Christina is accused of putting God before Party and electorate. It seems clear to me that a faction within the GreenParty is putting lobbying for gay rights and gay marriage front and centre at the top of the Green Party list of priorities and well ahead of representing any section of the electorate that is not LGBT.
is this the Green Party or the Gay Rights Party?
Is Gay Marriage lobbying (yes the Greens are an assemblage of lobbyists) a Corporate Objective? In the Corporate Plan anywhere? Something that formed any kind of profile when candidates were knocking on doors vote-seeking….nah.
It is noticable how quickly Mr Kitcat was reported in blogs as distancing himself from the decision (of a diciplinary panel he was a member of), and suddenly leaking that he is a devout catholic (but never brings this into the council chamber).
What clean hands the glorious leader does have.
Mind you he did tweet that she isn’t out until the green group next met and vote on it – he has form on following up fake stories portraying himself as savior – recently ‘all bus subsidies must go’, hey I saved the buses! (From the cuts we anounced but were mistaken and unnecesary)…
Once Christina Summer chose to not do the politic thing – sitting on her hands in the vote – and then go out of her way to criticise her colleagues and make herself a martyr, then it was clear that there was only two ways this would go.
You can tolerate someone who doesn’t respect their fellow councillors, doesn’t respect the promises they made when accepting the nomination, doesn’t respect the democratic process and doesn’t respect critical aspects of the party platform, and in so doing stand against an important section of the electorate – believers in fundamental equality before the law.
This isn’t about open and honest debate over issues which crop up. Take nuclear power. It’s a divisive issue and passions run high. But disagreeing over whether you think nuclear is part of the energy mix to narrow the energy gap short term is a debate based mostly in reality. Someone can share a deep concern over climate change and think nukes are horrible, but think its a better powersource than coal. Someone else might disagree, and strongly so, but they can understand why the difference occurs. Their own view is based on a different interpretation of evidence; the destination of both views is a croon-free energy policy etc.
No such bridge exists on this issue. The analogy would be someone saying nukes are great because climate change is a naturally occuring phenomenon and the environmental movement are a bunch of loons. It’s a point of view, for sure, but it seems to cross a line which takes the holder outside the ring which holds the party’s many viewpoint together.
Or to put it more simply, most parties have a united view about the destination or direction of travel, but can disagree over speed of travel, choice of vehicle and precise route taken, but they must cohere around something.
Ms Summers revealed herself to both hold a view that took her outside the ring that holds the Green party together and acted in such a way as to make it clear that she considered the most important thing for her in her political life was to bear witness to her (extreme) christian evangelical point of view. That’s cool and the gang for her as a free citizen, but far from cool for a representative for a party for whom a central plank of their values and principles are based on fundamental equality before the law.
Or put another way, there’s clearly a set of views someone in any party can reveal thesmelves to both hold and wish to act on politically that make them beyond the pale for that party. Either parties have a cohering set of valus, or they don’t; if they do, then action really has to be taken when people step aside or it renders the whole thing a sham.
I just don’t get why BPB thinks this is a problem. BPB clearly has liberally inclined views. It’s easy to construct a thought experiment where we identify views which would render one unsuitable to take the whip; I’d like to think that any councillor expressing racist views would be ostracised by their council group.
The issue is either the principle of removing the whip being thought wrong – which seems a crazy principle in a democracy based on parties (one can debate that another time; its what we have now) or the issue on which the whip is withdrawn not being sufficient – which seems to be a surprise.
The only other view is the lowest electoral one, which would be that it’s bad politics to be seen to remove the whip from someone, that the Greens will pay some electoral penalty. I’d find that argument beneath contempt, frankly not least because we’d never had an ounce of social change were it to be the beat to which progressive reformers have danced.
But the idea that, ‘we will only tolerate those who think like us’, is worrying. Councillor Summers has many ‘Green’ credentials, but differs from the party agenda in this area. The debate about what ‘equality’ and ‘tolerance’ really mean in relation to this issue makes interesting reading on various blogs, and I would suggest that it is not quite as clear cut as you state above.
But that’s not what’s happened here. There may well be lots of people in the Green party who are evangelically-minded Christian literalists; I rather doubt it, but they might be there. They’re prefectly entitled to live with the cognitive dissonance between their views and those of the party they’ve joined; it’s their mental energy they’ll strain after all.
Christina Summers isn’t a private member free to waste her psychological resources squaring that circle to her own satisfaction; she’s a candidate of a aprty with a long track record of campaigning and supporting full equality, who signed a pledge saying that as far as she was concerned, on issues of equality like this, party policy was far more important than any private view.
I don’t see how Christina’s views on this issue can be described as ‘extreme’ Christianity. Many Christians, possibly most, would not accept civil partnerships, and many will consider homosexuality a sin, or even an abomination. Christina is nowhere near these views.
It’s a matter of opinion. I know plenty of Christians who find the anti-abortion picketing, equal marriage opposing stance of other Christians deeply problematic and contrary to their faith.
BBC report is getting a bit more accurate it seems, no longer saying “Brighton Green group expels Christian ‘gay’ vote councillor”, which I think was the original headline, but “Brighton Green councillor ‘should go’ in gay vote row”.
I don’t see how a pledge to uphold equality means one must be an enemy of diversity. It’s possible to uphold both. It is a full-out attack on diversity to insist that two different things must be declared to be the same. True, the word “marriage” means different things to different people. But that has nothing to do with equality.
noun, plural e·qual·i·ties.
the state or quality of being equal; correspondence in quantity, degree, value, rank, or ability.
uniform character, as of motion or surface.
Mathematics . a statement that two quantities are equal; equation.
If one group has access to something, it is fair and EQUAL for the other group to have access to it too, and basing an objection to this premise on folklore is absurd.
tony, a gay person has exactly the same rights to get married as a straight or bi person – its to one person of they opposite sex.
Love may be one in a milion, which you couldnt buy at any price, but of the other 999.999, stastically some would be equally nice.
Tony – you are assuming a particular view of what marriage is. You are assuming it is most fundamentally a state institution to which the state grants or denies access. That’s not what a lot of people think marriage is. And the disagreement is precisely about what marriage is.
Civil marriage has existed for 175 years. There is not much room for debate on this, and it is civil marriage that is at issue here. The churches can marry who they want.
A change in the law must deal with legal definitions. If the current legal definition of marriage does not match what some people *think* it means, then I am afraid that is their problem.
Clive – as far as I know, there is no such thing as “civil marriage”. Whether the marriage ceremony was a civil ceremony or a religious ceremony, the status after the ceremony is “married”, not “civilly married” or “religiously married”. There’s a lot of confusion on the issue.
Personally, I’d like the legal terminology to be changed from “marriage” to “civil union”, then we can all use the word “marriage” however we like, without the state telling us which definition is the “correct” definition.
Fundamental question Anthony: why should the business of who gets married in a registry office be any business of any church?
What you are trying to do is appropriate, or re-appropriate, ‘marriage’ as necessarily containing a religious element. It doesn’t, however much you might wish that it did.
Clive – no, not at all. I think you are misunderstanding me. Marriage is a relationship, entered into by the public exchange of vows. It makes no material difference where those vows are exchanged. However, in order for the state to administer justice in the case of that union coming to an end (division of property, inheritance, custody of children, etc), it is important for that union to be registered by the state. So, in this country, every marriage must be registered by a suitably authorised person, whether a civic registrar, or (somewhat bizarrely) an authorised minister of religion. In addition, many couples want to make their vows in the context of a religious act of worship. But wherever the vows are made, it is the vows that bring the marriage into existence. Hence, marriage is marriage – whether the ceremony is religious or not. Talk of “civil marriage” or “religious marriage” is mixing things up.
For what it’s worth, I would prefer the state to drop the word “marriage” altogether. There are deep disagreements about what marriage is, and I can’t see any need for the state to adjudicate on the issue.
I love reading the Greens justification for the result. Pure twisted dogma that only the most devoted of acolytes could even pretend to believe.
How did this turncoat, devil incarnate, plant, mole, digusting human being slip through the green net to not only join the party, but get selected and then elected?!
I assume the beloved leader will be protected from contamination, and all reference and record of this non-person will be airbrushed from Green history.
No-one but you has used that sort of language about Christina, Paul. Most of us respect her as a hard-working councillor (albeit one who doesn’t really see all her constituents as truly equal) but it’s become apparent that she is a perpetual outsider.
She is left-wing on some issues and right-wing on others, and so doesn’t really identify strongly with a particular party. Before joining the Greens she was a troubled member of both Labour and UKIP. Going independent is probably a good move for her in this case and she can choose to contest the seat next time on an honest platform where she doesn’t feel obliged to conceal her religious bent.
I don’t think she ever did conceal her faith. The Green Party were happy to have cheap use of the Calvary Church.
The language is the sentiment of green supporters bloging and commenting (and defending The Party) you needs o get out more if you don’t recognise it.
My view – blogged/posted in varios places is that she is a very courageous person – refusing to be cowed by the peer presure of the ‘right on’ crowd. She, alone, represented the view of a good number of brighton residents.
Kitcat is such a coward, he didn’t even go on record voting on her expulsion. And who was the other green coward who left the chamber before the vote so they could avoid voting against?
What is Jasons view on the expulsion? He wants us to think he was against, but he had his chance to vode and DIDNT.
Cllr Summers is claiming that she has been discriminated against for being a christian. Discrimination entails being treated differently. Any athiest or agnostic councillor who voted against gay marriage (or campaigned outside wistons clinic), would have been expelled too, so her claim just doesn’t add up. She is being treated equally like any other councillor would who signs a statement to support equality then votes against it. The mistake would be to keep her in the green group.
Wrong. She naively believed there was a place for honesty in politics and opened her gob.
Believing in equality does not mean that you have to support same sex marriage. Many in the LGBT community have mixed feelings, some strongly in favour, some against, and some indifferent. There are some, like myself, who don’t particularly support the idea of marriage for anyone.
What has been most unpleasant about this episode has been the venom directed against Chirstina by the supposedly tolerant and inclusive Green Party. Somehow it has become more acceptable to vote against our own party’s budget, and use that as a platform for a Deputy Leadership bid, than it is to vote against one particular policy. It’s perfectly understandable why Christina feels that it is her Christianity is being attacked, and although it will be dressed up in terms of her voting against the party line, the hostility towards Christianity is a clear element.
If you are a Muslim, Christian, or follower of another religion that holds beliefs that do not fully collate with the liberal hegemony can you not belong to, or represent a political party like the Greens?
Politically this will probably polarise opinions, but it is difficult to see how the Green Party can gain. Their tendancy towards self righteousness will allow them to congratulate themselves on maintaining their purity. The only thing that works in their favour is that Christina has not covered herself in glory in her defence, particularly the use of a right wing campaigning group to defend her. That has let the Green Party off the hook to an extent by giving them an opportunity to discredit her.
Not being able to marry my partner because it isn’t legal, purely because I am gay doesn’t feel much like ‘equality’ to me Dr Faust.
Chosing not to marr because I don’t agree with ‘martiage’ is a different scenario. End of.
I would personally agree with you. I’m no fan of the institution, but if people want to, lets have equal access. My point is that there are a range of views. Others are sincere in believing that ‘marriage’ is for opposite sex couples. Others believe in polygamy, is that a right you want to have as well in the interests of equality.
Surely one has to be married to ‘Marr’
I agree though. I simply think how intolerable it would be for me not to be able to marry someone simply because of some or other characterisitc (race or disability or whatever). It certainly wouldn’t feel equal regardless of whether I wanted to marry or not.
It is clear Summers has been duplicitous towards her group – signing the pledge before election – in a way Alex wasn’t about the budget vote, where there was open discussion about disagreement on the issue beforehand.
There have been some interesting discussions on the meaning of equality, especially with regard to religious belief, prompted by this issue – and I actually find it refreshing the Greens seem to be (mostly) genuinely discussing the merits of the case: but some opinions simply aren’t acceptable within some political parties (surely that’s the point of them), and this stance clearly is not within the parameters of Green pluralism of opinion. Probably fine for amember so long as they don’t aggressively pursue it, not fine for an elected green representative.
Now THIS is the voice of a martyr. You are presumably in a civil partnership but want marriage instead…if you are not in a civil partnership then I question your conviction.
A deal has been done..would they risk losing a vote to Labour in H&S which is what will ha.ppen
Agree with Dave and with Tony Davenport. The issues around gay marriage aren’t really the main point here, though it’s interesting to note the widespread misconception that we are talking about marriage in church, which is not the case.
The main point is that if you sign a pledge (on any issue), and then (alone) go very publicly against that pledge, you can expect your supporters and colleagues to be pretty ticked off, and should expect there to be consequences.
This is not a pleasant situation for the Green party to find itself in – they are kind of damned if they do and damned if they don’t: the alternative course – a vote of censure, followed by inevitable deselection at a later date would have left a running sore. I wonder if another party, faced with an equivalent situation, would have done things any differently?
It’s a bit disingenuous to imply that Councillor Summers signed a pledge to advance gay marriage. She signed a declaration saying that she would uphold equality, and I imagine she would argue that she has done so by supporting the equal rights under law that civil partnerships offer to gay and lesbian couples, for example. I am sure that she felt that she could do so, whilst maintaining a definition of marriage that was consistent with her faith.
In a multicultural society, it is expected that our political parties will reflect the diversity of the society they seek to serve and represent. A ‘grown up’ party should be big enough to accomodate a range of views, whilst still advancing its own unique values – and the Green Party is very clear about what these are in relation to the LGBT community. It is rather less clear now about what it means by other aspects of equality – the declaration signed by green Councillors also included the commitment to uphold equality regardless of religion.
Yes it is a difficult situation as it is impossible to the Green Party to find a solution which will not lose them support in some areas – and is all so unecessary as this issue is not a local government one. However, individuals rebelling against an aspect of policy is par for the course in politics, and it is disappointing that the Green Party has responded in the way that is has – apparently closing off rational debate rather than using the opportunity to engage in it. It speaks of insecurity to me.
So the argument against would seem to be that gay people have civil partnerships and it’s the same thing as a marriage. Well, I would argue, then why not call it a marriage?
Let’s imagine we have two public loos next to one another. They are both identical and have more than enough capacity for whatever number of people want to use them. The only difference is that the one on the right has a sign outside “Whites Only”. So what’s the problem? After all – the argument from some quarters might be – all the non-white people have exactly the same facilities as the white ones. Now who would be the ones pretending to talk such ‘sense’? Racists. Of course they would never say they were racists, they would argue in all kinds of ways, skirting around the real issue.
Sensible heads may prevail and remove the “Whites Only” sign and make both loos available to ANYBODY. That’s equality.
Anthony, Ali etc. – let’s cut the crap. It’s not about free speech or common sense, or anything like that. You’re supporting Christina because she is a Christian like you, and your teaching says that homosexuality is a sin, based on writings in a book which, incidentally, was cobbled together over rather a long period of time.
The issue I raised in the other thread wasn’t, to my recollection, addressed by anyone. Can you, with hand on heart and in all truthfulness, say that you would be so vehemently defending someone on the grounds of freedom of speech if it was a Green councillor who announced publicly “Climate change is a big hoax!” and voted against motions pushing forward the view that climate change science was legitimate?
Tony – the argument against is that opposite-sex relationships are not the same as same-sex relationships, and that therefore it is okay to use one word to refer to one sort of relationship and not to another sort.
It’s the same argument that says that men and women are not the same, and therefore it is okay to use the word “man” to refer only to half of the human race. Is it discriminatory to refuse to call women “men”? No. No more than it is discriminatory to refuse to say that a same-sex couple is “married”. Words refer to some things and not to other things. That’s just how language works.
Equality is not about terminology (“married”, “man”), but is about how people are treated. Men and women should be treated the same – not in that women should be called “men” – except when the difference between men and women is relevant. Opposite-sex and same-sex couples should be treated the same – not in that they should all be labelled with the same word – except when the difference is relevant.
Your example of a “whites only” toilet is a good illustration. Under the view of equality that demands that the state must use the word “marriage” to refer to opposite-sex and same-sex relationships, then the solution would be to demand that the word “white” must refer to all people, regardless of their skin colour. Then all people would be allowed to use a “whites only” toilet, because all people would be “white”.
Or, alternatively, equality would be taken to mean that skin colour is of no relevance when it comes to deciding who should be allowed in a particular toilet. (Gender is, of course, unless you are arguing that “men only” or “women only” toilets should be made illegal?)
Anthony, it seems you are avoiding two things – your religion and my question as to whether you would be so whole-hearted in your support of the freedom of speech of a hypothetical climate change denying Green councillor. The latter would seem a simple question to address – either a “yes” or a “no”.
Separate loos for men and separate loos for women are, I would think, what the vast majority of both sexes want. It’s an issue everyone can understand. My example of racism is NOT something the majority would understand or agree with. I don’t see a large number of people clamouring for same sex loos, but if they did I suspect the reasons given would be rational ones which could be considered by all, not views of an invisible creator, expressed to a chosen few through an ancient book.
The problem with your objection to gay marriage is that it is simply down to religion, yet your Christian views are NOT shared by the majority. There are a large number of atheists in the world (especially in Brighton and Hove – over 1/4 of all of us in the city, according to previous census results) and likewise there are people of many other religions. Your grounds for opposition are not concepts that large numbers of people understand or agree with, and that is what makes them akin to the racist loo example.
And Alan, this has nothing to do with gender. If you want to legitimately complain about gender issues in the Green party, complain about the Green’s treatment of Alex Philips in the deputy leadership election – prevented from standing based not on qualifications, or lack thereof, whether she merited the position or not, or even on the number of votes she achieved, but based purely on her being the wrong gender.
Tony – my religion: Christian, evangelical. Free speech: personally I’m not appealing to free speech. A politician is free to speak out against the party they represent, and the party is then free to expel that person. My argument is that it is possible to oppose same-sex marriage and still uphold core Green Party principles, specifically, a whole-hearted commitment to equality.
I think it would be fair to say that a lot of people have big problems with whatever definition of marriage the state adopts, whether that is a gender-neutral definition, or an opposite-sex definition. Hopefully that will be obvious to most people.
If so, then why not just substitute a different term in place of “marriage”? Then people are free to refer to relationships as “marriage” if they think it is appropriate, or not if not.
Other, more mature, political parties would simply have shrugged, ignored her vote and moved on. And it would all have been totally forgotten as they moved on to the issues in the Corporate Plan, to the issues they want as Corporate Objectives and the ways in which they need to act to achieve them. Achieving ‘gay marriage’ is not and would never be within their remit.
I very much agree with some of the comments that I’m reading here; particularly ones from Ali and Dr Faust. As a Christian who supports the Greens, and having first heard about this case through Christian Concern, I’ve been blogging some of my thoughts about it at http://mattsgreenblog.wordpress.com
The Greens (and every other party) have to be able to accommodate people who, while supporting the broad thrust of most of their policies, take an opposing line on certain policies for whatever reason (but particularly on grounds of faith/belief). Without this accommodation existing political parties would fall apart and we would be left with a fractious political scene with thousands of small parties, each with their own narrow set of policies. That would help no-one.
The Green Party appears to have handled this case disastrously!
She hasn’t been kicked out the green party, she will likely be expelled from the green group of councillors. This is NOT because of her religious views. If she was christian, agnostic, muslim, athiest or any other religion, the same process would have occurred, because she voted against and spoke against equality.
There is equality and there is Equality (in the legal sense) and language lets us down a bit.
Can one assume you are in the camp that would see equality extrapolated to include:
a) same sex lavatories because men only, women only ones discriminate? Tony D uses ‘whites only’ argument to discredit, but equally one could use “women only” or “men only” examples to make a discrimination argument using that same logical process.
b) 10 men marrying one woman or vice versa?
c) child marriages?
Summers signed up to equality but it is a flawed, unbordered concept.
The sheer level of vitriolic emphasis the Greens have put on her meaningless vote (affecting nothing) shows immature and irresponsible lack of proportion, bitchy and diversionary. It does not form any part of council business and they have no powers to implement ‘gay marriage’ .
A notice of motion is just lobbying gesture politics taking the temperature on various issues and a safe vote for all the other politicians to pretend to support even if they did so hypocritcally.
Going nuclear over such a matter shows the Green Administration in a very, very bad light. We should be told who sat on that panel and how each one voted if the Greens are serious about their so-called ‘transparency’ claims.
And when the issue of expulsion is put to the entire Green Councillors Group, it should be a recorded vote that will be made public.
For the Ecology Party of old to have morphed into a kind of teenagerish squabble gang that cares more about gay marriage than planning, schools, transport, housing, the elderly, etc. etc. is the real betrayal of trust here.
The gay lobby should start their own political party to advance their rights agendas.
Martin, Councillor Summers’ view on same-sex marriage is a religious view. She is being expelled from the Green group because of her view on same-sex marriage. Unless you’re alleging that this whole issue is some kind of conspiracy to given the group an excuse to expel her, she most certainly IS being expelled for her religious beliefs.
Note: this is all subject to the caveat that the green group could still vote to reject the conclusions of the panel.
Stephen, it’s because she broke a promise to the selectorate and the electorate.
Oh dear; another casual slander. She did not vote against equality; she voted against BHCC lobbying Govt in support of gay marriage and not everyone thinks gay marriage is a legitimate equalities issue.
Sorry if I didn’t make my point clearer. If Christina was atheist and voted against same sex marriage because she didn’t think it was natural, (an argument put forward by many MPs during the debates on clause 28), she would be facing the same process and outcome. She is being recommended for expulsion because she voted against equality, regardless if what religion she choses to belong to. How can we have a situation where a christian can vote against something, but an athiest can’t? This would give christians a privileged position not an equal position. I hope this clarifys my point.
Most interesting, 90 years after women got the vote. It seems there’s nothing like reversing the gains of feminism and women’s struggles – expelling a woman for speaking her opinions. This decision shows that ‘equality’ only exists on paper in modern politics, the practice is different.
David Cameron and Brighton Tories must be laughing their heads off at how ‘equality’ doctrines can be used to split other parties with a supposedly left, progressive or radical agenda….Dare say this won’t make a lot of Muslims and Jews feel at ease in the Green Party either, but lets face it, BEM issues are now being marginalised by ‘equality’ ideology, as well as issues concerning the poor both in Britain and globally.
There are some interesting parallels between this debate and the struggle of women to get the vote. Then, opponents of the measure claimed that a) women didn’t really want the vote (as was true, in some cases) and b) that the status quo was perfectly fine, because women’s husbands would take their views into account before casting their votes and c) that those who said otherwise were no more than eccentric troublemakers, addicted to wild causes and just stirring up trouble for the sake of it.
You appear to assert that Christina Summers was expelled because she was a woman. How on earth do you arrive at that conclusion? Why would the decision have been any different had she been a man?
Oh happy day! Militant Tendency is alive and well and in Brighton Green Party.There can be no freedom of thought and no room for acts of conscience within the ideological straightjacket that is the Brighton Green-LGBT Party.
The goose has been cooked, the fat lady has sung. Ideological purity and persecution of councillors driven by conscience will turn off at least the 10% of voters who are active Christians and the Greens will shrink faster than a woolly jumper in a hot wash.
It is a fact of political life that successful parties are coalitions of interests. The gay vote alone even in Brighton is not enough to elelct councillors or MPs.
I shall now look forward to the coming day when Labour can go back to a cosy duopoly with the Coxervatives.
Nothing here to disagree with, Zombie. But my eye alights on your comment about “coalition of interests”. The Greens ramped this up in a unique way from ‘interests’ to hard-core lobbyists operating in competitive, ambitious, territorially space-seeking silos and the Green Party seems to have ENCOURAGED this to happen.
The LGBT silo didn’t even apply for planning consent before building a few extra storeys and a massive extension on the back, so well hidden under camouflage and foliage that its takeover coup is only now being seen for what it is. Territorial rightsmanship is trumping mere ‘equality’ here.
Certainly a facinating and wide ranging series of viewpoints.To cut to the chase – we should all be very worried. This sleazy and tawdry affair regarding the Green councillor, is only one part of a much bigger national picture, where the very creepy and sinister political correctness, as championed by the minority rights community, is doing a super job of closing down any sort of responsible free speech in this country.As soon as a person utters a viewpoint that is not part of the PC mantra, time after time, we are seeing demonstrations of good old fashioned soviet style denounciation to silence the said offender.
As a sleeping GP member, I find much to agree with Valerie and Dr F. I have decided to take a pause whilst I decide whether to expel myself too.
This is not because I agree with Christina, but because I find it difficult to accept the bile that has been aimed at her. This seems problematic both on a personal level- I dont wish to be associated with people who deal with “adversaries” in such intemperate ways, and politically dunderheaded- strategically daft.
A measure of how aggressively some members have pressed their views can be measured by me deciding to post anonymously.
Remember that old American advert about ‘only your best friend will tell you about your B.O.’?
Well, anyone who truly values what the Ecology movement of the 1970′s began, but which the present Green Party is showing signs of willingness to marginalise so ruthlessly in favour of lobby group rightsmanship, needs to speak up and speak out as you and I are doing.
What is happening to Christina Summers isn’t just about her; it’s not about Christianity per se or what she did. It looks to me more like a stepping stone to stand on, from which further rightsmanship campaigning can be competitively conducted.
At the time when Eco issues began to achieve basic lip service endorsement from other political parties and were plainly going mainstream, loss of issue ownership messaged clearly to the Greens. This was a moment of extreme vulnerability for the future of the Green Party – which in this country was different from the one in Germany.
Derision over brown rice and sandals (the greens in the Liberal party of old suffered this in the 1970′s!) was seemingly holding the Green Party back. They simply had to widen their appeal in order to survive as a disctinct political party and grow votes in any significant way.
This all happened at pretty much the same time as all political parties were heading for the centre ground and looking more and more alike. Forging a distinct identity has seen them all flounder.
It was recognised by political scientists that the power was moving away from political parties and Administrations and was increasingly held by lobby groups.
Lobby groups colonised the Green Party, so in need of widening its appeal. There is now a situation that sees a group of silo lobbyists collectively under the Green roof, each pushing and developing its own agendas and competing to get their own issue pushed ahead of others within the Green Party.
The very nature of what it is to be a political party is changing. Effectively, the Greens are a collection of Independents and this is so because the balance of emphasis makes it so. Each is no doubt a genuine Green concerning environmental issues, but it is looking more and more like top dressing for show, riding over a greater depth of hardcore rubble.
Beyond perhaps being vegetarian and riding a bicycle, I suspect more than one or two of them of having nothing under that green veneer except an eye on post electoral personal career advancement and/or acquisition of power and a shot at becoming an MP. A stepping stone that helps the c.v. The typical livery of 95% of politicians in all parties.
‘A flag of convenience’ it has been said in other comments. Is it too late for voices like yours and mine to make the slightest difference? In the name of truth and justice, so it’s at least out in the open where voters can see it, people must have the courage to speak up.