Monday, 26 May 2014

Guest Blog - The Outrageous Lies of the Barnet Eye blog about the Barnet Green Party - By A.M Poppy - Green Party Candidate

Roger, I enjoy your company, value your friendship, and appreciate your commentary on Barnet goings-on. I am hoping you will publish this rebuttal of some of the more outrageous statements you've recently made about Barnet Greens in your blogposts above.

The prompt was this comment you made on 23 May: “It is time for the Greens to wake up and smell the coffee. All they do in Barnet is scupper the chances of other progressive candidates.”*

What?! Who is scuppering whom around here? In all the wards but one declared last week, the Lib Dems and UKIP were also there, below Labour and the Tories “scuppering” the chances of the two big parties. Why are you picking on the Greens? I think I find my answer in the post of 18 May where you say: “I don't support the Green manifesto or agenda.” I suspect you never read them, but no matter you're entitled to feel hostile. Don't let that personal animus warp your accuracy.
You've stood for the Lib Dems. Does it pain you that we Greens are now firmly established as the third party in Barnet, displacing the LibDems in all the 2012 ballots in Barnet and in all but two of Barnet's wards declared last week? I could more credibly argue that those who get in the way of the Greens are scuppering the progressive cause.

Ah, that 'progressive' label – whom does it describe?
The Liberal Democrats who are working with the Tories to impose stringent austerity on local government, and whose credibility is blown to smithereens?

Labour who ushered in the privatisation of the NHS, were intensely relaxed about extreme inequality and who, in Barnet, voted for a 1% cut in council tax and, I discover reading your blog: “The Barnet Labour Party could have stopped [One Barnet] in its tracks. Local Trades Unions and Bloggers had dug up enough evidence to proove(sic) that the whole scheme was a disaster waiting to happen. Labour did nothing and said nothing. They never came out and opposed the scheme and never said they'd reverse it?”

We Greens are at the forefront of the campaign against the cuts and austerity (leading Green Romayne Phoenix is Chair of Coalition of Resistance, and with the People's Assembly), and are deeply democratic. We remain a bottom-up party, and we take no corporate money so are not beholden to big business and committed to that pernicious myth – the free market.

That democratic instinct drives us to offer people the chance to vote for a genuinely progressive party, rather than let the undemocratic diktat of first-past-the-post disenfranchise the progressives. Wishing to remove us from the ballot paper, as you suggest in your blogpost, is the counsel of despair seeking the least worst option. Who would that be? Ah, in the post of 25 May you tell us: “I think we can safely say that the Labour Party was shafted by the Greens in Hale.”

I share your profound disappointment that Barnet's Tories, who as richly as any local administration deserved to be booted out, are still our majority party. Being a bottom-up party, we are in a position to conduct discussions and make decisions in the collective interest. But not once has anyone sought to talk to us.

You wake up Roger, smell your prejudices, and see who is the leading progressive voice in Barnet this decade.
Guest Blogs are Always welcome at the Barnet Eye. Submit via the sidebar.

1 comment:

Don't Call Me Dave said...

Dear Poppy

I have never met you but believe you to be an honourable person. I am not someone who is influenced, politically, by anything Rog writes. But I have to say that anyone thinking of voting Green should just look at the disaster in Brighton to see why your party is not yet ready for high office.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. That said, if you want to remove the incumbent party from office, sometimes you have to hold your nose and vote for the party which has the best chance of defeating them even if you don’t agree with their policies.

In 2006, the Residents Association of Barnet (RAB) split the opposition vote and allowed the Conservatives to retain East Barnet. They did not repeat that mistake this time.

Of course, Green party supporters might say “We want to be able to vote positively for our party” which is a basic democratic right. But looking at the results, it is clear that a better co-ordinated campaign by the opposition parties could have toppled the Conservatives. Not that I am complaining. I think that a Conservative led council with a majority of just one will be unable to pursue an agenda that does not have popular support.