Letter: Green Party opposition in Islington is vital for democracy

9 March 2018

 

While central government may be the main villain in the erosion of local services, that does not mean Greens should give the Labour Council a free ride when they get it wrong

 

Dear Islington Tribune Editor

As council elections loom in May, Labour Party councillors seem to be doing their best to drive a wedge between their party and the Green Party, which currently poses the only official opposition to Labour on Islington council. This is foolish. Where we agree with the Labour Party, we will support them. Where we disagree we will say so and make our own proposals to improve the performance of the council. That is the role of an opposition. As in the recent national debate on whether the Green Party should join force with the Labour Party as a junior partner, the Green Party has no intention of abandoning its identity and distinctive approach to politics.

I notice, for example, that in the debate on the council budget and imminent increases in council tax Councillor Andy Hull, the town hall's finance chief, is quoted as saying, “The Greens are not a serious opposition. They have nothing to say about Tory cuts.” This is nonsense. The Green Party nationally took a strong position against austerity long before the Labour Party moved in that direction. The Green Party has also been more vocal on the need for a national house building programme financed by sensible borrowing.

The Green Party in Islington recognises that central government is the main villain in the erosion of local servives and that it is not an easy time to run a council. But that does not mean we intend to give the Labour Party free rein to run the borough as it wishes. We want to steer the council in a direction that reflects our principles and aspirations. When Islington residents go to vote in May, we hope they will bear in mind that although we in the Green Party do share many common objectives with Labour, we believe our version of progressive politics offers people a better alternative. 

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Wright

Islington Green Party






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