Monday, December 9, 2019
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Inside the dotty mind of Green Queen Caroline

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Were political polls and surveys always accurate, Hillary Clinton would currently be in the White House thumbing her nose at the ‘basket of deplorables’. And Theresa May, with a thumping Commons majority, might – just might – have left intact the red lines drawn in her Lancaster speech of January 2017 and not faced a confidence vote.

Despite having come to expect the unexpected, earlier this week it was a jolt to read that a survey by YouGov has startlingly declared ‘Britain’s most well-regarded party’ to be, wait for it, the Greens.

In a sample of 1,637 British adults surveyed during October, 41 per cent declared a favourable view of the Greens – more than for any other UK party – with only 37 per cent of opinion being unfavourable (22 per cent didn’t know). With a favourability score of +4, the Greens were the only party to be more liked than disliked.

Labour recorded a favourability rating of -14 (37 to 51) and the Conservatives were even less popular at -19 (35 to 54). None of which means the Greens are on course to form the next government, thank goodness; rather, the polling reveals the Greens to be the cuddly toy of the Left, seemingly adopted as a mascot by the bulk of Labour, LibDem and Nationalist supporters.

Inevitably, the party committed to ecology and environmentalism is most liked in the pastoral idyll of, er, Greater London. Also, socio-economic category ABC1 favours the Greens much more than C2DE, the more prosperous group being far more able to absorb green taxes and no doubt more inclined to believe that, for example, air travel should be restricted by affluence.

Unsurprisingly, Conservatives and Ukippers largely shun what David Cameron, in a rare epiphany, was once reported to have referred to as ‘green crap’; the Right correctly regards the Greens as the most extreme proponents of far-Left ideology and sanctimonious gesture politics. The party’s wackiness is exemplified by its dotty insistence upon having as co-leaders a man and a woman, thereby prioritising so-called gender equality over effective command.

The Scottish Greens even shun the word ‘leader’, instead having ‘co-convenors’. Yet at a time when new descriptions of gender continue to spring from the imaginations of people unable to believe their luck at being taken seriously – as long ago as 2014, Facebook offered UK users a bewildering 71 options – the Greens’ continued obsession with male-female balance is, for otherwise right-on radicals, rather quaint.

Although not part of the poll, it is likely that most of those surveyed would – were they actually able to name any Green politicians – assume Caroline Lucas to be party leader (singular). In fact, having been led, for want of a better word, at the 2015 election by the ‘brain fade’ that was Natalie Bennett, then jointly for two years by Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley (who he?) earlier this year Lucas was replaced as the female half of the pantomime horse by Siân Berry (nope, me neither).

Nonetheless, as the Greens’ only MP – sitting for where else but Brighton – and still being the public face of the party, it was Caroline Lucas who last weekend appeared on Channel 4’s Real Brexit Debate as the advocate for the so-called People’s Vote: ‘Let’s just be sure . . .’ she urged, the words ‘. . . to remain’ being implicit.

Lucas has also had the brass neck to claim that all forms of Brexit will damage the economy and leave the country worse off.

This cant regarding economic growth comes from a party inherently averse to industrialisation. It is these eco-eccentrics’ spuriously implacable opposition to fracking and superstitious fear of nuclear power which is a far greater threat to our future prosperity; by believing that in future wind and water will, alone, generate sufficient energy to keep the lights on, the Greens are the kings (and queens) of wishful thinking.

Still, Caroline Lucas’s rhetorical flourish during the Brexit debate that leaving the EU is a project ‘of the Right, for the Right, by the Right’ elicited whoops of delight from the audience chosen by the Lefties at Channel 4.

One imagines that, somewhere, Jon Snow and Cathy Newman also yelled their approval, while host Krishnan Guru-Murthy bit his lip.

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Gary Oliver
Gary Oliver
Gary Oliver is an accountant who lives in East Lothian.

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