The Greens will never be a national force

In recent postings I have advocated voting Green in Brighton Pavilion at the general election, both as a positive vote and as a way of keeping out the Tories.

I am not a Green and Labour Party friends have been critical of my advocacy for tactical Green voting in the Goldsmit by-election. Let me explain my attitude towards the Greens.

Caroline Lucas is an impressive leader and a very credible candidate. Her honesty and candour contrasts very positively to the well drilled, spin machine of Labour.

Her weakness as a candidate in Brighton Pavilion is her poor record as a local campaigner. When compared to the current MP, David Lepper, who has been a community activist for over 30 years, Lucas comes over as remote and lacking local knowledge. She would struggle to make small talk with fellow passengers on the number 46 bus, if she was ever to catch it.

Being the leader of the Greens and an MEP will not help her overcome this deficit.

The Greens themselves, under Lucas’s leadership, have become a more credible electoral force. There are fewer eccentrics in their ranks and they have some very impressive Brighton and Hove Councillors including Bill Randall and Sven Rufus.

Ultimately, though, the Greens will remain a fringe party, incapable of making the breakthrough achieved in Germany and France because they are not of the left, nor do they present a coherent economic position.

Lucas as an MP will stir things up, but the Greens will never be a meaningful national political force.

Tactical Voting Needed to Beat the Tories

In this blog on Wednesday I said that Mary Mears was hanging on to power following the resignation of Paul Lainchbury resulting in a by-election to be held on July 23 in the Goldsmit ward. A victory by the Greens (possible) or Labour (increasingly unlikely) would deny the Conservatives control which they currently have on the casting vote of the Mayor.

The Argus has now picked up on this and is reporting that Labour, the Greens and Lib Dems might cooperate to oust Councillor Mears as leader of the council. This would mean that the Tories could no longer form a cabinet and all parties would have to cooperate to run the Council.

Tactical voting is what is needed, and both Labour and Lib Dem supporters should really consider voting for the Green candidate, Alexandra Phillips.

Goldsmid Ward By-election

The Conservatives in Brighton and Hove have been discredited by the antics of former councillor, Paul Lainchbury. Having behaved like an absentee Tory grandee, rarely putting in an appearance in his Goldsmid ward, let alone at Council meetings, he has finally resigned.

Had he gone in March or April the council tax payers would have been spared the unnecessary cost of a by-election since it could have been held at the same time as the European elections. This farce has damaged the reputation of Tory leader, Mary Mears, whose defence of Mr Lainchbury became laughingly hollow as she clings on to power.

The by-election will now take place on June 23.

At the last elections, the Tories won two seats and Labour one. But with Labour in freefall, its candidate, Liz Telcs, doesn’t have a hope in hell of winning, in spite of the excellent work in the ward by Labour councillor Melanie Davis.

The Greens are on the up with renewed energy and direction provided by Bill Randall who has replaced the pleasant but ineffectual and uninspiring Keith Taylor as its leader locally.

If the Green candidate, Alexandra Phillips, is elected then the Greens would replace Labour as the official opposition. God knows, Brighton and Hove needs an effective alternative.