Would a more centrist Green Party be polling higher now? Watch

Arran90
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There isn't much discussion about the Green Party on TSR but if they stopped being a party of the left and reverted to what they were in the 1980s - a radical centre party with environmental policies - then would they be polling higher now?

The creation of NuLab under Blair moved the Greens to the left because they tried to pick up where Old Labour left off and become a more general party of the left rather than a party of the environment. Whether it was a good or a bad move for the Greens is debatable but now that Jeremy Corbyn has sewn-up politics on the left, and is for the time being the only game in town on the left, then political parties of the left are now high and dry. In 2015 the Greens had their best ever general election results but votes fell in almost all constituencies in 2017. The explanation is straightforward: Jeremy Corbyn.

It's also notable that the Greens have been ineffective at winning any significant support from traditional blue collar Labour supporters or the very poor and the underclass of society.
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Captain Haddock
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To be green is to be left wing. Anything else would be ideologically incoherent.
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Arran90
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(Original post by Captain Haddock)
To be green is to be left wing. Anything else would be ideologically incoherent.
I disagree. There was a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon between the Green Party in the 1980s and Old Labour and the traditional far left at the time. Back in the 1980s the Greens got the best votes in Conservative held rural areas, urban areas were generally poorer, and worst of all was London.
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Alpha boy
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No. Central to green ideology is a hatred of science. See there support for the provenly false climate change and dismissal of gmos. Educated people realise this and would never support them.
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Captain Haddock
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(Original post by Arran90)
I disagree. There was a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon between the Green Party in the 1980s and Old Labour and the traditional far left at the time. Back in the 1980s the Greens got the best votes in Conservative held rural areas, urban areas were generally poorer, and worst of all was London.
What's changed in that time is increased awareness of the role of humans in causing climate change, and especially the role of capitalism. Nobody who adopts a centrist economic outlook can seriously call themselves 'green'.
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Arran90
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(Original post by Captain Haddock)
What's changed in that time is increased awareness of the role of humans in causing climate change, and especially the role of capitalism. Nobody who adopts a centrist economic outlook can seriously call themselves 'green'.
The traditional left never had any interest in environmental issues. In fact one of the cornerstones of the traditional left both in Britain and the Communist world was polluting heavy industry.

The miners strike of the 1980s sums up the chasm between the Greens and the far left at the time. The victory for the government over the miners was a huge blow for the far left as it was seen as a triumph of capitalism over socialism but it was also a victory for the Greens who wanted to see the end of coal mining.
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Captain Haddock
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(Original post by Arran90)
The traditional left never had any interest in environmental issues. In fact one of the cornerstones of the traditional left both in Britain and the Communist world was polluting heavy industry.

The miners strike of the 1980s sums up the chasm between the Greens and the far left at the time. The victory for the government over the miners was a huge blow for the far left as it was seen as a triumph of capitalism over socialism but it was also a victory for the Greens who wanted to see the end of coal mining.
That might have been the case 30 years ago, but things have changed. Environmentalists these days are far more acutely aware of the part played by capitalism in aggravating global climate change. Most serious environmentalists these days would reject an economically centrist 'green' movement, and those who are economically centrist while having some vague level of concern for the environment could always vote Lib Dem. But if the environment is high enough on your political agenda that you feel the need to vote for a dedicated green party, you ain't gonna be a centrist. Any differences between the traditional left and the 'green left' don't change that.
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Arran90
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(Original post by Captain Haddock)
That might have been the case 30 years ago, but things have changed. Environmentalists these days are far more acutely aware of the part played by capitalism in aggravating global climate change. Most serious environmentalists these days would reject an economically centrist 'green' movement, and those who are economically centrist while having some vague level of concern for the environment could always vote Lib Dem. But if the environment is high enough on your political agenda that you feel the need to vote for a dedicated green party, you ain't gonna be a centrist. Any differences between the traditional left and the 'green left' don't change that.
I struggle to understand the point you are making. The Green Party of the 1980s was undeniably anticapitalist but I do not consider anticapitalist to be synonymous with either communist, socialist, Marxist, or Old Labour.

The traditional left was always preoccupied with people working for a living and 100% employment regardless of the environmental impact or climate change - which was something that wasn't even in their vocabulary. They also weren't interested in other environmental issues like recycling or factory farming.

Any environmentalist knows that an Old Labour, Soviet Communist, or Marxist government isn't going to save the environment because interest in protecting the environment was never a factor in these 19th and early 20th century political ideologies.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Arran90)

Any environmentalist knows that an Old Labour, Soviet Communist, or Marxist government isn't going to save the environment because interest in protecting the environment was never a factor in these 19th and early 20th century political ideologies.
We're in the 21st century now though. I know the enemies of the left would like us to remain stuck in the previous centuries, but socialism isn't a dogmatic faith stuck to a past doctrine, it is constantly updating itself to the current era. The Soviet obsession with increasing productivity at any cost was very much a product of its Fordist and Taylorist time. Everyone was doing it, the communists were copying the Capitalists. There was nothing intrinsically Marxist about it. Marx would not object to a green energy socialist utopia.

All the more interesting developments in post Berlin Wall leftists thinking incorporate some form of environmental analysis.

There have always been leftists thinkers that incorporates an environmental analysis anyway. Murray Bookchin being one of the fore runners to the contemporary climate change focused leftist.

There is also nothing in Marx and other classical left philosophies that means they can not involve Green thinking either. I'm currently reading a new book by a Marxist that updates Marxism to the current era, which involves climate change.
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Arran90
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
We're in the 21st century now.

All the more interesting developments in leftists thinking incorporate some form of environmental analysis.
Following the collapse of communism the far left were thrown into disarray as they lost their beacon of hope and inspiration. In the mid 1990s they began to tack on various non-traditional policies like the environment but whether they have a solid in-depth understanding and a serious commitment to a similar degree that the Green Party or genuine environmental movements have is a different matter. Outfits like the SWP and TUSC really just pay lip service to the environment by stealing policies from the Green Party's wardrobe but are far from the forefront of environmental analysis and developing original strategies. Other movements like Scargill's Socialist Labour Party wants to re-open all the coal mines and coal fired power stations.
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s.a.u
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No because Labour under Corbyn essentially has the same environmental policy. And the Greens will always be seen as single-issue.
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Captain Haddock
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(Original post by Arran90)
I struggle to understand the point you are making. The Green Party of the 1980s was undeniably anticapitalist but I do not consider anticapitalist to be synonymous with either communist, socialist, Marxist, or Old Labour.

The traditional left was always preoccupied with people working for a living and 100% employment regardless of the environmental impact or climate change - which was something that wasn't even in their vocabulary. They also weren't interested in other environmental issues like recycling or factory farming.

Any environmentalist knows that an Old Labour, Soviet Communist, or Marxist government isn't going to save the environment because interest in protecting the environment was never a factor in these 19th and early 20th century political ideologies.
My point is that a centrist green party as per your OP would not do well today because in this day and age most people who put the environment at the top of their agenda reject centrist economics. I don't really know what 20th century leftists and environmentalists have to do with anything, because your question specifically asks if such a party would poll highly now. My answer is that it wouldn't, for the reasons I've already given.
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Arran90
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(Original post by Captain Haddock)
My point is that a centrist green party as per your OP would not do well today because in this day and age most people who put the environment at the top of their agenda reject centrist economics. I don't really know what 20th century leftists and environmentalists have to do with anything, because your question specifically asks if such a party would poll highly now. My answer is that it wouldn't, for the reasons I've already given.
I'm not confident that many people who put the environment at the top of their agenda vote for the Green Party. Having an almost open door immigration policy and a non-negotiable obsession with wanting free movement of EU citizens to Britain post Brexit is sheer lunacy that nobody who cares about the environment would support. IMO the Greens of more recent years are a humanitarian party rather than a party of the environment.

It's interesting to note that the Green Party of the 1980s wanted to reduce the population of Britain.
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mojojojo101
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(Original post by Arran90)
The traditional left never had any interest in environmental issues. In fact one of the cornerstones of the traditional left both in Britain and the Communist world was polluting heavy industry.

The miners strike of the 1980s sums up the chasm between the Greens and the far left at the time. The victory for the government over the miners was a huge blow for the far left as it was seen as a triumph of capitalism over socialism but it was also a victory for the Greens who wanted to see the end of coal mining.
Depends what you mean when you say the traditional left, Thoreau and Reclus were banging on about eco-anarchism and primitivism back in the mid to late 19th century and did ha e some influence on more modern leftist thinkers.
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shawn_o1
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It's not a Green Party if they don't talk about things like degrowth and steady-state economy.
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Arran90
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
but socialism isn't a dogmatic faith stuck to a past doctrine, it is constantly updating itself to the current era.
Socialism lacks a precise definition. There are all sorts of people and outfits which call themselves socialist with significantly varying policies.

Is it possible to call yourself a socialist if you are opposed to homosexuality, believe in widespread home ownership, and want tight immigration controls?

There is also nothing in Marx and other classical left philosophies that means they can not involve Green thinking either. I'm currently reading a new book by a Marxist that updates Marxism to the current era, which involves climate change.
The Green Party of the 1980s never took any interest in or inspiration from Marxism.

Also take into account that many people who put the environment at the top of their agenda are interested in other environmental issues much more so than man made climate change.
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Davij038
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(Original post by Captain Haddock)
To be green is to be left wing. Anything else would be ideologically incoherent.
What is being green?

By left wing do you just mean economically ?
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Arran90)
Socialism lacks a precise definition. There are all sorts of people and outfits which call themselves socialist with significantly varying policies.

Is it possible to call yourself a socialist if you are opposed to homosexuality, believe in widespread home ownership, and want tight immigration controls?



The Green Party of the 1980s never took any interest in or inspiration from Marxism.

Also take into account that many people who put the environment at the top of their agenda are interested in other environmental issues much more so than man made climate change.
There is a precise-ish definition based around the people who do the actual work should be the ones who control that work and gain a fair share of the rewards. Socialism does morph into different things depending on the context and political climate it lives in. For example social democracy by the mid 20th century had more or less given up on actually aiming to replace capitalism with a socialist economic system. National Socialism adopted part of the language of socialism even though Fascism has no interest in replacing a capitalist system beyond corporate statism.

Yeah this was my point... The idea of what socialism means can incorporate different things. So there is no reason why Green politics can not be a part of it. I brought up Marxism because it comes from the 19th century, which is what the poster was using as proof that socialism was somehow incompatible with green issues. When in fact Marxist analysis of capitalism includes how capital destroys environments. This was an era when smog and this was a thing...






Green politics that doesn't include man made climate change is dumb. Considering it is a potentially self inducing extinction invent for humans.
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Trinculo
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A centrist Green Party = Lib Dems

Green Party minus what intelligence it has, plus some hatred = Corbyn's Labour
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Arran90
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
There is a precise-ish definition based around the people who do the actual work should be the ones who control that work and gain a fair share of the rewards. Socialism does morph into different things depending on the context and political climate it lives in.
You have to tread carefully. From an environmental perspective there may be much sense from nationalising the railways and the utility companies but is there any sense and logic in banning private schools or home education? In contrast the traditional left is ideologically opposed to private ownership of almost everything.
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