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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 May 2021

Lancaster Greens do deal with Tories

Lancaster Town Hall. Photo: ClemRutter/CC

Lancaster Town Hall. Photo: ClemRutter/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Brent Kennedy, Carlisle Socialist Party

Last week brought more reminders that stopping global heating is incompatible with the capitalist profit motive. Even as transport and energy move to decarbonise, the petrochemical corporations are using their oil to ramp up the production of single-use plastics, in which the big banks invest 100 times more than in recycling.

The Tories are licensing new oil and gas fields in the North Sea. After their ten-year 'voluntary phaseout' of digging peat produced no change, they've extended it again until 2024.

Meanwhile the Greens, having recently benefited from Labour's decline by getting more councillors elected, now lead Lancaster city council - dependent on Tory support. The deal was that the Tories got the chairs of the council committees and the Green Party leader got to be the figurehead.

As the leader of the Tories explained: "The Conservative group shares many similar core values and vision", including "prudent economics". In other words, being prepared to carry out Tory government cuts to local jobs, wages and services. Three of the five ex-Labour 'Ecosocialists' are backing this, with one being elected deputy leader of the council with Tory votes.

Lancaster Labour councillors have tried to score points over this deal with the Tories, but Labour ran Cumbria county council in an open coalition with the Tories for four years, and now with the Lib-Dems, implementing Tory cuts.

Why did the Greens leave the so-called 'Progressive Alliance' with Labour and the Lib-Dems in Lancaster? Because the Greens' Caroline Jackson didn't like Labour's Dr Lewis's 'leadership style'! But where are the fundamental political differences? How does this help mobilise the local working class to fight for permanent, well-paid jobs in renewable or public services?

Faced with the return of the Labour Party to Blairism nationally under Starmer, some former Corbynistas have joined the Greens. But because the Greens 'can't wait for socialism' and so choose to operate within capitalism, they are forced to follow the logic of capitalist economics and politics. For all the well-meaning local 'projects' and a superficially different 'style', it's impossible to protect the environment from climate change - let alone workers' living standards and public services - by getting into bed with the politicians who represent the interests of the banks and big business.

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In The Socialist 26 May 2021:

What we think

Palestinians need a new socialist intifada


Our lives, our jobs, our future - Not safe in Tory hands

Fight for the right to protest

Great British Railways shake-up offers no end to profiteering

Organise to oppose Tory academisation plans

Lancaster Greens do deal with Tories

News in brief


Organise for 3 July NHS pay protests

Scottish Independence

Where now for the Scottish independence movement?


Metroline London bus workers win huge victory

Goodlord sacks strikers - fight the penny-pinching, bullying bosses!

Thurrock refuse workers beat council and bin pay cut

RMT: Support Alan Pottage for assistant general secretary

NUJ leadership pushes through subs increase but left lands blows at conference

CWU elections: Vote for a fighting, campaigning, socialist EC member

'Fire and rehire' attempts spread - coordinated fightback needed

Cadent Gas plans 200 job losses


Mexico City subway train collapse - negligence, corruption and capitalism

US right to abortion under threat: Mass campaign to support the right to choose must be built


Stop Israeli state terror against Palestinians

Leicester protest against arms supplies to Israel

Palestine protesters donate to fund socialist material

Cladding anger builds - protest on 5 June

Readers' Opinion

Get up, stand up - don't give up the fight!

Film review: Nomadland

TV review: Three Families is excellent. But protest movement is missing

The Socialist Inbox


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