Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Green Party Begins to Lose its Grip.

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Mirroring the worst excesses of left wing sects?

From our good friends at Socialist Unity.

Reinstate the Bromsgrove One – Rectify the Anomaly Soon!
By Abu Jamal

As the Green Party of England and Wales gathers in Nottingham for it Spring Conference featuring the 40th Anniversary of the Founding of the Party, one person who will be not attending this event is Mark France.

Mark a longstanding Labour Movement and Socialist Activist who joined the Green Party in June 2010 was Expelled by a decision of the Green Party Regional Council at a meeting held on the Weekend of 2nd/3rd February 2012.

Mark was never given any clear indication of what charges were laid against him or provided with any evidence or documentation relating to these charges. Mark was not able to provide any defence. There was no hearing in which Mark was able to participate in nor was he able to present any defence. Mark was given no clear indication of the Disciplinary Process despite numerous unanswered attempts to clarify this with Green Party Officers.

To and insult to a series of injuries Mark was not even informed of the outcome of this Disciplinary Process until after he protested loudly via social media at his mistreatment. When he finally [19th February] received a special delivery letter from the party

For a political party of the Left with an avowed Republican Socialist Feminist, Caroline Lucas as the Green Party MP in Westminster, the treatment of Mark France seems to make a mockery of the Green Party rally cry ‘Fair is Worth Fighting For!’

The article continues,

At the same Green Party Regional Council meeting on the 3rd of February another longstanding activist from Cardiff, Anne Greasby, was also expelled from the party. Her ‘crimes’ seemed to centre on public criticism of Pippa Barlotti the Leader of the tiny semi-autonomous Green Party in Wales.

In Mark’s case, some jokey comments made on this website over two years ago were apparently used to accuse Mark of “promoting violent revolution under the banner of the Green Party” this reason for his expulsion was given to a London Federation of Green Parties meeting by a member of the GPRC.

If the “Libertarian” Green Party is capable of mirroring the worst excesses of left wing sects then something deeply disturbing is affecting the political culture in England. Finding the source of this undemocratic culture of control is something that all socialists need to address. Defence of the victims of this culture is part of rebuilding a genuine spirit of social solidarity.

More details of this sorry tale and the Greens’ “Dispute Resolution Committee”.

This should be read with the following:

Why I resigned from the Green Party

Joseph Healy, a founder member of the Green Left. 2012.

The battle lines became obvious over the issue of local government budgets and cuts at the GPEW conference in spring 2011. At that point the Greens had not yet taken control of Brighton, but it was clearly on the mind of the party leadership.

An amendment was put to an anti-cuts policy motion by Green Left and some of the Young Greens. It called for local Green councils to fight the cuts and to defy the government by setting an illegal ‘needs budget’. Councillors were dragooned by the leadership to speak against it and finally it was defeated by just 3 votes.

For many of us this was the writing on the wall and a sign that should the Greens take Brighton, they would implement the cuts. It led to a real fall in morale among many of us on the left of the party.

Painfully aware of the impact of any cuts budget in Brighton on the national party’s reputation and on its relationship with the wider anti-cuts movement, as well as the new political movements such as Occupy, I supported a motion calling for a last minute debate with a Green councillor from Brighton on the budget there. The motion fell and the majority abstained, prepared to accept any decision reached by the Brighton councillors.

It was now clear to me that the iceberg was fast approaching the SS Green Brighton, with its consequent impact on the reputation of the Green Party nationally. The collision happened when the cuts budget was passed at the end of February. However, the budget passed was even worse than predicted and was the Labour-Tory version, which the Greens swallowed whole in order to remain in office.

A few days later at the party’s national conference, despite vigorous objections from Green Left, the party voted to support the Brighton decision. Pragmatism had defeated principle, realpolitik triumphed over radicalism.

I resigned on the same day.

Healy adds this on  how the Greens Treat dissent.

This came to a head in the autumn of last year at the party conference in Sheffield. A highly respected and hard working party member, who held the post of head of media relations, was treated appallingly by the party leadership.

This included disciplinary action taken against him while he was ill, no proper consultation with staff and members, and a complete ignoring the of the party’s radical policies on workers rights and trade union support – using the services of a human resources consultant to undermine his position. As a trade unionist and campaigner for workers rights and social justice, I found it intolerable. Myself and other members, many from the Green Party Trade Union Group and Green Left, put a motion to the conference condemning the actions of the executive. Every effort was made by the party leadership to force the motion off the agenda. But despite their efforts, the motion was passed by a significant majority and the executive censured.

This did not go down well with the party’s leadership. Comments were made about the party’s activists and we were referred to in pretty damning terms. The conference decision was also pretty much ignored and the staff member in question was made redundant and forced to sign an agreement (which I was advised was probably illegal) that he could not stand for any office in the party for one year, so worried was the leadership about his popularity and the possibility of him upsetting the apple cart. All of this indicated a worrying hubris at the head of the party and a willingness to ignore the concerns of activists and members.


Written by Andrew Coates

February 22, 2013 at 12:59 pm

One Response

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  1. As the expulsion of Mark France and Anne Greagsby from the Green Party are confirmed, more bad news in the form of the latest developments in Bristol, where the Greens are proposing a £200,000 cut in the budget of the Adult Learning Service and the consequent closure of the Stoke Lodge centre in the city. Increasingly the Green Party is going to have to weed out the “trouble-makers” as it makes the compromises it deems necessary in order to secure a share of political office:



    February 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm

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