Deirdre O'Neill

What Green growth means for the left

Issue section: 

The Greens' advance in the polls is welcome because it shows the clear mood for radical change in the UK. But, as Mark L Thomas argues, there are limits to the project the party presents.

One of the most interesting and optimistic developments in British politics is the sudden growth in popularity of the Green Party. Last month the Greens announced that the combined membership of the Green Party of England and Wales and the Scottish Greens, at just under 45,000, had surpassed both the Lib Dems and Ukip. In the 2010 general election the Greens got an average of around 1.8 percent; last year they began to move towards 5 percent in opinion polls. In some recent polls they have hit double figures. That suggests that up to 2 million people are considering voting Green.

Who do we vote for now?

Issue section: 

We need to build a credible unified left alternative to Labour that is rooted in the struggle of the working class.

Half a century ago the American Marxist Hal Draper wrote a piece entitled “Who’s Going To Be the Lesser Evil in 1968?” His argument was simple. The choice between the two main parties in the US — the Democrats and Republicans — was no real choice at all. That did not mean the parties were identical, merely that “they tend to act in the same way in essential respects, where fundamental needs of the system are concerned”.

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