Strengthening the links between Labour and the Greens

A postscript to this morning’s post: I had intended to comment on the gender dynamic of the Bassam/Kitcat debate on Twitter, and to contrast it with the exchanges between Caroline Penn and Alex Phillips.

With Fassam and Bitcat, no quarter is offered, no quarter given. What would make this exchange better would be if Lord Bassam didn’t blame the Greens for the financial challenges in Brighton and Hove, rather he should blame the Tory-led Coalition for their obsession with cutting local government.

The contrast could not be greater in the Twitter exchanges between Ms Penn and councillor Phillips. These exchanges are robust and challenging, but they are done with respect and some affection. There are definite differences in their politics (Ms Penn is Labour, but with a tinge of Old Labour; Lady Everton is Green, but also with a tinge of Old Labour). Both fight firmly for their respective parties, yet both are respectful of the other, able to accept criticism and acknowledge positives in the views of others.

I think these two women personify what I like most about local politics. They represent what is positive about certain Green and Labour activists. I look to the day when they work together, in a Green-Socialist party. I don’t believe that they have yet met each other, but I suggest they meet for a skinny latte over the holiday period.

Where my gender theory is chalenged is the persons of Sven Rufus (Green), Pete Gillman (Labour) and Momma Grizzly herself (True Blue with as dash of Orange). Sven and Caroline Penn have agreed a Christmas truce (football and mince pies in No Man’s Land perhaps). Recent exchanges between the two of them have been warm and shows the way forward between Labour and the Greens. Pete Gillman, too, is a nice guy, but borders on being more focused on the Greens than the Tories. Should he see that Labour and the Greens have more to unite than divide them, he will be able to help bridge the divide between the two parties.

And then there is Rachael Bates. Momma Grizzly shows none of the sisterhood that exists between Lady Everton and Caroline Penn. And nor would she want to be part of such a sisterhood. While the Grizzly One will long remain in my affections, this season of peace and goodwill between humankind is not for her. But in spite of that, I wish her a happy Christmas.

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7 Responses

  1. I continue to think that Phil Spector’s advice about the Westbourne by-election is correct.

    I followed it this morning, and was rewarded with a fascinating slice of Hove and Brighton history which continues to resonate.

    Something which, building on that, brought more votes this evening.

    That’s how it works, well it does for me. But what do I know? For me, the Lord Bassam stuff is a sideshow and I rather suspect that the Labour bunch in Westbourne realise that while they toil from the back of a station-wagon which is sometimes parked on double-yellow lines – as if dealing in black-market goods (“want some leaflets, mate?”) – and watch the local Greens nip hither and thither on their bicycles, even from Patcham.

    Signs that it is indeed getting mean is that, somewhere in Poets’ Corner, one amazing Green canvasser from Patcham was accused by somebody – evidently not Green – of being a “Portugese hand pumper”; when I heard of this, I said that it is a new phrase on me but, on looking it up in Jonathon Green’s wonderful Dictionary of Sland, I find that it dates from the late-nineteenth century. I shall say no more, other than to allude to Woody Allen’s well-known take on the subject and remark that if it were used in the Council Chamber of another Councillor then, however justfed it might be, this would be a case for the Standards Board.

    So much for genteel Hove.

    • Are you talking of Phil Spector or Phil the Spectre?
      BPB -why should Lab seek some kind of popular front with the Greens whern greens are a threat in the University towns? And why should Lab do the same nationally when the Greens are no more than an irritation?
      Even in Deptford, said to have been one of their best locatiions it was really the Uni brigade at Goldsmiths’ that were the backbone, it seems to me.
      Labour has to fight to survive in B& H and will only do that by having credible policies, an election machine, a party organisation and a willingness to exploit weaknesses in the enemy when the opportunity arises.

      Support Greens as a progressive alternative to Tories if there is no other- why not? But Greens are not a party of the working class but labour’s roots are in the working class , even if it adopted managerialism under Tony Blair.

      Workers and the less well off should still support Labour out of self interest.

      • The Labour Party are not the party of the working class, they are the class that claim dominion over the unemployed, occasionally employed, and over the 100% rock solid, gold plated, public sector employed.

        The greens seek to steal that ground, but being solid upper middle class don’t actually understand ‘making a living’, ‘getting by’ and ‘struggling for survival’. etc

        You will both sucker millions of voters for years to come, but in the end you will be found out and get what you deserve.

      • Dear oh dear, Paul. I suggest you wipe the spittle from your screen, cook yourself up some Freedom Fries and have a nice long sit down.

      • I’ll not be sitting around, I’ve spent too long working for money that politicians appropriated and wasted (nationally and locally) – its time to make them stop, and save future generations from having their efforts appropriated and wasted on politicians vanity projects.

    • Mr Hawtree (or Sir Lancelot as I prefer to call you) you are a legend. Local politics would be so dull without you.

      Incidently I stumbled across your website earlier and had a jolly good read. Keep it up.

  2. With Bill stepping down as council leader, I wonder if his involvement with Brighton Seaside Homes will be changing at all?

    Greens avoided a referendum pushing that through, now avoiding one on the council tax rise…

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