Greens Back The Occupy Movement

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John Harris is right to criticise the mainstream parties for their lack of vision, values and imagination (This moribund mainstream risks letting loose the ghouls, 5 November). The Liberal Democrats no longer occupy the centre left, and Labour is mired in the past. However, that doesn’t mean the only alternative is the “evil genius” of Nigel Farage and Ukip. There is another party providing a real alternative and we are steadily gaining ground. We have our first MP, our first council in Brighton and Hove, and our membership has increased by 45% in the past 18 months.

We are leading the calls for tax justice and for a fairer, greener alternative to the Tory-led government’s disproportionate spending cuts. In parliament, for example, I have tabled a private members’ bill to tackle tax avoidance and evasion, and at prime minister’s questions last week, I challenged David Cameron to support a Robin Hood tax on financial trading. The Green party has been vocal in its support of the Occupy movement from the start.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the mainstream parties have failed to engage with what is happening at St Paul’s and at protests across the country – showing just how out of touch they really are with the public mood for change. Yesterday Ed Miliband spoke of the need to “listen to the protesters” from afar in a vapid and defensive article for the Observer, which only highlighted the fact he had lacked the courage to visit Occupy LSX himself. It seems only the Green party is willing to match progressive politics with meaningful action.

Caroline Lucas MP
Green, Brighton Pavilion
* guardian.co.uk, Monday 7 November 2011 21.00 GMT

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