Every so often I post something that I found interesting on The Local – a website that gives you news about Sweden in English. I’ve spotted something today that was interesting but also highly appropriate given my latest postings on local politics here in Sheffield.
A study by the Captus think tank in Sweden has concluded that the policies of the Green Party would actually do less for the environment than those of the mainstream parties. The main argument being that Greens tend to oppose economic development and modern technological solutions, despite the fact that both of these can help us to find solutions to environmental issues. Probably the best thing to do is read the article yourself as it sums the issue up quite neatly and is very much where I come from on the Green Party in the UK, even though this article is about the Swedish Green Party.
The article also reminds me of some of the excellent analysis from Joe Otten on why he left the Green Party and joined the Liberal Democrats. A quote from Joe that pretty much sums it up (although I can’t find it now and so I am paraphrasing) is that whereas the Greens look at climate change with panic and despair and jump at the first solution they come across (usually sackcloth and ashes) the Liberal Democrats see it as an opportunity to harness modern technology and innovative solutions to find ways of combating climate change and reducing our impact on the environment, whilst also creating new jobs, opportunities and maintaining a high standard of living.
Many Liberal Democrats see the Green Party as next best after the Liberal Democrats. This is clearly part of the reason the Greens are currently trying to make a pitch for Lib Dem voters to back Sian Berry, their candidate in the London Mayoral election, rather than Brian Paddick. But although Lib Dems should rightly approve of a party putting the environment at the top of the agenda, the whole Green Party approach to the environment and society in general is far from liberal. Given that the Greens have forged an alliance with Ken Livingstone it is clear that they are very much a part of the old-fashioned lunatic left that the Lib Dems oppose. If you see yourself as a liberal (big L or little L) then you should never consider backing the Greens.