Dangerous Times Call For Radical Green Solutions


Following last week’s Green Party conference, The Guardian released the first in a series of videos focusing on the politic party conferences. Our video was called; ‘The Greens are turning into a force on the radical left‘. If I were being a bit pedantic, I would argue the choice of this title, as I believe we are turning into a broader political force not just one confined to one side of the political spectrum.

This years Green conference saw the newly appointed Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett, give a powerful maiden speech. In her speech she did something you certainly wouldn’t hear David Cameron or Ed Miliband doing; she asked Green Party members to hold her to account on her promises made for her first 100 days in office. She also spoke on how Labour hasn’t changed and the coalition has picked up from where Labour left off. And I was also personally delighted to see Natalie invite dialogue with the trade union movement.

For me the Greens and unions working hand in hand feels like a natural fit, as we share the same desire to create a fairer society and strong public sector. We both wish to see efficient and affordable public services run with the interests of the general public at heart. We both believe in a fairer society whereby those who caused the financial crisis bear the brunt not the poorest in society. We both wish to see proper wages paid to those who get up every day and work for the benefit of the people not multinational corporations. I am talking about nurses, teachers, bus drivers, care home workers. These are the people who make Britain tick and these are the people the governments misguided austerity drive is failing to support. The Greens and Unions have that common bond of wanting to create a fairer society and this is a relationship I hope we continue to strengthen.

In her speech Natalie importantly also touched on how our planet is under attack. I know I am not the only green who has despaired in recent weeks at the bizarre discussions in government surrounding environmental issues. Our government are obsessed with airport expansion, cutting renewable subsidies like they have done with wind farms and pursuing fracking despite the European Commission publishing a report saying ‘drilling for shale gas poses “high risks”, worse than those posed by other fossil fuels’. All of this at a time where we recorded the lowest Arctic ice levels ever and 80% of agricultural land in the US is facing drought. And those environmental shining beacons of responsibility, Shell, head off the Arctic to drill for oil with no credible plan on how to stop leaks.

I feel excited about the potential of The Green Party under the leadership of Bennett. She wasted no time in attacking the neoliberal shock doctrine politics which binds the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems together. Yes us Greens may be seen as radical by the mainstream media, however we live in the time of an environmental crisis and we need radical solutions to the challenges we face.  If we’re to tackle climate change and create a low carbon future filled with green jobs, low carbon travel and sustainable local food solutions, it will require a radical reshaping of our economy and the ending of our obsession with growth. Recognising we live on a planet with finite resources and ecological limits is the first step to doing this. The Greens and many leading economists have recognised our growth obsession isn’t a long term strategy. The question is when will the other parties wake up and do the same?

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2 thoughts on “Dangerous Times Call For Radical Green Solutions

  1. I’m interested to see what the Green Party’s going to do next. Natalie Bennett certainly seems like the right leader for where they are now – as she says in the video, she’s ambitious and wants to actually get people elected. The Greens are certainly looking more professional and serious than I’ve ever seen. Hopefully that will be matched by increased expertise in policy-making – some stuff they promise at the moment seems a bit poorly thought out to me.

    • Thanks for your comment, I agree Natalie looks really professional. And I felt their were some really outstanding candidates for leader and deputy leader in the elections. I happened read your article Green Party science – must try harder on your blog http://conspiringvsthefamily.wordpress.com. You make some really good points, however I would suggest that although the Greens look to devolve power to local parties and residents. The party believes strongly in a strong state projects like a strong NHS and supporting the re-nationalisation of the railways http://greenparty.org.uk/news/2012/08/16/privatisation-isnt-working.-we-need-to-re-nationalise-our-rail-network/. We also believe in subsidies for renewable energy and a Green Investment bank these are all very much central government initiatives. As we know to tackle climate change we will need governments across the world to work closely together drastically tackle our skyrocketing carbon emissions. This will need global state intervention on a scale we have never seen.

      Food is such a tricky issue, we have a booming global world population and we’re already living in a world with droughts in the western world food price shocks. This is an area where I believe as communities we have the opportunity to grow food locally and try and become partly if not fully self sufficient. I would argue that although not always perfect, the Green Party are the only party that truly recognise the urgency to act upon the climate change science and are opposing ‘fracking’ the governments dangerous dash for gas.

      I really hope you do rejoin the Green Party, like all political parties we’re going to have our difference internally on some policies. For me although I don’t agree on every single policy the Green Party has a vision for a fairer world whereby people come first not multinational corporations and we respect each other and the planet and that is the kind of world I want to live in.

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