“The best news of all? A Corbyn win will be the death of the Green Party. Hooray.” – Nigel Farage
This slice of wisdom, the born again UKIP leader delivered unto the readers of Breibart this week. The article was the usual Farage gumbo of liberal baiting and anti-EU polemics but I have to admit, he did make me think about the Greens a bit. Could a Corbyn led Labour Party really mean the end of the Greens?
I’ll start by saying, not literally. There will always be a Green Party in Britain because in some ways, the smaller the party, the better for a certain group of people within it. It could be ten people who gather in Lewes every year for “conference” – it would still technically exist. So what we’re asking here is will a Corbyn victory mean the end of the Green “surge”, which saw the party get over a million votes, an almost four fold increase on their 2010 result in terms of vote share? I would say, yes, almost certainly.
The Greens will never get a million votes in an election ever again if Jeremy wins. Why vote for a fringe outfit if one of the two major parties in Britain is running on the same agenda? I mean, if you are someone who actually wants to see those policies enacted at some point as opposed to feeling cool for being part of some nominal exercise, obviously? Not very many will opt for the fringe – certainly not a million. I suppose if Labour went massively to the right following the Corbyn experiment going awry (so somewhere slightly to the left of Ed Miliband then), I guess those same people could retreat back to the Greens. But why bother? That’s what’s so scary for Labour regarding Corbyn: having won once, why couldn’t they win again?
One way for the Greens to remain relevant while an uber-left Labour Party stalks the Earth is to actually concentrate on their supposed raison d’etre. The environment, I mean, just in case you needed reminding given the Greens don’t spend all that much time talking about it of late. They could rediscover it – lose the “attunement”crap and get back in touch with their roots. With the rise of single party issues, they could even gain some followers from different parts of the political spectrum apart from the left of Lenins, all of the new recruits simply interested in environmentalism whatever else might politically catch their fancy.
But I doubt this will happen. The Greens will continue trying to plow the same field, now gone completely dry, until the ten bearded men in Lewes scenario unfolds. Unlike Nigel Farage, this doesn’t make me want to go “hooray”. It actually makes me rather sad.