
Bartley/Lucas won the leadership contest with 86% of first preference votes, on an increased turnout from the previous leadership election and the previous contested leadership election. Womack was re-elected as deputy leader.
Green Party of England and Wales
Leadership election, 2016
Caroline Lucas, then an MEP for South East England, was elected as the first Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales in 2008 (formerly a system of two principal speakers was used). In the new Constitution of the Green Party, it was also mandated that there would be leadership elections every two years., Lucas was elected as the first Green Party MP, for the constituency of Brighton Pavilion, and in the same year she was re-elected unopposed as Leader. In 2012, she announced she would not be standing again as Leader, saying: “The reason that I’ve decided not to re-stand… is because I want to give other people the opportunity to get well known, to have some profile in the party, hopefully to use that to get themselves elected as well.”
In the 2012 leadership election, Natalie Bennett, a journalist for The Guardian, was elected as Leader. She was re-elected unopposed in the 2014 leadership election, and then led the party in the 2015 general election. At the general election, the Green Party’s vote share increased from 1.0% to 3.8%, but they did not increase their parliamentary representation. Following the 2016 local elections, in which the Green Party lost four local councillors but came third in the London Assembly and in the London mayoral election, Bennett defended her record as Leader. On 15 May 2016, Bennett announced she would not be standing again for election later in 2016, saying: “There have been times when I got things right, and times when I got things wrong, but that’s because I’m not a smooth, spin-trained, lifelong politician.”
During the course of the leadership campaign, the UK held a referendum resulting in a vote to leave the EU. This led to leadership contests starting in the Conservative Party, UKIP and the Labour Party.
Caroline Lucas stated that she and Bartley “want to forge a new “progressive alliance” with other political parties willing to advocate electoral reform – potentially including deals over who would contest particular parliamentary seats.” Rival candidate Clive Lord criticised the plan, noting the rejection of the idea by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Lord said, “What else did anyone think Corbyn would say to the Green Party’s Progressive Alliance? It makes sense for Labour – both factions – to eliminate Greens wherever we do well, because we only take what they regard as ‘their’ votes and nobody else’s. So the four or five seats (if you include Sheffield Central) where we would want a clear run, are the last that Labour would allow us.”
Matt Townsend, a party executive member, expressed concern that Lucas’s early entry into the contest would lead it to become a “coronation”, as did other party commentators.
The campaign has been covered by various on-line and printed media, including Vice, Bright Green, Left Foot Forward, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post.
As part of the election process, all candidates have been invited to answer a diverse range of questions related to Green Party policy by various party organisations and affiliates. One consistent question at hustings and in the questionnaires is the question of identity, diversity and LGBT BAME representation in the party and how noticeably homogenous the leadership race is in particular. All candidates have acknowledged this and it is not a point of contention. The question was put in the Electoral Reform Society’s questionnaire and all candidates answers and views on this issue were printed. A campaign to support Re-open nominations in the leadership vote was founded upon an alleged lack of diversity in the make-up of the leadership candidates.
Other major questionnaires were on Reddit from the UK Greens Reddit Climate Action Group, The Green Party Trade union Group, and from Bright Green, one of Britain’s leading left-wing blogs.
According to the Constitution of the Green Party the leadership should be “the primary public faces of the party, responsible for presenting Green Party policy and promoting its electoral activity and campaigns to the public on a daily basis.” Candidates must have been members of the Green Party for three years or more at the close of nominations, and must have signatures supporting their nomination from a minimum of twenty other party members. Elections are constitutionally mandated to take place every two years by a postal ballot of all members. The Constitution states that nominations for leadership will be open from 10:00 on the first week-day in June until noon on the last week-day in June. Polls will close either after the last mail delivery on the last week-day of August, or five week-days before Autumn Conference starts, whichever is sooner. The party elects a Leader and two Deputy Leaders, or two Co-Leaders and a Deputy leader (thus, as Bartley/Lucas won the leadership, only one deputy leader was chosen). Several other executive positions are also being chosen. Re-open nominations(RON) is included as a voting option. Votes are counted according to single transferable vote and alternative vote, as appropriate.
On 20 May 2016, the party announced a provisional timetable for both the leadership and deputy leadership elections. Further details were announced on 27 May 2016. On the 29th June 2016, it was announced that the close of nominations would be postponed from 30/06/2016 12:00 to 30/06/2016 22:00 due to a “technical problem”.
1 June 2016 (10:00) – Nominations open
30 June 2016 (22:00) – Nominations close
1 July 2016 – Campaign period begins
24 July 2016 – Campaign period ends
25 July 2016 – One month balloting period begins
25 August 2016 – Balloting period ends
2 September 2016 – Autumn Conference begins in Birmingham; results are announced
In general, incumbents have structural advantages over challengers during elections. The timing of elections may be determined by the incumbent instead of a set schedule. For most political offices, the incumbent often has more name recognition due to their previous work in the office. Incumbents also have easier access to campaign finance, as well as government resources (such as the franking privilege) that can be indirectly used to boost a campaign. An election (especially for a legislature) in which no incumbent is running is often called an open seat; because of the lack of incumbency advantage, these are often amongst the most hotly contested races in any election.
In the United States, incumbents traditionally win their party’s nomination to run for office. Unseating an incumbent president, governor, senator or other figure during a primary election is very difficult, and even in the general election, incumbents have a very strong record. For instance, the percentage of incumbents who win reelection after seeking it in the U.S. House of Representatives has been over 80% for over 50 years, and is often over 90%. However, this rate may be artificially inflated, as incumbents that feel unlikely to win may decline to run for reelection. Additionally, shifts in congressional districts due to reapportionment or other longer-term factors may make it more or less likely for an incumbent to win re-election over time. For example, a Democratic incumbent in historically conservative rural Texas would have less chance of winning than a Democratic incumbent in historically liberalNew York City, because Texas has shifted away from the Democratic Party in terms of voting while New York City has shifted toward the same party (see also Congressional stagnation in the United States).
When newcomers vie to fill an open office, voters tend to compare and contrast the candidates’ qualifications, issues positions and personal characteristics in a relatively straightforward way. Elections featuring an incumbent, on the other hand, are as Guy Molyneux puts it, “fundamentally a referendum on the incumbent.” Voters will first grapple with the record of the incumbent. Only if they decide to “fire” the incumbent do they begin to evaluate whether the challenger is an acceptable alternative.
ERS promoted a de facto incumbency advantage to Caroline Luca who in term blessed the Co Leadership status of Johnathan Bartley who also benefits from the in-group biases demonstrated by the Green establishment including publications who support its establishment. Wikipedia particularly promoted this incumbency element to the competition.
The deputy leadership is a more complex version of the same phenomena.
Tom HarrisCaroline is re-elected and already the Party’s management is bending over backwards to accommodate her every whim. Watch out Green Party staff members who have their own opinion – I predict sackings and gagging clauses coming up very soon.
Tom Harris Labour would only enter into a pact if it was guaranteed to destroy, or at very least, severely disadvantage the junior partner. Just look at what measures the PLP is prepared to go to in order to get its own way. They are careerist monsters, dead set on pushing through their own agenda at all costs. Sound familiar?!
Roger Lewis I agree with Tom harris, the top down turn in the GP atmosphere is quite marked and the CO/ leadership bid was a coRONation. The presidential style of politics being promoted by the CO/ Leaders and their ´´Team´´ is straight out of Clinton Playbook 101, including terminology. `Progressive” is a very American term for watering down and neutering radicalism. Caroline, I am afraid to say, has caught westminsteritis and its contempt for Participative democracy. Chucka ummana displayed this very clearly in the debate of the neverendum in the Commons second chamber, yesterday. ´´Troubling our constituents with referendums´´he called it. Joseph Shumpeter described this as a competing elites model of democracy. ( quotes from Roy Madron, Super Competent Democracies).
‘Democracy is that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote’.” Joseph Schumpeter, Quoted from Roy Madron , Super Competent Democracies who in turn Cites. “Participation, and Democratic Theory” by Carole Pateman. Dr. Pateman says that, Schumpeter and his followers: … set the current Anglo-American political system as our democratic ideal (with) a ‘democratic theory’ that in many respects bears a strange resemblance to the anti-democratic arguments of the last (i.e. 19th) century. No longer is democratic theory centered on the participation of ‘the people’; in the contemporary theory of democracy it is the participation of the minority elite that is crucial and the non-participation of the apathetic, ordinary man lacking in the feelings of political efficacy, that is regarded as the main bulwark against instability.” Natalie was/is a great Democrat and good for the Green Party. I am skeptical of the co/Leadership which I feel Tom has quite rightly questioned , the Blairite Blue/Green turn it seems is accelerating, the piece in the Guardian advocating a turn to the right all add up to a pretty obvious pre-planned and probably Establishment endorsed , ‘make the Green Party ´ electable´ploy, plausible deniability built in of course. Ironically on the alliance front, the establishment will have been thinking about Jeremy Corbyn and a real left wing Labour party which it obviously abhors. If PR is on the cards which it would be in almost by default in a Federated post BrettBritain ,( Think federated union to preserve the union) getting the Green into the centre ground to the left of neoliberalismbut also of it, would make sense for gaming Post Brexit federal Britain and its PR based parliament . It is clear that some form of federation will be required to accomodate Scottish autonomy within a re – modeledunion as clearly another indie referendum would see and end of the Union,as things currently stand. The neverendum debate yesterday was quite informative and Caroline was in the seconders chair, not a very democratic look for the new Blue/Green I feel. heres the full debate http://parliamentlive.tv/…/cb2f33f6-f9fe-463e-a6d5…https://youtu.be/3njSwTej4No…
Elise Benjamin Roger, I don’t know where to begin responding to your comments! By Blue/Green do you mean a leadership that are proud socialists (Jonathan is a member of Green Left)? No policy decisions are being made, this is a genuine attempt to open up debate on working cross party (that’s including Plaid and SNP) to try to stop the Tories. There are clear red lines on the economy, energy production, welfare, and support for PR. It’s clear from the protest votes in the referendum and from our experience with on the street campaigning that voters want a more cooperative form of politics and we are the party taking a lead on this.
Mike ShoneElise Benjamin there is extremely serious problem with this initiative not being evaluated and evaluations running contrary not being absorbed. Overlooking the crisis in the Labour Party, its tribalism and reactionary nature including under the overexcited Corbynista surge indicates that a PA is not workable for the next General Election where Labour will suffer a devastating defeat,
Roger LewisElise Benjamin Hi Elise, I am writing an article fully addressing the problems I see regarding the coRONation which is nota mandate when one considers that 32.55% of eligible voters supported the co leader bid, why the turnout is so low is probably explained by concerns expressed about the shot gun announcement of the co leader campaign in May. A low turnout was always going to be to the advantage of Caroline who fully utilised incumbentsadvantage as the only Green Party MP. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incumbent (see incumbency advantage section) On Brexit and PR , caroline made an excellent speech in the second chamber of the commons yesterday on the neverendum debate. On Johnathan’sleft wing credentials, Owen Smith claims to be of the Left, lip service is not praxis. I will explain in more depth what I mean by this in my article , I will post it here in the next few days. On Brexit lets not forget a referendum on EU membership was actually promised in the GP 2015 manifesto, reform of the EU ( and its neo liberal constitution and practical policy positions) is supported by caroline, a member of DIEM 25) but I highlight that her speech in the commons conflates policy and parliamentarypolitical will and electoral efficacy, the arguments will all be in my article and I will not summarise them here. The DIEM 25 vis the lexit position on EU membership are both valid positions, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq72f81kkM4 . A rightward and top down drift of the greens is in the establishments agenda Shahrah in his conference speech makes the point that. ”There are many challenges ahead not just in party politics but in global politics.
But the end doesn’t justify means. As Gandhi well understood, rather the means is the ends in the making.
Take the media. It’s not the media that controls this party; it’s what we do in spite of the media that counts. (Please re tweet.)”https://www.greenparty.org.uk/…/shahrar-ali-speech-to…/ The establishment as I have said above may well find a federaland pr based system of uk government necessary to preserve the union, a left wing GP will not be allowed and the preferred meansof dealing with the GP nicely will be to encourage the right wing shift in return for PR. Similar to Labour and its rightward shift allowing the wastedyears of Blairism . The Blue Greens will be a watered down controlled opposition to neo liberalism at best. This is an interesting game of chess the question for me is not whether the greens have been targeted for infiltration but how far that infiltration has already got?
Ian Woodall Labour need a dose of realism. Pehaps Corbyn getting them virtually wiped out will provide that. But its a heavy price.
Roger Lewis this is pure speculation and there is no credible evidence to suggest this is the case. Certainly that is the establishment view and the media view. The elctorate may have very different ideas if it can be fully engaged. PArt of electoral reform should be about securing high turnout of all eligible voters, a measure by which the risible 37% turnout in the green leadership election fails by a long mark. The low turnout was assisted by the shotgun start of proceeding back in May.
31% of the vote in national polls
A mid term position 14 points.No opposition party has ever won from that position
Corbyns poll rating amongst Labour voters is awful
behind May and her crew
The kind of media management Sports Direct woild reject as useless.
They are going to stall on 30% and May will cream them.
Roger Lewis Ian, what do you mean by one of them? polls have been discredited this past few years, It has not escaped all of our notice that they were wrong about 2015 and wrong about Brexit. It may well be that a Corbyn led Labour party is un electable, the position Labour finds itself in though is certainly due to the ´Coup´attempt and all of the media narratives that have preciently saged each twist and turn, I find such precience odd? perhaps that is because I am ´One of Them´? What are Corbyns greatest policy crimes? a stance against neo liberalism is certainly one of them, opposing the Austerity (There is no alternative ) narrative certainly another. The Green PArty 2015 mainifesto was well to the left of Labour certainly no more left/right than Corbyns political pallette I would argue. Maybe its corbyns stance on Trident, or Syrian bombing or EU agression in Ukraine? Perhaps it is that COrbyn doesn’t believe all he reads in the news papers. Shahrar Ali said this in his conference speech. ”There are many challenges ahead not just in party politics but in global politics.
But the end doesn’t justify means. As Gandhi well understood, rather the means is the ends in the making.
Take the media. It’s not the media that controls this party; it’s what we do in spite of the media that counts. (Please re tweet.)”https://www.greenparty.org.uk/…/shahrar-ali-speech-to…/ . We could all do a lot worse than to reflect on Shahrars words, I loook forward to his return to the leadership of the GP when democracy is restored.
We want to know what you think the future of the Green party will hold, and indeed what you think it should be. Are you happy with the new leadership? What strengths do you think the party has in the current political landscape? What message would you have for non-Green voters?
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Roger G Lewis
Sweden place of residence.
Occupation. retired business man
best described as I´ve votd Green in the past.
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Check out policy EC661 The Green Party believes that,…
How do you feel about the new leadership pairing? How can the green party secure success under Lucas and Bartley?
The use of incumbents advantage by Carline to annoint Bartley has not played well at grass roots level. This device and the shotgun start in the 1 month head start Caroline awarded their co leader bid has led to complaints of a stitch up . The turnout was just 37% it would have been higher had the coronation not started its procession one month ahead of other candidates being able to declare. The Top down style the leadership race and also progressive alliance proposals agressivley trailed by Lucas/Bartley also have engendered suspicion. This suspicion is also compounded by Johnathans privelidged middle class and Tory past. His speech at conference explaining this away it is fair to say has met with some skepticisim. The lack of diverstiy in the leadership and in the candidates standing did not go un noticed and the loss of Shahrar Ali to the leadership is nothing short of a tragedy.
What do you see as the Green party’s biggest failing in the past?
I agree with David malone that the parties biggest failing in the past is ´´Kissing Whales´´a failure to address the broad spectrum of political economy and the very middle class , ´´tories doing gardeners question time´´ made the party irrelevant, even alien to the broad mass of working class voters. The new leadership team do nothing to address the too white, too middle class and altogether too bourgoise face of the Green party.
If you are a Green party supporter, what message do you have for someone considering voting Green?
Keep a close eye on the next manifesto, if it is watered down and moves to the centre ground to the right of whatever the ´´new ´´, Labour party position becomes when its civil war ceases, do not vote Green if Monetary reform, UBI and seeking reform of the EU disappear, also be very wary. It is it seems forgotten that the GP did have an EU referendum promise in its 2015 manifesto, I have been analysing very closely Carolines speech in the commons debate yesterday.Listening to Brexit is a very important discipline for a democrat, Carolines speech is a curates egg in this regard sadly.
What do you think the Green party needs to do to grow its membership/support?
The Green party is pretty poor when it comes to digital and online social media. It needs to walk the walk not just talk the talk of real electoral reform in Praxis and not just theory. Caroline said this yesterday in the neverendum debate. ‘A more representative inclusive democracy. Democratic Control.
@2.24mins ” a political system that delivers government on the basis of just based upon just 24% of the eligible vote, clearly does not give us that.´´
On Green Leadership.
41 690 active eligible voters
32.55% mandate?for Lucas/Bartley
Incumbents advantage.? fully employed for the co leaders, through to the actual online ballot presentation.
The leadership election figures tell a similar story, was it voter suppression? probably not, certainly though it was contributory negligence on the part of Lucas/bartley and the GP machinery.
Daniel Lee Why are you joining Labour Party members to mock our leadership just because your candidate didn’t win?
Roger Lewis Actually that isn´t the case at all Daniel,I think that it is an obvious question to make and in the electoral politics in 2020 or sooner we need to examine these questions. It is not just Johnathan that is not representative neither are Caroline and neither is Amelia, If David Malone or David Williams had won and there were two white middle class deputies I would level the same critisisim. Diversity and representation are key issues. My biggest regret is that Shahrar Ali Green Party is not in the leadership both he and David know that I would have preferred that Shahrar had run for the leadership and David as one of the deputies. Daniel Curtis is an irrelevance in my considerations Diversity was an issue for RON, the conduct of the election itself was institutionally biased to the incumbemncy of Caroline as the Green Party one trick pony MP (they will claim, not my view). Obviously these arguments must be met with pragmatic and openminded critique. Thats democracy as far as I am concerned Dan I do not do tribal I am afraid, and believe in speaking my mind. I have no idea what David Malones views are or those of Shahrah Ali, these are my own private views and I hold them sincerely and without any mallice found in any dissappointment that David Malone did not achieve more votes, thats not a consideration what is, is are the GP electable? with this danger of a drift to the RIght and possibility of being or becoming a controlled opposition to neo – liberalism. This ´´Progressive Alliance ´´stich ” strikes me as a bit over-played , is rather pooh poohed by a lot of greens I have read and respect, like Clive Lord for instance. There is a wider game and it saddens me that the GP seems to suffer selective memory loss regarding its own history and policy stances.
Europe The Green Party recognises that the UK is part of Europe and that we cannot cut ourselves off from our geography or its political realities. Our message on Europe is positive, not based on fear and nostalgia. Much EU action has been progressive: safeguarding basic rights, peace and security achieved through mutual understanding, environmental protection, the spread of culture and ideas, and regulation of the financial system. And in other areas, such as welfare policy, open discussion and coordination are useful. However, we prioritise local self-reliance rather than the EU’s unsustainable economics of free trade and growth. We would not adopt the Euro, which cannot work properly without much deeper political integration, and this would be contrary to our policy of subsidiarity. We support the proposal to have an in–out referendum so that the British people can have their say. This is because much has changed since the UK joined the Common Market in 1974. Endless debate on membership is a diversion from more important matters, such as ending inequality and adapting our economy to One-Planet Living. So it’s yes to Europe, yes to reform of the EU but also yes to a referendum. This is the policy that led to the election of an additional Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, in the South West last year.
“In a situation of manipulation, the Left is almost always tempted by a “quick return to power,” forgets the necessity of joining with the oppressed to forge an organization, and strays into an impossible “dialogue” with the dominant elites. It ends by being manipulated by these elites, and not infrequently itself falls in an elitist game, which it calls “realism.” Manipulation, like the conquest whose objectives it serves, attempts to anesthetize the people so they will not think. For if the people join to their presence in the historical process critical thinking about that process, the threat of their emergence materializes in revolution…One of the methods of manipulation is to inoculate individuals with the bourgeois appetite for personal success. This manipulation is sometimes carried out directly by the elites and sometimes indirectly, through populist leaders.” ― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Jeremy Bentham published a long Correspondense with Adam Smith on the tilte The Defence of Usury, Bentham also in that Pamplhlet set out the logical basis upon which Colonialisation would make sense to a colonising power.The value of a colony to the mother country, according to the
common mode of computation, is equal to the sum total of imports
from that colony and exports to it put together.
From this statement, if the foregoing observation be just,
the following deductions will come to be made.
1. The whole value of the exports to the colony.
2. So much of the imports as is balanced by the exports.
3. Such a portion of the above remainder as answers to so
much of the trade as would be equally carried on, were the colony
4. So much of that reduced profit as would be made, were the
same capital employed in any other trade or branch of industry
lost by the independence of the colony.
5. But the same capital, if employed in agriculture. would
have produced a rent over and above the ordinary profits of
capital: which rent, according to a general and undisputed
computation, may be stated at a sum equal to the amount of those
profits. Thence arises a further deduction, viz. the loss to the
nation caused by employing the capital in the trade to the
colony, in preference to the improvement of land, and thence upon
the supposition that the continuance of the trade depended upon
the keeping the colony in subjection.
The other mischiefs resulting from the keeping of a colony in
1. The expence of its establishment, civil and military.
2. The contingent expence of wars and other coercive measures
for keeping it in subjection.
3. The contingent expence of wars for the defence of it
against foreign powers.
4. The force, military and naval, constantly kept on foot
under the apprehension of such wars.
5. The occasional danger to political liberty from the force
thus kept up.
6. The contingent expence of wars produced by alliances
contracted for the purpose of supporting wars that may be brought
on by the defence of it.
7. The corruptive effects of the influence resulting from the
patronage of the establishment, civil and military.
8. The damage that must be done to the national stock of
intelligence by the false views of the national interest, which
must be kept up in order to prevent the nation from opening their
eyes and insisting upon the enfranchisement of the colony.
9. The sacrifice that must be made of the real interest of
the colony to this imaginary interest of the mother-country. It
is for the purpose of governing it badly, and for no other, that
you wish to get or keep a colony. Govern it well, it is of no use
To govern its inhabitants as well as they would govern
themselves, you must choose to govern them those only whom they
would themselves choose, you must sacrifice none of their
interests to your own, you must bestow as much time and attention
to their interests as they would themselves, in a word, you must
take those very measures and no others, which they themselves
would take. But would this be governing? And what would it be
worth to you, if it were?
After all, it would be impossible for you to govern them so
well as they would themselves, on account of the distance.
10. The bad government resulting to the mother-country from
the complication, the indistinct views of things, and the
consumption of time occasioned by this load of distant
Benthamns Defense of usury is flawed in that it misunderstands the Debt aspects of Money creation, which was not as bad then as it is now but was still a system being pedalled by the infamous John Law in France.
“In a situation of manipulation, the Left is almost always tempted by a “quick return to power,” forgets the necessity of joining with the oppressed to forge an organization, and strays into an impossible “dialogue” with the dominant elites. It ends by being manipulated by these elites, and not infrequently itself falls in an elitist game, which it calls “realism.”
Manipulation, like the conquest whose objectives it serves, attempts to anesthetize the people so they will not think. For if the people join to their presence in the historical process critical thinking about that process, the threat of their emergence materializes in revolution…One of the methods of manipulation is to inoculate individuals with the bourgeois appetite for personal success. This manipulation is sometimes carried out directly by the elites and sometimes indirectly, through populist leaders.”
― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
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