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?