Labour or Green? 2019
23 February 2019
Until recently, there were big differences between the Green Party and Labour. Privatisation of public services, austerity, Trident renewal and an easy-going tax system were all Labour policies. Since the advent of Jeremy Corbyn this has changed. We have witnessed the adoption by Labour of many Green Party policies. Greens welcome this – imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
So why would today’s student support the Green Party? There are still major differences:
- Brexit – Nobody has the foggiest idea what Labour wants. Will they act to stop the madness or line up behind the Tories? The Green Party wants a second referendum to decide whether to accept any deal with the EU, or to remain in the EU. After all, in 2016 we were systematically lied to by the Brexit lobby: no-one actually knew what they were voting for.
- Fair votes – the Green Party has consistently called for a proportional system of voting. In the 2017 election Greens polled more than 500,000 votes – result: one MP. By contrast, Plaid Cymru polled less than one third of the Greens’ total but got 4 MPs. Labour has repeatedly fought against a fairer voting system.
- Greens are serious about the environment. Jeremy Corbyn’s party wants to spend £56 billion on a white elephant HS2 train. Greens would spend that money on improving regional railways. At a local level, Labour-controlled Sheffield council made a deal with a multinational corporation which has resulted in a chainsaw massacre of healthy street trees. In Leeds the Labour council is years behind the curve when it comes to providing cycle lanes so that people can safely bike to the city centre.
- Most importantly,you can’t get infinite economic growth from a finite planet. Labour remains a party committed to economic growth. Greens know that we have to live within our environmental means.