Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Election results

Reading: Local paper, some pages of Finnegans Wake, Morning Star, some pages of "Past Caring" by Robert Goddard, Urban 75 bulletin boards, Matt Sellwood and Derek Wall's blogs.
Listening: Simply Red (Don't ask!).
Viewing: League One football scores and reports.

Well, New Labour got the drubbing that was predicted in the local elections. Blair responded predictably by reshuffling his cabinet. How long will this man go on? A good election for the Green Party, with inroads into a whole raft of new Councils across England, especially in London, which apart from the handful of Assembly members, the MEP and one or two Councillors (most durably Darren Johnson) has been a bit of a desert for Green political success. Now we have six Councillors in Lewisham and more across Lambeth, Islington, etc etc. Derek Wall was actively involved in the London campaigns -

And speaking of Derek - here is something on his (reportedly very good) book which I must get around to reading!

More news on the election from Oxford, where the Green Party now has 8 councillors and the IWCA (Independent Working Class Association) also gained another seat, from my colleague, Matt Sellwood -

And here is Green Party News:

In Norwich the Green Party now has NINE councillors, and overall we are getting close to the 100 Principal Authority Councillors in England and Wales that has long been a target.

Hopefully the increasing spread of Green Councillors will bode well for both the areas where they can now have more influence and for the national campaigns against such things as the projected new wave of incinerators.

From an ecosocialist point of view I would argue that the new councillors should avoid formal coalition politics as they usually lead to the Greens being the whipping boys for failures without significant power to make changes. Many councillors have already achieved much both for their wards and at full Council level whilst maintaining a respectful distance from the backstabbing neo-liberal parties. Any alliances with parties of the centre or right, no mater how "pragmatic " or "useful" in the short term, make the longer term building of a progressive coalition for change at local and national level (involving union members, community organisations aand the broader left) much more difficult and unlikely. And in the longer term, the sort of political changes needed demand that sort of progressive/ left united front - fairweather allies from the (neo) Lib Dems and "green" Tories will jump ship long before we get to the stage of achieving the long term and sustainable changes that are needed. Those parties are about tinkering with or preserving the status quo, not a massive shift in wealth and power or real challenge to the neoliberal project. They are also hated by a good number of the people, political and anti-political that we need in our coalition. Greens have been praised for thinking long term - let us hope we see some of this from our new Councillors.

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