3 Nov 2010

Derek Wall: Understanding the Green Party

What are your thoughts about the future prospects of the Green Party?

The existence of three neo-liberal parties means that there is space for the Green Party. Caroline’s victory is a massive boost, however there are also severe challenges. It is difficult to win at the Westminster level without proportional representation. The retreat of the Liberal Democrats on PR makes meaningful electoral reform a distant prospect. PR has given our sister party in Scotland parliamentary representation, and PR in Europe and London has also given us a foothold. An elected second chamber at Westminster could also open up space.

The climate crisis is here, action is needed now, the situation is extremely worrying, scepticism is rife. The government is aiming to decimate public transport, and globally the current framework is based on carbon trading which so far has enriched bankers and failed to cut emissions.

The current government are going to introduce a further revolution of the right, massively rolling back the state, messing about with voter demography (for example, house benefit changes will push poorer and more left voters out of marginal London constituencies), and giving perhaps more space to the Murdoch media.

We are seeing a much more intense assault than that undertaken by Mrs Thatcher. The Liberal Democrats have delivered a viciously neo-liberal and highly strategic Conservative Party a solid working majority. Over five years, this government will do untold damage to Britain and will focus on restructuring British society so that the left are made weaker still.

The Green Party must do all it can to challenge the present government, from working electorally to promoting a campaign of resistance and getting involved with the trade union movement.

At the same time, the severe ecological crisis means we need to give solidarity to indigenous groups globally fighting to preserve key ecosystems. In this regard I have been highly active supporting Aidesep who have used non-violence to preserve the Peruvian Amazon, and I work closely with Hugo Blanco the legendary Peruvian revolutionary who publishes Lucha Indigena (indigenous struggle).

The tasks are massive, but socialism and ecological politics are vital if we are to have a future. Neo-liberalism is both on the offensive and, because of its environmental, social and financial contradictions, unsustainable.

Deregulation triggered the economic crisis. Its deeper cause was the imbalance of the global economy caused by neo-liberalism. Yet the economic crisis is being used to justify further neo-liberal policies. The Green Party must challenge neo-liberalism intellectually, electorally and via NVDA.

It is not merely that another world is possible but also that the present world is impossible. My politics can be summed up as ‘ecosocialism without apology’.


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