Rob Johnston has produced a very interesting essay on the true soulmates of Green Politics in Britain
- Forbid the purchase of corner shops by migrants
- Stop people from inner cities moving to the countryside to protect traditional lifestyles
- Grant British citizenship only to children born here
- Boycott food grown by black farmers and subsidise crops grown by whites
- Restrict tourism and immigration from outside Europe
- Prohibit embryo research
- Stop lorry movements on the Lord’s Day
- Require State approval for national sports teams to compete overseas
- Disconnect Britain from the European electricity grid
- Establish a “new order” between nations to resolve the world economic crisis
These are the policies of one of Britain’s most influential political parties: a party that has steadily increased its vote over the last decade; a party that appeals overwhelmingly to whites; and a party that shares significant objectives with neo-fascists and religious fundamentalists.
Perhaps – the BNP? Despite its attempts to appear modern and inclusive and the soothing talk in its 2005 General Election Manifesto, of “genuine ethnic and cultural diversity” .
Or UKIP? It harbours some pretty backward-looking individuals – but would they stop Britain buying electricity from France if necessary?
Or, maybe, the Conservatives? Could that be a list of recommendations from one of Dave’s lesser-known policy groups – chaired by the ghost of Enoch Powell – quietly shredded to avoid “re-contaminating the Brand”?
Actually, affiliates of the progressive consensus may be surprised to learn that all the reactionary policies in the first paragraph are from the Green Party’s Manifesto for a Sustainable Society (MfSS) or were adopted at the party’s Autumn Conference in Liverpool over the weekend of September 13-16, 2007 .
Of course, the Green Party will protest against the accusation of reactionary politics. However, in an article critical of the G8 leaders in June, George Monbiot, (capo di tutti capi of the green movement) advised readers to judge politicians for “what they do, not what they say”.
For example, as well as supporting ethnic and cultural diversity, the BNP says it accepts:
“… the right of law-abiding minorities, in our country because they or their ancestors came here legally, to remain here and to enjoy the full protection of the law against any form of harassment or hostility…” 
But, use Monbiot’s argument, disregard the rhetoric and look at what the rest of the BNP manifesto promises would actually do and it remains a party of racist and neo-fascist ideology – internationally isolationist and domestically reactionary.
The trouble for Greens is that their manifesto pledges would result in many of the same outcomes as the BNP programme.
You will not find the words “Boycott food grown by black farmers and subsidise crops grown by whites”, in the Green Party’s manifesto, but consider Monbiot’s advice about the effects of these policies:
“The Green Party recognises that subsidies are sometimes necessary to protect local, regional and national economies and the environment, and we will support them in these instances” .
“Controls such as tariff barriers and quotas should be gradually introduced on a national and/or regional bloc level, with the aim of allowing localities and countries to produce as much of their food, goods and services as they can themselves. Anything that cannot be provided nationally should be obtained from neighbouring countries, with long distance trade the very last resort” .
The paradox of arguing for Fair Trade while refusing to buy African vegetables because of “food miles” has been noted many times, but it is a paradox the Green Party simply ignores. According to the Guardian, Britain has two black farmers , so any policy to subsidise domestic produce and erect barriers to outsiders will, ipso facto, support white farmers and disadvantage black farmers. Even if supplies are “obtained from neighbouring countries”, white European farmers benefit at the expense of poor farmers in Africa and the developing world.
On agricultural policy in general, Greens will agree with the following sentiments:
“Britain’s farming industry will be encouraged to produce a much greater part of the nation’s need in food products. Priority will be switched from quantity to quality, as we move from competing in a global economy to maximum self-sufficiency for Britain, sustainable agriculture, decreased reliance on petro-chemical products and more organic production” .
However, those promises come from the BNP 2005 General Election Manifesto – in a section indistinguishable from the Green Party manifesto:
“To be able to fulfil all our basic food needs locally. To grow as many other products as we can to meet our basic needs (e.g. for textiles, fuel, paper) on a local or regional basis. To enable all communities to have access to land which can be used for growing for basic needs. To ensure that all growing systems use only natural, renewable inputs and that all organic waste outputs are able to be recycled back into the soil or water system” .
Perhaps this is why, according to the BNP:
“We are the only true ‘Green Party’ in Britain as only the BNP intends to end mass immigration into Britain and thereby remove at a stroke the need for an extra 4 million homes in the green belts of the South East and elsewhere, which are required to house the influx of 5 million immigrants expected to enter the country under present trends over the next twenty years” .
Greens agree with the BNP about migration and the green belt. They promise to: minimise the environmental degradation caused by migration; not allow increased net migration; and end the pressure on the Green Belt by reducing population and stopping growth-oriented development . Reduction in non-white tourism and immigration would be an inevitable consequence of government restrictions on air travel. Few refugees from Iraq, Darfur, Zimbabwe manage to get all the way to Britain without a large carbon footprint, neither can tourists from beyond Europe. How about the accusation that the Green Party would:
“Stop people from inner cities moving to the countryside to protect traditional lifestyles and prevent crime; forbid the purchase of corner shops by migrants.”
Here, are the relevant resolutions from the MfSS:
“Communities and regions should have the right to restrict inward migration when one or more of the following conditions are satisfied: 
a) The ecology of the recipient area would be significantly adversely affected by in-comers to the detriment of the wider community (eg. National Parks, Antarctica).
b) The recipient area is owned or controlled by indigenous peoples (eg Australian aboriginal people) whose traditional lifestyle would be adversely affected by in-comers.
c) The prospective migrants have, on average, equal or greater economic power than the residents of the recipient area and they or their families were not forced to leave the area in the recent past.”
“Regions or communities must have the right to reject specific individuals on grounds of public safety” .
The examples (breathtakingly disingenuous) assert that they intend simply to stop Richard Branson driving a new main line through Stonehenge, Rupert Murdoch building a printing press on top of Uluru or Caesar’s Palace opening a casino at the South Pole.
Surely the Greens, of all people, know that Britain has hardly any desolate tundra and few Australian aboriginal communities. In practice, these policies would give the “indigenous” white folk of a quaint rural hamlet the right to rebuff a Leicester Bangladeshi purchaser for its corner shop because she has “greater economic power” than the villagers – whose “traditional lifestyle” would be “adversely affected” by her ethnicity and religion. They could also keep her out “on ground of public safety” because her inner city Muslim children are more likely to be criminals than their own offspring.
Not surprisingly, the BNP agrees with the Greens about the “right of all peoples to self-determination and that must include the indigenous peoples of these islands” … Alas, not every small community is Ambridgely-correct – thrilled to embrace a half-Irish gay couple, a Vicar with a Hindu girlfriend and a mixed-race child, and an African husband for the daughter of the Lord of the Manor with the same enthusiasm it has for organic ciabatta and carbon trading.
In the 1980s, when the Thatcher government restricted immigration to Britain to those with at least one grandparent born here, it was accused of constructive racism. Thatcher claimed her measures were not racist – any discrimination against nonwhites was just an incidental consequence of the need to maintain what is now called “community cohesion”. Green Party policy would go even further down the road of constructive racism than Mrs Thatcher, refusing citizenship to children born overseas even if their parents hold British passports .
The Macpherson Report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence identified “unwitting racism” in the police that can arise from well intentioned words or actions that arise out of uncritical self-understanding born out of an inflexible ethos of the “traditional” way of doing things:
“It persists because of the failure of the organisation openly and adequately to recognise and address its existence and causes by policy, example and leadership. Without recognition and action to eliminate such racism it can prevail as part of the ethos or culture of the organisation” .
By its uncritical acceptance of “traditional” ways of doing things – from the “spiritual link between ourselves and nature”  in agriculture, to anti-globalisation, to making the home “an important centre of economic activity”  – the Green Party allies itself with some of the most reactionary contemporary political forces in the land. And the “traditional” way of doing things is usually a reactionary approach to modern social issues.
Green Party agreement with Christian fundamentalists on at least two issues requires no textual analysis: MfSS policy number EU523 would ban lorry movements on Sunday throughout Europe and H329 calls for an immediate ban on embryo manipulation and cloning for any research, therapeutic or reproductive purposes .
Policies EU532 and 533 would scrap all connection of electricity grids throughout Europe – partly because interconnectivity allows nuclear generated power to creep along the wires .
For national sports teams, CMS871 would require politicians to determine “whether it is appropriate for the team to take part in competition against a country with whom normal friendly, respectful, or diplomatic relations are not possible” .
It is frequent for parties on the extreme fringes to share an analysis of contemporary politics – and Greens and BNP certainly share a lot of analysis. From the BNP 2005 Manifesto :
“For most of human history, the existence of such ethnic and cultural diversity among humanity was so obvious and apparently unchallengeably natural that the political theorists and philosophers of past generations simply took it for granted. Only in the last few decades has this been changed forever by the advent of mass passenger travel, the insatiable desire of the globalised capitalist economy for cheap labour, and the worldwide reach of US consumerist culture through film and television.”
“That poison is in large measure the blind economic force of global capitalism, with its insistence on the unrestricted flow of goods, capital and labour to wherever in the world they will make the maximum short-term profit … It is not about ‘love’ and ‘tolerance’, it is about profit.”
From the Green Party Manifesto:
“Formidably powerful and publicly unaccountable transnational companies are becoming ever more footloose, their strength and mobility facilitated both by technological advances, and by the progressive withdrawal of investment controls by governments and by multilateral institutions such as WTO. TNCs are now increasingly able to exploit differences in social and environmental standards between countries in order to maximise profits” .
“The rush towards globalisation is neither inevitable nor desirable. It is leading to the sharp reduction in powers of local and indigenous communities, states, and even nations, to control their futures, as economic power is transferred to global institutions. A worldwide homogenization of diverse, local, and indigenous cultures, social and economic forms, as well as values and living patterns increasingly reflect the new global monoculture” .
To solve these “problems” the Green Party calls for an international “new order” to address a “global economic … cris[i]s” . That language requires a very special kind of historical ignorance. Can no one in the Green Party have noticed that the last ideology to emphasise the spiritual oneness of man and nature (“blood and soil”) and used the phrase “new order” was the fascism of the mid-20th century? A fascism represented in contemporary politics by the BNP. Similar analyses may be common for parties on opposite wings of politics, but it is not so common to posit the same solutions.
No doubt, when the Green Party adopted its manifesto there was no deliberate intention to implement a reactionary and racist strategy. But the Green Party is overwhelmingly white: of more than three dozen individuals listed as speakers and discussion leaders at its Autumn Conference only one was obviously a member of a visible ethnic minority (VEMs to those in the know) . Even the discussion on issues affecting women from ethnic minority communities was led by a white woman and just 2% of Green Party candidates in the 2006 local elections were VEMs . Perhaps the absence of minority members in Green Party counsels results in the same sort of “canteen culture” that affects the police, making it oblivious to the right-wing, pseudo racist nature of its plans for Britain.
The lessons of the Macpherson Report’s “institutional racism” could be expanded to include “institutional reactionaryism” and should be learnt not only by the state apparatus and large companies, but also by the Green Party – which declares its desire for a fair and just society.
1.BNP 2005 General Election Manifesto: Rebuilding British Democracy (BNP 2005) pg 3 http://www.bnp.org.uk/candidates2005/manifesto/manifesto2005.pdf
2.Green Party Autumn Conference 2007: http://www.greenparty.org.uk/files/conference/2007/Final_Agenda_Autumn07.pdf
3.BNP 2005: pg 21
4.Green Party Manifesto for a Sustainable Society (GP MfSS): EU413 http://policy.greenparty.org.uk/mfss/
6.The Guardian Monday June 26, 2006 “Meet Britain’s other black farmer” http://www.guardian.co.uk/country/article/0,,1805973,00.html
7.BNP 2005: pg47
8.GP MfSS: AG500, AG501, AG502, AG503
9.BNP 2005: pg 48
10.GP MfSS: MG200, MG400, CY561
13.BNP 2005: pg 3
14.GP MfSS: NY515
15.Rachel Morris, Cardiff Law School: Summary of Macpherson Report: http://www.law.cf.ac.uk/tlru/Lawrence.pdf
16.GP MfSS: AG100
18.Ibid: EU523, H329
19.Ibid: EU532, EU533
21.BNP 2005: pg 18-19
22.GP MfSS: EC902
25.Green Party Autumn Conference 2007 Timetable. http://www.greenparty.org.uk/files/conference/2007/Liverpool_timetable_full.pdf
26.Green Party Candidates for May 4th 2006 http://www.greenparty.org.uk/files/election/2WebverLE06cand.htm