Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Boris ought to be the Green Party’s natural second-preference candidate

The Green Party have decided to endorse Ken Livingstone as their official second-preference candidate for London Mayor, and by so doing they have lost all respect. Or what little respect they had.

It is astonishing that a party which professes to prioritise the environment is prepared to endorse a tax-dodging anti-Semite whose political priority appears to be to make London a beacon of Islam. For sure, Allah is as concerned as YHWH with the whole of creation, and doubtless he seeks to mitigate the destructive inclinations of its present caretaker-guardians. But Ken Livingstone is a charlatan and a chameleon: his skin is only green when it needs to be (ie, when seeking to dupe the Greens). When you cut him, he is crimson red to the core.

In 2000, Ken promised to ‘put the environment at the heart of London government and provide for comprehensive environmental assessment and monitoring of all strategies which the Mayor is required to produce’. He failed to do it. He promised to reduce road traffic by 15 per cent by 2010. He failed to do it. He promised to ‘take a personal lead in ensuring delivery of an effective programme of home insulation and other measures to end fuel poverty and the scandal of winter deaths from cold’. He failed to do it. In fact, the number of households in London suffering from fuel poverty increased from 108,000 in 2003 to 328,000 in 2008 – an increase of 204 per cent.

Ken also promised to set a target for London to create 10,000 jobs in new green businesses by 2005. He failed to do it. He promised to produce an annual statement of London’s contribution to fighting climate change. He failed to do it. He promised to protect both the outer London Green Belt and inner London open green spaces from development and promote new parkland. He failed to do it. Indeed, every year under Ken, an area of green garden space two-and-a-half times the size of Hyde Park was lost. And an area of vegetated garden land equivalent to 21 times the size of Hyde Park was lost between 1998-9 and 2006-8, which represents a 12 per cent reduction.

And still the Green Party endorses him?

If they could look beyond their own statist socialist inclinations, they would see that Boris Johnson is their natural second choice.

In 2008, he promised to make London a genuinely cycle-friendly city by introducing a central London cycle hire scheme and increasing the number of cycle parks. Viz. ‘Boris Bikes’, now with over 40,000 cycle parking spaces. He promised to protect green belt land and open space from development. Viz. The new London Plan, published in 2011, which commits to doing precisely that. He promised to protect against development on gardens. Viz. residential gardens are no longer classed as ‘previously developed land’ and boroughs are allowed to introduce a presumption against development on back gardens. He promised to invest in 10,000 street trees to improve the local neighbourhoods that need them most. Viz. Boris was delighted to plant the 10,000th tree on the 14th February 2012.

Boris also pledged to encourage every member of staff in the GLA, TfL, MPA, and LFEPA, to do one day a year volunteering for a green charity. Viz. he has given all Greater London Authority staff three days a year leave for volunteering activities. He promised to make recycling easier and more convenient through innovative approaches, such as paying Londoners to recycle. Viz. in 2010 Boris launched a trial of a scheme called Recycle Bank which gives householders shopping vouchers or donations to charity to the value of how much they recycle. Since he became Mayor, recycling rates have increased from 25 per cent in 2007/8 to 32 per cent in 2010/11.

Further, with changes made to over 1,000 traffic light signals, Boris has vastly improved the flow of London’s traffic, so reducing carbon emissions. He continues to lobby the Government to stop the expansion of Heathrow; the hybrid bus programme will see 300 new hybrid buses introduced by the end of this year; and he has inaugurated the Mayor’s Low Carbon Prize for new research into low carbon technology, to promote innovation. The first winner was announced in ceremony at City Hall on 7th March 2012. The £20,000 award, sponsored by the Berkeley Group, was a student from Kingston University for his ‘green key’ to supply ‘new residents with an electronic key containing up to date information on local services and ideas to help them live more sustainably’.

And Boris has achieved all of this while freezing his council tax precept for the past three years to protect Londoners from further tax rises while maintaining London’s public services.

Conservatives naturally seek to conserve, and that includes the whole of creation. Conservatives might look to the Psalmist for their founding charter, for he sings: 'The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters (Ps 24:1f). Belief in God is not a prerequisite for being conservative, but neither does conservatism repudiate such belief. Creation is good not only because God says so, but because it is. Certainly, we may debate the extent and manner of that goodness, and disagree on how best to maintain it. And we may meditate or ponder whether or not the life of man is worth more than that of a sparrow. But this does not negate the natural Conservative instinct and politico-philosophical priority to conserve.

That the Green Party endorses Ken establishes beyond doubt that Green is the new Red. Like Ken, they reject privatisation and free-market economics. They support big-state public ownership, unbridled workers' rights, illiterate economic democracy and ‘progressive’ taxation (ie Socialist redistribution). For those Greens who genuinely care about prioritising the environment, Boris really is the only choice.


Blogger Sam Vega said...

Good old Boris. He'll need the Green vote to balance out the Black vote. The latter have not forgotten the infamous "picaninnies" and "watermelon smiles" comments.

All part of his larger-than-life spontaneous style, of course.

28 March 2012 at 14:43  
Blogger Oswin said...

Sam Vega @ 14:43 : after the London, and elsewhere, riots, I'm surprised Boris' comments still smoulder; such sensitivity! Most of the nation thought far worse thoughts.

Your Grace: an excellent piece, thank you. Following-on from 'Ken does God' - Caroline Lucas' stooge, and London, mayoral candidate, Jenny Jones, seems to have bartered their souls in a 'Faustian' deal with that other, tail-swishing Ken, of more popular legend. 'The Tragical History of Doctor Green-Partyus' will need more than Mephostophiles to survive this one!

28 March 2012 at 15:37  
Blogger Stabledoor said...

As laid out in James Delingpole's book Watermelons, the Green Party are screaming lefties, so they would endorse Ken. They don't really give a stuff about the environment, it's just an excuse for the redistribution of wealth

28 March 2012 at 15:52  
Blogger James Reade said...

And with this rant, "Archbishop Cramner" has lost all respect. Or what little respect the impersonator had.

Because of course, Boris is a principled politician not at all prone to any even slightly dodgy behaviour (such as suggesting donations of £2012 to influence his policy). Boris is also not at all a chameleon, it's only politicians on the left that have this habit of being all things for whoever they happen to be talking to. It's not like a Conservative politician would ever do that, bending themselves to fit in a coalition with a party of a different colour (say, that orangy colour of the Lib Dems).

And of course, Boris has never failed in any of his promises, has he? But it's ok if a Conservative fails in his promises, isn't it?

And dammit, those damn workers shouldn't have any rights now, should they? What a horrific suggestion. In your bizarre world where politicians are actually Christian and stand for Christian values, apparently workers have no rights. Interesting one.

28 March 2012 at 16:51  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

James, you're being a cretin to make a partisan point. What His Grace has said is that, if the Green Party were truly standing for green issues then Boris has done far more for their cause than Ken did in twice the time in office. This is not party political, it is fact! The Greens are, quite clearly, more a leftist party than anything else. They have had to choose a side to play down, because votes are clearly not going to be gained just by speaking about green policies, and they have gone so far now that they have forgotten what it is that their party was set up to do in the first place!

28 March 2012 at 17:34  
Blogger uk Fred said...

There is another point that no-one has made. The green party would prefer to be close to Ken, because he would be less likely to show up in harsh relief their own failures and opportunism

28 March 2012 at 17:44  
Blogger Oswin said...

James Reade @ 16:51 :

''Rant''? After making one specific point (?) you rant-on loosely, and far less lucidly, with an ill-mannered and gratuitous piece of self-indulgence.

Get over yourself; calm down, and address issues in the coherent manner you must once have employed to secure your current lectureship.

28 March 2012 at 17:46  
Blogger Anglican said...

If the Green Party would stick strictly to 'green' and environmental matters they would get many more votes. But - for some unknown reason - they add lunatic far-left policies which have no relevance for environmental issues.

28 March 2012 at 18:06  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. Green fascists, that’s what they are. Anti cars, anti heating, anti meat, anti business, anti flying. We’ll all be on carbon points you know. Use them up before the 12 months, and you’ll be walking everywhere and freezing. Never come across a political party run on undergraduate ideas before or since. The children of the well off, you know. Don’t know they’re born. Not saying that some of their ideas do not have merit, but they desperately need some more grown on board...

If that commie Reade supports the Greens, then there you have it. Oh yes, Livingstone can go to hell. Bloody oddball. {INSPECTOR SNORTS...}

28 March 2012 at 18:36  
Blogger martin sewell said...

I was the Secretary of the Green Party in the mid 1980's when a group of us attempted to position it in the political mainstream: as His Grace indicates, there is much in classic Conservatism which speaks to the Green agenda. Hearing of this initiative the leftist tendency forced an emergency meeting of the National Executive to begin a witch hunt shaker those who attended a private meeting to consider how a new agenda could be formulated for wider public discussion.

The fact that that meeting occurred as the Chernobyl reactor melted down, and the Party leadership was engaged in navel gazing rather than addressing it's best opportunity to explore one of it's then key concerns, tells you all about the priorities of those who went on to lead the Party.

You are right. The Left won, the environment became the pretext not the central concern.

28 March 2012 at 20:06  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Martin Sewell. Greens had a city centre street stall in the Inspectors west of England town during the last election. Young girl said that meat can no longer be justified as it takes ‘immense’ resources to produce. Apparently, every field to be turned over to arable to fill the stomachs of the anticipated extra billions of hungry mouths on the way soon to this overburdened planet. Didn’t hang around on hearing that...

28 March 2012 at 20:28  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Martin Sewell's comment above where he states that the leadership was taken over by a group with a new agenda reminds me of the Conservative Party. How and when the change to liberalism came I don't know but come it did. The millions that thought they were voting for one thing, found they had something very different in power.
Such is the risk with parties that do not have foundational principals and are not managed with integrity.

28 March 2012 at 21:27  
Blogger bluedog said...

Excellent comment, Your Grace. Boris is an extremely talented Conservative politician who has succeeded beyond Dave's wildest dreams as Mayor of London. Boris is intelligent, frank and funny, showing a refreshing humility in the exercise of his responsibilities. Most importantly, Boris seems to be able to avoid the crooks and spivs with whom Dave feels so fatally comfortable. In short, it is of national importance that Boris continues to succeed, particularly during the Olympic Games.

With Dave in terminal decline, Boris is indeed the king in waiting.

Your Grace is also correct in belling the Green cat. This bunch of Marxist misfits and anti-Semites are beyond parody. The late Dave Spart came close.

28 March 2012 at 22:48  
Blogger anna anglican said...

The Greens- no thank you! They want to turn the UK into a giant wind turbine!

Boris is a national treasure and lightens up the political sceen no end.

Camerfool has lost the plot with his 'jerry can' idea re the petrol strike. I'm just going to do some late shopping and panic buy in the local waitrose tommorrow.

PS- Dodo, as said on a previous thread my mother is a Mizrahi Jew and my father is from Rhodesia (that side of the family, I think, is from Cork).

28 March 2012 at 23:25  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

Boris is toast. But the fact that he and Ken, who will now be Mayor for life, are the only two people ever to have held this office says all that needs to be said about that office.

Even so, though, this is now a question of national sovereignty. Who chooses the Mayor of London? The voters of London? Or, through its Fleet Street retainers, the Government of Israel?

28 March 2012 at 23:26  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Hang on a minute, David is clearly on to something! Israel is clearly in control of the British electoral system and the Jews will definitely oust Boris in favour of that well-known Zionist, Red Ken.

Thn again, maybe he's as bonkers as the leadership of the Greens!

29 March 2012 at 00:22  
Blogger alejandro said...

Cameron is probably homophobic. send free text messages at

29 March 2012 at 00:24  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Mr Cranmer said ...

" ... ‘progressive’ taxation (ie Socialist redistribution)"

What's wrong with progressive taxation? Not necessarily as a redistributive measure via income tax.

However, VAT is surely not a very Catholic tax for a European Union based on Roman teachings? And additional government duty on fuel, alcohol and tobacco and sundry other items that disadvantage the poor is surely not Conservative?

Am I a 'socialist' for thinking such thoughts? For thinking that capitalism should benefit everybody and be based on giving as well as receiving?

29 March 2012 at 00:43  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

Youthpasta, look at wiping-the-tears-from-our-eyes articles by people claiming that they have been on the Left all their lives, but now, for the first time, just cannot bring themselves to vote Labour, because of Ken and his "anti-Semitism".

They said exactly the same thing every day for years about anyone who questioned the Iraq War, and they routinely about anyone who questions the rush to war against Iran.

"Anti-Semite" is their stock insult against anyone who does not agree with them. And their real agenda are in foreign policy, specifically as directed by a foreign state. We all know which one. But we mustn't say it. That would be "anti-Semitic". Wouldn't it?

Ken has many, many, many faults. But at least he wouldn't owe his position to media backers who also want to emulate their New York counterparts by banning Christmas trees from shopping centres and by screaming into silence anyone who questions whether troops should be sent to die for an entirely foreign, and in its behaviour largely hostile, country.

29 March 2012 at 01:15  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

David. interesting observations. 'They' make similar criticisms of the Pope when he refuses to re-write the Gospel and when he persists in beatifying past Popes.

That said, you must agree that Ken Livingston is a bit of a numpty.

29 March 2012 at 02:11  
Blogger Jon said...

I have to confess to being entirely disenchanted with both Boris and Ken.

Boris is mostly a policy vacuum - "Boris Bikes" were Ken's idea, from memory. I think he was to introduce the Parisin Velib scheme (which is much cheaper than the system Boris chose to use). Having said that, I used a Boris bike a few times recently, and the scheme is nice. Boris's new routemasters are lovely and nostalgic, but not really where we need to be putting the city's resources just now (which would be redevelopment, social housing and improving the existing transport infrastructure in my view).

Ken is awful. He doesn't help himself, he says stupid things and won't apologise and he hangs out with some genuinely nasty people. I can't bring myself to vote for him either even though he's always been good on gay rights (and yes I know many of his "friends" haven't).

Neither of them has the real interests of London at heart - seeing the capital as a stepping stone to national or international prominence. I'd love a Giuliani or a Bloomberg for London (and yes I know they both harbour presidential ambitions) but we seem to be stuck in Groundhog Day where the Groundhogs take turns being mayor...

29 March 2012 at 13:27  
Blogger Green Christian said...

As a Christian who is a member of the Green Party, I have to disagree with your assessment of Boris. Let's look at a few environmental issues:

Aviation is by far the dirtiest form of transport. Boris is proposing a new airport, which will put even more planes in the sky.

Cars are another major source of pollution - both carbon emissions and air pollution that directly kills people. Ken introduced the congestion charge, which helped reduce car. Boris is trying to get rid of the Western extension to it.

On cycling, the Boris bikes may have made some difference, but neither of them has come close to creating the kind of London-wide cycle path network which would make the bike a genuine and safe alternative to the car.

On public transport, both have increased fares in various ways, but Ken was responsible for crossrail, whilst Boris' contribution is a fixation with Routemasters over Bendy-Buses, which has significantly increased the cost of running the buses.

The London Green Party assessed how both of the main two candidates matched up against Green policy in key areas. Boris came out as 1/10, Ken as 5/10. That the membership down in London voted to recommend a second preference for Ken (despite his many faults) is hardly surprising. Boris' environmental record is patchy at best, and it is disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

29 March 2012 at 16:38  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Green Christian. Very much doubt you realise how damaging it is to your party’s credibility to side with Livingstone, even as a second preference. But of course, those bold and sincere activists don’t see it that way. It’s only when you get into your 30s are you safely clear of political naivety...

Any change on the Greens attitude to meat production ? Don’t expect the Green leadership, if there are any non-vegetarians amongst them, would find getting hold of meat any problem (...come the revolution...), nod nod wink wink. It’s the rest of us, you know. How would we fare ?

29 March 2012 at 17:54  
Blogger Oswin said...

The last paragraph says it all: if you accept Ken ''despite his many faults'' then ''disingenuous'' is the lesser of many possible evils.

I think Martin Sewell's knowledgeable comment @ 20:06 more accurately delineates the true politics of the matter.

29 March 2012 at 17:55  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Found it. Greens on meat. For their word ‘discourage’ read ‘ban by statute law’

AR403 Intensive indoor farming of animals, fed on soya, grain and fishmeal, contributes to animal suffering, environmental destruction and pollution. It is also energy intensive, requiring high levels of mechanical and human labour. The diversion of grain, pulses and soya into animal feedstock also contributes to human food shortages elsewhere in the world. We would therefore discourage these intensive indoor methods of producing low quality, fossil-fuel dependant, cheap food, and instead promote grass-based pastoral permaculture systems that mimic the animal’s natural environment. This will result in a reduced level of meat, dairy and poultry consumption, but produce more nutritious food and improve animal welfare.

29 March 2012 at 19:24  
Blogger Green Christian said...

@Office of Inspector General

Since I didn't join the party until I was in my 30s, I guess you don't think that I'm politically naive.

As for Ken, yes he's hugely flawed, as is Boris. But since these two are almost certain to be the candidates in round two, it makes sense for Greens to side with the one who has a stronger record on environmental issues, and who has proven to be easier for the Greens on the London Assembly to work with. And everything I've seen about their records and heard from my colleagues in London suggests that Ken is better for us in both respects.

As to the meat issue, meat production does require more land and more energy than production of other foods. And the policy that you quote explicitly does not say to ban mean by statute. To read it as such is to knowingly distort the policy. If we wanted to outright ban intensive farming of animals, we'd have amended the policy to say so.

Our policy is to discourage the intensive farming of animals. Battery farms of the type that produce the cheap meat you see on supermarket shelves cause immense damage to their local environment and to the people living in them. They also make it almost impossible for small farmers to turn a profit on meat and dairy produce. If you want to look into the issue in more depth, I recommend finding a copy of the film "Pig Business", a documentary that gives you more detail than I can in a blog comment.

Personally, I am a meat eater (partly by choice, partly due to dietary restrictions). I already try to ensure I buy the best quality, most sustainably farmed meat possible. I never buy meat from countries like Poland which have very lax regulation on factory farming (I usually buy British). I'm already sacrificing other luxuries to include quality meat in my diet, I'm earning well below the average wage, and I could definitely afford to pay more for meat if I had to. If you really want or need to have meat in your diet, then it would be achievable for all but the poorest even if all factory farming was banned tomorrow.


Ken and Boris both have very many major faults. Those who follow politics, aren't particularly partisan, and see more to Boris than the buffoonish persona would probably put them in the same ballpark there. But for those of us who consider the environment to be one of the most important issues, Ken's faults are easier to live and work with than Boris's. That's what I've seen watching from a distance, and that's what the London Green Party's membership decided. Ken has a better environmental record. He has worked constructively with Greens on these issues, whilst Boris has not. Realistically our options were to back Ken for second choice or to back nobody for second choice.

There are good arguments either way, but when it comes down to it, there are very few voters who are going to be less likely to vote for us as a result of that stance. Tory and UKIP voters are (statistically speaking) a lot less likely to care about environmental issues than voters for any other party (except possibly the BNP). Lib Dem voters are rather thin on the ground these days. Labour and far left voters quite like Ken. And swing voters are, by definition, not particularly anti-Ken.

29 March 2012 at 21:29  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Green Christian, isn't nuclear power the answer? We all want the planet to survive so you have no moral advantage in that regard.

The problem with the Green movement, as Mr Sewell describes, is that it has been captured by Marxists. They wish to nationalise the major corporations and centrally plan the economy. In addition, the Green idea of sharply reduced consumption inevitably leads to lower living standards and is implicitly anti-family.

Do you have a family of your own?

If you do the Greens economic model will threaten your children's prospects quite apart from their education and health. Shrink the economy and you shrink the tax base. Not good for the kiddies.

29 March 2012 at 22:06  
Blogger Oswin said...

Something good had to come out of this recession: RWE NPower and E.On have ditched their plans to build Britain's proposed nuclear power stations. Let's just hope they don't get the Russians to build them instead!

29 March 2012 at 22:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Green Christian. The Greens have so much going for them. If you are intelligent, and care about your environment, then it should be green all the way. but NOT as a political party. Your people could be the most important pressure group in the UK. Yet your one MP in a somewhat artificial constituency is giving you false hope that party politics is the future. The effort and resources required to maintain this party charade will be crippling. On top of that, you will alienate supporters of real political parties you need so desperately to sign up to many of your ideas.

On the subject of meat production, the Inspector just doesn’t believe you. We are omnivores, some of us actually LIKE the taste of meat, and lentils just won’t do the job. There’s emphasis on Greens looking at tasty animals as fellow creatures who deserve our love and respect. You don’t need to be too bright to know that doesn’t involve eating them. What your party is in fact offering is a managed decline of meat farming. You are not going to sell that to the man or woman in the street, but do dream on...

29 March 2012 at 22:21  
Blogger Oswin said...

Green Christian @ 21:29 : thank you for your reply; my apologies, I've only just noticed it.

30 March 2012 at 03:06  

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