In keeping with the themes of the day – incompetence, designed incompetence, celebration of a great designer/architect, the sea, dangerous places to be and people who send us round the bend, this is an interesting article about Brighton.
There are always going to be around the same percentages of people of certain mindsets – blissfully unaware major party tribalists, unhappy left thinking [LibDems and Greens], unhappy sane [now moving towards UKIP] plus the splinter groups.
There’s been a drift from Tory and to a lesser extent Labour towards UKIP but where have the LibDems drifted to? Perhaps a better way to put it is to ask who are each party’s betes noires [not sure if my French is right there]. In other words, which party is most likely to cut into the other’s votes?
For the Tories, that’s easy – UKIP. For Labour – Greens and UKIP. For the LibDems – Labour and the Greens. In fact, the LibDems are more vehemently anti-UKIP than anyone, as they’re largely fanatics, just as Kippers are but for a different goal.
It’s probably going too far to say there’s been a seismic shift but two groups doing very well just now are UKIP … and don’t forget these Greens. The rank and file Greenie is a tree-hugger, stop the forestry, subscribe to the climate scam dud science, drink your own urine to save the planet, live ergonomically lot. Fairly harmless although each of them has a vote.
They and the LibDems are Labour with a conscience.
UKIP is centre left to centre right with a conscience.
So, in a way, the Greens and UKIP are ideological diametric opposites. UKIP’s ideas are not anti-environment – many of those views in one area, e.g. jobs, borders, may be quite environmentally compatible. And one of the problems in political commentary is to talk about ‘the’ Greens or ‘the’ USA – to whom does that refer? The rank and file, the ordinary people who sympathise or to the hard nut leadership?
I’d venture to say that the hard nut Greenie leader, the raving loony, is a bit different creature to the tree hugger. Far less gentle for a start. This is the world of Animal Rights atrocities, of draconian measures enveloping all, of narrowmindedness turned into an artform, of rampant socialism given an environmentally friendly sugar coating – though too much sugar is bad for you. Let’s ban it..
Unfortunately, we have grown to expect dreadful politics. Since 2010, both the MP and the council have gone Green, turning the town into a laboratory for their kooky ideas. Given that they are being called the Ukip of the left — an outsider party on the verge of an electoral breakthrough that could make them bigger than the Lib Dems — the Green experiment in Brighton ought to serve as a warning to the entire country.
There have been some silly gimmicks reminiscent of the 1980s loony left: a proposed ‘meat-free Monday’ in council-run staff canteens (reversed when the bin men demanded their bacon back), gender-neutral toilets, and allowing people to identify as Mr, Mrs or Mx on council forms (Mx means Mixter, meaning someone who doesn’t define as male or female — not to be confused with the MX, which was a nuclear missile in the Cold War).
Many of their mistakes are due to naivety. Faced with cuts, council leader Jason Kitcat proposed a 4.75 per cent tax increase to be endorsed in a referendum.
Jason Kitcat? Is that a serious name? I ask only for information.
And as our lot are continually saying – the glorious utopia envisaged or to translate that into Marxist terms – the five stages leading to the workers’ paradise – never actually arrives and in fact, everyone’s left in Stage 4 – conflict, ruin and abject misery.
In perpetuity. And thus, with the Greens:
Such is their incompetence that the Greens often hurt the very causes they push. While I was staggered to find that I might face a £50,000 fine if I put something plastic in the paper-only recycling bin outside my house, I was amused to discover that most people just ignore the warnings and dump away — with the result that Green Brighton now ranks 302nd out of 326 councils for its recycling record.
Last year, the Greens failed to prevent a strike among bin men, with the result that Brighton underwent its very own winter of discontent. Gulls feasted amid the piled-high rubbish. Inevitably, some of the Greens sympathised with the oppressed refuse collectors and joined them on the picket line. There’s an intra-party split every 30 seconds among the eco-comrades.
This year the Greens worked in concert with the Conservatives to secure funding for an architectural monstrosity: a 574ft tower to be erected on the beach opposite Brighton’s burnt-out West Pier. It will be hideous. A giant up-yours to the landscape that would look audaciously phallic in Tokyo, it is totally out of place in a town where the buildings are no more than three storeys high. This particular act of cultural sabotage says a lot about the Green agenda.
Moving across La Manche for the moment, the Greens have just presided over, via the egregious Cecile Duflot the Environmental Transfer Bill. It took days and nights – there were pictures of unaccustomed hardworking Green parliamentarians sleeping on the parliamentary benches – which says another thing about the word ‘sanctity’ in Green minds.
There was hardly a murmur in France. Why?
1. It was sugar-coated to mean money back in people’s pockets, even though it planned to exceed Kyoto targets – yes, they’re still on about that.
2. As many French people said – it was too complicated – would someone care to explain it? No one did, least of all those pushing it through before Hollande is dumped.
3. The brainwashing worldwide on everything from faux equality and faux tolerance to the climate scam – there really are people hoodwinked by all this – they really do believe it. I’ve spoken to them – otherwise rational people and nice to boot. They really do believe that if you oppose draconian measures adding billions to the taxpayer levy, financially crippling your children and your children’s children, then you must, by definition, be racist/sexist/homophobic/anti-humanity.
And there it is. Fait accompli when no one was looking and even when they did, they could make neither head nor tail of it. They’d better start looking because Hollande’s govt has committed France to a non-reversal multi-billion euro debt for fifty years. They’d best read the fine print as I did, the French.
There’s a fourth way they got away with it:
4. New legislation on insurance in France was introduced immediately the bill had passed, thereby effectively gagging any national conversation on it. One would think such commitments on behalf of the people might require at least a bit of discussion but no.
Back to Brighton:
They aren’t interested in conserving what they inherit so much as transforming it to reflect their progressive ideology. Not for them the countryside of traditional farming and hunting, nor the ramshackle urbanity of Georgian Brighton. No — they dream of an integrated eco/bio/renewable future of steel and glass that will render the inefficient past obsolete. Why else have they welcomed the construction of a huge windfarm off the Sussex coast? Covering more than 60 square miles, the forest of offshore turbines will number over 100 and stand 700ft tall. The only upside is that they might kill all the gulls — leaving any uncollected rubbish to rot unmolested.
You see, Greens and government do not mix. You can’t go putting treehuggers in charge, you just can’t. Let me part-quote a reader of these blogs, Ivan:
We need real people in parliament, people that have had at least 10 years experience out in the real world, engineers, accountants, medical doctors, shop keepers (and even their daughters), builders and garbage collectors, in fact almost anyone that has worked for a living and hopefully, brought up a family (or are at least doing so). A degree in politics should exclude the holder from holding any political office for life as should having attended anything to do with common purpose.
And that goes for councils as well.
How did the Greens, with no real experience of governing, get the votes to do all this? It’s down partly to the collapse in traditional support for Labour post-Blair. But it’s also due to the migration of middle-class London liberals to the south coast, with its cheap houses and easy rail access. And in this regard, the Greens are indeed the inverted image of Ukip — and not only in the sense of being philosophical opposites.
Where Ukip represents a revolt of natives against newcomers, the Greens represent a revolt of newcomers against natives. Old Brighton was a working-class seat that voted Conservative until 1997. The new Brighton is becoming a colony of Islington: it’s what the entire country would turn into if it were run by the people who bought Russell Brand’s new booky-wook. Trendy, yes. But they are impractical and very irritating.
Sorry, Tim, I think I just quoted almost all of your article.
Readers comments were apt. I did go looking to find comments by people who actually live there or recently did so in that sense, you can call it cherrypicking:
# I live in Brighton and I can’t stand the Greens for all the reasons listed above and more. They are nothing more than a bunch of students and upper middle-class do-gooders who think that ordinary people worry about provision of organic food shops and whether somebody might be offended by the term ‘Mrs.’
# All Green Party types that I have met are white and middle class. Even their parliamentary candidate for Kemp Town is a yoga teacher! I just can’t see the Green Party appealing to ordinary voters outside studenty, leafty cities. The Green Party is also very intolerant. Look how it treated its local councillor who dared to oppose gay marriage on religious grounds.
# I have lived in Brighton for 20+ years and it is entirely true to say the Greens have wrecked it, in their short term. It’s really quite a horrid place now, totally unfit to live in, more an experiment in a test-tube for the Greens to practise on, hoping for a power they will never have, now that the rest of the country has seen what a shocking mess they have made here. We are something of a laughing stock amongst our friends from other areas of the UK. Needless to say, we are moving somewhere more decent next year.
# It’s a horrid place because most of the people who were born there cannot afford a place so have moved out. Local wages are generally fair but house prices and rent are ludicrous. In place you have over paid people from the ‘city’ buying second homes. Add to that property ‘developers’ who buy to rent – kicking the tenant out every 6 months – and you end up with a place devoid of what made it popular in the first place. Brighton was nice in the 80’s and 90’s, it was a fantastic place to grow up.
Then London arrived. Yes, I’m a bitter Brightonian by birth who can’t afford to live in a town his family has lived in for centuries.
# [Caroline Lucas] is ‘hard-working and willing to stand up for her beliefs’ code for only interested in her own agenda. The woman is a mouthpiece of idiotic unfounded sentiment. She recently dragged her Green minions from Brighton to harass the good people of Balcombe over the proposed fracking, pretending to be locals – they never voted for the misguided cow, leave them alone.
The recycling point in the article is spot-on. When they got voted in I expected a special bin for everything – there are communal bins all over the city (especially the prettier parts) so you can just chuck any old crap in there and there are no consequences.
They have also had a war on the car – I was not permitted to park in my own street between the hours of 9 and 6 so I used to have to drive to work and back every day, even though it was easier to walk, just so I could avoid a daily fine.
# Lucas also dragged her son along, to be arrested with her. Shameless grandstanding by a woman who indulges in hypocrisy avery time she gets in a car or switches a light on.
One resident was particularly incensed:
# OK, so if you look at the central Brighton it is no-park or 1 year waiting list resident parking. If you live in a no-park zone then you are not eligible for a residents permit in a nearby zone. The nearest area with no parking restrictions is Hanover, near to where I worked, and 15 minutes from where I lived. Unsurprizingly I wanted and needed to use my car (which is why I bought it) so a 30 minute round trip to do so every day was more of a burden than shuttling it back and forth every day – it allowed me to continue with my life.
# Labour did give me a residential parking permit for the nearby residential zone, the greens would not. Half the large town houses in my street had garages so they were sitting pretty but those of us living in smaller cheaper accomodation had unreasonable parking costs forced on us so we could meet the Green’s anti-car agenda.
Do you not see the queues of cars coming in and out of the city every weekend while the Greens convert 2 lane roads into 1 lane roads. Out-of-town customers will only put up with this a few times before they head off to Tunbridge Wells or Worthing and take their business with them. Anti-car as I said, plus anti-business to boot.
# The problem is that most of the people living here do not want the Greens in power (aside from the Uni students that only have to spend a few years in the mess they vote for), I for one having lived in Brighton all of my life find myself wanting to leave as this is no longer the town I grew up in and loved. I am personally quite happy spending my money elsewhere and avoiding the city like the plague whenever possible due to the farcical infrastructure now in place (probably burning more CO2 in the process so the opposite effect the Greens allegedly strive for). Driving in town at 20 mph costs me about 10mpg extra, so not exactly green and the extortionate bus fares do not help to incent people to venture into town by other means – unless you like cycling in the rain!
And a counter-view, in the interests of fairness:
# I lived in Brighton for 3 years, and I have to say that I noticed a number of improvements under the green party. Public transportation via bus was dramatically improved by creation of a lot of bus lanes during my time there, increasing the price but providing what I experienced to be a very efficient bus service. I’m currently living in Leeds.
And of course, in among the angst, there had to be one wag, did there not?
# I find this article most offensive. I live in Islington.
Getting back to the national picture, if LibDem and many Labour votes are going Green because such people already have strong views of a leftist nature and can’t stand UKIP’s pro-Britain stance, and as there is now a national consciousness that the Big Two and a Half are totally useless, lying toerags, career politicians – if they were in America, they’d have coiffed hair – then it seems likely the Greens might even surpass the LibDems in 2015 and might even rival UKIP for seats and even stymie UKIP in some seats, e.g. Eastleigh.
We’ll just have to wait and see just how much of a regressive threat they become.