Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/703/13668

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 February 2012

The Socialist, reader's comment

Are the Greens a real alternative?

The Labour party 'opposition' has alienated many trade unionists, including some union leaders, especially over its failure to oppose Tory policies such as wage restraint and cuts. The Green Party leadership has been trying to encourage Labour Party members to support them instead. Alec Price comments.

Green leader Caroline Lucas MP and her party are attempting to build on the unions' rift with Labour to encourage trade union support and funding to break from the Labour Party and support them instead.

Due to the demise of Labour as a mass workers' party over recent decades it is easy to understand how the Greens may appeal to people disgusted by the lack of choice in the three main parties. This included me at one time! But, to decide whether the Greens are a real alternative we must look at how they act in power and decide if this represents a way forward or a dead end.

The Greens have little chance of becoming elected to government in Britain under the present electoral system. But in other countries (with different electoral systems) they have formed governments.

In Ireland the Greens, in coalition in government with the country's main capitalist party Fianna Fáil, passed through Ireland's biggest ever austerity package, including cutting the minimum wage. This led to their electoral wipe-out.

Green councillors

The Greens in Britain take no responsibility for their Irish counterparts - perhaps it is unfair to judge them on that? So let's look closer to home... to Green councillors elected to local authorities in Britain.

The leader of the Norfolk Greens, Phillip Hardy, defected to the Tories late last year. The Greens argue that this is one rogue councillor - perhaps it is unfair to judge them on one incident?

Liverpool city council's first budget after the 2010 election cut £91 million - including the axing of 2,000 council and charity jobs, which also hit the services they provide. The two Green councillors formed a coalition with Labour and other parties to draw up the £91million cuts budget. Councillor Sarah Jennings, leader of the Greens, said: "There will be major cuts, we are not just talking about trimming the fat." The Greens then abstained on their own budget!

Perhaps it's still unfair to judge them. Maybe if they controlled the council they would behave differently? The Greens control Brighton council - getting elected on a platform to fight against the cuts. The council is now committed to cutting the budget by £35 million over two years.

True, some of the Green talk is great and they have some decent members. But what do these deeds say about the Greens as a party in power? Socialists don't bring this up to score points. If we want to build a new mass workers' party then it has to be on a principled basis that would need to include, as an absolute minimum:

The Green Party, when it is in power, does not do this. The Labour Party, as we all know, does not do this either and I don't believe that attempts to reclaim it, however well intentioned, will meet with success.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is the best available electoral vehicle for trade unions and anti-cuts groups who wish to give a political shape to their fight. Trade unions should follow through their criticism of Labour to its logical conclusion and break the link with Labour - where they haven't done so already.

They then should fund candidates who will represent their aims - this could be alongside funding the few individual anti-cuts Labour MPs or such Labour councillors as Kingsley Abrams (suspended for voting against cuts!). This May's elections would be a good place to start!

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 1 February 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Bankers bonus scandal - Fight this profit-mad system

Trade unionists and socialists prepare for May elections

What is the point of Labour MPs?

Dead end in Davos

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Don't let the racist EDL divide us

Disabled protesters demand scrapping of 'welfare' bill

Haringey takes action against academies

Coventry: Re-elect Dave Nellist


Socialist Party youth and students

NUS: name the day for student walkout

Save Derbyshire youth services!

Only one in six 'vacancies' real

Tough conditions for agency workers

South East Wales youth plan new campaigns


International socialist news and analysis

EU summit - no capitalist solutions to the spiralling eurozone crisis

Interview: the Tunisian revolution one year on


Socialist Party workplace news

Pensions battle: Unions must campaign for coordinated strike action in March

London Docklands transport workers win Olympics deal

Unison pensions cowardice

Remploy workers fight privatisation

Jet tanker drivers continue strike action

Workplace news in brief


The Socialist - readers' comments

Debate: Should socialists support the HS2 rail line?

Are the Greens a real alternative?

Smacking not the answer

Obituary: Gwenda Beishon


 

Home   |   The Socialist 1 February 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Green Party:

triangleCanterbury Socialist Party attends 'I, Daniel Blake' film night

triangleUniversal basic income - what do socialists say?

triangleConservatives humiliated in Richmond

triangleTrump victory: Failure of the Democrat establishment

triangleAustria - Hofer defeated, but far-right threat remains

Labour:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleTories torn - bin them now

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

Cuts:

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

Green:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Why you have to be Red to be Green

triangleDon't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish

Council:

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

Liverpool:

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

Brighton:

triangleStrike together for better pay

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

18/10/17

Port Talbot

Powerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

18/10/17

Russian revolution

October 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

11/10/17

Theresa May

Theresa May, Frida Kahlo and turning women into wares

11/10/17

Docks

Poverty, repression and fightback on the docks

11/10/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

11/10/17

TV

Shocking insight into Isis

2/10/17

Sexism

Hugh Hefner's exploitation of women

27/9/17

Football

Women's football - Sampson allegations

20/9/17

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

20/9/17

Socialist

Interview: the "socialist John Le Carré"

20/9/17

Women

Refreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward

13/9/17

Women

New documentary asks women how their bodies are sexualised and policed

13/9/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

13/9/17

Che Guevara

Intimate insight into a revolutionary icon

6/9/17

Pensions

Bosses' pensions robbery

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2