|Please find below a proposed letter for publication sent to the Guardian earlier today. Fingers crossed for tomorrow’s paper…
07 November 2011
John Harris is right to criticise the parties of the “moribund mainstream” for their lack of vision, values and imagination (“This moribund mainstream risks letting loose the ghouls”, 5 November). As he rightly points out, the Liberal Democrats no longer occupy the centre left, and Labour is mired in the past. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that the only alternative is the “evil genius” of Nigel Farage and UKIP.
There is another party which is providing a real alternative and we are steadily gaining ground. We have our first MP, our first council in Brighton and Hove, and our membership has increased by 45% in the past 18 months. We are leading the calls for tax justice and for a fairer, greener alternative to the Tory-led Government’s disproportionate spending cuts. In Parliament, for example, I have tabled a Private Members’ Bill to tackle tax avoidance and evasion, and at Prime Minister’s Questions last week, I challenged David Cameron to support a Robin Hood Tax on financial trading.
It will therefore come as no surprise to our members that the Green party has been vocal in its support of the Occupy movement from the start, and I was honoured to have been asked to speak at their rally on Saturday. Meanwhile, the leaders of the mainstream parties have completely failed to engage with what is happening at St Paul’s and at protests across the country – showing just how out of touch they really are with the public mood for change.
Yesterday Ed Miliband spoke of the need to “listen to the protesters” from afar in a vapid and defensive article for the Observer, which only served to highlight the fact that he had lacked the courage to visit Occupy LSX himself. It seems that only the Green party is now willing to match progressive politics with meaningful action, and take a principled stand with the majority to challenge the deeply corrupt financial system that has plunged us into economic crisis.