A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Internal crisis in the Greens

Those of us who face local electoral challenges from the Green Party will find this blog post about them by someone who has just quit the party fascinating:


They seem to be being taken over by Trots:

"The crisis in the party is caused by several factors. The first is that the active membership is really very small - definitely less than 1000 people. In this situation, it is very easy for a relatively small interest group to hijack it for its own ends. This is what has happened with GreenLeft. I have nothing against the Left, and indeed consider myself Left, in the sense that it is clear that most of the sadness and misery of the world today is caused by inequalities. But GreenLeft is mainly simply a rehashing of old Trotskyite views in a new environmental clothing. The problem with this being that Trotskyism never accepted that while Marx´s critique of capitalism was broadly accurate, the solution was an utter disaster (and indeed, unGreen - viz Soviet Union); one of the tragedies of the 20th century being that in spite of the violence and destructiveness of capitalism, in the Cold War the better ideology won. GreenLeft is, in general, populated by angry people whose personal ties - or lack thereof - allow them plenty of time to devote to meetings, email lists, and entryism. As they have more time than most GP members, GreenLeft members have taken over many of the administrative posts in the party and their positions are increasingly the default policy options of the party.

.... This has become abundantly apparent in the Green Party´s abject failure to address clear anti-semitism (and indeed other forms of prejudice) within the party. There appears to be a crass and touchingly self-congratulatory view that if someone is a member of the Green Party, they therefore can´t be prejudiced. This sort of self-regarding drivel is a symbol of one of the worst aspects of the party, which is that all too many members of the party belong because they want to feel good about themselves, not because of what they might achieve."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having been involved with the Greens for a bit, I have to say that this seems spot-on.

As an organisation, they are insular,eccentric and prone to astoundingly petty in-fighting. It was all a bit too 'Life of Brian' for me.

3:31 pm, February 25, 2011

Blogger BobFromBrockley said...

Thanks for the link Luke. Following the comments thread at my post, some are arguing that the party's centrist right are as bad as the Trots... On the other hand, London AM Darren Johnson has now joined the argument and been pretty clear-cut against the antisemitism.

6:17 pm, February 25, 2011

Anonymous Silke said...

Luke it's great that you posted this but I don't think of this as factional. I know of many 'Trots' who aren't antisemitic, and some - like Sean Matgamna - who write better on antisemitism than almost anybody.

What we have in the Greens are a minority of activists with antisemitic ideas, and many more who seem to have no recognition of or resistance to antisemitism when it is presented as anti-Zionism or pro-Palestinian activism.

6:18 pm, February 25, 2011

Blogger Green Gordon said...

I know enough about this story to know that you don't know what you're talking about.

Heard the one about the party that wasn't prone to in-fighting?

8:13 pm, February 25, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone knows they hate the jews.

Every other word is bloody 'Israel'.

8:20 pm, February 25, 2011

Blogger Merseymike said...

Ah, so he has realised that the Green Party is anti-Zionist. Quite right too, wouldn't give Israel as it now exists more than another 20 years. Their intransigence has made this inevitable.

12:35 pm, February 26, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want in fighting you should try the Thanet Labour party. The local papers and blogs have been buzzing with letters, comments and accusations for about three months now following the deselection of a local Labour district councillor.

The unfortunate chap, who seems to have served his ward well, apparently made the mistake of aspiring to the same ambitions as the local leader. Suddenly he is yesterday's man but, not without lots of local support.

As a result open letters and counter accusations fly about with the other local parties milking it for all it is worth.

With local elections coming up in May one would expect some higher intervention to kick a few rears before the damage is beyond redemption. As it is the saga, the insults and the splitting within the local party goes on unabated.

9:17 am, February 27, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I know that in-fighting goes on in other parties.

However, Green Party in-fighting is characterised by high emotion over laughably low-stakes.

12:53 pm, February 28, 2011

Blogger Democritus said...

One of the joys of Luke's favoured electoral system is that I have to choose someone to cast a second vote for on May 3rd. There is absolutely no prospect of a Labour vote having any influence over the distribution of the 4 Welsh Assembly seats for South Wales Central given that we'll win all bar one or two of the constituencies. I am still leaning toward the Greens, but it's a toss up between them and the Nats as to which is least unappetising ...

6:08 pm, March 01, 2011


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