To the Greens, stand aside in Kemptown and Hove; Labour, please stand aside in Pavilion

An interesting comment has been left by Dr Faust regarding voting options and tactical voting in Brighton Kemptown, Brighton Pavilion and Hove.  I thought it worthy of repeating:


“In Kemptown and Hove/Portslade this is very straightforward – if you don’t want a Tory MP then vote Labour. If you want a Green MP content yourself with working in Pavilion and trying to elect Caroline.”


“In Pavilion the picture is more unclear. Three parties can clearly still win – and despite the best efforts of all three, it is not clear who is trailing behind. Some Labour supporters will also be anxious to not have a Green MP given the effect this could have on the next Council elections.”


“If people vote for what they believe in then we will probably have two Tory and one Green MP in the city, a Tory government, and an end to speculation about PR for the forseeable future. If people vote tactically we can have two/three Labour and/or, possibly one Green MP – a minotity government, a real chance of reform, and another election shortly down the road at which a new voting system might apply.”


“I can’t see why any Green supporter would prefer the first option.”


Thanks, Dr Faust.  Where I disagree with you is that I am certain that the Greens lead in Brighton Pavilion.  What has disappointed me over the last few days is the hostility that has developed between Labour and Green supporters.


I would plead to both sides, lay off each other.  You both have progressive candidates, particularly in Brighton Pavilion.  To the Greens I would say, stand aside in Brighton Kemptown and in Hove. To Labour, I am sorry to have to ask you to stand aside in Brighton Pavilion.  We must not let what Dr Faust has warned about, that we might end up with three Tory MPs.  Rather, lets elect two Labour MPs and one Green MP. 

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18 Responses

  1. Elections don’t work like you suggest BPB. Moreover, they shouldn’t.

    In Brighton Pavilion, we have a great opportunity because we don’t need to vote tactically. Vote for the best candidate.

    Do you want Nancy, Caroline or Charlotte? It’s that close that we can take our pick and vote postively for the woman we think is the best MP for Brighton.

    For many Labour voters, including myself, voting Green would be as hard as voting Conservative. The Greens don’t share the values of a our working class, broad church Labour movement.

    • Sorry, that made me laugh. Give us a concrete example instead of waxing lyrical?

      Labour’s shift to the right and abandonment of ethical principals has a lot to do with your current predicament.
      Green Party policies are both braver and more imaginative.

      • Unfortunately – if you heard Caroline Lucas on 5 Live this morning you would realise that the wheels come the ‘braver and more imaginative policies as soon as they are open to public debate. Once off the topic of the environment it all looks very weak and ill conceived.

      • Well, here’s the link to the 5 Live phone-in so people can judge for themselves (Caroline handled the hostile questioning with good grace and came across as intelligent and principled I thought):

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/5lnpi

        Also BBC South Today question time. Again a rather conservative audience, Labour’s John Denham (Southampton) earns my respect for seeming honest. Excellent point from Caroline at 14:10 about the corrosive effects of inequality on society as a whole.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00s8y3v/Election_2010_The_South_Today_Debate/

      • Steampunk – I wasn’t malking a comment about how Caroline handled herself on 5 live. I would agree that she dealt with hostile questioning well. I have always thought that Caroline is an excellent candidate who would be wasted on Westminster. My point is about the Green platform. Whenever simple questions are put regarding how things such as the minimum wage of £8.10 are to be met, the huge spending committments, the real effect of Green policies on the price of air travel – the whole platform becomes discredited. Everyone knows that the nation’s finances are up the creek. How we got there is less important now than how we get out of it. The Green Party simply have no solution. They (although I suspect not Caroline) are fundamentally opposed to the economic solutions that will have to be applied before we can move forward and create a fairer society. The current Green platform is a fantasy – if they ever aspire to real power, rather than shouting from the sidelines, they will have to realise that a wish list of worthy ideals will not create jobs, houses, schools or fairness. There is no fairness in sending the country over the financial cliff.

        Those of you who are Green supporters had better be prepared for some fundamental changes. If Caroline wins in Pavilion she will have to drive through changes to enable to Party to expand out of its currrent base.

        Just one other quick question about the Green platform. Why do they think that people up to the top 13% of earners need a tax break? I earn just over the average wage. I don’t think I need tax cuts – and yet the Green Party is offering me one.

      • Shouting from the sidelines will do for now!

        I think you misunderstand the Green Party’s mission Dr Faust. We’re really not that interested in becoming yet another middle-of-the-road, “caring capitalist”, centre-right party as you advise.

        Thanks but no thanks. We’re more at home occupying the moral high ground of politics (than the gutter) and we value our principles over power for power’s sake.

        Better to spark ideas, apply pressure and provoke the major parties to answer the important questions of the day than try and compromise and be all things to all people.

      • steampunk – but you can shout from the sidelines as loud as you like – and provide effective challange – without becoming a political party who stands in national elections. If the Green Party is really just a movement, centered around environmental concerns, they stay like that. You have already been hugely successful in raising the issues up the agenda. If you wish to stand in national elections then you have to be prepared for the compromises and realities of that. The high moral ground is all very well – but when the Greens are running Brighton and Hove Council next year the realities will start to hit home – If you do value principles over power then don’t stand in elections. Actually having to implement changes, and live with the consequences, is what any party that seeks power has to do.

    • Hi – agree, at the end of the day we should vote for whoever we think is the best candidate.

      So we should leave it to local voters to decide who’s backing the ‘workers’…

      You say we don’t need to vote tactically in Brighton Pavilion.

      Although your Labour campaigners keep telling people ‘a Green vote will let the Tories in’.

      That’s a bit inconsistent…

      And it’s not really true in Brighton Pavilion as the Greens are as strong as Labour – if not more so.

      A Labour vote may let the Tories in.

      So which way do you advise people to vote?

      Are you for people voting for their real preference or for tactical voting?

  2. ‘The Greens don’t share the values of a our working class, broad church Labour movement.’

    Iraq war? Tony Blair? ‘bigger cuts than Thatcher’?

    • Trident replacement? ID cards? Fiddling expenses?

      Green New Deal to provide jobs, guaranteed Citizen’s Income, cutting NHS charges, increased pensions would deliver genuine help to working class families.

  3. Hello Mr Wall,

    I read your recent piece in the “Workers’ Weekly” today with great interest. I did not realise until now that quite so many blue collar workers spent so much of their lunch break mulling over Marxian critiques of society.

    One question, though: how do you square condemning the UK Labour party’s record on the one hand whilst on the other advocating pure Marxist ideas that have lead to some of the greatest atrocities in history?

    Lots of material love,

    Alex

  4. So Dan and Alex bring out the ‘class card.’

    Are you talking about the same ‘working class’ that feels so abandoned by Labour that they’ve punished them in almost every election post-2005? The same class which flirts with the BNP in Barking and Dagenham, Stoke and elsewhere?

    It’s not always about class, it’s about having working-class champions and progressive politicians. I would much rather have a politician who belongs to a party that proposes an increse in the national minimum wage, looks to over-turn anti-trade union legislation and proposes a national pension of £170 for all. Only Greens are providing a progressive, positive solution.

    Progress has got to be more than just representing the worst off in society, it has to be about delivering on improving their lives and their welfare.

    • Luke – I’m afraid that the idea of Greens as ‘a progressive, positive solution’ is just risible. I would give you ‘radical’, but their economic policy, and their micromanagement of people’s lives, are neither positive not progressive.

      The current Green Party pledges, not that they will ever be implemented, would bankrupt the Country in days. Capital would fly out faster than you can say ‘don’t blame me, blame the bankers’, leaving millions out of work and in poverty.

      There is nothing ‘progressive’ or ‘positive’ about this. Change will have to be incremental. The Country simply cannot afford the Greens as they currently put themselves forward. Haven’t you heard of the deficit? Until they go through the same process that Labour did after 1983 they will never be electable on a national basis. I believe it was Neil Kinnock who famously said ‘you cannot play politics with people’s jobs and with people’s services ‘. That is what the Green Party would be doing at the moment.

      Of course – one MP in Brighton is not going to bring about the implementation of any of the Green manifesto – so you can continue to support the ideals if you want and it makes you feel better – but it won’t change anything.

  5. Not getting much joy out of twitter. Let’s talk about immigration and housing. To be crystal clear and to avoid further BNP accusations (for which an apology would be appreciated) I am in favour of immigration. and recognise the cultural and economic benefits it has always brought to these shores. Within Brighton and Hove I cannot see how you can properly welcome immigration if you are not prepared to build more housing. Now I may have got this wrong (for which I apologise in advance) but aren’t the Greens opposed to more housing in Brighton and Hove? And if that is correct how can you reconcile these two positions?

    • Hi Ronnie

      Yes, the pressure on housing from immigration is actually addressed in our manifesto on page 46.

      We recognise the need for more housing to be available, especially social housing and affordable housing. Enabling conversion, rennovation, ending the right-to-buy scheme and doing something about the country’s million empty properties are our main policies, but at a local level we often support new builds provided a high percentage of affordable housing is guaranteed.

    • There’s a good article by Bill Randall on the city’s housing problem (and our proposals to tackle it) in the Autumn edition of Greenleaf:

      http://www.brightonhovegreens.org/assets/files/localparties/brighton/publications/greenleaf/greenleaf35.pdf

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