The Greens are a Left-Wing Party

This post was written by Salman Shaheen on February 23, 2010
Posted Under: Green Party,Socialism

Hat tip to Derek Wall for this report from an attendee of the Green Party conference. Encouraging signs for those of us on the left who see the Green Party as the most promising vehicle for progressive change in British politics and for those who see the party as much more than a single-issue environmental pressure group. My one disagreement with the author is that I would actually go so far as to say, from their manifesto, the Greens are quite explicitly socialist.

At its conference in London over the past weekend, the Green Party provided more evidence of its gradual evolution from a narrow environmentalist sect into a left social democratic party with a strong emphasis on ecological issues.

First, the conference passed with large majorities two resolutions drafted by members of Green Left, the Party’s ecosocialist tendency; one pledging support for the National Pensioners’ Convention and its election manifesto, and the other calling for the imposition of a top limit to the pay and bonus differentials in all organisations, so the maximum wage that any organisation could pay would be ten times that of the lowest paid worker.

Second, in its revue of the Party’s health policy, conference removed all the egregious anti- science references in it that had previously been such an embarrassment, and reversed its previous opposition to the use of embryonic stem cells in medical research.

Third, the make-up of the membership is clearly starting to change. Over the past year, party membership has increased by around two and a half thousand and is now hovering close to ten thousand (and rising). The number of young faces at the conference has clearly grown over the last year or so, as has the number of new members coming from the ranks of the ex-Labour diaspora. As one member, attending her first conference, remarked “I used to think of the Greens as single issue obsessives, but now I believe the Party represents the principles I spent thirty years fighting for in the Labour Party, informed by a realisation of the scale and urgency of the environmental crisis we face.”

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Reader Comments


There is at least one Green, who refuses to be labelled or stereotyped as “left” or “socialist” but argues the case as he sees it and trusts in the power of the argument and the position itself. Thereby exposing the principles to a wider potential audience rather than a narrow sectarian sub-group as defined by those very labels.

Written By weggis on February 24th, 2010 @ 12:23 am

Bloody hippy :P

Written By Salman Shaheen on February 24th, 2010 @ 1:14 am

I’m a green party member in Ireland. Id like to say that as far as the left-right party political spectrum is concerned green politics is a cross specter party. For example one of the Irish green party principles is “society should be guided be self-reliance and co-operation at all levels”-This belongs to a conservative ideology of social responsibility. Another example is that the party is euro-skeptic which is generally seen as to the right. Another example is that we as a country want to produce our own food,energy and all the things that don’t have to be imported which is generally seen as a national conservative policy. Sure we`er often not massive fans of big business but that doesn’t mean that were not social conservatives and don’t think back to a time in history when the world was a better place as many conservatives do.

Written By Ryan on March 31st, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

hope one day the green party can have a public meeting in cornwall whichth the leader of the party can speak

Written By michaelradcliffe on December 4th, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

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