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Realignment of the GREEN left...

March 25, 2018 9:46 AM
By Keith Melton

Keith Melton Sarah Olney and Caroline LucasLet me say at the outset that this is my personal view (as Keith Melton) although I suspect it may ring a few bells with my GLD colleagues. This Op-Ed piece, if I may be as bold as to call it that, has been inspired this day by watching Caroline Lucas on the Andrew Marr show - if you have not seen it, then I would advise you look it up on iPlayer.

She was BRILLIANT.

Despite Marr`s normal interruptive interviewing technique Caroline Lucas stuck to her narrative and managed to get across most of what she seemed to be trying to get across, in a positive articulate way - she even recovered the numbers argument in the face of Marr`s challenge on Green Party membership data.

HOWEVER....

Sadly there has to be a however, here. However, the nature of our electoral system, which has, of course, given Liberals and Liberal Democrats so much grief over the years, threatens to quieten even Caroline Lucas` effective articulacy. She will, of course, break through occasionally as Liberals and Liberal Democrats have managed to do from time to time but the system is so heavily weighted towards the behemoths who are slugging it out in their fateful competition to make the whole nation poorer in their short-sightedness.

Let`s face it. Neither the Tories nor Labour have the first idea how they can cover their internal divisions to recover any sense of cohesion. Both parties are, in truth, mortally wounded and, what is most worrying, they seem determined to take the British body politic with them in their slugfest.

Realignment

It has been my view for a long time that the obvious course of action for the Liberal Democrats and the Green party would be to merge and present ourselves as a new and radical realignment of the green left. Yes, there may be some fractious squabbles to overcome, but there is so much more that we agree with each other about, that needs desperately to be done, that the imperative to get together seems overwhelming. Trying to intervene in the sterile argumentation of the two wounded beasts bellowing in the crooked fourth estate of this countries oligarchic press medium, with our separate voices barely above a whisper, is going to get neither party much further ahead.

However. If we were to be BOLD - and surely now is the time to throw caution to the wind - we could reap the same kudos as Macron`s movement did in France so recently, but with the additional bonus of getting together because we believed in the same philosophy of caring for the integrity of the planet, and trying to hold back the biggest mass-extinction event for 65 million years.

As well as all the basic liberal philosphical stuff at the beginning of the preamble to the constitution of our party (with which the majority of Greens would probably have no problems) there is one line there that should appeal to the hearts and minds of any Green Party member who sees it. I know it is there because I wrote it 30 years ago!

"We believe that each generation is responsible for the fate of our planet and, by safeguarding the balance of nature and the environment, for the long-term continuity of life in all its forms."

Noone in mainstream British politics is currently taking any notice of the existential threats to our planet in a serious way. Everyone is taken up with rearranging the deckchairs, so nobody has noticed the hole in our vessel below the waterline. Green Liberal Democrats shout about it all the time and Caroline Lucas has shown this morning that it is what the Green Party are all about, but unless we can break through the cacophony about Brexit and address the fundamental issues we both care about so much, we are not going to be heard.

Let us take the opportunity NOW - and I MEAN NOW! - to break the current mould of British politics and reshape the green left by getting together. Pass this piece on as widely as possible. Put it into the hands (and ears!) of any Green Party members you know and get them seriously thinking about it. Come along to the Green Liberal Democrat conference in Nottingham on 19th of May and GET GREEN PARTY MEMERS TO COME ALONG TO NOTTIGHAM TOO and get the dialogue going. If WE do not take the initiative, there is noone else out there who will. It is time to stand up and be counted.

CAROLINE, you were brilliant today, come and talk to us now and let us try and change the world together.

Keith Melton, Founding chair of Green Liberal Democrats, 1988


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