I has been a while I know since I’ve written a blog article about what I’ve been up to, so this one is going to double up as a confession. About an hour after Jeremy Corbyn was elected the leader of the labour party I joined the party and then I e-mailed the Green Party to inform them I was leaving.
The reason I joined the Green Party was actually simple; it was my way of telling the labour party off. The labour party had basically lost its mojo; Blair’s government was almost as right-wing as the Conservative Party, and up until a few days ago had been committed to political centrism believing the only way to victory was a programme of ‘small C conservativism’ rather than embracing Left-Libertarianism & Democratic Socialism as it’s way forward.
I joined the greens as I was becoming increasingly political since the ConDem government took over in 2010 and I could see the effects of their policies first hand, from friends who had been sanctioned, to poverty wages and now since the Conservative majority government’s attacks on trade unions, however I could not in good conscience join the labour party as it was failing to outright refuse to cooperate with the Conservative government’s austerity programme; a programme which has hurt the most vulnerable members of our society causing many people to die or commit suicide through reckless economic policies.
The fact that the labour party has since elected its most left wing candidate in its leadership election, and has its own surge of support shows that a great many people in the British public want an alternative to austerity and that they are more willing to support a left-wing labour party; myself included. As I said earlier I joined the Green’s to give the labour party a kick up the arse – I am myself the stereotypical labour party member; a working class northerner, and I joined the Greens because despite their reputation as a single issue environmentalist party there policies were far more socialist than the pre-Corbyn Labour party.
This is in my opinion what caused the green surge, the phenomenon where over a relatively short period of time the Green Party managed to quadruple its membership; not because people suddenly started believing that environmentalism would stop poverty, because they were socialists and the Green Party was preaching anti-austerity & social justice. Don’t get me wrong; protecting the environment is a necessity and to quote my barber “as the caretakers of this world we are doing a shite job”, but if someone is going hungry to feed their children then I highly doubt they will have the luxury of thinking of long term issues like wind farms & climate change (despite the fact that they are important issues). But with a red surge which has put the green surge to shame in terms of the numbers of members who have joined it is my view that it is now the Labour party who is best suited to represent the views of members of the British left & be the voice of trade unions in government as it was meant to do, while campaigning as the leader of Britain’s anti-austerity movement instead of leaving that task to minor parties.
The green surge served its purpose; it gave a platform to people who wanted to speak out against the conservative government who couldn’t bring themselves to do it on the labour party’s ticket, and it made it clear to the labour party that if it wasn’t going to listen to its supporters then it could be replaced. But now the desired effect has happened; a party which will once again be the voice for the voiceless & hold out a hand to those in need. But now I can’t help but think that those socialists who joined the green party, like myself, would now do better stepping sideways into the Labour Party. Come 2020 Labour is the party which will be able to mount the campaign most likely to unseat the conservatives and the more lefties which join now the more the members of the parliamentary labour party who might attempt a coup against its new leader Jezza will be deterred by the knowledge that a left wing party is absolutely most definitely the wish of the members and the British left.