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Welcome to the completely bonkers world of the Green Party manifesto

21 January 2015

3:14 PM

21 January 2015

3:14 PM

I was about to shut down my computer last night when I made the mistake of clicking on an article about the Green Party’s manifesto, possibility the scariest thing since Victor from The Returned.

Say what you like about the Greens, a party with support now at 11 per cent, but at least they’re not just the same as any other party. None of that ‘neoliberal’ nonsense here.

Here are some excerpts from the Daily Telegraph article 

  • Top-ups [will be] 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 “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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


I know Ukip are accused of wanting to bring us back to the ‘50s, but at least it’s not the 1750s, before pesky economic growth ruined everything. All parties are based on inherent contradictions: Labour has the progressive dilemma, whereby the party’s social liberalism destroys working-class solidarity; the Conservatives have the inherent contradiction that free-market capitalism inevitably changes rather than conserves society. Ukip, being in its adolescence, is full of contradictions at the moment. But the Green Party is like an Escher painting of political paradox.

It wants pre-industrial economic policies mixed with 21st century radical sexual politics mixed with a strong hostility to pleasure, especially if someone’s making money out of it; it supports hard secularism and population control policies combined with open borders and pacifism (let’s see how that works out!); immense levels of state control over our private lives alongside moral relativism towards things like terrorism and crime. Its support base is mostly the educated, squeezed middle yet its economic policies would certainly ruin them.

If Communism had been designed by middle-class women, this is what it would look like: a sex workers’ paradise with more emphasis on tax and telling-off and less on gulags and terror.

Still, I’m with them on the negative income tax and their high-minded idea that the BBC should be forced to broadcast educational programming during prime time; although I suspect that the Greens’ idea of ‘educational’ might differ to many people’s.

Anyway, the commentariat will universally sneer at the Greens and it won’t make the blindest bit of difference to their support: voting is irrational, and the more parties we seem to have the more irrational – or at least less self-interested – it gets. Still, I would be keen on seeing how a selection of voters for each party did on rationality tests. I would hazard a guess that supporters of the Greens would come out bottom of the big five.

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Show comments
  • Karl Grosvenor

    This party aren’t living on this planet I don’t think they are even in this Universe!I am so pleased they will never be able to form a government!

  • mollyb

    well for me it’s either UKIP or Greens and considering Im Born Again Christian and considering they stand for things that the church wouldn’t agree with I can’t vote either but I don’t want labour,lib dem and conservatives either

  • TheWanderer91

    Not only are the green party’s economic policies completely unrealistic. Their defence policy is basically scrap all nuclear weapons, abolish the current military, then just stick their heads in the clouds, live in a fantasy world and hope nothing bad will happen. That’s just reckless, irresponsible and treating defence as a joke. The Green party really are a threat to national security. They even want to legalise joining terrorist groups, their insane. People are always assuming that the green party are really popular amongst young people and the green party are trying to make themselves out as the party of young people. Their really not, I’m in my early 20’s and the green party do not speak to me at all and I don’t really know any green voters my age.

  • Benjamin Tyler

    Yet more neo-con leaning BS. And a hashed opinion based on ‘quotes’ from right wing papers owned by Etonites and Tory donors. Yes some Green policies are bold. But that is what is required. As a green party member and supporter I really want to help our country and the world as a whole but if the Toff minority want to laugh and scoff, then so be it. I can’t wait to watch them trying to swim out of their flooded mansion trying to carry all their Musto tweed and family silver.

  • dave

    They really should have posted some citations along with this. Some of this stuff I can find on their website whilst other stuff is nowhere to be seen. I was half tempted to consider the greens but if this is genuine policy that I can find somewhere on their website I won’t even bother considering.

  • Emiri Zapata

    I was uncertain but now they’ve certainly got my vote

  • Psycho Dave

    I really think this video by a Green Party Candidate says it all

  • Al Tyke

    Lazy journalism in the extreme. Just a re-post of some drivel from the Telegraph. Pathetic.

  • Marcussmod

    The Greens are actually a parody of old fashioned 1970’s Marxist loons. Their idiot policies on mass migration would turn this already overcrowded island into a European Calcutta. They refuse to talk about the massive environmental threat caused by a population explosion of non European races both in Europe and the third world, as this would be way-thist. No wonder Cameron wanted them included in the TV debates.

  • Julie Shackson

    Thanks for posting the policies; had previously though Greens were bonkers, but having seen their policies I cannot disagree with any of them. They look genuinely progressive and will address many problems in our current policies. I think I’ll be voting Green!

    • justsomeone

      Haha, I’m sure you’re a Green activist.
      No-one who thought they were Bonkers would read these policies and think otherwise.

      • Julie Shackson

        Well I’m not a Tory; voted Lib Dem last time when Labour proved to be as right wing as any Tory, but I really do think these policies make a lot of sense. I’ve just done the ‘vote for policies’ test and I’m definitely voting Green. I’m no activist though.

        • justsomeone

          I stand corrected. But these policies are bonkers. I do agree that the Conservatives were as left-wing as Labour.

  • quotes

    “I would be keen on seeing how a selection of voters for each party did on rationality tests. I would hazard a guess that supporters of the Greens would come out bottom of the big five.”

    Surely it’s more irrational to keep voting for what you know you won’t get (Cameron, for Conservatism) than to vote for something that’s just completely mental.

    • Benjamin Tyler

      I am a Green Party member, supporter, a medical professional, father and husband with a stable mortgage and life. I am as rational as it gets. Perhaps all those that poo-poo their ideas as farce are the real irrationals when it comes to real solutions for real problems. What’s that quote about the lunatics running the asylum… or the one about maybe the ones that seem mad are actually more attuned to the new thinking that is needed rather than rehashing the same broken edge fiddling policies.

  • quotes

    The thing I really hate about the Greens is that some of what they want I agree with. LVT is a great idea, for example, and I can even get behind universal income (provided it’s married, Friedman-style, to some sort of negative income tax). But giving prisoners the vote and banning cars? Stupid stuff like that makes you wonder if they even want to achieve their apparently over-arching environment aims (which, for what it’s worth, are insane).

    It’s a shame that reasonable policies worthy of further exploration will now filed as “Green lunacy” alongside giving the vote to everyone who hops off at Calais and state funding of politics.

  • justsomeone

    Sounds like old fashioned communism all over again.
    Can’t help thinking they want to wreck the economy in order to create a vicious circle of ever increasing taxes and state ownership until the state owns everything, at which point they’ll send more and more people to prison (or to re-education camps) for speaking out against the revolution. At least the prisons will have room, since they’ll be freeing so many prisoners.

  • Stuart Gauntlett

    All sounds pretty good to me!! Might wanna review the name of this blog really! Here’s a suggestion “Welcome to the fair, responsible world the Green Party Manfesto”, just seeing as how you make them seem so perfect!! Thanks xx

  • Party_Fants

    Twaddle written by an idiot, best you can expect from the spectator. We live in a finite world you morons, that means things run out, there is not unlimited water, air, oil, iron or in fact anything, but you twats seem to think there is. We have to co exist with each other or we will ultimately fail. When your children or maybe grandchildren are cursing us for fucking it up, you wont be here.

    • Danny123

      I read as far as “there is not unlimited water, air….”

    • Blakenburg

      Nature decides, not Man!
      What ever Man does, Nature overcomes!

  • FootballFan*

    Yep democracy really is the worst system of government in the world eh Winston. These people are dangerous, but only conceptually so, they will never wield any power and so the cataclysm that these people would invariably create will never occur. Having said that i must say its kind of amusing to read that there are people in this country that could think any of the things highlighted in this article are achievable or even desirable its lucky that all such people never have the ability to achieve their deluded goals.

  • splod

    “Welcome to the completely bonkers world of the Green Party manifesto”

    Fascinating quote-mining by the Telegraph, and the Spectator does itself no favours by lazily repeating the shoddy work of other journalists. Let’s start with the idea that this is the GP’s 2015 manifesto: it isn’t.