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Green Party Games

Has the Greens' moment come?
Geoffrey Lean - Telegraph

The Green Party is beginning to be taken seriously after nearly four decades beyond the political fringe.

For almost all its 38-year history it has, indeed, been paralytically unfit for purpose.It all began, inevitably, with a bunny hugger – Hugh Hefner, who published in Playboy an characteristically wrong headed article, predicting global famine, by the arch-pessimistic American professor, Paul Ehrlich. The jeremiad inspired a Warwickshire solicitor and his wife, Tony and Lesley Whittaker, to get together a group to found Europe's first environmental party.
Having started off on the wrong foot, the party continued to go on putting it forward, combining doomsterism with just plain daftness. It's first election manifesto was based on the scarcely less fatalistic tract, Blueprint for Survival, edited by the late Teddy Goldsmith, who stood for parliament complete with a white witch as his election agent and a camel, loaned by John Aspinall, to draw attention to soil erosion in Suffolk.
The party denounced all economic growth for decades, alienating even the rest of the green movement. After that enormous EU election ballot, nine out of ten top British environmentalists told me that they had not voted for it because, as one explained: "We actually know what its policies are" (the exception was Jonathan Porritt, a former chair of the party).
But that was nothing compared to the party's internal feuding. It split even before it started – most of the group the Whittakers gathered opposed forming a political party – and went on from there, making a particular speciality of purging any figure who showed signs of becoming popular with the public.
At the 1992 party conference, for example, members fired Sarah Parkin, who was largely responsible for the 1989 success, just two weeks after she had been officially declared the party's "greatest asset" – and then went on to give a rapturous reception to David Icke who, apart from claiming to be "an aspect of the godhead", was early in developing the belief, now widely promulgated by extreme climate sceptics, that global warming is a scam designed to impose global government.

Old Geoffers likes a laugh doesn't he, "taken seriously"! Of the course the fruitcake party isn't, why should it be when it's fruitcake policies are now government policy? All it can offer is even nuttier choices, which are picked up by Huhne before they can used to differentiate the Green Party.

Comments

I was a Green Party member. Actually the change if name from the Ecology Party was a fix by several people who should have known better.

I was a branch chairman and, because I got my name in the papers and spoke on the radio a good deal, it was decided that I should be reprimanded by the local members. AKA the useless Herbert I defeated in the election for branch chairman and a couple of his friends. I told them to get stuffed and resigned my membership.

No more publicity for the branch and it is now only a paper branch, it had at one time 50 members, now it has less than a handful.

Party conferences were always trying as the nutters ran roughshod over the rules and their fellow members.

What they did to Darah Parkin was the last straw. Though the idea of Caroline Lucas to have MPs doing job shares made me wince. She used to be reasonably sensible. How she could come up with such a crackpot idea is anyone's guess. Being an MP is NOT a job. It's a calling or a vocation to represent your fellow citizens. If people want to treat being an MP as just a job, then resign as an MP and get a job.

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