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Caroline Lucas
September 2010

 

As the leader of the British Green Party and its first and only MP, Caroline Lucas is known for everything from her views on animal rights to her support of "direct action". When she was elected to represent Brighton Pavilion in May — a terribly middle-class area in the gay capital of Britain which appears to be full of muesli-eating students and London commuters — it was hailed as a "victory" for the party. But was it?

Although it may have been a personal breakthrough for Lucas, it wasn't reflected  on a national scale. The Greens' share of the vote actually decreased 0.1 per cent to 1 per cent, less than the BNP. Lucas and her supporters may believe that she has made the party "electable", but look at the success of the German Greens compared to their British counterparts. Every major party in Germany has co-opted, adopted and even stolen Green policies, resulting in them becoming mainstream.

There can be no doubt that Lucas played down the role of environmental issues during the election. Claiming that the voters had responded to her wider agenda on social justice, she told the Guardian: "I would challenge the assumption that this was just an environmental vote. I was not elected on the back of environmental concerns alone."

The British Greens could be accused of giving environmentalism a bad name. "Lucas is just another ‘Have' telling the ‘Have Nots' how to live their lives," says the commentator Julie Burchill. "Always suspect a political movement which has NO leaders from the lower orders — they are guaranteed to be a bunch of hypocrites, scolds and bed-wetters."

Lucas says she is a feminist. Yet she has shared a platform with those who believe that adulterous females should be stoned to death. In 2004, Lucas supported the International Network Assembly for the Protection of Hijab (Pro-Hijab), which was formed in response to proposed headscarf bans in France and parts of Germany. Its aim was to "dispel myths about the hijab", to lobby to reverse bans already brought in and to prevent more "abuses of democracy" being imposed. Lucas joined the former Respect MP George Galloway and London's ex-mayor Ken Livingstone on the platform at the assembly's publicly-funded City Hall launch. 

The guest of honour was Livingstone's old friend Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, who has spoken in favour of female genital mutilation, wife-beating, the execution of homosexuals in Islamic states, the destruction of the Jewish people, the use of suicide bombs against innocent civilians and the blaming of rape victims who do not dress modestly. 

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Chrissie
July 7th, 2014
1:07 PM
Hi Julie, I've arrived here late, having only today been informed about your article. Do you know (or does anyone else know) whether Caroline Lucas has modified her views since your article was published September 2010? I'd like to imagine that she's since come to her senses. Suffice to say, I'm a former Green voter, but I became disillusioned some time ago, mainly due to the Party's support of wind farms and the resulting industrialisation of the countryside. However, I'm even more despairing to learn that Caroline supports the likes of Al-Qaradawi. This is truly shocking. That said, Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised. Peter Tatchell (who I still admire for the most part) has hit the same blind spot. As many already know, he's the patron of Tell Mama, an anti-Islamaphobia website which was formerly supported by the government, but recently stripped of state funding due to the organisation's exaggerations and falsehoods in relation to reports of hate crimes against Muslims. And yet, Peter Tatchell remains unmoved by these revelations and proudly maintains his support of Tell Mama. He doesn't mind a jot that Islam promotes the subjugation of women and is intolerant of homosexuality. Having also discovered that Anne Marie Waters has joined UKIP - another big surprise, but this time of a pleasant kind. I might even be persuaded to vote for UKIP next year. I think Anne Marie will be a good influence on a party which hitherto was lacking in an authentically feminist voice. In my opinion, Anne Marie is a person who understands the nature of humanitarianism, whilst also understanding where exactly to draw the line in her quest for the good of all.

Vernon Stains
November 24th, 2013
1:11 PM
Caroline Lucas is a paragon of virtue and honesty, compared to openly anti-Semitic leader of the Welsh Greens, Pippa Barolotti

rob fielder
May 13th, 2012
11:05 AM
your article says it all really....

Anonymous
March 15th, 2012
2:03 PM
lucas will be gone soon, as the voters who made her their MP will have graduated and left town. Brighton is a town to leave not live in!

Simon
November 24th, 2011
2:11 PM
Thanks for the article Julie. I must admit that I was taken in by the Greens until recently. I had no idea that a party could be so disingenuous. It wasn't until I read the Green Party's spokesman Hugo Charlton comments "I regret the decision by some (London) Assembly members to attempt to deter the distinguished Muslim scholar Dr al-Qaradawi from speaking at City Hall." This was supported by Lucas who added "it is more important than ever that our commitment to human rights and equality is not expressed in a way that can fan the flames of populist Islamophobia." It's really pathetic. But what disgusts me so much is the way she has salivated around the LGBT voters in Brighton in order to get elected. This kind of amoral duplicity would be amusing, were it not so sinister. Just another far-left hypocrite who will be whoever her audience wants her to be at any given time. You don't have to scratch far beneath the surface of the watermelon to find a very rotten centre.

Anonymous
May 31st, 2011
10:05 AM
Firstly, Caroline Lucas is the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales (the Scottish Green Party is separate). Secondly, the Green Party's overall share of the vote fell because it targeted its resources more effectively. Germany has more Green politicians because it has a more proportional system. In most places in the UK, once Greens have been able to overcome the hurdle of first past the post more Greens have been elected. Incidentally, Green councillors represent areas of working class electors and certainly work in the interests of people on low incomes, fighting for a living wage in London and elsewhere. It's interesting that you think there's too much coverage of the Green Party on the BBC, I don't think there's enough. I suppose there ought to be an unbiased formula to work out how much air time each political party gets. The Green Party isn't trying to tell people what to do. It has produced an alternative to the main parties' cuts agenda that would protect the opportunities ordinary people have. The Green Party's flagship policies are about reducing the waste in heating our home or producing energy - policies that will save ordinary people money and create local jobs. I'd really appreciate it if someone could point me to evidence that Qaradawi is a bigot (from what I can tell there seems to be divided opinion as to whether he is being grossly misrepresented). If it is the case I will contact Caroline and ask her to condone his bigoted comments. As for the Green Party's attitude to Israel. As the comments already posted show it's difficult to even agree on the semantics of this issue. As I see it there is difference between supporting the right of Israel to exist peacefully and of condoning the actions of the Israeli military and the Israeli Government's economic persecution of Palestinian people. I think there is a case for a boycott, but I oppose an academic boycott of Israel because I think there are a lot of opportunities (including some funded by the UK and EU) for Israeli and Palestinian academics to work together and I think that is a fundamentally good thing. The Green Party is a democratic party and these policies are voted on at conference. I don't always agree with the outcomes of votes but I don't start blaming the voters, just as it is pointless to blame those who brought us this coalition government. Instead let's expend our energy putting forward a positive agenda.

Martin Anonymous
September 29th, 2010
6:09 PM
The Greens & Lucas represent very dangerous politics. There is an overlap between the Greens, the BNP & extreme anti semitism. like the Nazis, who had similar green policies, it is debatable as to whether the Greens are extreme Left or extreme Right. The BBC takes the former view, & so gives Lucas & her unpleasant party more coverage than it deserves. As it does with Respect & the SWP.

George
September 24th, 2010
8:09 PM
John - Qaradawi can be seen on videos all over the web variously praising Hitler, commending wife-beating, the execution of homosexuals in Islamic states, encouraging the destruction of the Jewish people, and upholding the use of suicide bombs against innocent civilians. He may well deny that he has said these things but that makes him a liar, not any less repulsive. It says much about the amorality of Caroline Lucas that she can defend such a bigot, leaving aside her disgraceful borderline anti-semitic comments on the Mumbai masscare.

Django
September 5th, 2010
8:09 PM
Pitiful excuses from 'John' attempting to defend one of the UKs most odious politicians. Perhaps he could explain why Lucas, commenting on the Mumbai outrage immediately blamed Jews ... sorry Israel. Lucas is still useful however - as a model of the perfect far left hypocrite, and her defence of the bestial Qaradawi is particularly amusing.

John
August 28th, 2010
11:08 AM
There is a deficit of logic in this article, which is a tired attempt to smear by association. Al Qaradawi also says he doesn't hold the views you ascribe to him and that he is misquoted and lied about in reports. So who to believe? It seems to all come down to the fact that Caroline is against the Israeli government (not the country or people) amd their policies and actions. You claim hypocracy because she criticised a policy of the current Israeli regime and (apparently) hasn't taken an equally strong stance against other injustices? This would be laughable even if Caroline's views on the other issues you mention (and more) weren't widely voiced and known. Poor form Julie.

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