Brighton goes Green
Radical new voice in parliament
Perhaps the only party to emerge with a smile from last night’s ragbag of results was the Greens, whose leader, MEP Caroline Lucas, scored a first for them, gaining a parliamentary seat for Brighton Pavilion.
The swing of 8.4 per cent from Labour to Green was just enough to leave Lucas with a majority of nearly 1,252 in what is now an effective three-way marginal.
This result won’t set the world on fire, but it does show that it is not impossible for Greens to win in the world of first-past-the-post voting. Brighton Pavilion is, however, a highly unusual seat.
Brighton is seen by some as one of the focal points of British alternative culture: on the sexual front, it vies with Manchester as "queer capital of the UK". Ms Lucas would probably not have done quite so well just across the county border, where it seems more likely that she might have disgusted, rather than delighted, the solid citizens of Tunbridge Wells.
Lucas is a fierce and seasoned debater. Her victory means the arrival in parliament of a strong voice arguing for a Green alternative. She is likely to be one of the most radical MPs now seated on the green leather of the House of Commons. Lucas will be pushing for a more equal society, with statutory maximum as well as minimum pay, positive action for women – for instance, requiring 40 per cent of board members of large companies to be female within the next five years – and a better deal for pensioners.
She will also be pushing for government to view drugs and drug addiction as health, not crime, issues.
Lucas’ election puts the seal on what is now an established tradition in UK politics of radicalism and anti-establishment voting in the Brighton area.
Take a look at a map of the South-East, and within a sea of blue – the Tories currently hold 73 seats against 4 each for Lib Dem and Labour and one for the Greens – you will find a small island of Green and Orange clustered around Brighton. Neighbouring Lewes and Eastbourne are Lib Dem strongholds.
Perhaps it's something in the water. Perhaps it’s the social scene. But there is definitely something about Brighton that doesn’t sit comfortably with the heart of true bluedom. ®
Re: You asked the question "How is that sexist?"
I meant it's the hysterical tone of it, not the argument itself. Is that clear?
I hate today.
A lesson in democracy for you
@handle: "but you will just have to account more for the way your selfishness pisses all over the rights of other people"
Let me explain it for you slowly.
I don't have to account to you for anything . Nobody has to account to you either. You're a bloke in his pyjamas. The Green Party has just polled fewer votes than the BNP. The people don't want your policies.
Your views on what is selfish and how you should punish selfish people carry no weight. You can advocate yogic flying and compulsory vegetarianism if you like, it doesn't matter.
When and if you ever get a DEMOCRATIC mandate, let us know. Until then, piss off back to the Guardian.
A very peculiar definition of "liberties"
Hmm - there's a rabid outburst if ever I saw one. To pick just one example, you're quite happy to moan about "punishing" car drivers (presumably because you are one) and yet the flip side of the coin is that non-car drivers get "rewarded" with better public transport, cleaner air and safer and quieter streets. I could equally say that your non-Green party of choice is "punishing" non-car drivers.
I don't see what your examples have to do with civil liberties. You can remain being selfish if you want, but you will just have to account more for the way your selfishness pisses all over the rights of other people, which is only fair, after all. If you want to know about real civil liberties, take a look at http://www.votefordemocracy.org.uk/ and you will see that the Green Party and the Lib Dems are in almost equal first place with 80% and 80.5% respectively, with the next (SNP) at 57%, descending all the way to the BNP at 7.5%.
As you say - you can't have it both ways...