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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Peter Cranie Article

Peter Cranie had an article on reasons for voting Green in the North West region on Guardian Comment Is Free that gathered a lot of comments:


Vote Greens in to keep the BNP out

It's votes for the Green party, not Labour, that will stop Nick Griffin gaining a seat in the European elections

* Peter Cranie

As 4 June approaches, a serious threat hangs over British politics. BNP leader Nick Griffin is a candidate in the North West England Euro election. If he is elected, this will be the biggest step forward for the far right in British history.

Anti-racist votes in the North West region for Labour, the Liberal Democrats or the Conservatives will certainly count. No one can dispute this, as those parties will claim seven out of the eight regional seats. But it's the eighth seat that Griffin is aiming for. Calling on everyone to once again get out and vote for red/yellow/blue simply won't work on voters already disillusioned with the Westminster parties. But those few extra thousand votes could keep the Greens ahead of the BNP – and that is the scenario with the best chance of keeping Griffin out.

The Green party is taking this responsibility seriously. In fact the Greens have one clear tactical aim in the North West Euro election: to finish fourth ahead of the BNP and keep Griffin out of the European parliament. We put the Green anti-BNP case in detail at www.stopnickgriffin.org.uk. In contrast, Labour is claiming on its leaflets that "only Labour can stop the BNP". This isn't just factually wrong, it is actually counterproductive, given that many former Labour supporters simply can't stomach another forced vote for the government.

The North West Greens have already built a broad coalition of anti-racist support to enable us to play this key role in keeping the BNP out. Former Lib Dem and Labour councillors around the region are backing us. The Respect party in the North West has stood down from the election and is urging its members and supporters to vote tactically for the Greens to keep out the BNP. In 2004 our combined electoral support here was 6.8%, ahead of the 6.4% gained by the BNP.

Jon Cruddas has warned that the BNP may need just a 7.5% share of the vote for Griffin to win the last of the eight Euro seats in the North West region. Cruddas is right – but his nightmare scenario can only happen if the BNP finish as the fourth largest party.

Green party membership is up by more than a third since the last European elections. Our councillor numbers have doubled. There is heightened media and public interest in issues such as climate change and the Green New Deal – issues where the big three parties are way behind the Greens – and the party has benefited from the decline of Labour and the Lib Dems in the polls since 2004.

Voting to ensure the Greens finish fourth will be the best way to prevent Griffin sneaking in through the back door. It will also mean one more Green party MEP to fight in the European parliament for social and economic justice, for greater openness and accountability, for stronger action on climate change and for a massive push for jobs in the new Green industries.

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1 Comments:

At 12:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1ST OXFORD WORKING CLASS BOOKFAIR
Saturday 20 June, 11 am - 6 pm
Ruskin College, Walton Street, Oxford
www.oxfordworkingclassbookfair.blogspot.com
oxfordworkingclassbookfair@googlemail.com

We cordially invite YOU to visit the 1st ever OXFORD WORKING CLASS BOOKFAIR! There will be books, talks, workshops, short films and more books and magazines . . .

We plan to recover/reclaim some of the hidden history of Oxford, with its gallery of rogues, rebels and revolutionaries, to touch upon some topics of contemporary relevance to the man & woman on the street today, provide quality entertainment, discuss the big issues past and present & hopefully have a real good time to boot! - All in a relaxed and warm atmosphere!

The range of local groups invited includes; political groups, Trade Unions, community groups, campaign groups, booksellers and history societies. If you would like to have a stall email us at the address above!

The event will include a commemoration of the hundredth anniversary of the 1909 RUSKIN COLLEGE STUDENT STRIKE, a pioneering student uprising for independent working class education, that saw students breakaway to form a radical education and self-help networks based on an alternative progressive view of what education could be. They argued that it wasn't enough for the working class to have limited extended access to higer education, but rather that they needed a fundamentally different kind of education, curriculum & pedagogy to meet their needs and the needs of the class. They were involved in the PLEBS LEAGUE (a grassroots education iniative) and set up an anti-capitalist education network of CENTRAL LABOUR COLLEGES, many of the leaders of the student uprising were miners and trade unionists who went on to be authors of THE MINERS NEXT STEP, a classic text of rank & file trade unionism and syndicalism.

Along the way, we will learn the story of the RED SHIRTS, a group set up at Ruskin College to sabotage the attempts of Oswald Mosely's fascist BLACK SHIRTS to get a base in 1930s Oxford & consider how we fight against fascism & racism today. There will also be sessions on culture, trade union & labour history, feminism/women's liberation, ecology & climate, war & empire etc. More information about speakers, events and other happenings planned will appear on our page shortly - watch this space! Sponsors include the local I.W.W and trade unionists.

 

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