Green Euro-MP for the South East Caroline Lucas has given an impassioned keynote speech at the Green Party’s Spring Conference at Reading Town Hall today.
To a packed audience of Party members and media, Dr Lucas slammed the current Labour government for its failure of political courage, lack of radical action on climate change and its failure to learn the lessons of its disastrous domestic and foreign policies.
She said: “Never has an opposition with radical vision, political courage and practical policies been more urgently needed. Never has the muddy middle ground of the grey parties’ policies been less up to the job.
“We have had enough of the yawning gulf between rhetoric and reality; enough of the drifting duplicity at the heart of government – and enough of a politics without purpose.
“I am so proud to be part of a political party that stands up for its principles. And I’m proud of all of our local councillors and the work they do, combining radical vision and practical policies to deliver real social and environmental change - day in, day out.
“It is because elected Greens make a real difference that more and more people are joining us, and ever more people are voting for us.”
Highlighting the weaknesses of Westminster’s opposition parties, she said:
“None of the three Westminster parties dares to challenge the dogma of neo-liberal economics and endless economic growth, despite the mounting evidence that the materialism driven on by our contemporary consumer capitalism is killing the human spirit even as it destroys the natural
“None of the three Westminster parties dares to take a principled stand against replacing Trident, despite the fact that upgrading our nuclear weapons system puts us in breach of international law, and makes the world a much more dangerous place.
“Not one of them has the political vision, the courage, or the commitment to carry through the kind of green energy revolution that we so urgently need to see, the massive programme of rigorous energy efficiency, the far-reaching investment in renewable energy, and the dramatic demand
“Only the Green Party offers both the radical vision and the practical solutions to address the increasingly complex challenges we face today. For example, a number of Groups are beginning to consider a New Green Deal, which could address both the impending credit crunch as well as the urgent need to tackle climate change. With local government bonds, this would provide a safe haven for savings - in banks or in pension funds - which in turn could be used to kickstart a massive public works project to create new jobs and improve the efficiency of our public buildings."
Praising the electoral successes of the Party, she said: “We now have a record number of councillors on a record number of Councils, with Group status on 22 out of 40, and potential power-broking positions on several – and in Oxford, where we have 8 city councillors and 5 county councillors.
“So we’re on course for our first Green MPs, who won’t just be representative of, and cheerleaders for, local communities. They will signal nothing less than a sea change in British politics.”