They are on the cusp of an electoral breakthrough – an examination of Green Party policy reveals a extraordinary list of demands
The Green Party should more correctly be called the Agenda 21 Communitarian Party. SMART METERS – CARBON TAXES FOR THE CORRUPT TO REDISTRIBUTE OUR WEALTH.
Whilst they polish their “green” credentials their leader shys away from any discussion on geoengineering and the unquestionable debunked mantra of global warming see 8 mins video interview.
Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader, walked out of ATOS Interview
Six months ago, they were on the very edges of British politics. Now, they are within touching distance of dictating terms to the future government.
A surge in support has seen the Green Party overtake the Liberal Democrats in the polls, with support at 11 per cent. Membership is now greater than Ukip’s.
And, with hopes of winning three seats in the general election, Natalie Bennett believes her party will take part in a “confidence and supply” arrangement, propping up a fragile minority administration in exchange for key policies.
What might they demand?
The party is often dubbed the “Ukip of the left”. But an examination of the party’s core priorities – in a document called Policies for a Sustainable Society, set at the party’s annual conference – reveals they are far more radical in their aims than Nigel Farage’s outfit.
In the short term, a Green administration would impose a string of new taxes, ramp up public spending to unprecedented levels and decriminalise drugs, brothels and membership of terrorist groups.
In the long term, they want to fundamentally change life as we know it.
ZERO GROWTH ECONOMY
Critics call the party’s adherents “watermelons” – green on the outside, deepest red on the inside.
It’s not quite right.
Karl Marx and his pupils championed economic growth and personal consumption: five year plans, tractor factories and fridges for all. The row, for them, was whether the planned economy was a stronger engine than the free market.
The Greens want something very different.
Caroline Lucas and colleagues regard economic growth as incompatible with protecting the planet and a fulfilling personal life.
While their rivals recognise more trade, more innovation, more competition and more globalisation as an engine for prosperity for everyone on the planet, the Greens argue it is nothing more than a race to the bottom that has made the poor poorer, the rich richer, and pillaged the environment.
The party’s manifesto argues for zero, or even negative growth and falling levels of personal consumption. Britain would be in permanent recession; families would become materially poorer each year. After centuries of growing global connectivity, the Greens want to see greater national self-reliance.
Cottage industries, allotments and co-operatives are good. Banks, supermarkets, multi-national companies and resource extraction are very, very bad.
And while Labour and the Tories compete on job creation, the Greens argue that government policy should make paid work “less necessary”, with people making their living from the home-based “informal economy”.
THE CITIZENS’ INCOME
The flagship policy is an unconditional, non-withdrawable income of £71 a week for everyone living in Britain “as a right of citizenship”, regardless of wealth or whether they are seeking work.
Benefits and the tax-free personal allowance will be abolished, and top-ups given for people with children or disabilities, or to pay rent and mortgages. No-one will see a reduction in benefits, and most will see a substantial increase. Parents will be entitled to two years’ paid leave from work.
The policy will enable people to “choose their own types and patterns of work”, and will allow people to take up “personally satisfying and socially useful work”.
It will cost somewhere between £240-280 billion a year – more than double the current health budget, and ten times the defence budget. Those costs will be off-set by some reduction to the welfare bill, through the replacement of jobseekers’ allowance.
TAX ON PRESENTS
Under Green plans, inheritance tax – “to prevent the accumulation of wealth and power by a privileged class” – will no longer just tax the dead.
Under radical reforms, it will cover gifts made while the giver is still alive – raising the prospect of levies on cars, jewellery or furniture given by parents to their children. There will be exemptions for some large gifts, “such as those received on marriage”.
There will be a threshold for the tax, with receipts calculated over five years – but the party does not set out at what point the levy kicks in. New, higher rates of income tax will be imposed.
VAT will be abolished – and replaced with new levies based on how much environmental damage a product causes. New resource taxes would apply to wood, metal and minerals, and steeper levies imposed on cars.
Crucially, import taxes will be levied on goods brought to Britain reflecting the “ecological impact” of making them – with tariffs reintroduced for trade between Britain and the rest of Europe, ending the free trade bloc.
DRUGS AND BROTHELS
The trade and cultivation of cannabis will be decriminalised under Green policy, along with possession of Class A and B drugs for personal use. Anti-rave laws would be scrapped.
Higher taxes will be brought in on alcohol and tobacco, and a complete alcohol advertising ban imposed.
All elements of the sex industry will be decriminalised, and prostitutes could no longer be discriminated against in child custody cases.
The Greens also want to see “significantly reduced” levels of imprisonment, with jail only used when there is a “substantial risk of a further grave crime” or in cases where offences are so horrific that offenders would be at risk of vigilantes. Prisoners will be given the vote.
Large schools will be broken up, to have no more than 700 pupils. SATS, early years tests and league tables will be abolished, and “creative” subjects given equal parity to the “academic”.
Independent schools will lose their charitable status and pay corporation tax, while church schools will be stripped of taxpayer funding. Religious instruction will be banned in school hours.
Tuition fees will be abolished – but state research funding for universities will increase to reduce a reliance on “biased” commercial research.
THE BEYONCE TAX
Under cultural reforms, the Greens will explore a “a tax on superstar performances” to support “local cultural enterprises”.
The BBC will be forced to show educational programming during prime time, giving it “equal precedence” to entertainment shows and not “ghettoised at inconvenient times”.
Foreign companies will be stripped of newspapers and television shows if they control too much of the market. The “overall volume” of advertising on TV and newspapers will be controlled and cut, as part of a war on the “materialist and consumption driven culture which is not sustainable”.
The England football, rugby and cricket teams would no longer play against countries where “normal, friendly, respectful or diplomatic relations are not possible.” Football clubs would be owned by co-operatives and not traded on the stock markets.
DEATH OF DUTY FREE
The Greens will aim for all energy to be supplied from renewables, with wind the main source of power by 2030.
Under a new hierarchy for transport, pedestrians and bikes come first – and aeroplanes last.
Buses and trains will be electric by 2030, while taxes and regulations will be imposed to force people to buy smaller, lighter and less-powerful cars.
No more new airports or runways will be built, and existing ones nationalised. All new homes and businesses must by law provide bicycle parking. Helicopter travel would be regulated “more strictly”. The sale of alcohol on planes and airports will be tightly restricted to prevent air-rage, and the air on inbound flights tested for disease.
Advertising of holiday flights will be controlled by law to halt the “promotion of a high-carbon lifestyle”. New taxes would be imposed on carriers to reduce passenger numbers.
THE NHS TAX
Foundation hospitals and internal markets will be abolished, PFI abandoned and prescription charges abolished. A new NHS Tax will be introduced specifically to fund the health service.
Assisted dying will be legalised, and the law on abortion liberalised to allow nurses to carry it out. “Alternative” medicine will be promoted. Private healthcare will be more heavily taxed, with special levies on private hospitals that employ staff who were trained on the NHS.
It will be a criminal offence, with “significant fines”, to stop a woman from breastfeeding in a restaurant or shop, and formula milk will be more tightly regulated.
In order to prevent “overpopulation” burdening the earth, the state will provide free condoms and fund research for new contraceptives.
VEGETARIANISM FOR ALL
A Green party would impose “research, education and economic measures” to drive a “transition from diets dominated by meat”. Factory farming would be abolished, and the sale of fur criminalised and shooting banned. Whips and jumps would be banned from horse racing.
SIGN UP TO AL-QAEDA
International aid should be increased by nearly 50 per cent to one per cent of GDP under Green Policy.
Merely being a member of al-Qaeda, the IRA and other currently proscribed terrorist groups will no longer be a criminal offence under Green plans, and instead a Green Government should seek to “address desperate motivations that lie behind many atrocities labelled ‘terrorist’,” the policy book states.
Terrorism, it adds, “is an extremely loaded term. Sometimes governments justify their own terrorist acts by labelling any groups that resist their monopoly of violence ‘terrorist’.”
Britain will leave NATO, end the special relationship with the US, and unilaterally abandon nuclear weapons. A standing army, navy and airforce is “unnecessary”. Bases will be turned into nature reserves and the arms industry “converted” to producing windturbines.
“Richer regions do not have the right to use migration controls to protect their privileges from others in the long term,” the party’s policy book states.
A Green Government will “progressively reduce” border controls, including an amnesty for illegal immigrants after five years.
Access to benefits, the right to vote and tax obligations will apply to everyone living on British soil, regardless of passport. The policy book states: “We will work to create a world of global inter-responsibility in which the concept of a ‘British national’ is irrelevant and outdated.”
Political parties will be funded by the state, and the electoral system changed. The monarchy will be abolished.