Caroline Lucas has the Big Mo

In the West Wing they call it the Big Mo.  Bartlett had it. Santos had it.  Now Lucas has it.  Momentum!  The real difference is that in the case of Caroline Lucas it is real.  It may be the start of a snow blizzard out there, with freezing pavements and fresh snow everywhere.  But all you can see while slipping and sliding around Brighton Pavilion is Green.  I lost count at the number of Green Party activists delivering Green Leaf. 

In the past month or so, the Greens have posted a letter/leaflet to every household in Brighton Pavilion, had the ‘bump’ of the opinion poll that put Caroline Lucas well ahead of Charlotte Vere and Nancy Platts, and now they are blitzing the constituency with Green Leaf.  What was a stunning campaign in Goldsmid that saw Alex Phillips elected, is being reproduced in Brighton Pavilion, but eight times bigger.

Caroline Lucas has the Big Mo.  With four months or so to go, and with the ever increasing probability of a significant win, momentum is definitely on the side of the Greens.

I cannot feel anything but sadness for Nancy Platts, a strong candidate but for a party that is committing political suicide.  The Hoon / Hewitt betrayal  has wounded every Labour candidate.  Brutus and Judas, Hoon and Hewitt, two has-beens whose enduring legacy may yet be the destruction of Labour at the polls.

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21 Responses

  1. No sign of any Green literature in my part of Pavilion, I’m afraid.

    Still can’t think of any local reason not to vote for Nancy Platts, either.

  2. I haven’t received anything either. Nevertheless, I’m somewhat peeved at their arrogance in believing that this seat is in the bag – it isn’t. Of course I appreciate them for shining some light on the serious issue of climate change; I just don’t think their policies are the solution.

    I’m afraid Nancy Platts remains the best choice for me.

  3. As usual we have Labour supporters slyly putting words into Green mouths.

    Alexander – what specifically do mean by Green “arrogance”?

    What is “arrogant” about publicising a poll that puts you first, if that is what you are referring to?

    Of course, Labour’s Nancy will have her loyal followers who believe she represents their interests best, as will supporters of the Greens’ Caroline and the Tories’ Charlotte.

    I would have thought that the fact Greens are out in the snow demonstrates the opposite of arrogance – that in fact they need to work for the seat.

    Why are not more of your supporters out in the snow for Nancy?

    In my view, part of the problem for Nancy is that quite a lot of people in Brighton simply don’t believe her when it comes to her ‘policies’ because they seem so different from the reality of the Government she steadfastly supports.

    People in Brighton are quite serious and thoughtful when it comes to politics; they scrutinise the options closely and they don’t miss a trick.

    Best wishes

    Brighton Sense

  4. I agree, Labour are in a lose-lose situation. The plotters damage the party, GB damages the party by staying, he’d damage the party by leaving.

    And when you’ve never yet won a Westminster seat, the position the Greens are in, you need to make the effort. I’m booking my train ticket today to come down from Edinburgh and help Caroline’s team out in Pavilion.

  5. The Greens know this seat isn’t in the bag. They wouldn’t be campaigning their arses off in the snow and ice if they did.

    I seem to remember an Alexander Craven who was a one time Lib Dem who became a Caroline Lucas Facebook comment stalker. I may have the wrong person and for that I apologise.

    • Ah, don’t apologise – knowing that you know that I was a Liberal for five minutes and commented on Lucas’s status messages a few times (until she descended into an incoherent childish tantrum and deleted me) doesn’t bother me in the slighest. On the contrary, I’m rather glad that that a prospective Green councillor has taken the time to investigate me for expressing my own views on here!

  6. So what if she gets elected. How much actual difference can 1 MP make?

    Just look at Galloway. It took the Greens 37 years to get this far. How many hundreds will it take for them to get a majority in the House of Commons?

    Have fun with your protest vote.

  7. John,

    The point of voting is to vote for something you believe in. One Green MP will make all the difference because, unlike Respect, the Greens are a genuinely national party with a number of councillors in a number of different local authorities. It’s all about building for the future and if one Green MP can make it, then it dissolves the argument that a Green vote is a wasted one.

    It sets up future opportunities, especially in 2014, for the Greens to build upon the success in Brighton Pavilion. As this blog has already suggested, the Greens have a real prospect of creating a ‘Green’ triangle in future General Elections by taking Kemptown and Hove, as well as Pavilion (if they clinch the seat in May/June).

    There are other opportunities in Norwich South, Oxford East and a few London constituencies.

    I believe the Greens should be aiming for 10 parliamentary seats in 2014, which I’m sure they will be capable of doing if given enough national support in 10 target constituencies over the next four years.

  8. The big mo the Greens have is MONEY. With their millionaire backers and Dr Lucas’s herself bankrolling the party from her MEP salary to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds they aren’t short of a shilling.

  9. Dan (self confessed Labour Party supporter), you sound like a bit of an idiot saying that.

    Can you point out the “millionaire backers” and Caroline “bankrolling the party”?

    I’ve looked over every bit of the Green Party’s declared donation to the Electoral Commission and the majority of the ‘big’ donations the party has received have been legacy bequests.

    I’m guessing Dan may have had a few bevvies or something.

  10. Hi Dan

    Not sure of the source of your figures, but a quick search of the last declared quarter of donations for the parties via the electoral commision are (quarter 3, 2009):

    Conservatives £6.54million
    Labour £3.08million
    Lib Dems £1.38millions
    Green Party £76,000

    http://registers.electoralcommission.org.uk/regulatory-issues/regdpoliticalparties.cfm

    I couldn’t see an obvious millionare donor – but if there is one, they ceratinly aren’t giving much away!

  11. Luke,

    Thanks for calling me an idiot and a drunk. You, well, you, you’re lovely. *hugs*

    Your question is:
    “Can you point out the “millionaire backers” and Caroline “bankrolling the party”?”

    Yeah, happy to.

    Identifying Green party millionaire backers is very easy if you check the Electoral Commission website for 2009 donations.

    Here are three millionaire backers that donated to the Green Party in 2009 according to the Electoral Commission: http://registers.electoralcommission.org.uk/regulatory-issues/regdpoliticalparties.cfm?ec={ts%20%272010-01-13%2000%3A34%3A41%27}

    Peter Kindersley
    (for ref: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/specials/rich_list/rich_list_2009/article6142218.ece)

    Ben Goldsmith bother of Tory PPC Zac Goldsmith

    Gordon Roddick of Body Shop fame.

    Re Caroline Lucas bankrolling the party, here’s a quote from http://www.carolinelucasmep.org.uk/euro-parliament/#pay

    “Nevertheless, Caroline will personally be no better off as she donates the difference in the new salary, as well as 15% of the total, to the Green Party.”

    She donates a chunk of her salary to the Greens and also the entirety of the 2009 increase. The total sum is unclear (It really ought to be stated). I call that bankrolling the party.

    Incidentally, I’m open about being a Labour supporter (you quote “self confessed” but don’t cite a source). Openenss is good, no? I notice you prefer anonymity.

    Martin: I refer you to the answer above.

    Cheers,

    Dan Wilson

    • Hi Dan
      Still not quite sure what your point is.
      You say ‘The big mo the Greens have is MONEY’
      OK, so let’s look at the last twelve months worth of reported donations:
      Labour £ 14.11m
      Conservatives £ 26.72m
      Lib Dems £ 6.17m
      Green Party £ 0.3m
      Let’s see, so the Greens who you say have the ‘MONEY’ have received just over 2% of the funding of the Labour Party.
      The next thing you refer to is ‘ their millionaire backers ‘, but what is your point again?
      Yes, some wealthy members of the public and a few millionaires have made donations to the thousands of pound level to the Greens – one even gave £30,000 – so what’s your point?
      Let’s look at some individual Labour donors, and their donations in the last few years.
      I wonder if any are millionaires?
      [Descriptions are mine – financial figures from Electoral Commission]
      2007 – Lakshmi Mittal – £2m (Global Steel tycoon)
      2007 – Mahmoud Khayami – £0.5m (International Car industrialist)
      2007 – Lord David Sainsbury – £2m (Pro GM UK science minister and supermarket billionaire)
      2007 – Mahmoud Khayami – £0.32m (International Car industrialist)
      2008 – Lord David Sainsbury – £ 2.5m (Pro GM UK science minister and supermarket billionaire)

      2008 – Sir David Garrard – £0.35m (UK Retired property developer)
      2008 – Sir Goolam Noon MBE – £0.3m Food manufacturer tycoon
      2008 – Joanne Rowling – £1m (UK children’s author and philanthropist)
      2008 – Lord David Sainsbury – £0.5m (pro GM science minister and supermarket billionaire)

      Financial figures sourced from electoral commission; http://registers.electoralcommission.org.uk/regulatory-issues/regdpoliticalparties.cfm

  12. You’ve named three donors who, by my maths, have donated £120,000 between them over six years to the Greens. That’s an average annual donation each of less than £7,000.

    I think the implication of “millionaire donor” is “gives millions”, like Lord Sainsbury, who’s given more than £10m to Labour, got a peerage from them, then a Ministerial job, etc.

  13. I think James responded to Dan’s suggestions well enough.

    The definition of bankrolling is anyone who gives money to finance something. Every member of any political party bankrolls their respective parties.

    Caroline is rather honest with how much of her wage goes into supporting the party. I imagine there are a fair few members of the party who donate a hefty amount of their salary, including many who work in the NHS and other parts of the public sector.

    Do Labour MPs not pay anything into the party? I would be shocked, and maybe even slightly appalled, if they rested the full burden on local party members…as well as affiliated-TU and big business support.

  14. If any one is curious about party funding, and are particularly curious about donations made to parties by representatives, please don’t hesitate to have a thorough search on the Electoral Commission website:

    http://registers.electoralcommission.org.uk/regulatory-issues/regdpoliticalparties.cfm

  15. I think it is obvious to everyone that Dan Wilson would much rather see a Tory elected in Pavilion than a Green. That’s why he’s doing Charlotte Vere’s dirty work for her. One of the many reasons I will be voting Green, not Labour in the General Election.

  16. Mike,

    I was blogging about Dr Lucas’s gargantuuan expenses before Vere was selected. And I’ve been supporting Labour locally since way before the Caroline Lucas faux-green Bisto Express pulled into Brighton Pavilion. Or do I mean landed at Gatwick?

    I certainly am neither a Conservative, nor want to see a Conservative elected in Brighton. That’s why I support Nancy Platts and hope a Labour Government is returned at the General Election.

    That Nancy is a superb, locally based candidate with integrity and verve just makes it so much easier.

    • Hi Dan,

      Caroline Lucas’ so-called “gargantuan expenses” fund a legitimate office of several staff to serve a population of c. 7 million adult constituents.

      I don’t think this is the same as the personal expenses claimed a la Labour and Tory MPs at Westminster, which you don’t seem to say much about funnily enough…

      Pound per pound to constituents, how do Caroline Lucas’ so-called “gargantuan” expenses stack up for example against Hove Labour MP Celia Barlow (of bathroom fitting expenses) claiming etc?

      Even ignoring the point that an office to serve constituents is a bit more legit than shower screens how does it stack up?.

      Haven’t checked how open Peter Skinner, our Labour Euro MP for the Southeast, is being with expenses yet…

      So what is your point?

      best wishes

      • My point,Simon, is that the Green Party and its people are not the squeaky clean, positive campaigners, untainted politicians and not the practitioners of the ‘new politics’ that the you all claim to be.

        I also find your studied anonymity, rather at odss with the Green party’s ‘clean campaign’ pledges.

        Cheers,

        Dan Wilson

  17. […] for fear of splitting the vote and letting in a Tory.  But Caroline has had, as I said in a post on 9th January, that Caroline has the Big Mo – momentum (a reference to an episode of the West Wing). […]

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