Tug! Tug!

photoMy blog of yesterday, about what Labour could do to win back some green voters, seems to have struck a chord.

Or actually, I think it is just yet another example of social media showing me (and others) that there are plenty of others out there in the big, wide world who are thinking similarly to us.

Do have a look at my blog and particularly the comments on it. It’s a small sample, but there are plenty of people thinking of leaving Labour for the Greens it seems – some of them have already gone. That won’t include me for a while yet but I can feel the tug. Tug! Tug!

Labour are also feeling they must react to this trend too, but the ham-fisted Guardian article by Sadiq Khan is more likely to drive more people into the arms of the Greens than to persuade them to stay.  Although it is stated that voting for Labour is voting for a green government there is pressure little evidence adduced in the article. It’s all about the past, and attacking the Greens, rather than persuading us that Labour has a green coat.  Tug! Tug!

And I am grateful to Paul for pointing me, and you, I suggest, to the Political Compass website. By going through the questions I discover I am very much a ‘Libertarian Leftie’ – apparently Gandhi and I were on the same wavelength which surprised me and might have shocked him. But I am positioned right next to the Green Party on the relevant chart. Tug! Tug!

Now, I don’t know how good this website is. Maybe whatever answers you put in it tells you that you are a Green! Where is Trimbush when you need him? I’d be interested to hear whether others find themselves positioned in a place that surprised them. I’m not asking you to say where you are positioned (though you are very welcome to do so) but just whether it was where you expected.

Vote for Policies is another similar (and maybe even better) website which tells me that I am Green. Tug! Tug!

The Labour manifesto had better be inspiring or else support will bleed away.  There are plenty of good environmental policies that can go into the manifesto to distinguish Labour from the Tories – let’s see them please.  Otherwise – Tug! Tug!




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31 Replies to “Tug! Tug!”

  1. I am also a Labour party member who despairs at the lack of bravery, understanding and vision and I find myself drawn to the Green Party’s policies. My Political Compass result was the same as yours and I think that the key indicators are probably Trident and energy.

    Incidentally, as an ex-teacher, I find most of Tristram Hunt’s pronouncements similarly half-baked and he has very little credibility with the profession!

  2. OMG (I think that’s what trendy people say!). I expected to be sort of LibDemy (before their identity crisis) but this tells me I’m far South West of the Greens.

    My wife tells me she knew I’d be extremely something or other because I’m such a Grumpy Old Man!

    Do I need to reconsider some of my views or just accept being a social oddity? 😉

  3. Shocking! I’m leftier and more libertarian than Gandhi and the Dalai Lama! No wonder I feel at home in the south west!

    1. Jack – well, you’re in the right (errr, left) place then. interesting isn’t it? I wonder if it is accurate but it still makes one think – and I like thinking. Thank you for your comment.

  4. Economic Left/Right: -7.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -5.59

    This places me to the left of the Green Party, which considering that until a few years ago I was a lifelong Lib Dem voter (SDP-ish mind) surprises me. I did vote Green at the European Elections though.

  5. Ps – I’ve never understood all the fuss surrounding Gandhi. One great film and that was it…

  6. Vote for policies told me that I’m green. I thought it would be the case but it’s good to know for sure……phew!!

  7. Mark, very interesting. My wife and I both took it and came out as mixtures of Ghandi and Nelson Mandela! Purely a gut feel but the politcal axis (horizontal) felt to us to be more or less as we might have expected, but the social axis seemed possibly more extreme or exaggerated. What is depressing is the trends of major UK political parties in recent years all occupying the same space thus suggesting little innovative thinking just a yearn for power. Thanks for introducing us to this tool.

  8. Yes I also emerged in the far south west of the political compass quadrant when i did it some time ago, which is maybe why the tug, tug led me to leave the Labour Party and join the Greens earlier this year. I still feel conflicted about it… somehow disloyal, but for all the reasons you have articulated so well I felt I couldn’t go along with the spineless ‘Tory Lite’ narrative any longer. What I found very surprising was that no one from the Labour Party, polite and respectful throughout the process of disengagement as they were, asked why I’d left, whether I was joining another party, or what might tempt me to change my mind. I thought it might be useful for them to know! I’ll be really interested to hear from others about what I’ve come to think of as ‘watermelon’ politics (red and green!) And to hear how your thinking develops, Mark.

  9. The suggested website identifies me (still ) as “Labour” , but I’m afraid I’ve joined the Greens already. Labour needs to declare far more on the “environment” as far as I’m concerned before I detect that they have even an interest in such topics. But I’m afraid my faith is rocked far more deeply than that. I just don’t see any real zeal on display and can’t visualise them making much difference to terribly much at all, not a million miles from the view I have on several of the NGO’s at present too.

  10. More left-wing than Stalin; more libertarian than Gandhi. Now I’m confused – don’t know whether to start a revolution or use passive resistance.

  11. I was referred to the Political Compass quiz a few weeks ago by another of my angry left wing friends. I turned out to be somewhere between Francois Hollande and Nelson Mandela – make of that what you will!

  12. It seems I’m another resident of the far south-west! I wonder where the good folk of the GWCT and Moorland Association would come out? And yes, Labour just aren’t getting it, are they? No mention whatsoever in Sadiq Khan’s article of wildlife or nature or biodiversity. It seems to me that they and the Lib Dems think being Green is only about climate change – they don’t see the whole.

  13. The way in which Labour has completely lost its confidence – and the plot – horrifies me. Labour should be a shoe in after the disastrous policies – as much economic as environmental – of the current Government but look at what we are getting, just like the Tories, a politics that seems based more on getting into power than what you then do with that power and about attacking rivals rather than persuading through your policies.

    It is particularly distressing because actually I think labour did rather well last time round – remember the SSSI target which, carried through over the last 4 1/2 years could have seen really big improvements in our best wildlife sites. Labour left behind an excellent strategy for the future of forestry in England – England’s trees, Woods and Forests – which the Con/Dems scrapped the day they came to power – and then tried to sell the national forests. But perhaps more importantly, labour laid down the foundations of integrated land use, especially around our towns and cities, the sort of thing we are seeing working at RSPB’s new Medmerry (Stilt !) reserve where a coastal defence priority has been combined with helping the birds, saving a fortune compared to a Canute like defence of every square inch of (farm)land and benefitting both birds and the people who enjoy them.

    Labour shot way ahead of the field in a hugely important speech given by David Milliband during his short tenure as Defra Secretary of State – ‘A Land Fit for the Future’, on 9th March 2007. ‘Creating a country where we get more economic, social and environmental value from our land will require reforms to our system of planning, land use and agriculture.’ Sadly, his radical and highly intelligent ideas were put rapidly back in the box by a land use community driven by sectoral interests – but the ideas were big, right and are still there – and should be Labour property !

  14. I took the statement “some people are naturally unlucky” to mean that some people have the bad luck to be born into horrible circumstances or suffer from events outside their control (which I agree with) rather than that some people are less likely to score a double six when throwing dice (which I disagree with)! For one or two of the questions I would have liked a fence to sit on.
    I found myself, like others here, in the SW of the dial.

  15. Crikey, I appear to be a resident of Devon and Cornwall, rather than the East Anglia I am more familiar with. I’d better revise my retirement plans and get to know the Green candidate in leafy west Oxfordshire.

  16. I utterly fail to see why anyone who espouses a green lifestyle would vote Labour

    I also utterly fail to see why anyone with a social conscience would vote Labour

    They are more right-wing than Mrs Thatcher, will do nothing for the most needy, serve the interests of big business and the wealthy, and are now even trying to appeal to UKIP types with promises on immigration.

    If you’re voting Labour, then I’m sorry, but you are part of the problem

  17. Find myself sitting on Ghandi – although I wonder how they knew he would be a green? More interesting for me is my closeness to the Dalai Lama – if we took on board even some of his philosophy what a nice place we would live in. I knew I was Green –

  18. Well I come well down on the libertarian left as well.

    I last voted in the by-election that brought Douglas Carswell in as the first UKIP MP. In the last general election I voted green, and in the by-election I posted a few leaflets for the Greens who even here have built growing support.

    I am deeply disappointed by the lack of vision of the labour party that were elected here twice in Blair’s time. They have been sending me emails and questionnaires trying to assess my views, and their questions are flawed. They do not really enable the opportunity to say what is important to me. They just invite me to endorse their main strategy points.

    I do fear however that we may see a mixed bag of MP’s elected in May in which UKIP and tories concoct a hideous alliance and then go on to throw out even more of the safeguards that we have so slowly built up in my life time. (It looks as though Patterson still thinks he will have influence!)

    I should add that now the power of English Nature to recommend environmental policy has gone and EN is emaciated already, that the NGO’s will have to be more robust. In many ways they seem to be just about as wishy washy as the labour party in opposing the likes of Paterson and the quieter but not obviously better Liz Truss. Someone has got to get angry.

  19. In well into Lib-left quarter too. I would have been surprised how Liberal it positioned me if I had not already completed the political compass survey several times over the years. I think if the political world leaders were to complete it in the same way we do then there positioning would be very different to where political compass placed them.

    I think vote for polices is much better and useful. I came out 50% for green policies and 50% for Labour. Although coalition government agreements and broken promises might lessen its value.

    I live in a rare Lib Dem safe seat but had voted Labour until 2010 when I voted Lib Dem mainly due to a local environmental issue and the stance of the Labour candidate. At the next election I expect I will vote Green who I think stand a great chance in coming a good 2nd or 3rd. If I lived in a Labour marginal I would be desperate to be given something I could vote for.

    Today on Sky News http://news.sky.com/video/1382575/protest-vote-or-westminster-threat it reported that the Greens may lose Brighton and by splitting the left vote might cost labour 17 seats to the Conservatives. Idealistically I would like to see Labour do a deal with the Greens close to the election, where the Greens wouldn’t stand in those 17 seats that Labour could lose and Labour would not challenge Caroline Lucas and in my dreams offer her the Environment Secretary if Labour were elected into power.

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