We need to be listening and responding to this group of people and I don't mean through hyping up the racist and misogynistic rhetoric! We need to understand their challenges and frustrations and present a clear plan to ensure that they feel part of the solution. It's about locus of control, they need some and they see Trump / Brexit as a way of seizing it.
Some of my Green friends are calling for US voters to back Clinton (and a small number are saying Trump too...). They are suggesting that a Green vote will make it easier for Trump. Famously Ralph Nadar was blamed for George W Bush's presidency in 2000, perhaps there is some truth in that and I can understand the rationale for calling for Green votes to go to Clinton; I simply disagree with it.
The choice in the US is not great. Susan Sarandon recently endorsed Jill Stein pointing out the problems with Clinton:
- She does not support the $15 minimum wage.
- She shows no support for legalizing marijuana.
- She supports TPP.
- She has sold fracking and Monsanto.
- She supports offshore drilling.
- She has no position on the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- She opposes the labeling of GMOs.
- She opposes the breakup of big banks.
- She takes lobbyists' money for campaigning.
- She opposes a binding climate treaty.
- She supports unconditional military aid to Israel.
Why on earth should the Greens stand aside for this?
This is why I am not happy about the Greens standing down in Kingston. The idea is that the Lib Dems have a slim chance of beating the anti-Heathrow ex-Tory Zac. Yet the idea that the Lib Dems are the saviour here is frankly bizarre. Their liberal economics saw them in bed with the Tories in one of worst government ever, they are often pro-airport exapnsion, pro-road building and always pro-growth. They are also the worst type of opportunist.
I can accept a 'progressive alliance' for only one purpose: proportional representation and immediate general election under that principle. Anything else is capitulation.