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UK politics

Greens are wasting a golden opportunity

Flooding in south London in July. Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Sea levels are rising. Forests are burning. We’re in the middle of an energy crisis. So why isn’t the Green party “one of the most powerful political forces in Britain”, asks Harry Lambert in The New Statesman. Germany’s Greens will almost certainly be in the next government, and at one point this year polled at 25%. Our own Greens only got 2.7% of the vote at the 2019 election, and their support is now at 6%. It’s not as if small parties can’t make a difference: Ukip “changed British political history” by persuading David Cameron to hold the Brexit referendum.

The Green party squanders its “priceless name” with bureaucratic weakness. Its co-leaders have scarcely any power – all the party’s policies have to be voted on by members. Its social liberalism turns off voters and there are “stark internal divisions” over its trans agenda. Sure, it may win over former Corbyn voters, but it remains unpalatable for the environmentally conscious “soft right”. “Why is the party preoccupied by anything other than the environmental emergency?” As it is, “too many colours other than green” run through its identity. Without greater clarity, the Greens will miss their moment.