Monday, February 18, 2008

Greenpartywatch: Anarcho-communists ... wooo

Nicholas Blincoe turns up again with a fairly bizarre article on the Greens. The Tories, it seems are quite green because they are mates with some of the right people and some of the Green Party's founders were of a barking right wing bent.

I agree of course that the Lib Dems are greener than the Greens, when we consider what might actually work. Blincoe is even lighter on the detail here, and this is not really why I bring this up.

RĂ©ponse de resistance goes to Green blog the Daily Maybe. He quotes Blincoe on the new Green Left faction
"Their anti-capitalist, anarcho-communist ideas, found in their founding manifesto, the Headcorn Statement, make them the Wombles of green politics."

And here's the rebuttal:

Sounds alright doesn't it?

More greens queue up in the comments to endorse the sentiment.

I'm not going to rehash the arguments again - they are in this blog's history. But there is something tragic about what should have been the pre-eminent environmentalist political party being side-tracked into flawed and failed political ideology. Mind you Marx would never have stomached their irrationalism.

Blincoe meanwhile seems to attach some significance to the formation of the Green Left faction in 2006, as if this was anything new. "The Way Ahead" was formed in the early '90s, (the 1890s?) with much the same agenda. These groups are not born out of a change in the party's ideology, but out of a frustration the vanguardists have with the rest of the party not being able to articulate a non-communist position without sounding pro-capitalist. That sounding remotely pro-capitalist is such a no-no indicates where the party as a whole is at, and has been at for a decade.

As for being entryists... no, to be an entryist you must have an agenda that the organisation you are joining does not already share.


Pippa said...


You're totally right, of course, that the Green Party is left wing and has been for some time. I don't think that it is Marxist or dogmatically socialist, however.

I was at Jim's fringe on 'Is the Green Party Anti-Capitalist' a couple of days ago. I'd say that most people in the room were much closer to Darren Johnson's (No) position than Matt Sellwood's (Yes). There was certainly a consensus that anti-capitalist was a deeply unhelpful term to describe our position. And I'm sure that goes for Anarcho-communist too...


Joe Otten said...


Interesting. I've been to large fringe meetings where Darren has been a lone voice questioning the merit of a fairly hard left alignment. Perhaps it depends on what else is on at the time.

And surely the election of Derek Wall as principal speaker does represent some sort of endorsement of Marxism.

I do think it is problematic to be broadly against trade, albeit with some qualifications, rather than broadly in favour of trade. Sure, you might not be seeking for the state to run everbody's economic life but you are still obstructing their alternatives. Irrespective of the environmental pros and cons.

Pippa said...


It was certainly well attended, it was standing room only! Perhaps the party has changed since you were around?

Without wanting to go into too much detail about internal politics on the blog of someone from another party (!)... I think Derek's election was far more to do with some irregularities surrounding another candidate's nomination and then the power of incumbency combined with people's concerns ahead of the leadership referendum.

I'm really not in a position to get into a debate about economic policy. Other than to say that we are less liberal when it comes to markets than the lib dems but most certainly not into planned economies (as I'm sure you well know).


Joe Otten said...

Pippa, I understand where you're coming from. I realise that there are many members who are left cold by all the left wingery.

So where is the articulation of a workable alternative? If the alternative is the funny money crowd, I would rather have the socialists - wow I am agreeing with Derek Wall....

Can a political party really say on the doorstep that maybe socialism is right, we haven't quite decided, there are more important things than all that dull economics. A noble sentiment perhaps, but why should either supporters or opponents of socialism vote for it?