I once voted for the Green Party. Yes, in the early days of its existence I thought I had found a political party which had the same core values as myself. It pushed for more recycling, something which people of my generation had grown up with and believed was a normal element of civilised and economical living. Younger people today may think recycling is a new found trend but it was a part of life for those born during the war and growing up in the 40s and 50s. All glass bottles had a deposit which was given back when the bottle was returned to the shop, so no bottles were thrown away. If by chance, some bottles were left lying around, they were eagerly grabbed by the kids who earned some pocket money from returning them. I once tripled my pocket money by collecting, along with a crowd of other boys, the empty beer bottles left behind after the Derby race meeting on Epsom Downs. The milkman, of course, collected empty milk bottles daily. Our newspapers were tied up in bundles and left once a week on the pavement for collection. Old household goods were collected by the rag and bone man with his horse and cart. There was very little waste. Even uneaten food was not wasted. It was either fed to one’s back yard chickens or collected by the swill man who boiled up a melange from a hundred and one households and fed it to his pigs.
The Green Party was also in favour of the preservation of the countryside, and that meant resisting developments that encroached on it. But that was yesterday ….
But what is it now? It’s a party that is blind to the nexus between population growth and the quality of life. Blind to the impact of mass immigration on housing development, on the infrastructure to support a higher population, on the generation of household rubbish, on air quality in urban areas, on all those things that economists call “externalities” because they impinge on people without ever being taken into account in conventional market measurements. Thus, GDP may increase for ever and a day, but it does not mean that individuals are better off. In this, the Green Party is no better than the shower that constitute the present Government (and previous recent governments back to the Blair era).
Green Party Platitudes
What does the Green Party believe in? Well, most of it is pious platitudes: a just, equitable and sustainable society, a society that meets everybody’s needs, a job for everyone, a secure and affordable place to live for everyone, and a planet protected from climate change. I would think that every political party would support these aims. However, there is not a great deal of “greenness” there. Anyhow, how would the Green Party meet these objectives?
It does not say how it will guarantee a job for everyone (at the living wage as a minimum, of course), or meet everyone’s needs (and how on earth can it ever do that?). But it does have a housing policy. It will build more socially rented homes (council houses used to be the term) and bring abandoned buildings back into use. So as the population continues to rise inexorably (as the current Government expects if we remain within the EU), the Greens would be busily building more and more houses (300,000 needed every year according to “experts”), more and more roads, more and more other infrastructure associated with population growth. But, hey! What about our countryside, our towns and villages? Are they all to be destroyed or degraded? Yes, if the Green Party has its way.
And what is its solution to controlling CO2 emissions and meeting whatever target the EU imposes? Obvious – we build more wind turbines (though the energy they produce is erratic and very expensive), more solar panel farms creating landscape eyesores (again expensive and hardly reliable), insulate buildings better (no problem with that, but it won’t power our cars, lorries or buses), and – hang on – phase out nuclear power even though it produces no CO2! According to the Green Party, “a rapid transition to a zero-carbon sustainable economy will create millions of jobs and secure a safe climate for our children and grandchildren.”
It is all pie in the sky, totally unachievable, for even if the UK could get to zero emissions (which it cannot within the foreseeable future with current technology) then global CO2 emissions would not be controlled. The UK is so small in world terms that increases in emissions from China, India, Russia and the emerging economies swamp anything the UK does. If we face facts, something the Green party has an aversion to, there is nothing the UK can do to stop the rise in global CO2, and in fact there is nothing that even the EU can do, nor the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (NCCC). It is powerless in the face of global developments.
Sustainability and immigration
There are 32 more policy areas which the Green Party believes will help the objective of sustainable growth to be achieved, in addition to the two identified above. Given it wants to build millions of new homes in the next few years, what does it say about land use? Well, it wants a high priority on the natural environment, and activities with high environmental cost should be discouraged. Clearly, there are two parts of the Green Party that never talk to each other.
Does it say anything specifically about immigration? You bet, given its leader is an ocker Aussie. For a start, the Green Party does not believe the UK or any “richer” region has “the right to use migration controls to protect their privileges from others in the long term.” So it’s open door for the world’s poor, about 6,000 million of them. But wait, the “Pardee” as their glorious leader calls it, also says immigration should be restricted if the ecology of the area would be significantly adversely affected. But the Greens only think this applies to national parks and the rest of the country can go hang.
The Greens also think immigration should be restricted if the traditional lifestyle of the indigenous inhabitants is adversely affected. So that’s something, isn’t it? But no! This exception only applies to the likes of Australian aborigines and not for the traditional lifestyle of you and me. The UK under all Green Pardee criteria must keep accepting more and more immigrants.
Somebody in the Pardee must have thought this might lead to problems, so of course they have a policy for that. Migrants and the local community should negotiate a resolution of any problems that arise, and that, of course, will solve everything. What cloud are these people living on?
Its ideas on limiting population growth …
The Pardee reaches its pinnacle of contortion and contradiction when it details its population policy. It starts by saying over-consumption of the Earth’s resources will lead to conflict and reduce the Earth’s carrying capacity. The Pardee is thinking purely in anthropogenic terms and the material consumption of human beings. Impacts on wildlife and their habitats are of no consequence to them per se. Their solution to excessive population growth is to promote international brotherly love, eliminate war, environmental disasters (not defined), inequality (again not defined) and social strife. Somehow, in this perfect world, population levels will suddenly stabilise and the problem will disappear.
Turning to the UK, the Pardee notes that the population of the UK currently consumes more resources than can be sustainably supplied from within the UK, and, even worse, more than its fair share of global resources to the detriment of the people and the environment in producing areas. So the Pardee is against international trade, which virtually everyone else considers to have been a major factor in raising living standards since it allows specialisation and scale economies, with benefits to the producer and consumer. The Pardee wants to reduce the UK’s “ecological footprint” by reducing total consumption, but it does not square this with also welcoming increased immigration. No one in the Pardee can even add up the simplest sums.
Its short term policies to attain its golden vision of a sustainable population level (and presumably those it would initiate immediately if ever, heaven forbid, it ever gained power) are quite simple: comprehensive sex education, free family planning service with free condoms for all, and new methods of contraception. Simple, yes; simplistic, yes indeed. And quite futile. The Pardee shies away from any broader policy measure which might make people actually responsible for any children they produce, and which might introduce some degree of control over the number of people in the country. And importantly, the Pardee supports continued membership of the EU, even though this condemns the UK to unlimited immigration and population increases.
Real greens should reject the “Pardee” and EU membership
So it is not surprising that I will never vote Green as long as the current bunch of naive simpletons are running things. And it is why I believe that anyone with any real green tendencies should vote to leave the EU. Leaving the EU in itself will not solve our overcrowding problem, our housing, our congestion, or the assault on our countryside, but it is a sine qua non for starting the process. Stay in the EU and we really condemn ourselves to an ever declining quality of life, a loss of countryside, and a continuing decline in the quality of our environment. The Pardee puts its socialist ambitions above any green objectives.