Five reasons you shouldn’t vote Green

Anti-growth, anti-human and bizarrely pro-horse riding: a Green government would be awful.

With the UK General Election only a couple of months away, there has been much discussion about the Green Party’s growth in popularity. This is something that both the Greens’ supporters and their detractors are putting down to disaffected Labour voters going in search of a progressive, left-wing party that fights for the interests of ordinary people.

In the 2010 election, then Green Party leader Caroline Lucas won the Greens their first seat in parliament, and netted them just under one per cent of the nationwide vote. Despite current leader Natalie Bennett’s recent car-crash interview on LBC, and a subsequent string of unimpressive performances, some polls suggest the Greens could win up to 11 per cent of the vote in this election, giving rise to what people are calling the ‘green surge’. But this surge is based on a sham. The Green Party is not now, nor has it ever been, a progressive party. Here’s five reasons why.

1) The Greens are Malthusians

Thomas Malthus is about as far from a progressive man of the people as you can get: the eighteenth-century cleric’s central idea was that the poor must be prevented from reproducing in order to stem overpopulation. And yet Malthusianism is the foundation of Green Party politics. The party was born in the early Seventies, when a middle-class couple from Coventry came across an article on overpopulation in Playboy. Solicitor Lesley Whittaker and her husband Tony, a former Tory councillor, decided something must be done. They formed the cloyingly named People Party – the Green Party’s first incarnation. The party subscribed to the Blueprint for Survival, a manifesto for sustainability by environmentalist Edward Goldsmith which, among other things, advocated deindustrialisation, a return to living in small peasant communities, the sterilisation of women and an end to all immigration. Up to the early Nineties, the Green Party, and its then spokesman David Icke (he of lizards-run-the-world fame), still wanted to reduce the UK’s population by 20million.

Over the past decade, the Greens have attempted to distance themselves from Malthus’s arguments – perhaps because the only other party advocating Malthusianism is the BNP. But although the Green Party’s recently published manifesto makes no mention of overpopulation, its website still has a population-policy page that talks about striving to achieve ‘sustainable population levels’. In order to do so, the page encourages people to live ‘sustainable lifestyles’ – ‘sustainable’, in this case, being a thinly veiled euphemism for ‘childless’. 

2) The Greens are anti-growth and anti-abundance

As the Green Party has distanced itself from its Malthusian roots, it has had to look for another way to reduce the human footprint. And so it has focused on curtailing economic growth and people’s consumption habits. A growing economy that produces more employment, more material goods and a higher standard of living has always been considered a desirable and progressive aim. But the Greens are insisting that growth must stop. Apparently, poor people’s desire to live plusher, more comfortable lives is nothing more than greed.

The Green Party’s website tells us: ‘Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, society has expected continual increases in material affluence for the people of the world, and has therefore relentlessly pursued the goal of economic growth.’ In place of this, the Greens advocate a shift from material production and prosperity to something called ‘wellbeing’. The fact that prior to the Industrial Revolution the vast majority of people in the Western world lived in unimaginable poverty seems to have escaped the Greens.

3) The Greens hate science and infrastructure

There was a time when, if there was a water shortage, people might think of constructing a new reservoir. This isn’t how the Greens would like to do things. We’ve got to make do with what we have, remember? New, large-scale infrastructure is anathema to the Green ideology. You can’t go anywhere in Britain without seeing traces of the blight of human civilisation on the landscape, and the Green Party is having none of it. The new Green manifesto gloats that the party would spend nothing on improving roads or expanding airports. What’s more, it plans to continue to fight for two old Green favourites: bans on nuclear power and genetically modified crops.

4) Green taxes would hit the poor hardest

Many of the Greens’ killjoy policies, like shutting down zoos and banning alcohol on planes, would make everyone miserable, regardless of social standing. But despite the Green Party’s talk of redistributing wealth and creating a fairer society, most of the Greens’ proposed taxes would hit the poor the hardest.

Under the party’s proposals, goods and services would be taxed according to how much damage the party deems these products do to the environment. So, if you’re less well-off, you can say goodbye to your carbon-belching car and jetting off for foreign holidays; the Greens’ plan is to make these sorts of luxuries unaffordable for common folk. Instead, you’ll be told to walk or cycle. And if you’re elderly, disabled or just lazy, their 2015 manifesto tells us that ‘animal-powered transport, in particular horse-powered transport, is also sustainable’.

As for exotic luxuries like coffee, bananas and chocolate, these will be taxed beyond the reach of the average pleb. Maybe if you save up you can have them at Christmas. Oh, and booze: the Greens want to raise the price of all alcohol by 50 per cent.

5) People will always come second

Central to the Green ideology is the idea that humanity is a burden on the planet; that we should be subservient to nature, not masters of it. The Enlightenment idea that humans should seek to control and dominate the world around them is wrong, Greens say, as it undermines ‘healthy interdependence of individual, nature and society’. Instead, the Green Party believes we need a ‘reduction in the physical burden human societies place upon our planet’. That ‘burden’ is what most of us call civilisation. And a lot of us quite like it. 

For permission to republish spiked articles, please contact Viv Regan.

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