Tuesday, 20 April 2010

We Are The Only Party...

How often do politicians use these words, but every time I hear one of the big 3 parties say 'we are the only party that...' I prepare for them to be wrong. It seems as if to them, only the big 3 count.

I commented these words on a LibDem blog recently, and what a shocking response I got. What happened to the LD being for 'fairness', for 'letting the electorate decide'?

Oranjepan said...
currently there are over 300 registered parties in the UK standing candidates and campaigning at this election. The Green party are just one of hundreds which have zero seats in parliament. Similarly UKIP. Similarly BNP. Similarly English Democrats. Similarly the Christian Party. Similarly the Monster Raving Loony Party.

The Green Party is simply on the fringes of political debate with all these other groups - you even have no prospect of forming a group on Reading council this year, let alone forming a minority administration or joining a coalition as a junior partner.

So forgive me if I point out to you the fundamental difference between standing for election and contesting an election. Welcome though you are to participate in democracy, I fear you have an overinflated sense of entitlement based on shaky foundations.

Let's not forget Greens say "we are the only party on the environment", which as well as contradicting your own argument is patently absurd.

You can't have your cake and eat it too!

Cllr Warren Swaine 'Was' said...
And if I grew weary of Greens claiming to be the only party that stands for long standing Lib Dem policies I'd be knackered.

My response...
So much for democracy; two Lib Dems tell us that votes for small parties don't count. What happened to letting the voters decide?

Who says that the Greens won't win council seats or MPs? Wait and see. And when you are shown to be wrong, admit it. We have a strong record in the Euro Elections, in council elections round the country, with hundreds of Green Councillors, 2 MEPS and 2 London assembly members.

OP, there are indeed lots of parties, but not that many standing in these elections.

LD Cllr Glenn said...
All you ever do is attack Lib Dems Adrian.

I'm not sure we do say not to vote for small parties like yours. The council point is true though, should Rob be able to ride the increased voter turn out and get on the council, he wouldn't be a group and wouldn't be able to do very much. That's just the system, not an attack.

But if people want to have their voice heard in a more substantial way, it makes sense to vote for a party that already has a track record (I await your Lib Dem attack here), Locally or Nationally.

Facts are, this is one of the few times we as a party are riding high in the opinion polls, and other parties, big or small, just want to attack that.

Where have I attacked the LibDems? I will point out their policies, and discuss what there candidates say, as do most political bloggers.

I just searched for "we are the only party on the environment" and near the top of the list was 'Only we are green', says Clegg. What a surprise.

Mr Clegg said: "Climate change is the greatest challenge facing this generation. The old establishment parties offer warm words but weak, compromised solutions. The Liberal Democrats are the only party putting the battle against climate change front and centre."

They date their traditions back to the Liberal Party from the 1870s, but when its convenient, they are 'new.'

Nick Clegg said at spring conference, 'we’re the only political party left in this country. The other two are just slick marketing machines.' Pot calling kettle? And who did he miss out, again?

I welcome Clegg talking about the environment, but he is just plain wrong; both about being the 'only party' as well as on the LD actions. Unfortunately the record of the LD, along with the others, is not so good. Tory, Labour and LibDem record on giving permission for wind farms is poor.

LibDem Parliamentary Spokesman for Maidstone and the Weald Peter Carroll slammed the Romney Marsh Wind Farm proposal saying; "this wind farm is truly enormous. It is too big. Installations like this should be off shore"! This is not exceptional, but one of many cases.

Plane Stupid say "While they're often painted as the greenest of the major political parties, up and down the country the Liberal Democrats have been supporting climate-wrecking projects and opposing climate-friendly ones.

Friends of the Earth said the extension of the M74 motorway in Scotland "probably the worst environmental decision ever taken by the Scottish Executive." The Lib Dems' leader in Scotland, Nicol Stephen, who ignored an independent public enquiry and threw his weight behind this. Lib Dem councillors from Cumbria to Lancashire to Essex have been supporting a host of other road-building projects. It looks as though, despite all the spin, little has changed since the days when the Lib Dems were championing the Newbury bypass.

I did find this. 'The Green Party is the only party with policies that approach a 10% annual reduction.' I don't think I need to defend the Green record on being Green, its on every one of our speeches, websites, documents; its our name.

Locally the LD have been claiming they are under attack, their Reading West PPC features in a few Labour leaflets for being 'lazy'. I have already said this works against Labour, she has a reputation as a hard worker. Its also nothing compared to the Labour attacks on us, a few years ago they tried to claim we were linked to terrorists, and another year linked to the Bnp! THe claims are so silly that it makes Labour look bad.

Gareth Epps LD PC for Reading East wrote 'The fact is that anyone our LD members select to fight Reading West will have much firmer green credentials than Lab and the Tories could muster between them and the credibility lacked by the maverick Green candidate there.' Now I think being called a Maverick could be a compliment, suggesting I have no credibility isn't. I have so far not responded in kind to this personal attack.

When the Green campaign for fairness it works both ways, I will defend LD or any other candiate. However for the big three parties the same may not be true, for them perhaps fairness is more selective. I have been excluded from 3 local hustings now, and nationally we are also excluded. So lets stop the bickering about predictions, and saying 'we are the only party that...' when it isn't true. The voters have a long wait between elections to tell us what they think, let them decide who wins.

Fairness is worth fighting for.

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