Tag: The Green Party

The Green Dragon: a charlatan, convicted fraud and a bully

Just before last christmas I wrote a critical article about the Green Party. I was inundated with abuse, threats and insults from members and grassroots supporters, some of which were astonishingly reminiscent of the far-right thuggery and threats I once experienced from the National Front when I was involved with the Rock against Racism and Anti-Nazi League movements, at a time when Neo-Nazi and Fascist rhetoric was becoming more common in the UK.

I was in my mid-teens, hanging out at Wood Street Socialist Club, the Deeply Vale/Pickup Bank Festivals, co-running a local live music venue (The Gaiety, Bolton) and digging being in a band called “Oh no, it’s them again.”

Back in the early 80s I was just a kid, but these were times when I experienced a sense of community and belongingness; of organisation and collaboration; of a cooperative creativity and solidarity amongst a considerably politicised generation of young people, marred only by Thatcher’s oppressive government (though it has to be said that the Tory government probably contributed considerably to consolidating the various movements and campaigns I belonged to.)

It was marred also by my getting my head kicked in by a roughly size 10 Dr Martin boot on the rapid-firing foot of some bonehead fascist on a so-called peaceful protest against racism. National Front affront. I had twenty stitches.

And there was frequent hate mail addressed to “the paki lover,”  written in block capitals, shoved through the letterbox. My flat got turned over a few times, weird stuff happened and I had to move in the end, because the death threats meant that unless I had someone with me,  I was reluctant to go out. But I was a busy gal. Things to do.

That’s when I learned that political activism is often stifled by dirty and dangerous zealots, who believe that freedom of expression is exclusively theirs.

Back to the threats. They don’t stop me doing what I do. They never have.  As an adult, I am not so easily intimidated. Threaten me with a rapidly approaching size 10 Doc Martin nowadays and I will most likely very deftly wrap it around your neck for you.

So, down to the nitty gritty.

The Green Party claim to be “left”, many grassroots supporters also frequently inform us that they are “real socialists,” and that the party is very democratic, yet there as no democatic dialogue regarding the content of my article – that wasn’t criticised. I was.

For example, the following comment from my site is neither socialist in spirit nor does it extend a willingness for democratic engagement:


Peekaboo
says: December 24, 2014 at 5:44 pm

You dont know when to shut up do you. People like you get what they deserve and you will. We will make sure. Best put your time in looking after that Jones family. You never know whats around that dark corner do you.

Now I had assumed this was simply the work of unsophisticated grassroot supporters, with a tendency towards bullying, however, I’ve since learned this is NOT quite the whole story.

Amongst the usual abuse and “we know where you live” type of threats, I also got the following:


Henry Worthington
says: December 23, 2014 at 11:44 pm 

Thought you should know that the following has been posted about you on facebook today (not my page i should add) But a facebook user and activist with a host of contacts across Britain, all of whom will now have read this.
“And the ‘spook of the year award’ goes to Sue Jones (below). She hosts a blog under the name of ‘kittysjones’ which she uses to disemminate fabrications against organisations on the left. She appears to being ‘run’ by Scotland Yard’s Confidential Intelligence Unit. Remember her role is to collect information about you and to spread lies and plant false stories about the British left, as can be seen in her latest blog entry. Now she’s been ‘outed’ her capacity to do harm will soon thankfully be over – hope she spent her ’30 pieces’ wisely

Bravo. This Green gets the Thug of the Year Award.

As far as threats go, this is one of the more bizarre from the Green Party membership that I have received.

Nonetheless it is still a shameful attempt at intimidation and an attempt to discredit. And furthermore, it’s a lie of course –  fairly typical of the ongoing green smear campaign that I’ve been subjected to for the past couple of years. Other smears include I have 500 fake profiles, and numerous people, some that I didn’t even know, have actually been accused of being me and have been bullied. I’ve been called a “retard,” a “tranni” and a “Labour troll/shill,” a “UKIP voter,”  a “bunny boiler,” “paid Labour PR,”  amongst many other things.

“Henry’s” email address, which appears on my notification of his comment, along with his IP address, is: greendragonnews@gmail.com

This one was sent as a personal message on Facebook:
Conversation started Tuesday


Henry Worthington                                                   2/23, 11:07pm

The word is youre on a retainer from people in the british nuclear industry Ms Jones? Is this true? It’s certainly a very serious charge, and one which you should be very concerned about Ms Jones. Nothing worse than being publicly tarred a ‘snout’ for the British State. Have a very merry christmas wont you – and pass on yuletide regards to your friends PC Mark Kennedy and co.

Well it turns out that this lying bully is none other than a former “leader” of the Green Party in Wales.

This is the infamous Martin Shrewsbury, a convicted fraudster and charlatan, active in the Wales Green Party and a friend of the Jaguar-driving Pippa Bartolotti.

Shrewsbury was Green Party Welsh Assembly candidate in 2002. He was also health spokesman for the Green Party in 2003, Swansea. He was a lead candidate for the European Parliament and was elected in 2004. 

I was also informed by former Green Anne Greagsby, amongst others, that “Green Dragon” is Martyn Shrewsbury of Swansea.

Another person who has complained about Green Dragon and the general running of the Green Party in Wales is respected environmentalist Max Wallis

I found Shrewsbury on Facebook, apparently he was my friend since 2013, and has many of my comrades as friends, too.  A tad sneaky.

Here he is:

Martyn John Shrewsbury shared a link.


The Green Dragon: Oh dear Cynog

The date on the Cynog Dafis article from Walesonline article is from 17th September 2012, not today as you claim. Are you trying to deflect attention from Pippa’s latest flounce and dennoucement of Leanne Wood and Plaid Cymru that people are laughing at the Greens over?Lets see if you’ve got the gut…

agreenwales.blogspot.com|By green dragon

Note the link with “Henry Worthington” again via the Green Dragon blog.

This is a known troll and bully who attacks anyone who says a word of criticism regarding the greens. It didn’t take much investigation to discover a character(s) mired in controversy that has left a trail of very angry and perturbed people. He’s most certainly inclined to tell whopping and nasty lies, too.

To reiterate, Shrewsbury also uses the name “Henry Worthington” whose email address, which appears on the notification of his comment on my blogsite, is: greendragonnews@gmail.com

He also uses the aliasesHenry Strawbridge andBrig Strawbridge“.

And Martyn “Rowlands” Shrewsbury. He has form and history – See: Complaint against Martyn Shrewsbury by Dr. Myron Evans, and Further Evidence of Lying by Rowlands alias Martin Shrewsbury and also Shrewsbury Out!

Thanks to Robert Livingstone for his excellent memes.

It’s about time the Green Party stopped their compliance with the Conservatives

10940505_767712909964906_6225427822143651262_n

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”  C.S Lewis.

Following her election as party leader, Natalie Bennett told a press conference that the policies of the Green Party were “the only viable way forward for British people, for the world.”  It is extremely presumptuous of people to claim to act for “the people” when they seem to despise the ideology of a large part of “the people.”

Much Green Party policy and philosophy seems to be essentially grounded in a sort of eco-supremicist bad faith. We consume too much. (Who does, exactly? ) And no matter how much the Greens try to distance themselves from the stigma attached to Malthusianism there is no escaping the fact that arguments about consumption and population are inextricably linked.

Tristam Hunt recently described the Green Party as “stop-the-world-I-want-to-get-off politics.” Apt for what is ultimately a politics of perpetual bad faith and lip-curling disapproval of others. The language used to describe other parties by grassroot supporters betrays this and lends to the Green Party worrying characteristics of cult thinking.

The ecology movement will never gain any real influence or have any significant impact on society if it advances a message of despair rather than hope, of a regressive and impossible return to primordial human cultures and sensibilities, rather than a commitment to human progress and to a uniquely human empathy for life as a whole. I agree with the following:

“I can easily understand why despair exists among mystical ecologists – indeed, in the environmental movement generally – over the impact of a grow-or-die capitalistic economy on the biosphere and on the human psyche. While a patronising, quasi-religious often misanthropic ecology that denigrates the uniqueness of human beings and the wondrous role they can play in natural evolution may be an understandable response to that economy, it is a flat denial of humanities’ most human potentiality: the ability to change the world for the better and enrich it for all life forms.

We must recover the utopian impulses, the hopefulness, the appreciation of what is good, what is worth rescuing in human civilization, as well as what must be rejected, if the ecology movement is to play a transformative and creative role in human affairs. For without changing society, we will not change the disastrous ecological direction in which capitalism is moving.” – Murray Bookchin, 1991

In an article titled: In response to the Socialist Party of GB’s slur on the Green Party & Ecosocialism, Martin O’Beirne writes:“We also need a mass movement against climate change and to promote new ways of existing, prefigurative, perhaps moneyless, primitivist, eco-technic or some combination. Something that points the way to that which can exist beyond capitalism.”  He went on to say: “Capitalism and consumerism, manufacturing consent, keep the multitude docile chasing trinkets and so on.”

In other words, most of us are stupid, and need “fixing”. Not moral, progressive, socialist proposals, but rather, moralising, regressive ones.

The Green Party have gathered up many dislillusioned ex-Liberal Democrat voters, the ones who haven’t learned from last time that like the Liberal  Democrats, any party that tries to appear to be all things to all people is not being honest with you.

Badly disappointed idealists most readily succumb to the depths of disillusioned, resentful cynicism. The Greens are very busy trying to hoover up the votes of all of those disillusioned souls on the Left, and regardless of the potentially devastating consequences that may have on the election outcome.

The pressing issue for me is that people are suffering, some have died because of Tory policies, our society is being fundamentally damaged, and to the point where it will soon be impossible to repair it in our lifetimes. The damage will be lasting, probably for more than one generation. I care about that. I care about the suffering, growing inequality, the re-appearance of absolute poverty, not seen in the UK since the 1930s, and the damage to our society and country.

I’m a socialist because of those long-standing concerns, which transcend the parochial and actually, they transcend party politics. What matters to me is ensuring that we vote intelligently for the best possible outcome we can, especially for those who are suffering greatly because of the current government. I am fundamentally cooperative and community-minded. I care about what happens to others.

Cameron has made no secret of the fact he is playing up the Greens’ potential for influencing and eating into Labour voters. It was very apparent when he refused to appear in TV debates unless Bennett is also invited to take part. The Conservatives’ sudden pro-Green tactics, focusing on the party’s exclusion from the debates, and some Tory MPs suggesting left-wing voters in their constituencies vote Green instead of Labour, are pretty transparent.

All this from the prime minister who dismissed environment policy as “green crap” not long ago. It isn’t just the Tories displaying utter cynicism, here. The Greens are too. They have attempted to account for their unlikely alliance with the Tories by claiming that the Green Party sees itself as having a role to put pressure on Labour to become more “progressive”  However, the Greens themselves are not progressive at all. As their roots indicate, as much as their policies:

goldsmith greenHow about putting pressure on left-wing voters to divide them, with the likeliest outcome of allowing another Tory government? It’s rather pointless trying to claim the Greens are “pushing Labour left” when the outcome of that is likely to bleed votes from Labour, ultimately.

And that attempt at explanation of the fact that the Greens attack and undermine Labour, rather than the Tories conveniently circumvents the fact that the Green Party tell intentional lies about Labour’s policies. A genuine attempt to influence Labour policy would entail negotiation and co-operation, not constant, hostile undermining tactics, coupled with an alliance with the Tories.

The Greens are not cooperative or community-minded. They are dividing our opposition to the Tories and risking returning Cameron to Office in May. They prefer to undermine the Labour Party, because they are purely electioneering, rather that directing challenges at the Tory-led Coalition. That is not “socialist”.

How “socialist” is it to join ranks with the party inflicting all of that damage and harm on people of this country to attack and undermine the only viable alternative to the tories? That’s not genuine politics, that’s grandstanding. It’s not “socialist” at all.

Jon Ashworth, Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister, said: “David Cameron’s new-found affection for the Green Party is nothing short of political opportunism. If you ever needed proof that a vote for the Greens is a vote for David Cameron, this is it.

The Tories and the Greens seem to be working hand-in-hand. The Tories need the Greens because they are scared to run on their own record. The Greens need the Tories because Labour is the only party with a progressive policy agenda.”

You can’t claim to be a “progressive ” political party and at the same time advocate zero growth and parochialisation – to cut us off from global trade. The Green Party says: “In our Green vision for Europe we seek to replace the unsustainable economics of free trade and unrestricted growth with the ecological alternative of local self reliance and resource conservation, within a context of wider diversity.” That’s a clear step back from internationalism and forwards towards parochialisation. It’s not progressive at all to shut out the rest of the world. And socialists have always been internationalists. The Green Party, on the other hand, find natural allies with nationalist parties such as the Scottish National Party (SNP).

The economy matters to every country in the world and no growth or low growth economies invariably mean high unemployment, increased inequality and increased absolute poverty. There are a variety of ways by which governments may mitigate social inequality. It’s known that Countries with a left-leaning legislature have lower levels of inequality. Many factors constrain economic inequality – they are often divided into two classes: government sponsored, and market driven. The relative merits and effectiveness of each approach is of course debated.

Government initiatives to reduce economic inequality include: public education: increasing the supply of skilled labor and reducing income inequality due to education differentials.

Progressive taxation: the rich are taxed proportionally more than the poor, reducing the amount of income inequality in society if the change in taxation does not cause changes in income. These form the basis of  Miliband’s approach, with his proposals for redistribution via a very progressive tax system. This is why tax-dodging billionaires  such as Stephano Pessina are complaining about Labour’s genuinely coherent, costed, evidenced, progressive equality-focussed redistributive tax policies, and not Green Party policies.

Market forces outside of government intervention may also reduce economic inequality, including the propensity to spend. The Green Party, however, does not support any of these options. Their anti-growth, anti-consumption starting point excludes all of these measures. Their key policy  proposal – Universal Basic Income – was shown to be so flawed that the Greens announced it is to be withdrawn from their manifesto.

Bennett has tried to brush aside criticisms that her party’s policies would lead to economic catastrophe, emphasising the Green’s stance against materialism. “People don’t just want to work to earn more and more money,” she said. “They want to do other things that often now aren’t recognised and valued.”

However, an isolationist zero growth economy would be a disastrous experiment, just like the austerity measures have been – with the same outcomes. The Green Party does not present a single coherent policy that may be deemed a viable alternative to austerity, yet it claims: A real change: from austerity and welfare cuts to investment in decent jobs.”

Not only would the Green Party’s anti-progressive zero growth economy create high unemployment, it most certainly create deep recession and the policies are cumulatively pro-austerity, in that they advocate inhibiting public spending on consumer goods.

The Green Party fail to show us any understanding of imbalances of power, they provide no class analysis, they aren’t connected with marginalised groups, they don’t reflect their needs and they clearly have no understanding of the mechanics and virtues of redistribution. There isn’t a single policy currently in their manifesto that demonstrates a coherent offer of support to very poorest. That isn’t “socialist” at all.

The Greens grew out of the environmental movement, with David Icke at the helm as a spokesperson, well, until they got embarrassed by him and sacked him. As Suzanne Moore commented, the incoherence is even apparent at how they fail to define the State. They offer the biggest of big-state polices with huge intervention in some areas, without specifying the role of the state except as a series of committees. It’s a curious mix of immense levels of authoritarian state control over our private lives, a strongly moralising approach, alongside a moral relativism towards things like sex industry, terrorism and crime. Page 3 is frowned upon, but how can prostitution be regarded as any less economical exploitative of women? That’s certainly not coherent policy-making.

The Green’s “anti-austerity measures” seem to translate as “taking on corporations and vested interests.” But Miliband has already explicitly stated (and shown) that he will do that. (He already has – Leveson, the banks, the big power companies, water companies, to name a few)

The Green Party’s key policy idea – that of a Citizen’s Income for everyone whether they work or not – sounds so great on the surface. Just like a lot of their rhetoric and policies, it lacks depth and doesn’t connect up – it lacks integrity and falls to pieces when properly examined. Many of the poorest households would lose out. Most wealthy households will gain. How does that address inequality – something the Greens claim to be concerned about?

The “citizen’s income” of just £71 a week, at an annual cost of £280billion would replace existing welfare payments such as personal tax allowances and means tested benefits such as income allowance and jobseekers benefit.

It was a popular policy during the 1990s, with notable libertarian economists on the Right, such as Milton Friedman (the founding father of monetarism) favoring the model as a type of negative income tax. Friedman attacked the very notion of Social Security, stating that it had created welfare dependency. Friedman’s political philosophy extolled the virtues of a free-market economic system with minimal state intervention. Friedman proposed the replacement of the existing U.S. welfare system with a negative income tax, a progressive tax system in which the poor receive a basic living income from the government.

The Liberal Democrats have included similar policies in their manifesto in 1996.

The Citizen’s Income Trust (CIT), which has given advice to the Green party (and has also been repeatedly cited by the Greens a credible source), has modelled the Green Party scheme and discovered it would mean 35.15% of households would be losers, with many of the biggest losers among the poorest households.

The Trust’s research shows that for the two lowest disposable income deciles, more than one-fifth would suffer income losses of more than 10%.

If anything, this policy will EXTEND inequality.  That’s not very “socialist”.

Many critics of the Green party point to their many failures in Brighton and Hove, where they couldn’t even get the rubbish collection right. However, the most damning criticism – their fundamental inability to run services for the most vulnerable – is the one that ought to concern us the most. That’s not very “socialist.”

Using minorities as nothing more than political props and tools. That’s not very “socialist”.

During a recent interview, with the Times, Bennett defended commitments to decriminalise membership of terrorist organisations, possession of drugs, and prostitution, as well as promising to abolish the monarchy and remove the Queen from Buckingham Palace.

Bennett said: “I can’t see that the Queen is ever going to be really poor, but I’m sure we can find a council house for her.”

The remark appeared to be a glib, clumsy attempt to grab some media attention, given the Queen’s private wealth. As far as an appeal to juvenile anti-establishmentarians go, it was probably a successful glib, clumsy remark. The Green Party’s stated policy on the monarchy is that it should cease to be an office of government and that the property held by the royal family should be divided between that required for the private life of current members of the family, with the remainder to become public property. Not sure I could use any staff, spare tiaras or corgis, personally, but thanks for the thought.

The Tories have trashed the economy, damaged the very structure of our society and destroyed people’s lives. We’ve seen the return of absolute poverty, malnutrition and illness, such absolute poverty-related illness has not been seen since Victorian times. People have died as a consequence of Tory policy.

What do the Greens do? Bitch about LabourMany thanks to Robert Livingstone for his excellent memes

Electioneering and grandstanding: how to tell the difference between a moral political party and a moralistic one.

1796655_294409220710133_3373329_nThis past four years or so, I’ve watched the media distort the truth, often removing it from a meaningful context and twisting it out of recognisable shape. Or very often avoiding it altogether. I’ve watched minor parties claiming to be on the Left do the same, too, and I won’t ever forgive them for that. Nonetheless we have done our best to share truths and information and to decode rhetoric and re-translate lies.

One thing I can do is analyse social policy, I’ve a perceptive and predictive eye for how policies will affect us – the implications and probable consequences – well before they are implemented. The last four years will bear that out. It’s not just because I studied it, it’s also because I see underpinning ideology, too. I recognise that policy is comprised of a set of scripted motives and intentions on the part of any government and instructions to society on how to organise itself, how to behave and how our individual degree of freedoms are defined, extended or restricted. Policies also send out instructions regarding how social groups are perceived and treated.

Policies may express and extend tolerance and reflect a valuing of diversity, or, as the case is now, they may also prescribe social prejudice and serve to institutionalize discrimination.

Ideology reflects how a government believes society is (and what it isn’t,) and also prescribes how it SHOULD be. The Tories have been imposing their own narrow, nightmarish vision upon us for the past five years.

Today it struck me again just how we have had to decode so very much misinformation. For example, someone asked me about the headline lie that the Labour Party intend to “scrap benefits for young people.” Of course it’s not true. Or rather, it’s a carefully selected, out of context, partial truth.

Miliband is REPLACING jobseekers allowance with another allowance for young people. He thinks that conditional benefits are inappropriate for young people, as to be entitled to jobseekers allowance requires having to be available for work and actively looking for work, so it excludes the very possibility of further education and learning experiences. But young people need the freedom and support to gain from learning. That’s why Ed Miliband will replace out of work benefits for those aged 18-21 with a youth allowance of the same value – currently around £57 a week. This isn’t the controversial issue that was presented by the mainstream media and other parties at all: it’s actually a very well thought out, cost efficient and positive policy.

So young people don’t have to be available for work, but they do have to use their freedom to be learning or training. This detail matters a lot and was excluded from most accounts of the policy. Miliband had a good idea, it won’t cost any more than we currently pay young people, but it means we are investing in young people’s potential and their futures.

This is just one example of how truths are being distorted and not just by the media, but also by the likes of the SNP, the Green Party, TUSC and many of the other increasingly authoritarian groups competing for votes from the Left. Yet when you think about how they have lied to you on fundamental issues, (and they really have) would you REALLY trust them with your vote? Would you REALLY have faith that these parties will suddenly become honest and develop some integrity if they ever got any power?  They won’t. Not one bit.

More recently, there was an intentional distortion of the parliamentary debate on the Infrastructure Bill and fracking, with the Green Party in particular being very critical of Labour’s fracking amendments, which involve regulations that were, after all, succesful: they were accepted by the Tories. Labour proposals considerably tighten environmental regulations. In the UK, drilling for shale gas is still at an exploratory stage, though the Conservatives had planned on fast-tracking the fracking process. The regulations will halt exploratory drilling going ahead in the UK for at least a year. Meanwhile, the Environmental Audit Committee continue with its inquiry, gathering the strong, credible evidence we need if there is to be a justifiable, democratic and fully accountable ban on fracking.

A ban would never have been successful at this stage, and Labour knew this. The other thing NONE of the of aggressive, electioneering “critics” consider, apparently, is that had the proposed moratorium actually scraped a successful yes vote, and that was unlikely, the Tories would most certainly NOT have abided by that outcome, leaving them free without amendments and thus no regulation at all, to go ahead and fast-track fracking. Labour got them to agree on considerable restrictions, which will tie the Tories’ hands at least until well after the election. That is a success.

Anyone with concerns regarding fracking and the legislation ought to be big and authentic enough to take their issues directly to the TORIES, they are the ones that introduced this Bill, after all, not Labour. Yet all we have seen is moralising accounts from rival left parties about how Labour should have done things. Labour have made a difference. Only the grandstanding, electioneering parties would and did turn a success into an opportunity for unreasonable criticism. And they do this every single time the Labour Party achieve or present something positive.

Evidence is much more important than rhetoric and gesture politics. Reasoned and evidenced debate, however, seems to have been sidelined by those who, rather than engaging in genuine politics, prefer gesturing and politicking, no matter what that costs us.

Another claim made recently by the Green Party, again, amongst others, is that “Labour voted to keep austerity”. That is such a blatant lie, because the vote, clearly stated on the Hansard record (13 Jan 2015: Column 738, Charter for Budget Responsibility), was pertaining strictly to the motion: “That the Charter for Budget Responsibility: Autumn Statement 2014 update, which was laid before this House on 15 December 2014, be approved.”

The charter sets out that the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) will continue to monitor our fiscal rules. As we know, the  OBR has written extremely critical economic forecasts and analysis of austerity and the Tory spending cuts, clearly expressing the risks that the Chancellor is running and the scale of the damage his strategy will inflict on what remains of our public services. It’s worth noting that whilst Ed Balls challenged Osborne, there was a curious silence from the  SNP and the Green Party. It was Ed Balls that challenged Osborne’s outrageous claims regarding “halving the deficit”- such a blatant lie, upon which even the exceedingly Conservative Spectator spluttered contempt. Or any of the other lies, some of which have already earned the Conservatives official rebukes from the Office for National Statistics. (See “bankruptcy lie” for example, on the hyperlinked article)

Furthermore, it’s about time that some MP’s, including Caroline Lucas, amongst others, recognised that there is a fundamental difference between the meaning of the word budget and the word austerity. Conflating the two for the purpose of politicking is unprincipled and dishonest.

It’s also worth noting from the same debate on the Hansard record:

13 Jan 2015 : Column 746

Caroline Lucas: Does the Chancellor agree with me that with the feeble and inconsistent opposition coming from the Labour Front Bench, there is a very good reason for seeing the SNP, the Greens and Plaid as the real opposition on this issue because we are clear and consistent about the fact that austerity is not working?

Mr Osborne: That shows why we want the hon. Lady’s party in the TV debates.

Yes, I just bet they do, to collaborate with the Tories in attacking and undermining the Labour Party, not the Coalition, who are, after all, the ones responsible for introducing austerity measures. I don’t imagine for a moment that Osborne values further challenges to his outrageous claims of efficacy regarding austerity measures. What is very evident when you read through this debate, is that Ed Balls and a couple of other Labour MPs presented the ONLY challenges to Osborne on this matter, just to reiterate.

10940505_767712909964906_6225427822143651262_nThere’s a clear gap between professed principles and their application amongst the parties that claim to be “real socialists”.  How can it be principled or moral (or “socialist” for that matter) to collaborate with the Tories in attempting to damage, smear and discredit the only viable option of removing the Tories from Office in May? Bearing in mind that many people are suffering profoundly, some have died as a consequence of Conservative-led policies, we can see what the Green Party’s priorities actually are, here. They don’t include the best interests of citizens and consideration of their well-being, that’s for sure.

There is a big difference between being moral and being moralistic. Being moral means that we know what is right and wrong, what is fair and what is unfair, and so on. Being moral means we take responsibility for ourselves. We extend our morality to others, it shapes how we relate to them, our esteem of others and respect. It tends to frame democratic relationships

Being moralistic means we impose on others our own definitions. We tell others what is right and wrong, we define those things for them. Being moral is also about being authentic, being moralistic is often inauthentic and hypocritical. It’s more about control and overburdening others with  responsibility, whilst restricting their choices, than genuine morality. Moralising shapes how we interact with others too, forming power imbalances and inequalities.

We can use this dichotomy to explore political parties and democracy. The Tories often talk about morality, they are a moralistic party that impose what they think is right on everyone else. We know how that has worked out this past five years and it’s got nothing to do with right and wrong, nor is it even remotely related to fairness or social justice. Tory moralising is about control and subjugation of the poorest, liberation and freedom of the wealthiest. That’s what the Tories are all about.They don’t possess any moral core themselves, which is evident in the sleaze and corruption that they tend to leave in their wake.

Labour are moral. This is evident in policies which are coherent, embedding human rights and equality principles. There’s an integrity evident in their social policies, because they reflect core values that Labour have always held, regardless of who has been party leader. They  impose a legal framework of moral codes that establish decent, civilised conduct. Labour’s policies accommodate democracy, equality, diversity and meet a broad array of social needs. In debate, the Labour party are generally rational and reasoned, rather than emotive and judgemental. They favour a learning approach – which is progressive – it’s about development, rather than imposing dogma on the population.

It’s evident that the Green Party are moralisers too. They criticise Labour, often imposing their view of what Labour should do. Meanwhile, the Tories are destroying the country and people’s lives. Even a cursory glance at the Green manifesto indicates plainly that it is a set of policies from idealising moralists, rather than a meaningful democratic representation of the whole population and a balanced reflection of their varied needs.

For example, the universal basic income that the Green Party propose – will it be paid to millionaires as well as the poorest? How would that address inequality – an issue which the Green Party claims to be concerned with? How will it contribute to a so-called steady-state, zero growth economy?

How does banning page three, but legalising prostitution and the sex industry, which is also about economically exploited women being economically exploited, reflect any joined-up thinking? Inconsistency and incoherence.

It’s more dogma.

Think very carefully about what you are voting for. Look for the facts and truth to inform that decision, because in such bleak times, it’s easy to cling to a populist, superficial, dressed-up promise of better things than the Tories offer, but easy fixes don’t exist. Look for coherence, depth and consistency in the narratives being proffered. And look for evidence. You will see that once you look below the surface of false claims, false promises and electioneering, there’s a big difference between moral policies (they tend to be democratic) and moralising ones (they tend to be authoritarian).

14301012075_2454438e62_o (1)Many thanks to Robert Livingstone for his outstanding pictures.