Labour and Green campaigners must stop their squabbling and focus on beating the Tories

The finger pointing in Brighton Pavilion is getting out of hand.  Some Labour and Green supporters seem to be spening more time attacking each other than they do promoting their own policies.  For some it seems that beating the other party is more important than beating the Tories. Allegation and counter-allegation about dirty tricks featured highly on many tweets over the last days.

As one observer commented (sorry, mislaid the reference), both Greens and, in particular, Labour have emphasised in their leaflets who they think will come third. 

Beating the Conservatives on Thursday should be the highest priority.  There will be not benefit at all for either Labour or Green supporters, and more importantl ordinary people, if the Tories win Brighton Pavilion and in the country as a whole.

I appreciate that both Labour and the Greens have much to lose if they are not succesful in Brighton Pavilion.  A Green breakthrough will establish them as a progressive alternative to Labour and provide a springboard for further successes locally and nationally, probably at the expense of Labour. Failure to win on Thursday will put the Green Party’s prospects back a decade.

Labour campaigners need to consider whether a ‘scorched earth’ policy aimed at defeating the Greens is more important than trying to avoid a Tory government.  They must put aside their tribal differences and accept that there must be a Green tactical vote in Brighton Pavilion and Labour votes in Brighton Kemptown and in Hove. Defeating the Tories is most important.

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17 Responses

  1. I think a quick poster count might be instructive and I am down on monday to help elect the left candidate!

  2. I agree BPB. The latest Tory Leaflet home printed on A4 has convinced many I have met today that the Greens are the strongest party in Pavilion. Why else would the Tories put this our?

    Also the number of green boards in Patcham is truly a site!!

    • A couple of things are interesting about the Tory leaflet. It has the look of something run off a Gestetner machine by the SWP – and it doesn’t actually say ‘vote Conservative’. I don’t think many people are floating between Tory and Green, so quite why they’ve put it out is a mystery. Of course it does expose some of the nonsense in the Green manifesto, which has not been put under any real scrutiny.

      I have heard that the Greens are actually losing some votes on the legalisation of drugs issue – which is starting to emerge. I’m surprised the Tory leaflet didn’t include that. ‘Don’t knows’ are said to be moving towards Labour, and a Green canvasser told me yesterday that they feel they are losing some support to the Lib Dems because of the ‘Clegg factor’.

      On the poster/board war – I was in Patcham yesterday and saw very few posters for any party – maybe one every 50 houses. At the last general election the Green hugely out-postered the other parties, but still came third, and although they are certainly more prominent in more of the city this time, I still don’t think they have reached the number of posters they had when Keith Taylor was going to make history. The Tories hardly have any posters up – but their vote will emerge on polling day.

      So I suspect it is still a very tight 3 way marginal with nothing decided yet.

      • I can’t imagine too many residents are familiar with the Greens policy on drugs. It wouldn’t shock me to find that Labour activists are using wedge issues to campaign negatively against the Greens..

        Labour is suffering on the poster front.

        In 2005 you couldn’t move without seeing a poster for David Lepper. This year, it is completely different.

        On Friday night a bunch of Green poster boards were swiped only to see Labour ones remain in place in a few scattered places along streets. Someone is playing nice in the seat.

        Green policies have come up to scrutiny. Paxman gave Caroline a good grilling on Newsnight last night, bringing up stuff which isn’t even in the manifesto e.g. vegetarianism. Paxman wasn’t interested in talking about Green job policies, the Green approach to crime, nor Green education policies. As BPB siad, it was ‘Purile Paxman.’
        But, on the other hand, Caroline did very well under Paxman. No other party leader was asked a question ‘What is the ideal family size?’, as said, it was purile.

        We will see come Thursday how much work the parties have done. But, one thing is for certain, the Tories and Labour are crapping themselves at the prospect of a Green MP.

      • Dr Faunst said: ‘so quite why they’ve put it out is a mystery’

        probably because they think the green are more likely to beat them than labour….

      • I was asking the question about why they had sent it out becuase if I were thinkning of voting Green, and were put off by the issues raised in the leaflet, then I would be very unlikey to vote Tory. I would be more likely to vote Labour or Lib Dem. So they run the risk of boosting the Labour vote – and possibly depriving themselves of the seat.

  3. There is word that a spacecraft has landed in some central Brighton streets and, after dark, removed Green boards while leaving Labour ones. This is a most baffling case which has meanwhile left John Street’s finest scratching their heads… Presumably these Green boards are now being put up and studied on another planet as a sign of the magnificent, civilised spirits found on Earth.

  4. The sindy call it for pavilion – Vote Green – bpb do you work for the sindy?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/electoral-reform-clamour-for-change-grows-1960378.html

  5. Yes Chris. Mine went too as did my neighbours. Won’t be little green men though will it 😉

    Rang the real green men and women and we now have two replacements 🙂 I will keep watch for UFOs

  6. BPB, your “possibly related post” about “Labour behaving like bad losers” and conspiring with the Tories on the council to restrict the influence of the Green group is very relevant.

    Interesting to see Dan Wilson and Charlotte Vere sharing a joke on Twitter this week about voting tactically to keep the Greens out in Pavilion!

  7. Meanwhile. the Observer has this piece about people in Kemp Town and Hove wondering whether they should vote LibDem or Labour to keep out the Tories.

    The Tories are the party that, when I asked a Public Question about music libraries, replied by saying that they wished they could challenge me to a duel: that is the level of discourse on which they operate: it is pathetic.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/02/david-miliband-general-election

  8. Nobody has commented upon an interesting aspect of the Calvary debate.

    The subject turned to proportional repesentation and an elected Lords. Nancy Platts appeared to be in favour of these. Presumably this means that she wants Lord Bassam to be out on his ear from the Lords as is and running another campaign on the Brighton streets to try and get back into the Lords? The directly-elected Mayor for Brighton referendum, popularly known as the No campaign, suggests that he would have an uphill climb that would make Southover Street seem a doddle.

    • If these issues are news to you then you clearly no nothing of your local candidate.

      Nancy supports AV+ very similar to the AMS that Lucas favours. Nancy wants a fully elected chamber and would no doubt support the election of Lord Bassam who has been superb for Brighton with decades of good service (on the council and in the Lords). I am confident he would be elected comfortably and I would certainly work tirelessly for his election.

  9. In a Labour seat you want the ppc to stand down in favour of the Green ppc. Genuine question; would any Greens be prepared to reciprocate?

  10. Shall we put that down as a ‘no’? BP can you begin to see a flaw in your plan? If Greens aren’t prepared to reciprocate on that basis how could you ever do any kind of electoral pact?

  11. Let the voters decide!

  12. […] As you might imagine, one of the results of this is that Labour and the Greens have been going at each other hammer and tongs, as left-aligned Brighton Politics Blogger bemoans. […]

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