You have to watch this interview with Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party If you don’t, you probably won’t believe how awful it is. In an LBC interview with Nick Ferrari, she tries to explain how the Greens would build half a million council houses. She clearly does not know what it would cost to build this number of homes or what the land cost would be or how it would be funded. When asked about funding, she explains that it would come from abolishing tax relief for loan interest on private landlords but cannot say how much this would save per annum let alone the impact on the private housing market of denying private landlords tax deductibility for a significant element of business cost!
I have observed the Green Party for most of my political life. Caroline Lucas was a Green Councillor on Oxfordshire County Council between 1993 and 1997. She was privately educated at Malvern Girls’ School which must irk her hugely but corrected the balance by going on to Exeter University where she read English Literature in between regular trips to Greenham Women’s Peace Camp and support for CND. From Essex she enjoyed a scholarship at the University of Kansas and then a diploma in Journalism before finishing her studies at the age of 29, gaining her PhD with a thesis entitled Writing for Women: a study of woman as reader in Elizabethan romance.
I can see no trace of her having held a proper job. From the County Council, she got herself elected to the European Parliament, thanks to the introduction of proportional voting in 1999. She held the seat in 2004 and 2009. She won the Brighton Pavilion English Parliamentary seat in 2010, the first and still the only Green Party MP. There is no doubt she is very bright and knocks spots of the new Green Party leader. She also had all the essential characteristics of the Green Party. She was well to the left of centre, advocating policies that the Blairite wing of New Labour would never have touched. She was a rabid feminist and full of political correctness. You also have to be slightly mad to be a Green Party member. She has been reprimanded for being improperly dressed in the Commons and arrested for violent confrontation in an anti-fracking demonstration. What induced her to stand aside for Natalie Bennett baffles me and, I suspect a lot of Green Party members. Lucas would not have been wrong footed in an interview.
Natalie Bennett is an Australian by birth. After education at an independent girls’ school, she read Agricultural Science at Sydney University, followed by a BA in Asian Studies at the University of New England and then an MA in Mass Communication at Leicester University. Hardly a good advertisement for the latter course after her disastrous interview on LBC! Her subsequent working life was as a reporter on Australian regional newspapers until leaving Australia in 1995. She spent four years in Bangkok partly working as a journalist and partly for the Office of the National Commission of Women’s Affairs of Australian Volunteers International. Settling in Britain in 1999, she worked for the Guardian,, Independent and Times. She has lost a succession of council, London Assembly and Parliamentary elections. She was elected leader of the Green Party to succeed Caroline Lucas on a turnout of 25%.
The Green Party is advocating a whole range of barking mad policies, reflecting their inherent socialist tendency. Essentially, Green policies are anti-capitalist, anti-austerity, anti-growth, rabidly green in all sorts of quirky ways, pro-public ownership, anti-private sector, high taxing, high spending. They would legalise cannabis, presumably to help the citizens to live in a failing socialist state.
Will their leader survive her humiliation today? Will her terrible performance turn away potential Green voters? As LBC’s Joey Jones said: “It’s very difficult from her point of view but I would make one point: ultimately, people who are inclined to vote Green – and there are a lot more of them than we’ve seen in the past – are not doing so because they think their sums add up. They’re voting on principle and some are voting as a protest and they may well do that no matter how many bad interviews Natalie Bennett has in her locker.”
I think that says it all.