What might prompt a voter to support the Green Party? Perhaps the lure of a ‘citizens income’ of £71 a week, or maybe the promise to legalise Al Qaeda is attractive? No, surely it’s more likely to be a combination of the persuasive interview Ms Bennett gave on LBC on the 24th of February and the party’s promise to aim for zero or negative economic growth? Sarcasm aside, there does seem to be a worrying level of support for the Green Party, especially amongst students. After the tuition fee fiasco with the Liberal Democrats, it is understandable that some are turning to find a new protest party – but this may produce a result that no-one wants. A result no one wants in producing an apparent winner that voters, by popular vote, did not want. Equally as bad, it could produce a government with a lower percentage of the popular vote than we have seen in modern history – something not good for democracy.
The problem with the Green Party is that they point out some important issues and problems like inequality and climate change, but offer totally ridiculous policy responses. Their policy to solve inequality is to provide the citizens income of £71 a week to everyone: not only would this be unquestionably unaffordable (£240 – £280 billion), but wouldn’t make any difference – providing £3700 to both the poor and the rich wouldn’t actually achieve anything except boost the consumption they want to so badly curtail. Meanwhile the flagship policy to deal with climate change is to reduce consumption (and consequently economic growth) to zero or negative – which actually hits the poorest the hardest as businesses close and cut back on recruitment.
So no mention of improving education and skills training or of increasing the personal taxation threshold? No mention of achieving global co-operation on climate change and boosting funding for the green investment bank? The three main parties all offer plausible and persuasive, yet different, solutions to the problems we face as a country. The Green Party does not. Thriving off protest and disillusionment are not traits of a serious political party. The Greens aren’t as cuddly and optimistic as they seem; they’re much more like a watermelon – green on the outside but deep red inside. That’s why I won’t be voting Green.