This is an unusual post for me. I’m not writing it to convince you of my position but to invite readers to convince me of theirs.
What is a party that has for years campaigned as the socialist alternative to Labour to do when the Labour Party itself has reverted to being unapologetically socialist?
For the time being they probably want to keep going as a separate party. They can function as an insurance policy against the eventuality of Labour moderates retaking control of the party.
But if the shift within Labour proves durable then they have a real dilemma. Is there space for a far left ecologist party to exist independently of a much larger far left socialist party? The Greek and Spanish Greens have been absorbed by Podemos and Syriza, which suggests there isn’t.
A counter-example might be the German Greens who seem to do fine not withstanding the existence of the Left Party. But they have the advantage of operating within a proportional electoral system and appear to be a more centrist outfit. They are, for example, often spoken of as a potential coalition partner for Merkel’s CDU. Surely the average British Green would rather die – or at least let their party die – before contemplating a coalition with the Tories?
My instinct is that at the moment the best vehicle for Greens to pursue their objectives probably is a Corbyn lead Labour Party and that there’s likely to be some sort of pact between the two parties.
Should the Green Party decide to prioritise its independence then it probably needs to move in a less traditionally leftist direction. Perhaps focusing on rural areas rather than university towns. And replacing socialism with a souped up version of the belligerent parochialism that characterises a lot of Lib Dem branches in the countryside.
But that’s what I suspect. What do you think/know?