Someone recently asked if comparing Labour and the Tories wasn’t a bit like comparing chalk and cheese? Isn’t it true that millions of us think “they’re all the same”?
But what about the Green Party? They care about the natural environment, promise to build more homes, transform transport & create green jobs. Demands we’d support. So why does the Socialist Party – as part of the Trade Unionist & Socialists Against Cuts (TUSC) coalition – intend to contest council seats and parliamentary constituencies where the Greens have a strong base?
Find out why at our next meeting on Wednesday 11 March, 7.30 p.m. at the Exchange, Brick Row; Stroud
Come along & debate with us:
“Do the Greens offer a real alternative?”
We will be address this question and put forward socialist arguments for saving the environment, fighting the cuts and building a strong movement to achieve the kind of goals that many Green voters, trade unionists and socialists feel are worth fighting for.
In Brighton & Bristol where the Green Party has sufficient councillors to make a real difference, you could be excused for thinking that it’s pretty much business as usual. The crux of the problem for the Greens is that they largely accept the terms of political debate as laid-out by the capitalist establishment. The so-called ‘logic’ of crisis-ridden capitalism dictates, for instance, that the national debt, swelled by the billions handed over in bailouts to the banks, must be ‘got under control’ through austerity measures. In Bristol, Green councillors abstained on the recent round of budget cuts. Councillor Radice, Green Party assistant mayor & cabinet member with responsibility for the libraries, explained why a consultation exercise favoured the closure of a quarter of libraries: “This is the horror of austerity. We have to face up to the reality that there will be more cuts…” They are not providing an anti-cuts strategy or using their position in the council to reach out to community campaigners, service users or council staff. When they present library closure proposals, line up with Bristol’s mayor to argue for the scrapping of a no-eviction policy for bedroom tax arrears or voting to cut council workers’ wages in Brighton, they confirm their lack of confidence in a real movement against austerity being built. Green-led Brighton council’s budget meeting on 26 February ended in a stalemate with six out of 21 Green councillors voting against their own party’s budget. The vote was over the choice between Green proposals of a 5.9% council tax increase and £20 million of cuts, Labour’s 1.99% council tax increase with £25 million cuts, or the Tories’ 0% increase and £26 million cuts. The council has already cut £70 million, with £25 million set to be axed annually for the next three years.
Of 21 Brighton Green councillors just six voted against cuts saying they “would not vote for another cut, enough was enough”.
Socialists reject the ‘logic’ which argues the 99% should be made to pay for capitalist crisis. We do not accept the need to ‘strike a balance’ between the interests of working class people & the super rich 1%.