Greens criticise Conservative-LibDem deal over public sector cuts and voting reform:

Senior figures in the Green Party in the East of England are saying today that the LibDems have betrayed the people who voted for them at last week’s General Election with the deal they have struck with the Conservatives for a new coalition Government.

Among what it bad with the agreement that they have struck: The LibDems have agreed to Conservative plans to start making public sector cuts during this financial year and the LibDems have failed to get an agreement for the introduction of a proportional voting system. (1)

Adrian Ramsay (Green Party Deputy Leader nationally, and also a Councillor in Norwich) commented: “There are real risks to cutting back on public spending while the economy is still recovering from recession – which is presumably why the LibDems didn’t support making cut backs this year in their manifesto. I’m very concerned that the LibDems have now signed up to the Conservative cuts and about what this may mean for crucial local services such as Sure Start nurseries and day care centres.

“The Green Party’s General Election manifesto showed that there are ways of dealing with the deficit whilst protecting public services.”

C’llr. Rupert Read (who narrowly missed election as this Region’s first Green MEP, a year ago) added: “The way forward should have been through green investment to stabilise the economy, not through public service cuts. So the people of Eastern England can trust that we in the Green Party will fight these Tory-LibDem cuts, tooth and nail.”

C’llr. Read continued: “I fear that the new alliance between the Conservatives and LibDems will take us in the wrong direction. I don’t think these cuts are what people in the East voted for last week. Many voters who voted LibDem last week have already told us that they are now regretting having done so, and will instead look to the Greens next time.”

C’llr Ramsay concluded: “Nick Clegg has also failed to use this situation to secure a fair voting system where every vote counts equally. LibDems have been campaigning for this for decades and this was their chance to make it happen. I think many LibDem activists and voters will be feeling betrayed.”


1. There is going to be a referendum on the Alternative Vote, but that is not a proportional voting system nor is it LibDem policy.


  1. There’s a wonderful thing called compromise Rupert. As a Lib Dem voter (which I assume you aren’t) I don’t feel betrayed in the slightest. The Lib Dems are in government, carrying out a lot of their campaign promises. You can’t just stubbornly refuse to budge on any issue, coalition talks don’t work like that, as Labour found out.

  2. Philip, you’re a hypocrite of the highest order and out of the game as far as I’m concerned. I voted for Lamb to keep the Tories out, as he himself said to me. And on R5 this morning he was trying to justify it. You lot aren’t worth talking to, so bye.

    Rupert, Norman Lamb on R5 this morning stated clearly that there WILL be a fully elected (on PR)upper house. I notice on BBC news that 10 hours later it is now “a look at” a fully elected upper house. I can’t wait to see Mr Lamb. I doubt it will be another five years till we see him again though – hopefully five months tops!

  3. What exactly would you have preferred? A Tory minority government? Lib-Lab was completely unworkable with the numbers involved. God forbid the Lib Dems are actually constructive and practical about getting their policies through. A “hypocrite of the highest order” simply for having a different opinion to you? Not just a tad over the top?

  4. I am sorry to inform you that if the Greens are never prepared to enter into compromises in a coalition government they will never be part of a government.

    The Lib Dems action has meant that more Lib Dem policies are being implemented than would have been the case if they had not joined with the Conservatives and let them form a minority government.

    There is no way a Labour – Lib Dem coalition – other was workable.

  5. Philip: If what you say is right (which I don’t accept), then you still didn’t need to go into coalition.
    You should have created a C&S or ‘Co-operation Agreement’ arrangement, instead. That’s what Greens were pushing for with the #progressivemajority ‘rainbow alliance’ option – and that is the answer to Anon. We said no to coalition – but not to co-operation (with the ‘rainbow alliance’).

  6. As someone whose journey from the Lib Dems to the Greens happened a while ago, I’m really uncomfortable with this line of argument. I don’t vote for a party so that they “get into power”, but so that their policies get implemented. The Liberal Democrats have achieved more of this for their members and voters than they could have dreamed of a year ago and they deserve immense credit for the deal they’ve struck.

    I disagree with them of a huge amount, that’s a different issue. I dislike conservatism and the fact that Cameron is in Downing Street. But talk of treachery, sell-out, betrayal: utter tosh.

    Frankly, I am beginning to feel a wee bit embarrassed by our response. It isn’t principled, it isn’t imaginative. It’s just a rearticulation of politics in the pockets of parties.

  7. Rupert, C&S wouldn’t have delivered on runways, AV, STV for the Lords, fairer taxes, an end to the detention of children for immigration purposes, etc, etc.

    It would have been a betrayal of our voters and a rejection of the kind of pluralist politics we both advocate, to reject this deal and get nothing.

    You seem to consider the timing of deficit reduction a very big deal, but it is a fine economic judgement balancing the risk that the cost of borrowing would increase, against the danger of dampening growth.

    Although I would have thought – based on everything else you say – that you would be happy to dampen growth, and therefore prefer deficit reduction sooner rather than later.

  8. Thanks, Boxthejack, interesting comments; and I like your own blog posts on this.
    Nevertheless, I disagree profoundly. The Tories are deregulators ( Check out the new cabinet! – It ain’t pretty…). They are exactly the wrong Party to be supporting at this time.
    The LibDems are a leftofcentre Party. Or were. They have sold out to a Party of the Right.
    Here is what I am saying to Norwich South voters right now:
    ‘Were you one of the many who voted LibDem at this election simply to keep out one of the two biggest Parties? If so, you were probably very surprised when your LibDem MP ended up ushering David Cameron into Downing Street. Many LibDem voters are feeling surprised or betrayed by this. What it goes to show is this: that the only way you can be sure that your vote will go to stopping both Labour and the Tories is by voting Green.’
    And those are the facts. Vote LibDem, get old-Etonian secretly-very-right-wing deregulatory-by-instinct cheap-greenwashing-PR-man in no.10.
    [See also ]
    I thank my stars that I left the LibDems years before this dreadful moment.

  9. Fair enough Rupert. If you’ll excuse the self-promotion, I’d be very grateful for your critical comments on my latest post which articulates how I view the core of green politics, which may differ from how you see it.

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