Who on earth is advising Caroline Lucas?

Caroline Lucas formally launched her campaign at the Fabrica Gallery. I thought someone was winding me up when I heard this. The Greens couldn’t possibly be that inept. Lucas’s campaign would surely be launched on one of the estates.

And tonight I read in the Argus that her campaign was, indeed, launched at the Fabrica Gallery!

Caroline, whoever it was who suggested Fabrica, sack them. You have problems enough overcoming the appearance of a remote, academic outsider without adding ‘elitist’ to your handicaps.

Hardly a bounce from your conference, what with Sven’s ‘that Platts woman’ own goal and now this.

General elections are not the same as local elections where you will pick up protest votes against the government. Things like this matter, and you have got off to a bad start.

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10 Responses

  1. My parents and granparents were Labour activists.But none of us will be voting for the Party of war,lies greed and privatisation.
    We will never vote Tory either.
    Living in Pavillion ward,I hope my vote for the Greens helps to give us at least one principled MP in Parliament.
    But I agree that the “Fabrica” incident is one of many that makes the Greens look so unattractive.
    They too often come across as well-meaning-but-smug people.They seem to lecture people less well off than themselves that we all must make sacrifices to save the planet.They promise to tax our bad behaviour to force us to mend our ways.
    Personally,I believe that most people needn’t suffer lower living standards if the climate problems are dealt with at source.
    The Greens need to address the issues facing the ordinary people of Brighton like jobs,housing,wage cuts,cuts in wages and pensions.
    Their claim to do this.
    But many of their policies include direct taxes on consumption which hit the poorest hardest.
    And their paper to voters,Green Leaf,seems to focus almost entirely on organic food,recycling and alternative lifestyles.
    Unless they change this,I fear they will be stuck in the trendy ghetto of central Brighton and Hove,while remaining marginal on the formerly Labour supporting estates who actually have the most to gain from a Green MP.

  2. For once I agree with you. Greens aren’t doing enough to get across our most progressive policies, ones that address the concerns of many working class voters. I only hope that the Brighton party takes a stronger class-based position, but at the same time they will be relying on Lib Dem voters (middle class swing voters) not to back the Tories. In some areas the Green’s can play the class game much more affectively, Brighton would surely be one of those areas where they can build an electoral coalition of working class and middle-class progressive voters.

  3. It’s says rather a lot about the character, outlook and style of the candidate certainly. By all accounts I’ve heard, Dr Lucas is rather grand and likes to schmooze the great and the good rather than get her hand dirty. But then ten years on the Bisto Express in the gilded cages of Brussels and Strabourg would do that.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this campaign launch (and what took her so long?) marks the style of the campaign. The Greens are running the best funded campaign in Pavilion: http://www.theargus.co.uk/yourargus/letters/4585264.I_cannot_see_how_Green_Party_is_the_poor_relation/

  4. Damn, because the Greens have enough to fight one seat in the whole country then we must be as bad as every other party.

    We have been completely transparant with our party finances, and have always been willing to be open with the accounts and allowences of our elected representatives. Caroline Lucas was given a 100% rating from Open Europe in disclosing her European Parliamentary allowences (not expenses I should stress) and it is a character assasination to brand her in any other light.

    “By all accounts I’ve heard…” is no founded argument. Caroline works tirelessly and is constantly making appearences in her South East constituency, as well as making as many media appearences as possible with her duties as party leader. She is extremely hard working and the only MEP I know that takes her region-wide constituency responsibilities seriously. She has hardly been on the ‘European gravy train’ and most of her colleagues would reject the charge that Caroline Lucas is in politics for the money. She wouldn’t be a Green if she was.

    Sorry, Dan Wilson, but your charges against Caroline Lucas seem very petty.

  5. Maybe.
    But at least she isn’t a lying,privatising,corrupt,tax raising,service cutting,pension cutting,polluting warmonger.
    The 3 main parties all say that they want to make ordinary people pay for the mess the politicians,bankers and businessmen have made of the economy and the planet.
    Most people either won’t vote for any of them,or will vote only to keep the other b*****s out.
    At least a vote for Dr Lucas is a vote for positive change that benefits the majority.
    And even one minority MP will shake up the others more than none.

  6. “Fabrica” sounds all right to me. I had a look at their website, and they do:
    1. Art events.
    2. Schools and other education work.
    3. A resource library for artists.
    4. A volunteer placement scheme.

    It’s also photogenic, and about a third of a mile from your actual Pavilion, after which the constituency is named. I’m sure she won’t spend the whole campaign there, though.

  7. “By all accounts I’ve heard…” is no founded argument.””

    Indeed. But it it is my point of view. I have never met nor seen Dr Lucas. I only have reports. For reference, I’m a voter in Brighton Pavilion. She is absent fom my perspective.

    I dispute that Dr Lucas is transparent on her “allowances”. My emails to her office in April remain unanswered. My views on her claims are here: http://www.wilsondan.co.uk/2009/05/29/caroline-lucas-mep-green-party-fat-cat/

    Why doesn’t she go above and beyond and publish reciepts? We know the total sums, but we don’t know the details.

    For instance: how much of those travel allownaces is spent on flying?

    We just don’t know.

  8. Cheers for the reply, Mr. Wilson (I’m assuming you don’t have another title, but please correct me if I’m wrong). A few points though, I still refute the idea that she is somehow a ‘fat cat’ or part of a ‘sleaze’ culture, she wouldn’t be as respected as she is if that is the case. Open Europe, the independent think-tank that pushes for greater reform of the EU, was more than satisfied with Caroline’s accounts and gave her a resounding 100% rating. If she was doing anything that in anyway seemed ‘wrong’ or inappropriate then they would have blown the whistle.

    I myself would like Caroline to go further in the disclosure of her allowances, particularly the ammount she spends on flying, as you say. But Caroline is much more advanced in disclosing her accounts than most other MEPs, including the majority of Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative MEPs (no point even mentioning UKIP as we all known what they’re like). Unless the other parties step forward and attempt to breed a new culture of transparency and openess on allowances, where by which everyone is falling over themselves to recieve a ‘100% rating’ either from Open Europe or the voters, then the publishing of reciepts would be some way off.

    I’m sure if Labour (or any other party) attempted to ‘smear’ Caroline Lucas, then the Greens would come back just as strong by using the endless ammount of ammo they have on all the main parties from ‘Expenses-Gate.’ Would they risk opening up that packet of biscuits? It could prove costly.

    Luke

  9. Hello,

    I work at Fabrica and whatever the rights and wrongs of the launch taking place here are, is not for me to say. However, I do want to take issue with the idea that Fabrica is elitist and I fear that the writer’s use of the word betrays ignorance of what we do and therefore a lazy assumption that because we are a contemporary art gallery we are somehow elitist.

    We are an open, accessible, free organisation that in addition to putting on exhibitions, runs a programme of free events alongside them including drop in workshops for kids, talks, film screenings, gallery tours for those with visual impairments and many more.

    We have recently worked on a programme with young offenders and are currently carrying out research into working with older people, particularly those isolated in care. We run a resource for local artists giving them the opportunity to network and undertake professional development.

    I could go on but primarily we are a gallery in the centre of Brighton in an otherwise very commercial area that allows you to walk in and have a great experience, or not, of contemporary visual art, to talk about it, or not, with our gallery assistants, to air your opinion good or bad, to come along to an event, or not, to deepen your understanding and all of that is free.

    The idea that we are elitist is not only wrong and unhelpful, it may also prevent people from coming to the gallery that might enjoy a rich experience because of a lazy assertion that will back up their fear that art isn’t for them because they think they won’t get it. That is a profound shame.

    Laurence
    Development Manager
    Fabrica Gallery

  10. […] Who on earth is advising Caroline Lucas? « Brighton Politics Blog […]

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