The London Federation of Green Parties has voted to advise the newly reformed Barking and Dagenham Green party not to stand a Parliamentary candidate and to focus instead on the locals. It was a close vote (16 to 11) conducted in a serious and civil way. As is reflected by the statement below, Green Left strongly supported the recommendation.
Green Left welcomes the decision of the London Federation of Green Parties to call for no Green Party candidate to stand in the forthcoming general election for the constituency of Barking, in order to maximise the anti-Fascist vote. We regard this as a decision in favour of all progressive groups campaigning against the BNP in Barking and we pledge our full support for all efforts to defeat Nick Griffin and the BNP there. Despite wishing to provide voters with a progressive alternative, under the circumstances we consider it the best strategic decision not to stand a candidate in this election. We call on all voters in Barking to vote against the politics of hate and the BNP.
Jim Jepps discusses the meeting on his blog. It’s no long-term solution to stand aside for Labour, since it’s Labour’s inability to offer an answer which creates the space for the BNP. Peter Crainie, the Green party socialist who took on Nick Griffin in the North West Euroelections, says: “It is crucial that at a council level there is an alternative to BNP v Labour.” That’s why, if the Green party doesn’t run in the parliamentary elections, it may be highly effective for activists in the borough to put forward an alternative using the council elections (especially since it’s the hopeless council which is creating space for the BNP to grow).