The Greens don’t do genuine community politics

In previous posts I have been critical of the Green Party and its apparent lack of campaigning ability.  Give it a climate camp, and it does fine; Pride and it is there. But when it comes to issues that impact on ordinary people, like post office closures, it hardly has the finest record in town (notwithstanding what Green Amy tells me).

Today I took a stroll through the Open Market, in the heart of St Peters and North Laine, the area represented by two former Green Leaders, Pete West and Keith Taylor, an a third Green councillor whose name always escapes me and must have the lowest profile of all his colleagues (although Alex Phillips seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth since her election).

The Open Market is dying on its knees. Stall after stall is closing.  Even Open Market Matriarch and Tory Leader of the Council, Mary Mears, has closed her stall.

But where on earth are the Greens? Why is there no campaign? Where is the petition, the march, even an occupation? It is because the Greens don’t do genuine community politics. In St Peters and North Laine they have office, but don’t know how to use it.

5 Responses

  1. Slightly iffy start to your proposal that Greens don’t “do” community politics – the issues that matter to ordinary people according to you. The Greens “do” Pride – but they’re not “ordinary” people are they ?? You should know better than that “Brighton Politics Blogger”.
    I manned a stall myself outside the Open Market earlier this year when the Green Party were campaigning to save the Market and Against the planning, then in the works of a giant Tesco which would have had a footprint along a third of London Road. We had a stall, a petition, and a lot of “community” interest. But we don’t have the numbers to run it every weekend. Maybe you should join and get active ?

  2. I absolutely agree.

    In my view Green Party politicians are interested in two things – the Green Party and and a seat at Westminster. The real concerns of Brighton people don’t register with them at all.

  3. Coincidentally, I was down at the Open Market a few weeks back and I was shocked by how it lacked the vibrancy of when I was a kid. I bought a few bits at Ovetts and also some veg at (ahem) Mears. But it was very sad to see the place. My mum and dad used to do much of the family shop there… (and not so many years ago!)

    The Open Market should and could be a hub of seasonal, affordable veg and produce for folk and a real hub that could drag up the generally rather miserable London Road.

    St Peter’s and North Laine was the first Green stronghold in Brighton and I don’t recall the Greens ever speaking up for this potentailly great (and green!) resource. Even if they have, why are we here now?

    I’d support any real campaign to revive the good old open market.

  4. So everyone is expecting that elected representatives should always be the leaders. No one, not even BPB or Dan Wilson, is prepared to kick-start a major campaign to save the Open Market? It is just expected that elected representatives should be doing it because they clearly have nothing else to be doing?

    I’m sorry to be a cynic but I’ve always believed any progressive has a good sense to cut-out a middle man and to take their own lead on something. If we’re always waiting around for a ‘champion’ to come along then nothing would ever get done and any kind of community response to a concern would be left for the ‘official’ channels.

    If neither Dan Wilson or BPB has been making use of the Open Market for some time now on a regular basis then I’m sure that is the same for many other consumers. Do they advocate dragging people along to the Open Market? I would hope that is not seen as a viable option for any campaign.

    I just think there is a real lack of thought behind the ‘analysis’ on much of the Greens’ activity.

  5. I don’t shop at the open market very much because I just don’t in that part of town. And also, in it’s present state it’s not a great resource. But point taken, maybe time to excercise a bit of wallet power.

    I think that, in this case, that councillors are the ones to take this one on (and that means Green councillors in this case). That’s because the Open Market site is owned by the city council. Councillors are the ones to get action, not with a petition or a stall but using the power of their 13 councillors that they keep banging on about.

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