Tuesday, August 07, 2007

"Green" Liberal Democrats- yeah, right.

I have been having a ding-dong on facebook with the monkeys from the so-called "Green" Liberal Democrats about their alleged green credentials. I cannot see how they consider themselves to be the slightest bit green when the LD manifesto for the 2005 General Elections did not contain a single reference to carbon emissions! Are they trying out their new sense of humour? The very concept of a political party that is ostensibly "green" but doesn't have any policy proposals to deal with carbon emissions is utterly, utterly oxymoronic!

Anyway, after I posted on their group asking why they weren't Green Party members the originator of the group posted an extensive reply:

"Hi @@@@,

Yes you are right – the Severn Barrage scheme has come under criticism for damage to the environment but there is also evidence to suggest that this is exaggerated and that the Severn Barrage scheme will have more of a positive outcome in general.

I saw one of the local GP members on Points West (local news programme) recently and it was not just the design that the local GP were objecting to – there were a fair few factors. On the same programme there were people who had done research and had said that the effects of the barrage would have more of a positive impact – if you look at the one in France what happened there was that the ecosystem adapted and was able to live in harmony with the barrage.

We are now in a position whereby, globally, we have a 5-10 year time frame (MAXIMUM) in which to seriously address climate change by ensuring sustainability – that means having to make compromises to save the planet. I would rather see the Barrage proposal put in place and trust that the ecosystem will adjust as in France rather than not see renewable measures being taken and having to be dependent upon fossil fuels for longer and potentially more nuclear power.

The Green Party do have a manifesto which covers a range of issues – however their approach to the range of issues is based on single issues! It is all about the environment. I want a greener UK but the approach to issues like the economy for example are not practical - they are idealist and quite frankly do not take in to account issues like the fact that we trade internationally and play a key role in the global economy. For example:

"[The Greens'] hostility to business and trade, although well-intended, would condemn millions to poverty, billions if followed worldwide. On reflection, Green Party policies like the 20 mph speed limit throughout built up areas – making cars less efficient and bus services much more expensive to run – were always about getting the basics wrong."

- Joe Otten, a former Green Party supporter and local election candidate

Not everything can be achieved at the local/domestic level and some of the reforms they propose would actually see set backs in many areas – this is not humanistic. Like I say we have a small time frame in which to make progress on climate change to secure the global future, idealistic policies which can not be implemented are not going to help Britain progress. We need practical solutions NOW and the Green Party currently cannot provide this.

I take your point that the reason the Green Party have problems getting in to power is due to our outdated first-past-the-post system. But I believe the point made with regards to their inability to form workable government is based more on the fact that they do not have a holistic approach to domestic governance which is needed. They, by their own admission, are eco-Marxist – the United Kingdom is a Liberal Democracy.

If you look at the Greens in places like Scandinavia and Germany you will find that they have had to make a lot of compromises along the way and are much more advanced in terms of how their Green Parties are structured/campaign and how they approach politics – they have been evolving for longer and thus have a more holistic approach. Ecology for example was founded in Germany and environmentalism was even a strong part of the Nazi regime. In Britain it has only been a serious established concept since the 1980s (as far back as 1950 at a push). We do not however have time for the Greens to evolve, green action needs to be taken now and that’s where groups like Green Lib Dems come in – making government and political parties more accountable.

In addition to this, coalition between political parties (when I refer to political parties I include the Greens) will allow for a greener influence to come through and impact at the local and parliamentary level. If you look within the Tories and the Labour Party, like the Liberal Democrats they too have some very good environmental ideas within their environmental groups and with support and input from the Greens may be able to push these ideas further and make them applicable ASAP. Yes, some members of the Labour Party and the Tories are evil with regards to their environmental progress and decisions but there are also many people within those parties that realise the extent of the environmental problems who are fighting for a greener future. With regards to the Lib Dems being stuck in the middle I disagree with you. I have been involved with the Green Lib Dems since I joined the party in 2003 and they have some very good policies and campaigns on the environment. We have a strong environmental record and are not stuck in the middle of a political spectrum. If you do not believe us radical enough then it is because whilst being environmentalists we are also realists.

If you would like to have a greater input in to party politics why don’t you join the organisation that I have founded since joining the Lib Dems: ‘The Young Green Lib Dems’? It costs £3 to join and you do not have to be a Lib Dem to do so. The idea behind it is that that I have already mention – bringing people who are like minded on environmental issues together to help campaign and influence policy. Why not bring your Green Party views with you and help us to take account of your thoughts and policy ideas. I have just got back from a Green Lib Dem conference in Oxford which was a whole weekend of collecting people’s thoughts and a chance to ask questions regarding latest environmental policy being drawn up by the Lib Dems. In the current political system and with the Green Party not being very efficiently structured the Greens are not going to have a national takeover so working together to influence policy is important.

If you would like to have more info on YGLD or GLD then please get in touch."

I was impressed that someone had taken the time to write so mnay words in reply to my own musings so I composed a response of my own:

"Thank you for responding at length, I will try and keep the flow of this response in rough synchronicity with your own for simplicity’s sake. I disagree profoundly that it is better to circumvent any comprehensive impact assessment to see a barrage constructed at the risk of any associated ecological impact than no barrage at all as this directly contradicts the precautionary principle- the founding concept of sustainable development. If you have “extensive evidence” for the overstatement of the barrage’s ecological impact then please do share it with me. I would also like to know which of the many different proposals for a barrage you are referring to as the trade-off between costs and benefits vary enormously from project to project. The Green Party advocate the lagoon plan in conjunction with tidal stream generation which, like the French barrage, are established and proven technologies. This results in a lower overall generating capacity (however the Swansea bay lagoon alone is proposed to generate 60MW), significantly reduced impact upon the ecology of the estuary and channel and also unimpeded access for shipping.

You make the interesting point that “we have a 5-10 year time frame (MAXIMUM) in which to seriously address climate change by ensuring sustainability”. Where do you get this figure from? The main event which I am aware of is the spectre of peak oil. Informed sources suggest that this will occur anytime from “now” to “15 years away” (eg. “The End of Oil” by Paul Roberts- around 15 yrs; “Half Gone” Jeremy Leggett- around 2008 +/-2yrs). Besides the potential for the creeping advance of climate change to wreak havoc upon our world- the specific effects of which are virtually unpredictable even now- I can think of no justification for your figure. If you want to start throwing dates by which action should have been taken then how about 1996, when the IPCC first declared unequivocally that there was reasonable evidence for anthropogenically induced climate change? I don’t seem to recall the Liberals clamouring for change back then, do you? My point is that, like David Cameron, you have baited your hook for the voters with a little eco-rhetoric but you have manifestly failed to build substance into your manifesto to back up your words. Your 2005 manifesto singularly fails to advocate any sort of significant policy to mitigate climate change. The Stern Review stated clearly that “the scientific evidence is now overwhelming. Climate change presents a very serious global risk and it demands an urgent global response.” Where is your response to this? I cannot see what matching Labour’s commitment to generating 20% of electricity from renewables by 2020 can do when The Stern Review also states that:
-- “To stabilise at 450 ppm CO2e [where we’ll be in less than 8 years at current rates], without overshooting, global emissions would need to peak in the next 10 years and then fall at more than 5% per year, reaching 70% below current levels by 2050. “
--“Stabilising at 450 ppm CO2e or below, without overshooting, is likely to be very costly because it would require around 7% per year emission reductions.”
I can’t find even a reference to carbon emissions in your manifesto!

So, the GP’s approach to economics is all about the “environment”? I agree wholeheartedly. This is purely rational as our ecosystem and environment are either the source of the materials for or the setting for pretty much all of our economic activity. Are you somehow suggesting that the two are not intimately and inseparably connected? Please do explain why you feel this is not sensible policy?

As for Joe Otten’s point about the Green Party being hostile to business and trade. You understand that this is like saying that humans are hostile to oxygen. No political party is “hostile” to trade! That is simply absurd. You obviously feel his position is just so, if you implying that GP policies are somehow uneconomic, then you should justify that position. Joe Otten’s partisan position (he runs his own business) is laid out in his blog (eg: http://joeotten.blogspot.com/2006/05/no-zealot-like-convert.html) and this is not the place to analyse it but, as I have observed before, you have made the point (actually Joe made it in a distinctly polemical fashion and without much substance) but provided no evidence. The 20mph issue is an utterly absurd proposal, and your (his) 1st valid point.

Next you state that “not everything can be achieved at the local/domestic level “. This is what is called “a straw man” as there is no such policy- or anything vaguely similar- in the Manifesto for a Sustainable Society. If you can explain how GP policy advocates this as a solution then I will eat my own left foot. The MfSS clearly advocates change at a local and global level.

Your rejection of idealism and acceptance of pragmatism is exactly what has got us where we are now. Why advocate a policy that you know will not achieve what must be done? Failure to address climate change now will not be counted in lost income but in lost lives! The truth of this situation is being systematically obscured and buried by a hostile media controlled by corporate interests and even the government itself in some countries (eg. the USA, Australia, here- yes HERE- I don’t see the policy proposals of the Stern Review anywhere in the Labour manifesto). Al Gore makes the point in “An Inconvenient Truth” that 100% of a random survey of peer-reviewed scientific papers presented climate change as unequivocal but less than half of media reports did so. If you think our little pseudo-democracy is above such influence I wonder if you’ve heard of a “documentary” by the name of The Great Global Warming Swindle?

Your point that the Greens are “Eco-Marxists” is lost on me. Does that mean that they are wrong? This sounds like character assassination to me. I am with George Monbiot on this- socialism, in the form of enormous state intervention, is the only way to deal effectively with climate change. As for the UK being a liberal-democracy, that is true as far as public opinion goes, however only a fraction of the population are engaged in politics (22% of the electorate defecated a dirty Blair back into No.10 in 2005 even after The Lancet reported that more than half a million Iraqis had died as a result of the illegal invasion [the word ‘genocide’ is persistently absent from the press even now])). Excuse my misanthropy but, after Labour and the Tories have so utterly shattered society that Big Brother is actually considered entertainment, appealing to the masses on an intellectual level is somewhat na├»ve.

Your observation that continental Green Parties have successfully compromised by entering into power-sharing agreements is your 2nd valid point. I am somewhat astounded at the lack of solidarity between the UKGP and its continental siblings- this aloofness seems typical of people who label themselves “Marxist” (I certainly don’t abide being labelled such).

Your statements re: ecology are bizarre. A little time on Wikipedia reveals that the founding father of ecology was a German but that he was just one of several figures of mixed nationalities who were engaged by the Imperial powers of the time to embark on missions of scientific exploration. As a biologist myself I am tempted to observe that the “real” father of ecology is a chap called Darwin, who came up with something called evolution. The environmentalist movement was kick-started by the publication in 1962 of Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” detailing how pesticide residues were bioaccumulating up food chains and causing birth-defects in raptors and other top-predators. The movement was international almost from its inception.

I too am wholly supportive of coalitions with parties that allow GP policies to enter into legislation. I do consider your party to be insufficiently radical as I consider sustainable development to be the most important issue of my lifetime and, whilst the GP put it at the top of their priority list, the LibDems use the term as a sugar coating on their more uninspiring policies without adding anything of substance. You may think you are realists but from where I’m sitting you are populists without any long-term vision for the future of our society and the rest of the world. The Tories are rich people and want to get richer at the expense of the poor. Labour sacrificed all of their principles to become the populist New Labour (and stole some of your policies in the act). You are too close to Labour to compete now except when the protest votes come out. I believe that state-action is necessary to change our political paradigm to one where the needs of the many (the population) outweigh the needs of the few (the corporations). Its that simple. You either agree with me- in which case you value sustainable development, the perpetuation of our society and culture amidst the coming onslaught of various threats to our way of life (peak-oil, a global population of 9 billion people all wanting to live Western lifestyles and the continued proliferation of nuclear weapons [I see that your 2005 manifesto advocates the maintenance of the UK’s existing nuclear deterrent in direct contradiction of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty]) or you hold your civilisation in such little regard that you are content to haggle over minor points of ideology with the mainstream parties whilst the elephant in the room slowly mutates into an enraged, rabid mammoth. So which is it to be Lucy?

As a point to anyone reading this I ask you to watch George Monbiot’s interview on TheRealNews.com for a little perspective on the next 20 years of your lives. It can be found here: http://www.therealnews.com/web/index.php?thisepisode=25 "

So . . . .who d'you think's winning so far?


  1. Who is winning? not you, because you have let you partisan prejudges get in the way of your critical scientific judgement. Just like climate change deniers you seize upon any fact that proves your point and disregard the contrary evidence. Here is a peer-reviewed academic paper, from a disinterested party – Debra Holzhauer Professor of Political Science at Missouri State University, on the Liberal Party/Liberal Democrats and environmental policy:

    Here is Jonathon Porritt’s speech to the 2004 Liberal Democrat conference, whilst Jonathon was a Green Party member.


  2. Do you honestly expect me to read beyond the first line of the paper you referenced, which reads:

    "Among the major parties of the United Kingdom, the Liberal Democratic Party is the one that is most strongly associated with environmental issues."

    That's just fucking ridiculous. You massive wanker. Who the fuck do you think represents the environmental movement more in the UK: The Liberal Democrats or the Green Party?

    That was clearly a rhetorical question because you must think that the answer is "A", otherwise you wouldn't be posting here. So, let me point out to you that "political science" is not science. I'm not going to enter into the nitty gritty of the philosophy of science other than to observe that any rigorous test of scientific hypotheses must be falsifiable and politics isn't. Therefore its not science. I'm not going to be your personal researcher and explain further. It just isn't. You're an ignorant fool if you think it is. This is clearly evidenced by your inability to distinguish a peer-reviewed journal from a conference presentation summary. You massive, ignorant fucktard. Go and fuck yourself with a fifty foot dildo. You twat.

    As a final "fuck you" let me just observe that Jonathon continues to stump up his Green Party membership because- and you may be too stupid to understand this, but stick with me- he thinks the Green Party has the most sustainable policies. Note how he doesn't stump up for LibDem membership. Not now. Not ever. Because LibDems are useless, retarded, demagogic sacks of shit-spewing pig rectums.

    I'll let the Chief Badger have the final word:



Feel free to share your opinions of my opinions. Oh- and cocking fuckmouse.