If you can’t say somethin’ nice about Caroline Lucas, don’t say nothin’ at all

Craig Turton asks: “Why oh why does BPB keep on banging on about some mythical obsession s/he thinks Labour has with the ‘Evil Princess and All Her Works’?” Well, Craig, spending time with Labour activists during and since the election, they seem to have two obsessions: one with Caroline, the other with the newly minority Green Council.

Labour activists find it almost impossible to have a rational conversation about Caroline Lucas. Take someone at random …. how about ….. Craig Turton. He writes: “The problem with Saint Caroline (BTW I first heard that nickname from a Green during the plot to throw over Keith Taylor) is that being in a minority of one with in essence the status of an independent MP representing the Brighton Pavilion Allotments and Residents Association, means that her ability in Parliament to influence government and its agencies to act as a catalyst in facilitating change for the City is far more limited than that of an MP representing the DUP or Plaid Cymru for example.”

Most people wouldn’t agree with Craig. Allie Cannell predictably, as a Green, writes: “Caroline Lucas does work with other people in parliament?!?!? Plaid Cymru and the SNP give the Greens lots of help in Westminster. She does propose, amend and oppose legislation. How much difference would one more Labour or Tory MP out of hundreds make? As we said over and over again during the general election campaign. I don’t understand your argument……”

I agree with Allie. But then Craig would say: “of course you would”. But Allie makes a good point. Caroline Lucas is one reason why the Greens did so well in the local elections. In fact, every time I hear a Labour activist rubbish Caroline Lucas, it drives me further away from the only party I have ever been a member of, and one which I think about rejoining from time to time. But it is the hostil attitude of Labour activists that is the primary reason for not doing so.

I would suggest Labour activists should spend the next six months following the Thumper Principle (that’s Thumper from Bambi who said “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all”).

In fact, I would challenge Craig, Warren, Harris and any other Labour activist who wishes to take up the challenge – post one genuine positive comment about Caroline Lucas. Not a back-handed compliment, something genuine. I won’t hold my breath ….

28 Responses

  1. Well that should put UKIP ahead of Labour in your books immediately.

    Having cooperated with Ms Lucas on the Yes2AV campaign – and having been genuinely impressed at her support for it (despite a yes outcome likely costing her her seat) – I think that counts as ‘genuinely positive’.

    Of course, I expect to see our Green council follow her principled lead – and (having got only 33% of the city vote) not abuse the excessive number of seats that 33% gave them…

  2. Bappy, why doth thee protest too much about how Labour you are? You are forever telling us about how you’ve voted Labour, belonged to the party, fought for the ‘tribe’, painted every home you’ve ever had bright red.
    Who are you kidding? You’re about as red as my mate’s runner beans up in Whitehawk allotments. The intrigue lies in how uncomfortable you feel in your new Green skin. Why, Bappy?

    • The truth, Mr T, is that what I have said is true. I have never been a member of another party, would love to see the resurrection of the Labour Party, and would love to see a traditional Labour Party (not New Labour, not Blue Labour) forming a government. I think Labour could learn from the Greens and from Caroline Lucas. There I go again, protesting too much. My comments grading Labour are offered in a spirit of comradeship (boy, that makes me Old Labour!) and I am disappointed they a not received in that spirit. BPB

  3. http://www.standpointmag.co.uk/overrated-sept-10-caroline-lucas-julie-bindel?page=0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C0%2C1

    Caroline Lucas is an attractive, extremely articulate woman. However, I’m afraid she contradicts herself re feminism and racism and comes across as an anti-establishment hypocrite . Everything that is wrong with this pseudo- feminist is communicated in the above link- if you’re able to access it.

  4. I’ve often fancied growing watermelons. Green on the outside but red underneath. Does your mate have any space in his Whitehawk allotment?

  5. Speaking as a Labour activist (and as somebody that you would describe as ‘new labour’) Caroline Lucas is a bloody good campaigner.

    I disagree with her on policy, her efffectiveness and her rosette colour. but her campaigning is the best in Brighton probably.

  6. BPB’s reaction just demonstrates what I’ve posted here previously: that any criticism , however mild, is treated as the politically equivalent of clubbing seals. It’s okay for Greens to accuse Labour members of colluding with “illegal wars”, privatising education, the NHS, eating babies or whatever but you just can’t post anything on here however mildly critical without a complete some moraly outraged response in reply. Mike Taggart hits the nail on the head. BPB’s alleged hand-wringing support for Labour is about as realistic as Donald Trump’s rug. I give up.

  7. BPB

    Just to clarify; criticism of Caroline Lucas is forbidden on your blog.

    If this is correct why don’t you just merge your blog with the Brighton Green Party’s?

  8. BPB – I believe I have said many positive things about Caroline on this blog: extremely competent, wasted in Westminster, praise for her media skills; a cross between Tony Benn and David Starkey (meant affectionately), and so I think you are wrong to suggest that no Labour supporters have a good word to say about her. The real obsession is the Green Party (not Caroline) with their endless running down of Labour, whilst being hyper-sensitive to any criticism as Craig has pointed out. If the Thumper rule is to apply, then let it apply equally – although this could become a very boring blog.

    I heard this week, a little second hand, but an impeccable source, that Caroline is ‘genuinely worried’ that the election of a Green Party led council may scupper her chances in 2015. I’m sure they won’t be allowed to let that happen. This, and other comments made at the time have just confirmed to me that the ‘victory’ was an accident, and the real plan was just to come a clear second to the Tories. They just don’t know what to do now that they have their hands on the levers of power.

    This also demonstrates another positive thing about Caroline – she is well ahead of her own party in competence and political nous. She should join the Labour Party, although I suspect she is a Lib Dem at heart.

  9. Perhaps I should just say a Novena to St Caroline rather than engage my brain in criticism…….to me she is a carpetbagger extraordinaire, a parachutist into an area with the right demographics and who has managed to be what enough people wanted her to be: an environmentalist in Withdean; an antiwar true red at the Uni; a liberal, social rights campaigner for the intelligentsia across the city.
    She is not a Brightonian and can never hope to have the same feeling for the area as David Lepper had when MP

    Having said all that she is formidable as a campaigner, slick in soundbites, photogenic and rather vulnerable in searching economic debate. Her position as Green leader gives her a national platform.
    Unless she spends to much time in Brussels, or gets mired in some expense issue she is unlikely to be seriously challenged in 2015.

  10. The truth is, the opposition parties are struggling to come up with a credible narrative to counter the Green success in the city.

    Is criticising the Greens really the political equivalent of clubbing seals? If it is, it seems everyone from Geoffrey Theobald to the Argus enjoy clubbing seals.

  11. Why should any one candidate be above the right to be criticised?

  12. Nah I don’t have anything nice to say about her. When I met her in the general election she seemed rather rude.

  13. Zombie pins it rather well in my view. I can only imagine the stick anybody parachuted into a BH constituency in the same circumstances but from one of the two main parties would have received here and elsewhere.

    You’re entirely correct, BPB, in your assertions that Labour should really get its act together; but to translate that into a moratorium on us attacking the leader of what you yourself have pointed out is our main opposition in the city seems a little disingenuous.

    • um, both Nancy Platts and Charlotte Verre came from outside Brighton to stand as candidates here in the general election and both left as quicki as they could when they lost….

      Caroline Lucas had represented Brighton as an MEP for many years before standing for MP.

      • Represented the south east. Maybe she should have tried to stand in errrr Arundel and South Downs?

  14. So many of these comments overlook something: the voters.

    Parties always accuse others of taking away their votes, as if the voters’ minds had nothing to do with this.

    There is something about these comments which, in effect, is denigrating these voters for voting Green. The implication is that they are idiots.

    What I am hearing is that people in various areas wish that they had Green councillors, a Green MP.

    There will always be the two bit types who denigrate. If they feel so strongly, why don’t they make a case on the doorsteps?

    Meanwhile, I notice, on looking through the lists, that many LibDem candidates were called Eke. Was this an attempt at establishing a dynasty similar to the Fitch one? Of course, “Eke” is the reaction of many voters at the sound and sight of Nick Clegg.

  15. BPB, I’m in the same boat as you, I have always voted Labour in general elections, a member of Labour for over a decade (but about to resign again). I have voted Green in every Euro and local election for many years now and in Brighton and Hove elected many fine Green councillors and am so fed up with Labour will probably vote Green in the next general election even though Labour are best placed to challenge the Tories. I just wish Labour could be more like the Greens!

    Inequality is my passion and you think it should be the passion of a party like Labour as well. But they oppose electoral reform, even more opposed to PR than to AV. The referendum smoked out the majoirty of Labour MPs and councillors on that! They rubbish ideas on a citizen’s income and land value tax and kowtow to Murdoch and the City. They leave in place the most regressive tax – council tax, and do nothing about speculation (on property, currency, fuel and food) plus spiralling personal debt that redistributes from poor to rich and ruins the economy in the process.

    I had high hopes for Ed Miliband but his opportunistic attack on liberal justice policies by Ken Clarke have left me cold.

    Nationally the Greens might only dream of having a dozen MPs in 20 years time at best. Yet their success here in B&H has to give us real lefties some hope. The Greens believe in real social justice, a living wage of £8.10 and they recognise how environmental degradation is also a big inequality issue for the poorest. I wish them luck and hope they don’t bottle it like Labour did. Best they mess up trying to be radical than wimp out like Labour did.

    • I think what will probably happen if the Greens grow more support is that the Labour Party will shift to take up the Green’s polices and take all their voters.

      As an economist we’re continually told to look for the incentives. A political parties incentives are to get re-elected so they should therefore promote the policies which get them the most votes. By voting for what we believe in we can therefore indicate what polcies we want the most and therefore hope to change the bigger parties too.

      And we know that the big parties don’t really have any true beliefs any more. All of their policy setting comes from focus groups and polling. It would make them more democratic in a way if they didn’t just forget everything they said during the election as soon as they got elected.

  16. In Brighton Pavilion, all candidates from the big four came from outside of London. Only Caroline Lucas had any experience of representing Brighton constituents, a job she did for 11 years in the European Parliament.

    To my knowledge, Nancy Platts and Charlotte Vere were both from London, whilst Bernie Millam (?) Was from down the road in Worthing.

    I believe both Nancy and Charlotte maintained their London homes during the campaign, as Caroline maintained her family residence in Brussels.

  17. Cllr. Hawtree is critical by implication of dynasties-the Ekes? and Fitches. But the Fitch and Theobald ‘dynasties’ are awesome surely, if you think of the decades of service given by Reg, Stan, Marie,Brian, Rod and now Harris Fitch and that of Stanley, Geoffrey and Carol Theobald.
    Whether you agree with them or not they have all been driven by a sense of service to Brighton and I am very grateful for their efforts. There must also be an immense amount of distilled political folk wisdom running in those families.

  18. Just thought of something else positive about Caroline. She has a lovely smile. Just try Google images to see pages of them – don’t know how the odd serious one sneeked in!

  19. I think the suggestion that Caroline Lucas represented ‘Brigthton’ as an MEP is stretching thing beyond breaking point.

    Can anyone cite some ‘Brighton’ specific issues that she raised as an MEP?

    The South East region is huge ( http://www.europarl.org.uk/sites/all/themes/europarlPURPLE/images/mep_map.gif ), and has 10 MEPs – write to them and you’ll be lucky to get 3 replies all of which are likely to *tell*you* their established party line and why anything you say makes no difference.

  20. While on how ‘well’ represented we are in the EU , this is worth a read – the movement is to remove all local and national relevance – with EU wide constituencies/seats being competed for by pan-EU parties. And everyone knows how ‘non-nationalistic’ european voters are from the Eurovision voting results…


    The EU is an opponent of localism and accountability as are the parties who support it – so LibLabConGrn trying to play ‘local person’ card is actually a bit rich.

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