Nandor Tanczos has an interesting and challenging blog over at Dread Times, where he assesses the impact that Sue Bradford’s departure will have on the Green Party. I’m sad to see Sue go – I reckon she’s one of the best MPs we’ve ever had. And I feel immensely sad and frustrated that we as a party couldn’t find a place for her. Much as I felt when Nandor left too. In particular I worry that there is no one else in Parliament to speak for the community sector the same way Sue Bradford does. But I disagree with this comment:
Along with new MPs Kennedy Graham and Kevin Hague, David and Gareth signify a change in the Green Party’s political orientation and flavour… With this new influx, the Green Party is likely to become a more emphatically ‘green-wing’ party than has been possible in the past.
I come from that “old left element” of the party, and I’ve always thought the concept of ‘green-wing’ is fundamentally flawed. While the left-right political spectrum is not the only political divide it is an important one that you cannot pretend doesn’t matter. The most Green of issues – climate change, water quality, conservation etc – cannot be solved, to my mind without at least some decent left-wing state intervention. Gareth Hughes might fit the stereotype of young, urban, tree-hugging Green better than Sue Bradford, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him out supporting Unite’s $15 minimum wage campaign and other ‘left wing’ causes – because that stuff is about core Green values. One potential new MP does not make for a change in direction – at least not one that I can discern. I’m expecting the Greens to remain the only party in Parliament that consistently speaks up on the left-wing issues I care about. Sue Bradford has particular emphases that are different to those that Gareth will have as an MP but the values of the party are not, as far as I can see, going anywhere new.