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  • The Green Party opposes David Davis

    by Leon
    25th June, 2008 at 9:26 pm    

    The Green’s have put up a candidate against David Davis in his upcoming by-election for freedom:

    Green Party Principal Speaker Derek Wall has backed local education and environment activist Shan Oakes to contest the election. Shan has lived in East Riding since 1975, where she was an English teacher for many years and is one of the founders of Voice International, an organisation working to promote sustainability through education and is Chair of the Trustees of the Development Education Centre.

    Leading Greens will be joining the Shan on the campaign trial in the next few weeks, including Dr. Wall, human rights spokesperson Peter Tatchell, target Parliamentary candidates Darren Johnson AM and Cllr. Adrian Ramsay, and prospective MEP candidates Peter Cranie and Cllr. Rupert Read.

    Derek Hall has come up with a fairly campaign friendly line of attack too:

    “This by-election was supposed to be about civil liberties. But it’s been called by a man - David Davis - who thinks it’s okay for the government to lock you up for four weeks without even telling you what you’re supposed to have done.

    “David Davis also believes that you should have no right to criticise the government within a mile of Parliament. He believes that if a child is being bullied for being gay, his school should not have a policy to protect him. And he believes that a judge should be allowed to kill you if he thinks you’ve committed a serious crime.

    “So the Green Party had to stand. Someone had to stand up for civil liberties.”

    Shan’s campaign blog is here, there’s also a Facebook group here.

    It will be interesting to see what support she gets outside the party. Will those Left/Liberals who don’t see the wisdom in supporting David Davis support her candidacy? And will the New Statesman throw it’s weight behind her?

                  Post to

    Filed in: Civil liberties,Current affairs,Election News,Party politics

    14 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Sunny — on 26th June, 2008 at 12:28 am  

      And will the New Statesman throw it’s weight behind her?

      Good question… surely that would be ideal?

    2. Refresh — on 26th June, 2008 at 1:00 am  

      Sounds like the perfect candidate. If only she could shed Thatchell and politely tell Bright to keep his nose out.

    3. MaidMarian — on 26th June, 2008 at 9:27 am  

      Skipping around the issue.

      There will never be a perfect civil liberties candidate if for no reason other than that the nature of government is to put crimps on the actions of individuals in name of the common good, notional or otherwide.

      How many people out there would regard restrictions on flying, having to sort out rubbish into recycling boxes, compulsion to drive far less and other such Green policies as consistent with freedom and liberty? Indeed modern ‘Greenism’ has a real authoritarian streak. It just doesn’t manifest itself in terms of 42 days.

      Indeed, one could argue that those Green policies would impact on far more people’s liberties than 42 days ever will.

      I feel that 42 days is something I feel should get really worked up about, but I just can’t. The reality is that 42 days will not cause the sky to fall, however much it would seem that some want it to. I certainly don’t care enough about 42 days to put my shoulder to the wheel of a man with a voting record like Davis’.

      There is a real place for an honest, hard-headed, cool debate on what crimps on our liberty the terror threat and, significantly, the FEAR of terror make necessary. That some on the civil liberties side feel that that fear is irrational does not make that fear any the less real. Certainly it does not diminish the demands made on government to. ‘do something.’

      Davis has stimulated nothing like this debate, a man with his record was always destined to fail even if he started in good faith which I suspect he certainly did not.

    4. sonia — on 26th June, 2008 at 12:39 pm  

      maid marian makes some good points.
      the whole thing is shambles. David Davis is a silly man and only trying a my party is better than your party contest. Civil liberties indeed, the whole thing is laughable.

      And the green Party needs to think harder about what they’re really trying to address. addressing little things about what individuals should or should not be doing is a very small part of the picture and not what a potential Government should be focusing on. In theory, assuming one believes a potential government can change more than tell individuals what to recycle, then it ought to be looking at addressing the wider system of the global financial system which keeps us producing more and more - in order to try and fool ourselves we’re one day going to have some money and not be in debt. or to pay off all that debt. Unsustainable, that’s what. The ‘green’ party needs to think in terms of wider sustainability, or rather, why it is why this world and this system we have is so fundamentally unsustainable. thinking about recycling - is really only addressing the landfill issue. why are companies producing so much shit? oh wait, no one will ask them to stop that!

    5. sonia — on 26th June, 2008 at 12:47 pm  

      Or of course, the reality is that Governments really dont think they have much power to change anything and i dont believe they want to either, so its easy to write some policies about what the individuals should be doing to change things, like take the Tube than drive -rather than actually providing a sensible alternative to driving, rather than investing in sustainable transport that is communal. And of course, pointing to the problems of global finance and the creation of money, because who thinks about that stuff?

      {there is a lot of brainwashing going on in departments of economics all over the world, and everyone seems to fall for it. why?)

    6. caroline — on 26th June, 2008 at 1:43 pm  

      good. glad the greens are standing and i hope tony benn, bob marshall-andrews et al go and speak in support of her and non in support of david davis.

      re greens and authoritarianism. from what i’ve seen, the big 3 parties all refuse to regulate big business, that therefore make green issues solely about lecturing and regulating individuals. the greens are more willing to tackle big businesses behaviour, seeing this as just as important if not more so, and so are not as reliant on bossing individuals about. but it will be interesting to see how well the greens can make this case.

    7. Kulvinder — on 26th June, 2008 at 1:52 pm  

      Classing the death penalty as a civil liberties issue is bizzare. Whilst im not at all in favour of it as a method of seeking justice the arguments against it have little to do with protection from the state; at the very least if we’re including the death penalty in this debate we should include every other form of judicial punishment (sending people to jail is wrong?!!).

      I accept that David Davis did what he did for a political end, but i also accept that in this instance he was very much the lesser of two evils. Those who believe the Green party are being any less cynical or calculating in standing in a high profile by-election with almost no other opposition and plenty of media coverage is of course deluding themselves.

    8. MaidMarian — on 26th June, 2008 at 2:10 pm  

      caroline (6) - ‘the greens are more willing to tackle big businesses behaviour, seeing this as just as important if not more so, and so are not as reliant on bossing individuals about.’

      With all due respect that is splitting hairs. The net effect of ‘tackling’ the behaviour of, say, big airlines is something that will directly impact on the flying public. It is just easier to shout at and disapprove of a faceless company than it is to shout at the voting public. It is very easy to make claims like the greens do with the benefit of permanent opposition status.

      The stark reality is that whatever righteous quality green thought may have the public aren’t buying it. This is the problem I have with so much green campaigning. Jumping up and down on the roof of the House of Commons is all very nice, but that won’t convince anyone that jetting off to Benidorm is a bad thing. Nor frankly should it.

      No - to my mind the logical end-point of Green thought is a high level of what in the old days was called social control. My view is that there is as much a liberty issue surrounding government telling people that they can’t fly off on holiday as a 42 days reserve power.

    9. caroline — on 26th June, 2008 at 3:49 pm  

      maid marion, it’s not about shouting at anyone, but about tackling action where it’s most effective.

      in fact government action is needed to stop corporations passing on all the financial costs of scarcer oil onto ordinary people, along with all the inevitable costs of avoiding (or worse, and much more expensively, dealing with) climate catastrophe.

      Rocketing fuel bills whilst the oil and gas companies make record profits and the power companies benefit from a £9bn windfall, is a case in point. These companies aren’t going to tackle fuel poverty and insulate people’s homes properly out of the goodness of their hearts - UK corporation law wouldn’t let them. So this is the role of a government willing to intervene where neccessary. I agree its easy for the greens to say good stuff when not in power - which is why i’d like to see them get a toehold so we can begin to see if they stick to it!

      aviation is a particularly tricky area i agree but 50% of the UK population and most of the world population never fly at all and i think the priviliged minority of us that do fly, have to accept that this becomes a rare treat (we can still holiday in hot places by train!!)

      Ultimately the biggest threat to both our wellbeing and our civil liberties is the societal breakdown that our own security services are predicting if we don’t tackle climate change PDQ.

    10. Sunny — on 26th June, 2008 at 3:56 pm  

      No - to my mind the logical end-point of Green thought is a high level of what in the old days was called social control. My view is that there is as much a liberty issue surrounding government telling people that they can’t fly off on holiday as a 42 days reserve power.

      I disagree. Labour and the Tories are more authoritarian on issues, but its just on different issues, than the Greens.

      People unfairly get annoyed with the Greens because its more about asking people to curb their behaviour. Labour or Tories just pass the law straight.

    11. Indrak — on 26th June, 2008 at 3:59 pm  

      sonia, #4/5:
      If you can see this far then why not go further?
      If you can -rather than do- not, then I suggest you revisit your affirming of Maidmarian’s points predicated on the fatuous concept of ‘freedom/liberty’.

    12. MaidMarian — on 26th June, 2008 at 4:28 pm  

      Sunny (10) - ‘asking people to curb their behaviour’ The important bit there is ASK. They don’t have to face the difficult balances and (yes) political choices that they would need to in government. They don’t have to justify any sort of compulsion that they impose or indeed, don’t impose.

      Whatever issues the Greens get authoritarian over they are either proposing crimps on liberty or they are not, surely that is what Davis’ election is all about?

    13. nick — on 27th June, 2008 at 3:16 pm  

      David Davis is pro 28 days detention, pro Iraq War, anti equal right for gay people, pro death penalty, the bye election is a bit of an ego trip for him.

      Vote Shan Oakes!

    14. Sunny — on 27th June, 2008 at 5:21 pm  

      They don’t have to justify any sort of compulsion that they impose or indeed, don’t impose.

      Neither does Labour or Conservatives.

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