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These corporations are robbing from the poor to give to the rich and they know it: robber barons…

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The Greens could do surprisingly well at the next election

Sunday, September 7, 2008, 11:58 AM GMT [General]

Congratulations to Caroline Lucas, the amiable Green MEP, who has become her party’s first leader. The creation of such a post was itself a victory for the Green Party’s Realos over its Fundis: until yesterday, fearful of centralising power, the movement had had two “principal speakers”, one of each sex.

Caroline Lucas
The future could be bright for Caroline Lucas’s Green Party

Caroline is hard-headed, but principled. You don’t catch her taking environmentally unfriendly flights which offer a handsome profit on the mileage allowance – something that not every Green MEP can boast. She has kicked off with a populist yet idealistic campaign for cheaper fuel, funded by taxing the oil corporations: “Just three companies – BP, Centrica, and Shell – together made £1000 profit every second over the first 6 months of this year. These corporations are robbing from the poor to give to the rich and they know it.  And it’s about time they learned that in a progressive democracy, there is no place for robber barons.”

I’d have thought that this line will play with a large chunk of the electorate. And there is a pleasing consistency to Caroline’s ideology: she extends her suspicion of the multinationals to other big, undemocratic outfits such as the EU.

When the Green Party last fought a European election on an explicitly anti-EU platform, in 1989, it secured 14.5 per cent of the vote. At the following election, it dropped its scepticism and scored just 3.1 per cent. But the party now has some hugely impressive and articulate figures: not just Caroline, but Siân BerryJenny Jones and others. If they play their hand deftly, they could do extraordinarily well at the European election in June.

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