8 Jan 2011


This is from Philip Hosking of the Cornish Republican blog, I am very pleased to have this an important debate to be had. Over to Philip, please come along and discuss!

Following some comments left on the blog post -Caroline Lucas's New Year Message to Ed Miliband- I've been invited by the author of Another Green World to blog about the success of Europe Ecologie in France. Equally my choice to blog about EE again is due to recent rumblings from the UK left about looking for some kind of direction other than the usual blind grasping for power.

Okay, the French Republic is quite different from the United Kingdom, different electoral system for a start, but perhaps some ideas can cross the British Channel.

To stand in the last European elections the French Greens along with regional autonomists -Régions et Peuples Solidaires- and a selection of personalities from various NGOs came together to form the coalition Europe Écologie. A project that met with great success including an electoral score rivalling that of the French Socialist Party (the main left-wing party) and 14 MEP's, including one Corsican nationalist. In the 2010 French regional elections Europe Écologie received 12.19% of the national vote, or 2,373,922 votes, in the first round. The coalition came third overall behind the two main French parties, PS and UMP.

Could such an electoral platform work in the UK for future elections? In Cornwall we could expect Mebyon Kernow, the Cornish Greens and various other independents to campaign together under the themes of autonomy, solidarity, democratic renewal and ecology. Worth remembering that MK and the Greens have already formed an alliance for the 2005 general election. Could the same be said for the rest of the UK? Considering the coupled crisis' of capitalism and environment, as well growing disaffection with LibLabCon, perhaps the British public are more than ready for a progressive ecological alliance to change the game.

Already in the European Parliament the Greens and the democratic nationalists/regionalists of the European Free Alliance have a successful partnership. It's been replicated at state level in France -Europe Ecologie- why not in the UK?

So the question is: could the SNP, Plaid, MK, and the various Green parties work together inside a UK Ecology? Perhaps progressive democratic English regionalists (and nationalists?) could find a place, although they have some work to do to be ready first. Who would be welcomed from the six counties of Northern Ireland as a partner? As with Europe Écologie, any other democratic reformers, progressives and ecologists should be welcomed.

I've asked more questions than given answers but isn't it about time the LibLabCon establishment hegemony was seriously challenged? Campaigning under one flag for solidarity, ecology and a top-to-toe reform of our creaking democracy, surely a broad and plural democratic green alliance is possible. Then, the next step, UK Ecology Labour electoral pacts?


Ian Wright said...

From Ian Wright- Former candidate Green Party-Truro and Falmouth

I would not wish to rule out Philip's suggestion, however there are fundemental differences between MK and the Green Party. The general election also highlighted a number of differences as well although there are some similar views.

For example are approach to economics; MK seems a 'social democratic' type party, although from our previous involvements there is a broader spectrum of opinion than this.

There are obviously differences in views within the Green's i.e. we seem to have a 'left' wing and a 'liberal' wing. However what unites us, but differentiates us from MK is that we would also put the 'earth' fundementally first in developing all of our policies, whereas it seems 'Cornwall' and its economuc progress appear key issues for MK. An example of this was that in the election we very much stood for the protection of the Cornish environment, although MK were much happier to accept the development of large scale housing, and industry in Cornwall to help local people. Although I appreciate both of these issues are important, our solution would be very much different e.g. small scale housing development, and careful economic development which was not at the expense of the environment. We take very much a 'zero' growth view, and this is something I would not want our party to compromise on.

However, I will inform members of our party to this discussion, and hopefully some of them will respond to Phillip's comments and ideas.

cornubian said...

Points noted Ian but this is a debate that is bigger than Kernow, MK and the Green Party for England & Wales in Cornwall.

For me this is about seizing the opportunity to seriously challenge the LibLabCon hegemony of undemocratic power. For me that is the most vitally important thing we could do right now.

Negotiations would be required as would a reduction in dogmatism but if we can do it for the European Parliament then lets at least give it a go nearer to home.

Anonymous said...

An alliance yes but not with the Greens, please. Their lack of an underlying ideology means they will undoubtedly go the way of the LibDems whenever the opportunity arises for a crack at power. They don't even collectively exercise the level of political insight to perceive that an economic system based on profit must conditionally always be exploitative and enviromentally destructive, needing the existence of victims to provide the surplus that makes the rich rich. Real ecological politics could be nothing but socialist.
The major attraction of membership of the Greens as a political entity seems to be the platform it gives for a completely unjustified assumption of moral superiority. They are untenable political bedfellows.

Anonymous said...

I would dispute the fact that Greens do not have an underlying ideology - perhaps our problem is we have more than one!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jacqueline Merrick (Camborne North Green Party Cornwall Council by- Election candidate (and veteran Eco-Warrior)

I agree and disagree with the last comments by anon......Quote "{an economic system based on profit must conditionally, always be exploitative and environmentally destructive, needing the existence of victims to provide the surplus that makes the rich Rich. Real ecological politics could be nothing but socialist}" un-quote.

This statement in essence is very true, in my opinion

However as we know, time is running out,if humanity is to stand any chance of averting catastrophic consequences of our unchecked all-consuming activities currently being inflicted on Planet Earth’s Eco-System.

Meaning everyone of us including the Green party (originally known as the Ecology Party); will most certainly have to be prepared to compromises at least parts of our Green ideology.

After all community living IS about compromises, is it not?

Those compromises, must hold short of undermining the principal message and fabric of the Green Movement of course!

In my opinion, over the last four decades we (the Green’s) have constantly compromised.
The Green movement has have to evolve in order to address the unprecedented and ever increasing environmental threats, in order to be a tangible voice in the democratic political system.

However everyone is very aware of there being a world of difference between compromise and down right "selling Out"?

We must NOT be guilty of insulting the intelligence of the UK electorate, they are NOT colour blind.
"The GREEN Party must always remain Bright GREEN”

cornubian said...

You might like to take a look at this post on OurKingdom: http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/philip-hosking/to-reform-uk-state-we-need-democratic-green-alliance-response-to-gerry-has

Comments welcome.

cornubian said...

The new look to the blog is great BTW, but you seem to have forgotten a link to the Cornish Republican ;-)