Thursday, November 29, 2007

Greens set to join the real world

With New Labour increasingly seen by many as a lost cause, there has been much discussion on Liberal Conspiracy of late as to whether the Green Party might be a more effective political vehicle for the British left.

This weekend, in what will be seen as an indication of their desire to be taken more seriously as a party, they are set to ditch their dual leadership structure in favour of having a single leader.

The history of the Liberal-SDP Alliance between 1981-87 ought to be enough to persuade party members that this is a good idea.Before the 1983 election, the Alliance appointed SDP leader Roy Jenkins as "Prime Minister Designate" only to realise half way through the campaign that the Liberal leader David Steel was actually more popular with the public.

There then followed a botched attempt to replace Jenkins with Steel as Alliance leader which had the effect only of weakening Jenkins to such an extent he was forced to resign as soon as the election was over.

It got worse. David Owen took over the SDP leadership and refused to give any quarter to Steel whatsoever despite the fact that the Liberals had three times as many MPs. The dual leadership of the "two Davids" ended in total fiasco in the 1987 election campaign with them publicly disagreeing both over whether to replace Polaris and over which of the two main parties to do a deal with in the event of a hung Parliament.

The moral of the story is that, the closer you come to real power, the more important it is that a party speaks with a single, united voice. If the Greens really can get their act together, I for one could see myself voting for them.

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3 comments:

Pamela Butler said...

...and do you remember how Spitting Image used to portray the 2 Davids? One tiny Steele in Owen's pocket (think I've got it the right way round).

For any locals interested the Matlock Mercury today says a coach will be going to the National Climate march on 8 December.

Are the Greens really ready for our votes? Maybe it is time to give them a go.

Matt said...

This is one of the best reasons I have seen against EVER voting Green: http://doughty.gdbtv.com/player.php?h=6b3c44e903719ca93eb2e44b95491a14

Snafu said...

Are Greens the new Reds!?!